bonded-face fabric

The side of a bonded fabric used as the face (right side) of the cloth in a garment or other end use.

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cable stitch fabric

Cable stitch fabic is a knit fabric. The pattern looks like a plaited rope running lengthwise down the fabric. It is mainly used for sweaters.

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changeable fabric

Fabric woven with yarns of one color in the warp and another color in the filling so that the fabric seems to change color as the light strikes it. Other names for this type of fabric are iridescent and shot.

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corded fabric

The term corded fabric (often shortened to cord) refers to fabrics with a lengthwise rib, often woven in stripes. Any fabric with a lengthwise rib.

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decorative fabrics

A term used to describe fabrics for upholstery, slipcovers, curtains, and draperies. These fabrics are usually of heavier weights than the fashion fabrics used in clothing. Also called decorator fabrics and home furnishing fabrics.

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fabric softeners

Chemical solutions added to the final rinse to improve the hand of terry cloths and infants’ fabrics.

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flame retardant fabric

A fabric that resists or retards the spreading of flames. A flame retardant fabric can be made by using fibers that are themselves flame retardant, or by using special finishes on fabrics. Selow is a list of some flame retardant fabrics. Many companies produce similar items but have not given them names referring specifically to their flame retardant nature.

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fluorescent fabric

A fabric that glows with a more vivid color than usual under daylight, headIights, and ultra-violet light. Fluorescent fabrics are important, especially in colors such as orange, where high visibility is essential for safety in hunting clothes, clothes for crossing guards, and outfits for school children. Occasionally, fluorescent fabrics become fashionable for other items of clothing.

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limp fabric

A fabric that is too soft because of inadequate amounts or improper application of finishing materials.

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loom-figured fabrics

Fabrics that have the design or pattern woven or knitted in as opposed to those which, for instance, have patterns printed on finished cloth.

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multicomponent fabric

A fabric in which at least two layers of material are sealed together by an adhesive.

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reversible fabric

A fabric that can be used on either side. Generally, the term reversible is applied to two quite different fabrics joined together by such methods as laminating or double cloth construction. Reversible fahrics frequentiy are used for coats, less frequently for other garments. See laminating and double cloth.

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shrinkage-controlled fabric

Fabric treated in some way to prevent it from shrinking more than a specified amount. Unfortunately, the term shrinkage-controlled is an arbitrary standard and varies from rnanufacturer to manufacturer and gives the consumer no true measure of quality. Shrinkage-control is usually achieved by shrinking the fabric in the finishing steps or by the addition of finishing agents to the fabric.

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soft fabrics

Fabrics that tend to drape in soft folds and to cling instead of standing away from the figure or item being covered. Soft fabrics is usually used as the opposite of crisp fabrics. Single knits usually are considered soft fabrics.

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staple fabrics

Those cloths which, over a period of years, have a steady sale or demand. Such cloths as muslins, flannels, broadcloth, shanttung, and taffeta are staples that have to be kept in stock.

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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.

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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.

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tarnish-resistant fabric

A fabric used for wrapping silver to keep it from becoming darkened by atmospheric pollution. The cloth itself is made to absorb sulfur from the atmosphere, a major cause of tarnish.

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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
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unwashable fabric

A fabric that should not be washed by hand or by machine. Such fabrics are usually labeled "dry clean only".

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washable fabric

A fabric that can be washed. The method of washing (by hand or machine) may not be designated.

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wash-fast fabric

One that will not fade or shrink excessively during laundering.

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water repellent fabric

The chemical treatment of a fabric to reduce its affinity for water. Pores of the fabric are open, and the degree of repellency varies. A water repellent fab ric will give protection in a shower, but not in heavy rain. Water repellency is often created with wax or silicone resin finishes that enable the pores of the fabric to stay open so that it is more comfortable to wear than waterproof fabrics. Another name for water repellent is water resistant. See waterproof fabric.

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waterproof fabric

A fabric that will not permit water to penetrate it. Among methods of waterproofing are coating the fabric with rubber or plastic. True waterproof fabrics are warm and clammy to wear because their waterproof nature also prevents the evaporation of perspiration and blocks the circulation of air.

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abrasion

Rubbing, scraping off or scuffing of the surface of a fabric. Some permanent press finishes lessen abrasion resistance. Draperies that are frequently in use should be made of abrasion resistant fabrics.

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absorbent finish

Chemical treatment of fabrics to improve their absorption.

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acetate

A organic and chemical fiber. Acetate is a blend of cellulose and acetic acid that has been hardened. Solution and spun-dyed acetates are colorfast against sunlight, perspiration, and air pollution. Acetate is often used for luxurious fabrics because its appearance is similar to silk. It is mixed occasionally with other fibers to give additional gloss and lower the cost.

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alpaca

The Alpaca is a domesticated member of the lama family, the so called “South American camel”. Alpaca fabric is one of the luxury fabrics for its silky, soft and fairly lightweight attributes. Today, the term alpaca is also used for fabrics made from a blend including some wools that have a similar appearance to true alpaca.

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angora

"(also Mohair ) On the one hand this term is used for fabrics made of hair of the Angora rabbit. On the other hand it is also used for fabrics made of the wool of the Angora goat. To set the record straight, the Wool Labeling Law requires that a fabric has to be marked as “angora rabbit hair” rather than “angora” or “angora wool”.Fabrics made of the long and soft fur of the Angora goat are called ""mohair""."

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antique taffeta

As it was originally a pure silk fabric nowadays normally contains a mixture of polyester and silk (predominantly dupion silk). Often yarn-dyed with two colors to give it an iridescent effect. Connected to: shantung

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art linen

A medium-weight linen or blended fabric which is plain-woven. Normally used for embroidery, dresses, uniforms, table linens, and other types of embroidered items.

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astrakhan

The term was used to name the wool from karakul lambs. Nowadays, it is also used to describe a fabric woven or knitted to similar to this wool. It is curly and heavy. Connected to: karakul

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azlon

This term describes manufactured fibers made from regenerated natural proteins, such as casein, zein, soybean, and peanut. In a mixture with other fibers it gives the fabric a soft feeling.

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bagheera

Name for an uncut pile velvet clothing fabric with a rough surface. Extraordinary restistant. Connected to: pile, velvet

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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.

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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.

