Angora Wool - Wool taken from Angora rabbits, characterized for not causing any allergies, being an alternative to other fabrics.
Acetate - Synthetic fiber formed by a compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or the wood pulp of the mulberry trees
Alpaca - Wool taken from alpacas, characterized for being soft and long-lasting.
Acrylic - Synthetic fiber derived from polyacrylonitrile. Its major properties include a soft, wool-like hand, machine washable and dryable, excellent color retention. This fiber can be made to mimic wool and cotton depending on its desired outcome.
Absorbency - The fiber's ability to absorb moisture. Absorption is very important because it affects many other characteristics, such as skin comfort, increased static, shrinkage, stain removal, water repellency and wrinkle recovery.
Anti-Static - It can be a property of a fiber or a fabric that does not allow the build-up of static electricity to occur when the fiber or fabric experiences friction or rubbing.
Aramid - It is a synthetic fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long chain of synthetic polyamide which makes aramid fabrics very strong and resistant to high temperatures and extreme external forces. As the fabrics of this fiber do not melt or ignite, they can be used as protective clothing and thermal and electrical insulation, very common in military clothing.
Brocade - Decorated fabric, normally with a floral pattern, by a weaving technique done in a loom, characterized for being shinny and having an embroidery effect in its pattern.
Bamboo - A artificial fiber made from the pulp of bamboo, it is considered sustainable fiber, because the bamboo plant grows quickly and does not require the use of herbicides and pesticides to thrive.
Bouclé - It is a yarn that showcases a looped design that provides a lovely texture in both yarns and the fabric made with it. Yarns described as such have evenly looped strands that are twisted together. It is commonly seen in Chanel blazers.
Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) - The world’s largest sustainable cotton program focused on supporting environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable practices in all aspects of cotton production. BCI uses the Better Cotton Standard System to certify principles regarding fertilizer use, water quality, fiber quality, land use, and biodiversity.
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.
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.
Bayadere – Pattern with many bars together, with the same direction, but different thickness and colors
Canvas - Extremely long-lasting fabric, plain woven (the first fundamental weaving structure), normally used in backpacks, tents, canvas and sails.
Cashmere - Wool taken from “cashmere” goat characterized for being stronger, lighter and softer than lamb’s wool.
Charmeuse - Lightweight fabric with a satin weave, a smooth finish in the front and a dull finish in the back.
Chambray - Plain woven fabric made from cotton with a mix of blue and white yarn, similar to Denim.
Chenille - Fabric which name is French for caterpillar, animal which fur is similar to the fabric’s fur. This type of fabric is characterized for being soft and firm.
Chiffon - Simple fabric, lightweight with some transparency, woven of alternate S- and Z-twist crepe yarns.
Crêpe - Fabric with a crimped appearance, resulting of weaving with interconnected threads, which form waves. There are different types of crepe, such as the Crêpe de chine or the Georgette.
Cotton - Soft and fluffy fiber, which grows in a boll around the seeds of the cotton plants.
Corduroy - Fabric with a corrugated surface, pattern with tufted cords, also known as bombazine.
Cupro - Artificial fiber from regenerated cellulose derived from cotton. It is characterized by having a high level of comfort, being biologically safe, soft, shiny and having a soft drape.
Calendering - A finishing given to fabric in order to smooth or coat it using high temperatures and large rollers. 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.
Cambric - Soft, white, closely woven cotton fabric calendered to achieve a high glaze is commonly used for handkerchiefs, linens and shirts. Originally made in Cambrai, France, of linen and used for church embroidery and table linen.
Camel Hair - The undercoat of a camel's hair is luxuriously soft and most commonly collected when it moults. Sometimes blended with wool, it is ideally used in outerwear applications because of its insulating properties. Natural colors range from light tan to brownish black.
Cellulose fiber- A type of fiber derived from a plant. Natural cellulose fibers include cotton, seed, bast, linen, ramie and hemp. Known for being environmentally friendly and bio-degradable. A white naturally occurring carbohydrate polymer found in organic woody substances of most vegetation.
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.
Checks - Alternating stripes crossing perpendicularly to create perfect squares. Checks can also feature alternating squares of two colors.
Chambray - Pattern with a stained effect, for being made with yarns of two different colors.
Denim - Cotton fabric made through the twill weaving (second fundamental structure), where one yarn is died blue and the other is left white, resulting in the fabric being dominated by blue in one side and by white on the other.
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.
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.
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 Face - One warp yarn and two weft yarns create this type of double cloth that features two faces or "right" sides. Unlike a double cloth however, the two right sides of the fabric can not be separated.
