Acetate
A manufactured fiber formed by a cellulose compound. It resists shrinkage, moths and mildew,
but is not a strong fabric as it breaks easily and has poor resistance to abrasion. It has a soft
crisp feel and a lustrous face, which are its signature characteristics.

Acrylic
A manufactured fiber that has a soft, wool-like feel, an uneven finish, and its fibers create a
strong weave that is machine washable, dryable, and resists shrinkage.

Antibacterial
Resists bacterial growth, including mold and mildew. This is used mainly on bathroom and
outdoor fabrics. Mildew-resistant is a related term.

Appliqué
A cutout fabric decoration attached to a larger piece of material, in order to add depth, designs
or contrasting colors.

Bamboo
Bamboo is a natural fiber which is bacteria and odor resistant, as well as absorbent and
breathable. Bamboo's strength lends excellent durability to a fabric.

Bark Cloth
Fabric originally made from inner tree bark of tropical and subtropical trees by beating it to a
smooth, wearable thinness. Now refers to fabrics with similar texture. It is often used for
draperies and wall hangings.

Basket Weave
A relatively simple weave involving two or more warp ends woven parallel to each other,
resulting in a thatched texture.

Boucle
From the French word meaning curled, boucle is a knit or woven fabric with loops that create an
uneven, textured surface at intervals. Because of the fabric's looped, knotted surface, it has a
very supple, bouncy hand.

Broadcloth
A dense woolen cloth with a plain weave that is tightly woven and usually made from cotton or
a cotton blend. It is heavier, lustrous, and soft, and made with a crosswise rib.

Brocade
A thick, heavy fabric made with a Jacquard loom and a satin weave, most often featuring a
raised floral pattern. Brocade is typically made from silk, rayon or nylon, and has a very Oriental
look. It is often made with a variety of thread colors depicting complex patterns and scenes with
a shiny finish.

Brocatelle
A specific type of medium weight brocade utilizing four or more sets of threads, equally for
warp and weft. It has large patterns in high relief to appear embroidered or puffy. It is woven
finely for formal, refined and sophisticated wear.

Calender
A process to flatten fabric involving alternating smooth metal and cloth-wrapped rollers, similar
to ironing. The process can also be used to apply different finishes to pre-treated textiles, as
well as to coat fabrics with plastics or rubber.

Chinoiserie
A French interpretation of Chinese motifs featuring classic themes of pagodas, lanterns,
dragons and mandarin court scenes.

Chintz
Calico cloth printed with large flamboyant designs, typically with a floral print. This plain-weave
fabric is often starched for stiffness and calendered with wax to produce a smooth shiny
surface. Fabric must be dry-cleaned as the glazing will wash off with machine laundering.

Chenille
Chenille is named from the unique process in which it is made. The yarn is manufactured by
placing short lengths of yarn, called the "pile", between two "core yarns" and then twisting the
yarn together. The edges of these piles then stand at right angles from the yarn’s core, giving
chenille both its softness and its characteristic look. The yarn is commonly manufactured from
cotton, but can also be made using acrylic, rayon and olefin. Many chenille fabrics should be
dry cleaned. If hand- or machine-washed, it should be machine-dried using low heat, or dried
flat. To avoid stretching, it should never be hung.

Chevron and Herringbone
A pattern where columns of short diagonal stripes meet in a line of Vs like a fish skeleton.
Chevrons have fattened V's creating bars like sergeant stripes

Corduroy
An exceptionally durable fabric, usually made of cotton or a cotton blend, composed of twisted
fibers that, when woven, lie parallel to one another to form the cloth's distinct parallel ribbed
pattern, a "cord." The number of ribs, or wales, per inch of fabric indicates the type of corduroy,
with values ranging from a very wide 3 wales to pincords with 21 wales per inch.

Cotton
Made from the soft fibers that grow around the seeds of the cotton plant. The fibers are spun
into yarns to create a comfortable, breathable, machine washable fabrics that are the most
widely used natural-fiber materials in the world.

Cut Velvet
a fabric in which the looped pile has been cut. Also refers to a fabric having a pattern of figured
velvet with a backing of chiffon or voile.

Damask
A heavy fabric made from cotton, silk, linen, wool or synthetic yarns, typically used for
draperies and home decor. Typically made using a satin weave, this reversible fabric is named
for a luxurious silk fabric introduced through Damascus, Syria. It is medium weight with variety
in colors and patterns and is best used as a decorative fabric.

