fabricdictionary.com - Home
All about fabrics and textiles

Search results for "wear"


Knitted apparel, including hosiery, underwear, outerwear, and sportswear.

lounge wear

Intimate apparel that includes robes, housecoats, and bed jackets.


Water-resistant or waterproof apparel, such as a raincoat car rain boots.


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

ski wear

Clothing suitable to wear while skiing, such as warm, waterproof pants, jackets, and so forth.


Clothing worn for active or spectator sports or recreational activities.

wash and wear

A term used to describe fabrics and garments that can be washed and then worn with little or no ironing. Originally, the fabrics were chemically treated and cured (baked). There are no standards governing its use. See easy care and durable press.

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.


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


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.

cavalry twill

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


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.

cotton knits

Cotton knits are made by the same methods as other knits, although they often are of finer gauge than wool and man-made fiber knits. They are the traditional underwear fabric, but recently have become popular for shirts, dresses, and sportswear. Many cotton knits today include some man-made fiber to reduce shrinkage and give the knit greater stability.

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.

glass fiber

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


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


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.


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.


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.

knit terry cloth

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


Knitted apparel, including hosiery, underwear, outerwear, and sportswear.


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


Another term for womens 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.


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


A fine, soft, cotton cloth woven of softly twisted yarns. It is similar to nainsook but slightly heavier, with a duller surface. Longcloth is so called because it was one of the first fabrics to be woven in Iong rolls. lt is also a synonym for muslin sheeting af gaod quality. The fabric is used for underwear and linings. See nainsook and muslin sheeting.


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.


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

moleskin finish

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


A long glove, eight to sixteen buttons in lenght. It has a vertical opening with buttons near the wrist, so that the wearer can remove the finger section and tuck it into the arm section without having to remove the entire glove.


A tube of fur, wool, or velvet covering used to warm the hands outdoors. It is occasionally supplied as a matching accessory with an outerwear costume.


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.

ski wear

Clothing suitable to wear while skiing, such as warm, waterproof pants, jackets, and so forth.

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.

supported vinyl

Vinyl backed with fabric. Supported vinyl wears better than unsupported vinyl when used in upholstery. See vinyl.


An adjective used to describe fabrics which are warmer for their weight than other fabries. lt is usually limited to those fabrics woven in a honeycomb pattern leaving small spaces in which an can be trapped. Thermal fabrics are popular for underwear and blankets. See honeycomb.

thermal woven

A porous cloth so constructed that air warmed by the body is trapped between the yarns. First used in underwear, it is now used for blankets and the reverse sides of comforters.

union cloth

A traditional name for fabric made from two or more different fibers, such as a fabric woven with a wool worsted warp and a cotton filling. The term "union cloth" was used primarily when this fabric was used for underwear, perhaps because a union suit was another name for shoulder-to-ankle, one-piece underwear. See union suit.

unstructured apparel

Apparel with little, if any, detail in tailoring. lt takes its shape from the person wearing it. For example, a jacket that does not have padding, lining, or insets.

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.


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.

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.

waterproof fabric

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


An extremely strong, twill-weave worsted fabric made in fairly heavy weights of cotton, wool worsted, and fabrics of man-made fibers and blends. It is similar to gabardine, but heavier and with a more pronounced diagonal rib on the right side. lt is so named because it simulates tlre lash of a whip. Cotton whipcotds are often four-harness warp-twill weaves. lt is used for draperies and upholstery, uniforms, riding clothes, and other wearing apparel where a strong fabric is required. See twill under entry for weaving.