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cotton

A white or yellowish white vegetable fiber from a plant related to the hollyhock, and grown in the United States, Russia, China, India, and other countries. Cotton is the name of the fiber and also the fabric made from the fiber. Different types of cotton plants produce cotton of higher or lower quality, usually associated with staple length and fineness of the fiber. Certain names for these plants are occasionally seen in advertising-Sea Island, Egyptian, and Pima-to indicate quality of the fiber.

cotton knits

Cotton knits are made by the same methods as other knits, although they often are of finer gauge than wool and man-made fiber knits. They are the traditional underwear fabric, but recently have become popular for shirts, dresses, and sportswear. Many cotton knits today include some man-made fiber to reduce shrinkage and give the knit greater stability.

cotton linters

Cotton fibers that are too short for yarn or fabric manufacturing.

Egyptian cotton

A fine, long, staple cotton generally grown in Egypt along the Nile Delta. Egyptian cotton fibers average more than 1112 inches in length and produce a strong, lustrous yarn. See cotton.

cotton thread

Formerly the most common thread, but difficult to find today. lt is usually made in two types. A plain thread with a dull surface is called basting thread. Mercerized cotton thread has a shiny surface that enables it to slide smoothly through fabric and is suggested for general purpose sewing. Polyester thread has replaced cotton thread to a large extent. See mercerization.

cotton-wrapped polyester (core) thread

A type of polyester thread made with a polyester core wrapped with cotton, theoretically giving the thread characteristics of both fibers.

baize

Loosely woven fabric, normally made of cotton or wool, which nowadays also can contain other fibers. Originally used for school bags or as covers for the doors leading to servants quarters in England. Baize is used for industrial purposes as well.

barathea

Barathea is mixed fabric which contains silk, rayon, cotton or wool and is closely woven. It has a typical pebbly surface. Barathea is used for dresses, neckties, trimmings, and suits.

Barkcloth

Originally, the term referred to a fabric found throughout the South Pacific and is made from the inner bark of certain trees. The bark is beaten into a paper-like fabric, then dyed or otherwise colored. Tapa cloth is one of the best known types of true barkcloth. Barkcloth is a term that also refers to a fabric, often cotton or rayon, with a somewhat crepe-like feel that is designed to resemble true barkcloth. This fabric is used extensively for draperies, slipcovers, and other home furnishings. See crepe and tapa cloth

basic dye

A way of dyeing without a mordant that colors wool and silk. To use it for cotton a mordant is needed.

batiste

A fabric named for Jean Baptiste, a French linen weaver. (1) In cotton, a sheer, fine muslin, woven of combed yarns and given a mercerized finish. It is used for blouses, summer shirts, dresses, lingerie, infants dresses, bonnets, and handkerchiefs. (2) A rayon, polyester, or cotton-blend fabric with the same characteristics. (3) A smooth, fine wool fabric that is lighter than challis, and similar to fine nuns veiling. It is used for dresses and negligees. (4) A sheer silk fabric either plain or figured, similar to silk mull. It is often called batiste de soie and is made into summer dresses.

batting

Batting is usually stocked in linens and domestics departments although it is used today primarily for crafts. Batting is a filling material used to stuff pillows, toys, and quilts. At one time, batting was made of cotton

Bedford cord

Bedford cord is a durable cloth with lengthwise ribs made of cotton, wool, silk, rayon, or combination fibers. Mainly used for outer garments or Sportswear.

beetling

A finish primarily applied to linen or cotton whereby the cloth is beaten with large wooden blocks in order to produce a hard, flat surface with a sheen. lt gives a linen-like appearance to cotton.

belting

A heavy cotton, rayon, silk, or mixed fabric with large fillingwise ribs. lt may be knit. Any heavyweight, fairly stiff fabric used to support the top of a skirt, a pair of pants, or line a belt to give additional support. Beltings come in various widths.

