C1 General terms relating to fabrics
bolt: customarily accepted length of fabric, which varies according to the type of cloth. Alternative name for piece.
classic fabric: named fabric of a particular type or character, suggesting timelessness and quality, eg. chiffon, brocade, velvet.
cloth: general term which can be used for most textile fabrics.
colourway: one of several combinations of colours used for a particular fabric.
comfort fit: describes a fabric or garment containing a small proportion of elastomeric fibre, usually elastane, which ensures that the garment keeps its shape.
counting glass: small magnifying glass mounted on a stand, the base of which is accurately marked with units of measurement (inches or centimetres) around a central aperture. This enables the accurate counting of the ends and picks per unit length in a woven fabric and of the wales and courses in a knitted fabric. See piece glass, linen prover.
cut: length of fabric in the grey state, usually in the range of 45-90 metres, depending on the type and weight of fabric
cut pile: pile fabric where the loops of yarn are cut to allow the fibre ends to spread out to form a surface of projecting fibre ends, eg. velvet, corduroy
drape: how a fabric hangs or falls and how it behaves when folded, pleated or gathered. Drape is affected by the properties of the fibre(s) in the fabric, yarn type, fabric structure, finish and weight.
fabric: cloth made from yarns and/or fibres.
fabric fault: imperfection in cloth, which can arise from any stage in processing between fibre and finished product.
fent: short length of fabric cut from a longer length such as a piece. It may or may not be of imperfect material.
figure: motif or prominent part of a pattern, as distinct from the ground or background
float: length of yarn on the surface or the back of a woven or knitted cloth that is between intersections.
geotextiles: any permeable textile materials used as an integral part of civil engineering structures of earth, rock and other constructional materials, for the purposes of filtration, drainage, separation, reinforcement or stabilisation.
ground: background part of the design in a fabric. Also the structure that forms the main body of the cloth.
ground yarns: those yarns in a fabric that form the base structure of the fabric, eg. in a woven pile fabric the ground warp and weft yarns form the foundation of the fabric and hold the pile yarns firmly in place.
handle: how a textile feels when touched with the hand, eg. warm, rough, soft, smooth, cool.
industrial textiles: textile materials and products intended for end uses other than clothing, household, furnishing and floorcovering. See technical textiles.
interlining: fabric used between the inner and outer layers of a garment to improve shape retention, strength, warmth or bulk. Interlinings may be woven, knitted or nonwoven, and can be produced with fusible adhesive on one surface.
linen prover: see counting glass.
lining: fabric used in making garments and other articles, where its properties do not modify the main fabric but do enhance the performance properties of the article as a whole.
loop pile: uncut pile yarn in a pile fabric, eg. terry-towelling.
motif: figure or prominent part of a pattern, as distinct from the ground or background.
narrow fabric: any fabric that does not exceed 45 cms in width (in UK). In the USA and Europe the accepted upper width is 30 cms. Ribbons, tapes, braids and narrow laces are included in this category.
off-grain: general term used to describe faulty fabric in which the warp and weft, although straight, are not at right angles to each other.
one-way fabric: fabric that appears different when viewed from the top and the bottom, ie. along the grain. A number of factors can make a fabric one-way, eg. pattern, nap, pile. When a one-way fabric is cut for making-up it must be used with all the pieces lying in the same direction.
pattern: generally a repeating design, although pattern may be random, ie. there is no exact repeating unit.
piece: customarily accepted length of fabric, which varies according to the type of cloth. See bolt.
piece glass: see counting glass.
pile: a surface effect on a fabric formed by loops or tufts of yarn that stand up from the body of the fabric,
pile fabric: a fabric where, during its construction, some yarns are raised up to form the pile, which may be of cut and/or uncut loops.
pile yarns: those yarns in a fabric which form the pile.
reversible: describes fabric that has appropriate pattern and finish on both sides, so that either surface could be used as the face side.
run-of-the-mill fabric: fabric bought from the mill with an agreed allowance for faults.
scrim: general term, irrespective of structure, for a lightweight basecloth.
standard fabric: known, commonly found fabric where the specifications, eg. fibre(s), yarn type and count, fabric construction, finish, weight are generally accepted, eg. poplin, voile, organza, foulard. Often standard fabrics are interpreted by manufacturers using different specifications but retaining the visual characteristics of the original.
stretch fabric: fabric showing greater than usual extensibility and recovery.
technical textiles: textile materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than their aesthetic or decorative characteristics.
ticking: general term applied to fabrics used for mattress covers, pillows, etc.
traditional name: generally accepted name for a classic or standard fabric type, eg. denim, chambray, cavalry twill.
uncut pile: surface on a fabric consisting of loops of yarn.
union fabric: a fabric made with a warp of one fibre and a weft of a different fibre, eg. a cotton warp with a wool weft, or a linen warp with a cotton weft.
wadding: lofty sheet of fibres used for padding, stuffing or packing.