Dyeing - The process of adding color to yarns, fabric (piece dyeing) or garments. Both natural and synthetic dyes are used today in production. Methods of dyeing vary and have become more complex over the years through the use of technology.
Eco-friendly - A term used to describe services and goods that cause very little, if any, harm to the environment. Fibers that use the entire plant in production, less energy to produce or less or no pesticides in the cultivation process.
Elastane - A synthetically fiber that is known for its Elasticity. Also known for spandex or Lycra®.
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 - A craft that uses needle and thread, as well as other materials, to embellish fabric. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.
End-on-end - Pattern characterized for being plain woven and having different colors of yarn.
Fabric A cloth made of natural and/or manmade fibers that are either woven or knit together.
Felt - 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, composed of thread-like tissue capable of being made into yarn, and then used in the production of a fabric. The first step in fabric manufacturing is to cultivate the chosen fiber, either staple or filament.
Faux Fur - A fabric that is made to look and feel like real fur.
Faux Leather - A fabric that is made to look and feel like real leather. Mostly seen with a fabric base and a PVC coating over its face, it is used in both fashion and home applications.
Filament Fibers - A single, continuous hair-like strand of a natural or manufactured fiber with infinite length, extruded from the spinneret during the fiber production process.
Finishing - All processes through which a fabric passes after manufacturing in preparation for the market. These include calendaring, anti-microbial finishing, mercerization, 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.
Flannel - Soft fabric made with cotton fiber and produced in the twill or taffeta weaving structure. 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.
Flax - The plant from which cellulosic linen fiber is obtained. It is considered to be the strongest of the cellulose fibers and is highly absorbent, allowing moisture to evaporate with speed. It conducts heat well and can be readily boiled.
Flexibility - The ability of a fiber to repeatedly bend without breaking. The flexibility of a fabric directly correlates with the drapability of a fabric.
Floral - A pattern made up of images, realistic or otherwise, of flowers. Today, the pattern is a staple for many designers and has changed and grown over the years.
Fringe - Cut fabric or a series of yarns that fall from a trim or a garment's hem. The use of fringe started with a utilitarian purpose rather than ornamental.
Gauze - A loosely woven fabric that is thin and translucent. Stability is given to the fabric as fine weft yarns cross before and after each fine warp yarn. Originally made of silk, it can also be made with cotton, synthetic fibers, and even wire.
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.
Garment Dyeing - When the finished garment is dyed as a whole.
Gauze - A loosely woven fabric that is thin and translucent. Stability is given to the fabric as fine weft yarns cross before and after each fine warp yarn. Originally made of silk, it can also be made with cotton, synthetic fibers, and even wire.
Georgette - A crepe fabric that is lightweight and sheer. Similar to chiffon, it has a springier feel and is more matte. It is made with crepe's signature twisted yarns in both the warp and weft giving it a crinkled hand.
Grosgrain - Grosgrain is a plain woven that has a heavier warp yarn giving it a horizontal ribbed or corded texture. It is strong and may be used in a number of applications such as decorative touches, watch bands, lanyards and bookbinding.
Geometric Pattern - Pattern characterized for having many geometrical motifs.
Hemp - Hemp is a fiber made from cannabis with a similar feel to linen when woven. Incredibly strong, especially when wet, the fiber was used to make canvas for sails. Incredibly versatile, hemp is both environmentally friendly and economically easy to produce.
Hydrophilic Fibers - Condition of a fiber to absorb moisture easily, take longer to dry, and require more ironing. These fibers denote a finish that improves wearing comfort. Fibers that are hydrophilic include Cellulose Fibers and Protein Based Fibers.
Hydrophobic Fibers - Fibers that lack the ability to absorb water. These fibers denote a finish normally applied to create water-repellent products. Fibers that are hydrophobic include synthetic fiber.
Herringbone - Pattern characterized for having a V-shapped weaving pattern, which gives it the appearance of a broken zigzag
Indigo Dye Originally, a natural blue dye extracted from Indigo plants. The indigo used today is synthetic, a blue color used for denim.
Ikat - The pattern derives from a dyeing technique where the yarns are dyed before the fabric is woven. The pattern is most commonly seen as a geometric.
Interlock Knit - Two ribbed fabrics made from one yarn are interlocked to create ribs that sit closely next to each other and run down the length of the fabric. 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.
Jersey - Jersey fabrics have the same characteristics of Knit fabrics, with the exception of being thinner and lighter.
Jacquard - Fabric characterized by its complex patterns of interlacing, in weaving as in knitting. The fabric is identified by its elaborate pattern varies in color and texture.
Jersey - It is a single knit that is often used to make t-shirts. The right side has lengthwise ribs (wales) and the wrong side has crosswise ribs (courses). Jersey fabrics may be produced on either circular or flat weft knitting machines.
