The Technical Center

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Industry Resource for Specialty Textiles and Product Information
   March 29, 2017  Facebook Twitter

 

Jersey Knit

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Learn about knit construction, fabrics and yarn. See images of each type along with a description. Great for understanding properties and benefits. Visit FabricLink to See and Learn.

 


Textile Dictionary

Click on a letter to jump to your alpha choice.

A
Abrasion Resistance - The degree by which a fabric is able to withstand loss of appearance through surface wear, rubbing, chafing, and other frictional actions.
  Absorbency - The ability of a fabric to take in moisture. Absorbency is a very important property, which effects many other characteristics such as skin comfort, static build-up, shrinkage, stain removal, water repellency, and wrinkle recovery.
  Acetate - A manufactured fiber formed by a compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or the wood pulp of the mulberry trees. This material is then combined with acedic acid and is extruded through a spinneret and then hardened.
  Acid Washed - A process that alters the color of indigo denim fabrics by treating them with chemicals.
  Acrylic - A manufactured fiber derived from polyacrylonitrile. Its major properties include a soft, wool-like hand, machine washable and dryable, excellent color retention. Solution-dyed versions have excellent resistance to sunlight and chlorine degradation.
  Ahimsa silk - An alternative, non-harmful method of producing silk. Silk is woven by making use of empty cocoons rather than harvesting live moth pupae. Cultivated on forest trees, the silk is spun after the silkworm metamorphoses into a moth and flies away leaving its cocoon. This type of silk derives its name from the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain doctrine of peace and non-violence.
  Air Permeability - The porosity of a fabric as estimated by the ease with which air passes through it. Air permeability measures the warmth of blankets, the air resistance of parachute cloth, the wind resistance of sailcloth, etc. as measured on standard testing equipment.
  Algaecide - Kills algae.
  Alpaca - A natural hair fiber obtained from the Alpaca sheep, a domesticated member of the llama family. The fiber is most commonly used in fabrics for dresses, suits, coats, and sweaters.
  Angora - The hair of the Angora goat. Also known as Angora mohair. Angora may also apply to the fur of the Angora rabbit. However, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, any apparel containing Angora rabbit hair must be labeled as "Angora rabbit hair" on the garment.
  Animal Fibers - The term used to distinguish natural fibers obtained from animals. It includes alpaca, angora, goat hair, camel hair, cashmere, cow hair, fur, guanaco, hog hair, huarizo, llama, mohair, misti, Persian cashmere, rabbit hair, silk, sun, vicuna, worsted, worsted lop.
  Anti-Bacterial (Anti-Microbial) - A fabric that has been chemically treated or a fiber that is created by incorporating the anti-bacterial chemical agent into the fiber formula, making the finished fiber or fabric resistant to, or inhibiting the growth of micro-organisms.
  Anti-chafing / Anti-friction - A fabric that avoids the irritation of skin caused by repetitive rubbing of skin to skin contact of multiple body parts. Chafing is usually contracted in the inner thighs or the inner gluts.
  Anti-Static - Can be either a fiber or fabric that does not allow the build-up of static electricity to occur when the fiber or fabric experiences friction or rubbing.
  Antifungal - Inhibits or kills fungi.
  Aramid - A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long chain of synthetic polyamide in which at least 85% of the amide linkages are attached directly to two aromatic rings. Aramid fabrics are very strong and are resistant to high temperatures and extreme external forces. Aramid fabrics are used in thermally protective clothing; (i.e. coveralls, jackets, gloves, shirts, pants). U.S. FTC Definition: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long-chain synthetic polyamide in that is at least 85% of the amide linkages are attached directly to two aromatic rings.
 
B
Back Waist Length - The dimension on a body, taken from the top of the back bone at the base of the neck to the waistline.
  Bactericide - Kills bacteria.
  Bacteriostat - Doesn't necessarily mean that it kills bacteria. A stat means that it may simply be slowing growth or holding the death to growth rates of bacteria (same for fungal stats) more or less in equilibrium. Inhibits bacteria growth.
  Ballistic - A thick woven fabric that is extremely abrasion resistant and tough; has a denier of about 2000, and is used in apparel, packs and gear.
  Ballistic / Slash Resistant - Bulletproof, or the ability for a textile material to stop a bullet or sharp high velocity projectile from penetrating the material. The term bullet resistance is often the preferred term, because few, if any, practical materials provide complete protection against all types of bullets.
  Bamboo Fabric - A natural textile made from the pulp of bamboo grass, it is considered sustainable, because the bamboo plant grows quickly and does not require the use of herbicides and pesticides to thrive. However, bamboo fiber is produced through the cellulosic process. Bamboo fabric retains many of the same qualities it has as a plant, including excellent wicking ability that pulls moisture away from the skin. It also retains antibacterial qualities, reducing bacteria that often thrives on clothing, which causes unpleasant odors.
  Band (Rocap) - A separate band of body fabric sewn on and turned down so the attaching seam is not visible. Inside the band is a separate lining---made from pcketing fabric---and interlining.
  Barré - An imperfection, characterized by a ridge or mark running in the crosswise or lengthwise directions of the fabric. Barrés can be caused by tension variations in the knitting process, poor quality yarns, problems during the finishing process.
  Base Layer - The apparel in contact with your skin. The purpose of the base layer is to keep you warm/cool and dry.
  Basket Weave - A variation of the plain weave construction, formed by treating two or more warp yarns and/or two or more filling yarns as one unit in the weaving process. Yarns in a basket weave are laid into the woven construction flat, and maintain a parallel relationship. Both balanced and unbalanced basket weave fabrics can be produced. Examples of basket weave construction includes monk cloth and oxford cloth.
  Bast fiber - A natural fiber collected from the inner bark surrounding the stem of certain dicotyledonic plants. Most bast fibers are obtained from herbs cultivated in agriculture, including flax, Jute, hemp and ramie, but can include wild plants as well. Fibers typically have higher tensil strength than others kinds and are therefore used for textiles like ropes, yarn, paper, composite materials and burlap. While labor intensive, its production is considered more eco-friendly than the production of artificial fibers which are petroleum based.
  Batiste - A medium-weight, plain weave fabric, usually made of cotton or cotton blends. End-uses include blouses and dresses.
  Battenberg - Coarse form of renaissance lace either hand or machine made - from linen braid or tape and linen thread, assembled together to form various designs.
  Beading - Variety of insertion laces or embroideries having rows of holes through which ribbon is laced.
  Bedford Cord - Strong ribbed weave fabric with raised lines or cords produced by warp stuffing threads. May be wool, silk, cotton, rayon or combination fibers. Warp pique is a lighter weight. Bedford cord fabric used for dress goods, upholstery and work clothes. First made in America in New Bedford, Massachusetts, hence its name.
  Bengaline - A sturdy warp-faced fabric with pronounced crosswise ribs formed by bulky, coarse, plied yarns or rubber thread. Filling is not discernible on back or face of goods. Originating in Bengal, India, it is used mainly in coatings, mourning ensembles, and women's headwear. When cut to ribbon widths, it is called grosgrain.
  Bi-ply Knitting - See Plaited Fabric
  Bicomponent Fiber - Manufactured fiber made of continuous filaments, and made of two related components, each with different degrees of shrinkage. The result is a crimping of the filament, which makes the fiber stretchable.
  Billard Cloth - The highest grade of material made from the best of stock - Saxony, Silesia, or Australia merino wool. Two up and one down twill weave is used. Cloth must be even and smooth for its use as covering for billiard tables.
  Biomimicry - The science of evaluating how plants and animals survive in their natural habitats, and applying a similar process to the design of functional apparel.
  Bleaching - A process of whitening fibers, yarns, or fabrics by removing the natural and artificial impurities to obtain clear whites for finished fabric, or in preparation for dyeing and finishing. The materials may be treated with chemicals or exposed to sun, air, and moisture.
  Bleeding - The running of color from wet dyed material onto a material next to it, or the running of colors together. Sometimes the property of bleeding is considered an asset as in bleeding Indian madras.
  Blends - Combining of two or more types of staple fibers in one yarn to achieve color mixtures such as heather, unusual dyeing variations, or better performance characteristics. Blends of natural and man-made fibers are more important today than ever before and their number is virtually limitless.
  Bodymapping - The strategic placement of component materials in garment design and construction to provide the best possible movement and balance to enhance stamina or reduce fatigue for the wearer
  Bonding - The technique of permanently joining together two fabrics - usually a face fabric and a lining fabric of tricot - into one package. Special adhesives, binders, or thin slices of foam may be used as the marrying agent. Fabrics can also be bonded to ultra-thin slices of foam or other materials on the cutting tables, and make possible easier handling of fragile cloths such as delicate laces, sheer materials, or lightweight knits
  Bonding - A process for adhesive laminating of two or more fabrics or fabric and a layer of plastic by means of a bonding agent (adhesives, plastics or cohesion), or ultrasonic procedure. Bonded fabrics are commonly used in outerwear.
  Boucle - Knitted or woven fabric with characteristic looped or knitted surface that often resembles a spongy effect. The term also applies to a variety of looped, curled or slubbed yarns. In French, boucle means "buckled" or "ringed".
  Braid - Sometimes called passementerie or spaghetti by dress manufacturers who use it for trimming or binding. Usually refers to woven or plaited flat, round, or tubular narrow fabrics.
  Breathability - The movement of water or water vapor from one side of the fabric to the other, caused by capillary action, wicking, chemical, or electrostatic action. Also known as moisture transport.
  Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial - An antimicrobial that effectively controls or kills at least 3 of the basic microorganism groups. This term is important to help give a specific encompassing term to technologies that offer protection from the gamut of microorganisms, without the sometimes vague nature of the term antimicrobial, which could mean kills just one type or kills many types.
  Broadcloth - Originally a silk shirting fabric so named because it was woven in widths exceeding the usual 29". Today, broadcloth refers to a tightly woven, lustrous cotton or polyester/cotton blend fabric in a plain weave with a crosswise rib. It resembles poplin, but the rib is finer, and broadcloth always has more crosswise yarns (picks) than poplin.
  Brocade - 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.
  Brushing - A finishing process for knit or woven fabrics in which brushes or other abrading devices are used on a loosely constructed fabric to permit the fibers in the yarns to be raised to create a nap on fabrics or create a novelty surface texture.
  Buckram - Ply yarn scrim fabric with a stiff finish for use as apparel interlining or interfacing. Also used in millinery because it can be easily shaped by moistening.
  Bunting - Can be either a cotton or wool fabric, woven in a plain open weave, similar to cheesecloth, and dyed in the piece. Cotton bunting is often woven with plied yarns. Wool bunting is woven with worsted worsted yarns, using strong, wiry wool.
  Burlap - Coarse, canvas-like fabric usually made of jute, but can be made of hemp or cotton. Sometimes called gunny. Used primarily for bale coverings, sacks and bags. Also used in furniture, drapery, wall coverings, and clothing.
  Burn-out - A brocade-like pattern effect created on the fabric through the application of a chemical, instead of color, during the burn-out printing process. (Sulfuric acid, mixed into a colorless print paste, is the most common chemical used.) Many simulated eyelet effects can be created using this method. In these instances, the chemical destroys the fiber and creates a hole in the fabric in a specific design, where the chemical comes in contact with the fabric. The fabric is then over-printed with a simulated embroidery stitch to create the eyelet effect. However, burn-out effects can also be created on velvets made of blended fibers, in which the ground fabric is of one fiber like a polyester, and the pile may be of a cellulosic fiber like rayon or acetate. In this case, when the chemical is printed in a certain pattern, it destroys the pile in those areas where the chemical comes in contact with the fabric, but leave the ground fabric unharmed.
  Butcher Linen - Coarse homespun linen once used for aprons for French butchers. Often imitated today in many man-made fiber fabrics that simulate real linen.
 
