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Fabric Dictionary - Made To Measure Clothiers.com
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Fabric Dictionary


Fiber: Cellulose


Characteristics: Often cheap linings and taffeta. soft and has a crisp feel. It has the lustrous appearance of silk and excellent drapability. It is not a strong Fiber, as it’s resistance to abrasion is poor. It does resist shrinkage, moths, and mildew and does not absorb moisture readily. It’s yarns are pliable and supple and will always sprig back to their original shape. It is fast drying and when heated becomes more pliable. Acetone and alcohol dissolve acetate Fibers. Special dyes are required if it is be colored. Today Acetate can be found in a variety of colors.

Uses: Clothing, uniforms, lingerie, linings, interlinings.




Characteristics: manufactured fiber, durable, soft, woolly feel.  It comes in a variety of colors, and can be dyed easily. It is resistant to sun and chemicals.

Uses: Often used as a replacement for wool.


Fiber: Cotton, also rayon and wool.

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Light weight, soft, semi-sheer fabric. It belongs to the lawn family; almost  transparent. Sometimes it is printed or embroidered. In a heavier weight, it is used for foundation garments and linings in a plain, figured, striped, or flowered design. Now usually made of 100% polyester distinguished by slubs in filling direction.



Fiber: Wool, also in rayon, silk, cotton, linen, blends, hair Fibers.

Weave: Any weave, knit.

Characteristics: A drawn out or ringed, looped yarn is used to give it a kinky appearance at intervals. Made in a variety of weights. Boucle yarns are usually in both the filling and the warp. Fabrics are usually springy to handle on account of the highly twisted yarns used to achieve the boucle effect. Often ravels easily.

Uses: Coats, suits, dresses, sportswear.



Fiber: Cotton and silk, and rayon. Very different than wool broadcloth.

Weave: Plain weave, most cotton broadcloths made with a very fine crosswise rib weave.

Characteristics: Very closely woven.  Filling is heavier and has less twist. It is finer than poplin when made with a crosswise rib.  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.

Uses: Shirts, dresses, particularly the tailored type in plain colors, blouses, summer wear.



Fiber: Cotton brocade often has the ground of cotton and the pattern of rayon and silk.

Weave: Jacquard and dobby. Pattern is in low relief.

Characteristics: Rich, heavy, elaborate design effect. Sometimes with colored or metallic threads making the design usually against a satin weave background. This makes the figures stand out. The figures in brocade are rather loose, while in damask the figure threads are actually bound into the material. The pattern may be satin on a twill ground or twill on a satin ground. Often reversible. The motifs may be of flowers, foliage, scrollwork, pastoral scenes, or other designs.

Uses: church vestments, interior furnishings, and state robes evening wear.



Fiber: Silk, rayon, cotton, and all others.

Weave: Jacquard and dobby.

Characteristics: Rich, heavy, elaborate design effect. Sometimes with colored or metallic threads making the design usually against a satin weave background. This makes the figures stand out. The pattern may be satin on a twill ground or twill on a satin ground. Often reversible. The motifs may be of flowers, foliage, scrollwork, pastoral scenes, or other designs. The price range is wide.

Uses: evening wear, church vestments, interior furnishings, and state robes.



Fiber: Cotton, some in linen, synthetics.

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: 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 and/or water. Can be shaped while warm or wet.

Uses: Used for interlinings and all kinds of stiffening in clothes and for millinery. Used to give stiffness to leather garments not as stiff and often colored is called “tarlatan”.



See Jute



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain – usually a low count.

Characteristics: Rather coarse and light in weight. Pattern is printed on one. It is not always colorfast. Sized for crispness but washes out and requires starch each time. Designs are often geometric or floral. Inexpensive. Similar to percale. Very little on the market to-day, but the designs are still in use on other fabrics and sold as “calico print”.

Uses: Housedresses, aprons, patchwork quilts.

Calico print

See Calico


see Duck



Fiber: Linen, cotton.

Weave: Plain.

Characteristics: Mostly rugged, heavy material made from plied yarns. Has body and strength. It is usually manufactured in the gray state but some is dyed for different uses. Almost the same as duck in heavier weights. Has an even weave.

Uses: Hair canvas is an interfacing material in various weights.



Fiber: Wool-also made in cotton, hair Fiber, rayon, and a silk warp and worsted filling.

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Soft, very lightweight. May be dyed or printed with a delicate floral pattern, paisleys, or geometric patterns and faint designs. Often washable.

