THE FABRIC FAQ
By Chris Daley
Any reproduction of the following document without the express written consent of Chris Daley of C.J. Daley Historical Reproductions is strictly prohibted.
filling (see weft)
jute and burlap
selvage or selvedge
weft or filling
acetate A manufactured fiber formed by compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or wood pulp, and acedic acid that has been extruded through a spinneret and then hardened.
alpaca True alpaca is a hair fiber form the Alpaca animal, a member of the Ilama family of the South American Andes Mountains. Also imitated in wool, wool and alpaca, rayon, mohair and rayon or cotton and a cotton warp and alpaca filling also synthetics - e.g. orlon. Fine, silk-like, soft, light weight and warm. Has much luster and resembles mohair. If guard hairs are used it is inclined to be boardy. It is strong and durable. True alpaca is expensive so often combined with other fibers or imitated by other fibers - e.g. orlon.
blend A term applied to a yarn or a fabric that is made up of more than one fiber. In blended yarns, two or more different types of staple fibers are twisted or spun together to form the yarn. Examples of a typical blended yarn or fabric is polyester/cotton.
broadcloth Cotton and silk, and rayon. Plain weave and in most cotton broadcloths made with a very fine crosswise rib weave. Originally indicated a cloth woven on a wide loom. Very closely woven and in cotton, made from either carded or combed yarns. The filling is heavier and has less twist. It is finer than poplin when made with a crosswise rib and it is lustrous and soft with a good texture. Thread count ranges from high quality 144 x 60 count down to 80 x 60. Has a smooth finish. May be bleached, dyed, or printed; also is often mercerized. Wears very well. If not of a high quality or treated, it wrinkles very badly. Finest quality made from Egyptian or combed pima cotton - also sea island. Used in Shirts, dresses, particularly the tailored type in plain colors, blouses, summer wear of all kinds. (Wool Broadcloth) Usually a twill with a two up and one down construction. Some also in the plain weave. Has a napped face, closely sheared and polished, producing a silky gloss - in same group of fabrics as kersey, beaver cloth, melton. One way nap, must be handled like velvet when cutting. It comes in a variety of colours and weights. It is "dressy" fabric and must be handled with care - form fitting and drapes well.
burlap A coarse heavy plain-woven fabric usually of jute or hemp used for bagging and wrapping and in furniture and linoleum manufacture.
calico Cotton cloth imported from India; a plain white cotton fabric that is heavier than muslin; any of various cheap cotton fabrics with figured patterns. Originated in Calcutta, India, and is one of the oldest cottons. Rather coarse and light in weight. Pattern is printed on one side by discharge or resist printing. It is not always fast in color. Sized for crispness but washes out and requires starch each time. Designs are often geometric in shape, but originally elaborate designs of birds, trees, and flowers. Similar to percale.
cambric Soft, closely woven, light. Either bleached or piece dyed. Highly mercerized, lint free. Calendered on the right side with a slight gloss. Lower qualities have a smooth bright finish. Similar to batiste but is stiffer and fewer slubs. Launders very well. Has good body, sews and finishes well. Originally made in Cambria, France of linen and used for Church embroidery and table linens.
canton flannel Made of cotton. Four harness warp-faced twill weave. The filling yarn is a very loosely twisted and soft and later brushed to produced a soft nap on the back, the warp is medium in size. The face is a twill. Heavy, warm, strong and absorbent. Named for Canton, China where it was first made. Comes bleached, unbleached, dyed, and some is printed. Used in interlinings, sleeping garments, linings, coverings, work gloves.
canvas A firm closely woven cloth usually of linen, hemp, or cotton used for clothing and formerly much used for tents and sails. Plain weave. Mostly rugged, heavy material made from plied yarns. Has body and strength. It is usually manufactured in the grey state but some is dyed for different uses.
cashmere (Kashmir) From the Kashmir goat, a hair fiber found in Kashmir India, Tibet, Iran, Iraq, and South west China. Often mixed with wool or synthetics to cut costs and improve the wear. All weaves but mostly plain or twill. All knits. Fiber is cylindrical, soft and silken. More like wool than any othe hair fiber. Has a very soft silky finish; very light in weight. Doesn't stand up to hard wear on account of extremely soft downy finish. True color is brownish, but can be dyed any shade. Comes in different weights.