C
Calendering - A process of passing cloths between one or more rollers (or calenders), usually under carefully controlled heat and pressure, to produce a variety of surface effects or textures in a fabric such as high luster, glazing, embossing, and moiré.
  Calico - One of the oldest basic cotton fabrics on the market that traces its origin to Calcutta, India. Usually a plain, closely woven inexpensive cloth made in solid colors on a white or contrasting background. Often one, two, or three colors are seen on the face of the goods which are usually discharge or resist printed, frequently in a small floral pattern. Used mainly for aprons, dresses, crazy quilts, sportswear. Often interchangeable with percale - which is 80-square cotton.
  Cambric - Soft, white, closely woven cotton fabric calendered to achieve a high glaze. Used mainly for pocket linings, underwear, aprons, shirts, and handkerchiefs. Originally made in Cambrai, France, of linen and used for church embroidery and table linen.
  Camel Hair - Wool-like underhair of the Bactrian camel, a two-humped pack-carrying species that is lustrous and extremely soft. Because it is expensive, often used in blends with wool for coats, suits, sweaters, blankets, and oriental rugs. Natural colors range from light tan to brownish black. Classified as wool under the Wool Products Labeling Act.
  Candlewick Fabric - Unbleached muslin bed sheeting, sometimes called Kraft muslin, used as a base fabric on which a chenille effect is formed by application of candlewick (heavy-plied yarns) loops which are then cut to give the fuzzy effect and cut-yarn appearance of the true chenille yarn.
  Canvas - Cotton, linen, or synthetic fabric made with a basic plain weave in heavy and firm weight yarns for industrial or heavy duty purposes. Also referred to as "duck", although the term "canvas" usually relates to the heavier, coarser constructions.
  Capillary Action - A process by which liquids are drawn through the fabric and into pores found between fibers and yarns.
  Carding - A process of opening and cleaning textile fibers - usually cotton - which separates fibers from each other, lays them parallel, forms them into a thin web, and then condenses them into a single continuous untwisted strand or bundle of fibers called a "sliver".
  Cashmere - A luxury fiber obtained from the soft fleecy undergrowth of the Kashmir goat of Tibet, Mongolia, China, Iran, Iraq, and India. Most commonly used in sweaters, shawls, suits, coats, and dresses.
  Cellulose - A white naturally occurring carbohydrate polymer found in organic woody substances of most vegetation. It is the basic raw material needed for production of rayon and acetate fibers. About 96 percent of cotton is cellulose. Man-made fibers based on petrochemical raw materials - such as nylon, polyester, acrylics, etc. - are called non-cellulosics.
  Challis - One of the softest fabrics made. Named from the American Indian term "shalee", meaning soft. A lightweight, soft plain weave fabric with a slightly brushed surface. The fabric is often printed, usually in a floral pattern. Challis is most often seen in fabrics made of cotton, wool, or rayon.
  Chambray - Popular variety of cotton fabric in relatively square count 80 by 76 that combines colored warp and white filling yarns in plain weave. Name derived from Cambrai, France, where it was first made.
  Chantilly Lace - Bobbin lace with fine six-sided mesh grounds with pattern outlined in heavy thread.
  Cheesecloth - Plain woven, soft, fragile, low-count cotton fabric similar to tobacco cloth and also known as gauze.
  Chemical Resistant - The strength of a fabric or material to protect against chemical attack or a solvent reaction.
  Chenille - 1. A specialty yarn, characterized by a pile protruding on all sides, resembling a caterpillar. The yarn is produced by first weaving a fabric with a cotton or linen warp and a silk, wool, rayon, or cotton filling. The warp yarns are taped in groups of tightly woven filling yarns, which have been beaten in very closely. After weaving, the fabric is cut into strips between the yarn groups. Each cutting produces a continuous chenille yarn, which is then twisted, creating the chenille yarn, and giving the pile appearance on all sides of the yarn. The chenille yarn is used mainly for decorative fabrics, embroidery, tassels, and rugs. 2. A fabric woven from the chenille yarn.
  Chevron - Term applies to herringbone weaves or prints in zigzag stripes.
  Chiffon - A plain woven lightweight, extremely sheer, airy, and soft silk fabric, containing highly twisted filament yarns. The term "chiffon" implies thinness, diaphanous, or gauze-like structure and softness. Originally made of silk, but today may be found in a wide variety of other manufactured fibers. The fabric, used mainly in evening dresses and scarves.
  Chinchilla Cloth - A heavy conventional twill-weave coating with a spongy napped surface that is rolled into little tufts or nubs to resenble chinchilla fur. Usually made from wool or wool/cotton blends in coating weights.
  Chino - Classic all-cotton "Army twill" fabric made of combed two-ply yarns. Usually vat dyed, mercerized, and given a compressive shrinkage finish. Used traditionally for army uniforms, chino is now finding popularity sportswear and work clothes.
  Chintz - Glazed plain weave cotton fabric with a tioghtly spun fine warp and a coarser slack twist filling, often printed with brightly colored flowers or stripes. Named from Hindu word meaning spotted. Several types of glazes are used in the finishing process. Some glazes wash out in laundering, but others such as resin finishes are permanent. Unglazed chintz is called cretonne. Chintz end-uses include draperies, slipcovers, skirts, and summer dresses, and shirts.
  Chlorinated Wool - Wool in the fiber, yarn, or fabric form which are treated chemically to decrease felting shrinkage and increase ability to take dyes.
  Chlorine Resistance Fabric - This special fabric helps to kill bacteria and stops the growth of algae in the chlorinated water. Unfortunately, regular exposure to chlorinated water can have an extremely detrimental effect and can cause irreversible damage to a fabric.
  Chlorine Retention - Some resin treatments or finishes given cotton, rayon, nylon, or blended fabrics, may cause goods to retain varying amounts of chlorine when laundered or bleached with chlorine.
  Circular Knit - Weft knit fabric made on a circular needle-bed knitting machine, which produces fabric in tubular form. Common types include single or double knits. Seamless hosiery are also made on a circular knitting machine. Although allowances are made on the machine for knitting the welt and foot. See Knitting (Circular).
  Clo Value - A unit of thermal resistance. The insulation required to produce the necessary heat to keep an individual comfortable at 21 degrees Centigrade with air movement at .1 m/s. One clo is about equal to the insulation value of typical indoor clothing.
  Coated Fabrics - Fabrics that have been coated with a lacquer, varnish, rubber, plastic resin of polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene, or other substance to make them longer lasting or impervious to water or other liquids.
  Coir Fiber - A coarse fiber extracted from the fibrous outer shell of a coconut. Brown coir is harvested from fully ripened coconuts. It is thick, strong and has high abrasion resistance; it is typically used in floor mats and doormats, brushes, mattresses, floor tiles and sacking. White coir fibers are harvested from the coconuts before they are ripe. These fibers are white or light brown in color and are smoother and finer, but also weaker. They are generally spun to make yarn that is used in mats or rope. See also "Natural vegetable fibers".
  Color Abrasion - Color changes in localized areas of a garment due to differential wear, such as the knees of blue jeans. Often evident in cross-dye shades of blends where durable press treatments are applied. Color abrasion is often called "frosting".
  Colorfastness - The ability of a fabric to maintain its color and resist fading when exposed to water/washing, sun, light, atmosphere, or other environmental conditions.
  Combed Cotton - Combed cotton is an extremely soft version of cotton made by using a production process whereby the cotton fibers undergo a specialty treating before they are spun into yarn. Combed cotton is softer and stronger than conventional cotton because the shorter, breakable fibers are removed during the combing process. In addition, the straightened fibers lie closer together after combing, making the combed cotton fabric less likely to fray and unravel. Products containing combed cotton, are usually identified, because the process removes volume and adds an extra production step. As a result, combed cotton products are also slightly more expensive than conventional cotton products.
  Combing - The combing process is an additional step beyond carding. In this process the fibers are arranged in a highly parallel form, and additional short fibers are removed, producing high quality yarns with excellent strength, fineness, and uniformity.
  Comfort Stretch - The term given to the freedom of movement experienced in the wearing of a garment that contains spandex, or has stretch engineered into a yarn through mechanical stretch construction.
  Composite Fabric - An engineered fabric made from two or more components. One component is often a strong fiber such as fiberglass, Kevlar®, or carbon fiber that gives the material its tensile strength, while another component (often called a matrix) is often a resin, such as polyester or epoxy that binds the fibers together.
  Compression Fabric - A high tenacity stretch fabric which, when in a close fitting garment, provides muscles with a firm compression fit that lessons vibrations, reduces fatigue, and keeps muscles energized. The fabric is usually made in a knit construction, using a series of gradient fibers with an open knit inner surface to create a moisture transfer environment.
  Compression Stretch - The name given to the expansive stretch that is created by the spandex fibers used in the development of a compression fabric.
  Continuous Filament - A long continuous, unbroken strand of fiber extruded from a spinneret in the form of a monofilament. Most manufactured fibers such as nylon, polyester, rayon, and acetate are made in continuous filament form.
  Converter - A person or a company which buys grey goods and sells them as finished fabrics. A converter organizes and manages the process of finishing the fabric to a buyers' specifications, particularly the bleaching, dyeing, printing, etc.
  Cooling Quality - Unlike traditional moisture-wicking fabrics, a specialty fabric technology that consists of a combination of chemical-free blended yarns that deliver three distinct functions: wicking, moisture transportation, and regulated evaporation.
  Corduroy - A fabric, usually made of cotton, utilizing a cut-pile weave construction. Extra sets of filling yarns are woven into the fabric to form ridges of yarn on the surface. The ridges are built so that clear lines can be seen when the pile is cut
  Core Yarn - A yarn in which one type of fiber is twisted or wrapped around another fiber that serves as a core. Core yarns are often used to make stretch fabrics where the core is spandex or rubber, and the outer wrapped fiber is a textured manufactured fiber such as polyester or nylon.
  Core-Spun Yarns - Consist of a filament base yarn, with an exterior wrapping of loose fiber which has not been twisted into a yarn. Polyester filament is often wrapped with a cotton outer layer in order to provide the strength and resiliency of polyester, along with the moisture-absorbent aesthetics and dye affinity of cotton. Sewing thread as well as household and apparel fabrics are made from these yarns.
  Cotton - 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.
  Count of Cloth - The number of ends and picks per inch in a woven fabric. If a cloth is 64 X 60, it means there are 64 ends and 60 picks per inch in a woven fabric. A cloth that has the same number of ends and picks per inch in woven goods is called a square cloth. 80-square percale, for example, has 80 ends and 80 picks per inch. Pick count is the term that is synonymous with texture or number of filling picks per inch.
  Course - The rows of loops or stitches running across a knitted fabric. Corresponds to the weft or filling in woven goods.
  Crepe - A variety of lightweight fabrics characterized by a crinkly surface, obtained either via use of hard twist yarns, chemical treatments, weave, construction, or some form of embossing or surface treatment. Crepes are available today in an unlimited variety of fibers and blends, and in may different constructions.
  Crepe-back Satin - 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.
  Crinoline - A lightweight, plain weave, stiffened fabric with a low yarn count (few yarns to the inch in each direction). Used as a foundation to support the edge of a hem or puffed sleeve.
  Crocking - The rubbing-off of dye from a fabric. Crocking can be the result of lack of penetration of the dyeing agent, the use of incorrect dyes or dyeing procedures, or the lack of proper washing procedures and finishing treatments after the dyeing process.
  Cuprammonium - A process of producing a type of regenerated rayon fiber. In this process, the wood pulp or cotton liners are dissolved in an ammoniac copper oxide solution. Bemberg rayon is a type of Cuprammonium rayon.
 