Bengaline

Bengaline is a ribbed fabric similar to faille, but heavier and with a coarser rib in the filling direction. lt can be made of silk, wool, acetate, or rayon warp, with wool or cotton filling. The fabric was first made in Bengal, India, and is used for dresses, coats, trimmings, and draperies.

birds-eye

Fabric with a woven-in dobby design. The pattern has a center dot and resembles the eye of a bird. It is used in cotton diapers, pique, and wool sharkskin. See pique.

broadcloth

Although the term broadcloth originally meant any fabric made on a loom of a certain width, it now means a fine, tightly woven fabric with a faint rib. Originally, it was made of mercerized cotton, but today the term is used to describe several dissimilar fabrics made with different fibers, weaves, and finishes. (1) Originally, a silk shirting fabric so named because it was woven in widths exceeding the usual twenty-nine inches. (2) A plainweave, tightly woven, high-count cotton fabric, with fillingwise rib finer than poplin. Best grades are made of combed pima or Egyptian cotton, usually with high thread counts (136x60 or 144x76). The fabrics are usually mercerized, sanforized, and given a soft lustrous finish, and are used for womens blouses, tailored summer dresses, and mens shirts. (3) A closely woven, medium-weight wool cloth with a smooth nap, velvety feel, and lustrous appearance. Wool broadcloth can be made with a two-up-and-two-down twill weave or plain weave. In setting up a loom to make the fabric, the loom is threaded wide to allow for a large amount of shrinkage during the filling process. The fabric takes its name from this wide threading. High-quality wool broadcloth is fine enough for garments that are closely molded to the figure or draped. Its high-luster finish makes it an elegant cloth. Wool broadcloth is ten to sixteen ounces per yard and is now being made in chiffon weights. (4) A fabric made from silk or man-made filament fiber yarns and woven in a plain weave with a fine crosswise rib obtained by using a heavier filling than warp yarn.

cambric

A closely woven, plain weave, white fabric that is finished with a slightly glossy surface. The fabric is traditionally made from cotton or linen, but can be made from any fiber. It was formerly used in underwear and handkerchiefs, but today its major uses are to reinforce book bindings and to upholster the underside of chairs and sofas. Very low count, heavily sized glazed cambric is used for costuming.

Canton flannel

Canton flanell is a heavy and warm cotton material. While it has a twilled surface there is a long soft nap on the back. It is named for Canton because thats where it was first made. Canton flanell is strong and absorbent.

canvas

A heavy, strong, usually plain weave fabric that historically was made of flax, hemp, or cotton. Today, it is usually made of cotton, but some fabrics made of man-made fibers or blends are also called canvas. Canvas is, roughly speaking, heavier than duck or sailcloth although the three names are often used interchangeably. The unbleached fabric is used for coat fronts, lapels, and linings of mens suits. Hair canvas for interlinings is made of goats hair and wool. See duck and sailcloth.

cellulose

The naturally occurring polymer (giant molecule) that forms the solid framework of plants. Cellulose from wood pulp is the base for rayon and acetate, both of which are man-made fibers. Cotton is more than ninety percent cellulose before it is cleaned (scoured). See cotton, rayon, and acetate.

chalfis

One of the softest fabrics made, it is named for the AngloIndian term shalee, meaning soft. lt is a fine, light-weight, plain-weave fabric, usually made of wool, cotton, or man-made fibers. Challis was traditionally printed with vivid floral patterns on dark grounds or with paisley designs, but now is produced in darker tones of allover prints and solid colors, in the finest quality fabrics. lt is normally used for neckties, dresses, blouses, scarves, bed jackets, and infants sacques.

chambray

(1) A plain-woven fabric with an almost square count (80x76), a colored warp, and a white filling, that gives a mottled, colored surface. The fabric is named for Cambrai, France, where it was first made for sunbonnets. Although chambray is traditionally woven, the look itself is so popular it is imitated in knitting. It is similar in appearance to denim but much lighter in weight. It is used for womens and childrens summer dresses and mens shirts. (2) A cotton print cloth made of yarn-dyed yarns that can also be woven in patterns and woven in stripes. (3) A similar but carded-yarn fabric used for work clothes and childrens play clothes. See denim.

chenille

Chenille is a fabric consisting of wool, cotton, silk or artifical fibers. It is woven from blurry yarns or tufts. Usually it is a mix from chenille and normal textile yarns. While chenille is the filling, the other yarn is the warp. Chenille is a pile yarn originally made by weaving a pile fabric and subsequently cutting it into strips. Its main use is for draperies and bedspreads.