cassimere a closely woven smooth twilled usually wool fabric.
chintz Cotton plain weave. Has bright printed gay figures, large flower designs, birds and other designs. Also comes in plain colors. Several types of glaze. The wax and starch glaze produced by friction or glazing calendars will wash out. The resin glaze finish will not wash out and withstand drycleaning. Also comes semi-glazed. Unglazed chintz is called cretonne. Named from the Indian word "Chint" meaning "broad, gaudily printed fabric". Used in draperies, slipcovers, dresses, sportswear.
cloth The word cloth is sometimes used as a generic term for "fabric". The word cloth also considered a unit of length for measuring cloth. When the word "cloth" is used alone without any qualifiers, it usually refers to an all woolen fabric in the 19th Century..
cloth yard A yard esp. for measuring cloth; specific: a unit of 37 inches equal to the Scottish ell and used also as a length for arrows
corduroy A thick, cotton fabric with velvety ribs. Corduroy was originally used by the household staff of French kings and was called corde du roi or "cord of the king
cotton A plant of the Genus Gossypium, which yields fiber for the manufacture of durable and permanent fine papers and cellulose derivatives. The boll of the cotton plant is a capsule that bursts open when ripe, allowing the seed and attached lint (hairs) to be easily picked. The cotton fiber is removed from the seed by the ginning process. See also Cotton Linters Fiber from the seed pod of the cotton plant, the use of cotton dates back more than 5,000 years. Quality depends on the length of the fiber, longer being better, and fiber lengths vary from less than one-half inch to more than two inches.
* American Upland Cotton: Representing the bulk of the world crop, American Upland fiber runs between 3/4" and 1 1/4" .
* Egyptian Cotton : Long staple variety from Egypt with fiber length averaging 1 3/8".
* Pima Cotton: an excellent long staple variety grown in Arizona , New Mexico, Texas and California. It is a cross between Sea Island Cotton and Egyptian Cotton with fiber length averaging 1 1/2". The "SuPima" certification mark is used only when the product is made entirely from Southwestern extra-long staple cotton grown by members of the SuPima Association of America.
* Sea Island Cotton : The very finest and most expensive cotton, in very limited supply, with a fiber length greater than 1 1/2".
crêpe Worsted cotton, wool, silk, man-made synthetics. Mostly plain, but various weaves. Has a crinkled, puckered surface or soft mossy finish. Comes in different weights and degrees of sheerness. Dull with a harch dry feel. Woolen crepes are softer than worsted. If it is fine, it drapes well. Has very good wearing qualities. Has a very slimming effect. Depending on weight, it is used for dresses of all types, including long dinner dresses, suits, and coats.
denim Name derived from French "serge de Nimes". Originally had dark blue, brown or dark grey warp with a white or gray filling giving a mottled look and used only for work clothes. A firm durable twilled usually cotton fabric. [Plural] overalls or trousers usually of blue denim, namely a firm durable twilled usually cotton fabric woven with colored warp and white filling threads.
dimity Plain weave with a crosswise or lenghtwise spaced rib or crossbar effect; made of cotton. A thin sheer with corded spaced stripes that could be single, double or triple grouping. Made of combed yarn and is 36" wide. Has a crisp texture which remains fairly well after washing. Resembles lawn in the white state. It is easy to sew and to manipulate and launders well. Creases unless crease-resistant. May be bleached, dyed, or printed and often printed with a small rose-bud design. It is mercerized and has a soft luster. Used for children's dresses, women's dresses, and blouses, infant's wear, collar and cuff sets, basinettes, bedspreads, curtains, underwear. Has a very young look.
domett flannel Also spelled domet. Originally, domett (named for Josiah Domett, a cotton manufacturer in England) was introduced in the late 1820s (I believe). It is plain woven on a cotton warp with woolen filling and finished with a nap slightly raised. Plain or twill weave; cotton. Generally made in white. Has a longer nap than on flannelette. Soft filling yarns of medium or light weight are used to obtain the nap. The term domett is interchangeable with "outing flannel" but it is only made in a plain weave. Both are soft and fleecy and won't irritate the skin. Any sizing or starching must be removed before using. Outing flannel is also piece-dyed and some printed and produced in a spun rayon also. Mostly used for infants wear, interlinings, polished cloths.
