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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fabric Types and Content

If you're like us, you like to know what your fabric is made of and where it comes from...

Here's a list of all the different types of fabrics and their compositions.

Fabric Content Glossary:


Acrylic


A synthetic fiber with a soft wool-like hand. It is machine washable, dries quickly and is often wrinkle resistant.


Angora


The hair of the Angora goat, also known as angora mohair. Angora may also refer to the fur of the Angora rabbit. The FTC requires any clothing containing Angora rabbit hair to be labeled as such on each garment.


Barathea


A soft fabric consisting of silk and cotton, silk and wool or all wool, woven with top-quality two-ply yarns.


Batiste
A lightweight, plain-weave fabric, semi-sheer and usually made of cotton or cotton blends.


Bedford


A lengthwise ribbed weave that resembles corduroy. Fibers may be wool, worsted, cotton, silk and rayon.


Bi-stretch


A blend of polyester, rayon and spandex that is woven in a way that allows the fabric to stretch in both a horizontal and vertical direction (referred to as two-way stretch). It has non-clingy properties, is soft next to the skin and is machine washable.


Broadcloth


A plain-weave, tightly woven fabric that is characterized by a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. The most common broadcloth is made from cotton or cotton/polyester blends.


Brocade


A heavy, exquisite jacquard-type fabric with an all-over floral design or raised pattern.


Canvas


A strong, durable, closely woven cotton fabric often used for raincoats, handbags and boots.


Cashmere


A luxury natural fiber with a very soft hand found from the soft fleecy undergrowth of the Kashmir goat, found in Tibet, Mongolia, China, Iraq, Iran and India. It is most commonly used in sweaters, shawls, suits and outerwear.


Chambray


A plain woven fabric that incorporates a colored warp (often blue) and white filling yarns. It can be made from cotton, silk or manufactured fibers but is most commonly cotton.


Charmeuse


The trade name of silk and silk-like fabrics that are characterized by a shiny, soft, satin-like appearance.


Chenille


A fabric whose name comes from the French word for "caterpillar," characterized by soft, fuzzy yarns standing out around a velvety cord.


Chiffon


A soft silk that is a plain woven, lightweight and sheer fabric containing highly twisted filaments of yard. The fabric is used for scarves and evening gowns but can also be made from rayon and other synthetic fibers.


Chintz


A printed and glazed cotton fabric usually of bright colors.


Cotton


A natural fiber that grows in the seed pod of the cotton plant. Fibers are typically half an inch to two inches long. The longest staple fibers, such as the Pima and Egyptian cottons, which have staple fibers longer than one and a half inches, generate the highest quality cotton fabrics.


Cotton Gauze


A lightweight and comfortable fabric that is sheer and open with a plain weave.

Cotton Poplin


A lightweight and durable cotton with a plain weave that has a texture similar to canvas. Also known as cotton broadcloth.

Cotton Voile


A type of cotton created with high-twist yarns in a high yarn-count construction. It is crisp, is lightweight and has a semi-transparent plain weave; it is similar in appearance to organdy and organza.

Combed Cotton


A fabric with a silk-like hand.


Coolmax®


The DuPont trademark for polyester. A specific process at the fiber-making stage helps wick away moisture from the body, keeping it cool and comfortable.


Corduroy


A medium to heavyweight fabric, usually made of cotton or a cotton blend, utilizing a cut-pile weave construction. Most commonly used for jackets, pants and skirts.


Crepe


A fabric with a crinkly, crimped or grained surface. It is used to describe all kinds of fabrics—wool, cotton, silk, rayon, synthetics and blend.


Crepe de Chine


A high-quality, lightweight crepe generally made of silk.


Crinkle Silk


Silk that is chemically treated or mechanically altered to give it a crinkled or pleated effect. (Also known as plissé—pronounced plee-say.)


Cross-dyed Linen


A type of linen with vivid, two-dimensional color. The cross-dyed effect is created when two (one colored and one white) strands of linen are "crossed" in opposite directions during the weaving process.


Damask


Fabric with floral or geometric prints that has been woven on a jacquard loom. A damask pattern is flat and reversible. It is similar to brocade but has a flatter surface texture.

Denim


A twill-weave cotton-like fabric made with different colored yarns in the warp and the weft. The twill construction allows for one color to dominate on the surface of the fabric.