D
Damask - A glossy jacquard fabric, usually made from linen, cotton, rayon, silk, or blends. The patterns are flat and reversible. The fabric is often used in napkins, tablecloths, draperies, and upholstery.
  Denier - A system of measuring the weight of a continuous filament fiber. In the United States, this measurement is used to number all manufactured fibers (both filament and staple), and silk, but excluding glass fiber. The lower the number, the finer the fiber; the higher the number, the heavier the fiber. Numerically, a denier is the equivalent to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of continuous filament fiber.
  Denier Per Filament - The size of an individual filament, or an individual staple fiber if it were continuous, The dpf is determined by dividing the yarn denier per filament by the number of filaments in the yarn.
  Denim - A firm 2X1 or 3X1 twill weave fabric often having a whitish tinge obtained by using white filling yarns with colored warp yarns. Heavier weight denims, usually blue, are used for dungarees, work clothes, and men's and women's sportswear. Lighter weight denims have a softer finish and come in a variety of colors and patterns for sportswear.
  Dobby Weave - A decorative weave, characterized by small figures, usually geometric, that are woven into the fabric structure. Dobbies may be of any weight or compactness, with yarns ranging from very fine to coarse and fluffy. Standard dobby fabrics are usually flat and relatively fine or sheer. However, some heavyweight dobby fabrics are available for home furnishings and for heavy apparel
  Doeskin - Generally used to describe a type of fabric finish in which a low nap is brushed in one direction to create a soft suede-like feel on the fabric surface. End-uses include billiard table surfaces and men's' sportswear.
  Donegal Tweed - A medium to heavy, plain or twill weave fabric in which colorful yarn slubs are woven into the fabric. The name originally applied to a hand-woven woolen tweed fabric made in Donegal, Ireland. End-uses include winter coats and suits.
  Dotted Swiss - A lightweight, sheer cotton or cotton blend fabric with a small dot flock-like pattern either printed on the surface of the fabric, or woven into the fabric. End-uses for this fabric include blouses, dresses, baby clothes, and curtains.
  Double Cloth - A fabric construction, in which two fabrics are woven on the loom at the same time, one on top of the other. In the weaving process, the two layers of woven fabric are held together using binder threads. The woven patterns in each layer of fabric can be similar or completely different
  Double Knit - A fabric knitted on a circular knitting machine using interlocking loops and a double stitch on a double needle frame to form a fabric with double thickness. It is the same on both sides. Today, most double knits are made of I5O denier polyester, although many lightweight versions are now being made using finer denier yarns and blends of filament and spun yarns.
  Double Weave - A woven fabric construction made by interlacing two or more sets of warp yarns with two or more sets of filling yarns. The most common double weave fabrics are made using a total of either four or five sets of yarns.
  Down - The soft, fluffy fiber or underfeathers of ducks, geese, or other water fowl. Used primarily for insulation in outerwear garments.
  Drapeable - The ability of a fabric to hang softly into loose flexible folds.
  Duck - The name duck covers a wide range of fabrics. A tightly woven, heavy, plain-weave, bottom-weight fabric with a hard, durable finish. The fabric is usually made of cotton, and is widely used in men's and women's slacks, and children's play clothes. The most important fabrics in this group are known as number duck, army duck, and flat or ounce duck.
  Durability - The ability of a fabric to resist wear through continual use.
  Durable Press - More or less interchangeable with the term permanent press, but actually more precise. Durable press implies that the shape retention properties of a garment are excellent and durable for the life of the garment.
  Durable Water Repellent (DWR) - Fabrics that retain their durability and their ability to repel water after wearing, washing, and cleaning. Typically involves a fabric with a coating
  Dye (Piece) - Dyeing of the fabric into solid colors after weaving or knitting.
  Dye (Yarn) - Dyeing of the yarn into solid colors before weaving or knitting.
 
E
Eco - Of or relating to habitat or household, mostly used as a prefix related to ecology. Eco comes from the ancient Greek word "oikos" (house). e.g. eco-label, eco-friendly, eco-shopping. Within the textile industry, "eco" refers to fibers/fabrics that are sustainable or friendly to the environment.
  Eco-friendly - A term used to describe services and goods that cause very little, if any, harm to the environment.
  Elasticity - The ability of a fiber or fabric to return to its original length, shape, or size immediately after the removal of stress.
  Embossing - A calendering process in which fabrics are engraved with the use of heated rollers under pressure to produce a raised design on the fabric surface.
  Embroidery - An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.
  Encapsulation - A process in which the fibers of a fabric are coated with a filmy substance to create certain high performance qualities, such as breathability.
  Ergonomic Seaming - This apparel construction technology is aimed at maximizing comfort and ease of movement. The key feature of this seaming technology is that the seams are constructed ergonomically. Therefore, the seams flow according to the body's natural movements, regardless of the type of activity engaged in by the wearer. The seams are placed away from potential pressure points, in order to maximize comfort and movement.
  Ergonomics - The study of improving a garment design by enhancing the wearers' comfort, performance, or health.
  Eyelet - A type of fabric which contains patterned cut-outs, around which stitching or embroidery may be applied in order to prevent the fabric from raveling. Often worked around with a buttonhole stitch.
 
F
Face Finished Fabrics - Fabrics which have surface treatments that provide a variety of looks and effects on the fabric surface. These include brushing, sanding, sueding, etc. The warp knit industry is specially innovative with face finishing techniques. The term also applies to more traditional fabrics such as meltons, jerseys, and overcoatings that have been finished only on the face.
  Faille - A glossy, soft, finely-ribbed silk-like woven fabric made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers
  Felt - From the Anglo-Saxon word meaning to filt or filter, the cloth is a matted, compact woolen material, of which melton might be cited as an example. A non-woven fabric made from wool, hair, or fur, and sometimes in combination with certain manufactured fibers, where the fibers are locked together in a process utilizing heat, moisture, and pressure to form a compact material.
  Fiber - The basic entity, either natural or manufactured, which is twisted into yarns, and then used in the production of a fabric.
  Fiberfill - Specially engineered manufactured fibers, which are used as filler material in pillows, mattresses, mattress pads, sleeping bags, comforters, quilts, and outerwear
  Filament - A manufactured fiber of indefinite length (continuous), extruded from the spinneret during the fiber production process.
  Filling - In a woven fabric, the yarn running from selvage to selvage at right angles to the warp. Each crosswise length is called a pick. In the weaving process, the filling yarn is carried by the shuttle or other type of yarn carrier.
  Findings - Any extra items attached to a garment during the manufacturing process. This can include trims, buttons, hooks, snaps, or embellishments.
  Finished Fabric - A fabric that has gone through all the necessary finishing processes, and is ready to be used in the manufacturing of garments. These processes include bleaching, dyeing, printing, heat setting, etc.
  Finishing - All processes through which a fabric passes after manufacturing in preparation for the market. These include bleaching, dyeing, printing, heat setting, etc.
  Flame Resistant - Fabrics treated with special chemical agents or finishes to make them resistant to burning. Today many fabrics achieve this property by using fibers that have this property built directly into the polymer. A fabric is considered flame resistant if it passes federal specifications for specific end-uses.
  Flame Retardant - A chemical applied to a fabric, or incorporated into the fiber at the time of production, which significantly reduces a fabric's flammability.
  Flannel - A medium-weight, plain or twill weave fabric that is typically made from cotton, a cotton blend, or wool. The fabric has a very soft hand, brushed on both sides to lift the fiber ends out of the base fabric and create a soft, fuzzy surface. End-uses include shirts and pajamas.
  Flannelette - A medium-weight, plain weave fabric with a soft hand, usually made from cotton. The fabric is usually brushed only on one side, and is lighter weight than flannel. End-uses include shirts and pajamas.
  Flax - The plant from which cellulosic linen fiber is obtained. Linen is used in apparel, accessories, draperies, upholstery, tablecloths, and towels.
  Fleece - The wool shorn from any sheep, or from any animal in the wool category.
  Fleece Fabric - A lightweight fabric with a thick, heavy fleece-like surface. It may be a pile or napped fabric, or either woven or knit construction. End uses include coats, jackets, blankets, etc. Fleece fabrics are available in a variety of constuctions: 1) Polarfleece® is the original fleece fabric, developed in 1979, by Malden Mills. It is typically used for non-technical garments, and it is only available at Malden Mills®; 2) Polartec®, also developed by Malden Mills, was created for today's high-performance technical garments, which provides enhanced durability warmth, wind resistance, breathability and weather protection.
  Flocking - A type of raised decoration applied to the surface of a fabric in which an adhesive is printed on the fabric in a specific pattern, and then finely chopped fibers are applied by means of dusting, air-brushing, or electrostatic charges. The fibers adhere only to the areas where the adhesive has been applied, and the excess fibers are removed by mechanical means.
  Fluorocarbon-free (FC-free) - A textile technology or finish in which the fabric has free repellants and membranes for outdoor clothing.
  Foulard - 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.
  Four-way Stretch - A fabric that stretches both on the crosswise and lengthwise grains of the fabric. It is the same as two-way stretch.
  Fungicide - Kills fungi.
  Fungistat - Inhibits fungal growth.
 
G
Gabardine - A tightly woven, twilled, worsted fabric with a slight diagonal line on the right side. Wool gabardine is known as a year-round fabric for business suiting. Polyester, cotton, rayon, and various blends are also used in making gabardine.
  Gauge - A measurement most commonly associated with knitting equipment. It can mean the number of needles per inch in a knitting machine. However, in full fashioned hosiery and sweater machines, the number of needles per 1-1/2 inches represents the gauge.
  Gauze - A thin, sheer plain-weave fabric made from cotton, wool, silk, rayon, or other manufactured fibers. End-uses include curtains, apparel, trimmings, and surgical dressings.
  Georgette - A sheer lightweight fabric, often made of silk or from such manufactured fibers as polyester, with a crepe surface, in which yarns are twisted both ways in the weave. End-uses include dresses and blouses.
  Geotextiles - Manufactured fiber materials made into a variety of fabric constructions, and used in a variety civil engineering applications.
  Gingham - A medium weight, plain weave fabric with a dyed yarns in both warp and filling to achieve a plaid or check pattern. End-uses include dresses, shirts, and curtains.
  Glass Fiber - An inorganic fiber which is very strong, but has poor flexibility and poor abrasion resistance. Glass will not burn and will not conduct electricity. It is impervious to insects, mildew, and sunlight. Today, the primary use of glass fiber is in such industrial applications as insulation or reinforcement of composite structures.
  Greige Goods - An unfinished fabric, just removed from a knitting machine or a loom, but have received no dry- or wet- finishing operations. Also called grey goods.
 
