• Armure

Fibre : Cotton, silk, wool, rayon, synthetics, and blends.
Weave : Plain, twill, or rib, background often has a small design either jacquard or dobby made with warp floats on surface giving a raised effect.
Characteristics : Design is often in two colours and raised. The name was derived from original fabric which was woven with a small interlaced design of chain armor and used for military equipment during the Crusades.
Uses : a rich looking dress fabric, draperies, or upholstery.

  • Batiste

Fibre : Cotton, also rayon and wool.
Weave : Plain
Characteristics : Named after Jean Baptiste, a French linen weaver. Light weight, soft, semi-sheer fabric which resembles nainsook, but finer. It belongs to the lawn family; almost transparent. It is made of tightly twisted, combed yarns and mercerized finish. Sometimes it is printed or embroidered. In a heavier weight, it is used for foundation garments and linings in a plain, figured, striped, or flowered design. Considered similar to nainsook but finer and lighter in weight. Now usually made of 100% polyester distinguished by slubs in filling direction.

  • Birdseye

Fibre : In cotton and Linen or blend of rayon staple and cotton.
Weave : Usually dobby
Characteristics : Very soft, light weight, and absorbent. Woven with a loosely twisted filling to increase absorbency. Launders very well. No starch is applied because the absorption properties must be of the best. Material must be free from any foreign matter. It is also called “diaper cloth” and is used for that purpose as well as very good towelling. Also “novelty” birdseye effects used as summer dress fabrics.

  • Broadcloth

Fibre : Cotton and silk, and rayon. Very different than wool broadcloth.
Weave : Plain weave and in most cotton broadcloths made with a very fine crosswise rib weave.
Characteristics : Originally indicated a cloth woven on a wide loom. Very closely woven and in cotton, made from either carded or combed yarns. The filling is heavier and has less twist. It is finer than poplin when made with a crosswise rib and it is lustrous and soft with a good texture. Thread count ranges from high quality 144 x 6 count down to 80 x 60. Has a smooth finish. May be bleached, dyed, or printed; also is often mercerized. Wears very well. If not of a high quality or treated it wrinkles very badly. Finest quality made from Egyptain or combed pima cotton – also sea island.
Uses : Shirts, dresses, particularly the tailored type in plain colours, blouses, summer wear of all kinds.

  • Brocade

Fibre : Cotton brocade often has the ground of cotton and the pattern of rayon and silk. Pattern is in low relief.
Weave : Jacquard and dobby
Characteristics : Rich, heavy, elaborate design effect. Sometimes with coloured or metallic threads making the design usually against a satin weave background. This makes the figures stand out. The figures in brocade are rather loose, while in damask the figure threads are actually bound into the material. The pattern may be satin on a twill ground or twill on a satin ground. Often reversible. The motifs may be of flowers, foliage, Scrollwork, Pastoral scenes, or other designs. The price range is wide. Generally reputed to have been developed from the latin name “brocade” which means to figure.
Uses : All types of after 5 wear, church vestments, interior furnishings, and state robes.

  • Buckram

Fibre : Cotton, some in linen, synthetics.
Weave : Plain
Characteristics : Cheap, low-textured, loose weave, very heavily sized and stiff. Also, 2 fabrics are glued together; one is open weave and the other much finer. Some is also made in linen in a single fabric. Also called crinoline book muslin or book binding. Name from Bokhara in Southern Russia, where it was first made.
Uses : Used for interlinings and all kinds of stiffening in clothes, book binding, and for millinery (because it can be moistened and shaped). Used to give stiffness to leather garments not as stiff and often coloured is called “tarlatan”. Softens with heat. Can be shaped while warm.

  • Calico

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Plain – usually a low count.
Characteristics : Originated in Calcutta, India, and is one of the oldest cottons. Rather coarse and light in weight. Pattern is printed on one side by discharge or resist printing. It is not always fast in colours. Sized for crispness but washes out and requires starch each time. Designs are often geometric in shape, but originally elaborate designs of birds, trees, and flowers. Inexpensive. Similar to percale. Very little on the market today, but the designs are still in use on other fabrics and sold as “calico print.”
Uses : Housedresses, aprons, patchwork quilts.

  • Cambric

Fibre : Cotton, also linen.
Weave : Plain
Characteristics : Soft, closely woven, light. Either bleached or piece dyed. Highly mercerized, lint free. Calendered on the right side with a slight gloss. Lower qualities have a smooth bright finish. Similar to batiste but is stiffer and fewer slubs. Launders very well. Has good body, sews and finishes well. Originally made in Cambria, France of linen and used for Church embroidery and table linens.
Uses : Handkerchiefs, underwear, slips, nightgowns, children’s dresses, aprons, shirts and blouses.