Uses: Women’s and children’s dresses and blouses, kimonos, neckties, and sportswear.



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain weave or dobby designs on a plain-weave ground.

Characteristics: Made with a dyed warp and a white or unbleached filling. Has a white selvedge. Some woven with alternating white and colored warp. “Faded” look. Has very soft coloring. Some made with stripes, checks or embroidered. Smooth, strong, closely woven, soft and has a slight lustre. Wears very well, easy to sew, and launders well. If not crease resistant, it wrinkles easily

Uses: Children’s wear, dresses, shirts and blouses, aprons, all kinds of sportswear.



Fiber: Cotton, also rayon and nylon.

Weave: Knitted, double knit construction.

Characteristics: A fine, firmly knit fabric. Has a very short soft nap. Wears well. Nylon

chamoisette is more often called “glove silk”.

Uses: Gloves.



Fiber: rayon, cotton and manufactured Fibers

Weave: Satin

Characteristics: supreme luster and drapability. has a dull back.

Uses: Pajamas, dresses, and evening gowns.



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Loosely woven, thin, light in weight, open in construction, and soft. It is also called gauze weave. When woven in 36″ widths it is called tobacco cloth. When an applied finish is added, it is called buckram, crinoline, or bunting.

Uses: In the gray cloth, it is used for covering tobacco plants, tea bags and wiping cloths.


Chenille Fabric

Fiber: Cotton and any of the main textile Fibers.

Weave: Mostly plain weave.

Characteristics: Warp yarn of any major textile Fiber. Filling of chenille yarns (has a pile protruding all around at right angles). The word is French for caterpillar and fabric looks hairy.



Fiber: Silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Lightweight, sheer, transparent. Made with very fine, tightly twisted yarns. The tightly twisted yarns could be either in the filling or the warp or both. It is very strong, despite filmy look. Wears very well. It is very difficult to handle when sewing and it is best to baste the pieces over tissue to make it easier. It has slightly bumpy look. It is best suited to shirring, draping, gathering, tucking, etc., because it is so limp. If made in a straight sheath style, it should be underlined with very firm fabric. e.g. faille taffeta.

Uses: evening wear, blouses, scarves.


China Silk

Fiber: Silk.


Characteristics: Very soft and extremely lightweight but fairly strong. Irregularities of threads caused by the extreme lightness and softness are characteristic of the fabric.

Uses: Mostly for linings and underlinings, and could be used for blouses.



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Twill

Characteristics: Combined two-ply warp and filling. Has a sheen that remains.  Washes and wears extremely well with a minimum of care.

Uses: Army uniforms, summer suits and dresses, sportswear.



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Has bright gay figures, large flower designs, birds and other designs. Also comes in plain colors. Named from the Indian word “Chint” meaning “broad, gaudily printed fabric”.

Uses: Draperies, slipcovers, dresses, sportswear.



Fiber: Cotton, rayon, and other textile Fibers.

Weave: Filling Pile with both plain and twill back.

Characteristics: Made with an extra filling yarn. In the velvet family of fabrics. Has narrow medium and wide wales, also thick n’thin or checkerboard patterns. Wales have different widths and depths. Has to be cut all one way with pile running up. Most of it is washable and wears very well. Has a soft lustre.

Uses: jackets, skirts, suits, slacks, men’s trousers, jackets, bedspreads, and upholstery.





Characteristics: It is one of the world’s major textile Fibers.  There are four main types of cotton: American Upland, Egyptian, Sea Island and Asiatic. Cotton, in general, is very elastic. It can withstand high temperatures, has high washability and dyes well.

Uses: Clothing, households.



Fiber: Worsted cotton, wool, silk, man-made synthetics.

Weave: Mostly plain, but various weaves.

Characteristics: Has a crinkled, puckered surface or soft mossy finish. Comes in different weights and degrees of sheerness. If it is fine, it drapes well. Has very good wearing qualities. Has a very slimming effect.

Uses: Depending on weight, it is used for dresses of all types, including long dinner

dresses, suits, and coats.



Fiber: Woolen, worsted cotton, silk, man-made synthetics.

Weave: Mostly plain, but various weaves.

Characteristics: Has a crinkled, puckered surface or soft mossy finish. Comes in different weights and degrees of sheerness. Dull. Woolen crepes are softer than worsted. If it is fine, it drapes well. Has very good wearing qualities. Has a very slimming effect.