C2 Terms relating to weaving
beating-up: the movement of the weft yarn or pick into the main body of the woven cloth by the movement of the reed forward to the front of the loom. The third of the three basic operations that occur in weaving.
bias: the angle of 45 degrees to both warp and weft yarns.
cloth roller: the roller on a loom onto which the woven fabric is wound.
dent: part of the reed which comprises one reed wire and the space between two adjacent wires.
dobby: mechanism for controlling the movement of the heald shafts of a loom. Dobby looms can produce more complex patterning than tappet looms, but cannot produce the extremely complex patterning possible on jacquard looms.
ends: the warp yarns that run the whole length of the woven fabric, and lie parallel to the selvedges.
fell: the edge of the cloth in a loom formed by the last beaten-up weft yarn.
grain: the direction in a fabric parallel to the warp yarns and the selvedges.
heald: looped cord, shaped wire or flat metal strip with an eye in the centre, through which a warp yarn or end is threaded so that its movement may be controlled during weaving.
heald frame: rectangular frame which holds a number of healds. Alternative name for shaft.
interlacing: the relative positions of the warp and weft yarns in a woven cloth. The order of interlacing gives the weave or pattern.
(1) a type of loom where the patterning mechanism allows individual control on any interlacing of up to several hundred warp threads.
(2) a fabric woven on a jacquard loom.
left-hand twill: twill where the diagonal runs upwards from bottom-right to top-left on the face of the cloth.
let-off: the gradual unwinding of warp yarn from the warp beam during weaving.
loom: a weaving machine.
mail: central portion of the heald containing the eye or hole through which the warp yarn is threaded.
picking: the insertion of the weft yarn or pick through the shed. The second of the three basic operations that occur in weaving.
picks: the weft yarns that run across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge.
plain weave: most common and simplest woven structure where each warp yarn or end runs over one pick and under the next pick, and each weft yarn or pick runs over one end and under the next.
race: the part of the sley, in front of the reed and below the warp, along which the shuttle containing the weft passes during picking.
reed: comb-like part of the loom which separates and spaces the warp yarns or ends, and beats up the newly-inserted pick or weft yarn into the main body of the cloth.
right-hand twill: twill where the diagonal runs upwards from bottom-left to top-right on the face of the cloth.
selvedge: the neat, firm, longitudinal edge of a woven fabric, parallel to the warp yarns and grain. The purpose of the selvedges is to prevent fraying of the outside ends from the body of the fabric, and to give the edges of the fabric sufficient strength for subsequent processing.
shaft: rectangular frame which holds a number of healds. Alternative name for heald frame.
shed: the space formed by the vertical separation of some warp yarns or ends from other warp yarns or ends.
shedding: the vertical separation of some ends or warp yarns from other ends or warp yarns to form the shed, with the reed towards the back of the loom. The first of the three basic operations that occur in weaving.
shuttle: yarn-package carrier that passes through the shed to insert weft during weaving.
shuttle box: compartment at each end of the sley for retaining the shuttle in the correct position before and after picking.
size: substances put onto warp yarns to strengthen and lubricate them for the strains of weaving.
sizing: process of applying size to warp yarns.
sley: moving part of the loom which carries the reed and the race, situated between the heald shafts and the fell of the cloth.
starch: carbohydrate component extracted from certain plants and used for sizing yarns in weaving, and in finishing to improve the appearance and handle of some fabrics.
take-up: the gradual winding of the cloth onto the cloth roller during weaving.
tappet: cam mechanism for controlling the movement of the heald shafts of a loom. Used for weaving simple constructions.
temple: device on a loom at the fell which holds the fabric as near as possible to the width of the warp in the reed.
twill: a woven fabric with a .twill weave where diagonal lines show on the surface of the fabric.
twill weave: weave pattern where the interlacing of the yarns shows a diagonal pattern on the cloth.
warp: the longitudinal yarns in a woven fabric parallel to the selvedges.
warp beam: roller placed at the back of the loom containing the warp yarns.
warp float: a length of warp yarn on the back or surface of the cloth that is between intersections.
warp yarn: the yarn that is used in the warp of a woven fabric.
weave: the order in which the warp and weft yarns interlace in one repeat of the pattern.
weaving: method of constructing cloth by interlacing warp and weft yarns.
weft: the yarns in a woven fabric that run widthways, ie. from selvedge to selvedge.
weft float: a length of weft yarn on the back or surface of the cloth that is between intersections.
weft yarn: the yarn that is used in the weft of a woven fabric.
C3 Terms relating to knitting
alternate gating: the alternate alignment of one set of needles with another set of needles in a machine where the two sets of needles are arranged to knit rib fabric. Also known as rib gating.
bearded needle: type of machine knitting needle, where the open hook can be closed by an action known as pressing.
circular knitting machine: weft knitting machine where the needles are set in a circular bed so that the fabric produced is tubular.
compound needle: type of machine knitting needle, with two operating parts which enable the hook of the needle to be open or closed.
courses: the rows of loops in a warp or weft knitted fabric that run across the width of the fabric.
double-ended needle: needle for machine knitting with a latch (or a beard) at each end. Used on purl knitting machines.
effect side: the side of the fabric which will be used as the face of the cloth. This may or may not be the same as the technical face of the fabric. Sometimes the technical back is the surface that shows in the final product.
fashioned / fully fashioned: describes weft knitted fabrics or garments that are partly or wholly shaped by widening or narrowing the width of the fabric being knitted. This is done by loop transference, and increasing or decreasing the number of needles actually knitting.
flat knitting machine: weft knitting machine with straight needle beds, usually with latch needles. Flat fabrics, as opposed to circular, are produced.
float loop: length of yarn not received by a needle and connecting two loops of the same course that are not in adjacent wales. Also known as missed loop.
float stitch: stitch where the yarn is not received by a needle and floats across connecting two loops on the same course that are not in adjacent wales. Also known as missed stitch.
gating: the relative alignment of two sets of knitting elements, eg. needles, on a knitting machine.
