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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cultivated silk

Fibers from a silkworm that have had scientific care.

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floss silk

Tangled silk waste. Floss is also a twisted silk yarn used in art needlework.

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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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silk

The product of the silk worm and the only natural filament fiber (it is produced in a long thread). Silk was the leading luxury fiber for thousands of years. There were many types of silk and many ways of making it into cloth. foday, man-made fibers have to a very large extent replaced silk, but the traditional names for certain silk fabrics are still used and include the following:

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Honan silk

Silk similar to pongee. See pongee.

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raw silk

A term used incorrectly for wild silk. Raw silk is the silk fiber before it has been processed in any way. Kaw silk is coated with a glue-like substance called sericin. The sericin is removed in later processing and is not silk.

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Thai silk

Silk made in Thailand. Most Thai silk is fairly heavy weight, often slubbed, and made in vivid colors that are usually iridescent or changeable.

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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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silk broadcloth

A soft spun-silk fabric in plain weave, used for shirts, blouses, and sports dresses.

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silk culture

The care of the worm that produces silk fiber, from the egg to the moth.

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silk illusion

A net similar to tulle but even finer in mesh, used primarily for bridal veils.

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silk noil

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

Yarn or fabric made from short fibers of pierced cocoons or from short ends at the outside and inside edges of the cocoons that cannot be reeled.

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silk thread

A classic sewing thread for fine work and for sewing silks and woolens. lt has more give than other natural fiber threads, but less than polyester or nylon. lt is used primarily for sewing on silk fabrics.

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tram silk

A low-twist, ply silk yarn formed by combining two or three single strands.

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tussah silk

Silk fabric woven from silk made by wild, uncultivated silkworms. Tussah is strong, but coarse and uneven. lt is naturally tau in color, cannot be bleached, and has a rougher texture than cultivated silk. lt is used in shantung and pongee. Wild silkworms eat leaves other than mulberry leaves eaten exclusively by silkworms. The difference in diet accounts for the different fiber and fabric characteristics. Tussah is also used to describe fabrics designed to imitate this kind of silk. See wild silk.

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waste silk

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

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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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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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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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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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basic dye

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

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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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Bedford cord

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

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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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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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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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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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Canton crepe

Canton crepe is heavier than crepe de Chine with a slightly ribbed crepe filling. It was originally made of silk in Canton, China. Today it is as well made of rayon or acetate.

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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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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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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 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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cultivated silk

Fibers from a silkworm that have had scientific care.

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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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decating

A process for setting the luster on wool, silk, spun silk, and rayons.

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degumming

A process for removing natural gum from silk by boiling it in a soap solution.

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denier

A technical term referring to a unit of yarn number equal to the weight in grams of 9000 meters of the yarn. It is used for silk and man-made yarns in hosiery as a description of sheerness.The lower the denier number, the more sheer the stocking, panty hose, or garment. For instance, 40 denier hose are much finer and more sheer than 60 denier hose.

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doupion

Silk that comes from the fiber formed by two silk worms who spun their cocoons together in an interlocking manner. The yarn is uneven, irregular, and larger than regular filaments. It is used to make shantung and doupioni. Also called douppioni, dupion, and dupioni.

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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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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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filament

Extremely long continuous fibers that can be measured in meters or yards, or in the case of man-made fibers, in kilometers or miles. Filaments do not require spinning to form yarn. Examples are rayon, nylon, acrylic, polyester, and other man-made fibers. Silk is the only natural filament
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flat crepe

A firm, medium-weight silk crepe with a soft, almost imperceptible crinkle. It has creped fillings alternating with two S and two Z twists. The surface is fairly flat. Flat crepe may also be made of man-made fibers. It is used for dresses, negligees, and blouses. See crepe de chine,

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floss silk

Tangled silk waste. Floss is also a twisted silk yarn used in art needlework.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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mogadore

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

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momme

A Japanese unit of weight used for weighing silk. A momme is slightly less than 4 grams (about .034 ounces).

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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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rayon

The first successful man-rnade fiber, rayon was originally called artificial silk. It is made from ceilulose and is weak when wet. Rayon is soft and comfortable and dyes well, but is weakened by exposure to sunlight. ßecause of its low wet strength, rayon may shrink or stretch unless treated. fwo main processes are used in this country to produce rryon: viscose process and cuprammonium process. Several different rnodificatiorrs of these types of rayon are being made and consist of the following. See cellulose.

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reeling

The process of winding silk filaments onto a wheel directly from cocoons.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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sericulture

The raising of silkworms and production of silk.