Dupioni


A plain-weave silk that is characterized by irregular-sized, thick fibers that are spread out at intervals throughout the fabric. Dupioni is similar to Shantung.


Duchess Satin


Commonly used for wedding and formal gowns, this fabric is a heavy, shiny, rich-looking satin weave fabric.

Faille


A glossy, soft, finely ribbed, silk-like woven fabric made from cotton, silk or manufactured fibers. Traditionally used for women's dresses, suits and coats.


Faille Crepe


A dressy, double-faced fabric made with high-twist poly crepe yarns.


Faux Fur


Artificial fur made from synthetic material.


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.


Flannel


A fabric made in tightly woven twill or a plain weave that is warm, soft and finished with a light napping.


Fleece


A synthetic knit fabric that has pile on one or both sides.


Foulard


A lightweight, lustrous twill fabric, usually with a small, repeating printed design. Originally imported from India, it is popular for neckties and scarves.


French Terry


A circular knit fabric with a looped pile back and smooth face.


Gabardine


A fabric with a slight diagonal line on the right side. It is tightly woven, twilled and worsted. Wool gabardine is known as a year-round fabric for business suiting.


Gauze


A thin, sheer plain-weave fabric made from cotton, wool, silk, rayon or other synthetic fibers.


Georgette


A sheer, lightweight plain-weave fabric with a fine crepe surface, often made of silk or from such synthetic fibers as polyester.


Gingham


A medium-weight, yarn-dyed, plain-weave fabric with a plaid or check pattern made of pure or blended cotton.


Gossamer Rayon


This high-quality, semi-sheer, ultra-light rayon with a crinkly texture originates from Japan. A heat process is used to set the crinkles into this fabric. Washable unless otherwise noted.

Hopsack


A loosely woven coarse fabric of cotton or wool.

Interlock Knit


A type of cut and sewn knit fabric characterized by the interconnecting of the knit stitches. It usually has stretch across the grain.


Iridescent Silk


A silk fabric that changes color as it is moved in the light. This effect is created by weaving together different colors.

Jersey Fabric


Fabric created by consistently interlooping yarns in the jersey stitch to produce a smooth, flat face and a more textured but uniform back.


Knit


Fabric 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.


Linen


A fabric made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen fabrics are much stronger than cottons and are very cool and absorbent. Linen wrinkles very easily, unless blended with synthetic fabrics.


Lycra®


The DuPont trademark for its spandex fiber. Any time you see this fiber listed on a label, expect comfort, movement and shape retention that won't wash away.


Lyocell


A synthetic fiber with a similar hand and drape to rayon made of regenerated cellulose (plant fiber). Lyocell is stronger and more durable than Rayon, however, and takes color well. Additionally, it is fairly wrinkle-resistant and absorbs moisture well.


Madras


Imported from India, a lightweight, plain-weave, cotton fabric that has a striped, plaid or checked pattern. It is often used for shirts and dresses.


Matte Jersey


Dull, flat knit fabric made of high-quality crepe yarn.


Merino Wool


A type of high-quality wool that is made from the fleece of purebred merino sheep. It is strong, is elastic and takes dye well.


Mesh


A woven, knit, lace or crocheted fabric characterized by its net-like open appearance and the spaces between the yarns.


Microfleece


An extremely lightweight and soft synthetic knit fabric that has pile on one or both sides.


Mohair


Hair fibers from the Angora goat. Often used for sweaters, coats, suits and scarves.


Nubuck


A leather with a soft, velvety surface. This type of surface is created by buffing and brushing. Nubuck is produced using the grain (outer) side, which gives it added strength and durability.

Nylon


A synthetic fiber which is fast drying, strong, elastic and washable. It is known for its strength and resilience. Nylon has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility.


Organza


A crisp, sheer, lightweight plain-weave fabric with a medium to high yarn count made of silk, rayon, nylon or polyester. Used primarily in evening and wedding gowns.


Ottoman


A tightly woven, plain-weave, ribbed fabric with a hard, slightly lustered surface. Often used in coats, suits, dresses, upholstery and draperies.


Oxford


A fine, soft, lightweight cotton woven or blended with manufactured fibers in a two-by-one basket-weave variation of the plain-weave construction.

Percale


A medium-weight, plain-weave, low to medium count (180 to 250 threads per square inch) cotton-like fabric. Can be used in sheets, blouses and dresses.