gauge: term giving an indication of the number of needles per unit length in a knitting machine.
guide bar: bar running the full width of a warp knitting machine onto which are mounted the yarn guides. The patterning device on the machine controls the movement of the guide bar, and thus the movement of the yarns from needle to needle.
hand knitting: process of knitting by using both hands and two or more hand knitting needles, usually made from steel, wood or plastic.
held loop: loop which, having been pulled through the loop of the previous course, is retained by the needle during the knitting of one or more additional courses.
hosiery: knitted articles for covering the feet and legs, eg. stockings, tights and socks.
inlaid yarn: a yarn in a knitted fabric which has not been knitted, but is held in place in the fabric by the knitted loops. Fabrics produced with laid-in or inlay yarns may be weft knitted or warp knitted.
inlay: technique of incorporating an inlaid yarn into a knitted structure.
intarsia: weft knit technique where different colours are used within plain, rib or purl structures on the same course. Each area of colour is knitted from a separate yarn which is contained in that area and does not float on the back of the fabric.
interlock: weft knit double jersey structure consisting of two interconnected rib fabrics. The simplest and most commonly found interlock structure is 1 and 1 interlock. This shows wales of plain knitting on both sides of the fabric.
interlock gating: the opposed alignment of one set of needles with another set of needles in a machine where the two sets of needles are arranged to knit interlock fabric. Also known as opposite gating.
kiit-de-knit: process of knitting a fabric, treating it to produce a particular effect, and unravelling the fabric. See knit-de-knit yarn, space dyeing.
knitting: the process of forming a fabric by the intermeshing of loops of yarn.
knitwear: general term applied to all outerwear knitted garments except stockings, tights and socks.
knock-over: the action of casting off the old loop over the head of the needle.
laid-in yarn: a yarn in a knitted fabric which has not been knitted, but is held in place in the fabric by the knitted loops. Fabrics produced with laid-in or inlay yarns may be warp knitted or weft knitted.
latch needle: type of machine knitting needle, where a small hook at the top of the needle can be closed by a pivoting latch.
laying-in: technique of incorporating a laid-in or inlay yarn into a knitted structure.
loop: basic unit of the knitted structure.
missed loop: length of yarn not received by a needle and connecting two loops of the same course that are not in adjacent wales. Also known as float loop.
missed stitch: stitch where the yarn is not received by a needle, and floats across connecting two loops on the same course that are not in adjacent wales. Also known as float stitch.
needle: instrument used for intermeshing loops. In machine knitting there is usually one needle for each wale in the fabric.
needle bar: assembly of needles in a warp knitting machine.
needle bed: assembly of needles in a weft knitting machine.
opposite gating: the opposed alignment of one set of needles with another set of needles in a machine where the two sets of needles are arranged to knit interlock fabric. Also known as interlock gating.
overlap: the yarn that goes over the hook of the needle. The overlaps show on the face of a knitted fabric made on one set of needles.
plain: weft knitted fabric made on one set of needles where all the loops mesh in the same direction. Also known as single jersey. A different appearance shows on the face and back of the fabric.
plated fabric: fabric knitted from two yarns with different properties, both of which are used in the same loop whilst positioned one behind the other. Each loop exhibits the characteristics of one yarn on the face side of the fabric and the characteristics of the other yarn on the reverse side.
purl: weft knitted fabric where the loops on every wale at each needle on some courses are intermeshed to the front of the fabric, and on the remaining courses the loops on every wale are intermeshed to the back of the fabric. A similar appearance shows on the face and back of the fabric.
raschel machine: warp knitting machine with great versatility because both filament and spun yarns may be used, and up to fifty guide bars give enormous scope for patterning.
rib: weft knitted fabric, made on machines with two sets of needles, where all the loops on some wales are intermeshed to the front of the fabric and all the loops on the remaining wales are intermeshed to the back of the fabric.
shogging: sideways or lateral movement of the guide bar parallel to the needle bar of a warp knitting machine. Produces overlaps on the technical front of the fabric and underlaps on the technical back.
spirality: distortion in a weft knitted fabric where the wales and/or the courses do not follow a true vertical and true horizontal direction respectively. Wale spirality is caused by twist-lively yarn on either a circular knitting machine or a flat knitting machine. Course spirality is caused by multiple feeds on a circular knitting machine.
stitch pattern: knitted structure where the intermeshing of the knitted loops is defined, eg. 6x3 rib, 2-bar tricot.
stitches: intermeshed loops in a knitted fabric.
straight-bar machine: weft knitting machine with bearded needles fixed in a moveable straight bar or bars, used to produce fashioned or fully-fashioned goods.
technical back: the side of a knitted fabric that shows the underlaps.
technical face: the side of a knitted fabric that shows the overlaps.
tricot machine: warp knitting machine used to make fine lightweight fabrics from filament yarns, using no more than four warp beams and guide bars.
tuck loop: a length of yarn received by a needle and not pulled through the loop of the previous course.
tuck stitch: stitch consisting of a held loop and a tuck loop, both of which are intermeshed in the same course.
underlap: the yarn that joins the loops together. The underlaps show on the back of a knitted fabric made on one set of needles.
wales: the columns of loops in a warp or weft knitted fabric that run along the length of the fabric.
warp: the sheet(s) of yarns from which warp knitted fabrics are constructed.
warp knitted: describes a fabric made on a warp knitting machine.
warp knitting: method of constructing a knitted fabric where the loops made from each warp yarn are formed substantially along the length of the fabric. Each warp yarn is fed more or less in line with the direction in which the fabric is produced.
weft knitted: describes a flat or circular fabric made on a weft knitting machine.
weft knitting: method of constructing a knitted fabric where the loops made from each weft yarn are formed substantially across the width of the fabric. Each weft yarn is fed more or less at right angles to the direction in which the fabric is produced, and the fabric may be flat or tubular depending on the machine used.
welt: secure edge of a knitted fabric or garment, made during or after the knitting process.
yarn guide: element on a machine which controls and guides the yarn, eg. in warp knitting each warp yarn passes through a yarn guide.