H
Hand - The way the fabric feels when it is touched. Terms like softness, crispness, dryness, silkiness are all terms that describe the hand of the fabric. A good hand refers to shape retention without stiffness.
  Hard Shell - A high-impact, abrasion-resistant outer fabric, which provides protection from the environment.
  Heat Set Finish (Heat Sealing) - A process of heat finishing that will stabilize many manufactured fiber fabrics in order that there will not be any subsequent change in shape or size. Heat setting is used to permanently impart a crease, a pleat, or durability into a fabric or garment---a finish that will remain through repeated washings and dry cleanings.
  Heather - A yarn that is spun using pre-dyed fibers. These fibers are blended together to give a particular look. (For example, black and white may be blended together to create a grey heathered yarn.) The term, heather, may also be used to describe the fabric made from heathered yarns.
  Heather Mixture or Blend - Combinations of colors, stock-dyed to provide a mottled or melange type of yarn in woolens such as homespun, tweed, cheviot, shetland, etc.
  Heavy Weight - Also called expedition weight. Most often use din base layers. Thick and warm, it is usually brushed on the inside for warmth and wicking, and smooth on the outside to protect.
  Herringbone (Herringbone Twill) - A variation on the twill weave construction in which the twill is reversed, or broken, at regular intervals, producing a zig- zag effect.
  Hi-Visibility Fabrics - A type of fabric used to make personal protective equipment (PPE), which has highly reflective properties or is a color that is easily seen in any background.
  High Loft - A term given to a fiber structure that contains more air then fiber. It is a lofty, low-density material that is used in such applications as fiberfill, insulation, etc.
  High Tenacity - This is a fiber property that measures strength. The property is determined by the force required to rupture of break the fiber. Typically, this is measure is grams per denier (g/d). Tensile strength measres textile strength, measured in pounds per square inch to break a fabric.
  High Visability Fabrics - Fabrics that contain fluorescent materials in order to make the wearer visible in dim and dark lights. These fabrics have the ability to reflect on-coming lights, which cause them to glow in the dark.
  Hollow Fiber - Manufactured fiber made with a hollow center.
  Hollow Filament Fibers - Manufactured, continuous filament fibers that have a center void, which has been created through the introduction of air or other gas in the polymer solution, or by melt spinning through specially designed spinnerets during production.
  Hopsacking - Popular woolen or worsted suiting fabric made from a 2- and-2 or 3-and-3 basket weave.
  Horsehair - The long and lustrous hair taken from the mane and tail of horses. One of the most common uses is in blends with other fibers for hair canvas interfacings.
  Houndstooth Check - 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. This check pattern is often used in clear-finished worsted, woolen dress goods, etc.
  Hydrophilic Fibers - Fibers that absorb water easily, take longer to dry, and require more ironing. These fibers denote a finish that improves wearing comfort.
  Hydrophobic Fibers - Fibers that lack the ability to absorb water. These fibers denote a finish normally applied to create water-repellent products.
 
I
Impact Absorption - The ability of a textile or polymer material to provide cushioning and provide protection by absorbing the energy of a sudden impulse or shock to the wearer of the material.
  Indigo - A dye with a distinctive blue color. The chemical compound that constitutes the indigo dye is called indigotin. Historically, indigo played an important role in many countries' economies because natural blue dyes are rare. Among other uses, it is used in the production of denim cloth for blue jeans.
  Infusion Technology - An infused polymer construction process that reinforces the fabric of outerwear garments in the places where they take the most abuse: zipper and pocket flaps, and other high-abrasion areas. The technology blends polymers, penetrates deep into the inner fibers, and surrounds them to form a permanent bond. this tough, resilient matrix ensures a highly wear-resistant surface while allowing the fabric to remain lightweight and flexible. The infused polymer process eliminates the need for heavier-weight abrasion overlays, tapes anhd bindings, and adds increased strength to the most crucial points on the garment, which dramatically extends the life of the garment.
  Inseam - The distance from the bottom of a trouser leg to the crotch. The measurement is taken along the inside leg seam that joins the front and the back leg panels.
  Insulation - With respect to a fabric, a material that protects from the loss of warmth or the penetration of cold.
  Interfacing - Fabrics used to support, reinforce and give shape to fashion fabrics in sewn products. Often placed between the lining and the outer fabric., it can be made from yarns or directly from fibers, and may be either woven, nonwoven, or knitted. Some interfacings are designed to be fused (adhered with heat from an iron), while others are meant to be stitched to the fashion fabric.
  Interlining - 1. An insulation, padding, or stiffening fabric, either sewn to the wrong side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric for extra weight and warmth. The interlining is used primarily to provide warmth in coats, jackets, and outerwear. 2. Firm stiff linen canvas for men's coats.
  Interlock - A special type of eight-lock knit cloth. The stitch variation of the rib stitch, which generally resembles a double 1 x 1 ribbed fabric that is interknitted with crossed sinker wales. Plain (double knit) interlock stitch fabrics are thicker, heavier, and more stable than single knit constructions. The fabric has a smooth surface on both sides, and possesses good wearing qualities.
 
J
Jacquard - Woven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides intricate 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.
  Jacquard Knit - A weft double knit fabric in which a Jacquard type of mechanism is used. This device individually controls needles or small groups of needles, and allows very complex and highly patterned knits to be created.
  Jersey Fabric - The consistent interlooping of yarns in the jersey stitch to produces a fabric with a smooth, flat face, and a more textured, but uniform back. Jersey fabrics may be produced on either circular or flat weft knitting machines.
  Jersey Stitch - A basic stitch used in weft knitting, in which each loop formed in the knit is identical. The jersey stitch is also called the plain, felt, or stockinet stitch.
  Jute - A coarse, brown fiber from the stalk of a bast plant. Chiefly from India, this fiber is used primarily for gunny sacks, bags, cordage, and binding threads in carpets and rugs.
 
K
Kapok - A short, lightweight, cotton-like, vegetable fiber found in the seed pods of the Bombocaceae tree. Because of its brittle quality, it is generally not spun. However, its buoyancy and moisture resistance makes it ideal for use in cushions, mattresses, and life jackets.
  Knit Fabric - 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.
  Knit-de-knit - A type of yarn texturizing in which a crimped yarn is made by knitting the yarn into a fabric, and then heat-setting the fabric. The yarn is then unraveled from the fabric and used in this permanently crinkled form.
  Knitting - The art and science of constructing fabric by interlooping of yarn loops, through the use of needles and a "loop within a loop". The most essential unit in a knit fabric is the loop or stitch. A vertical row of stitches is called a WALE; the horizontal or crosswise row of stitches is known as a COURSE. The number of wales per inch, measured across the fabric depends on the count or size of the yarn used, and the number of needles per inch in the machine. The two major classes of knitting are warp and weft.
  Knitting (Circular) - A weft knitting process where the fabric is a tube,.with the threads running continuously around the fabric. Double- knit fabrics are produced on a circular knitting machine equipped with two sets of latch needles situated at right angles to each other.
  Knitting (Flat or Single) - A weft knitting process where the fabric is in flat form. The threads run back and forth across the fabric. Shape can be added in the knitting process by increasing or decreasing the loops or stitches. Full-fashioned garments are made on a flat-knitting machine. Also called plain knit, a fabric constructed with one needle bed and one set of needles.
  Knitting (Raschel) - A versatile warp knitting made in plain and jacquard patterns; the fabrics are coarser than other warp knits. Raschel knitting machines have one or two sets of latch needles and up to thirty sets of guides that enable them to create a wide range of fabrics.
  Knitting (Warp) - A type of knitting in which the yarns generally run lengthwise in the fabric. The yarns are prepared as warps on beams. Examples of this type of knitting include tricot, Milanese, and Raschel knitting.
  Knitting (Weft) - A type of knitting, in which one continuous thread runs crosswise in the fabric making all of the loops in one course. Weft knitting types are circular and flat knitting.
 
L
Lace - The term comes from the old French, las, by way of Latin, laquens, which means a noose, or to ensnare - rather well adapted to lace. A single yarn can produce a plaited or braided fabric or article since it will interlace, entwine, and twist in several directions to produce a porous material or lace
  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.
  Lamé - A woven fabric using flat silver or gold metal threads to create either the design or the background in the fabric.
  Laminated Fabric - A term used to describe fabrics which have been joined together through the use of a high-strength reinforcing scrim or base fabrics between two plies of flexible thermoplastic film.. It can a bonded utilizing either foam itself, or some other material, such as adhesives, heat, or chemical bonding agents.. See BONDING.
  Latent Heat - The quantity of heat absorbed or released by a substance undergoing a change of state, such as ice changing to water or water to steam, at constant temperature and pressure. When a solid material is heated and reaches its melting point, it goes from solid to liquid. During this process the material absorbs a certain amount of heat, Despite the heat input, the temperature of the material stays at a relatively constant level, even though phase change is taking place. We thus speak of latent (concealed) heat having been taken up by the material.
  Lawn - A light, fine cloth made using carded or combed, linen or cotton yarns. The fabric has a crease-resistant, crisp finish. Linen lawn is synonymous with handkerchief linen. Cotton lawn is a similar type of fabric, which can be white, solid colored, or printed.
  Left-hand twill - Any twill weave which runs from the left. The twill or diagonal line on the face of the fabric will run from the upper left-hand corner to the lower right-hand corner of the fabric.
  Leight Weight - Having an airy weave. Used as a light weight base layer in apparel for aerobic activities and cool weather.
  Leno Weave (Doup) - A construction of woven fabrics in which the resulting fabric is very sheer, yet durable. In this weave, two or more warp yarns are twisted around each other as they are interlaced with the filling yarns; thus securing a firm hold on the filling yarn and preventing them from slipping out of position. The yarns work in pairs; one is the standard warp yarn, the other is the skeleton or doup yarn. Also called the gauze weave. Leno weave fabrics are frequently used for window treatments, because their structure gives good durability with almost no yarn slippage, and permits the passage of light and air.
  Linen - A fabric made from linen fibers obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant. The term, linen, cannot be used except for natural fiber flax. The fiber length ranges from a few inches to one yard, with no fuzziness, does not soil quickly, and has a natural luster and stiffness. Linen fibers are much stronger and more lustrous than cotton. Linen fabrics are very cool and absorbent, but wrinkle very easily, unless blended with manufactured fibers. Linen is one of the oldest textile fibers.
  Lining - A fabric that is used to cover the inside of a garment to provide a finished look. Generally, the lining is made of a smooth lustrous fabric.
  Loft - High loft is thick and fluffy, low loft is thin and dense. The higher the loft, the better the insulation characteristic.
  Loom - A machine used for weaving fabrics.
  Loom-Finished - Material sold in the same condition in which the goods came from the loom---duck, webbing, canvas, burlap, etc.
  Lyocell Fiber - This fiber is made from the wood pulp cellulose of such hardwood trees as birch, oak, or eucalyptus, and is typically classified as a fiber cousin to rayon. Lyocell shares many properties with other cellulosic fibers such as cotton, linen, ramie and rayon. Some main characteristics of lyocell fibers are that it is soft, absorbent, very strong when wet or dry, and resistant to wrinkles; it can be machine- or hand-washed or drycleaned, it drapes well, and it can be dyed many colors, as well as simulating a variety of textures like suede, leather, or silk. In the United States, it is manufactured by Lenzing, Inc. and marketed under the trademarked brand name Tencel®.
 