Jute - A natural fiber known for its long, shiny, and soft quality. It is the most affordable natural fiber next to cotton. Natural jute has a yellow to brown or gray color, with a silky luster. Jute reacts to chemicals in the same way as do cotton and flax.
Knit - Fabrics composed of a set of threads twisted on themselves, in order to provide mechanical strength.
Lambswool - Wool taken from lambs with 7 months, characterized for being soft and elastic.
Lyocell - Fabric made from cellulose fibers from trees, characterized for being soft, pleasant for the skin and with a lot of elasticity. The most famous brand from Lyocell is Tencel, endorsed by Lenzing.
Linen - A natural fiber taken from the flax plant. 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. It gets softer the more it is washed and worn.
Linings - A fabric used in the inner part of a garment, handbag, curtain, hat or other items. Depending on the desired outcome, different linings give the piece a different characteristic.
Merino Wool - Wool taken from merino sheep, characterized for being softer and more expensive.
Mohair - The long, lustrous and strong hair fibers from the Angora goat. The fiber is smooth, glossy, and wiry. End-uses include sweaters, coats, suits, and scarves.
Matelassê - Jacquard fabric, where the designs are in high relief, forming the effect of a pattern of geometric or floral design.
Micromodal - Fabrics made from fibers from the “Fagus” trees’ wood, with the softness of silk and the breathability of cotton. The main difference between Micromodal and Modal is that micromodal uses cellulose fibres of higher quality, allowing a bigger concentration of fibres without increasing its weight and giving it a glossier appearance than modal.
Modal - Fabrics made from fibers from the “Fagus” trees’ wood, with the softness of silk and the breathability of cotton. The main difference between Micromodal and Modal is that micromodal uses cellulose fibres of higher quality, allowing a bigger concentration of fibres without increasing its weight and giving it a glossier appearance than modal.
Melange - A form of fiber created from either multiple different colors of the same fiber to create a unique color pattern.
Melton - A twill fabric with a composition of either entirely wool or a cotton warp and a wool weft, which goes through the fulling process, thus hiding its weave behind a smooth surface. The fabric is napped and very closely sheared. Looks like wool felt pressed flat. Meltons are prized for there durability and weatherproof properties. Often used for overcoatings, uniform fabrics, hunting cloth, and riding habits.
Mercerization - A process done to cellulosic fibers with a solution of Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide) to add luster and increase absorbency in the dying processes (or dye affinity). This process can be used on hemp fibers as well.
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.
Modacrylic - 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. Often used to create faux fur.
Modal - A type of rayon manufactured from spinning reconstituted semi-synthetic cellulose fibers, in this case often from beech trees.
Mousseline - An early form of Muslin made from silk. This sheer, lightweight fabric was used for a variety of clothing throughout the 17th century. It is somewhat like chiffon but with a crisp finish.
Moleskin - Is a heavy cotton fabric with feel and appearance of its nap is similar to felt or chamois, but less plush than velour. Soft and hard wearing, it is a popular alternative to fabrics like wool or linen.
Neoprene - Is a synthetic fabric. The original form of neoprene most commonly seen in scuba-gear was made from a piece of rubber sandwiched between one or two layers of polyester fabric. Now, neoprene can be found without the layer of rubber replaced with air cushioning for fashion apparel and accessories.
Nylon - Is a Synthetic fiber known for its high strength, has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility. It is elastic, easy to wash and is quite lustrous. It returns easily to its original shape and is non-absorbent. It is fast drying, resistant to some dyes, and resistant to moths and other insects, water, perspiration, and standard dry-cleaning agents.
Organza - Thin, lightweight and with a crimped texture fabric, made with a plain weave (first fundamental structure). This type of fabric is usually used in bridal wear.
Oxford - Weaving structure where the warp and weft are crossed with two picks and one end. This structer is usually used for shirts.
Ottoman - Type of fabric characterized for its ribbed appearance where the weft is heavier than the warp, also known as grosgrain.
Organic Cotton - Cotton fibers grown without the use of genetic modification or pesticides.
Organic Linen - An extremely durable sustainable fiber that is made from the flax plant and grown without pesticides for synthetic fertilizer
OEKO-TEX® - A worldwide union of independent research and test facilities, OEKO-TEX® sets and certifies standards for textile and leather production from raw materials to finished products while thoroughly covering chemicals, harmful substances, and precautionary parameters to make choosing safe, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible textiles simpler for consumers.
Panamá - Weaving structure where the warp and weft are crossed in two.