chino

A twill-weave cotton originally used for slacks, sport shirts, and summer military uniforms. It is made of two-ply cotton combed yarns, vat-dyed, and is mercerized and Sanforized. Today, the name is given to any medium-weight, sturdy fabric with a slight sheen. Khaki green and military tan are common chino colors, but the fabric is also made in other colors.

chintz

Any closely woven, plain-weave, glazed cotton and blends of polyestercotton fabric, often printed in bright designs, which are most often floral. It is used for draperies, slipcovers, bedspreads, upholstery, and now mens and boys shirts, and ladies and girls dresses.

cloque

Term used to describe a fabric with a raised effect Jacquard, usually knitted from two colors, and often used interchangeably with matelasse and blister. Cotton cloque is frequently popular for summer dress and jacket or coat costumes.

corduroy

A ribbed, high-luster, cut-pile fabric with extra filling threads that form lengthwise ribs or wales. The rib has been sheared or woven to produce a smooth, velvet-like nap. The thread count varies from 46 x 116 to 70 x 250. Traditionally made of cotton, corduroy can be made of many different fibers, such as rayon and polyester blends. lt is used for dresses, coats, sports jackets, sports shirts, bathrobes, slacks, and draperies.

cotton

A white or yellowish white vegetable fiber from a plant related to the hollyhock, and grown in the United States, Russia, China, India, and other countries. Cotton is the name of the fiber and also the fabric made from the fiber. Different types of cotton plants produce cotton of higher or lower quality, usually associated with staple length and fineness of the fiber. Certain names for these plants are occasionally seen in advertising-Sea Island, Egyptian, and Pima-to indicate quality of the fiber.

cotton knits

Cotton knits are made by the same methods as other knits, although they often are of finer gauge than wool and man-made fiber knits. They are the traditional underwear fabric, but recently have become popular for shirts, dresses, and sportswear. Many cotton knits today include some man-made fiber to reduce shrinkage and give the knit greater stability.

cotton linters

Cotton fibers that are too short for yarn or fabric manufacturing.

count of yarn

Size of yarn as distinguished by its weight and fineness. This term is applied to cotton, wool, and spun yarns.

crepe

A lightweight fabric of silk, rayon, cotton, wool, man-made, or blended fibers, and characterized by a crinkled surface. This surface is obtained through the use of crepe yarns (yarns that have such a high twist that the yarn kinks), and by chemical treatment with caustic soda, embossing, or weaving (usually with thicker warp yarns and thinner filling yarns). Although crepe is traditionally woven, crepe yarns are now used to produce knit crepes.

cretonne

A plain-weave, carded cotton fabric, usually printed with large designs. Cretonne is unglazed, and is used for draperies, slipcovers, and other home furnishings.

cross-dyeing

A method of coloring fabrics made from more than one kind of fiber, for example, a wool and cotton blend. Each fiber in a fabric designed for cross-dyeing takes a specific dye in a different color or in variations of a color. A fabric that is crossdyed is more than one color. Cross-dyeing is often used to create heather effects (soft, misty colorings), but strongly patterned fabrics can also be achieved, depending on the fibers used in the fabric.

damask

A glossy, heavy, firm-textured Jacquard weave fabric, similar to brocade, but lighter, with flat and reversible patterns. It is made of silk, linen, cotton, rayon or a combination of fibers in double or single damask. It is used for tablecloths, napkins, home furnishings, draperies and upholsteries, and occasionally clothing, such as afternoon and evening dresses.

denim

A cotton twill weave fabric made of single hard-twisted yarns. The staple type has colored warp and white or undyed filling thread. When the fabric (and the look) became popular, the name denim was given to many other types of fabric, including cross-dyed fabrics and brushed fabrics, both knit and woven, that resemble true denim. Most jeans are made of denim and the most popular and traditional denim color is blue. Sports denim is softer and lighter in weight. It is now available in many colors, and in plaids and stripes. Woven-in stripes and plaids are popular for draperies, upholstery, and bedspreads.

drill

A heavy, strong, durable twilled fabric of cotton or man-made fibers, similar to denim, that has a diagonal 2x1 weave running up to the left selvage. When strength of fabric is essential, drill is suitable for slacks, uniforms, overalls, and work shirts. See twill

duck

Originally, a fabric lighter in weight than canvas. Today, the terms are synonymous. A durable plain-weave, closely woven cotton, generally made of ply yarns, in a variety of weights and thread counts. It is used for uniforms, belts, awnings, tents, and sails. See canvas.