M
Madras - One of the oldest staples in the cotton trade, a lightweight plain weave cotton fabric with a striped, plaid, or checked pattern. A true madras will bleed when washed. This type of fabric is usually imported from India. End-uses are men's and women's shirts and dresses.
  Manila - A type of fiber obtained from the leaves of the abacá, a relative of the banana. It is mostly used for pulping for a range of uses, including specialty papers and once used mainly to make Manila rope. Manila envelopes and Manila papers take their name from this fiber. See also "Natural Vegetable Fibers".
  Matelassé - A medium to heavyweight luxury fabric made in a double cloth construction to create a blistered or quilted surface. Common end-uses are upholstery, draperies, and evening dresses.
  Melton - A heavily felted, hard, plain face-finished cloth used for overcoatings, uniform fabrics, hunting cloth, and riding habits. Light melton is the fabric used asunder-collar cloth in coatings.
  Membrane - A thin, soft material made from a polymer which is laminated to the fabric to provide properties such as strength, water-proofing or wind-proofing to enhance the fabric?s performance.
  Mercerization - A process of treating a cotton yarn or fabric, in which the fabric or yarn is immersed in a caustic soda solution and later neutralized in acid. The process causes a permanent swelling of the fiber, resulting in an increased luster on the surface of the fabric, an increased affinity for dyes, and increased strength.
  Merino - A type of wool that originates from pure-bred Merino sheep. The best Merino wool comes from Italy. The highest, finest and best wool obtained anywhere in the world. This fiber is used only in the best of woolen and worsted fabrics, billiard cloth, etc.
  Mesh - A type of fabric characterized by its net-like open appearance, and the spaces between the yarns. Mesh is available in a variety of constructions including wovens, knits, laces, or crocheted fabrics.
  Metallic - An inorganic fiber made from minerals and metals, blended and extruded to form fibers. The fiber is formed from a flat ribbon of metal, coated with a protective layer of plastic, which reduces tarnishing. Metal used in apparel fabric is purely decorative.
  Micro-encapsulation - A method of enclosing polymer additive materials in microscopic capsules, which can then be released under certain conditions to enhance performance properties.
  Microclimate - The temperature and humidity of the space between your skin and the base layer of clothing.
  Microdeniers - One of the most important developments in spinning man- made fibers is the technology of microdeniers where continuous filament fibers emerge from a spinnerette less than one denier per filament in weight. This makes polyester, nylon, acrylic, or rayon, thinner than a silk-worm's web, which is one denier per filament. by comparison, a human hair is generally 2 to 4 deniers per filament. These superfine fibers have made a striking impact on fashion around the world in dress, sportswear, intimate apparel and activewear fabrics.
  Microfibers/Microdeniers - 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.
  Microfleece - A soft, luxorous fabric with a velvety feel.
  Micron - A unit of measure that describes the average staple fiber diameter in a lot of wool. Over he past 30 years, the Micron measurement has evolved to become the predominant term used commercially to describe the fineness of a wool fiber. A Micron is determined by the actual measurement when the wool lots are tested for sale during wool processing. Most wool fibers range in the area of 18-40 micron. Merino wool falls into the 18-24 micron range. The 25-32 micron, medium range wool, is usually defined by the word "Shetland", and is used in such applications as blankets and knitwear apparel. The 33-40 range Micron usually describes the wool most often used in the carpet industry.
  Microporous - A coating on a fabric that breathes through microscopic pores.
  Middle Weight - A weave that is tighter than lightweight, which combines warmth and wickability.
  Mineral Dyes - A natural dyestuff made from minerals, including ocher, limestone, manganese, cinnabar, azurite, and malachite.
  Modacrylic Fiber - A manufactured fiber similar to acrylic in characteristics and end-uses. Modacrylics have a higher resistance to chemicals and combustion than acrylic, but also have a lower safe ironing temperature and a higher specific gravity than acrylic.
  Mohair - The long, lustrous and strong hair fibers from the Angora goat. End-uses include sweaters, coats, suits, and scarves.
  Moiré/Watermarked - A corded fabric, usually made from silk or one of the manufactured fibers, which has a distinctive water-marked wavy pattern on the face of the fabric where bright-and-dim effects are observed.
  Moisture Management - See Wicking.
  Moisture Regain - The amount of water a completely dry fiber will absorb from the air at a standard condition of 70 degrees F and a relative humidity of 65%. Expressed as a % of the dry fiber weight.
  Moisture Transport - The movement of water from one side of a fabric to the other, caused by capillary action, wicking, chemical or electrostatic action.
  Monk's Cloth - A heavy weight cotton fabric utilizing the basket weave variation of the plain weave. Used for draperies and slip covers, monk's cloth is an example of 4 x 4 basket weave. It has poor dimensional stability and tends to snag.
  Monofilament - A single filament of a manufactured fiber, usually made in a denier higher than 14. Monofilaments are usually spun singularly, rather than extruded as a group of filaments through a spinneret and spun into a yarn. End-uses include hosiery and sewing thread.
  Monofilament - Any single filament, generally a coarser manufactured fiber. Monofilaments are generally spun individually, rather than being extruded through the spinneret in groups of filaments. Cross-sections may be of various shapes.
  Muslin - An inexpensive, medium weight, plain weave, low count (less than 160 threads per square inch) cotton sheeting fabric. In its unfinished form, it is commonly used in fashion design to make trial garments for preliminary fit.
  Mylar - A polyester film used to cover a metallic yarn.
 
N
Nainsook - A lightweight plain weave cotton fabric, usually finished to create a luster and a soft hand. Common end-uses are infants' wear, blouses, and lingerie.
  Nano-technology - Complex technology that involves nano-size materials and combines science such as biology, chemistry and physics and engineering.
  Nanofiber - Refers to fibers that are typically manufactuered through an electrospinning process, which spins fibers in diameters ranging from 10nm (nanometers) to several hundred nanometers, but usually less than 1,000 nm. In scientific terms, nanofibers are generally considered as having a diameter of less than one micron. The name nanofiber comes from the nanometer, which is a scientific unit of measurement representing a billionth of a meter, or three to four atoms wide. Current uses for nanofiber technology is in the fields of medical products, consumer products, industrial products, and high-tech applications for aerospace, capacitors, transistors, drug delivery systems, battery separators, energy storage, filtration, fuel cells, and information technology.
  Nanometer - This measurement used to describe a nanofiber refers to 1 billionth of a meter, or 1 x 10-8 centimeter. 150,000 strands of a nanofiber can fit across a human hair.
  Nap - A fuzzy, fur-like feel created when fiber ends extend from the basic fabric structure to the fabric surface. The fabric can be napped on either one or both sides.
  Napping - The raising of fibers on the face of the goods by means of teasels or rollers covered with card clothing (steel wires) that are about one inch in height. Action by either method raises the protruding fibers and causes the finished fabric to provide greater warmth to the wearer, makes the cloth more compact, causes the fabric to become softer in hand or smoother in feel, increases durability and covers the minute areas between the interlacings or the warp and the filling.
  Natural Dyes - Dyes that are made from mineral, vegetable (plant) or animal; otherwise obtained from natural sources. The most common types include Indigo, Cochineal, Lac, Logwood, Madder, Munjeet, Catechu, Brazilwood, Osage Orange, Fustic, Weld, Tannin, and Quercitron.
  Natural Vegetable Fibers - These are normally comprised of cellulose and include the following: Bamboo, Coir, Cotton, Flax, Hemp, Jute, Kenaf, Linen, Manila, Pina, Raffia, Ramie, and Sisal.
  Net - An open mesh fabric of rayon, nylon, cotton, or silk; made in a variety of geometric-shaped meshes of different sizes and weights, matched to various end-uses. The net is made by knotting the intersections of thread or cord to form the mesh.
  Nettle - A sustainable and organic fiber derived from a coarse, wild herb. It is naturally moth-repellant.
  Ninon - A lightweight, plain weave, made of silk or manufactured fibers, with an open mesh-like appearance. Since the fabric is made with high twist filament yarns, it has a crisp hand. End uses include eveningwear and curtains.
  Nonwoven Fabric - A textile structure held together by interlocking of fibers in a random web, accomplished by mechanical, chemical, thermal or solvent means. Generally, crimped fibers that range in length from 0.75 to 4.5 inches are used.
  Novelty Yarn - A yarn that is intentionally produced to have a special or unique effect. These effects can be produced by twisting together uneven single yarns, by using yarns that contain irregularities, or by twisting yarns that contain a color variance. A slubbed yarn is an example of a novelty yarn.
  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. A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long chain synthetic polyamide.
  Nytril - A manufactured fiber, most often used in sweaters or pile fabrics, where little or no pressing is recommended, as the fiber has a low softening or melting point. However, it has also been successfully used in blends with wool for the purpose of minimizing shrinkage and improving the shape retention in garments.
 
O
Olefin (polyolefin/polypropylene) - A manufactured fiber characterized by its light weight, high strength, and abrasion resistance. Olefin is also good at transporting moisture, creating a wicking action. End-uses include activewear apparel, rope, indoor-outdoor carpets, lawn furniture, and upholstery.
  Organdy - A stiffened, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count. End-uses include blouses, dresses, and curtains/draperies.
  Organic Cotton - Cotton that is grown without pesticides from plants that are not genetically modified using crop rotation and biological pest control instead of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
  Organic Linen - An extremely durable sustainable fiber that is made from the flax plant and grown without herbicides or pesticides.
  Organza - 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.
  Osnaburg - A tough medium to heavyweight coarsely woven plain weave fabric, usually made of a cotton or cotton/poly blend. Lower grades of the unfinished fabric are used for such industrial purposes as bags, sacks, pipe coverings. Higher grades of finished osnaburg can be found in mattress ticking, slipcovers, workwear, and apparel.
  Ottoman - A tightly woven plain weave ribbed fabric with a hard slightly lustered surface. The ribbed effect is created by weaving a finer silk or manufactured warp yarn with a heavier filler yarn, usually made of cotton, wool, or waste yarn. In the construction, the heavier filler yarn is completely covered by the warp yarn, thus creating the ribbed effect. End uses for this fabric include coats, suits, dresses, upholstery, and draperies.
  Oven - Enclosed heating chamber used by garment manufacturers to apply heat for the purpose of applying heat to a garment to set, or cure (bake), a durable press finish on the article.
  Oxford - Soft, somewhat porous, and rather stout cotton shirting given a silk-like luster finish. Made on small repeat basket weaves, the fabric soils easily because of the soft, bulky filling used in the goods. The cloth comes in all white or may have stripes with small geometric designs between these stripes.
 