drill A durable cotton twilled fabric. Twill. Left-hand twill. From top left to lower right. Closer, flatter wales that ganardine. Medium weight and course yarns are used. Also made in some other weights. Some left in the grey but can be bleached or dyed. When dyed a khaki colour it is known by that name.
duck Generally made of Cotton; originally made in linen. Also called canvas. Name originated in 18th Century when canvas sails from Britain bare the trademark symbol - a duck. Very closely woven and heavy. it is the most durable fabric made. There are many kinds of duck but the heavier weighs are called canvas. It may be unbleached, white, dyed, printed or painted. Washable, many are water-proof and wind proof. Made in various weights.
elastic An elastic fabric usually made of yarns containing rubber.
face The right side or the better-looking side of the fabric.
felt A cloth made of wool and fur often mixed with natural or synthetic fibers through the action of heat, moisture, chemicals, and pressure; a firm woven cloth of wool or cotton heavily napped and shrunk. An article of clothing made of felt, namely a cloth made of wool and fur made through the action of heat, moisture, chemicals, and pressure.
flannel Soft twilled wool or worsted fabric with a loose texture and a slightly napped surface; a plain or twill woven cotton fabric napped and of soft yarns simulating the texture of wool flannel; a stout cotton fabric usually napped on one side. [Plural] flannel underwear; outer garments, especially men's trousers, of flannel, namely soft twilled wool, cotton, or worsted fabric with a loose texture and a slightly napped surface. The cotton flannel must be made from cotton with a fiber long enough to hold in the yarn, otherwise the fibers will shed from the flannel or pill into little balls on the surface.
flax is often considered the oldest fiber used in the Western world. Remnants of flax fabric (linen) have been found in excavations at the historic lake regions of Switzerland, which date back to about 10,000 B.C. Although the archaeologists dispute the origins of flax , some believe that it came from the region of Tepe Sabz, Iran (Mesopotamia), ca. 5500 - 5000 B.C. By 4,000 B.C. the Egyptians were cultivating and processing flax and ancient wall carvings show laborers harvesting flax. Examples have been found that were spun so fine that more than 360 threads joined together to form one warp thread. The rather incredible characteristics and properties of flax are once again being recognized. Although linen has been primarily considered as a fashion fabric in modern times, the industry and the markets are beginning to understand its potential as a performance fiber, delivering high strength and durability, abrasion resistance and high moisture regain, as well as a luxurious hand and appearance.
gabardine A garment of gabardine, namely a durable wool or rayon fabric twilled with diagonal ribs on the right side. A firm hard-finish durable fabric (as of wool or rayon) twilled with diagonal ribs on the right side; also gaberdine. Steep twill ( approx. 63 degrees).
grosgrain A strong close-woven corded fabric usually of silk or rayon and often with cotton filler -- compare grogram.
hemp Cannabis sativa is a bast fiber that was probably used first in Asia. The fiber is dark tan or brown and is difficult to bleach, but it can be dyed bright and dark colors. The hemp fibers vary widely in length, depending upon their ultimate use. Industrial fibers may be several inches long, while fibers used for domestic textiles are about 3/4 inch to 1 inch (1.9 to 2.54 cm) long. The elongation (1 to 6 percent) is low and its elasticity poor. The thermal reactions of hemp and the effect of sunlight are the same as for cotton. Hemp is moth resistant, but it is not impervious to mildew. Coarse hemp fibers and yarns are woven into cordage, rope, sacking and heavy-duty tarpaulins. In Italy, fine hemp fibers are used for interior design and apparel fabrics. Hemp is a plant grown in nearly all the temperate countries of the world. It furnishes a bast fiber, obtained by a retting process, which is used for rope and textiles. Some of the fiber enters the paper industry as waste material. The term hemp has also come to be used in a generic sense as fiber and then preceded by an adjective, for example, Manila Hemp, Sisal Hemp.
herringbone A twilled fabric with a herringbone pattern, namely a pattern made up of rows of parallel lines which in any two adjacent rows slope in opposite directions. A suit made of herringbone, namely a twilled fabric with a herringbone pattern, namely rows of parallel lines which in any two adjacent rows slope in opposite directions
homespun A loosely woven usually woolen or linen fabric originally made from homespun yarn. Coarse, rugged yarn is used. Originally an un dyed woolen cloth spun into yarn and woven in the home, by peasants and country folk the world over. Has substantial appearance and serviceable qualities. Made with irregular, slightly twisted uneven yarns. Has a spongy feel with a hand-loomed tweedy appearance. Genuine homespun is produced in a very limited quantity and much power loom cloth is sold as genuine homespun. Many qualities are made, the best is an ideal rough-and-ready type of cloth.