Uses: Depending on weight, it is used for dresses of all types, including long dinner dresses, suits, and coats.



See wool for general notes. They all have a pebbled, rough feel and appearance. Yarns

have a high twist in the filling or the warp or both. Most crepes launder well with care.


Crepe de Chine (See Crepe)

Silk warp and crepe twist silk filling 25 x 22. More ends than picks per inch. Has a soft hand and considerable lustre. Made of raw silk or rayon. It is easy to manipulate and handle. Very long wearing. Most of it launders well. It is fairly sheer. Could be piece dyed or printed. Has a slight rippled texture. Heavy crepe de chine is called “Canton crepe” which is slightly ribbed and now mostly made in rayon.


Crepe-back satin (See Satin and Crepe)

Satin weave on the face and a crepe effect on the back obtained with twisted crepe yarns in the filling. It is a soft fabric which is reversible. Very interesting effects can be obtained in a garment by using both sides, in different parts. e.g. the crepe side for the body and trim or binding with the satin part up.

Uses: Dresses, blouses, linings, evening wear.


crepe-satin (See Crepe-Back Satin)




Weave: Plain

Characteristics: It is a very loosely woven Fiber with high rigidity. It is smooth, stiff, and has excellent strength. It’s comes in a variety of shades from white to black.

Uses: Stiffening, making interlining for hat shapes.



Fiber: Linen, silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics, wool, worsteds.

Weave: Figured on Jacquard loom.

Characteristics: Originally made of silk. Very durable. Reversible fabric with woven pattern. Sheds dirt. The firmer the texture, the better the quality. Launders well and holds a high lustre – particularly in linen.


Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Twill – right hand – may be L2/1 or L3/1.

Characteristics: Originally had dark blue, brown or dark gray warp with a white or gray filling giving a mottled look and used only for work clothes. Now woven in bright and pastel colors with stripes as well as plain. Long wearing, it resists snags and tears. Comes in heavy and lighter weights.

Uses: Pants, caps, uniforms, bedspreads, slipcovers, draperies, upholstery, sportswear.



Fiber: Wool and also rayon.

Weave: A satin weave.

Characteristics: Very smooth, lustrous surface made with a slight short nap very close and compact weave to look like fine leather. Weave not visible because of napping. Very high quality wool used. Needs care in handling. Medium weight.

Uses: Women’s suits and coats, and also in a lighter weight for dresses. Sportswear and

riding habits for both men and women. Trousers and waistcoats for men.


Dotted Swiss

Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain weave for ground

Characteristics: Dots single or multicolored regularly or irregularly placed on a semi-sheer usually crisp fabric. It is made in 32″ widths. The ground fabric is usually a voil or a lawn.

Uses: Children’s/women’s summer dresses & blouses, aprons, curtains. Young looking.


Double-face Satin (see Satin)

Yarn woven with two warps and one filling, to simulate a double satin construction. Has

satin on both sides. Cotton filling is often used in cheaper qualities.



Fiber: Cotton, wool, worsted, silk, rayon, and synthetics

Weave: Circular or flat-needle bar type

Characteristics: Two faced. Either face may be used as the right side.



Fiber: Cotton, wool, worsted, silk, rayon, and synthetics

Weave: Circular or flat-needle bar type

Characteristics: Two faced, either face may be utilized as the right side.



Fiber: Silk

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: 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. 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



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Twill.

Characteristics: Closer, flatter wales that gabardine. Medium weight and course yarns are used. Also made in some other weights.

Uses: Uniforms, work clothes, slip covers, sportswear, and many industrial uses.


Duchess (see Satin)

An 8-12 shaft satin. It is a dress fabric. Very fine yarns are used, particularly in the warp with more ends/inch than picks. The material is string, has a high lustre, and texture, and

it is firm. Usually 36″ wide. Characterized by grainy twill on back.



Fiber: Cotton. Originally made in linen.

Weave: Plain, but also crosswise rib.

Characteristics: Also called canvas. 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.

Uses: Utility clothing in lighter weights—trousers, jackets, aprons.



Fiber: Good quality wool. If made in cotton, is usually called suede cloth.

Weave: Satin, 7 or 8 shaft.

Characteristics: Close weave, brushed, singed, and sheared to conceal the weave, smooth plush appearance resembling a compact velvet.

Uses: Women’s coats, suits, and dresses, depending on the weight, millinery.


Fiber: Silk, rayon.

Weave: Crosswise rib.