P
Paisley - A tear-drop shaped, fancy printed pattern, used in dresses, blouses, and men's ties.
  Panné Velvet - A type of lustrous, lightweight velvet fabric, usually made of silk or a manufactured fiber, in which the pile has been flattened in one direction.
  Parachute Fabric - A compactly woven, lightweight fabric comparable with airplane cloth. It is made of silk, nylon, rayon, cotton, or polyester.
  Peau de Soie - A heavy twill weave drapeable satin fabric, made of silk or a manufactured fiber, and used for bridal gowns and eveningwear.
  Percale - A medium weight, plain weave, low to medium count (180 to 250 threads per square inch) cotton-like fabric. End-uses include sheets, blouses, and dresses.
  Perfluorinated chemical-free (PFC-free) - This material, fabric, or membrane is an organofluorine compound that is free of containing any carbon-fluorine bonds.
  Performance Fabrics - Fabrics made for a variety of end-use applications, which provide functional qualitites, such as moisture management, UV protection, anti-microbial, thermo-regulation, and wind/water resistance.
  Permeability - A textile characteristic which allows air, water, and water vapor to penetrate and pass through it.
  Phase Change Materials - A hydrophilic compound applied to a fiber or fabric which results in superior breathability and a moisture management system within the fabric that helps to maintain a comfortable body temperature when the garment is worn.
  Phthalates - These chemicals are salts or esters of phthalic acid. The esters are commonly used as plasticizers to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and increase the flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity of plastic products. However, when ingested, phthalates can cause kidney and liver damage. Due to these health concerns, phthalates are now being phased out of many products in the United States, Canada, and the European Union.
  Pick - A filling yarn that runs crosswise between selveges in woven goods. The pick intersects with the warp (or lengthwise yarn) to form a woven cloth.
  Pile Fabric - A fabric in which certain yarns project from a foundation texture and form a pile on the surface. Pile yarns may be cut or uncut in the fabric. Corduroy and velveteen are examples of cut filling pile fabrics.
  Pile Knit - A type of knit construction which utilizes a special yarn or a sliver that is interlooped into a standard knit base. This construction is used in the formation of imitation fur fabrics, in special liners for cold weather apparel such as jackets and coats, and in some floor coverings. While any basic knit stitch may be used for the base of pile knits, the most common is the jersey stitch.
  Pile Weave - A type of decorative weave in which a pile is formed by additional warp or filling yarns interlaced in such a way that loops are formed on the surface or face of the fabric. The loops may be left uncut, or they may be cut to expose yarn ends and produce cut pile fabric.
  Pill Resistant - The ability of a fabric to hinder or avoid the formation of small balls of fibers (pills) appearing on the surface of the fabric.
  Pilling - A tangled ball of fibers that appears on the surface of a fabric, as a result of wear, abrasion, or continued friction or rubbing on the surface of the fabric.
  Piña - A fiber made from the leaves of a pineapple and is commonly used in the Philippines. It is sometimes combined with silk or polyester to create a textile fabric. The end fabric is lightweight, easy to care for and has an elegant appearance similar to linen. See also "Natural Vegetable Fibers".
  Piqué - A medium-weight fabric, either knit or woven, with raised dobby designs including cords, wales, waffles, or patterns. Woven versions have cords running lengthwise, or in the warp direction. Knitted versions are double-knit fabric constructions, created on multi-feed circular knitting machines.
  Plaid - A pattern consisting of colored bars or stripes which cross each other at right angles, comparable with a Scottish tartan. Plaid infers a multi-colored motif of rather large pattern repeat; the word "check" refers to similar motifs on a small scale and with fewer colors.
  Plain Weave - A basic weave, utilizing a simple alternate interlacing of warp and filling yarns. Each filling yarn passes successfully over and under each warp yarn, alternating each row. Any type of yarn made from any type of fiber can be manufactured into a plain weave fabric.
  Plaited Fabric - In Woven Fabrics: A narrow fabric made by crossing a number of sturdy yarns diagonally, so each strand passes alternatively over or under one or more of the other stands. Typically used in shoe laces and suspenders. In Knitted Fabrics: Also known as bi-ply knitting, this special knit construction uses the addition of a second yarn within the same stitch. The second yarn is generally of a different color or type. During the knitting process the second yarn is placed under the first yarn, so that each yarn can be rolled to a specific side of the fabric. In many cases, one yarn/color appears on the face of the fabric, and the other yarn/contrast color appears on the back.
  Plaited Yarn - A yarn covered by another yarn.
  Plied Yarn - A twisting together of two or more single yarns in one operation.
  Plissé - A lightweight, plain weave, fabric, made from cotton, rayon, or acetate, and characterized by a puckered striped effect, usually in the warp direction. The crinkled effect is created through the application of a caustic soda solution, which shrinks the fabric in the areas of the fabric where it is applied. Plissé is similar in appearance to seersucker. End- uses include dresses, shirtings, pajamas, and bedspreads.
  Ply - Two or more yarns that have been twisted together. An automobile tire fabric yarn may be 9, 10, or 11 ply.
  Polyester - A manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950s, and is the most commonly used manufactured fiber worldwide. The fiber-forming substance in polyester is any longchain, synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of an ester of dihydric alcohol and terephthalic acid. Polyester has high strength (although somewhat lower than nylon), excellent resiliency, has high abrasion resistance, and resists shrinking, stretching and wrinkles. Polyester's low absorbency allows the fiber to dry quickly. Polyester fabrics are used in apparel and home furnishings (i.e. bedspreads, bedsheets, draperies and curtains). Industrial polyesters are used in ropes, tire reinforcements, safety belts, and plastics. Polyester fiberfill is used as stuffing in cushions, comforters, and pillows.
  Polylactic Acid (PLA) Fiber - A synthetic substance produced from the fermentation of plant sugars derived primarily from corn, which is then made into a fiber. Lightweight, hypoallergenic, and providing more UV protection than polyester, it uses about half the energy required to manufacture other synthetic polymers and is biodegradable. Downside: growing just one acre of corn uses enough water to run a household dishwasher over 30,000 times. See also "Corn Fiber".
  Polymer - A high molecular weight structure, which makes up the substance from which manufactured fibers are produced. The fiber is created by linking together the chain-like molecular units called monomers.
  Polypropylene (Olefin or Polyolefin) - A manufactured fiber characterized by its light weight, high strength, and abrasion resistance. Polypropylene is also good at transporting moisture, creating a wicking action. End-uses include thermal underwear, activewear apparel, rope, indoor-outdoor carpets, lawn furniture, and upholstery.
  Pongee - The most common form is a naturally colored lightweight, plain weave, silk-like fabric with a slubbed effect. End-uses include blouses, dresses, etc. Originally made of wild Chinese silk with a knotty rough weave.
  Ponte di Roma - A fabric made in a double knit construction, usually produced in one color rather than color patterns. This plain fabric has an elastic quality with a slight horizontal line. The fabric looks the same on both sides.
  Poplin - A fabric made using a rib variation of the plain weave. The construction is characterized by having a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. Poplin used to be associated with casual clothing, but as the "world of work" has become more relaxed, this fabric has developed into a staple of men's wardrobes, being used frequently in casual trousers.
  Prepared for Print (PFP) - For polyester, this means that the fabric has been washed, is free of oil and contains no added softeners.
  PTFE Fabric - A fabric made from Polytetrafluoroethylene, such as Gore-Tex.
  PTFE-free (polytetrafluoroethylene-free) - A fabric or membrane made of an environmentally safe compound containing no fluorine chemical compounds.
  Purl Stitch - A basic stitch used in weft knitting, which produces knit fabrics that have the same appearance on both sides. The purl stitch is frequently used in combination with the jersey and rib stitches to produce a knitted fabric design. Sweaters, knitted fabrics for infants and children's wear, knitted fabrics for specialized sportswear, and bulky knit fabrics are commonly made using the purl stitch.
 
Q
Quick Dry - The ability of a fabric to dry fast. Typically, cotton is generally less suited to fast drying as are synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester.
  Quilting - A fabric construction in which a layer of down or fiberfill is placed between two layers of fabric, and then held in place by stitching or sealing in a regular, consistent, all-over pattern on the goods.
 
R
Ramie - A sustainable bast fiber, similar to flax, taken from the stalk of a plant grown in East Asia and China. It’s three to five times stronger than cotton, extremely absorbent, and dries quickly. It is often mistaken for linen.
  Raschel Knit - A warp knitted fabric in which the resulting knit fabric resembles hand crocheted fabrics, lace fabrics, and nettings. Raschel warp knits contain inlaid connecting yarns in addition to columns of knit stitches.
  Raw Material - A natural unprocessed material used in a manufacturing process; defined as “unfinished goods consumed by a manufacturer in the production of finished goods”.
  Rayon - A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from cotton linters or the wood pulp of pine, spruce, or hemlock trees. 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. Rayon is soft and absorbent. End-uses for rayon include shirts, dresses, and slacks.
  Reed Mark - A fabric defect that occurs in woven fabrics, and identified as a mark or barre, or an irregular spacing between groups of yarns across the width of the fabric. This disturbance is caused by defective or damaged reeds or by a faulty setting of the loom or yarns in the structure of a woven fabric when the fabric is manufactured.
  Reeled Silk - This Silk fiber is the original silk filament obtained through the process of unwinding this filament as it comes out of the cocoon, using reeling appliances. typically, 3-10 silk filaments are reeled together. Reeled silk is strong, has an appreciated Shine, and is soft. A Knit fabric, made from reeled silk is very luxurious. Reeled silk is believed by many to be the king of all types of silk that is manufactured globally.
  Reflective Insulation Technology - All materials emit energy by thermal radiation as a result of their temperature. The amount of energy or radiant heat reflected depends on the surface temperature. The higher the surface temperature is, the greater the reflection will be. Reflective Insulation Technology has been used by NASA since the earliest satellites, and continues to be used today as the primary space suit insulation to protect every astronaut in space from the extreme temperatures of outer space. The technology is effective in temperatures as high as 120 degrees C. (250 degrees F.) to as low as -273 degrees C. (-400 degrees F.)
  Repellency - The ability of a fabric to resist such things as wetting and staining by water, stains, soil, etc.
  Reprocessed Wool - Fibers reclaimed from scraps of fabric never previously used.
  Resiliency - The ability of a fabric to spring back to its original shape after being twisted, crushed, wrinkled, or distorted in any way.
  Resin-Treated - A finishing process associated with the application of synthetic chemical compounds to the fabric to provide wrinkle-resistance, wash-and-wear characteristics, or an improved hand.
  Rib Knit - A basic stitch used in weft knitting in which the knitting machines require two sets of needles operating at right angles to each other. Rib knits have a very high degree of elasticity in the crosswise direction. This knitted fabric is used for complete garments and for such specialized uses as sleeve bands, neck bands, sweater waistbands, and special types of trims for use with other knit or woven fabrics. Lightweight sweaters in rib knits provide a close, body-hugging fit.
  Rib Weave - One of the plain weave variations, which is formed by using: 1) heavy yarns in the warp or filling direction, or 2) a substantially higher number of yarns per inch in one direction than in the other, or 3) several yarns grouped together as one. Rib fabrics are all characterized by having a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. Such fabrics may have problems with yarn slippage, abrasion resistance, and tear strength. Examples of this construction include broadcloth, poplin, taffeta, faille, shantung, and cord fabric.
  Ribbon - A fillet or narrow woven fabric of varying widths, commonly one-quarter to three inches, having selvage edges, chiefly or rayon, silk, or velvet, and used for braiding, decoration, trimmings, etc.
  Ring Spinning - A system of spinning, using a ring spinning frame that drafts the roving, twists the yarn, and winds it on the bobbin continuously and simultaneously on one operation. Modern ring frames are suitable for spinning all counts up to 150s.
  Ring Spun Cotton - This Cotton yarn is created through a process that twists together the cotton fibers from the seedpod of the cotton plant. The Ring-spun cotton yarn is made by continuously twisting and thinning the fiber strands to create a very fine rope of the cotton fibers. The Ring Spun twisting makes a stronger cotton yarn than conventional cotton yarn, with a significantly softer hand. The number of times the fibers are twisted determines how soft the yarn is.
  Rip-stop Nylon - A lightweight, wind resistant, and water resistant plain weave fabric. Large rib yarns stop tears without adding excess weight to active sportswear apparel and outdoor equipment such as sleeping bags and tents. Cloth used originally for parachutes and sails, now finding favor in fashion and accessories.
 