C4 Woven and knitted fabrics
accordion fabric: weft knitted fabric, with a figured design in two or more colours, that is produced on one set of needles by knitting and missing, and where long floats on the back of the fabric are avoided by introducing tuck stitches.
Argyll: pattern originating in Scotland, showing blocks of solid colour, often geometric. Produced by intarsia knitting, much used for sweaters and socks.
atlas: warp knitted fabric characterised by having one or more sets of yarns traversing in a diagonal manner, one wale per course for a number of courses, returning in the same manner to the original wale. See also single atlasand double atlas.
barathea: fabric with pebbled appearance, usually a twilled hopsack or broken-rib weave, and made of silk, worsted wool or man made fibres. Used for a variety of clothing products, including men's suitings.
batiste: fine, soft, plain weave fabric traditionally made from linen, now often made with other fibres, especially cotton.
Bedford cord: woven structure showing pronounced rounded cords running in the warp direction due to the particular weave.
(1) colour-and-weave effect where the pattern shows small, uniform spots.
(2) the reverse side of a.flat-jacquard weft knitted fabric where the yarns are arranged to show minimum amounts of each colour in an all-over pattern.
blister fabric: weft knitted, rib-based fabric showing a three- dimensional puckered figure in relief on a flat ground. Also known as relief fabric and cloqué fabric.
bourrelet: non-jacquard double jersey weft knit structure made on an interlock basis showing horizontal ridges on the effect side.
brocade: figured woven jacquard fabric, usually multicoloured, much used for furnishings.
buckram: plain weave fabric, generally of linen or cotton, which is stiffened during finishing with fillers and starches. Uses include interlinings and bookbinding fabrics.
buckskin: woven fabric made from fine Merino wool, with a dress-face finish. The appearance and handle resemble doeskin but the fabric is heavier.
calico: general term for plain cotton fabrics heavier than muslin. These are usually left unbleached, are made in a variety of weights, and are often used for making toiles.
cambric: lightweight, closely woven, plain weave fabric, usually made from cotton or linen.
canvas: strong, firm, relatively heavy and rigid, generally plain woven cloth traditionally made from cotton, linen, hemp or jute.
cardigan-full: variation of 1 and 1 rib, where every stitch in the wales on both sides of the fabric consists of a held loop and a tuck loop. Also known as polka rib.
cardigan-half: variation of 1 and 1 rib, where every stitch in the wales on one side of the fabric consists of a knitted loop, and every stitch in the wales on the opposite side of the fabric consists of a tuck loop and a held loop. Also known as royal rib.
cavalry twill: firm woven fabric with a steep twill showing double twill lines, traditionally used for riding breeches and jodphurs.
challis: lightweight, plain weave, worsted-spun fabric, generally of wool, with a soft handle and good drape. It is often printed.
chambray: lightweight, plain weave cotton cloth with a dyed warp and a white weft.
cheese cloth: open, lightweight, plain weave fabric with a slightly crepey appearance, usually made from carded cotton yarns with higher than average twist.
Cheviot tweed: tweed made from Cheviot wool, or wools of similar quality.
chiffon: originally a very lightweight, sheer, plain weave fabric made from silk. Now can also be used to describe a similar fabric using other fibres.
chintz: closely woven, lustrous, plain weave cotton fabric, printed or plain, that has been friction calendered or glazed. Much used for curtainings and upholstery.
ciré : smooth woven or knitted fabric that is impregnated with a synthetic wax and passed through a friction calender. Gives a waxy or wet-look effect. Can also be achieved with heat alone on thermoplastic fibre fabrics.
clip-spot fabric: extra-warp or extra-weft fabric where the yarn floating between the small spots of pattern is clipped or sheared off after weaving by a scissor-like device.
(1) particular type of woven double cloth where the two sets of warp and weft yarns have very different shrinkage potentials, allowing the production in finishing of figured blister effects.
(2) weft knitted, rib-based double jersey fabric, showing a three-dimensional puckered figure in relief on a flat ground. Also known as blister fabric and relief fabric.
colour-and-weave effect: pattern produced by combining a particular weave structure, often a simple weave such as plain weave or 2/2 twill, with a specific arrangement of differently coloured yarns. Examples include birdseye, Prince of Wales check and dogstooth check.
colour-woven: fabric where the design of the fabric is based primarily on the effects of using differently coloured yarns in the warp and/or the weft. Examples include gingham and tartan.
corduroy: woven, cut weft-pile fabric where the cut pile runs in vertical cords along the length of the fabric. A number of different types are found, ranging from pincord (very fine cords) to elephant cord (very broad cords).
crêpe: fabric characterised by a crinkled or puckered surface, which can be be produced by a number of methods.
(1) woven fabric where short, irregular floats in warp and weft are arranged to give an all-over, random pattern within the weave repeat.
