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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bed linen

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

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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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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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Belgian linen

Any linen produced in Belgium.

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embroidery linen

Another name for art linen. See art linen.

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handkerchief linen

A fine, sheer linen used for handkerchiefs, dresses or blouses, or whenever a lightweight cloth is desired.

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irish linen

Irish linen refers to linen items from Northern Ireland and Eire.

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linen tester

A magnifying glass for counting cloth, also called pick glass or pick counter.

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linens and domestics

The term used in stores to describe various household items which, at one time, were made of linen. Today, most linens and domestics are made of cot ton and man-made fibers. The following entries are some of the items found in the linens and domestics sections of stores. See blan­kets, towels, and bedding.

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table linen

Any fabric, regardless of fiber content, suitable for a table covering.

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tow linen

Fabric made of uneven, irregular yarns composed of the every short fibers.

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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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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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batting

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

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

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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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boucle yarn

Boucle yarn is a rough, quite thick and slubby linen yarn that is characterized by tight loops projecting from the body of the yarn with regular intervals. It is a novelty yarn often mixed with yarns of other fibers for textural interest. Boucle yarn is very popular because there are many varieties and weights.

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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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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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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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flax

Fibers of the flax plant that are spun into linen yarns and woven into linen cloth. The word linen is derived from “linum,” part of the scientific name for the flax plant. See linen.

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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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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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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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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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line

Longest flax fibers used for fine, even linen yarns. Shortest flax fibers are called tow.

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line yarn

Well-hackled, even linen yarn made of long fibers.

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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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Belgian linen

Any linen produced in Belgium.

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embroidery linen

Another name for art linen. See art linen.

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handkerchief linen

A fine, sheer linen used for handkerchiefs, dresses or blouses, or whenever a lightweight cloth is desired.

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irish linen

Irish linen refers to linen items from Northern Ireland and Eire.

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Iinen straw

A type of straw made to resemble woven linen. See straw

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linens and domestics

The term used in stores to describe various household items which, at one time, were made of linen. Today, most linens and domestics are made of cot ton and man-made fibers. The following entries are some of the items found in the linens and domestics sections of stores. See blan­kets, towels, and bedding.

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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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Moygashel

A trade name representing excellent quality in imported Irish linen.

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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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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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sheet

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

A fairly stiff material made from the stems, leaves, bark, or stalks of various plants. It is usually braided or woven to form a fabric. Straw is used in large quantities for hats when they are in style. Most straw today is used for baskets and handbags of various kinds. Chip straw is used almost exclusively for baskets. It is a by-product of the lumber industry and is made from chips and other pieces of wood, including shavings. Leghorn straw is a braided straw popular for hats and is made from wheat grown in Italy. Panarna, another braided hat straw, is made from the screw pine. Other types of straw include Bangkok, linen (straw made to resembie woverr linen), Milan, ramie, sisal (used for rugs and ropes), toyo, and Tuscan.

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summer-weight suiting

Another name for tropical suiting. A general term for many fabrics that have the characteristics of suiting fabrlcs: they are crisp, take sharp creases well, and are lightweight for wear in hot weather. A typical summer-weight suiting is linen.

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tow

Short flax fibers, separated by hackling (combing) from the longer fibers. Also, the poorly hackled, uneven linen yarn made from these short fibers. lt may also refer to a continuous loose rope of man made filaments drawn together without twist to be cut in lengths for spun yarn.

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dish towel

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

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glass cloth

A towel used to dry drinking glasses, glass plates, and silver. lt is made from linen. Glass towels are often checked red and white and rnay have the word "Glass;" woven into the fabric."

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triacetate

A thermoplastic fiber classified under the generic name of acetate, although it is a modification of acetate. Triacetate fabrics resist shrinkage, wrinkles, and fading. They do not dissolve in acetone, can be washed at higher temperatures than those made of acetate, and can be ironed with the heat set for linen. See acetate.

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