Characteristics: Has a definite crosswise rib effect. Very soft material that drapes well. Finer than gros grain but in that family – ribs are also flatter than in grosgrain. Has a lustrous finish.

Uses: Dresses, blouses, soft evening purses, some dressy coats.


Faille Taffeta (See Taffeta)

Made with a crosswise rib weave. Has distinct rib effect, usually quite heavy and firm.



Fiber: Wool, reprocessed wool, reused wool, scrap Fiber, can be mixed with other Fibers

Weave: Not woven

Characteristics: A very compact fabric in various weights and thicknesses. Has no grain so can be cut any way. Needs no hemming or finishing, because it does not fray.

Uses: slippers, lining of many kinds, insoles, hats and felt skirts.



Fiber: Wool, worsted, cotton, rayon.

Weave: Usually twill, some plain.

Characteristics: Soft, with a napped surface that partially cancels the weave. Dull finish. Made in a variety of weights. Shrinks if not pre-shrunk. Sags with wear, unless underlined. Does not shine or hold a crease. Watch pressing – if pressed too hard, it flattens the nap.

Uses: Blazers, dresses, skirts, suits and coats. Boys suits, jackets, and shirts.



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain and twill.

Characteristics: A heavy, soft material with a napped finish, usually only on one side. In cheaper qualities the nap comes off. Launders well, easy to manipulate and is warm to wear. There are many types on the market. It may be bleached, dyed, printed, or woven in

colored stripes.

Uses: Infants and children’s wear, men’s, women’s and children’s sleeping wear, pocket

linings, quilts, shirtings.





Characteristics: Linen. It’s color is usually off-white or tan and due to it’s natural wax content, flax has excellent luster. It is considered to be the strongest of the vegetable Fibers and is highly absorbent, allowing moisture to evaporate with speed. It conducts heat well and can be readily boiled. It’s washability is great, however, it has poor elasticity and does not easily return to it’s original shape after creasing.

Uses: Apparel fabric.



Fiber: Wool, specialty hair Fibers, cotton.

Weave Plain, twill, pile or knitted.

Characteristics: Has a deep, soft nap or pile, obtained by heavily napping with wire brushes or with a pile weave. This provides air space giving good insulating properties without too much weight. Material is often cumbersome and bulky, therefore it may be difficult to manipulate.

Uses: Mostly used for coats for men, women, and children.



Fiber: Worsted cotton, rayon, or mixtures.

Weave: Steep twill

Characteristics: Clear finish, tightly woven, firm, durable. 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.

Uses: Men’s and women’s tailored suits, coats, raincoats, uniforms, and men’s shirts.



Fiber: Worsted cotton, rayon, or mixtures.

Weave Steep twill

Characteristics: 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.

Uses: Men’s and women’s tailored suits, coats, raincoats, uniforms, and men’s shirts.



Fiber: Usually done in silk but can also manufactured Fibers

Weave: Plain

Characteristics:. It is characterized by it’s crispness, body and outstanding durability. It is sheer and has a dull face.


Georgette Crepe (see Crepe and Georgette)

Lightweight, heavy, sheer fabric. Has a dull, crinkled surface. Georgette has a harder, duller, more crinkled feel and appearance than crepe de chine.

Uses: evening wear and dressy afternoon and weddings, lingerie, scarves, etc. Same uses

as crepe de chine.



Fiber: Cotton, man-made, and synthetics.

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Medium or fine yarns of varying quality are used to obtain the checks, plaids, stripes. The cloth is yarn dyed or printed. The warp and the filling are usually balanced and if checks of two colors, usually same sequence in both the warp and the filling. It launders well but low textured, cheap fabric may shrink considerably unless preshrunk. Has a soft, dull lustre surface. Wrinkles unless wrinkle-resistant.

Uses: Dresses, blouses for women & children, kerchiefs, aprons, beach wear, pajamas.


Herringbone Twill


Weave: Twill

Characteristics: pattern resembles the skeleton of the Herring. It is usually created in wool and has varying qualities. It is also known as Arrowhead.

Uses: Suitings, top coatings, sports coats.



Fiber: Wool, worsted, cotton, linen, rayon, silk, hem, jute.

Weave Basket.

Characteristics: Made with coarse yarn. Has a rather rough texture and quite durable.

Often quite bulky but various weights.

Uses: Men’s and women’s sportswear, coats, suits. If fine, used for dresses.



Fiber: usually wool.

Weave: broken twill weave.

Characteristics: weaned into an irregular check of a four pointed star.