(2) woven or knitted fabric where the crepe characteristics are achieved mainly by the use of highly twisted yarns, which in finishing develop the crinkled, puckered appearance of a crepe.
(3) fabric where the crepe effect is produced in finishing by treatment with embossing rollers, engraved with a crêpe pattern, which impart a crêpe effect onto the fabric through heat and pressure.
crêpe de chine: lightweight, plain weave crêpe fabric, made with highly twisted continuous filament yarns in the weft, alternating one S and one Z twist, and with normally twisted continuous filament yarns in the warp. The crêpe effect is relatively unpronounced.
crepon: crêpe fabric showing a pronounced fluted or crinkled effect in the warp direction.
cretonne: printed fabric, usually a cotton furnishing, which is heavier than a chintz.
crushed velvet: pile fabric where the pile is laid in different directions in finishing, giving the fabric varied lustre.
damask: figured fabric, originally a single colour, where the figure and the ground are in contrasting weaves, generally warp-satin and weft-sateen. Traditionally used for expensive tablelinen, now also used for fashion, and sometimes made using more than one colour.
delaine: lightweight, printed, all wool plain weave fabric.
denim: hardwearing cotton twill weave fabric with dyed yarn more closely set in the warp, and unbleached, undyed yarn of a coarser count in the weft.
doeskin: woven fabric with excellent handle, lustre and drape, usually made from fine Merino wool, with a dress-face finish, where the fabric is milled, raised and closely cropped.
dogstooth check: colour-and-weave effect produced by combining a 2/2 twill with a 4 and 4 order of colouring in warp and weft. Very small versions of this effect are known as houndstooth check.
Donegal tweed: woollen-spun woven fabric characterised by randomly distributed clumps of brightly coloured fibres in the yarns. A true Donegal tweed is made in County Donegal in Ireland.
double atlas: warp knitted fabric with two sets of yarns making identical single atlas movements but in opposite directions.
double cloth: compound woven fabric where two sets of warp yarns and weft yarns allow the face and back fabrics to show completely different patterns. Some yarns from one fabric interlace with the other fabric so that the fabrics are held together. Alternatively a third, finer, hidden warp interlaces with both fabrics binding them together.
double jersey: general term used to describe weft knitted fabrics made on two sets of needles. Includes both rib-based and interlock-based structures.
double piqué: non-jacquard, double jersey weft knitted fabric made on a rib basis, using a selection of knitted loops and floats.
drill: woven twill fabric with a similar structure to denim, but usually piece-dyed.
eight-lock: non-jacquard, double jersey weft knitted fabric made on an interlock basis and showing a similar appearance on the face and back of the fabric.
extra-warp fabric: woven fabric where an additional set of warp yarns is used to produce patterning.
extra-weft fabric: woven fabric where an additional set of weft yarns is used to produce patterning.
Faconné : figured jacquard woven fabric with a pattern of small, scattered motifs. Generally a single colour.
flannel: light to medium weight wool fabric, often grey, of plain or twill weave with a soft handle. It may be slightly milled and raised.
flat-jacquard: patterned flat rib-based weft knitted fabric showing a figure in differing colour and/or texture on the face of the fabric.
foulard: lightweight 2/2 twill fabric, originally of silk, and often printed. Much used for scarves due to its firm, non-slip characteristics.
full cardigan: see cardigan-full.
gaberdine: steep twill fabric, originally made from worsted wool, where the ends are set much more closely than the picks. Much used for raincoats due to its firm structure and water-repellent properties.
gauze: lightweight, open-textured fabric made in plain weave or a simple leno weave.
georgette: fine, lightweight, plain weave, crêpe fabric, usually having two highly twisted S and two highly twisted Z yarns alternately in both warp and weft.
gingham: lightweight, plain weave, traditionally cotton fabric where dyed and white yarns are arranged to show a pattern of small checks.
grosgrain: plain weave fabric with a pronounced rib in the weft direction, formed by using a relatively fine, continuous filament, closely-set warp and a much coarser weft, producing a characteristic ribbed effect.
half cardigan: see cardigan-half.
half- Milano rib: weft knitted rib-based double jersey structure.
Harris tweed: woollen-spun tweed fabric, traditionally woven on narrow hand looms on the island of Harris in Scotland. Characterised by subtle colours and a relatively harsh handle.
herringbone: twill fabric where the direction of the twill is reversed, producing a pattern resembling herring bones.
hessian: coarse, plain weave fabric, traditionally made from jute. Used for sacking, wallcoverings and in upholstery.
honeycomb: woven fabric where the interlacing of warp and weft yarns forms ridges and hollows, producing a cellular appearance.
hopsack: variation on plain weave, where two or more ends and picks weave as one. Sometimes called basket weave.
houndstooth check: small colour-and-weave effect produced by a combination of a 2/2 twill and a 4 and 4 order of colouring. Larger versions are known as dogstooth check.
huckaback: woven fabric where short floats of yarn, warp on one side of the cloth, and weft on the other, produce a rough surface effect. Traditionally made from cotton or linen, and much used for roller towels and glass-cloths.
interchanging double cloth: particular kind of woven double cloth where the two fabrics completely interchange at intervals, ie. the top cloth becomes the bottom cloth, and the bottom cloth becomes the top cloth.
interlock: double faced, weft knitted structure consisting of two interconnected rib fabrics. The simplest and most commonly found interlock structure is 1 and 1 interlock. Wales of plain knitting show on both sides of the fabric.
interlock jersey: weft knitted fabric made with an interlock structure.
