A-Z Glossary or Guide of fabric qualities
Cotton of medium fineness and medium staple length.
Natural hair from the alpaca, or animal from which the fibre alpaca is obtained.
Hair fibre from the angora rabbit.
Fine, soft,plain weave fabric. Originally linen, now other fibres, eg cotton.
Combination of two or more different fibres within the same yarn. This can be for cost, properties and/or appearance.
Colour-and-weave effect where the pattern shows small, uniform spots. 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.
Fancy yarn showing an irregular pattern of curls or loops.
Non-jacquard double jersey weft knit structure made on an interlock basis showing horizontal ridges on the effect side.
Figured woven jacquard fabric, usually multicoloured, much used for furnishings.
Plain weave fabric, generally of linen or cotton, which is stiffened during finishing with fillers and starches. Uses include interlinings and bookbinding fabrics.
General term used for plain cotton fabrics heavier than muslin. These are usually left unbleached, area made in a variety of weights, and are often used for making toiles.
Lightweight, closely woven, plain weave fabric, usually made from cotton or linen.
Strong, firm, relatively heavy and rigid, generally plain woven cloth traditionally made from cotton, linen, hemp or jute.
Firm woven fabric with a steep twill showing double twill lines, traditionally used for riding breeches and jodphurs.
Lightweight, plain weave cotton cloth with a dyed warp and a white weft.
Open, lightweight, plain weave fabric with a slightly crêpey appearance, usually made from carded cotton yarns with higher than average twist.
Fancy yarn produced by weaving a leno fabric and cutting into warp-way strips so that each strip forms the yarn, which has a velvety, caterpillar-like appearance.
Originally a very lightweight, sheer, plain weave fabric made from silk. Now can also be used to describe a similar fabric using other fibres.
Originally a 2-fold yarn, one black, one white, giving a regular two colour effect. Term now used to describe any 2-fold, two colour yarn.
Closely woven, lustrous, plain weave cotton fabric, printed or plain, that has been friction calendered or glazed. Much used for curtainings and upholstery.
Natural vegetable fruit fibre from the coconut.
One of several combinations of colours used for a particular fabric.
Wove, 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).
Fabric characterised by a crinkled or puckered surface, which can 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 crêpe characteristics are achieved mainly by the use of highly twisted yarns, which in finishing develop the crinkled, puckered appearance of a crêpe. 3. fabric where the crêpe 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 filament yarns in the warp. The crêpe effect is relatively unpronounced.
Spun or filament yarns that are very highly S or Z twisted used for the production of crepe fabrics.
Lightweight, printed, all wool plain weave fabric.
Doupion (or Dupion)
Silk-breeding term meaning double cocoon, used to describe the irregular, raw rough silk reeled from double cocoons.
Woven twill fabric with a similar structure to denim, but usually piece-dyed.
Type of cotton characterised by long, fine fibres.
Lightweight, open-textured fabric made in plain weave a simple leno weave.
Fine, lightweight, plain weave, crêpe fabric, usually having two highly twisted S and two highly twisted Z yarns alternately in both warp and weft.
Variation on plain weave, where two or more ends and picks weave as one. Sometimes called basket weave.
Type of cotton characterised by relatively short, coarse fibres.
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.
A fabric woven on a jacquard loom, where the patterning mechanism allows individual control on any interlacing of up to several hundred warp threads or 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.
General term used for any knitted fabric.
Natural vegetable bast fibre, the plant from which the bast jute fibre is obtained.
Coarse fibres present in varying amounts in wool fleece. Usually white, black or brown and can be used to give decorative effects in some wool fabrics.
Fancy yarn characterised by random flecks or spots of differently coloured fibres.
Fine, plain weave fabric, traditionally of cotton on linen.
Natural vegetable bast fibre obtained from the flax plant.
Wool from the fleeces of lambs (young sheep up to the age of weaning).
A general name for fabrics where metallic threads are a conspicuous feature.
Square-hole, warp knitted net.
Wool from the merino sheep, which produces the shortest and finest wool fibres.
Natural animal hair fibre from the angora or mohair goat.
