Named for the town of Alencon, France where it was developed. Separate motifs embroidered onto English net and reembroidered with heavy cord to outline design. May be used as all over lace or cut into motifs and used as appliques. Cost varies by width, country origin, and intricacy of design.
A medium OR light-weight, plain weave fabric, usually made of cotton or cotton blends.
Design made by sewing tapes together to form a decorative pattern. Usually used as trim, but can be all-over fabric.
The diagonal of a woven fabric between the warp (lengthwise) and the filling (crosswise-weft) threads. This part of the fabric has the greatest amount of stretch and can easily be distorted in the cleaning and pressing process.
A plain weave tightly woven fabric, characterized by a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. The most common broadcloth is made from cotton or cotton/polyester blends.
A heavy, exquisite jacquard type fabric with an all-over raised pattern or floral design. Common end-uses include such formal applications as upholstery, draperies, and eveningwear.
Plain woven cotton, some in linen, synthetics. Cheap, low-textured, loose weave, very heavily sized and stiff. Also, 2 fabrics are glued together; one is open weave and the other much finer. Some is also made in linen in a single fabric. Also called crinoline book muslin or book binding. Softens with heat. Can be shaped while warm. Uses: Used for interlinings and all kinds of stiffening in clothes, book binding, and for millinery (because it can be moistened and shaped).
The basic substance for the three cellulosic fibers (acetate, rayon, and triacetate) is cellulose, which comes from purified wood pulp.
Plain woven, usually wool-also made in cotton, hair fiber, rayon, and a silk warp and worsted filling. Soft, very lightweight. May be dyed or printed with a delicate floral pattern, paisleys, or geometric patterns and faint designs.
Chantilly lace, made in France and named for the city where it originated, features delicate floral and swirl designs outlined with silky threads that define the motif on a fine net background. A delicate silk, linen, or synthetic lace having a six-sided mesh ground and a floral or scrolled design
Satin weave. Originated as a French lightweight silk that was recognized for its supreme luster and drapability. Today it is also made out of rayon, cotton and manufactured fibers and has a dull back.
From the French word for caterpillar. A fuzzy pile yarn that resembles a caterpillar or pipe cleaner.
A plain woven lightweight, extremely sheer, airy, and soft silk fabric, containing highly twisted filament yarns. The fabric, used mainly in evening dresses and scarves, can also be made from rayon and other manufactured fibers.
A plain weave silk of various weights. This silk is the "hand" or touch that many people identify as silk. There are various weights of China silk from light, used for linings and many "washable silks" with the wrinkled look, to heavy for shirts and dresses.
Any closely woven, plain weave fabric with a shiny lustrous finish, often printed in bright floral designs.
A unicellular, natural fiber that grows in the seed pod of the cotton plant. Fibers are typically 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. The longest staple fibers, longer than 1 1/2 inch, including the Pima and Egyptian varieties, produce the highest quality cotton fabrics. The fiber is hollow in the center and, under a microscope looks like a twisted ribbon. "Absorbent" cotton will retain 24-27 times its own weight in water and is stronger when wet than dry. This fiber absorbs and releases perspiration quickly, thus allowing the fabric to "breathe". Cotton can stand high temperatures and takes dyes easily. Chlorine bleach can be used to restore white garments to a clear white but this bleach may yellow chemically finished cottons or remove color in dyed cottons.
A fabric with an overall crinkled surface that is made from yarns with such a high twist that the yarn actually kinks
A satin fabric in which highly twisted yarns are used in the filling direction. The floating yarns are made with low twist and may be of either high or low luster. If the crepe effect is the right side of the fabric, the fabric is called satin-back crepe.
A lightweight, plain weave, stiffened fabric with a low yarn count (few yarns to the inch in each direction).
With geometric figures woven in a set pattern. Similar to, but more limited, more quickly woven, and cheaper than jacquards, which require elaborate procedures to form patterns.
Silk yarns made from the cocoon of two ilk worms that have nested together. In spinning, the double strand is not separated so the yarn is uneven and irregular with a large diameter in places. Fabric is of silk made in a plain weave. The fabric is very irregular and shows many slubs - seems to be made in a hit and miss manner. It is imitated in rayon and some synthetics, and one such fabric is called "Cupioni". Dupion yarns also used in shantung, pongee. Tailors very well. is reeled from double cocoons nested together. The threads are uneven and irregular. Italian Doupioni is the finest, followed by Chinese Doupioni and Indian Doupioni. Doupioni is also seen in man-made fibers such as polyester, acetate and referred to as Doupionini. Silk Doupioni is most often found in men's and women's fine suits and also dresses in lighter weight silk Doupioni.