Fibre : Cotton – also wool.
Weave : Plain
Characteristics : An unbleached muslin bed sheeting (also called Kraft muslin) used as a base fabric on which a chenille effect is formed by application of candlewick (heavy plied yarn) loops, which are then cut to give the fuzzy effect and cut yarn appearance of true chenille yarn. May be uncut also. (True chenille is a cotton, wool, silk, or rayon yarn which has a pile protruding all around at slight angles and stimulates a caterpillar. Chenille is the French word for caterpillar.)
Uses : Bedspreads, drapes, housecoats, beach wear.


  • Canton Flannel

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Four harness warp-faced twill weave.
Characteristics : The filling yarn is a very loosely twisted and soft and later brushed to produced a soft nap on the back, the warp is medium in size. The face is a twill. Heavy, warm, strong and absorbent. Named for Canton, China where it was first made. Comes bleached, unbleached, dyed, and some is printed.
Uses : Interlinings, sleeping garments, linings, coverings, work gloves.


  • Canvas

see Duck
Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Plain weave or dobby designs on a plain-weave ground.
Characteristics : Made with a dyed warp and a white or unbleached filling. Both carded and combed yarns used. Has a white selvedge. Some woven with alternating white and coloured warp. “Faded” look. Has very soft colouring. Some made with stripes, checks or embroidered. Smooth, strong, closely woven, soft and has a slight lustre. Wears very well, easy to sew, and launders well. If not crease resistant, it wrinkles easily. Originated in Cobrai, France it was first made for sunbonnets.
Uses : Children’s wear, dresses, shirts and blouses, aprons, all kinds of sportswear.

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Plain
Characteristics : Fabric is napped, sheared, and dyed to simulate chamois leather. It is stiffer than kasha and thicker, softer and more durable than flannelette. Must be designated as “cotton chamoise-colour cloth”.
Uses : Dusters, interlining, storage bags for articles to prevent scratching.

  • Chamoisette

Fibre : Cotton, also rayon and nylon.
Weave : Knitted, double knit construction.
Characteristics : A fine, firmly knit fabric. Has a vary short soft nap. Wears well. Nylon chamoisette is more often called “glove silk”.
Uses : Gloves.


  • Cheesecloth

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Plain
Characteristics : Originally used as a wrapping material for pressing cheese. Loosely woven, thin, light in weight, open in construction, and soft. Carded yarns are always used. It is also called gauze weave. When woven in 36″ widths it is called tobacco cloth, When an applied finish is added, it is called buckram, crinoline, or bunting.
Uses : In the grey cloth, it is used for covering tobacco plants, tea bags and wiping cloths.
Finished cloth is used for curtains, bandages, dust cloths, cheap bunting, hat lining, surgical gauze, fly nets, food wrapping, e.g. meat and cheese, costumes and basket tops.


  • Chenille Fabric

Fibre : Cotton and any of the main textile fibres.
Weave : Mostly plain weave.
Characteristics : Warp yarn of any major textile fibre. Filling of chenille yarns (Has a pile protruding all around at right angles). The word is French for caterpillar and fabric looks hairy. Do not confuse with tufted effects obtained without the use of true Chenille filling.
Uses : Millinery, rugs, decorative fabrics, trimmings, upholstery.


  • Chinchilla

Fibre : Cotton or wool, and some manmade and synthetics.
Weave : Sateen or twill construction with extra fillings for long floats.
Characteristics : Does not resemble true chinchillas fur. Has small nubs on the surface of the fabric which are made by the chincilla machine. It attacks the face and causes the long floats to be worked into nubs and balls. Cotton warp is often used because it cannot show from either side. Made in medium and heavy weights. Very warm and cozy fabrics. Takes its name from Chinchilla Spain where it was invented.
Uses : In cotton, used for baby’s blankets and bunting bags.


  • Chino

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Twill (left hand)
Characteristics : Combined two-ply warp and filling. Has a sheen that remains. Fabric was purchased in China (thus the name) by the U.S. Army for uniforms. Originally used for army cloth in England many years before and dyed olive-drab. Fabric is mercerized and sanforized. Washs and wears extremely well with a minimum of care.
Uses : Army uniforms, summer suits and dresses, sportswear.


  • Chintz

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Plain
Characteristics : Has bright gay figures, large flower designs, birds and other designs. Also comes in plain colours. Several types of glaze. The wax and starch glaze produced by friction or glazing calendars will wash out. The resin glaze finish will not wash out and withstand drycleaning. Also comes semi-glazed. Unglazed chintz is called cretonne. Named from the Indian word “Chint” meaning ” broad, gaudily printed fabric”.
Uses : Draperies, slipcovers, dresses, sportwear.