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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

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Barre

The term "Barre" describes a fabric, either knit or woven, in which stripes run in crosswise directions. Barre also refers to flaws in fabric that appear as unwanted crosswise stripes of texture or color.

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basic finishes

Regular processes (mechanical or chemical) applied in some form to a fabric after it has been constructed.

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batik

Batik describes a special technique of resist dyeing which was first used in Indonesia. Before dyeing the fabric is pile-spread with wax. The waxed areas remain in the original color while the rest of the fabric adopts the dyeing color. To get the typical veined effect to the design the wax is cracked. Today, it is largely produced in an industrial way. Connected to: resist dyeing

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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 nun’s 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.

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bed linen

Bed linen is a term for any fabric sheeting used on a bed.

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Bedford cloth

Bedford cloth is a strong woven fabric with lengthwise ribs. Normally used for upholstery and riding breeches and may be made of any fiber.

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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.

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Benares

Benares is a lightweight fabric from India. Named after the town of Benares it is usually woven with metallic threads.

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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.

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bias

Bias is a fabric cut diagonally across the warp and filling yarns. A true bias is cut on a 45° angle from the lower left to the upper right of a cloth.

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billiard doth

Billiard cloth is the cloth used on billiard tables. It is always dyed green. This is traditionally a very fine twilled fabric consisting of quality wool. Nowadays also other fibers are used for billiard cloth.

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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.

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blazer cloth

Fabric traditionally used for loosely fitting tailored jackets worn by men and women. The fabric was formerly made of wool with a satin weave.
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bleach

A chemical that removes color from an item. Fabrics are often bleached after manufacture and before dyeing to ensure the dyed colors are “true.” Household bleach is used to disinfect clothing and remove soil from whites and colorfast colors. Chlorine bleaches are the most common household bleaches, but are too strong for some colors and fabrics.

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bleaching

A basic finishing process to whiten fabrics. Different chemicals are used for different fabrics. Sun, air, and moisture are good bleaches for some materials, although bleaching by this method is slower.

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block printing

A hand-printing process in which a design is carved on a block of wood or linoleum. Dye is placed on the surface and the block is placed on the fabric, thereby transferring the dye. Every color requires a different block, making this type of printing tedious and expensive. It is now almost entirely limited to the craft field. See printing.

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bonded-face fabric

The side of a bonded fabric used as the face (right side) of the cloth in a garment or other end use.

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bonding

A process of joining two or more layers of cloth with a layer of adhesive, or pressing fibers into thin webs or mats held together by adhesive, plastic, or self-bonding that melts when heat is applied.Nonwoven fabrics are made in this way. The term occasionally is used as a synonym for laminating, but this is technically incorrect

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boucle

Boucle is a fabric woven with boucle yarns with looped appearance on the surface. The fabric has a abrasive surface. Boucle fabrics are woven or knitted by both, hand and machine.

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boxing

A term describing the straight strip of fabric that covers the sides of a three-dimensional round or square pillow. The boxing is joined to the rest of the cover with seams and occasionally includes a decorative trimming such as welting.

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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 women’s blouses, tailored summer dresses, and men’s 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.

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brocade

Brocade is used as a drapery or upholstery fabric. It has a Jacquard weave with an allover interwoven design, normally figures or flowers. The name is derived from the French word meaning “to ornament”. The brocade pattern is accentuated with varying surfaces or colors and often has gold, silver, or other metallic threads running through it. Although true brocades still are produced, nowadays the term is also used for knits with a similar luxurious look. A brocade rug, in carpeting, is one in which different yarns of the same color create a subtle pattern.

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brocaded satin

A satin fabric with raised designs in Jacquard weave.

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brocatelle

Brocatelle is a fabric similar to brocade but made of a Jacquard loom. It is used as drapery and upholstery fabric and made in double-cloth construction with a silk- or rayon-fibered face.

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brushed rayon

Brushed rayon is a rayon fabric that has been heavily napped. Brushed rayon is highly flammable.

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buckram

A stiff, open-weave fabric made from coarse yarns and used primarily for stiffening in interfacings and hat shaping. Originally, buckram was sized with starch that was not permanent, but today most buckrams have a permanent stiff finish.

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buckskin

A fairly inexpensive leather from deer and elk skins. Also, a fabric made in a form of satin weave with a napped finish. Originally wool, the term buckskin is now applied to various synthetic fabrics with smooth surfaces, with or without the napped finish. See leather.

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bulking

A yarn finishing process in which the yarn is made thicker or “bulkier” by heat setting crimp into the filaments or by looping individual fibers with an air jet. Bulking gives yarn and fabrics a less shiny, fluffier appearance. Bulking is often used in making sweater yarns.

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bunting

A loosely woven fabric used primarily for flags and draping. Bunting used in public places must be flameproof. Bunting is also a term used to describe a simple rectangular square of material in which a baby is wrapped for warmth.

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burn-out printing

Burn-out printing describes a process in which a fabric consisting of two different fibers is treated with chemicals partly take away one fiber to create a structure on the surface of the fabric. For example, sculptured velvet is produced with this method.

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butcher rayon

A coarse rayon, or rayon and acetate blend, mediumweight fabric woven in a plain weave and originally intended as a substitute for butcher linen.
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butcher’s linen

Strong, heavy, plain weave fabric, originally of linen (and originally worn by butchers), now made of any fiber.

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cable stitch fabric

Cable stitch fabic is a knit fabric. The pattern looks like a plaited rope running lengthwise down the fabric. It is mainly used for sweaters.

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calendering

Calendering is a term for the finishing process for fabrics that produces a shiny and smooth surface. The cloth is passed through recessed and heated cylinder rolls by running it through a friction or glazing calender.

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calico

A smooth-surfaced, plain weave cloth. Today, the term is almost always applied to fabric with bright, sharply contrasting, usually small-print designs. Calico is usually woven, although calico prints may appear on knits. Calico is a traditionally popular fabric for patchwork. It is also used for dresses, sportswear, and aprons.

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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.

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camel’s hair

Camel’s hair comes from the soft lustrous underhair of the Bactrian, a two humped, pack-carrying species of camel. The fabric is fawn to brown in color. Because it is a luxury fabric and therefor very expensive, camel’s hair is nowadays very often blended with other fibers, sometimes sheep’s wool, sometime manmade acrylic fibers.