Pima Cotton


A soft, high-quality and medium staple-length type of American-bred Egyptian cotton.


Pinpoint Oxford


A high-quality, lightweight, soft, cotton-like fabric with small two-by-one basket-weave repeats. It has a smooth surface and is often used for shirts.


Piqué


A knitted cotton fabric with a waffle (or diamond-shaped) pattern.


Pointelle


A very feminine, delicate-looking rib knit fabric made with a pattern of openings.


Polyester


A category of synthetic fibers that are lightweight, strong, quick drying and resistant to creases, stretching, abrasion and shrinkage.


Poplin


A durable, plain-weave fabric made of silk, cotton, synthetic fibers, wool or blends. It is similar to broadcloth but with a heavier rib and weight.

Rayon


A synthetic fiber made from cellulose, derived from wood pulp, cotton linters or other vegetable matter, which is soft, is highly absorbent, has a lustrous appearance and has a good drape.


Ribbed Velour


A soft combination of cotton, nylon and spandex.

Rip-stop Nylon


A lightweight, wind resistant and water resistant plain-weave fabric. Often used in active sportswear and outdoor apparel.


Satin


A fabric utilizing a satin weave construction to achieve a lustrous surface. It is predominantly used for evening and wedding apparel.


Seersucker


A cotton fabric with permanent woven crinkled stripes. It launders well and generally does not need to be ironed.


Shantung


A medium-weight, plain-weave and silk-like fabric characterized by a ribbed effect, resulting from slubbed yarns used in the warp or filling direction. (“Slub” means the yarns are uneven or nubby.) It is primarily used for dresses and is similar to Dupioni silk.


Shearling


The skin and wool of a shearling (a year-old sheep that has been sheared once) or a newly sheared sheep or lamb that is removed and then tanned.


Silk


Obtained from the cocoons of certain species of caterpillars. Known as one of the finest textiles, silk is strong, soft and absorbent and has a brilliant sheen.


Soft-ribbed Cotton


A fine-ribbed cotton knit using altering wales.

Spandex


A manufactured elastomeric fiber that can be repeatedly stretched over 500% without breaking and will still return to its original shape. Lycra® is the name for DuPont-brand spandex.


Suede


Leather that has been buffed with an emery wheel on the flesh side to raise a slight nap. It usually has a good drape and soft hand.


Taffeta


A lustrous, medium-weight, plain-weave fabric with a slight ribbed appearance in the filling (crosswise) direction. Often used for formal wear.


Tactel®


A soft yet durable nylon fiber trademarked by DuPont. It is extremely easy to wash, allows the skin to breathe and easily regains its shape. Primarily used for active sportswear.


Terry


A woven fabric, usually cotton, with loop pile on one or both sides.


Tissue Linen


Thin, sheer, lightweight linen often used for blouses.


Toile


A light- or medium-weight, plain-weave, fine and cotton-type fabric, usually with one colored, printed scenic design. Used primarily for home furnishings and clothing.


Tulle


A lightweight, extremely fine, machine-made netting, usually with a hexagon-shaped mesh effect. Often used on gowns and veils.


Tweed


A medium- to heavyweight woolen, twill-weave fabric that is characterized by colored stubby yarns. Often used for coats and suits.


Twill


Fabric that shows a distinct diagonal wale on the face (e.g., denim, gabardine, tricotine).


Velour


A medium-weight, soft, plush, closely woven fabric with a thick pile. It can be made using either a plain-weave or a satin-weave construction.


Velvet


A medium-weight, luxurious, cut-pile constructed fabric in which the cut pile stands up very straight. It has a rich and soft texture.


Velveteen


A cotton cut-pile weave fabric, utilizing extra fill yarn construction, with either a twill- or a plain-weave back. It lacks the sheen and drape of velvet. Often used for jackets, pants and shirts.


Viscose


A manufactured fiber made of regenerated cellulose. It is soft and absorbent and has a good drape.


Voile


A lightweight, sheer fabric with a crisp, wiry hand. Voile can be made of cotton, silk, rayon or acetate.


Wool


Fiber or fabric made from the fleece of sheep or lambs. However, the term "wool" can also apply to all animal hairs, including cashmere and angora, alpaca, vicuna, llama and camel.

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