Uses: sportcoats, suits.



Fiber: Silk.

Weave: Gauze or made on bobbinet machine or knotted.

Characteristics: A 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.

Uses: Veilings, particularly for weddings, trimmings.



Fiber: Wool, silk, cotton, rayon, and synthetics.

Weave: Knitted on circular, flat-bed or warp knitted methods (later popular as a


Characteristics: Right side has lengthwise ribs (wales) and wrong side has crosswise ribs (courses). Very elastic with good draping qualities. Has special crease-resistant qualities due to its construction. Can look very much like woven fabric. Wears very well and if washable, it washes very well.

Uses: Dress goods, sportswear, suits, underwear, coats, gloves, sweaters, hats, t-shirts.



Fiber: Wool, worsted, silk, cotton, rayon, and synthetics.

Weave: Knitted

Characteristics: Right side has lengthwise ribs (wales) and wrong side has crosswise ribs (courses). Very elastic with good draping qualities. Has special crease-resistant qualities due to its construction. Can look very much like woven fabric. Wears very well and if washable, it washes very well.

Uses: Dress goods, sportswear, suits, underwear, coats, gloves, sweaters, hats.


Jute (Burlap)

Fiber: Cellulose


Characteristics: 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. Jute works well for bagging. It is 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.



Fiber: any textile Fiber in which metallic threads are used

Weave: Usually a figured weave but could be any.

Characteristics: Often has pattern all over the surface. The shine and glitter of this fabric makes it suitable for dressy wear. Can be tacky.

Uses: Principally for evening wear.



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Light weight, sheer, soft, washable. It is crisper than voile 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.

Uses: dresses, blouses, night wear, lingerie, collars, cuffs, shirtings, handkerchiefs.



Fiber: Wool. Ordinary grade of wool and often has shoddy re-used or remanufactured

wool mixed in. Sometimes a cotton warp is used.

Weave: Twill or double cloth. Weave is concealed.

Characteristics: Very heavily fulled or 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.

Uses: jackets, mackinaws and coats. Also used for blankets, shirts, and heavy  sportswear.



Fiber: Cotton – some in rayon and silk.

Weave: Plain, also dobby or jacquard for designs.

Characteristics: Much of it has a plain colored background with stripes, plaid, checks, or designs on it. Has a high thread count. Often the dyes are not fast and with each washing, color changes take place.

Uses: Men’s and women’s sportswear of all kinds, dresses, separates, shirts.



Fiber: Wool, sometimes combined with synthetics.

Weave: Twill or satin weave.

Characteristics: Thick well fulled or felted wool with a smooth surface. Napped and very closely sheared. It wears very well. Wind resistant. Looks like wool felt – pressed flat.

Uses: Mostly used for men in overcoating, uniform cloth of all kinds (army, navy, etc.,

as well as police and firemen), pea jackets, regal livery.



Fiber: Silk, rayon, cotton.

Weave: Plain or crosswise rib.

Characteristics: Has a watermarked finish. Fairly stiff with body in most cases. It is produced by passing the fabric between engraved cylinders which press the design into the material, causing the crushed and uncrushed parts to reflect the light differently. The pattern is not permanent, except on acetate rayon.

Uses: evening wear, formals, dresses and coats.


Monk’s Cloth

Fiber: Wool, cotton, linen, silk, rayon, or synthetics.

Weave: 4 x 4 basket weave.

Characteristics: Quite heavy, due to construction. It is difficult to sew or manipulate as the yarns have a tendency to slide, stretch and fray. May sag in time depending on the compactness of the weave. Quite rough in texture.

Uses: Draperies, all types of upholstery and house furnishings. Also used for coats and suits for women and sports coats for men.


Monk’s Cloth

Fiber: Wool, cotton, linen, silk, rayon, or synthetics.

Weave: 4 x 4 basket weave.

Characteristics: Quite heavy, due to construction. It is difficult to sew and manipulate as the yarns have a tendency to slide, stretch and fray. May sag in time depending on the compactness of the weave. It can also be made in other basket weaves. Quite rough in texture.

Uses: coats and suits for women and sports coats for men.



Fiber: Silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics, particularly nylon.

Weave: Knotted, made on a lace machine or gauze or leno weaves.

Characteristics: A mesh fabric made in a variety of geometric-shaped meshes of different sizes and weights. It is very open and light.

Uses: It forms the foundation for a great variety of laces, millinery, trims, evening and bridal wear. In cotton, some is used for mosquito netting and screening.