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candlewick

Candlewick is a thick and mellow yarn used to form tufts by pulling it through a base fabric and then cutting it. The term ""candlewick"" is also used for the fabric made by this method.

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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 men’s suits. Hair canvas for interlinings is made of goat’s hair and wool. See duck and sailcloth.

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cashmere

Cashmere is the fine and soft undercoat hair of the cashmere goat which exists in Iran, India, Tibet, Mongolia, China and Iraq. Cashmere is one of the luxury fibers and today is usually blended with normal sheep’s wool or man-made fibers to reduce the cost. Another reason for the widespread blending is the fact that it makes the finished fabric more durable for original cashmere fabrics are quite sensible. It is mainly used for clothing.

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cavalry twill

A sturdy twill-weave fabric with a pronounced diagonal cord. It is used for sportswear, uniforms, and riding habits.

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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.

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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 women’s and children’s summer dresses and men’s 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 children’s play clothes. See denim.

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changeable fabric

Fabric woven with yarns of one color in the warp and another color in the filling so that the fabric seems to change color as the light strikes it. Other names for this type of fabric are iridescent and shot.

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check

A check is any small, regular pattern of squares woven or knitted into, or printed on, a fabric. See types of checks following.

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gingham check

Regular check in which the design is woven so that, in a red and white checked gingham, for example, there are squares of solid red, squares of solid white, and squares of white warp and red filling, as well as squares with red warp and white filling. Gingham checks are also printed on woven and knitted fabrics, and are knitted into some fabrics by means of a Jacquard attachment.

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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.

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Cheviot

Cheviot is a roughly textured, woolen fabric with a twill weave. The name is derived from the sheeps of the Cheviot Hills (England) of which´s wool it was originally made of.

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chiffon

Chiffon is an extraordinary lightweight and thin crepe fabric. Originally, chiffon was made of silk, but today also wool, rayon, nylon and other fibers are used for the production of chiffon. It is an open weave with slightly twisted yarns and can have both, a soft or stiff finish. Chiffon is often used for dresses and scarves.

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chiffon velvet

A lightweight, soft, usually silk fabric with a dense pile.

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China silk

China silk is a lightweight and soft fabric. This plain-weave silk fabric is used for lingerie and soft suits. Nowadays, China silk has been replaced almost completly with lining fabrics of man-made fibers.

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chine

This French word, meaning speckled, is used for fabrics in which the warp threads are printed before weaving whereas the filling threads are left plain, giving a shadowy effect to the finished fabric.

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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.

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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.

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cire

An extremely shiny, glossy surface given to fabrics as part of the finishing process. Cire fabrics have a much higher shine than glazed fabrics and are usually somewhat slippery.

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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.

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Coating

A term used to describe a fabric suitable for outerwear, such as coats, as in coating fabric. Also, something applied to a finished fiber or fabric, such as a rubber coating to make a fabric impervious to water. Coating suggests a thicker layer of the substance than does the word finish. A rubber-coated fabric is probably more resistant to water than one that has been treated with a water-resistant finish.

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conditioning

A finishing process of sizing a fabric after dyeing to give it a hand.

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corded fabric

The term corded fabric (often shortened to cord) refers to fabrics with a lengthwise rib, often woven in stripes. Any fabric with a lengthwise rib.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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cotton linters

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

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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.

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crepe-backed satin

A two-faced fabric that can be used on either side. One is satin whereas the reverse, made of twisted yarns, is crepe.

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crepe de Chine

Traditionally, a very sheer, pebbly, washable silk with the fabric degummed to produce crinkle. Today, it is a sheer, flat crepe in silk or man-made fibers. It is used for lingerie, dresses, and blouses.

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crepe georgette

A sheer fabric, similar to chiffon, made with a crepe yarn that gives the fabric a crepe appearance. See chiffon and crepe

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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.

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crinkle crepe

A fabric with an taneven surface, created by use of caustic soda that causes it to shrink unevenly. Plisse is an example of a crinkle crepe fabric. Crinkle crepe and plisse usually have a larger pattern to surface irregularities than crepe.

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crochet

A method of making fabric in which one yarn and one needle are used to form loops into which other loops are inserted. True crochet is a handcraft. Machine-made crochets are usually knitted on raschel machines.

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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.

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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.

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decorative fabrics

A term used to describe fabrics for upholstery, slipcovers, curtains, and draperies. These fabrics are usually of heavier weights than the fashion fabrics used in clothing. Also called decorator fabrics and home furnishing fabrics.

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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.

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discharge printing

A method of obtaining light designs on a very dark ground. The fabric is piece dyed first, then the color is discharged or bleached in spots, leaving white designs in a pattern. An additional step is often the roller printing of these design areas with patterns and colors. See dyeing.

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dobby

A dobby fabric is one with small geometric figures incorporated into the weave, and is made with a dobby attachment on the loom. Less elaborate than a Jacquard attachment, which also produces geometric designs, the dobby is used to produce geometric designs such as those found in pique fabrics.

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Donegal tweed

Originally a thick woolen homespun fabric woven by hand by Irish peasants in County Donegal, Ireland. Today, the term is used to refer to any tweed in plain weave characterized by thick, colorful slubs woven into the fabric. See tweed.

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double face

A double cloth which can be used on either side. Also used to describe any fabric with two right sides.

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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

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dry cleaning

A method of removing soil from certain fabrics done with organic solvents instead of water.

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dry decating

A process of setting the luster of a wool fabric

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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.

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duffel cloth

A thick, heavy, napped coating fabric, usually used for duffel coats, hooded coats with wooden buttons that fasten through rope or leather thongs. Duffel cloth is traditionally tan or green, but can be any color.

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duplex printing

A method of printing the same design on both sides of the fabric to give the design additional definition and clarity of color. Also called register printing.

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durable finish

A rather loose term for a finish added to fabric as one of the final steps to improve the “wearability” of the fabric.

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easy care

An extremely loose term implying that a limited amount of ironing will be necessary after the item is washed. Easy care fabrics seem to be most successful when they are made of at least 65’% polyester, or have had a special finish applied to them. Durable press is a more reliable indication that garments or other items require little or no ironing.