(1) a fabric woven on a jacquard loom, where the patterning mechanism allows individual control on any interlacing of up to several hundred warp threads.
(2) a rib-based, double jersey weft knit structure which shows a figure or design in a different colour or texture. Jacquard fabrics are sub-divided into flat-jacquard and blister fabrics.
jersey: general term used for any knitted fabric.
knitted fabric: fabric made by the intermeshing of loops of yarn.
lamé: a general name for fabrics where metallic threads are a conspicuous feature.
lawn: fine, plain weave fabric, traditionally of cotton or linen.
leno: woven fabric where some warp yarns are made to diagonally cross other warp yarns between the picks by a special mechanism on the loom. This allows yarns that are widely spaced to be firmly held in place.
locknit: warp knitted tricot fabric, made with two sets of warp yarns. Used extensively for lingerie.
marquisette: square-hole, warp knitted net.
melton: heavyweight fabric, all wool, or with a cotton warp and a woollen weft, usually made in 2/2 twill. The fabric is heavily milled, raised and cropped.
milanese: warp knitted fabric containing twice as many yarns as there are wales in the fabrics. Any particular yarn transverses the full width of the fabric diagonally and, on reaching the selvedge, tranverses the fabric in the opposite direction.
Milano rib: weft knitted rib-based double jersey structure.
mock leno: woven fabric that imitates the open mesh appearance of a leno fabric by the arrangement of warp and weft yarns.
moiré : fabric which shows a moire or wavy watermark pattern. This is produced in finishing by calendering, usually on a fabric showing a rib or cord effect in the weft direction. The moire effect can be achieved either by embossing with a roller engraved with a moire pattern, or by feeding two layers of fabric face to face through the calender. The effect may be permanent or temporary depending on the fibre(s) and chemicals used.
moquette: firm, woven warp-pile fabric where the pile yarns are lifted over wires, which may or may not have knives. Withdrawal of the wires will give a cut or an uncut pile. Used for upholstery, particularly on public transport vehicles.
moss crêpe: fabric with a characteristic spongy handle made with a moss crepe weave and S and Z twist moss crêpe yarns. Moss crêpe yarns are made by doubling a normal twist yarn with a high twist yarn. Moss crêpe weaves have a relatively large repeat in both warp and weft directions.
mousseline: general term for very fine, semi-opaque fabrics, finer than muslins, made of silk, wool or cotton.
mull: a soft, plain weave cotton fabric with a relatively open texture, and a soft finish.
muslin: lightweight, open, plain or simple leno weave fabric, usually made of cotton.
non-jacquard fabric: describes a large group of double jersey weft knitted structures, usually produced in plain colours. May be rib-based or interlock-based, depending on the structure. Examples include interlock, single pique, double pique, eight- lock, bourrelet and punto di Roma.
nun's veiling: lightweight, clear finished, plain weave fabric, usually made of worsted-spun wool, silk or cotton yarns, and usually dyed black.
ondé : describes a fabric showing a wavy effect produced either by calendering or weaving with a special reed. The term is from the French word for waved.
odulé : fabric with a wavy effect in the warp direction, produced by weaving with a special reed.
organdie: lightweight, plain weave transparent fabric, with a permanently stiff finish.
organza: a sheer, lightweight, plain weave fabric, with a relatively firm drape and handle, traditionally made from fine continuous filament silk yarns. Now often made using other fibres.
panné velvet: pile fabric where the pile is laid in one direction during finishing to give a very high lustre.
percale: closely woven plain weave fabric, often of Egyptian cotton, lighter in weight than chintz.
(1) woven fabric showing pronounced rounded cords running in the weft direction, due to the particular weave.
(2) see single piqué and double piqué.
piquette: weft knitted interlock-based double jersey structure.
plaid: see tartan. Also name for the shawl or wrap of Highland costume, usually a tartan.
plissé: describes fabrics with a puckered or crinkled effect. From the French word for pleated.
plush: woven pile fabric with a longer and less dense pile than velvet. Warp and weft knitted plush fabrics are also produced, with cut or uncut pile, depending on the fabric.
polka rib: variation of 1 and 1 rib, where every stitch consists of a held loop and a tuck loop. Also known as full cardigan.
ponte-Roma: weft knitted, non-jacquard, interlock-based double jersey structure. Alternative name for punto di Roma.
poplin: medium-weight, plain weave fabric, traditionally made from cotton, with a closer set warp than weft. Shows slight weftways ribs, and is much used for shirtings.
Prince of Wales check: colour-and-weave effect much used in men's suitings. Many variations, particularly in scale, are commonly found. Colouring is often grey/white/black, with fine red lines as overchecks.
punto di Roma: weft knitted, non-jacquard, interlock-based double jersey structure. Alternative name for ponte-Roma.
purl: weft knitted structure where both face and reverse loops are used on some or all of the wales, eg. 1 and 1 purl consists of alternate courses of face loops and reverse loops, showing the same pattern on both sides of the fabric.
queenscord: warp knitted two-bar tricot structure.
raschel fabric: warp knitted fabric made on a raschel warp knitting machine. Fabrics can range from fine laces and nets to thick outerwear fabrics.
repp: plain weave fabric with a pronounced weftways rib effect, obtained by using a relatively fine warp and a heavier count weft.
reverse locknit: warp knitted tricot fabric, made with two sets of warp yarns.