Egyptian cotton

A fine, long, staple cotton generally grown in Egypt along the Nile Delta. Egyptian cotton fibers average more than 1112 inches in length and produce a strong, lustrous yarn. See cotton.

faille

A soft, slightly glossy silk, rayon, acetate, cotton, wool, or a mixture of these, in a rib weave, that has a light, flat, narrow crosswise rib or cord. It is made by using heavier yarns in the filling than in the warp, and has more ribs to the inch than bengaline. Ottoman is similar to faille but has a wider rib. Faille is considered a dressy fabric, and is used for evening clathes, tailored dresses, coats, suits, ties, handbags, shoes, and draperies. See ottoman.

foulard

A lightweight, soft, plain- or twill-weave fabric made of silk, mercerized cotton, rayon, acetate, or thin worsted wool. Foulard has a high luster on the face and dull on the reverse side. It is often printed, and the patterns range from simple polka dots to small, allover elaborate designs on light or dark grounds. It is also made in plain and solid colors. Foulard has a characteristic hand that can be described as light, firm, and supple. It is used for spring and summer dresses, scarves, robes, and neckties, and frequently sold as surah.

frieze

A heavy pile fabric used primarily for upholstery, slipcovers, and draperies. Frieze is looped, and the loops are often sheared to varying heights to form the pattern. Originally made of cotton (and still often referred to as cotton frieze), the fabric is now usually made of mohair, wool, cotton, and blends of cotton and man-made fibers. Also called frise.

gauze

A thin, sheer, open, loosely woven, plain-weave cotton fabric with widely spaced yarns, used for diapers and surgical dressings. It can also be made of wool, silk, rayon, or other man-made fibers. Some weights are stiffened for curtains, trimmings of dresses, and other decorative or apparel purposes.

grosgrain

A fairly heavy, closely woven, firm, corded or ribbed fabric, made in silk or rayon warp with cotton cords. The cords are round and firm, heavier than in poplin, rounder than in faille. Grosgrain is often made in narrow widths for use as trimming. The most common use of grosgrain is for ribbons in which the ribs are usually narrow, but it can be made with larger ribs for academic gowns. It is really a bengaline in narrow goods and is used for ribbons, neckties, and lapel facings.

homespun

Originally, fabrics made from yarns spun by hand. Today, homespun is used for fabrics that imitate this look. It is a very coarse, rough, plain-weave fabric, loosely woven with irregular, tightly twisted, and nubby, unevenly spun yarns. It is made from linen, wool, cotton, or man-made fiber, or blends in varied colors and is used for coats, suits, sportswear, draperies, upholstery, and slipcovers.

huck

A type of toweling fabric with a honeycombed surface made by using heavy filling yarns in a dobby weave. It has excellent absorbent qualities. It is woven with a pattern, most often with a dobby attachment on the loom and may have Jacquard borders. Huck is traditionally made of cotton, linen, or rayon, or a mixture of these, although today, other fibers may be used. In a mixture it is called a union fabric. Face or hand towels are made in white or colors and are used for drying dishes, glasses, and kitchen utensils. Huck is also called huckaback. Embroidery enthusiasts often use huck as a ground for their work. See dobby.

Indian muslin

Muslin is the name for a very large group of plain-weave fabrics originally made of cotton. Most muslin used for purposes other than sheets is unbleached, which means that bits of trash, usually appearing as brown flecks, add color to the fabric. Occasionally, unbleached muslin becomes popular in fashion, even for wedding gowns. Indian muslin is a very fine muslin from India, often printed with gold and silver and is an expensive luxury fabric. See muslin, trash, and flecks

jersey

A single knit fabric with plain stitches on the right side and purl stitches on the back. A weft-knitted rayon, acetate, or two-bar tricot-knitted rayon or acetate used for slips, gowns, and blouses. Jersey is also made of wool, cotton, silk, nylon, or blends of the newer synthetics. As an elastic knitted wool fabric, usually in stockinette stitch, jersey was first made on the Island of Jersey off the English coast and used for fishermans clothing. [t is also used for blouses, dresses, and basque shirts. The word jersey is also occasionally used as a synonym for any knit. See knitting, single knit, and purl knit.