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embroidery

The term for a group of decorative, usually ornamental and nonfunctional needlework done with thread or yarn on fabric. Most machine embroidery is done by the Schiffli ma chine which can imitate many different hand embroidery stitches. Although embroidery is usually thaught of as being done in several colors, white work (white embroidery on white fabric) and black work (black embroidery on white fabric) are fairly common. Embroidery terms are tremendously variable, with different words being given to the same stitches in different countries, and even different sections of the same countries. Some of the most common embroidery stitches are beading, buttonhole stitch, chain stitch, chevron stitch, satin stitch, stem stitch, back stitch, and straight stitch.

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eyelash

Term used to describe clipped yarns that lie on the surface of a fabric, giving the effect of eyelashes.

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fabric softeners

Chemical solutions added to the final rinse to improve the hand of terry cloths and infants’ fabrics.

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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.

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faille crepe

A silk, rayon, acetate, or other man-made fiber dress fabric with a decided wavy (crepe) cord fillingwise. It is used for negligees, blouses, daytime and evening dresses, handbags, and trims.

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fake fur

A slang term for pile fabrics and garments that imitate animal pelts. The most popular fake furs are probably those made from modacrylic fiber. See modacrylic and pile.

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fast dyes

Those dyes that are fast for the purpose for which the fabric is intended.

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felt

A nonwoven fabric or interlocked fiber made from wool, fur, and hair fibers that mesh together when heat, moisture, and mechanical action are applied. Processes of spinning, weaving, or knitting are not employed. The fibers develop a tight bond and will not ravel. Some percentage of wool is necessary in the manufacture of true felt to achieve the felted effect. It is used for coats, hats, and many industrial purposes.

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fiber

The basic unit used in the fabrication of textile yarns and fabrics. Fibers are much longer than they are wide. The term at one time was limited to materials that could be spun into yarn, but now is used to include filaments that do not require spinning, such as silk and man-made fibers.

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finishing

"An overall term that usually refers to all processes, with the exception of coloring, to make fabric more acceptable (some experts also include coloring). Much of the look, feel, and behavior of a fab ric is determined by the finishing steps taken. Finishing can be mechanical (as in calendering) or chemical, or both. Special treatments are applied to fabrics during finishing to make them perform better, shrink less, resist flarnes, and repel water. Calendering refers to a process in which the fabric is passed through heated cylinders. This gives the fabric a lustrous surface and can also emboss it. Another important step in finishing, and usually the final process, is tentering
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fire resistant

Fire resistant refers to a fabric or fiber that has been treatedto discourage the spreading of flames. See lame-retardant-fabric/180/flame-retardant-fabric.html" title="flame retardant fabric" class="normal">flame retardant fabric.

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fireproof

Fireproof means that a fabric literally will not burn. To be labeled fireproof, the Federal Trade Commission requires that a fabric must be 100’% fireproof. If the fiber or fabric has been treated to prevent flames from spreading, it must be labeled as fire resistant. See fire resistant and lame-retardant-fabric/180/flame-retardant-fabric.html" title="flame retardant fabric" class="normal">flame retardant fabric.

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flame retardant fabric

A fabric that resists or retards the spreading of flames. A flame retardant fabric can be made by using fibers that are themselves flame retardant, or by using special finishes on fabrics. Selow is a list of some flame retardant fabrics. Many companies produce similar items but have not given them names referring specifically to their flame retardant nature.

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fleece

from animals, usually a sheep. Fleece is also used to describe certain coating fabrics that have a deep, thick pile that imitats this wool.

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fluorescent fabric

A fabric that glows with a more vivid color than usual under daylight, headIights, and ultra-violet light. Fluorescent fabrics are important, especially in colors such as orange, where high visibility is essential for safety in hunting clothes, clothes for crossing guards, and outfits for school children. Occasionally, fluorescent fabrics become fashionable for other items of clothing.

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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.

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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.

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functional finish

A special finish added to a fabric as une of the final steps in its manufacture that alters the performance and contributes a specific attribute to the fabric in some way. A water repellent finish, for example, is a functional finish because it prevents water from penetrating the fabric, thereby changing the function of the fabric. Other examples of special finishes are soil release and crease resistant.

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gabardine

"A strong, hard-finished, clear-surfaced, medium­to heavy-weight, tightly woven steep-twilled fabric with rounded wales and a flat back. The diagonal wales are fine, close, and steep, and are more pronounced than in serge. The wales cannot be seen on the wrong side of the fabric. Gabardine goes in and out of fash­ion
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garnetting

Shredding wool fabrics into a fibraus state, prior to remanufacture into woolen yarn.

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gas fading

The loss of colar some fabrics suffer because of nitrogen in the atmosphere rather than exposure to sunlight. Certain dyes (blues and greens, for example) are often more susceptible to gas fading than others, as are certain fibers (acetate). Special dyes can be used on these fabrics and colors to reduce or eliminate this problem. Also ealled atmospherie and pollution fading.

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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.

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georgette

A soft, sheer dull-textured silk fabric, similar to chif­fon, made with a crepe yarn to give the fabric a crepe appearance. The crepy surface is obtained by alternating right-hand and left hand twist yarns in warp and filling. It is used for summer and evening dresses. See chiffon and crepe.

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glass fiber

Very fine flexible fiber made from glass. It. is used extensively for curtains and draperies. Glass fiber fabrics are very strong and wash well, but care should be taken to avoid getting small splinters of the glass yarns in the hands. Glass fiber is stiff and has poor resis­tance to wear and abrasion. It is also fireproof. See fireproof.

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glazing

A finishing process consisting of treating the fabric with glue, starch, paraffin, shellac, or resin, then moving it through hot fric­tion rollers.

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glitter

The name, sometimes used in place of lame, for any fabric woven or knitted with all metallic yarns or with a combination of metallic and other fiber yarns. Today, most glitter is made from one of the nontarnishable metallic fibers, a great improvement over lame of the past that tended to darken with age.

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gossamer

Any sheer, fine fabric may be given the name gossamer, although the term was traditionally used to describe silk fabrics.

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grass cloth

A plain-weave, loosely woven fabric made from such fibers as hemp, ramie, and even nettle. Today, true grass cloth is relatively rare, but the appearance of grass cloth is copied in wallpaper and fabrics of man-made fibers.

