Fabric Definition And Pronunciations

Bagheera [no pronunciation listed] A type of uncut pile velvet. It is piece-dyed and the texture is somewhat rough, which makes the cloth crush resistant.

Boucle [boo-klay’] Means curled, ringlet or buckled. Boucle yarn may be used in both the warp and weft or just in the filling.

Challis [shal’-ee] Means soft. A plain weave fabric from wool, rayon, cotton or manufactured fiber. Most often seen with a print of small flowers.

Damask [dam’-ask] Jacquard woven fabrics of various fiber content. Can be wool, silk, linen, rayon, acetate, worsted wool. Floral or geometric patterns are reversible.

Ngai: Damask tends to be 2 sided–reversable and one color And brocade is a jacquard that has a colored patterns (at least that’s what I remember from my jacquard report a few dozen moons ago.)

Denier [den’-yehr] International numbering system of linear densities of silk and manufactured filament yarns and fibers.

Doupioni [doo-pee-ohn-ee] is reeled from double (silk) cocoons nested together. The threads are uneven and irregular. Italian Doupioni is the finest, followed by Chinese Doupioni and Indian Doupioni. Doupioni is also seen in man-made fibers such as polyester, acetate and referred to as doupionni. Silk Doupioni is most often found in men’s and women’s fine suits and also dresses in lighter weight silk Doupioni.

Faille [fyle] A ribbed fabric with a low luster. Heavier yarns are used in the filling or weft. Example of faille is grosgrain.

Galatea [no pronunciation listed] 1. A term for converted warp sateen, jean, or five-harness warp-faced twill made in white and printed color stripes and solid colors. 2. A good grade of British cotton shirting made in equal blue and white stripes.

Gazar [no pronunciation listed] “Silk or wool fabric with crisp hand and flat, smooth texture. Plain weave with high-twist double yarns interlaced as one.

Grosgrain [groh’-grayn] Ribbed, closely woven fabric that is made in ribbon width as well as fabric widths.

Haute Couture [ot ku’ty:r] Haute is pronounced like “oat”.

Ikat [ee’-kat] Designs appear similar to water reflections. Yarns are tie dyed prior to weaving.

Jacobean [jak-oh-bee’-uhn]

Jacquard [ja-kard’] Jacquard is a weave. Damask is a jacquard woven fabric and a term used for a wide variety of jacquard woven fabrics. At least that is the distinction that I learned and one that is in my reference books.

Matelasse [mat-luh-say’] means padded or cushioned in French. I didn’t see in my reference books where it was done on a jacquard loom but even the experts vary in their descriptions. At any rate, matlelasse has a padded or quilted affect. There is matelasse crepe and matleasse organdy. The hand or feel is somewhat spongy to me.

Moire and Moire taffeta [mwaah-ray’] Means watered. Obtained by passing through engraving rollers, producing crushed “watermark” patterns that reflect light differently. Used most often on ribbed fabrics made with cotton, acetate, rayon, silk and some manufactured fabrics. Moire taffeta is taffeta with a moire finish that has been heat set.

Momme [mommie] The unit of weight (Japanese) of a degummed piece of silk 25 yards long and 1.5 inches wide.

Mudmee or matmee (NOTE: Since Susan suggested this term and knows the pronunciation and definition, I ask her to post this information.)

Susan: I bought some of this from an actual Thai lady and she pronounced it with a vowel sound sort of between an ‘a’ and a ‘u’. And the consonent between a ‘t’ and a ‘d’. Hence the confusion about spelling. (See below, it is spelled “matmi”)

The textile is Thai ikat silk or cotton. It is hand-woven usually in 4-meter lengths. “Ikat” is the Indonesian word for this technique which is believed to have originated in India and spread outward. In Japan, it is “kasuri”. The designs are achieved by tightly binding the yarns in patterns to ‘resist” the dye. After the first dyeing, they are then retied for the next color. The very simple ones would have only one color + white. The most complicated ones would take four dyeings and re-tyings as all colors can be achieved with four dyes (like 4-color printing)

The designs on Thai ikats are usually geometric. Indonesian ikats often have figures in them.

Peau [poh] in French means skin. Think about the feel of skin.

Peau de soie [pho deh swah] In French means silk skin. Soft silk (or manufactured fiber) in satin weave. Fine cross rib created by interlacing. Has dull luster.

Pique [pee-kay’] Double cloth with two warps (one heavy, one fine) and two wefts or fillings (one heavy, one fine). Often described by appearance, when woven of cotton, as bird’s-eye pique, spiral pique and pigskin pique. Warpwise wale fabric often seen in the US, is actually considered Bedford cord, not pique.

Plisse [plih-say’] A cotton fabric that has been chemically shrunk in stripes, creating a rippled effect. In French, means crinkled or pleated.

Pongee [pahn-jee’] Originally from Chinese penchi when means woven at home. Pongee is a plain weave silk or cotton that has a heavier warp or filling yarn. Warp is also finer than the weft or filling.

Silk noil [no pronunciation listed] Silk fabric produced from yarn spun from silk waste. The silk waste is short fibers produced in the manufacture of spun silk.

Soie [swah] French for silk.

Tencel I have most often heard this pronounced [tin-sel’].

Toile [twahl] French for cloth or fabric such as linen, sailcloth, canvas.

Tulle [tool] Fine mesh made in cotton, silk or manufactured fiber.

Voile [English: voyl; French: vwahl]

Worsted [woos’-tihd; wuhr-stehd] Wool or other fiber that has been combed then spun prior to weaving.

For further reference, try:

“Fairchild’s Dictionary of Textiles, 7th Edition” by Phyllis G. Tortora and Robert S. Merkel.

“Encyclopedia of Textiles” by Judith Jerde

“Cassell’s French Dictionary” compiled by J. H. Douglas, BA and Denis Girard and W. Thompson, MA

“Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus: American Edition”

List Members – Fabric Find and Fact – Quiltroplolis List

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