Characteristics: manufactured Fiber, very strong, resistant to both abrasion and damage from many chemicals. It is elastic, easy to wash and is quite lustrous. It returns easily to it’s original shape and is non-absorbent. It is fast drying, resistant to some dyes, and resistant to moths and other insects, water, perspiration and standard dry-cleaning agents.

Uses: Women’s hosiery, knitted or woven lingerie, socks and sweaters.





Fiber: Cotton.

Weave: Plain.

Characteristics: Made with tightly twisted yarns. Crispness is due to a finish with starch and calendaring which washes out, or a permanent crispness obtained with chemicals. Wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish. May be bleached, dyed, printed, frosted, flocked, embroidered, or plisse.

Uses: Collars and cuffs, artificial flowers, millinery, summer formals, blouses, aprons.



Fiber: Silk, rayon.

Weave: Plain.

Characteristics: Fine, sheer, lightweight, crisp fabric. It has a very wiry feel. It crushes or musses fairly easily, but it is easily pressed. Dressy type of fabric, sometimes has a silvery sheen.

Uses: evening dresses, trimming, millinery, underlinings for delicate, sheer materials


Fiber: 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. Rather heavy. Usually is all white but some has a spaced stripe in the warp direction. Launders very well but soils easily. When made with yarn dyed warp and white weft, it is called oxford chambray.

Uses: Men’s shirts mostly. Summer jackets, shirts, skirts, dresses, and sportswear.


Paillette Satin (see Satin)

It is characterized by it’s changeable color and is available in a variety of different colors.


Panne Velvet (See velvet)

Has a longer or higher pile than velvet, but shorter than plush. It is pressed flat and has a

high lustre made possible by a tremendous roller-press treatment given the material in

finishing. Now often made as knit fabric.


Peach Skin (Peau de Peche)



Characteristics: The name comes from a French phrase meaning “skin of peach”. This textile has a soft nap that is acquired after a finishing process.



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Medium weight, firm, smooth, with no gloss. Washes very well. Percale sheeting is the finest sheeting available, made of combed yarns and has a count of 200-carded percale sheeting has a count of 180. It has a soft, silk-like feel.

Uses: Dresses, women’s and children’s, sportswear, aprons, and sheets.



Fiber: Cotton, rayon, synthetics.

Weave: Lengthwise rib, English crosswise rib or cord weave.

Characteristics: Originally was a crosswise rib but now mostly a lengthwise rib. Ribs are often filled to give a more pronounced wale. Comes in medium to heavy weights. It is durable and launders well. Wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish. Various prices. Also comes in different patterns besides wales. Some of the patterns are birdseye (small diamond), waffle (small squares), honeycomb. When the fabric begins to wear out it wears at the corded areas first.

Uses: Trims, collars, cuffs, millinery, infants wear, coats, and bonnets, women’s and

children’s summer dresses, skirts and blouses, shirts, play clothes, and evening gowns.



Fiber: Cotton, rayon, and others.

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: 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.

Uses: Sleepwear, dresses, blouses for women and children. Often it is called wrinkle crepe.





Characteristics: It is an extremely resilient Fiber that is smooth, crisp and particularly springy. It’s shape is determined by heat and it is insensitive to moisture. It is lightweight, strong and resistant to creasing, shrinking, stretching, mildew and abrasion. It is readily washable and is not damaged by sunlight or weather and is resistant to moths and mildew.

Uses: Vary, depending on blend.



Fiber: Silk, cotton, rayon.

Weave: Plain.

Characteristics: Light or medium weight. Tan or ecru in color. Woven “in the gum”. Some is dyed, but color is not quite uniform. Some printed. warp is finer and more even than filling. Nubs or irregular cross ribs produced by uneven yarns. It is woven from wild tussah silk and it is a “raw silk”.

Uses: Dresses, blouses, summer suits.



Fiber: Cotton, wool, and other textile Fibers.

Weave: Crosswise rib.

Characteristics: Has a more pronounced filling effect than broadcloth. 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.

Uses: Sportswear of all kinds, shirts, boy’s suits, uniforms, blouses, dresses.



Fiber: Cellulose


Characteristics: natural Fiber resembling flax. The Fiber is stiff, more brittle than linen, and highly lustrous. It can be bleached to extreme whiteness. The strength of ramie is excellent.



Fiber: silk, cotton or wool

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: Rough. This Fiber has an uneven, pebbled surface.