you will find a wide selection of jersey fabrics at jerseyfabrics.net.

kersey

A thick, heavy, pure wool and cotton twill-weave fabric similar tonrelton. It is well fulled, with a fine nap and a closesheared surface. Kersey is used for uniforms and overcoats.

khaki

A term used for both an earth color or olive green color (yellow-brown color with a greenish tint) and for fabrics made in these colors, whether of wool, cotton, linen, or man-made fibers. Khaki is a classic uniform color and material. It is also used for sportswear and leisure clothes.

lawn

A light, well-hackled linen fabric first made in haon, France. Now, it is a lightweight, fairly sheer, fine, plain-weave cotton or linen muslin fabric generally more sheer and with a higher count than nainsook. It can be given a soft or crisp finish and is sized and calendered to produce a soft, lustrous appearance. Linen lawn is synonymous with handkerchief linen. Cotton lawn is a similar type of fabric. Lawn is slightly stiffer than batiste, but can be used for similar purposes. [t is white, solid colored, or printed and is used tot dresses, blouses, curtains, lingerie, and as a base for embroidered items. See batiste, nainsook, and handkerchief linen.

linters

Very short fibers that cover the cotton seeds after the I long fibers have been removed by ginning. These short, fuzzy fibers, after removal from the cotton seeds, are a source of cellulose for rayon and acetate.

longdoth

A fine, soft, cotton cloth woven of softly twisted yarns. It is similar to nainsook but slightly heavier, with a duller surface. Longcloth is so called because it was one of the first fabrics to be woven in Iong rolls. lt is also a synonym for muslin sheeting af gaod quality. The fabric is used for underwear and linings. See nainsook and muslin sheeting.

Madras

1) Called Indian Madras. A fine, hand-loomed cotton imported from Madras, India. The Federal Trade Commission has ruled that it is deceptive to apply this term to a fabric that does not meet this description. In addition, the FTC definition requires that any dyes.used on this fabric must be vegetable dyes that will bleed (the col:ors run into each other). The fact that the FTC felt called upon to make such a definition is some indication of the popularity of Madras and imitation Madras fabrics in recent years. The authentic Madras and its imitations usually have checked or plaid designs

marquisette

A light, strong, sheer, open-textured curtain fabric in leno weave, often with dots woven into the surface. The thread count varies from 48 x 22 to 60 x 40. Marquisette, extremely popular for curtains and mosquito netting, is made of cotton, rayon, acetate, nylon, polyester, acrylic, glass, silk, or mixtures.

Marseilles

A firmly woven reversible fabric with raised geometric designs. Marseilles was originally made of cotton, but is now usually made from man-made fibers or blends.

matelasse

A soft double or compound fabric with a quilted appearance. One of the fabrics that, like cloque, has a blistered or quilted look to the design. Officially, the word matelasse implies the use of two different yarns that, when finished, react differently to the finishing resulting in a puckered effect in the fabric. In practice, the term matelasse is usually applied to luxury fabrics for evening wear, while a word such as cloque is used for a similar fabric made from cotton. The heavier type is used in draperies and upholstery, whereas crepe matelasse is popular in dresses, semiformal and formal suits and wraps, and trimmings.

mechanical picker

A device with vertical drums equipped with spindles that remove the cotton from the boll.

melton

Melton, usually called melton cloth, is a thick, heavily felted or fulled wool fabric in a twill or satin weave, with clipped surface nap, felt-like in feeling, and lustrous, similar to a dull broad cloth. The close weave means that the fabric appears to be completely smooth. Melton was originally made of all wool or cotton and wool, but today is made of other fibers. It is used extensively for coats and also for uniforms. See nap.

mercerization

A finish applied to cotton yarn or fabric or to a blend of cotton and other fibers to make it stronger, more absorbent, and to give the fabric additional luster and increased ability to take dye. Mercerization can be done at the yarn stage or the fabric stage. In common with several other textile processes, mercerization involves the use of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide or lye).