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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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silk

The product of the silk worm and the only natural filament fiber (it is produced in a long thread). Silk was the leading luxury fiber for thousands of years. There were many types of silk and many ways of making it into cloth. foday, man-made fibers have to a very large extent replaced silk, but the traditional names for certain silk fabrics are still used and include the following:

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Honan silk

Silk similar to pongee. See pongee.

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pongee

A plain-weave, fairly lightweight silk fabric with a slight slub to the yarns. Today, the terms Honan and pongee are used interchangeably for fabrics with this texture, but made from man-made fabrics.

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raw silk

A term used incorrectly for wild silk. Raw silk is the silk fiber before it has been processed in any way. Kaw silk is coated with a glue-like substance called sericin. The sericin is removed in later processing and is not silk.

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shantung

A silk similar to pongee in that it, too, is made with slubbed yarns, but in shantung the unevenness of the yarns is even greater. Shantung is one of the fabrics that originated in silk and has been imitated extensively in the man-made fibers.

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surah

A silk recognized by its sheen and its fine twill weave. Surah is popular for dresses and neckties and is also imitated in man-made fibers.

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Thai silk

Silk made in Thailand. Most Thai silk is fairly heavy weight, often slubbed, and made in vivid colors that are usually iridescent or changeable.

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tussah

Silk fabric woven from silk made by wild, uncultivated silkworms. Tussah is naturally tan in color, cannot be bleached, and has a rougher texture than cultivated silk. Wild silkworms eat leaves other than mulberry leaves which cultivated silkworms eat exclusively. The difference in diet accounts for the different fiber and fabric characteristics. Tussah is also used to describe fabrics designed to imitate this kind of silk. See wild silk.

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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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silk broadcloth

A soft spun-silk fabric in plain weave, used for shirts, blouses, and sports dresses.

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silk culture

The care of the worm that produces silk fiber, from the egg to the moth.

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silk noil

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

An English town and the home of Huguenot weavers, it is now a lace-making center. In this town, the hand-woven Jacquard silk Spitalfields tie originated.

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staple

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

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stitchery

The contemporary approach to traditional embroidery in which the same basic stitches are used, but in a freer, less restricted manner to create their own form and shapes. The yarns used in stitchery go beyond traditional wool and silk embroidery floss. Anything can be used to make the stitches from ribbon and cord to narrow strips of fabric or even fishline. Stitchery may be used to decorate clothing, home furnishings items, and for wall hangings. Sec embroidery.

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taffeta

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

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buttonhole twist

A thick, twisted silk cord. Buttonhole twist is lustrous and is used for topstitching. lt is also used for sewing buttons onto a garment as well as for making buttonholes or embroidery.

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nylon thread

The thread introduced as an alternative to silk thread that has more give than most natural fiber threads. lt is used extensively for sewing man-made fiber fabrics, especially knits.

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silk thread

A classic sewing thread for fine work and for sewing silks and woolens. lt has more give than other natural fiber threads, but less than polyester or nylon. lt is used primarily for sewing on silk fabrics.

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throwing

The combining and twisting of strands of reeled silk into tightly twisted yarn.

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tram silk

A low-twist, ply silk yarn formed by combining two or three single strands.

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tulle

A soft, fine, transparent silk net. Formerly made only of silk, tulle is now made of nylon or rayon, and is a favorite for evening dresses and bridal veils. See net.

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tussah silk

Silk fabric woven from silk made by wild, uncultivated silkworms. Tussah is strong, but coarse and uneven. lt is naturally tau in color, cannot be bleached, and has a rougher texture than cultivated silk. lt is used in shantung and pongee. Wild silkworms eat leaves other than mulberry leaves eaten exclusively by silkworms. The difference in diet accounts for the different fiber and fabric characteristics. Tussah is also used to describe fabrics designed to imitate this kind of silk. See wild silk.

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velvet

Velvet is a fabric with a short and closely woven nap. The production of velvet varies between two methods. One uses a double-cloth construction in which two shifts of fabric are woven with long threads joining them together. After the double fabric is woven, the center threads are cut, producing two pieces of velvet. The second method of producing velvet uses wires. During the weaving the yarn is lifted over the wires to form the pile. After removing the wires the yarn is cut to form the velvet surface. While velvet was originally made of silk, today many other fibers are used to manufacure velvet (e.g. rayon or nylon).

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Lyons velvet

Velvet originally made of silk in Lyons, France. Lyons is a thick, stiff velvet with a very short pile. Today, this type of velvet (often called Lyons-type) is made of man-made fibers. It is used for home furnishings as well as for evening wear.

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voile

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

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waste silk

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

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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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zephyr yarn

A fine, soft yarn with a low twist popular for hand knitting. Originally made from wool, zephyr is usually made of acrylic and often has other fibers such as silk added to it.

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