Plain weave - The most basic weaving structure of the three fundamental ones, being the first of the three. It is characterized for its warp and weft forming a simple crisscross pattern.
Poplin - Strong fabric produced in the taffeta weaving structure with crosswise ribs, which forms a corded surface.
Polynosic - A modified rayon fiber that has a high wet modulus and a low degree of swelling.
Paisley - An ornamental design using a tear-drop shaped motif with a curved upper end.
Percale - A medium weight, plain weave, cotton-like fabric. End-uses include sheets, blouses, and dresses.
Patchwork - Needlework in which small pieces of cloth are sewn together in a pattern or to make a design.
Patterns - A repeated decorative design where the elements are repeated in a predictable way.
Piqué - A medium-weight fabric, either knit or woven, with raised dobby designs including cords, wales, waffles, or patterns.
Polyamide - A Synthetic fiber typically elastic, resistant to abrasion and tearing, waterproof, and resilient against seawater and high temperatures.
Polypropylene fabric - A Synthetic 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.
Poplin - A poplin is a strong fabric in a plain weave of any fiber or blend featuring crosswise ribs that typically provide a corded surface. Due to its tight look and flat finish, poplin is used in men’s shirts, pants, women’s dresses, banners, upholstery, and tablecloths.
Prints - A pattern transferred onto a material by way of blocks, engraved plates, rollers, or silk screens.
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.
Ramie - A natural sustainable fiber, similar to flax but is stiff and more brittle. It’s three to five times stronger than cotton, extremely absorbent, and dries quickly. Ramie fibers are long and very fine.
Rayon - A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from cotton linters or the wood pulp of pine, spruce, or hemlock trees. Rayon is soft and absorbent. End-uses for rayon include shirts, dresses, and slacks.
Rib Knit - A basic stitch used in knitting. This knit lies flat due to the method of knitting and generally features more stretch in the width then the length. Many t-shirts feature rib knits in the collars as well as in the cuff due to the ideal amount elasticity in this fabric.
Ripstop - A type of fabric woven with a double thread at regular intervals so that small tears do not spread. Characteristically features small visible and tactile squares in the weave caused by the double threads. This form of construction makes it a viable option for everything from jackets to hot air balloons depending on the base material.
Satin - weaving structure is more flexible than the plain weave and is divided in two types:
- Satin – in which the warp and weft used in weaving are made of nylon, silk or polyester.
- Sateen – in which the warp and weft are made of cotton.
Shetland Wool - Wool taken from “Shetland” goats, which produce various colors of wool, an important aspect since wool is normally produced without being dyed.
Silk - Natural protein fiber produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons.
Shantung - Silk made by weaving two irregular yarns and known as the wild silk for being the only type in which the silkworm is not in captivity.
Seersucker - Thin and wrinkled fabric, 100% cotton, generally with strips or chess patterns, used to make summer and spring clothing.
Stripes - Pattern characterized for having only vertical or horizontal stripes.
Twill - Weaving structure characterized for its diagonal pattern with threads crossing perpendicularly.
Tartan - Pattern with horizontal and vertical stripes of various colors. This pattern is normally associated with Scotland, because of its traditional kilts.
Teflon - Teflon is a tough synthetic resin that is insoluble and created through polymerization. Often used to water repellant finish.
Tencel - A form of cellulose fiber created from wood pulp with recycleable solvents. Tencel is a brand name of lyocell. This material is eco-friendly, antibacterial, durable, and has a higher absorbency than cotton fibers.
Tie-Dye - A form of dying process traditionally done by hand where patterns are created by being bound in a string, rubber bands, or clamps to resist color when submerged in a dye bath.
Triacetate - A manufactured fiber, which like acetate, is made by modifying cellulose. Triacetate is less absorbent and less sensitive to high temperatures than acetate. The process this material goes through yields a durable, easier to use material that is resistant to hot water.
Tulle - A lightweight, extremely fine, machine-made netting, usually with a hexagon shaped mesh effect.
Tweed - A woven of either a twill or plain weave construction consisting of variations in yarn size, color, and content. Common end-uses include coats and suits.
Velvet - A fabric with a short, dense pile made with an extra warp yarn typically used in fashion and upholstery. Velvet can be made from a variety of materials including silk and polyester. The word velvet comes from the middle French word velu or "shaggy".
Wool - Textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals.
Virgin Wool - Virgin wool is the wool taken from a lamb's first shearing. This is the softest and finest wool produced.
Woven - Fabric made of warp and weft yarns that cross each other orthogonally creating the fabric surface. Usually it isn’t as stretchy as a jersey fabric, in which yarns cross themselves in a circular way.
Weaving - Production method by which the weft and the warp are crossed for the creation of fabric.
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