middy twill

The term middy twill is used for many fabrics that are sturdy and have a twill weave. Traditionally made of cotton, middy twill today is likely to include at least some man-made fibers in its construction. When middy blouses are in fashion (a loasefitting, hip-length overblouse with a sailor collar) the most popular color for this twill is navy blue. It is used also for school uniforms.

modified cellulose fibers

Cotton fibers treated with caustic soda to give strength, increased luster, and improved affinity for dye. Modification of a fiber changes its physical and chemical properties within the limits of a generic family.

moleskin finish

A cotton fleece lined with close, soft, thick nap that is used in underwear for cold climates.

mousseline

The name for a broad category of fabrics, usually fairly sheer and lightweight and made in a variety of fibers, including man-mades, silk, cotton, and wool. Mousseline usually has a crisp hand. The word mousseline is offen used today for a fabric resembling de soie. See mousseline de soie and hand.

muslin

The name for a large group of plain-weave fabrics, originally made of cotton.

quilt

A fabric construction, usually thinner and less resilient than a comforter, most often used as a bed covering for added warmth. It consists of a layer of printed cotton muslin fabric, known as the quitt top, and backing fabric, also made of printed or solid cotton muslin fabric, with a layer of cotton, wool, or synthetic batting between. All three layers are sewn together with fine quilting (running) stitches that usually create a design of its own. Quilted bed coverings filled with down feathers are called eiderdowns or comforters. A patchwork quitt has a patchwork quitt top. See quilting, patchwark, and batting.

rag rug

A floor covering woven with strips of twisted rags made of cotton, wool, r synthetic fabrics braided, crocheted, or bound and used as the filling on a cotton or synthetic yarn warp. Rag rugs are made by hand or machine, and with the exception of some handmade antique rags, usually are the most inexpensive rugs.

rep or repp

Heavy filling-wise corded fabric, heavier than poplin. It may be silk, rayon, man-made fibers, cotton, wool, or a mixture. The fabric may be solid or striped. It is used for ties, robes, draperies, and upholstery, and in lighter weights for blouses and trimmings.

drugget

A coarse, felted floor covering made from mixtures of such fibers as cotton, jute, and wool. Drugget is usually napped on one side and is a traditionally inexpensive floor covering used by institutions.

rag rug

A rug woven with strips of cotton, wool, or synthetic fabrics used as the filling on a cotton or synthetic yarn warp. Rag rugs are made by hand and machine and, with the exception of some hand-made antique rag rugs, are usually the most inexpensive rugs.

sailcloth

Originally, a firmly woven cotton canvas used for making sails. Today, sailcloth is a very heavy, strong, plain-weave fabric made of cotton, linen, jute, nylon, or palyester. It comes in many qualities and weights. In common usage, the terms duck, sailcloth, and canvas often are used interchangeably. Sailcloth can be used for sportswear, slipcovers and upholstery, and curtains and draperies. See canvas and duck.

sateen

A strong, lustrous, mercerized, satin-weave fabric made of cotton, blends of cotton with polyester, or spun-yarn fabrie characterized by floats running in the filling direction. Sateen Is also used to distinguish between cotton satin-weave fabrics and satin-weave fabrics made of sk or man-made fibers. It is used for linings, draperies, and comforters. See weaving and satin weave.

satin

One of the basic weaves. A shiny, smooth silk, acetate, rayon, or other man-made fiber combination woven in satin weave made with a cotton filling. It has a smooth, lustrous surface because the warp floats. It is used for linings of coats, jackets, facings, and ties. It is also used for draperies, upholstery, bedspreads, and sheets. Satin weave has proved so popular that various types of satin-weave fabrics have developed. Following i.s a listing of many of the types of satin fabrics. See weaving and sateen.

scrim

An open, plain-weave, mesh fabric used for curtains, bunting, and as a supporting fabric for some laminated fabrics. Scrim was traditionally made of cotton, but today usually is made of nylon or other man-made fibers. See bunting.