Diaper
Small scale geometric patterns in an interlocking or tightly set design.

Dobby
A type of weave used for decoration, featuring woven geometric patterns.

Dupioni Silk
A lustrous silk often woven from two different colors of threads, so that it shimmers or changes
color in the light. Usually brightly colored, it has a moderately crisp drape, fairly reflective
luster, and a nubby texture. It is crisp to the touch and doesn't wrinkle badly or hold a crease
well. It is reversible, not particularly stretchy, and relatively easy to sew. Best used for
decorative purposes such as draperies. Also referred to as dupion or doupioni.

Embossing
A calendering method of pressing designs or patterns onto a fabric using engraved rollers.

Flannel
A soft twill weave, usually made from cotton or wool fabric that has been brushed or has a
slightly napped surface.

Flax
The natural fiber, grown chiefly in Western and Eastern Europe that is used in the production of
linen. Flax seeds are also used as a dietary supplement and are used to make linseed oil.

Flock
A material obtained by cutting or grinding textile fibers to fragments. There are two types of
flock: Precision cut flock, where all fiber lengths are approximately equal; and Random cut flock, where the fibers are ground or chopped to produce a broad range of lengths.

Flocking
A method of ornamenting cloth with adhesive printed or coated on a fabric. Finely chopped
fibers are applied by dusting, air-blasting or electrostatic attraction. The fibers adhere to the
printed areas and it is removed manually from the unprinted areas.

Fretwork
The most popularly known fretwork is the Greek Key. Short bars that interlock but do not
meet creating squares and grids. Generally oriental in feel.

Glazing
Gives a high-gloss finish to fabrics such as chintz.

Grospoint
A non directional pile fabric that is warp-looped. It is hard-wearing and extremely resilient.
Made of wool or synthetic fibers, it has larger loops than a frieze and resembles the ground
area of needlepoint.

Jacobean Designs
English seventeenth century designs featuring flowing arborescent designs. All over florals and
vines with acanthus like leaves based on English crewelwork.

Houndstooth
A fabric pattern that resembles a broken check with protruding arms. Classic menswear look. In
France, known as "pied de poule" or chickens foot.

Imberline
An effect produced by laying a variety of colors in the warp which reveals a stripe running
through the overall design of the fabric. Origin: Adapted from cloth of the uniforms worn by the
Swiss Guard, who serve the Vatican.

Linen
This fabric is made from the fibers of the flax plant, and when woven, this extremely cool and
breathable material is stronger and more lustrous than cotton.

Lisserie
A fine Jacquard woven stripe which imitates silk and embroidery. The different figures and
colors in the pattern comes from the warp.

Moquette
A jacquard weaving method invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard, which involves a machine
attached to a loom that can electronically select and control individual warp threads. The
Jacquard loom is used to create intricately woven fabrics, including brocade and damask. Silk,
polyester and rayon are commonly used in the Jacquard process.

Matelasse
A heavy-weight upholstery textile in Jacquard weave with double sets of warps and wefts. The
surface appears to be puffy or cushioned and is also known as a double cloth.

Mercerize
The process developed in 1844 by John Mercer to give a shiny, smooth finish to cotton fabric.
First, the fabric is singed, then passed through a solution of caustic soda and finally rinsed. The
process makes the fibers of the fabric swell, giving them increased strength and an increased
ability to hold dye.

Microfibers
Made from extremely fine nylon or polyester filaments that when woven into textiles, makes
them exceptionally soft while retaining their shape.

Mohair
A pile fabric obtained from yarn made from the silky hair of the Angora goat. It is very durable
and long wearing.

Moiré
Also known as watered silk. True moirés are a form of dyeless printing where the cloth is run
through rollers that crush the pattern into it to make permanent waves that reflect light
differently. Can also be printed or woven to create look.

Ogee
Based on architectural molding, this design creates a graceful eye shaped oval that narrows at
each end to a point then repeats to create a serpentine “s” shaped pattern.

Ombre
Also called Irise, Rainbow prints or Fondu. Ombre patterns feature gradual shading and blending
of one color into another.

Ottoman designs
Turkish designs based on ottoman empire patterns of stylized carnations and abstract florals.

Ottoman weave
A heavy silk or rayon fabric with broad, round weft threads that produce a horizontal rib. Also
rep or repp cloth.