Satin weave with a wonderful luster and a smooth feel. Its thread count is very high. An 8-12 shaft satin. Very fine yarns are used, particularly in the warp with more ends/inch than picks. The material is strong, has a high luster, and texture, and it is firm. Characterized by grainy twill on back.
A glossy, soft, finely-ribbed silk-like woven fabric made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers.
A lightweight twill-weave fabric, made from filament yarns like silk, acetate, polyester, with a small all-over print pattern on a solid background. The fabric is often used in men's ties.
Can be Worsted cotton, rayon, or mixtures. Woven as twill. A smooth durable twill-woven cloth esp. of worsted, spun rayon or cotton. Clear finish, tightly woven, firm, durable, rather lustrous. Can be given a dull finish. Has single diagonal lines on the face, raised twill. Wears extremely well. Also comes in various weights. Inclined to shine with wear. Hard to press properly.
A sheer lightweight fabric, often made of silk or from such manufactured fibers as polyester, with a crepe surface. End-uses include dresses and blouses.
A very heavy Venice.
Plain woven silk. Very light weight and soft. A little heavier than China Silk, but similar. Sold by weight measure known "momme" (1 momme = 3.75 g). Made from waste silk that can be twisted. It is piece dyed or printed and sized. Has many defects in the cloth which has a "shot-about" appearance but this does not effect the cloth. Comes from Japan - originally woven in the gum on Japanese hand looms. Lighter than shantung but heavier than china silk.
A variation on the twill weave construction in which the twill is reversed, or broken, at regular intervals, producing a zig-zag effect.
A variation on the twill weave construction in which a broken check effect is produced by a variation in the pattern of interlacing yarns, utilizing at least two different colored yarns.
Silk gauze or made on bobbinet machine or knotted. Very fine, all-silk tulle which originated in France. It has a cobweb appearance. Hexagonal open mesh. Made in 52 inch and 72 inch widths.
Woven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides versatility in designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns. Thus, fabrics of almost any type or complexity can be made. Brocade and damask are types of jacquard woven fabrics.
Plain woven cotton or linen fabric. Word derived from Laon, a city in France, where linen lawn was manufactured extensively. Light weight, sheer, soft, washable. It is crispier than Voilé but not as crisp as organdy. Made with fine high count yarns, silky feel. Made with either carded or combed yarns. Comes in white or may be dyed or printed. When made with combed yarns with a soft feel and slight luster it is called nainsook.
Cloth woven from flax.
The name given to ultra-fine manufactured fibers and the name given to the technology of developing these fibers. Fibers made using microfiber technology, produce fibers which weigh less than 1.0 denier. The fabrics made from these extra-fine fibers provide a superior hand, a gentle drape, and incredible softness. Comparatively, microfibers are two times finer than silk, three times finer than cotton, eight times finer than wool, and one hundred times finer than a human hair. Currently, there are four types of microfibers being produced. These include acrylic microfibers, nylon microfibers, polyester microfibers, and rayon microfibers.
From the angora goat. Some has cotton warp and mohair filling (sometimes called brilliantine). Imitation mohair made from wool or a blend. Can be plain or twill or knitted weaves. The angora goat is one of the oldest animals known to man. It is 2 1/2 times as strong as wool. Goats are raised in South Africa, Western Asia, turkey, and neighboring countries. Some are in the U.S.A. Fabric is smooth, glossy, and wiry. Has long wavy hair. Also made in a pile fabric of cut and uncut loops similar to frieze with a cotton and wool back and mohair pattern. - Similar to alpaca.
A fabric woven with shades of one color from light to dark in the warp, usually creating a striped effect.
A crisp, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count , made of silk, rayon, nylon, or polyester. The fabric is used primarily in evening and wedding apparel for women.
Usually cotton (some in rayon). Weave: Plain variations - usually basket 2 x 1. Characteristics: Warp has two fine yarns which travel as one and one heavier softly-spun bulky filling which gives it a basket-weave look. Better qualities are mercerized. Usually is all white but some has a spaced stripe in the warp direction. When made with yarn dyed warp and white weft, it is called oxford chambray.
Can be cotton, rayon and others. Plain weave, could be made from any fine material, e.g. organdy, lawn, etc. Treated with a caustic soda solution which shrinks parts of the goods either all over or in stripes giving a blistered effect. Similar to seersucker in appearance. This crinkle may or may not be removed after washing. This depends on the quality of the fabric.