sharkskin

(1) A heavy weight, fairly lustrous cotton, linen, silk, or man-made fiber fabric with a sleek, hard-finished, crisp, and pebbly surface and a chalky luster. Today, it is almost always made of acetate or triacetate. Filament yarns, when used, are twisted and woven tightly in a plain-weave or basket-weave construction, depending on the effect desired. Staple fiber yarns are handled in the same manner, except for wool. Sharkskin is best known in its stark white color especially popular for tennis outfits and for permanently pleated white skirts when they are in fashion. (2) A wool fabric in twill weave, originally made of yarns of two colors.

sheer curtains

Thin fabrics of polyester, cotton, and blends that hang next to the window glass.

sheet

A rectangular piece of fabric used to cover and protect the top and sides of a mattress. This is usually referred to as a bottom sheet. A top sheet is placed on top of a bottom sheet to protect the skin from a sometimes scratchy blanket and to protect the blanket from soil. Traditionally, sheets were made of linen or cotton.

shiki

Heavy rayon, acetate, and cotton, or other mixtures identified by wavy filling-wise cords. It is used for draperies.

silk noil

Short ends of silk fibers used in making rough, textured, spun yarns or in blends with cotton or wool.

sizing

Starch, gelatin, glue, wax, casein, or clay added to fabrics in the finishing stages to give fabric additional body, a smoother appearance, and more weight. Cotton fabrics are those most commonly treated in this manner. At one time, sizing had to be replaced after each cleaning. Today, with more advanced finishing techniques, sizing is rarely used and fabrics usually retain their initial appearance through cleaning. A few fabrics such as needlepoint canvas are still sized so that they can be handled more easily. This in no way affects their final performance. Sizing also refers to the starch that is applied to the warp yarns to help prevent abrasion during the weaving process. This sizing is usually removed from the fabric in one of the finishing steps.

staple

Short lengths of fiber, measured in inches or fractions of inches, like those naturally found in cotton and wool. These short lengths must be spun to obtain a length sufficient for weaving or knitting. Silk is the only natural fiber that does not come in staple lengths, but instead in filament lengths. Man-made fibers often are cut into staple lengths for spinning to imitate natural fibers. See spinning, filament, and spun fiber yarn.

suede fabric

A woven or knitted fabric of cotton, man-made fibers, wool, or blends, finished to resemble suede leather. It is used in sport coats, gloves, linings, and cleaning cloths.

sweatshirt

A loose, collarless, heavy cotton jersey pullover. It also is found in a lacket style with a hood.

sweatshirt fabric

A knitted fabric with a smooth face and a fleecy, pile back. Sweatshirts were originally designed for exercise during which perspiration was encouraged, but they are also worn for warmth in cold weather and are available in several styles. They were made of cotton for its absorbency, but acrylic versions are also available.

taffeta

A fine, yarn-dyed, closely woven, plain-weave, smooth on both sides, stiffened fabric with a crisp feel and a sheen on its surface. Taffeta was originally made of silk, but is also made of rayon, cotton, acetate, or other man-made fibers. lt is named for the Persian fabric "taftan". The rustle of silk taffeta is called scroop, and it may be a solid color, printed or woven so that the colors appear iridescent. A list of the most common types of taffeta follows. lt is used for dresses, blouses, ribbons, draperies, bedspreads, and curtains. See scroop.

tapestry

A Jaquard woven fabric in cotton, wool, or man-made fibers. Traditionally, a decorative wall hanging woven to depict a scene. The filling threads are changed in color to fit the design. On the back, shaded stripes identify this fabric. It is used extensively for wall hangings, table covers, draperies, and upholstery. Some rugs are made in tapestry weaves. The word is also used for needlepoint, but this use is generally considered incorrect. Machine-made fabrics, also called tapestry, have regular designs on the surface and a slightly looped pile. They are used for such things as coats and handbags.

carpet thread

A heavy thread used for repairing carpets and for sewing on buttons. Carpet thread was originally made of cotton, but usually is made of polyester today.

cotton thread

Formerly the most common thread, but difficult to find today. lt is usually made in two types. A plain thread with a dull surface is called basting thread. Mercerized cotton thread has a shiny surface that enables it to slide smoothly through fabric and is suggested for general purpose sewing. Polyester thread has replaced cotton thread to a large extent. See mercerization.

cotton-wrapped polyester (core) thread

A type of polyester thread made with a polyester core wrapped with cotton, theoretically giving the thread characteristics of both fibers.

ticking

A broad term for extremely strong woven fabrics which are used as a covering for pillows, mattresses, and box springs, home-furnishings, and for work clothes and sports clothes. lt is a heavy, tightly woven carded cotton fabric usually in a pattern of alternately woven stripes in the warp, Jacquard or dobby designs, or printed patterns. lt is usually twill but may be sateen weave. When ticking is used in clothing, striped ticking with narrow woven stripes is usually most popular. Red and white, black and white, and navy and white are the most popular ticking color combinations.