S
Sailcloth - Any heavy, plain-weave canvas fabric, usually made of cotton, linen, polyester, jute, nylon, etc. that is used for sails and apparel (i.e. bottomweight sportswear).
  Sanforized® - Registered trademark of The Sanforize Company, which is the most widely recognized method of shrinkage control used by major textile mills worldwide. The process maintains residual shrinkage to not exceed 1% in either direction (according to the U.S. standard wash test CCC-T- 191a), despite repeated washings.
  Saran Fiber - A manufactured fiber which has an excellent resistance to sunlight and weathering, and is used in lawn furniture, upholstery, and carpets.
  Sasawashi - A sustainable fabric that is derived from a blend of Japanese paper and kumazasa herb. Saswashi is a beautiful fabric that has a soft touch similar to cashmere or Egyptian cotton, but is has a dry feel like linen. It does not pill or fuzz, and is twice as absorbent as cotton. It is said to have natural anti-allergen and anti-bacterial properties.
  Sateen Fabric - This cloth is made with a 5-end or an 8-shaft satin weave in warp-face or filling-face effects made from yarns with low luster, such as cotton or other staple length fibers. The fabric has a soft, smooth hand and a gentle, subtle luster. Sateen fabrics are often used for draperies and upholstery.
  Sateen Weave - A variation of the satin weave, produced by floating fill yarns over warp yarns. The cloth is made with a 5-end or an 8- shaft satin weave in warp-face or filling-face effects.
  Satin Fabric - A traditional fabric utilizing a satin weave construction to achieve a lustrous fabric face with a dull back. Satin is a traditional fabric for evening and wedding garments. Typical examples of satin weave fabrics include: slipper satin, crepe-back satin, faille satin, bridal satin, moleskin, and antique satin.
  Satin Weave - 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. The name satin originated in Zaytun, China. Satin cloths were originally of silk and simulations are now made from acetate, rayon, and some of the other man-made fibers.
  Saxony - Originally a high grade coating fabric made from Saxony merino wool raised in Germany.
  Seamless Knitting - A unique process of circular knitting, done on either Santoni or Sangiacomo knitting machines. This circular knitting process essentially produces finished garments with no side seams, which require only minimal sewisng to complete the garment. Seamless knitting can transform yarn into complete garments in a fraction of the time it takes for traditional garment manufacturing, by minimizing the traditional labor-intensive steps of sutting and sewing.
  Seamless Technology - This term can refer to either "seamless knitting" (See Seamless Knitting), or "welding/bonding technology", which uses a bonding agent to attach two pieces of fabric together, and eliminates the need for sewing threads. (See welding.)
  Seersucker - A woven fabric which incorporates modification of tension control. In the production of seersucker, some of the warp yarns are held under controlled tension at all times during the weaving, while other warp yarns are in a relaxed state and tend to pucker when the filling yarns are placed. The result produces a puckered stripe effect in the fabric. Seersucker is traditionally made into summer sportswear such as shirts, trousers, and informal suits.
  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. Other names for it are listing, self-edge, raw edge.
  Serge - One of the oldest basic terms in textiles, it now implies any smooth face cloth made with a two-up and two-down twill weave, especially pertinent to worsted serge.
  Shantung - A silk fabric very similar to but heavier than pongee. A medium-weight, plain weave fabric, characterized by a ribbed effect, resulting from slubbed yarns used in the warp or filling direction. End-uses include dresses and suits.
  Sharkskin - A hard-finished, low lustered, medium-weight fabric in a twill-weave construction. It is most commonly found in men's worsted suitings; however, it can also be found in a plain-weave construction of acetate, triacetate, and rayon for women's sportswear.
  Shuttle - The boat-like devise on weaving machines, which carries the filling yarn wound on the bobbin. The shuttle moves from the shuttle box on one side of the loom, through the shed, and onto the shuttle box at the other side of the loom.
  Silk - The only natural fiber that comes in a filament form; from 300 to 1,600 yards in length as reeled from the cocoon produced by the silkworm. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China.
  Singeing - Process of burning off protruding fibers from fabrics to give the fabric a smooth surface.
  Sisal - A strong bast fiber that originates from the leaves of the Agave plant, which is found in the West Indies, Central America, and Africa. End-uses include cordage and twine.
  Sliver - A continuous bundle of loosely assembled untwisted fibers. These are fibers that are drawn from the card by the drawing frames, and are eventually twisted into a yarn during the sliver knitting process.
  Sliver Knitting - A type of circular knitting in which a high pile fabric is knitted by the drawing-in of the sliver by the knitting needles.
  Smart Textiles - Textiles that can sense and react to changes in the environment, such as changes from mechanical , thermal, chemical, magnetic and other sources.
  Soft Shell - Soft shell fabrics combine the benefits of hard shell fabrics with a breathable, flexible, comfortable fabric. Stretch wovens with a DWR treatment.
  Soil Release Finish - A finish that has the purpose of increasing the absorbency of a fabric. on durable press blends. The finish allows the stain to leave the fabric faster, increases the wicking action for improved comfort, and therefore imparts greater ease in cleaning. Some soil release finishes also provide resistance to soiling as well as ease of soil removal.
  Solution-dyed - A type of fiber dyeing in which colored pigments are injected into the spinning solution prior to the extrusion of the fiber through the spinneret. Fibers and yarns colored in this manner are color-fast to most destructive agents.
  Soybean Fiber - Also known as “vegetable cashmere”, soybean fiber is a sustainable textile fiber made from the residue of soybeans from tofu production. It is part of an effort to move consumers away from petrochemical textile products and turn waste into useful products. Soybean fiber has superior warmth retention, moisture transmission and bacterial resistance; it is also soft, smooth, and light. With a cashmere-like texture, it has a silky luster and the same moisture absorption as cotton. It is typically used for underwear, socks, scarves, sheets, and yoga/exercise apparel.
  Spacer Fabric - Two separate fabrics faces knitted independently and then connected by a separate spacer yarn. These fabrics can be produced on both circular and flat knitting machines. Spacer fabrics have the properties of good breathability, crush resistance, and a 3D appearance.
  Spandex Fiber - A manufactured elastomeric fiber that can be repeatedly stretched over 500% without breaking, and will still recover to its original length. This fiber is widely used in the manufacturing of garments to create elasticity.
  SPF (Sun Protection Factor) - SPF measures the effectiveness of sunscreen on the body. the test for SPF is done by using a living organism or body to measure the length of time it takes for the skin to redden without coverage or protection.
  Spinneret - A metal nozzle type device with very fine holes used in the spinning process of manufactured fibers. The spinning solution is forced or extruded through the small holes to form continuous filament fibers. The holes in the spinneret can vary in diameter to produce fibers of various denier.
  Spinning - This final operation in the production of a natural yarn, consists of of the drawing, twisting, and the winding of the newly spun yarn onto a device such as a bobbin, spindle, cop, tube, cheese, etc. In manufactured fibers, the spinning process is the extrusion of a spinning solution into a coagulation bath, a heated air chamber, or a cooling area in order to form a continuous filament or tow.
  Sponging - A pre-shrinkage process which involves the dampening with a sponge to woolen and worsted fabrics. The process is accomplished by rolling in moist muslin, or by steaming. This procedure is performed at the fabric mill prior to cutting to insure against a contraction of the material in the garment.
  Spot Weave - A woven construction in which patterns are built in at spaced intervals through the use of extra warp and/or extra fill yarns are placed in selected areas. These yarns are woven into the fabric by means of a dobby or Jacquard attachment.
  Spun Yarn - A yarn made by taking a group of short staple fibers, which have been cut from the longer continuous filament fibers, and then twisting these short staple fibers together to form a single yarn, which is then used for weaving or knitting fabrics.
  Stain Repellent - The ability of a fabric to resist wetting and staining by water.
  Stain Resistance - A fiber or fabric property of resisting spots and stains.
  Staple Fibers - 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.
  Storm Shell - Wind proof, wind resistant outerwear.
  Stretch Yarns - Continuous filament synthetic yarns that have been altered through special treatments or modification to give them elasticity. Techniques include: twisting and untwisting, use of air jets, stuffer boxes, knife blades, crimping, heat setting, curling, steaming, or looping. Use of these yarns gives fabrics a degree of elasticity and comfort.
  Substrate - Fabric on which coatings or other fabrics are applied; a support.
  Super Light Weight - Term used to describe a fabric used in outerwear, which allows for a minimum pack volume and weight. These lightweight, packable garments offer the most versatile weather protection. Some of these fabrics have a protection layer on the membrane, which provides durability. This means that the garments made from the extra lightweight fabrics need no separate lining.
  Surah - A light weight, lustrous twill weave constructed fabric with a silk-like hand. Surah is the fabric of ties, dresses, and furnishings. It is available in silk, polyester, and rayon.
  Sustainable / Eco / Green - Textiles that are produced in ethically responsible ways, or textile production processes that do not cause harm to the environment.
 
T
Taffeta - A lustrous, medium weight, plain weave fabric with a slight ribbed appearance in the filling (crosswise) direction, and usually with a sheen on its surface. 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.
  Tapestry - A heavy, often hand-woven, ribbed fabric, featuring an elaborate design depicting a historical or current pictorial display. The weft-faced fabric design is made by using colored filling yarns, only in areas where needed, that are worked back and forth over spun warp yarns, which are visible on the back. End-uses include wall hangings and upholstery.
  Tear Strength - The force necessary to tear a fabric, measured by the force necessary to start or continue a tear in a fabric. Expressed in pounds or in grams, the most commonly used method for determining the tear strength is the Elmendorf tear test procedure.
  Tensile Strength (Breaking Stregth) - The strength shown by a fiber, yarn, or fabric to resist breaking under pressure. It is the actual number of pounds of resistance that a fabric will give before the material is broken on the testing machine.
  Tension Control Weave - A type of decorative weave, characterized by a puckered effect which occurs because the tension in the warp yarns is intentionally varied before the filling yarns are placed in the fabric.
  Tentering - A finishing process in which a fabric is stretched under tension on a frame as part of the manufacturing process. The tentering process will carry the fabric through a heated chamber and hold the fabric goods so that its proper width is set and the fabric dries evenly.
  Terry Cloth - A typical uncut pile weave fabric. This fabric is formed by using two sets of warp yarns. One set of warp yarns is under very little tension; when the filling yarns are packed into place, these loose yarns are pushed backward along with the filling yarns, and loops are formed. The cloth has uncut loops on both sides of the fabric. Typical uses include towels, robes, and apparel.
  Terry Velour - A pile weave cotton fabric with an uncut pile on one side and a cut pile on the reverse side. Terry velour is valued for its soft, luxurious hand. Typical uses include towels, robes, and apparel.
  Textured Yarns - The yarns that result after undegoing the texturizing process, which can create crimping, looping, and otherwise modify the filament yarn for the purpose of increasing cover, abrasion resistance, insulation, warmth resilience, or moisture absorption, and to provide a different surface texture. When filament yarns are texturized, and then woven or knitted into fabrics, the result is that the finished fabric?s properties resemble a fabric that has been made from a spun yarn. Most of today's filament polyester is texturized.
  Texturizing - A process performed on specialized machinery which create bulk, stretch to the yarn, and therefore creates new aesthetics to the finished fabric.
  Thermal Insulation - The ability of a fabric to retain heat.
  Thermoregulation - The ability to maintain a constant temperature independent of dynamic (changing) environmental conditions.
  Thread Count - The number of ends and picks per inch in a woven cloth; the number of wales and courses per inch in a knit fabric. See "Count of Cloth".
  Ticking - A tightly woven, very durable fabric, usually made of cotton, and used for covering mattresses, box springs, pillows, and work clothes. The fabric can be made by using a plain, satin, or twill weave construction.
  Ticking - Compactly woven cotton cloth used for containers, covers for mattresses and pillows, sportswear (hickory stripes), institution fabric, and work clothes. It is striped cloth, usually white background with blue or brown stripes in the motif.
  Tow - A large bundle of continuous manufactured filament fibers, such as polyester, as they are extruded from the spinerette, and before they have been cut into staple fibers.
  Triacetate - A manufactured fiber, which like acetate, is made by modifying cellulose. However, even more acetate groups have been added to create this fiber. Triacetate is less absorbent and less sensitive to high temperatures than acetate. It can be hand or machine washed and tumble dried, with relatively good wrinkle recovery.
  Tricot Knit - A warp knit fabric in which the fabric is formed by interlooping adjacent parallel yarns. The warp beam holds thousands of yards of yarns in a parallel arrangement, and these yarns are fed into the knitting area simultaneously. Sufficient yarns to produce the final fabric width and length are on the beam. Tricot knits are frequently used in women's lingerie items such as slips, bras, panties, and nightgowns.
  Tulle - A lightweight, extremely fine, machine-made netting, usually with a hexagon shaped mesh effect. End-uses include dance costumes and veils.
  Tweed - A medium to heavy weight, fluffy, woolen, twill weave fabric containing colored slubbed yarns. Common end-uses include coats and suits.
  Twill Weave - A fundamental weave characterized by diagonal lines, usually at a 45 degree angle. In a warp-faced twill, the warp yarns produce the diagonal effect. It is one of the three basic weaves, the others being plain and satin. All weaves, either simple, elaborate or complex, are derived from these three weaves. Twill is the most common weave for bottom-weight uniform fabrics.
  Twist - A term that applies to the number of turns and the direction that two yarns are turned during the manufacturing process. The yarn twist brings the fibers close together and makes them compact. It helps the fibers adhere to one another, increasing yarn strength. The direction and amount of yarn twist helps determine appearance, performance, durability of both yarns and the subsequent fabric or textile product. Single yarns may be twisted to the right (S twist) or to the left (Z twist). Generally, woolen and worsted yarns are S-twist, while cotton and flax yarns are typically Z-twist. Twist is generally expressed as turns per inch (tpi), turns per meter (tpm), or turns per centimeter (tpc).
 