Fiber: Cellulose


Characteristics: This cellulose Fiber is highly absorbent. It’s drapability and dyeability are excellent and it is fairly soft. Rayon does have a tendency to shrink but does not melt in high temperatures. It is resistant to moths and is not affected by ordinary household bleaches and chemicals.

Uses: Clothing, hose.



Fiber: any


Characteristics: Fluted or crimped lace or gauze, used as a trimming


Fiber: Cotton, some also made in rayon.

Weave: Sateen filling-face weave.

Characteristics: Lustrous and smooth with the sheen in a filling direction. Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Some are only calendered to produce the sheen but this disappears and is not considered genuine sateen.

Uses: Dresses, sportswear, robes, pajamas



Fiber: Silk, rayon, synthetics.

Weave: Satin.

Characteristics: Usually has a lustrous surface and a dull back. Made in many colors, weights, varieties, qualities, and degrees of stiffness.

Uses: Slips, evening wear, coats, capes, and jackets, lining fabrics, millinery


Satin-back (see Satin)

Satin on one side and anything on the other. e.g. very good velvet ribbon has velvet on one side and satin on the other.


satin-back crepe (See Crepe-Back Satin)


satin-crepe (See Crepe-Back Satin)



Fiber: Cotton, rayon, synthetics.

Weave: Plain, slack tension weave.

Characteristics: Colored stripes are often used. Dull surface. Comes in medium to heavy weights. The woven crinkle is produced by alternating slack and tight yarns in the warp. This is permanent. Some may be produced by pressing or chemicals, which is not likely to be permanent – called plisse. Durable, gives good service and wear. May be laundered without ironing. Some comes in a check effect.

Uses: Summer suits for men, women, and children, coats, uniforms, trims, nightwear, sportswear, dresses, blouses, children’s wear



Fiber: wool, cotton, silk, rayon, and synthetics.

Weave: A very distinct twill which shows on both sides of the fabric.

Characteristics: distinct diagonal. smooth, hard finish that wears exceptionally well but shines with use. It is a good cloth in tailoring as it drapes and clings very well. Made in various weights. Unfinished worsted and wool are not quite as clear on the surface.

Uses: Coats, suits and sportswear.


Fiber: silk

Weave: Plain.

Characteristics: It is a raw silk quite similar to pongee, but has a more irregular surface, heavier, and rougher. Most of the slubs are in the filling direction. Wrinkles quite a bit. Underlining helps to prevent this as well as slipping at the seams. Do not fit too tightly, if long wear is expected.

Uses: Dresses, suits, and coats.



Fiber: Any Fiber.

Weave: Mostly plain but could be various weaves.

Characteristics: Any very light-weight fabric (e.g. chiffon, georgette, voile, sheer crepe). Usually has an open weave. They mostly feel cool.


Shot Taffeta (See Taffeta)

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. Silk version of chambray. Also called iridescent or changeable taffeta.





Characteristics: It is obtained from cocoons of certain species of caterpillars. It is soft and has a brilliant sheen. It is one of the finest textiles. It is also very strong and absorbent.


Slipper Satin (see Satin)

Strong, compactly woven with quite a bit of body. It is used chiefly for footwear.

Textures are high and the material comes colored, black or white, or richly brocaded

effects. – Shiniest satin.





Characteristics: It is lightweight and flexible. It resists deterioration from perspiration, detergent and body oils. It is characterized by it’s strength and durability.

Uses: Main uses are athletic wear and foundation garments.



Fiber: Silk, rayon, synthetics.

Weave: Usually plain with a fine cross rib.

Characteristics: It is made in plain colors, fancy prints, watered designs, and changeable effects. It is smooth with a sheen on its surface. The textures vary considerably. They have a crispness and stiffness. Taffeta in silk will not wear, as long as other high quality silks, since weighting is given the fabric to make it stiff.

Uses: dressy evening wear: suits and coats, slips, ribbons, blouses, dresses


Terry cloth

Fiber: Cotton and some linen.

Weave: Pile, also jacquard and dobby combined with pile.

Characteristics: Either all over loops on both sides of the fabric or patterned loops on both sides. Formed with an extra warp yarn. Long wearing, easy to launder and requires no ironing. Better qualities have a close, firm, underweave, with very close loops. Very absorbent, and the longer the loop, the greater the absorbency.

Uses: Towels, beachwear, bathrobes, sportswear, children’s wear



Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Usually twill

Characteristics: Very tightly woven with more warp than filling yarns. Very sturdy and strong, smooth and lustrous. Usually has white and colored stripes, but some floral.