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greige

The state of a fabric as it comes from the loom (after it has been constructed) but before it has been colored or finished.

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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.

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habutai

Soft, lightweight silk dress fabric originally woven in the gum on hand looms in Japan. It is sometimes confused with China silk, which is technically lighter in weight.

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haircloth

A stiff, wiry fabric made from a combination of natural or man-made fibers with animal hair filling, usually mohair (goat) or horsehair. It is used in upholstery and as interfacing and stiffening because of its strength.

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hand-blocked print

Fabrics printed by hand with blocks made of wood or linoleum.

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heat setting

Although practices similar to heat setting are used in the finishing of almost all fabrics, the term heat setting, strictly speak­ing, refers only to thermoplastic man-made fibers. Because of the thermoplastic nature of most man-made fibers (they change their shape when heat is applied), certain features, such as pleats, can be made permanent by treating them under very high heat. Heat set­ting usually gives a smooth appearance to a fabric and sets its final measurements. Boarding, a process in the rnanufacture of stockings, is a type of heat setting.

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heat transfer

A form of printing in which elaborate colors and designs are printed onto a special type of paper. The paper is placed over the fabric and the designs and colors are transferred to the fabric through the application of heat.

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herringbone

A fabric in which the pattern of weave re­sembles the skeletal structure of the herring. lt is a twill weave in which the wale runs in one direction for a few rows and then re verses, forming a “V” pattern. lt is made with a broken twill weave that produces a balanced, zigzag effect and is used for sportswear, suits, and coats.

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holland

A plain-weave fabric used in the home primarily for window shades.

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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.

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Honan

A heavy silk, pongee-type, but a finer weave, originally the product of wild silkworms of Honan, China. A fabric of the best grade of Chinese silk, it is sometimes woven with blue edges. It is now made to resemble a heavy pongee, with slub yarns in both warp and filling. Honan is manufactured from silk or from man-made fibers. It is used for women’s dresses. See silk, pongee, and wild silk.

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honeycomb

A weave that results in fabrics that have dia­monds or other geometric shapes resembling a honeycomb. Waffle weaves are identical to honeycomb weaves, and many weaves called thermal are honeycomb weaves.

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horsehair

Fibers that are hair from the mane and tail, for the most part, of Canadian and Argentine horses. It is occasionally used for uphol­stery, but is more commonly used in interfacings for stiffening and strength. It is always combined with other fibers. True horsehair is rare and fabrics loosely called horsehair are often made from other hairs (such as goat) or man-made fibers.

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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.

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illusion

Very fine net or mesh fabrics such as those used in bridal veils. Illusion usually is made of either silk or nylon.

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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

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ingrain

A knitted or woven fabric made of yarns dyed before knitting or weaving.

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intarsia

A pattern knitted into a fabric. The term usually refers to a design on only one part of the fabric.
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interfacing

A stiffening fabric made of horsehair (often goat hair, wool, man-made fibers, or combinations of these fibers). Interfacing is used to give additional body and strength to certain parts of garments. Areas that usually require interfacing in­clude the front opening edges, collars, pocket flaps, and any piece where stretching or a loss of crispness would be a disadvantage.

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interlining

A tayer of fabric placed between the outer fabric and the lin­ing of the garment to add warmth. lt is most commonly found in coats and jackets. Interlinings are offen made of reprocessed wool, but other materials such as polyester fiberfill may be used. See fiber­fill, reprocessed wool.

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interlock

A fine gauge, compound knit fabric with a smooth surface on both front and back, composed of two separate 1 x 1 rib fabrics interknitted to form one cloth, made on an inter­lock machine. The fabric was traditionally used for underwear, but today is being used for apparel. Despite the name of the fabric, poorly made interlock develops runs at the edges and all interlock knits should be reinforced or finished in some way at these edges.

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iridescent

Fabric woven with yarns of one color in the warp and another color in the filling so that the fabric seems to change color as the light strikes it. Other names for this type of fab­ric are changeable and shot.

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jacquard

A term used to describe fabrics with a woven or knitted pattern, whether or not they are made with a Jacquard attachment on the loom. The Jacquard attachment for weaving and knitting machines makes possible the manufacture of complicated, repeated geometrical designs in knits and wovens. See dobby.

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jean

In theory, a sturdy, solid-colored or striped twill-weave cot­ton fabric, softer and finer than denim and drill. In practice, the term denim is almost always used for the fabric, whereas the term jeans is used for pants made of denim. Jean is used for sport blouses, work shirts, women’s and girl’s pants and shorts, and children’s overalls and playclothes.

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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 fisherman’s 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.

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jute

One of the natural fibers still used extensively for fabrics. It is a bast fiber that comes from jute plants grown primarily in India, 1’akistan, and Bangladesh. Jute is used for many purposes, including the manufacture of burlap, gunny sacks, bags, cordage (twine and rope), trimmings, binding threads, and backings for rugs and carpets.

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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.

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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.

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kilim

Near Eastern oriental fabric woven with a shuttle or nee­dle, with no pile. Kilims are used by the Orientals as portieres, couch covers, and table covers.

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knit terry cloth

Terry cloth is a soft, absorbent fabric with loops on one or both sides. When this fabric is knit rather than woven, it is called knit terry. Knit terry is especially popular for bathrobes and beach wear because of its absorbency. Stretch knit terry (usually made stretchable by the addition of a synthetic elastic fiber) is popular for baby clothes because of its absorbency and comfort.

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knitting

The process of constructing an elastic, porous fabric by interlocking a series of loops of one or more yarns with needles. It may be done by hand or by machine. These yarns form a series of connecting loops that support one another like a chain. Almost any textile item can be and has been knitted, including rugs. A warp knit is made on a machine in which parallel yarns run lengthwise and are locked into the series of loops. Warp knits have a good deal of cross­wise stretch. Wett knits are made on a machine that forms loops in a circular direction and have one continuous thread running across the fabric. The following entries are common knit terms.

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double knit

A wett knit fabric produced in two lay­ers which cannot be separated. Its appearance is the same on either side with a characteristic fine vertical wale.

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jacquard knit

A knit with a design knit into the fabric in a regular allover pattern. Most Jacquard patterns are closely knit­ted, but it is possible to make some pattern knits with a Jacquard machine.