Toile de Jouy

Cotton fabric printed in pictorial designs. The original toile was printed by Oberkampf in 1759 at Jouy, France. lt is used for draperies and bedspreads. See toile.

dish towel

One of the few textile products which is still made of linen (occasionally they are made of cotton or even paper). Dish towels are used for hand-drying dishes after washing. Many linen dish towels are made in Ireland and printed with colorful pictures. llish towels can also be made of terry cloth and huck toweling. See terry cloth and huck.

terry cloth

A cotton or cotton and man-made fiber fabric with a looped pile on one or both sides. lt is made into towels for drying after a bath. It may also be used for dish towels.

t-shirt

A knitted cotton undershirt with short sleeves that may be worn for sports or work without an outer garment.

tufted carpet

Made by needling pile yarns into a previously woven backing of jute or cotton.

tufted fabric

"A fabric ornamented with soft, fluffy, slackly twisted ply yarns (usually cotton). Most tufts are inserted by needles into a woven fabric, such as unbleached muslin, textured cotton, and rayon plain-weave cloth. When tufts are spaced (as coin dots), a bedspread is called candlewick

tufting

A brush-like button of clipped cotton yarn that appears at regular intervals on mattresses. Also, the most common method for making rugs. Groups of yarns are forced through a backing fabric. The yarns are held in place permanently when the underside of the rug is coated, often with liquid latex.

unbleached muslin

A cotton plain-weave printcloth fabric in grey goods and lightweight sheetings, used for ironing board covers, dust covers, and dust cloths.

union cloth

A traditional name for fabric made from two or more different fibers, such as a fabric woven with a wool worsted warp and a cotton filling. The term "union cloth" was used primarily when this fabric was used for underwear, perhaps because a union suit was another name for shoulder-to-ankle, one-piece underwear. See union suit.

voile

A sheer, transparent, low-count, crisp or soft, lightweight, plain-weave muslin with a thready feel, made of highly twisted yarns. lt can be comprised of wool, cotton, silk, rayon, polyester, or other man-made fibers. Voile is especially popular when made of cotton or blends for summer wear and is often printed to match heavier fabrics. Voile is used for clothing, especially for blouses and summer dresses, and for curtains and similar items.

waffle cloth

A fabric with a characteristic honeycomb weave. When made in cotton it is called waffle pique. It is used for coatings, draperies, dresses, and toweling.

waste silk

Another name for silk noil. Short ends of silk fibers used in making rough, textured, spun yarns or in blends with cotton or wool.

satin weave

A weave that produces a very smooth surfaced fabric. It is made by passing the filling threads under several warp threads before passing over one warp thread. Satin weave is used to make sateens in which cotton filling thread goes over several cotton warps, then under one warp.

whipcord

An extremely strong, twill-weave worsted fabric made in fairly heavy weights of cotton, wool worsted, and fabrics of man-made fibers and blends. It is similar to gabardine, but heavier and with a more pronounced diagonal rib on the right side. lt is so named because it simulates tlre lash of a whip. Cotton whipcotds are often four-harness warp-twill weaves. lt is used for draperies and upholstery, uniforms, riding clothes, and other wearing apparel where a strong fabric is required. See twill under entry for weaving.

woven seersucker

Woven seersucker is a crinkly and stripy cotton fabric made by weaving some of the yarns in tighter tension than others.

zibeline

A heavily napped coating fabric with the long sleek nap brushed, steamed, and pressed in one direction, thus hiding the underlying satin weave. Zibeline is usually made of a combi nation of such fibers as camel hair or mohair with wool, cotton, or a man-made fiber as the largest percentage,