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Glossary Terms Archive

Acrylic

Man-made synthetic polymer fibre.

Acrylic is used to mimic other fibres like wool or cotton. It is lightweight, soft, and warm but doesn’t breathe like a natural fibres and isn’t as warm as wool when it is wet. Some acrylic fabrics may fuzz or pill, though there are low-pilling variants. Acrylic holds colour well, is washable, and is hypoallergenic.

Abr. PC

Acetate

Man made natural polymer cellulose ester fibre.

A breathable, hypo-allergenic and anti-static man-made fibre often used in linings and textured fabrics like Cloqué. It has a shiny appearance and good drapability. In our experience acetate fabrics are rarely washable. Not to be confused with triacetate which is more stable – and the main fibre in our fabulous Venezia lining.
Abr. CA

Wool

Natural animal fibre obtained from the fibrous covering of the sheep. Excellent insulating fibre that is trans-seasonal, breathable, crease resistant and naturally elastic.
Abr. WO

Weft

Yarns that run left and right across the width of the fabric perpendicular with the selvedge

Warp

Yarns that run up and down the length of the fabric parallel with the selvedge

Wale

The columns of loops (cut or uncut) in a fabric that run along the length of a fabric, like in corduroy.

Wadding

Lofty sheet of fibres used for padding and stuffing.

Viscose

Man made natural polymer regenerated cellulose fibre. Made from wood pulp, this breathable, drapey and lustrous fabric is strong and versatile. It is important to preshrink as untreated it can easily shrink 10%. Various derivatives include Modal, Tencel/Lyocell, Cupro and Rayon.
Abr. VI

Virgin Wool

Natural animal fibre obtained from the fibrous covering of the sheep. Excellent insulating fibre that is trans-seasonal, breathable, crease resistant and naturally elastic. Virgin wool has never been used or reclaimed from any spun, woven, knitted, felted, manufactured or used product. Also known as New Wool
Abr. WV

Velvet

Cut warp-pile fabric in which the cut fibrous ends form the surface of the fabric. Pile may be left erect or laid in one direction for a very high lustre. Usually made from pure cotton (quite stiff), silk and viscose (very drapey) or acetate and viscose (somewhat stiff and drapey). Care must be taken not to mark the fabric when pressing and constructing.

Velour

A jersey fabric with a velvet like cut warp pile surface. Usually polyester and elastane.

Twill

A woven fabric where diagonal lines show on the surface of the fabric

Tricot

Lightweight knitted fabric used to line jersey garments

Triacetate

Man made natural polymer cellulose ester fibre. More stable than Acetate. Used in the fabulous Venezia lining.
Abr CTA

Toile

A mock garment usually made up in calico to fine tune any fitting or shape issues.

Tencel

Man-made breathable natural polymer regenerated cellulose fibre. It is a ‘natural’ microfibre derived from wood-pulp. It has soft handle, good drape, breathable, durable, easy-care and biodegradable. It is absorbent and has low warmth. Brand name for Lyocell
Abr. CLY

Stretch

Fabric showing greater than usual extensibility and recovery.

Spandex

See Elastane.
Abr. EA or EL

Silk

Natural animal protein fibre obtained from the cocoons produced by silkworms. Super strong, lightweight and lustrous fibre that can be woven into extremely fine threads. It takes dye brilliantly and has excellent insulation properties (warm in the cold, cool in the heat). It is fragile when wet so wash with caution.
Abr. SE

Shot

Effect where the fabric can appear two different colours or a combination of both according to the angle it is looked at due to dyeing the warp and weft two different colours. Also known as changeant effect, or two-tone.

Shetland Tweed

Wool tweed in the Harris tweed style but usually with a lighter and softer handle. Also may refer to a tweed in the shetland tweed style but made outside of the Shetland Isles.

Selvedge

The finished edge on the edge of the fabric that runs

Seersucker

Fabric characterised by puckered and relatively flat areas, often in stripes.

Satin

A smooth woven fabric where the maximum amount of warp shows on the face. The shiny effect is enhanced by using filament and/or lustrous yarns. Satin is usually made of silk, polyester or viscose and can come in a variety of weights.

Sateen

A smooth woven fabric where the maximum amount of weft shows on the face. The smooth effect is enhanced by using filament and/or lustrous yarns. Sateen is less shiny than satin.

Rib

Weft knitted fabric with wales looped interchangeably to the front and back creating a ribbed/striped knit with a greater elasticity

Reversible

Describes fabric that has pattern and/or finish on both sides, either of which can be used as the face side

Repp

Plain weave fabric with pronounced weftways rib

Raschel

Patterned knit made on a raschel warp knitting machine. Can range from fine lace and nets to thick outerwear.