Fabric which shows a moiré or wavy watermark pattern. This is produced by calendaring, usually on a fabric showing a rib or cord effect in the weft direction. The moiré effect can be achieved by embossing with a roller engraved with a moiré pattern, or by feeding two layers of fabric face to face through the calendar. the effect may be permanent or temporary depending on the fibres and the chemicals used.
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.
General term for very fine, semi-opaque fabrics, finer than muslins, made of silk, wool or cotton.
Lightweight, open, plain or simple leno weave fabric, usually made of cotton.
Any fabric that does not exceed 45 cms in width (in the UK). In the USA and Europe, the accepted upper width is 30 cms. Ribbons, tapes, braids and narrow laces are included in this category.
A textile fibre occuring in nature, which is animal, vegetable or mineral in origin.
Fibre from a sheep or lamb that has not previously been used. Alternative name for virgin wool.
Man made synthetic polymer fibre. Alternative name for polyamide.
Lightweight, plain weave transparent fabric, with a permanently stiff finish.
A sheer, lighweight, plain weave fabric, with a relatively firm drape and handle, traditionally made from the continuous filament of silk yarns. Now often made using other fibres.
Man made synthetic polymer fibre.
Silk in which there is no metallic or other weighting of any kind, except that which is an essential part of dyeing.
Continuous filaments containing no twist, drawn off or reeled from cocoons. The filaments are unbleached, undyed and not degummed.
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.
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.
Natural animal protein fibre obtained from the cocoons produced by silkworms.
Very short silk fibres extracted during silk combing that are too short for producing spun silk. These fibres are usually spun into silk-noil yarns.
Fancy yarn characterised by areas of thicker, loosely twisted yarn alternating with thinner, harder twisted areas.
Staple fibre silk yarn produced from silk waster which has been largely degummed.
Describes a substance which has been manufactured by building up a complex structure from simpler chemical substances.
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.
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.
Yarn twisted from continuous filament silk.
Cut pile weft or warp knitted fabric.
Cut warp-pile fabric, in which the cut fibrous ends of the yarns from the surface of the fabric. Many effects are possible, e.g. the pile may be left erect, or it may be laid in one direction during finishing to give a very high lustre.
Man made natural polymer regenerated cellulose fibre.
Plain weave, semi-sheer, lightweight fabric made with fine, fairly highly twisted yarns. Originally made from cotton, now other fibres are sometimes used.
Lofty sheet of fibres used for padding, stuffing or packing.
Describes man made filaments produced by wet spinning, where the dissolved polymer is converted into filaments by extrusion through the spinneret into a coagulating bath of chemicals, causing the filaments to solidify.
- Definition: Taffeta (fabsugar.com)
- Definition: Poplin (fabsugar.com)
- A-Z Interior Fabric Qualities (kothea.com)
Source Credit: R Haworth
“Is it OK to mix Crib 5 and Crib 3?” was the question. The client further explained that they planned to use a Crib 5 inter-liner and a Crib 3 fabric and was this OK in a restaurant?
I think the uncertainty existed as sometimes with domestic usage interlining can help with meeting FR needs.
However for non-residential spaces that is NOT the case.
The Crib5/Crib 3 mix would have been OK in an office type environment where Crib 3 was required however in a public space this is certainly not acceptable and so a different fabric is needed that is inherently Crib 5 or can be treated to Crib 5.
KOTHEA Fabric Picks For A Chilly Winter’s Day
With Verity du Sautoy of KOTHEA.
We love the seasons. All have their beauties and all have touched our senses in memorable ways over the years. Winter is no exception: lower, more balanced light; quietness and chaos with both the shopping and the weather; festive celebrations; the cuddle of a loved one; the hope and expectation of early spring flowers grasping for rare and tiny glimmers of light; and, perhaps, the welcomed warmth of a beautiful fabric.
Some of my best memories are centred on family: a warm fire; a little baby; or a bouncing toddler. Then an old children’s classic on the iPlayer watched on my Mac as it balances precariously on an elegant coffee table. I stroke my children’s hair with one hand and rest my other hand on my sofa. A generous cushion is warm, encapsulating and a bit of fun for the little ones to hide under. The curtains are not yet fully drawn but they smooth the boundary to the cold outside and give us tantalising glimpses of the world beyond – should we venture too close to the sheers that offer the final, soft protection from the elements.