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rib knit

A knit that consists of groups of alternate plain and purl stitches (the reverse of a plain knit with loops showing). Rib knit fabrics are stretchier and have a snugger fit than plain knits. Rib knit is frequently used at wrists, waists, and necklines of plain or pat­terned knit garments where it is called ribbing.

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lace

A decorated openwork fabric created by looping, interlacing, braid­ing, or twisting threads. [t is made (either on a background fabric of net or without a background fabric) with a design formed by a net work of threads made by hand or on special lace machines, with bobbins, needles, or hooks. The pattern in lace is usually open and most often floral in design. Machine-made lace is most commonly seen today and many patterns formerly only made by hand, are imi­tated by machine. hace is the traditional bridal fabric, but it is also used for other nonformal clothing such as sports clothes. The fol­lowing entries are some of the major types of lace.

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allover lace

Lace in which the pattern covers the entire fabric, rather than being isolated on one section of background net.

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Renaissance lace

A lace made of woven strips of fabric joined by flat stitches. See Battenberg lace.

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lambrequin

A structure at the top and sides of a window that frames it and is usually part of the window decoration. I,ambre­quins are often covered with fabric and trimmed. They are usually made of wood and may be simply painted.

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lamb’s wool

Soft, resilient wool clipped from sheep less than eight months old. It is used in fine-grade woolen fabrics.

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lame

Brocade, damask, or brocatelle fabrics in which flat metal­lic yarns (or with a combination of metallic and other fiber yarns) are woven or knitted in warp and filling for a luxurious effect. Today, most lame is made from one of the nontarnishable metallic fibers, a great improvement over lame of the past that tended to darken with age. Lame is also a trademark terrn for a nontarnishable metallic yarn. Glitter is sometimes used to describe this type of fabric and is used for evening dresses, blouses, and trimmings.

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laminating

The sticking of a fabric to a plastic foam or sheet of plastic. A method of joining one fabric to another by rneans of an adhesive. Polyurethane is often laminated to the back of an outerwear coating fabric for warmth. The term laminating is occa­sionally used as a synonym for bonding, but this is incorrect. See bonding.

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lansdowne

A lightweight twill fabric made from natural or man-made fibers and usually used for dresses.

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launder-ometer

A standard laboratory devise for testing a fabric’s fastness to washing.

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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.

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leather

The hide of an animal with the fur removed_ lt has been used throughout history for clothing and other purposes. Today, man­made fabrics that imitate leather are widely available. Common leather names include alligator, buckskin, calfskin, chamois, cor­dovan, cowhide, crocodile, doeskin, grain leather, kid, lambskin, mo­rocco, nappa, patent, peccary, pigskin, pin seal, reptile, reversed leather, Russian, shearling, skiver, snakeskin, and suede.

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leatherette

A term used for imitation leathers. More cor­rectly, these should be described by their actual construction, such as vinyl-coated fabric.

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leno

An open, lacy woven fabric made with a special loom at­tachment. In a leno weave a pair of filling yarns twist around the warp yarns in various patterns to achieve the lacy effect. A leno weave is also made by twisting adjacent warps around each other like a figure eight. The filling passes through the twisted warps. l.eno fabrics are popular for curtains and summer dresses.

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limp fabric

A fabric that is too soft because of inadequate amounts or improper application of finishing materials.

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linen

A vegetable fiber obtained from the inside of the woody stalk of the flax plant. It is one of the oldest fabrics known. It is strong, and today’s man-made fibers are often blended with it to improve its wrinkle resistance and give the fabric other desirable quali­ties. Linen is woven in various weights for different purposes and is occasionally used in knit blends. The following entries are common linen names.

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antimacassar

A piece of cloth originally pinned to the back of a chair to protect the upholstery from hair oil (macassar). Today, although antimacassars are still available, changes in hair grooming and the development of fairly easy-to-clean uphol­stery fabrics have made their purpose primarily decorative.

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napkin

A rectangular piece of fabric or paper used to wipe the mouth and hands in the course of eating. Napkins are often matched to the tablecloth or placernats.

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pillow cover

A fabric cover which is placed over the bed pillow be­fore the pillowcase. Pillow covers are designed to give more protec­tion to pillows than is provided by pillowcases alone. See pillowcase.

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runner

A rectangular piece of fabric used with placemats to deco­rate and protect the dining table. It is placed in the center of the table under condiments (salt, pepper, mustard) and any decorations such as flowers or candles. Runners frequently match the placemats and are also used on chests of drawers to protect the top from spills.

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silence cloth

A cloth put on a dining table to protect it and (as the name suggests) to prevent the clatter of dishes against the table. A silence cloth is usually a napped, fairly heavy fabric. Silence cloths are placed beneath tablecloths and are also called silencers.

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tablecloth

Thetraditional table covering for protection and deco­ration. Tablecloths range from informal ones made, for example, of checked fabrics, to formal, such as double damask. Napkins are usu­ally rnatched to the tablecloth. See double damask and napkin.

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lingerie

Another term for women’s underwear and night­wear, including panties, slips, petticoats, camisoles, pajamas, and nightgowns. Lingerie implies delicate fabric, often lace-trimmed. The term lingerie fabrics is occasionally used for very delicate fabrics. Formerly, the finest lingerie was made of muslin, lawn, or silk.
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lining

Fabric made in the same shape as the outer fabric, a lin­ing supports and protects the outer fabric and hides seams as well. Linings are found not only in apparel, but also in draperies and oc casionally curtains and bedspreads. Items that are lined tend to wear better and last longer than unlined items and the appearance of a lined item is usually better than that of an unlined one. Special lin­ing fabrics include those sold under the trademarks Si Bonne and Earl-Glo. Linings should be of the same construction as the outer fabric.
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linsey-woolsey

When linen and wool were woven to­gether in the 18th century, the resulting coarse, loosely woven, and rather scratchy fabric, was called linsey-woolsey. Although linen and wool blends are occasionally made today, the use of finer finishing techniques makes them extremely comfortable and the name linsey-woolsey is limited to historical references.

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loden cloth

A thick, heavy, napped fleecy coating fabric woven of coarse grade wool in Austria and the German Tyrol. It is similar to duffel cloth if made of wool or the occasional man-made fibers. Since the wool has some grease, it is naturally water-repellent. lt is usually a light forest green color, called loden, from which it (gets its name. Loden cloth moves in and out of fashion everywhere except in those parts of Germany and Austria where loden jackets, suits, and coats are considered basic dress. Loden cloth is sometimes gray in color. See duffel cloth.