  • Corduroy

Fibre : Cotton, rayon, and other textile fibres.
Weave : Filling Pile with both plain and twill back.
Characteristics : Made with an extra filling yarn. In the velvet family of fabrics. Has narrow medium and wide wales, also thick n’thin or checkerboard patterns. Wales have different widths and depths. Has to be cut all one way with pile running up. Most of it is washable and wears very well. Has a soft lustre.
Uses : Children’s clothes of all kinds, dresses, jackets, skirts, suits, slacks, sportswear, men’s trousers, jackets, bedspreads, draperies, and upholstery.


  • Crepe

Fibre : Worsted cotton, wool, silk, man-made synthetics.
Weave : Mostly plain, but various weaves.
Characteristics : Has a crinkled, puckered surface or soft mossy finish. Comes in different weights and degrees of sheerness. Dull with a harch dry feel. Woolen crepes are softer than worsted. If it is fine, it drapes well. Has very good wearing qualities. Has a very slimming effect.
Uses : Depending on weight, it is used for dresses of all types, including long dinner dresses, suits, and coats.


  • Crettone

Fibre : Cotton, linen, rayon
Weave : Plain or twill.
Characteristics : Finished in widths from 30 to 50 inches. Quality and price vary a great deal. The warp counts are finer than the filling counts which are spun rather loose. Strong substantial and gives good wear. Printed cretonne often has very bright colours and patterns. The fabric has no lustre (when glazed, it is called chintz). Some are warp printed and if they are, they are usually completely reversible. Designs run from the conservative to very wild and often completely cover the surface.
Uses : Bedspreads, chairs, draperies, pillows, slipcovers, coverings of all kinds, beach wear, sportwear.


  • Denim

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Twill – right hand – may be L2/1 or L3/1.
Characteristics : Name derived from French “serge de Nimes”. Originally had dark blue, brown or dark grey warp with a white or gray filling giving a mottled look and used only for work clothes. Now woven in bright and pastel colours with stripes as well as plain. Long wearing, it resists snags and tears, Comes in heavy and lighter weights.
Uses : Work clothes, overalls, caps, uniforms, bedspreads, slipcovers, draperies, upholstery, sportswear, of all kinds, dresses and has even been used for evening wear.


  • Dimity

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Plain weave with a crosswise or lengthwise spaced rib or crossbar effect.
Characteristics : A thin sheer with corded spaced stripes that could be single, double or triple grouping. Made of combed yarn and is 36” wide. Has a crisp texture which remains fairly well after washing. Resembles lawn in the white state. It is easy to sew and manipulate and launders well. Creases unless creaseresistant. May be bleached, dyed, or printed and often printed with a small rosebud design. It is mercerized and has a soft lustre.
Uses : Children’s dresses, women’s dresses, and blouses, infant’s wear, collar and cuff sets, basinettes, bedspreads, curtains, underwear. Has a very young look.


  • Domett Flannel

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Plain and twill
Characteristics : Also spelled domet. Generally made in white. Has a longer nap than on flannelette. Soft filling yarns of medium or light weight are used to obtain the nap. The term domett is interchangeable with “outing flannel” but it is only made in a plain weave. Both are soft and fleecy and won’t irritate the skin. Any sizing or starching must be removed before using. Outing flannel is also piece-dyed and some printed and produced in a spun rayon also.
Uses : Mostly used for infants wear, interlinings, polished cloths.


  • Pique

Fibre: Cotton, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Lengthwise rib, English crosswise rib or cord weave.
Characteristics: Originally was a crosswise rib but now mostly a lenghtwise rib and the same as bedford cord. Ribs are often filled to give a more pronounced wale (cord weave). Comes in medium to heavy weights. It is generally made of combed face yarns and carded stuffer yarns. It is durable and launders well. Wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish. Various prices. Also comes in different patterns besides wales. The small figured motifs are called cloque. Some of the patterns are birdseye (small diamond), waffle (small squares). honeycomb (like the design on honeycomb honey). When the fabric begins to wear out it wears at the corded areas first.
Uses : Trims, collars, cuffs, millinery, infants wear, particularly coats, and bonnets, women’s and children’s summer dresses, skirts and blouses, shirts, playclothes, and evening gowns.

  • Plisse

Fibre : Cotton, rayon, and others.
Weave : Plain
Characteristics : Could be made from any fine material, e.g. organdy, lawn, etc. Treated with caustic soda solution which shrinks parts of the goods either all
over or in stripes giving a blistered effect. Similar to seersucker in appearance. This crinkle may or may not be removed after washing. This depends on the quality of the fabric. It does not need to be ironed, but if a double thickness, such as a hem needs a little, it should be done after the fabric is thoroughly dry.
Uses : Sleepwear, housecoats, dresses, blouses for women and children, curtains, bedspreads, and bassinettes. Often it is called wrinkle crepe and may be made with a wax/shrink process (the waxed parts remain free of shrinkage and cause the ripples).