Pile fabric
A fabric with an extra warp or weft set, woven to produce a deep surface texture like velvet,
terry cloth, frieze or corduroy. From the Latin word for hair, pile is the extra yarn that protrudes
from the surface of a fabric. Pile can be shaved and shaped, as with velvet and corduroy, or can
be left uncut as with terry cloth.

Piqué
A medium-weight, tightly woven cotton or cotton blend fabric generally recognizable by its
waffle weave texture.

Plaid
A cloth having a crisscross design. The stripes in warp and weft directions cross at intervals to
form different colors in square or rectangular patterns. Twill or Plain weave may be used.

Plisse'
A blistered or puckered finish given to a sheer, thin or light-weight fabric with a caustic soda.
It is a plain weave cotton fabric with permanent creases and wrinkles that have been produced
through the application of a caustic solution in order to shrink specific areas. Similar in
appearance to seersucker.

Polyester
A man-made fiber where the forming substance is a synthetic polymer. It has high strength, is wrinkle resistant, and is also resistant to shrinking and stretching.

Rayon
A man-made fiber basically composed of regenerated cellulose Rayon. It usually has good
drape, soft hand and is highly absorbent.

Rep, Repp
Rib woven fabric (horizontal or vertical ribs) between poplin and ottoman in rib size and weight.
It is durable and medium to heavy-weight. Woven from cotton, wool, or silk.

Sateen
A silky, lustrous satin weave fabric predominantly made from cotton. Sateen often has an
increased thread count for extra softness and durability.

Satin
A smooth lustrous, shiny fabric with a dull back that has a superb drape and sheen. It is
characterized by a weaving technique that forms a minimum number of interlacings in a fabric.
Satin differs from sateen in that it is woven using filament fibers such as silk or nylon whereas
sateen’s are woven using short-staple fibers like cotton.

Silk
This fabric is woven using the natural filament fiber produced by the silkworm in the
construction of its cocoon. Silk is a naturally strong, lustrous, and fine fiber that produces long-lasting, versatile, and high-quality multi-purpose fabrics.

Shantung Dupioni
Originally a spun silk fabric with slubs and that formed interesting textures. Today, shantung
may be of natural or synthetic fibers. Fabrics imitating shantung are antique satin and antique

Soil-repellent
A fiber coating that makes it easier to remove dirt.

Stain-resistant or soil-release
Keeps stains and soil from penetrating the surface. Products each have their own process;
check the guarantee, life span, and cleaning instructions of these finishes before applying them
to upholstery fabrics.

Synthetic
A fiber which has been man-made through the use of chemical combinations. Synthetic fibers
often have increased durability, strength and resistance to the elements

Taffeta
With a smooth fell and a crisp hand, taffeta can be made from a variety of fibers including silk and rayon. It has a subtle horizontal ribbing effect and provides lots of body and an ultimate rustle.

Tapestry
A Jacquard woven with multiple warps and wefts creating various color patterns or scenes. Used
as wall hangings for decoration or sometimes to cover furniture.

Toile
Originally meant simply a cotton or linen cloth, but since mid 18th century has referred to large
scale scenic designs often used in fashion and home interiors. In textiles, it is typically a fabric
of cotton or linen similar to muslin or percale in plain or sometimes twill weave. An unglazed
chintz.

Ultrasuede
A synthetic fabric similar to suede, with a micro-fiber structure, that is stain resistant and
durable.

Velvet
Woven pile fabric with a soft yet sturdy face. May be made of one or more fibers, including nearly all natural and man-made fibers.

Viscose
A man made synthetic fiber, typically referred to as rayon. Viscose has a silken, smooth feel and
a terrific drape.

Voile
Sheer transparent fabric in plain weave with tightly twisted yarns. Often has a stiff finish. May
have novelty effects such as pique stripes, printed patterns and stripes, or woven with nubby
yarns for novelty voile.

Warp
The vertical threads in a particular fabric or on a loom.

Waterproof
Does not allow water to penetrate the surface.

Water-repellent
Causes water to bead up on the surface rather than quickly soak in.

Weave
The manner in which a fabric is produced, utilizing methods of combining the warp and weft
threads. The type of weave affects the strength, stretch, sheen and weight of a fabric. The basic
types of weaves are plain, twill and satin.

Weft
The horizontal threads in a particular fabric or on a loom.

Wool
This textile is made using the fibers from the hair of animals, such as goats, sheep, camels, or
llamas, and it comes in several different forms from crepe, to gabardine, to worsted. Wool is
moisture absorbing and known for its warmth, and is also naturally stain and wrinkle resistant.