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thread

A special type of a thin, continuous length of tightly twisted ply yarn used primarily for sewing. Thread occasionally is used instead of yarn, as in the terms warp thread and filling thread.

carpet thread

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 Carpet thread was originally made of cotton, but usually is made of polyester today.

cotton thread

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

cotton-wrapped polyester (core) thread

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

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.

polyester thread

Thread made of 100% polyester. Polyester thread has more give than most natural fiber threads and is used extensively for sewing man-made fiber fabrics, especially knits. lt can be used on almost any fabric. Polyester thread is strong, but tends to knot easily.

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.

basket weave

One of the most important patterns in weaving. Basket weave is made with two or more filling threads passing over and under an equal number of warp threads on alternate rows.

Benares

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

bobbin lace

Bobbin lace is a lace made by using a pillow to hold the pins around which thread is arranged. Other names for bobbin lace are bobbinette lace and pillow lace.

broadcloth

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

dimity

Literally, double thread

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.

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.

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, 1akistan, 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.

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.

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.

pillow face

Lace made by using a pillow to hold pins around which thread is arranged. See bobbin lace.br />

tatting

A method of lace-making worked with the fingers and a shuttle that holds the thread. Tatting forms a narrow, knotted lace, often used for edging.

latex

The name for the liquid form of natural or man-made rubber. It can be formed into thread for use as an elastic yarn. Latex is also used extensively as part of the backing in the manufacture of rugs and at one time, was used extensively in corsets and brassieres. Now, however, although some latex foundation garments are still made, it has been largely replaced by spandex. Solid latex is sometimes referred to as rubber. See spandex.

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.

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.

metallic doth

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

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.

monofilament

A single, fine thread of continuous man-made fiber (as in nylon hosiery). See multifilament, staple, and tow.

multifilament yarn

A yarn made of two or more filaments (long threads) of man-made fibers (monofilaments) that are joined together, usually by twistingally by twisting.

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.

sewing-knitting machine

The latest machine for making fabrics. In the best known of these, the malimo machine, the warp thread is placed on top of the filling thread and the two are stitched together with a third thread.

shoot

Another term for filling, weft, woof, and shute. The crosswise thread that interlaces with the warp threads on a woven fabric.

shute

Another term for weft, woof, shoot, and filling. The crosswise thread that interlaces with the warp threads on a woven fabric.

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:

skein

A coil of yarn, which, unlike a spool of thread, has no center supporting object. The term skein and hank are sometimes considered synonyms. See hank.

smocking

Rows of shirring done in a pattern to add some give (stretch) to a gannent and for decoration. A common pattern of smocking is to gather the fabric with stitches that cross each other diagonally, forming a honeycomb-like pattern. It is often done with colored embroidery thread and gives an effect similar to shirring. See shirring.

spinning

A method of drawing out and twisting together fibers to make a continuous thread or yarn. Spinning also refers to the manufacture of man-rnade fibers as they are formed by fcucing the material from which they are rnade through a spinneret. In conventional spinning, the tighter the twist, the stronger the yarn, but too tight a twist can weaken the final yarn. Crepe yarns have such an extremely high twist that the yarn actually turns back on itself (kinks), producing the characteristic crepe or corksc_rew look. Pabrics can be given shadow effects by the Lise of two yarns which have been twisted in opposite directions during spinning. This will strike each of these yarns in a different way producing this effect. See spinneret.

stitch

A single passage of a threaded needle through fabric and back again, as in sewing or embroidery. Stitches may be made by hand or done on a sewing machine to hold layers of fabric together or to clecorate fabric such as embroidery, stitchery, and needlepoint. The most commonly used hand stitches follow. See embroidery, needlepoint, and stitchery.

tapestry

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

thread

A special type of a thin, continuous length of tightly twisted ply yarn used primarily for sewing. Thread occasionally is used instead of yarn, as in the terms warp thread and filling thread.

carpet thread

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

cotton thread

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

cotton-wrapped polyester (core) thread

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

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.

polyester thread

Thread made of 100% polyester. Polyester thread has more give than most natural fiber threads and is used extensively for sewing man-made fiber fabrics, especially knits. lt can be used on almost any fabric. Polyester thread is strong, but tends to knot easily.

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.

ball fringe

A trimming that consists of round fluffy balls (pompons) attached by threads to a band of fabric by which it is sewn to fabric. lt is often used on curtains and upholstery.

cord

A heavy, round string consisting of several strands of thread or yarn twisted or braided together. See cording.

tuft

A bunch of yarns or threads forced through a quilt, mattress, or upholstery to secure the stuffing. See quilt.

Irish tweed

Tweed made in Ireland, Northern Ireland, or Eire. These tweeds generally can be distinguished by a white warp and colored filling threads.

twill

(1) A weave with a diagonal rib (twill line) that runs from the upper left to the lower right, or from upper right to lower left. In a twill weave, each filling thread passes over or under at least two warp threads, to a point where the filling thread goes under moving up and over by at least one thread in each row. Herringbone weave is a broken twill weave and forms ""V""s in the weave pattern. (2) A narrow ribbon, fairly heavy in weight. It is stitched into garment areas such as collar lapels, shoulders, and facing edges for strength and to prevent stretching. It is also used in the seams of slipcovers and other home furnishings items for added strength. Twill tape usually is available only in white or black.

vafenciennes lace

A flat bobbin lace worked with one thread forming both the background and the design for lace.

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).

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.

warp

The group of yarns placed first on a loom in weaving. Warp runs parallel to the selvage, forming the length of the fabric. The filling threads are interlaced over and under the warp threads in a pattern or weave. See weaving and selvage.

basket weave

Basket weave is made with two or more filling threads passing over and under an equal number of warp threads on alternate rows.

plain weave

Plain weave, the best known and most basic form of weaving, is made by passing the filling thread over and under one warp thread in alternating rows.

satin weave

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

twill weave

A weave with a diagonal rib (twill line) that runs from the upper left to the lower right, or from upper right to lower left. In a twill weave, each filling thread passes over or under at least two warp threads, with the point where the filling thread goes under moving up and over at least one thread in each row. Herringbone weave is a broken twill weave which forms Vs in the weave pattern.

weft

Another name for filling, the crosswise thread that interlaces with the warp threads on a woven fabric. Other names are woof, shoot, and shute.

weft knitting

A process in which the thread runs back and forth crosswise in a fabric. See warp knitting.

woof

Another name for filling, the crosswise thread that interlaces with the warp threads on a woven fabric. Other names are weft, shoot, and shute. See filling.