Uses: Pillow covers, mattress coverings, upholstering and some sportswear.


Tissue Taffeta (See Taffeta)

Plain weave, very light weight and transparent.



Fiber: Silk, rayon, synthetics.

Weave: Knit. Vertical wales on surface and more or less crosswise ribs on the back.

Characteristics: Has a thin texture, made from very fine or single yarns.

Uses: Underwear, sportswear, bathing suits, gloves.



Fiber: Silk, nylon, cotton.

Weave: Gauze, knotted, leno, made on a lace machine.

Characteristics: Has a hexagonal mesh and is stiff. It is difficult to launder. Comes is white and colors, and is very cool, dressy, and delicate.

Uses: It is a stately type of fabric when used for formal wear, and weddings. It is also

used for ballet costumes and wedding veils.



Fiber: Silk.

Weave: Usually plain but also in twill.

Characteristics: Made from wild or uncultivated silkworms. It is coarse, strong, and uneven. Dull lustre and rather stiff. Has a rough texture with many slubs, knots, and bumps. It is ecru or tan and is difficult to bleach. It usually doesn’t take an even dye color. Wears well—becomes more rough looking with wear. wrinkles some.

Uses: In lighter weights, dresses. In heavier weights, coats and suits and ensembles.



Fiber: Wool, also cotton, rayon, silk, linen, and synthetics.

Weave: Twill, novelty variations, or plain.

Characteristics: Originally only made from different colored stock-dyed Fibers, producing various color effects. There are a wide range of rough surfaced, sturdy fabrics. May also be plaid, checked, striped, or other patterns. Does not hold a crease very well.

Uses: Wide range of suits, coats, and sportswear for men, women and children.



Fiber: Cotton, wool, or spun rayon.

Weave: Thick, plush pile, with a plain or satin ground, or sometimes knitted.

Characteristics: The pile is characterized by uneven lengths (usually two) which gives it a rough look. The two lengths of pile create light and shaded areas on the surface. A rather pebbled effect.

Uses: dressing gowns, dresses, waist-coats.



Fiber: Silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics, and a little wool and worsted.

Weave: Pile, made with an extra warp yarn.

Characteristics: Mostly made with a plain back but some with a twill. Some are made with a silk pile and a rayon or cotton back. 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.

Uses: Eveningwear, at home wear



Fiber: Cotton, sometimes rayon.

Weave: Filling pile, very short.

Characteristics: Woven with a extra filling yarn with either a plain or a twill back (twill back is the best). Strong and takes hard wear. Poor quality rubs off. Some of it can be laundered. It is warm. Has to be cut all one way. Press carefully, preferably on a velvet board, or tumble dry after laundering (no pressing needed).

Uses: Children’s wear, dresses, coats, lounge wear, separates.



Fiber: Cotton – also wool.

Weave: Plain, loosely woven.

Characteristics: Sheer and very light weight. To obtain a top quality fabric, very highly twisted yarns are used. Voile drapes and gathers very well. The clear surface is obtained by singeing away any fuzzy yarns. Has a hard finish and crisp, sometimes wiry hand. “Voile de Laine” is wool voile.

Uses: Dresses, blouses.


Warp-print Taffeta (See Taffeta)

Usually a plain weave, the warp yarns are printed before the filling is inserted. The design is distorted as fabric is woven has a very fuzzy look.



Fiber: Cotton, rayon, worsted or woolen.

Weave: Twill

Characteristics: Very much like gabardine, but the yarn is bulkier and much more pronounced. It is very durable, rugged and stands hard usage and wear. In time, it shines a bit with wear. Some times back is napped for warmth.

Uses: Topcoats, uniform cloths, suitings, sportswear, riding habits.





Characteristics: This Fiber is made from the hair of various animals such as sheep, llamas, camels and goats. It is very resilient and resistant to wrinkling. It is renewed by moisture and well known for it’s warmth.

Uses: Clothing, blankets, winter wear.


Wool Broadcloth

Fiber: Wool. Also cotton and silk but very different from wool broadcloth.

Weave: Usually a twill with a two up and one down construction. Some also plain weave.

Characteristics: Has a napped face, closely sheared and polished, producing a silky gloss. One way nap, must be handled like velvet when cutting. It comes in a variety of colors and weights. It is “dressy” fabric. Form fitting and drapes well.





















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