I work for a fabric company. I love fabric. I can’t pretend that it (fabric) is a be-all and end-all to life and that somehow it will make your life complete. It can’t. But what it clearly can do is complete the sensory experiences in the parts of life that, if you choose, you have control over…the parts of your home. Memories are not just photo-like snapshots in your brain; they are stored, multi-sensory splashes of emotion.
Here are my Winter picks. They are actual ‘picks’ that I’ve recently purchased or are about to purchase.
Take my sofa as an example. My sofa isn’t Read the rest of this entry »
You’ve just ordered a new velvet and unrolled it to admire your purchase. But how do you re-roll it?
When you roll almost any fabric you should have the face on the inside. With a velvet this is the pile so you have the pile on the inside.
Some, but not all, velvet piles stand straight up others will ‘lay down’. for the former it does not matter which way you then roll the fabric (provided the pile is on the inside). However for typically longer pile which lays down (ie you can brush it flat with your hand in one direction only) then you should roll the fabric down the pile as you return it to its roll.
Hopefully that made sense. Good luck.
- Mohair Velvet & Other Velvets (kothea.com)
- Projects ” How-To’s ” Red Velvet Valentine Whoopie Pies (cutoutandkeep.net)
- ‘VELVET’ SURPRISE: Moe Tucker, tea party fan (politico.com)
- Red Velvety (farhanahizani.wordpress.com)
London based Lisa Parsons supplies fabrics to the hippest and most exclusive UK designers. The founder of KOTHEA, her Spring2011 collection-in-progress is about to take Velvet to a new level of opulence.
With no time to think I would paint my walls with … Kelly Hoppen’s “Perfect Taupe”. Her colours are fantastic and, in this case, it does what it says on the tin.
My favourite piece of furniture is … an old chair I picked up in a local junk shop and I had it recovered in one of my fabrics; LeapFrog.
Guests to my house are intrigued by … this bizarre surveying tool I have in the corner of my lounge. It’s a measuring stick used with a theodolite and it adds a bit of height and interest to a corner of my room. It also detracts from a piece of my husband’s artwork which, although good, I have to compromise on putting on show from time-to-time.
I am … passionate about my fabrics and design; I am always inspired by many of today’s amazing yacht interiors, Terence Disdale is fantastic. I would love to be in a position to commission him.
The hardest thing about work is … keeping my beautiful fabrics at home clean whilst having three children and their 30 sticky fingers. Gulp.
In my spare time … I just said I have had a third child; what spare time! I do love yoga though, with headstands being my forte. I have also designed and made many pieces of jewellery. Chris Farrow made this one up to my design, it has 3 rotating rings with a semi-precious stone on which rotate around a larger holding ring also with a set stone.
The trendiest colour is … hmm, trendy. Difficult one, KOTHEA operates at the top end of the market and I would have to say that the desirable colours there have varied little over the last ten to 15 years. Lower down the market it is different.
My favourite designers are … well I’ve mentioned a few already. I would certainly look at Gotham (Notting Hill) for furniture. John Hutton did amazing chairs and I was privileged enough to sell a few when I worked at Donghia in the 90s. Nick & Christian the famous Candy brothers have done some amazing things just look at One Hyde Park.
The best technology is … I suppose I should say Apple but I love my Blackberry as it helps me stay in touch with everyone and everything.
The most iconic British designer is … without a doubt, Terence Conran. His massive influence has probably been understated.
A plug for your company?…We mostly deal with the very top interior designers; not all of them but many of them. That’s the market we are in and intend to stay in. We know it pretty well and we like to think our fabrics meet their needs. A case-in-point is our new velvet collection. Opulent Cashmere and Italian Silk velvet.
Most interesting use of your products? … Some of the yachts they are specified on are pretty interesting! We’ve supplied some pretty interesting pop stars and celebrities (if you are into that sort of thing). One interesting client came through a Mayfair yacht broker and temporarily wanted his ‘fishing boat’ fitted out wall-to-wall with faux leather. All I can say is that it must have been a pretty large fishing boat and certainly not what I had in mind when I think about fishing boats!