Ramie

Natural vegetable bast fibre from the ramie plant. Similar to Linen/Flax with a silkier lustre.
Abr. RA

PVC

Polyvinyl chloride. Man made synthetic polymer used for faux leathers and water repellency.
Abr. PVC

Poplin

Medium weight plain weave fabric traditionally made from cotton. Often used as for shirtings.

Ponte Roma

An interlock based double jersey. It is stable and not hugely stretchy. Also known as Punto di Roma or Ponte de Roma.

Polyurethane or PU

Man made synthetic polymer fibre usually used to add water repellent qualities.
Abr. PU

Polyester

Man made synthetic polymer fibre. The ubiquitous easy-care fibre used for it’s good drape, soft handle and durability.
Abr. PE, PES, PM,

Polyamide

Man made synthetic polymer fibre. Strong, lightweight and resilient. It can be heat set into pleats, etc. It is often added as a small percentage to fabrics to add strength and resilience.
Also known as Nylon.
Abr. PA

Piqué

Woven fabric showing pronounced rounded cords running in the weft direction

Pile

Some of the yarns are raised to form a pile, like in velvet, wool melton and faux fur. Care should be taken when cutting out, pressing and storage

PBT

See Elite PBT

Organza

A sheer plain weave lightweight fabric with a firm drape and handle. Usually made out of silk or nylon

Organdie

Usually cotton. A plain weave sheer fabric with a permanently stiff finish.

One-Way Fabric

Fabric that appears different when viewed from the top or the bottom. Can be due to pattern, nap, pile, etc. All the pattern pieces will need to be laid in the same direction when cutting out.

Nylon

Man made synthetic polymer fibre. Strong, lightweight and resilient. It can be heat set into pleats, etc. It is often added as a small percentage to fabrics to add strength and resilience.
Also known as Polyamide.
Abr. PA

Muslin

Lightweight, sheer, open weave fabric usually made of cotton. Also the american term for a toile.

Moss Crepe

Crepe that has a spongey bubble type texture.

Moiré

Fabric that shows a wavy watermark type pattern.

Mohair

Natural animal hair fibre from the angora or mohair goat. A luxury fibre, mohair is warm in winter while remaining cool in summer due to its moisture wicking properties. It is durable and crease resistant.
Abr. WM

Modal

Man made natural polymer regenerated cellulose fibre specifically made from beech trees. (unlike other generic viscose fibres made from any wood pulp). It is known for it’s superior softness of touch and strength, even when wet, so can be laundered without compromise.

Modacrylic

Man made synthetic polymer fibre. Modacrylics are quick drying, soft, resilient, and dimensionally stable fabrics usually used in luxury faux furs.

Mixed Fibres

What we write when the fibre content is unknown or the list is too long and complicated to be able to fit on one ticket. Also can be written as Cotton Mix, Wool Mix, etc, which suggests the named fibre is the predominant.
Abr. AF

Melton Coating

Heavyweight coating fabric in wool that has a heavily milled raised and cropped pile finish.

Lyocell

Man-made breathable natural polymer regenerated cellulose fibre. It is a ‘natural’ microfibre derived from wood-pulp. It has soft handle, good drape, breathable, durable, easy-care and biodegradable. It is absorbent and has low warmth. Also known as Tencel
Abr. CLY

Llama

Natural animal hair from the Llama. A luxury fibre used for it’s lustre, drape and firm texture. The Llama fibre is hollow and so naturally insulating whilst comparatively lightweight .
Abr. WL

Lining

Fabric used for the inside of a garment where it’s properties do not modify the main fabric but do enhance the performance of the article as a whole. Linings can be made of various things but naturally anti-static linings are generally better which are usually made of Viscose, Acetate, Triacetate and Silk. Sometimes it is possible to use a fine cotton such as Lawn or Voile too.
See: Venezia Lining, Coat linings, Satin Lining, Silk Lining, Cotton Lining, Cupro Lining, Viscose Twill Lining, Tricot Knit Lining, Stretch Lining.

Linen

Natural vegetable bast fibre from the flax plant. A slightly stiff, weighty fabric with aesthetically pleasing slubs. Linen has been valued for centuries for its exceptional coolness in hot weather. Linen is durable and fibres become softer, stronger and brighter over time and laundering.
Abr. LI

Lawn

A plain weave textile, originally of linen but now chiefly cotton. Lawn is designed using fine, high count yarns, which results in a silky, untextured feel.

Jacquard

Jacquard woven fabric is produced on a special weaving loom fitted with a jacquard patterning mechanism, therefore, woven jacquard fabrics are typically multicoloured, or figured with intricate and textural designs

Interlock

Double faced weft knitted fabric made up with two interconnected rib fabrics. Wales of plain knitting show on both sides of the fabric and it does not curl like a single jersey.

Interlining

Fabric used between the inner and outer layers of a garment to improve shape retention, strength, warmth or bulk. Interlinings may be woven , knitted or non-woven and can have a fusible adhesive on one surface.
Also known as Interfacing