  • Point d’esprit

Fibre : Cotton – some in silk.
Weave : Leno, gauze, knotted, or mesh.
Characteristics : First made in France in 1834. Dull surfaced net with various sized holes. Has white or coloured dots individually spaced or in groups.
Uses : Curtains, bassinettes, evening gowns


  • Poplin

Fibre : Cotton, wool, and other textile fibres.
Weave : Crosswise rib. The filling is cylindrical. Two or three times as many warp as weft per inch.
Characteristics : Has a more pronounced filling effect than broadcloth. It is mercerized and has quite a high lustre. It may be bleached, or dyed (usually vat dyes are used) or printed. Heavy poplin is given a water-repellent finish for outdoor use. Originally made with silk warp and a heavier wool filling. Some also mildew-proof, fire-retardant, and some given a suede finish. American cotton broadcloth shirting is known as poplin in Great Britain.
Uses : Sportswear of all kinds, shirts, boy’s suits, uniforms, draperies, blouses, dresses.


  • Sailcloth

Fibre : Cotton, linen, nylon.
Weave : Plain, some made with a crosswise rib.
Characteristics : A strong canvas or duck. The weights vary, but most often the count is around 148×60. Able to withstand the elements (rain, wind and snow). Sailcloth for clothing is sold frequently and is much lighter weight than used for sails.
Uses : Sails, awnings, and all kinds of sportswear for men, women, and children.


  • Sateen

Fibre : Cotton, some also made in rayon.
Weave : Sateen, 5-harness, filling-face weave.
Characteristics : Lustrous and smooth with the sheen in a filling direction. Carded or combed yarns are used. Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Some are only calendered to produce the sheen but this disappears with washing and is not considered genuine sateen. May be bleached, dyed, or printed. Difficult to make good bound buttonholes on it as it has a tendency to slip at the seams.
Uses : Dresses, sportswear, blouses, robes, pyjamas, linings for draperies, bedspreads, slip covers.


  • Seersucker

Fibre : Cotton, rayon, synthetics.
Weave : Plain, slack tension weave.
Characteristics : Term derived from the Persian “shirushaker”, a kind of cloth, literally “milk and sugar”. Crepe-stripe effect. Coloured stripes are often used. Dull surface. Comes in medium to heavy weights. the woven crinkle is produced by alternating slack and tight yarns in the warp. This is permanent. Some may be produced by pressing or chemicals, which is not likely to be permanent – called plisse. Durable, gives good service and wear. May be laundered without ironing. Can be bleached, yarn dyed, or printed. Some comes in a check effect.
Uses : Summer suits for men, women, and children, coats, uniforms, trims, nightwear, all kinds of sportswear, dresses, blouses, children’s wear of all kinds, curtains, bedspreads, slipcovers.

  • Shantung

Fibre : Cotton, silk, rayon, synthetics.
Weave : Plain.
Characteristics : It is a raw silk made from Tussah silk or silk waste, depending on the quality. It is quite similar to pongee, but has a more irregular surface, heavier, and rougher. Most of the slubs are in the filling direction. Wrinkles quite a bit. Underlining helps to prevent this as well as slipping at the seams. Do not fit too tightly, if long wear is expected. Comes in various weights, colours and also printed.
Uses : Dresses, suits, and coats.


  • Terry cloth

Fibre : Cotton and some linen.
Weave : Pile, also jacquard and dobby combined with pile.
Characteristics : Either all over loops on both sides of the fabric or patterned loops on both sides. Formed with an extra warp yarn. long wearing, easy to launder and requires no ironing. May be bleached, dyed, or printed. Better qualities have a close, firm, underweave, with very close loops. Very absorbent, and the longer the loop, the greater the absorbency. When the pile is only on one side, it is called “Turkish towelling.”
Uses : Towels, beachwear, bathrobes, all kinds of sportswear, children’s wear, slip covers, and draperies.


  • Tiking

Fibre : Cotton
Weave : Usually twill (L2/1 or L3/1), some jacquard, satin, and dobby.
Characteristics : Very tightly woven with more warp than filling yarns. Very sturdy and strong, smooth and lustrous. Usually has white and coloured stripes, but some patterned (floral). Can be made water-repellent, germ resistant, and feather-proof.
Uses : Pillow covers, mattress coverings, upholstering and some sportswear. `Bohemian ticking” has a plain weave, a very high texture, and is featherproof. Lighter weight than regular ticking. Patterned with narrow coloured striped on a white background or may have a chambray effect by using a white or unbleached warp with a blue or red filling.

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