jeans Also jean and janes... Old weaving books generally show jean drafts as a 2/1 twill. There are other variations that also use jeans as part of their description. Jeans is an unbalanced twill that presents a different face and back (similar to modern blue jeans). Originally an all cotton fabric, jeans was being woven with a woolen filling in America by the 18th century.
From an 1880's "encyclopedia" we find: "A stout, round-twilled cloth, woven properly with cotton warp and woolen weft but, often composed entirely of cotton...Much of the homespun woven throughout the Middle and Southern States in the early days was jean, the woolen weft of which was commonly dyed in shades blue, brown and slate. The local woolen mills of Kentucky have long enjoyed a reputation for the quality and quantity of the jeans which they produced, hence the name Kentucky jeans has come to be generally applied to the cloth, whether made in Kentucky or elsewhere."
Similar to jeans, the fabric we now call denim existed in the mid-19th Century. I have seen one Confederate uniform (blue) and a flap (also blue) in a Confederate knapsack of the same. The Huntsville Penitentiary in Texas produced cotton jeans (not blue) throughout the era. A writer describing Confederate dead at Gettysburg stated that some even wore blue cotton jean roundabouts. Civil War era writings abound with references to jeans when describing Confederate uniforms.
jute and burlap jute is used in textiles for interiors, especially for wall hangings and a group of bright, homespun-effect draperies and wall coverings. Natural jute has a yellow to brown or gray color, with a silky luster. It consists of bundles of fiber held together by gummy substances that are pertinacious in character. It is difficult to bleach completely, so many fabrics are bright, dark, or natural brown in color. Jute reacts to chemicals in the same way as do cotton and flax. It has a good resistance to microorganisms and insects. Moisture increases the speed of deterioration but dry jute will last for a very long time. Jute works well for bagging, because it does not extend and is somewhat rough and coarse. This tends to keep stacks of bags in position and resist slippage. It is widely used in the manufacture of linoleum and carpets for backing or base fabric.
kersey A coarse ribbed woolen cloth for hose and work clothes; a heavy wool or wool and cotton fabric used especially for uniforms and coats. A garment made of kersey fabric, namely a heavy wool or wool and cotton fabric. Wool - poor quality, can also be made of re-used or remanufactured wool. Originated in Kersey, England in 11th century. Very similar to beaver but it is fulled more, has a shorter nap and a much higher luster.
kerseymere A fine woolen fabric with a close nap made in fancy twill weaves.
knit fabrics Fabrics made from only one set of yarns, all running in the same direction. Some knits have their yarns running along the length of the fabric, while others have their yarns running across the width of the fabric. Knit fabrics are held together by looping the yarns around each other. Knitting creates ridges in the resulting fabric. Wales are the ridges that run lengthwise in the fabric; courses run crosswise
lamb's wool The first clip of wool sheered from lambs up to eight months old. The wool is soft, slippery and resilient. It is used in fine grade woolen fabrics.
linen One of the oldest natural fibers used for clothing. It pre-dates the Egyptians. Made from flax fibers, it is noted for its strength, coolness and luster. Also used as a name of fabric woven with linen fibers in a plain weave. Natural linen has variety in the coloration and size of the fibers, producing a slightly uneven surface. Can also refer to a similar fabric produced from man-made fibers to mimic the natural version.
linsey-woolsey A coarse sturdy fabric of wool linen or cotton.
mackinaw wool. Ordinary grade of wool and often has shoddy re-used or remanufactured wool mixed in. Sometimes a cotton warp is used. Very heavily felted and napped on both sides to conceal the weave. Much of the fabric is in a plaid or large check design or brightly colored, or different colors on each side. Heavy and thick, very similar to melton. Named for MacKinac Island, Michigan. Also called ski cloth or snow cloth. Miners, lumbermen, hunters, trappers, fishermen, and cowboys use much of the fabric for jackets, mackinaws and coats. Also used for blankets, shirts, and some heavy sportswear, windbreakers.