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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.

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loom-figured fabrics

Fabrics that have the design or pattern woven or knitted in as opposed to those which, for instance, have patterns printed on finished cloth.

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loom finished

A term referring to certain fabrics soid without most of the steps mentioned in the entry under finishing. Loom finished fabrics are relatively rare because the consumer has grown accustomed to finished fabrics. See finishing.

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loop

Any material (braid, fabric, and so forth) that is shaped into an oval and topstitched to a garment or encased into a seam and used as a buttonhole.

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loose cover

Another term for slipcover. See slipcover.[1]The gloss, sheen, or shine of a fiber, yarn, or fabric.

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luster

The gloss, sheen, or shine of a fiber, yarn, or fabric.

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Macclesfield silk

Hand-woven silk or rayon fabric with small overall Jacquard patterns. Macclesfield, England, is the town of origin. Today, the name applies to small, yarn dyed, dobby designs used in men’s neckties. See Spitalfields.

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Mackinaw

A thick, heavy, usually coarse fabric with a cer­tain degree of natural water repellency. It was originally made of wool, but other fibers such as acrylics are being used today. It was named for the blankets made by the Mackinaw Indians in Michigan. Mackinaw and similar fabrics are extremely popular for hunting jaekets and are usually plaid or checked. Mackinaw is also spelled Mackinac.

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macrame

An ancient method of forming open fabrics by knotting string, yarn, or other threads. Macrame can be used to make anything from delicate trimmings to sturdy items such as hammocks. Recently, wall hangings of macrame have also become popular.

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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
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marl

A technical term that refers to a yarn made of different col­ored fibers. The word is used descriptively for fabrics to indicate randomly or uniformly colored slubs that appear on the surface giving added textural and design interest to the fabric.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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material

Another word for fabric. See fabric.Fibers 1” to 11” long

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matte

A dull surface on a fabric. Since one of the characteristics of fabrics made from man-made fibers is a shiny surface, mattefinished fabrics have become popular and matte looks for man-made fabrics are achieved in yarn processing or finishing. See finishing.

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melamine resins

Finishes used to give wrinkle resistance and other desirable qualities (including a degree of shrinkage resistance) to fabrics, primarily those made from natural fibers. Melamine resins are chlorine retentive which means that if fabrics with these finishes are bleached with a chlorine bleach, they will keep both the color and the odor of the chlorine.

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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.

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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).

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mesh

A term for a large class of open fabrics made by almost all methods except felting. It can be made of any fiber, mixture, or blend. Mesh fabrics are used for bags, summer sport shirts, under wear, foundation garments, and hosiery. Mesh hosiery is knitted in such a pattern that, when one yarn is snagged, the stocking will not develop a long, vertical run, but a hole instead. Mesh stockings and panty hose are believed to wear better than other constructions.

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metallic doth

Any fabric, such as lame, woven with gold, silver, tinsel, or other metal threads.

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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.

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mildew resistant

Among the many properties that can be given to fabrics in the finishing is resistance to traditional enemies. Waterproofed fabrics and fabrics treated with metallic com pounds and certain organic compounds will resist mildew. Fabrics such as canvas, that are exposed to the damp conditions that encourage the growth of mildew fungus, can be treated with finishes to resist this fungus, making them mildew resistant. See finishing.

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mixture

Although the word mixture is often ignored in favor of the word blend, it should be used to describe fabrics made from a combination of two or more fibers in which one of the fibers is used for the filling thread. See blend and biconstituent fiber.

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mock crepe

A term for fabrics that have the appearance of crepe, but are not made from crepe yarns. See crepe.

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mogadore

A corded silk or rayon fabric with wide ridges and often with wide stripes used for ties.

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Mohair

The long, lustrous hair of the Angora goat. It is used, mixed with other fibers, to make mohair fabrics.

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moire

A wavy, rippling pattern similar to a watermark produced in the finishing of certain fabrics by calendering, usually on a ribbed tex tile fabric. On acetate, moire made this way is permanent.
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moireing

A finishing process by engraved rollers that produces a waved or watered effect on a textile fabric. Design is permanent when heat-set.

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momie cloth

A fabric made with a weave that produces a pebbled effect, similar to crepe.

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mordant

A substance that acts as a binder for the dye. A mordant has an affinity for both the dyestuff and the fabric.

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mosquito netting

A coarsely meshed, net fabric used to make mosquito nets to place over windows and beds to keep mosquitoes out. See net.

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moth repellency

An example of the desirable quaIities that can be given to fabrics in the finishing process. Some fabrics are treated with colorless chemicals, similar to dyestuffs, added to the dye bath. Another method atomizes the fabric with mothproofing chemicals. Fabrics that attract moths, such as woolens, can be treated for repellency. The treatment also repels other insects, such as carpet beetles. Wool rugs are almost always treated for moth repellency today.

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motif

A design or color used alone or repeated on a fabric.

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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.

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mousseline de soie

Literally, “muslin of silk.” The words de soie mean “of silk” which may explain why the fabric, similar to this made from man-made fibers is usually called mousseline. Mousseline de soie (silk organdy) is a lightweight, sheer, plainweave silk fabric similar to chiffon in its appearance and uses, but a little crisper.

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multicomponent fabric

A fabric in which at least two layers of material are sealed together by an adhesive.

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muslin

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

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quilting

Stitching through two or more layers of fabric to form a design or pattern. The most common quilting design today is a diamand pattern, but quilting stitches (usually a short running stitch) may also be dane in abstract, pictorial, geometric, floral, or random patterns. Quilting stitches often are used to outline patchwork or applique designs on a quitt. See applique, quitt, and patchwork.

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rabbit hair

"Angora rabbit´s fur. The hair of rabbits often is mixed with ""normal"" fibers to give softness or an more illustrious texture to the finished fabric."

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rag rug

A floor covering woven with strips of twisted rags made of cotton, wool, ür 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.

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ready-to-wear

A term used in the fashion industry. It was developed to distinguish between manufactured items of clothing and those made from fabrics sold by the yard to the consumer. The term is sometimes shortened to r-t-w. See pret ä porter.

