absorbent finish

Chemical treatment of fabrics to improve their absorption.

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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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chemical finishing processes

Treatments with alkalies, acids, bleaches, starch, resins, and the like.

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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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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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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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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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mechanical finishes

Those finishing processes done by copper plates, roller brushes, perforated cylinders, tenter frames, or any type of mechanical equipment.

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moleskin finish

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

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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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unfinished worsted

A suiting fabric: in twill weave, finished with a nap longer than those of other worsteds.

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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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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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beetling

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 converter

A business that buys hides and skins, has them pro­cessed in contract tanneries, and then sells the finished product.

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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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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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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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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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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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mechanical finishes

Those finishing processes done by copper plates, roller brushes, perforated cylinders, tenter frames, or any type of mechanical equipment.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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ribbed cuff

A close-fitted knit finish in ribbed pattern tot the open end of a sleeve.

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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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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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sharkskin

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

Generic name for certain compounds obtained, from silicon, a component of sand. Silicones are used in fabric fin­ishing to impart stain and wrinkle resistance. See finishing.

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wild silk

The silk from uncultivated silkworms that eat leaves other than mulberry leaves. Wild silk is coarser and is more uneven than cultivated silk. The resulting fabric is usually duller in finish and rougher in texture than other types of silk. Tussah is a silk fabric made from wild silk.

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sizing

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

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soil release

A special finish applied to some man-made fiber fabrics in an attempt to overcome one of their disadvantages: the tendency to retain dirt, especially water-borne and/or oil-based stains, once it has penetrated the fibers. Polyester is one of the fibers that retains oil-based stains.

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hemming stitch

A stitch used to finish the raw edge of a fabric, usually by turning up and catching the edge to another point on the fabric. The needle is inserted in a slanted direction into the edge being hemmed, then into the fabric which is to be oaught. Many other types of stitches can also be used for hemming. See hent.

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stretch fibers

Rubber or man-made plastik fibers (such as spandex and anidex) that are naturally elastic or man-rnade fibers, highly twisted, heat-set, and untwisted to leave a strong crimp. Polyester has a certain degree ol natural streich and more can iue given to the yarn in the processing or in the finishing of the fabric. Occasionally, polyester woven fabrics are described as stretch fabrics. Usually, stretch implies a degree of visible give in a fiber or fabric that stretches and then returns quickly to its original shape. Stretch fabrics are sometirnes described as elastic. Sec elastic, crimp, and recovery. See also spandex and anidex.

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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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tarlatan

A thin, open fabric used extensively for theatrical costumes and hangings. It is transparent, but layers are usually used to provide a degree of opacity. Tarlatan usually has a stiff glazed finish. See opacity.

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tentering

A fabric finishing step in which the fabric is stretched on a frame to its finishecf width and final shape, then dried to maintain these dimensions.

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textiles converter

A business that buys unfinished fabrics, has them bleached, printed, and finished by another business specializing in particular types of finishes, then sells the end product.

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texture

One of the elements that determines the way in which a finished fabric looks. lt is the surface effect of a fabric.
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thermosetting

A process for giving thermoplastic fibers or fabrics certain characteristics, such as erirnp or permanent pleats through the applicativm of heat. Thermosetting is also used to develop certain finishes in a fabric to produce desirable characteristics such as durable press. See heat setting, thermoplastic, and durable press.

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bias tape

A strip of fabric cut on the diagonal between the lengthwise and crosswise grain of the fabric. Because bias tape has considerable stretch, it is used to bind edges where a certain de­gree of stretch is necessary for a smooth finish. Curved areas are often finished with bias tape. Bias tape can also be used for purely decorative trimming. lt is available precut and packaged in a wide range of colors.

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galloon

A closely woven, flat braid used for accenting draperies and furniture. Also called braid. The term galloon is also used for any narrow fabric with decorative edges, such as scallops finished the same on each side. Lace made in this way is called galloon lace.

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ribbon

A narrow, woven fabric with two finished edges. Both natural and man-made fibers are used in making ribbon. lt is available in many patterns and colors and in such fabric constructions as velvet, satin, and grosgrain. See velvet, satin, and grosgrain.

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welting

Welting is a decorative edging. It gives strength to the area in which it is sewn. Welting is made by covering cord with bias strips of matching or contrasting fabric. lt is a popular finish for seams on upholstery. Occasionally is used on clothing, too. Welting is the same as piping.
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unfinished worsted

A suiting fabric: in twill weave, finished with a nap longer than those of other worsteds.

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unravel

The term unravel means the same as ravel. lt is the tendency of fabric to come unwoven or unknitted at unfinished edges. Loosely woven fabrics tend to unravel more than those made of tight weaves. Occasionally, the tendency to unravel is desirable in order to create a fringed edge.

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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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weighted silk

Fabric in which metallic salts have been added in the dyeing and finishing to increase its weight and to give a heavier hand. A ruling requires weighted silk to be marked and the amount of weighting indicated.

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weighting

Finishing materials applied to a fabric to give increased weight.

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wet decating

A finishing process to add luster to wooI fabrics.

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windbreaker

A jacket made of a closely woven fabric: or a fabric treated with a finish designed to prevent the passage of air. The fabric used in windbreakers offen has a degree of water repellency because of its tight construction.

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yarn dyed

Yarn dyed fabrics are dyed before the finishing of the fabric. Yarn dyed fabrics are considered more colorfast than piece dyed or printed fabrics.

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