U
U.L. Down - Ultra Light Down is used in women's and men's jackets. the concept is to make the lightest and warmest insulation layer available. U.L. Down jackets weigh less than a tee-shirt, blocks more wind, is warmer than even the heavist fleece jackets, and compress to the size of a water bottle. This outerwear can be used when warmth is critical, minimal weight is paramount, and space is at a premium.
  Ultra-Light Weight - Term used to describe a fabric used in outerwear, which allows for a minimum pack volume and weight. Lightweight packable garments offer the most versatile weather protection. Some of these fabrics have a protective layer on the membrane, which provides durability. This means that the garments made from extra lightweight fabrics need no separate lining.
  UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) - The UPF rating indicates how effective a fabric is at blocking out solar ultraviolet radiation from reaching the skin. UPF ratings range from 15 to 50 with higher ratings indicating more effective blocking and therefore better protection for the wearer of a garment. Fabrics that test higher than UPF 50 are rated as UPF50+. UPF testing involves exposing a fabric to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and measuring how much is tranmitted through the sample. Different wave-lengths of radiation in the UVR spectrum have different effects on human skin and this is taken into consideration when calculating the UPF rating. Factors that contribute to the UPF rating of a fabric are: *Composition of the yarns (cotton, polyester, etc) *Tightness of the weave or the knit (tighter improves the rating) *Color (darket colors are generally better) *Stretch (more stretch lowers the rating) *Moisture (many fabrics have lower ratings when wet) *Condition (worn and faded garments may have reduced ratings) *Finishing (some fabrics are treated with UV absorbing chemicals)
  UV Degradation - The breaking down of fibers or fabrics when exposed to ultraviolet rays.
  UV Protection (UPF) - Designed for sun protection, these specialty fabrics are produced for their level of ultraviolet (UV) protection. A novel weave structure, combined with a high denier count (related to thread count per inch) may assist in producing sun protective properties in fabrics.
 
V
Vegetable Dye - Dyes derived from insects or from the earth, including dyes made from plants and bark, which includes madder root, indigo, milkweed, pomegranate, Osage, cutch and cochineal. These also include natural dyes produced from berries, roots and bark. They are not as colorfast as chrome dyes and produce unusual shades of blue, green and other colors. They contain no synthetic chemicals and, due to their natural ingredients, tend to fade faster than chrome dyes.
  Velcro® - Nylon material made with both a surface of tiny hooks and a complementary surface of an adhesive pile, used in matching strips that can be pressed together or pulled apart for easy fastening and unfastening.
  Velour - A medium weight, closely woven fabric with a thick pile. It can be made using either a plain weave or a satin weave construction. It resembles velvet, but has a lower cut pile. End uses include apparel, upholstery, and drapes.
  Velvet - A medium weight short cut-pile constructed fabric in which the cut pile stands up very straight in a succession of rows that stand so close together as to give an even, uniform surface. 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 a smooth, soft hand.
  Velveteen - A filling pile cloth in which the pile is made by cutting an extra set of filling yarns which weave in a float formation. These yarns are woven or bound into the back of the material at intervals by weaving over and under one or more warp ends.
  Vinyon - A synthetic fiber polymer made from polyvinyl chloride. In some countries other than the United States, vinyon fibers are referred to as polyvinyl chloride fibers and is similar in nature to vinyl. It can bind non-woven fibers and fabrics. It was invented in 1939. See also Synthetic fibers.
  Virgin Wool - New wool that has never been used before, or reclaimed from any spun, woven, knitted, felted, manufactured or used products.
  Viscose - The most common type of rayon. It is produced in much greater quantity than cuprammonium rayon, the other commercial type.
  Voile - 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.
 
W
Wales - In a knitted fabric, the series of loops that are formed by a single needle, which runs vertically or lengthwise in a knitted fabric.
  Warmth to Weight Ratio - A measurement used to evaluate the effectiveness of an insulated product in relation to weather conditions and the environment. The insulation with the best rating is down. Down provides the best warmth to weight ratio over almost any other insulation material, which is why you will see down garments and sleeping bags as the primary choice for use in almost every high altitude, cold weather expedition.
  Warp - In all woven fabrics, this is the set of yarn running lengthwise - machine direction - parallel to the selvage and interwoven with the filling. It is the set of yarns wound together on a beam for the purpose of weaving or warp knitting.
  Warp Knitting - A type of knitted fabric construction in which the yarns are formed into stitches in a lengthwise manner. There are two basic types: weft knits and warp knits. Warp knits are knitted with intermeshing loops disposed in a lengthwise or warp direction, while weft knits have their loops intermeshed in a width-wise or weft direction. Warp knits are generally less elastic than weft knits. Common examples of warp knits are tricot knits and raschel knits.
  Water Repellent - Fabrics that have been treated with a finish which cause them to shed water and resist water penetration, but are still air-permeable. Treatments can include wax coatings, resins, silicones, and fluorine derivatives. Such treatments do not close the pours of the fabric, while waterproof finishes do.
  Water Resistant - Fabric treated chemically to resist water or given a "wax- coating treatment" to make it repellent. A degree by which water is able to penetrate a fabric. Not to be confused with water-repellent. However, the terms are often used interchangeably.
  Water-Based Products and Finishes - An environmentally-friendly alternative. These products and finishes are nonflammable and odorless. They offer reduced exposure to toxic materials and help reduce environmental pollution. Water-based products are easy to clean and dry faster than other non-water-based products.
  Waterproof - A term applied to fabrics whose pores have been closed, and therefore, will not allow water or air to pass through them.
  Waterproof / Breathable (WP/BR) - This specialty fabric resists liquid / water from passing through the fabric, but allows water vapor to pass through, so that it's comfortable when made into a garment.
  Weaving - The process of forming a fabric on a loom by interlacing the warp (lengthwise yarns) and the filling (crosswise yarns) perpendicular to each other. Filling is fed into the goods from cones, filling bobbins or quills, which carry the filling yarns through the shed of the loom. Filling may also be inserted into the material without the use of a shuttle, as in the case of a shuttleless loom. The three basic weaves are Plain, Twill, and Satin. All other weaves, no matter how intricate, employ one or more of these basic weaves in their composition. Variations on the basic weaves make a variety of different fabric surfaces and fabric strengths.
  Weft - In woven fabric, the filling yarns that run perpendicular to the warp yarns.
  Weft Knit - A type of knitted fabric in which yarns are formed into stitches in widthwise manner. Common examples of weft knits are circular knits and flat knits.
  Weight of Cloth - There are three ways by which fabric is sold. 1. Ounces per linear yard: a 14-ounce covert topcoating, a 22-ounce melton overcoating. 2. Yards to the pound: a 3.60 airplane cloth, a 4.00 filling sateen. 3. Ounces per square yard: a 3.75 acetate satin, a 6.00 nylon organdy.
  Welded Shell - The outer layer of a bonded wor welded garment, such as a jacket.
  Welding - There are two basic methods for applying bonding or welded seams. The first method uses an adhesive film, and the application of heat to glue or laminate two substrates together. The second method involves gluing or attaching two fabrics, using ultrasonic technology. The creation and channeling of high frequency vibratory waves cause a rapid buildup of heat in synthetic fabrics to create the bonding.
  Whipcord - A woven fabric with a very steep and compacted twill appearance on the face of the goods. End-uses for the fabric include dress woolens, worsteds, or wool blends, and many types of uniforms.
  White Goods - A very broad term which implies any goods bleached and finished in the white condition. Some of the cotton white goods are muslin, cambric, dimity, lawn, longcloth, organdy, voile, etc.
  White-on-White - Some fabrics, such as men's shirtings or broadcloth, poplin, madras, etc., are made on a dobby or jacquard loom so the white motifs will appear on a white background.
  Wickability - The ability of a fiber or a fabric to disperse moisture and allow it to pass through to the surface of the fabric, so that evaporation can take place.
  Wicking - Dispersing or spreading of moisture or liquid through a given area by capillary action in a material.
  Wigwan - A converted cotton cloth, dyed black, brown or gray, and given a firm starched, plain calender finish, and used for interlinings in men's and boys's clothing to give body to the garment.
  Wind Resistant - The ability of a fabric to act against or oppose the penetration of wind or air, but it is not totally windproof.
  Windproof - The ability of a fabric to be nonpermeable to wind and air.
  Woof - Comes from the Anglo-Saxon "owef". It is another name for the warp or warp yarn. Sometimes in advertising textiles, the word has been used to imply filling yarn, and made to interchange with the other term, weft.
  Wool - 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. Commonly used in slacks and outerwear.
  Worsted Fabric - A tightly woven fabric made by using only long staple, combed wool or wool-blend yarns. Worsted yarn is smooth- surfaced and spun from evenly combed, long staple fibers. The fabric has a hard, smooth surface. Gabardine and surge are examples of worsted fabrics. A common end use is men's tailored suits.
  Worsted System - The textile process of manufacturing spun yarns from staple fibers usually over 3 inches in length. The main operations are carding, combing, drafting, and spinning.
  Woven Fabric - Fabrics composed of two sets of yarns. One set of yarns, the warp, runs along the length of the fabric. The other set of yarns, the fill or weft, is perpendicular to the warp. Woven fabrics are held together by weaving the warp and the fill yarns over and under each other.
  Wrinkle Free - A resistant to wrinkling created through the use of a variety of finishes and treatments.
  Wrinkle Recovery - Similar to resiliency. It is the ability of a fabric to bounce back after it has been twisted, wrinkled, or distorted in any way. Some fabrics are able to eliminate wrinkles because of their own resilience. Wool is among those, as are thermo- plastic manufactured fibers and chemically-treated cottons. Laboratory tests are made to determine the amount or degree a fabric will recover from wrinkling.
 
Y
Yarn - A continuous strand of textile fibers created when a cluster of individual fibers are twisted together. These long yarns are used to create fabrics, either by knitting, plaiting, or weaving.
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