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redaimed textile fibers

Fibers made into fabric (whether sold comrnercially or not) and then converted back into fiber. Most reclaimed textile fibers are wool and other natural fibers because it is extremely difficult to reclaim man-made fibers. See reprocessed fibers and reused fibers.

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recovery

The ability of a fabric to return to its original shape after being stretched. This term is used most often in reference to stretch fabrics. A quality stretch fabric will recover promptly. Recovery may also be used in reference to knit fabrics because they have varying amounts of stretchability.

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register printing

A method of printing the same design on both sides of the fabric to give it additional definition and clarity of color. Also called duplex printing.

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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.

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reprocessed fibers

Fibers obtained from scraps and clips of woven and felted fabrics made of previously urmsed woot that have been shredded back into fiber form and then remade into new yarns. Reprocessed fibers are usually wool fibers and must be relabeled as reprocessed wool according to Federal Trade Commission standards. Reprocessed fibers are less desirable than new or virgin fibers. See virgin Fiber.

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residual srinkage

The amount of shrinkage remaining in a fabric or gannent after all manufacturing processes are completed. More than residual shrinkage is undesirable, but common because in many fabrics the removal of residual shrinkage is not always included as patt of the finish.ing process. Because fabrics often have residual shrinkage, it is important to preshrink before cutting fabrics used in hon3e sewing. See preshrunk.

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resiliency

The ability of a fabric to return to its original shape after compressing, bending, or other deformation

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resin finish

A finish made of synthetic awsins applied to fabrics to irnpart certain characteristics such as wrinkle and crease resistance. See finishing.

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resist printing

Printing similar to resist dyeing. In resist printing, the fabric is coated with a paste that protects it from colors in certain areas.
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reversible fabric

A fabric that can be used on either side. Generally, the term reversible is applied to two quite different fabrics joined together by such methods as laminating or double cloth construction. Reversible fahrics frequentiy are used for coats, less frequently for other garments. See laminating and double cloth.

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rib

A straight, ridged, or corded effect that usually moves vertically or horizontally on a fabric.

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rib stitch

A weft knit identified by vertical ribs on both sides of the fabric. A very resilient stitch. Combined with the tuck stitch, it is called rib-and-tuck stitch.

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rib weave

A plain weave that forms ridges in a fabric through the way in which it is woven or by the use of thicker yarns for the filling than those used tot the warp. See weaving, filling, and warp.

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roller printing

Roller printing may be the most important method of printing today. The design is etched onto a toller through which the fabric is passed. For each color in the design a different toller is used. High speed can be obtained in toller printing.

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romain crepe

A semisheer fabric of abraded yarns in warp and filling. It is made of rayon and acetate ar wool and is used tot street and dressy dresses.

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rough crepe

A heavy fabric of rayon, acetate, or mixtures made with alternately twisted fillings, two right and two left (2x2).

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ruff

A wheel-shaped collar made of several layers of fabric (usually lace) in S-shaped folds.

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hooked rug

A rug made by hand or machine using a hook to pull loops of yarn or fabric through a coarse backing or canvas to form a pile.

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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.

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run-resistant

Knitted fabric constructed to make runs difficult. See interlock knitting.

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rustle

Another word for scroop, the rustle that certain fabrics such as silk taffeta have. Scroop is considered a desirable characteristic in luxury fabrics.

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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.

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salt and pepper

A fabric made of a combination of white and black yarns. The term usually is used to describe tweed fabrics. See tweed.

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sanforize

A process of preshrinking fabric to leave a residual shrinkage of less than 1%, a desirable characteristic. See residual shrinkage.

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saran

The generic name for a man-made fiber derived from vinylidene chloride. Saran is strong, resists common chemicals, sunlight, and weather. It is used primarily in the fabric field for upholstery on public transportation vehicles and for garden furniture.

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sari

A piece of fabric twelve to sixteen feet long used by Hindu women to drape and cover the body. The fabric is often silk with silver or gold threads forming a border design.
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sash

Soft fabric or a ribbon tied at the waist as a heil.

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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 sük or man-made fibers. It is used for linings, draperies, and comforters. See weaving and satin weave.

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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.

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antique satin

Antique Satin is a satin-weave fabric which is normally used for draperies. Both sides may be used. The face is a classic lustrous satin.
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double-faced satin

A satin fabric with a satin appearance on both sides unlike ordinary satin, which has a definite right and wrong side.

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slipper satin

Slipper satin is a tightly woven satin fabric, usually lighter in weight than duchesse satin, and used for many purposes including evening shoes or slippers.

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satin crepe

A heavy reversible fabric with satin on one side and crepe on the other. It is used in fall and winter dresses and linings.

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Saxony

Saxony is a heavyweight, napped coating fabric, traditionally made from merino wool. Saxony originated in Saxony, Germany. See merino.

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scouring

A finishing process for removing oil, sizing, dirt, grease, and swint from wool and other fabrics.

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screen printing

In screen printing, a sheer fabric, such as silk or nylon gauze, is stretched over a wood or metal frame to form a screen. The entire screen, except for the design area to be printed, is coated with a substance that closes the pores of the fabric screen. The dye is poured onto the screen and forced through the uncoated design areas onto the fabric below. A different screen must be used for each cotor in the print.

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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.

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scroop

A characteristic rustling or crunching sound acquired by silk that has been immersed in solutions of acetic or tartaric acid and dried without rinsing. It is probably caused by acid microcrys tals in the ribers rubbing against each other. It is also the rustle that certain fabrics such as silk taffeta have. Scroop is considered a desirable characteristic in luxury fabrics.

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seam-line pockets

Pockets set into a seam and hidden behind the garment fabric.

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self-belt

A belt made of the same fabric as the clothing with which it is worn. It may simply be a sash or a stiff belt with a buckle.

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selvage

The long, outer, finished edge of both sides of a woven fabric that does not ravel because the filling yarns wrap around the warp yarns. It may also be called self-edge or selvedge.

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sequin

A shiny, usually metallic, decoration or spangle. Sequins are sewn to clothing, especially evening dresses because they shimmer and sparkle in the light. Sequins usually have a sin gle, central hole for fastening to the garment or fabric. Sequins are also known as paillettes. Fabric covered with sequins is available by the yard.

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