A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from wood pulp, cotton linters, or other vegetable matter. Today, various names for rayon fibers are taken from different manufacturing processes. The two most commonly used production methods for rayon are the cuprammonium process and the viscose process.
A basic weave, characterized by long floats of yarn on the face of the fabric. The yarns are interlaced in such a manner that there is no definite, visible pattern of interlacing and, in this manner, a smooth and somewhat shiny surface effect is achieved. The shiny surface effect is further increased through the use of high luster filament fibers in yarns which also have a low amount of twist. A true satin weave fabric always has the warp yarns floating over filling yarns.
Selvage or Selvedge
The thin compressed edge of a woven fabric which runs parallel to the warp yarns and prevents raveling. It is usually woven, utilizing tougher yarns and a tighter construction than the rest of the fabric.
Named for the man who invented the machine to do the embroidery. All over, intricate, intertwining, decorative pattern embroidered onto the surface of English net or tulle giving a light, airy appearance, usually with a border.
Usually plain weave, woven with one color in the warp and another color in the filling, which gives the fabric an iridescent look. If fabric is moved in the light this color changes.
A natural filament fiber produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. It is soft and has a brilliant sheen. It is one of the finest textiles. It is also very strong and absorbent. Silk is one of the oldest known textile fibers and, according to Chinese tradition, was used as long ago as the 27th century BC. The silkworm moth was originally a native of China, and for about 30 centuries the gathering and weaving of silk was a secret process, known only to the Chinese. Silk is a natural protein fiber, like human hair, taken from the cocoon of the silkworm. The natural glue, sericin, secreted by silkworms and not totally removed during manufacturing of the silk, is a natural sizing which is brought out when washing in warm water. Most silk fabrics can be hand washed. Technically, silk does not shrink like other fibers. If the fabric is not tightly woven,
Short fibers, typically ranging from 1/2 inch up to 18 inches long. Wool, cotton, and flax exist only as staple fibers. Manufactured staple fibers are cut to a specific length from the continuous filament fiber. Usually the staple fiber is cut in lengths ranging from 1-1/2 inches to 8 inches long. A group of staple fibers are twisted together to form a yarn, which is then woven or knit into fabrics.
Swiss Bobbin Lace
A fine lace made of cotton threads, and in similar appearance to a net.
A lustrous, medium weight, plain weave fabric with a slight ribbed appearance in the filling (crosswise) direction. For formal wear, taffeta is a favorite choice. It provides a crisp hand, with lots of body. Silk taffeta gives the ultimate rustle, but other fibers are also good choices.
A lightweight, extremely fine, machine-made netting, usually with a hexagon shaped mesh effect. End-uses include dance costumes and veils.
Fabric so woven as to have a surface of diagonal parallel ridges.
A medium weight cut-pile constructed fabric in which the cut pile stands up very straight. It is woven using two sets of warp yarns; the extra set creates the pile. Velvet, a luxurious fabric, is commonly made with a filament fiber for high luster and smooth hand.
A cotton cut-pile weave fabric, utilizing extra fill yarn construction, with either a twill or a plain weave back. The fabric is woven with two sets of filling yarns; the extra set creates the pile.
Embroidery-style heavy lace not attached to net or any other background. Each motif is attached to the next by thread. May be cut into motifs or used all over. May be cotton or rayon (rayon gives a shiny appearance.)
The most common type of rayon. It is produced in much greater quantity than cuprammonium rayon, the other commercial type. Viscosea form of cellulose in a highly viscous state suitable for drawing into yarn.
A crisp, lightweight, plain weave cotton-like fabric, made with high twist yarns in a high yarn count construction. Similar in appearance to organdy and organza. Used in blouses dresses and curtains.
In woven fabric, the yarns that run lengthwise and is interwoven with the fill (weft) yarns.
In woven fabric, the filling yarns that run perpendicular to the warp yarns.
Usually associated with fiber or fabric made from the fleece of sheep or lamb. However, the term "wool" can also apply to all animal hair fibers, including the hair of the Cashmere or Angora goat or the specialty hair fibers of the camel, alpaca, llama, or vicuna. The outside surface of the fiber consists of a series of serrated scales which overlap each other much like the scales of a fish. Wool is the only fiber with such serration's which make it possible for the fibers to cling together and produce felt. The same serration's will also cling together tightly when wool is improperly washed and shrinks! Wool will not only return to its original position after being stretched or creased, it will absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp.
A tightly woven fabric made by using only long staple, combed wool or wool-blend yarns. The fabric has a hard, smooth surface. Gabardine is an example of a worsted fabric. A common end use is men's tailored suits.