melton wool, sometimes combined with synthetics. Twill or satin weave. Thick well fulled or felted wool with a smooth surface. Napped and very closely sheared. Coarse meltons are similar to makinaws but made of finer yarns and finished with a smoother, more lustrous surface - used for "under collar cloth" in lighter weights. Very solid cloth due to the finishing processes that completely conceal the weave. It wears very well. Wind resistant. If made in tan or buff color in a coarse quality, it is called "Box cloth". It is classed with kersey, beaver, and broadcloth. Originated in Melton, Mowbray, England, which is a fox hunting report in england. It was first made as a hunting cloth. Looks like wool felt - pressed flat. Mostly used for men in over coating, uniform cloth of all kinds (army, navy, etc., as well as polie and firemen), pea jackets, regal liverly. Used for heavy outer sports garments and coats for women.
mohair From the angora goat. Some has cotton warp and mohair filling (sometimes called brilliantine). Imitation mohair made from wool or a blend. Plain or twill or knitted. 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 S.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.
moleskin A heavy durable cotton fabric with a short thick velvety nap on one side. A garment of moleskin, namely a durable cotton with a velvety nap on one side [Usually used in plural]
muslin A plain weave with cotton fibers. Can be unbleached or bleached. The weight of the fibers can vary and will determine the strength and weight of the final fabric. Generally an inexpensive fabric. Also a term used to denote a mock up costume.
nankeen A durable brownish yellow cotton fabric originally loomed by hand in China. Trousers made of nankeen, namely a durable brownish yellow cotton cloth originally hand-loomed in China
nylon Produced in 1938, the first completely synthetic fiber developed. Known for its high strength and excellent resilience, nylon has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility.
oilcloth Cloth treated with oil or paint and used for table and shelf coverings.
Osnaburg A coarse linen fabric that originated in Prussia. By the early 19th century cotton had supplanted linen in the production of many American fabrics. Osnaburg was applied to plain, coarse cottons made in imitation of the original osnaburg. In 18th and 19th century documents osnaburg appears as osnaburgh, ozenbrig, oznabrig.
pill A tangled ball of fibers that appears on the surface of a fabric, as a result of wear or continued friction or rubbing on the surface of the fabric.
Plain weave is made by weaving one weft yarn over and under each warp yarn, alternating each row. It is the most common type of weave.
polyester A manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950s, and is second only to cotton in worldwide use. Polyester has high strength (although somewhat lower than nylon), excellent resiliency, and high abrasion resistance. Low absorbency allows the fiber to dry quickly. Polyester is both a trade name referring to a specific formula for a man-made fiber and a generic name referring to any man-made fiber. Either way, they are distinguished by easy care, lack of susceptibility to wrinkles and are very durable. Used alone or in blends with other man-made and natural fibers.
plush velvet or velveteen where the pile is 1/8" thick or more. ex) Cotton velour, hat velour, plush "fake furs".
poplin Cotton, wool, and other textile fibers. Crosswise rib. The filling is cylindrical. Two or three times as many warp as weft per inch. Has a more pronounced filling effect than broadcloth. It is mercerized and has quite a high luster. It may be bleached, or dyed (usually vat dyes are used) or printed. Heavy poplin is given a water-repellent finish for outdoor use. Originally made with silk warp and a heavier wool filling. Some also mildew-proof, fire-retardant, and some given a suede finish. American cotton broadcloth shirting is known as poplin in Great Britain.
rayon (viscose) A fabric made from rayon, namely any of a group of smooth textile fibers made from regenerated cellulose by extrusion through minute holes. A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose in which substituents have replaced not more than 15 percent of the hydrogens of the hydroxyl group. The first of the man-made fibers, it was developed as a substitute for silk. Woven, it has a soft hand and very good drapeability.
rib weave A basic weave pattern in which the warp fibers and the filling fibers are of two different widths. Generally the filling fibers are fatter than the warp fibers, creating a a series of horizontal ribs.
sailcloth Cotton, linen, nylon. Plain weave, some made with a crosswise rib. A strong canvas or duck. The weights vary, but most often the count is around 148 x 60. Able to withstand the elements (rain, wind and snow). Sailcloth for clothing is sold frequently and is much lighter weight than used for sails.