rib: weft knitted structure where all the loops on some wales are intermeshed to the front of the fabric and all the loops on the remaining wales are intermeshed to the back of the fabric.
royal rib: variation of 1 and 1 rib, where the wales on one side of the fabric consist wholly of knitted loops, and the wales on the opposite side of the fabric consist of tuck loops and held loops. Also known as half cardigan.
sailcloth: originally a tightly woven linen or cotton canvas used for the manufacture of ship and yacht sails. Now more commonly made from polyamide, polyester and aramid fibres.
sateen: woven structure where the maximum amount of weft shows on the face. The smooth effect is enhanced by using filament yarns and/or lustrous fibres.
satin: woven structure where the maximum amount of warp shows on the face. The smooth effect is enhanced by using filament yarns and/or lustrous fibres.
seersucker: fabric characterised by puckered and relatively flat areas, usually in stripes. The effect can be produced in several ways.
(1) a woven seersucker is made by using two warps, one with highly tensioned yarn, and the, other with less highly tensioned yarn, in alternate narrow sections across the fabric. During wet finishing the highly tensioned yarns shrink more than the loosely tensioned yarns, causing alternate flat and puckered areas in the fabric.
(2) a cellulosic fibre fabric can be printed in areas with a solution of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), which causes the printed areas to contract, leaving the unprinted areas puckered.
(3) yarns with different shrinkage properties can be combined in the warp and/or the weft.
serge: twill fabric, traditionally made from wool, usually piece- dyed. Often used for uniforms.
shantung: plain weave dress fabric showing random yarn irregularities, due originally to the unevenness of the tussah silk filaments. Now often made using different fibres.
sharkskin: firm, slightly stiff, two-bar tricot warp knitted fabric.
shingosen: new generation of sophisticated, technically complex Japanese fabrics with superior aesthetics and handle. Generally made from polyester, combining fibres of different shrinkage rates, cross sections and diameters.
single atlas: warp knitted fabric characterised by having one set of yarns traversing in a diagonal manner, one wale per course for a number of courses, returning in the same manner to the original wale.
single jersey: weft knitted fabric produced on one set of needles, where all the loops in the fabric mesh in the same direction. Fabric made in this way may also be called plain.
single piqué: non-jacquard, double jersey weft knitted fabric made on an interlock basis, using a selection of knitted and tuck loops.
taffeta: plain weave, closely woven, smooth, crisp fabric with a slight weftways rib, originally made from continuous filament silk yarns. Now often made using other fibres.
tartan: originally a woollen fabric of 2/2 twill, woven in checks of various colours, and worn by Scottish clans, each clan having its own distinct pattern. Now descriptive of a wider range of fabrics with this type of patterning. Tartans are sometimes called plaids.
terry-towelling: a woven warp-pile fabric where the loops are formed by applying a high tension to the ground warp and a very low tension to the pile warp. Beating-up does not occur on every pick, so that when a pick is beaten-up it causes the other picks to be moved into the main body of the cloth, at the same time forming the pile loops on the face and back of the cloth.
texipiqué : weft knitted interlock-based double jersey structure.
thornproof tweed: closely woven tweed fabric with highly twisted yarns and a firm, hard handle. Resistant to damage from thorns, and therefore used for clothing for rural activities.
tricot fabric: fine warp knitted fabric made on a tricot warp knitting machine using continuous filament yarns.
tussore: fabric woven from tussah silk.
tweed: originally a coarse, medium to heavy in weight, rough- surfaced, woven wool fabric. Now a term applied many fabrics, of varying constructions and fibre content, showing a characteristic rough, textured surface.
(1) a heavy pile fabric with the pile laid in one direction.
(2) a napped-surface woven fabric or felt where the surface fibres are laid in one direction to give a smooth appearance.
(3) a warp or weft knitted cut pile fabric.
velour (jersey): cut pile weft or warp knitted fabric.
velvet: cut warp-pile fabric, in which the cut fibrous ends of the yarns form the surface of the fabric. Many effects are possible, eg. the pile may be left erect, or it may be laid in one direction during finishing to give a very high lustre.
velveteen: cut weft-pile fabric where the cut fibrous ends of the yarns form the surface of the fabric.
voile: plain weave, semi-sheer, lightweight fabric made with fine, fairly highly twisted yarns. Originally made from cotton, now other fibres are sometimes used.
warp-pile: describes a fabric where the pile is formed by pile yarns in the warp, eg. velvet, terry-towelling.
weft-pile: describes a fabric where the pile is formed by pile yarns in the weft, eg. corduroy, velveteen.
whipcord: steep twill fabric, commonly made from cotton or worsted-spun wool, where the closely set warp yarns form a cord-like effect.
woven carpeting: pile fabric incorporating a firm substrate or base, making it suitable for use as a floor covering.
woven fabric: fabric made by interlacing two sets of yarns, the warp and the weft.