- Black Velvet – Even Better Italian Silk Velvet In Black (kothea.com)
- Cashmere Throws – Luxury Refined From KOTHEA (kothea.com)
- Moleskin Upholstery Fabric (kothea.com)
- Got A Crush On Velvet? (kothea.com)
- Another day, another amazing flying yacht (dvice.com)
- Amazing Photos Of The Two Super-Yachts That This Hedge Fund Manager Can’t Sell (businessinsider.com)
- New Fabric Trends Update Your Decor (chicagonow.com)
Upholstery Linen is notoriously difficult for interior designers to source. Sourcing linens for curtains is easy enough but often linens are not woven with sufficient strength to score Martindale results that are high enough to warrant using the fabric for upholstery.
Some suppliers can be a little evasive and will quote the weight of the linen as a measure of the linen’s quality. The implicaiton being that the higher the weight the better suited the fabric will be for upholstery. There is some thuth in that implication but you cannot say for certain that a high weight linen is inherently suitable for upholstery. Get the Martindale!
Most KOTHEA luxury upholstery linens have inherent Martindale rub tests of around 20,000 rubs with one range further strengthened to 85,000 rubs for contract usage – 20,000 Martindale being eminently suitable for domestic upholstery.
Furthermore when buying upholstery- (or curtain-) linen you need to know whether or not it will shrink when washed. Linen ALWAYS shrinks. So what you have to find out is whether or not it has been pre-shrunk before you buy it. A common way of pre-shrinking linen is through the sanforisation process.
Here are the details of our new 2011 upholstery linens that are named Recline, Relax and Restful. We have many others, these are just the new ones:
Usage: Luxury Contract Upholstery
Comp: 54% Li 35% Co 11% Pa
Notes: Martindale >85,000
Usage: Luxury Domestic Upholstery
Comp: 100% Li
Weight: >265 g/m2
Notes: Martindale >15,000
Usage: Heavyweight Luxury Domestic Upholstery
Comp: 100% Li
Weight: >470 g/m2
Notes: Martindale >45,000
- A Chat With Verity du Sautoy, Interviewed With KOTHEA (kothea.com)
- Designer Fabrics & Luxury Wallcoverings 2012 – Latest Collections of Faux Leather & Raffia (kothea.com)
- A Chat With Verity du Sautoy – Her Thoughts On Winter Fabrics (kothea.com)
Sanforising is a finishing technique for already woven fabric.
Interior Designers do not need to know the detail of exactly what happens. So, in brief, the process is usually associated with cotton fabric and often also with shirting fabric. The idea behind sanforising is to pre-shrink the fabric. Clearly any shrinkage after the fabric has been made up may cause problems and Interior Designers DO need to be aware of that!
When sanforised fabric is subsequently made up into curtains or used on upholstery the naturally occurring effects of fabric stretching are reduced, but like many natural fabrics some further shrinkage could occur.
As a general rule: more tightly woven fabrics tend to shrink less.
The sanforisation process involves stretching and heating damp fabric over a series of rollers
- How to Get The Most Out Of An Interior Designer (via Women’s Business Connection Blog) (kothea.com)
- Fabric Fridays – 5/13/11 (riverplacequiltandsew.wordpress.com)
- Careful Fabric Usage For Housing Interior Plans (sooperblog.com)
Some fabrics can be too fragile for use as upholstery unless knit backed. Knit backing is a process whereby, for example, a cotton polyester backing is applied to a lighter weight chenille, silk or cotton.
Essentially the fabric‘s life is increased with better durability and resilience. The handling characteristics of the fabric can be improved; and knit backing also helps prevent seam slippage.
The same principle applies for the fabric whether or not it is to be used for either upholstery or wall covering. There will certainly be other requirements for contract usage, say, in hotels and aviation and also other treatments like fire retardancy or stain protection would be required for contract upholstery.
- Designer Fabrics & Luxury Wallcoverings 2012 – Latest Collections of Faux Leather & Raffia (kothea.com)