sateen Cotton, some also made in rayon. Sateen, 5-harness, filling-face weave. Lustrous and smooth with the sheen in a filling direction. Carded or combed yarns are used. Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Some are only calendared to produce the sheen but this disappears with washing and is not considered genuine sateen. May be bleached, dyed, or printed. Difficult to make good bound buttonholes on it as it has a tendency to slip at the seams.
satin silk, rayon, synthetics. Originated in China (Zaytoun, China - now Canton - a port from which satins were exported during the Middle Ages). Became known in Europe during the XIIth, and XIIIth Centuries in Italy. Became known in England by the XIVth Century. It became a favorite of all court life because of its exquisite qualities and feel. Usually has a lustrous surface and a dull back. The luster is produced by running it between hot cylinders. Made in many colors, weights, varieties, qualities, and degrees of stiffness. A low grade silk or a cotton filling is often used in cheaper cloths.
satin weave The satin weave is made by "floating" the warp or weft yarns across several yarns to bring them to the surface. Bringing the yarns to the surface gives the fabric sheen because light is reflected off the yarn surface, not absorbed by the intersections of yarns such as in a plain weave.
satinet A thin silk satin or imitation satin or A cotton warped, woolen filled fabric, woven and finished to resemble an all wool fabric on the face. 18th and 19th century weaving books show satinets in four, five, six and eight shaft twills. Numerous references to satinet uniforms worn by both the South and North appear in early war documents.
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.
silk A garment made of silk; a distinctive gown worn by a King's or Queen's Counsel; [Plural] the colored cap and blouse of a jockey or harness horse driver made in the registered racing color of the employing stable. Thread, yarn, or fabric made from silk filaments.
thread A slender, strong strand or cord, especially one designed for sewing or other needle work. Most threads are made by plying and twisting yarns. A wide variety of thread types is in use today e.g. spun cotton and spun polyester, core-spun cotton with a polyester filament core, polyester or nylon filaments (often bonded) , and monofilament threads.
thread count Measured by adding the number of warp ends per inch and filling picks per inch in the woven fabric. The higher the number, the more dense the yarns are packed together, but unfortunately thread count has come to be the major determinant of quality in the U.S. customer's eyes. The quality of the cotton and the finishing process after weaving can often be more important to the soft hand and durability of a fabric than a high thread count.
ticking A strong linen or cotton fabric used in upholstering and as a covering for a mattress or pillow.
ticking cotton; usually twill (L2/1 or L3/1), some jacquard, satin, and dobby. Very tightly woven with more warp than filling yarns. Very sturdy and strong, smooth and lustrous. Usually has white and colored stripes, but some patterned (floral). Can be made water-repellent, germ resistant, and feather-proof. "Bohemian ticking" has a plain weave, a very high texture, and is featherproof. Lighter weight than regular ticking. Patterned with narrow colored striped on a white background or may have a chambray effect by using a white or unbleached warp with a blue or red filling.
tricot A plain warp-knitted fabric (as of nylon, wool, rayon, silk, or cotton) with a close inelastic knit and used especially in clothing (as underwear); a twilled clothing fabric of wool with fine warp ribs or of wool and cotton with fine weft ribs. Vertical wales on surface and more or less crosswise ribs on the back. Has a thin texture, made from very fine or single yarns. Glove silk is a double bar tricot (very run-resistant). Used for underwear, sportswear, bathing suits, gloves.
tricotine A sturdy suiting woven of tightly twisted yarns in a double twill. Has a double twill rib on the face of the cloth. Has a very clear finish. It drapes well, and tailors easily. Medium in weight. Has exceptional wearing qualities. Very much like cavalry twill, but finer. In the same family as whipcords, coverts, and gabardines. 63 twill, left to right (double). Worsted, wool, rayon, blends with synthetics.
twill A fabric with a twill weave, namely a textile weave in which the filling threads pass over one and under two or more warp threads to give an appearance of diagonal lines.
twill weave is similar to a satin weave in the sense that the loom is floating the warp or weft yarns over yarns of the opposite direction, but with a twill the yarn is only passing over two of the opposite yarns. A twill is distinctive by the diagonal lines that appear in the fabric. A twill weave, like a satin weave, usually results in a softer fabric than a plain weave. It is excellent for brushed or napped cotton, and is superior for a feather pillow ticking because of its strength.