C5 Terms relating to methods of fabric construction other than weaving and knitting, and fabrics made by these methods
adhesive bonded nonwoven: textile material composed of a web or batt of fibres, bonded together by the application of adhesive. The method of application of the adhesive and the density of the fibre web determine the character of the end product. Also known as bonded fibre fabric.
barbed needle: needle with downwardly pointing indentations designed to entangle fibres within a batt or web when the needle is moved up and down.
batt: single or multiple sheets of fibre, used in the production of nonwovens and felts.
bonded fabric: material composed of two or more layers, at least one of which is a textile fabric. These are bonded closely together with an added adhesive, or by the adhesive properties of one or more of the component layers. Bonded fabrics are also known as laminated fabrics and as combined fabrics.
bonded fibre fabric: textile material composed of a web or batt of fibres, bonded together by the application of adhesive. The method of application of the adhesive and the density of the fibre web determine the character of the end product. Also known as adhesive bonded nonwoven.
braid: narrow fabric made by interlacing three or more yarns diagonally to form a plait. The structure may be flat or tubular, eg. shoelaces. In addition, sorne types of narrow woven and knitted textiles are described as braids.
candlewick: tufted fabric, generally made from cotton, often used for bedspreads.
coated fabric: material composed of two or more layers, at least one of which is a textile fabric and at least one of which is a substantially continuous polymeric layer. These are bonded closely together with an added adhesive or by the adhesive properties of one or more of the component layers.
combined fabric: material composed of two or more layers, at least one of which is a textile fabric. These are bonded closely together with an added adhesive, or by the adhesive properties of one or more of the component layers. Combined fabrics are also known as laminated fabrics and as bonded fabrics.
(1) fabric made directly from fibres containing at least 50% of animal hair, usually wool. Manufacture relies on the property of wool and other animal hair fibres to become entangled when exposed to heat, moisture and intermittent mechanical pressure.
(2) fabric woven or knitted from staple fibre yarns containing some wool or animal hair, where in finishing the woven or knitted construction is completely obscured by the smooth felted surface of the fabric.
(3) needlefelt: a nonwoven fabric where fibres are entangled by the mechanical action of barbed needles.
hydroentangied fabric: mechanically bonded nonwoven fabric made by entangling the staple fibres in the batt with high pressure water jets. Also known as spunlaced fabric.
lace: open work fabric usually with a ground of mesh or net on which patterns are worked either as the ground is made or at a later stage. The yarns are looped, twisted or knitted to achieve the openness of the fabric and the pattern. Machine made laces are often named according to the machines on which they have been made, eg. Leavers lace, raschel lace.
laminated fabric: material composed of two or more layers, at least one of which is a textile fabric. These are bonded closely together with an added adhesive, or by the adhesive properties of one or more of the component layers. Laminated fabrics are also known as bonded fabrics and as combined fabrics.
mechanically bonded nonwoven: nonwoven fabric where the fibres in the batt are mechanically entangled to form the fabric. Examples include spunlaced fabrics and needlepunched fabrics.
melded fabric: thermally bonded nonwoven fabric made wholly or partly of bicomponent fibres, where one component softens when heated and sticks the fibres together.
mesh: open fabric formed either by the way in which yarns are twisted around each other or knitted to form holes. The holes in the mesh may be square, hexagonal, rounded or diamond. See net.
microporous polymer laminate: continuous membrane with extremely small pores or holes, which are big enough to allow the passage of water vapour, but are too small to allow water droplets to penetrate.
needlebonded fabric: alternative name for needlepunched fabric.
needled fabric: alternative name for needlepunched fabric.
needlefelted fabric: alternative name for needlepunched fabric.
needleloom: machine on which needlepunched fabrics are made.
needlepunched fabric: nonwoven mechanically bonded fabric made by using barbed needles which are continuously punched into the fibre web and withdrawn. This causes the fibres to become entangled. Needlepunched fabrics are also known as needlebonded fabrics, needlefelted fabrics and needled fabrics.
net: open mesh fabric where the openness of the fabric is achieved either by the way in which yarns are twisted round each other or knitted to form holes. The holes in the net may be square, hexagonal, rounded or diamond. Seemesh.
nonwoven: term covering textile structures made directly from fibres rather than yarn. Bonding of the fibres to form a fabric is achieved by a number of methods, including adhesive bonding, mechanical bonding, thermal bonding and solvent bonding.
sew-knit fabric: alternative name for stitch-bonded fabric.
smallware: collective name in the textile trade for braids, ribbons and tapes.
solvent bonded nonwoven: nonwoven fabric where the bonding is achieved by using a solvent which softens the fibre surfaces in the web or batt and thus causes bonding.
spunbonded fabric: nonwoven fabric made from continuous filaments which are extruded or spun and formed into a random-laid web in one process. The web is then consolidated into a fabric by adhesive bonding, mechanical bonding, thermal bonding or solvent bonding. Also known as spunlaid fabric.
spunlaced fabric: mechanically bonded nonwoven fabric made by entangling the staple fibres in the batt with high pressure water jets. Also known as hydroentangled fabric.
spunlaid fabric: nonwoven fabric made from continuous filaments which are extruded or spun and formed into a random-laid web in one process. The web is then consolidated into a fabric by adhesive bonding, mechanical bonding, thermal bonding or solvent bonding. Also known as spunbonded fabric.
stitch-bonded fabric: multi-component fabric where one component is a series of interlooped warp knit stitches running the length of the fabric. The other components can be fibres, or yarns, or a combination of both, or pre-formed fabric.
thermally bonded nonwoven: nonwoven fabric where the thermoplastic nature of some or all of the fibres in the web or batt is utilised. The application of heat causes the fibre surfaces to soften and stick together permanently. Sometimes a heat sensitive powder is dispersed within the fibre web to cause bonding.
tufted fabric: fabric where tufts of yarn are inserted with special needles into an already constructed ground fabric. The base fabric can be woven, knitted or nonwoven. The pile loops formed by the tufting machine can be cut or left uncut.
web: single or multiple sheets of fibres. Also known as batt.