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Glossary Terms Archive

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

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

Alpaca

Natural animal hair fibre from the alpaca. It is softer and more luxurious than sheep’s wool, and is often described as a hard wearing cashmere.
Abr. WP

Angora

Natural animal hair fibre from the angora rabbit. It is exceptionally soft, possesses high heat retention and moisture-wicking properties. Angora is fine and fragile in it’s pure form so is usually blended with other wools to increase warmth and enhance softness.
Abr. WA

Bias

45˚ to the warp and weft yarns

Brocade

Figured woven jacquard fabric, usually multicoloured. See also: Jacquard, Cloqué.

Calico

General term for unbleached plain cotton fabric that comes in a variety of weights, mainly used for making toiles

Camel hair

Natural animal hair fibre from the Bactrian camel. It has excellent thermal properties making it both breathable and warm, it is usually used in high grade coatings.
Abr. WK

Canvas

Strong, firm and rigid plain woven cloth. Usually cotton.

Cashmere

Natural animal hair fibre from the cashmere goat. Cashmere is a luxury fibre known for its extreme softness, warmth and lustrous quality.
Abr. WS

Challis

Lightweight plain weave worsted spun fabric with a soft handle and good drape. Usually made of wool. See also Varuna.

Chambray

Lightweight plain weave cotton with a dyed warp and a white weft.

Chiffon

Sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric -usually silk, polyester or viscose.

Cloqué

1. Woven double cloth where two sets of warp and weft yarns have very different shrinkage pottentials resulting in a blistered effect.
2. Weft knitted double jersey showing a three dimensional puckered figure in relief. Also known as blister fabric and relief fabric.

Corduroy

Woven cut weft pile fabric in vertical cords (known as wales). Can be very fine known as needlecord or baby cord, up to very broad, known as elephant cord.

Cotton

Natural vegetable seed fibre from the cotton plant. A highly versatile fibre that has a comfortable soft handle, good absorbency, good colour retention, can be machine washed and/or dry cleaned, strong, durable, and drapes well.
Abr. CO

Crepe

Crinkled or puckered fabric achieved by highly twisted yarns resulting in a fabric with good drape and elasticity.

Crepe de Chine

Lightweight fabric made with highly twisted yarns resulting in a slinky fabric with good drape and elasticity. The crepe effect is relatively unpronounced.

Cupro

Man made natural polymer regenerated cellulose fibre. Made from wood pulp is breathes like cotton, drapes beautifully and feels like silk on the skin.
Abr. CU

Damask

Figured fabric usually in a single colour where the figure and the ground are in contrasting weaves, generally satin and sateen.

Denim

Hardwearing cotton twill with dyed warp and unbleached/dyed coarser weft yarn.

Devoré

Velvet fabric that has been ‘burned out’ in areas to reveal a semi-sheer chiffon backing

Dobby

A textured spotty pattern created by small tufts/irregular weave

Donegal Tweed

Woollen tweed fabric characterised by randomly distributed clumps of brightly coloured fibres in the yarn. True Donegal comes from County Donegal in Ireland.

Double Cloth

Compound woven fabric which can allow for the face and back to be completely different. Some yarns from one fabric interlace with the other to hold them together, or a fine hidden warp interlaces the two.

Double Jersey

General term to describe weft knitted fabrics made on two sets of needles. Includes both rib based and interlock structures.

Drill

Woven twill fabric similar to denim but usually piece dyed.

Elastane

Man made synthetic polymer with very high elasticity. It is often added as a small percentage (3 – 7%) to fabrics to aid recovery and fit.
Also known as Lycra and Spandex… or “that amazing strtchy stuff that made my dress fit”.
Abr. EA or EL

Elite PBT

If you want the full name – Polybutylene terephthalate – (try saying that after a couple of gin and tonics!). Put simply it is a texturised polyester with natural stretch similar to spandex and is often used in textured brocades, jacquards and cloqué.
Abr. PL

Flannel

Light to medium weight wool fabric with a plain or twill weave, a soft handle and a slightly milled or raised surface.

Gaberdine

Steep twill fabric originally made in worsted wool (now made in various fibres), it’s close weave means it has a firm structure, is hardwearing and weather resistant.

Georgette

A fine lightweight semi-sheer crepe weave fabric. See also Chiffon

Gingham

Lightweight cotton with dyed and white yarns arranged in a pattern of checks.

Grosgrain

Plain weave fabric with pronounced weft ribs.

Harris Tweed

Wool tweed from the Isle of Harris known for it’s narrow looms, subtle colours and relatively harsh handle

Hemp

Natural vegetable bast fibre. Eco fibre that has a superior strength and durability to cotton but can be course, have poor drape and a tendency to crease (all of which will improve with age and washing).
Abr. HA

Herringbone

Twill fabric where the direction is reversed producing a chevron pattern

Horsehair

Natural animal hair fibre from the mane and tail hair of horses and ponies. Mainly used in horsehair canvas interfacing for tailoring jackets and coats.
Abr. HS

Interfacing

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 Interlining

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

Melton Coating

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

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

Modacrylic

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

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.

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

Moiré

Fabric that shows a wavy watermark type pattern.

Moss Crepe

Crepe that has a spongey bubble type texture.

Muslin

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

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

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.

Organdie

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

Organza

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