velvet Silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics, and a little wool and worsted. Pile, made with an extra warp yarn. Mostly made with a plain back but some with a twill. Some are made with a silk pile and a rayon or cotton back. Terms comes from the Latin "vellus", meaning a fleece or tufted hair. Comes in many types, qualities, and weights. Good velvet wears fairly well and is inexpensive. The cheaper cloths give little service and look well only a few times before beginning to deteriorate. Better velvet may be crush resistant, water resistant, and drapes well. Has to be handled with care, and pressed on a velvet board. Cut all one way. For the maximum amount of depth in the color, cut with the pile running up. It also wears better when cut this way. Velvet should be cut with very simple lines in the garment, so not to destroy the beauty of the fabric. It has the tendency to add weight to the figure.
velvet satin A satin weave is used as the base for this luxurious figured silk, made with a cut pile effect.
velveteen a clothing fabric usually of cotton in twill or plain weaves made a short close weft pile in imitation of velvet. Woven with a extra filling yarn with either a plain or a twill back (twill back is the best). Warp yarns 80/inch - weft ranges from 175 to 600 depending on the desired density of the pile. Mercerized with a durable finish. Strong and takes hard wear. Poor quality rubs off. Some of it can be laundered. It is warm. Comes in all colors, gradually piece dyed or may be printed. Has to be cut all one way. Press carefully, preferably on a velvet board, or tumble dry after laundering (no pressing needed).
velveteens Clothing made of velveteen, namely a clothing fabric usually of cotton in twill or plain weaves made a short close weft pile in imitation of velvet
warp The yarns that run the length of the loom. The warp yarns are pulled through the loom as the weft or filling yarns are woven across the warp to make the fabric.
weaving is an ancient art of making fabric, with no new types of weaves having been developed since 1747. The warp yarns and weft yarns are interlaced (woven) with each other to make a fabric (vs. a knit where the yarns are looped together). There are three basic weaving constructions.
* Plain weave : The Plain Weave is made by weaving one weft yarn over and under each warp yarn, alternating each row. It is the most common type of weave.
* Twill weave: The twill weave is similar to a satin weave in the sense that the loom is floating the warp or weft yarns over yarns of the opposite direction, but with a twill the yarn is only passing over two of the opposite yarns. A twill is distinctive by the diagonal lines that appear in the fabric. A twill weave, like a satin weave, usually results in a softer fabric than a plain weave. It is excellent for brushed or napped cotton, and is superior for a feather pillow ticking because of its strength.
* Satin weave: the satin weave is made by "floating" the warp or weft yarns across several yarns to bring them to the surface. Bringing the yarns to the surface gives the fabric sheen because light is reflected off the yarn surface, not absorbed by the intersections of yarns such as in a plain weave.
* Cambric: a plain weave construction, Cambric fabric is also calendared (passed between rollers under heat and pressure) to give the surface a shine. Originally made in Cambrai, France.
* Sateen: a satin weave construction, usually made of mercerized combed cotton, where the weave and quality of cotton give the fabric a wonderful shine and softness.
* Warp: the yarns that run the length of the loom. The warp yarns are pulled through the loom as the weft or filling yarns are woven across the warp to make the fabric.
* Weft or Filling: The yarns that are woven across the loom, with Weft being the English term and Filling being the American term. The individual yarns are also known as Picks.
weft or filling The yarns that are woven across the loom, with Weft being the English term and Filling being the American term. The individual yarns are also known as Picks.
wool A woven fabric of wool, namely the soft wavy or curly hypertrophied undercoat of various hairy mammals and especially the sheep made of a matrix of keratin fibers and covered with minute scales. A garment made of wool. The term 'wool' refers to the fibers from the fleece of lambs, sheep, Cashmere goats, Angora goats, camels, llamas, alpacas, and vicunas. Wool from sheep is the most common, lamb's wool is shorn from sheep less than eight months old, and Merino wool is from a specific breed that yields the finest and softest sheep wool
worsted A fabric made from worsted yarn, namely a smooth compact yarn from long wool fibers used especially for firm nap-less fabrics.
yarn A generic term for a continuous strand spun from a group of natural or synthetic staple fibers, or filaments, used in weaving, knitting to form textile fabrics.
Written By Chris Daley of C.J. Daley Historical Reproductions www.cjdaley.com