Fabric Dictionary – 200+ fabric names

 

fabric types

Different Types of Fabrics

When selecting the fabric to sew your clothes, most of the time you hear terms like medium weight woven or light weight knit and many different types of similar fabric names.

It is difficult for a layman to determine the line where a fabric ceases to be one weight and falls into another category.

Choosing Fabric for making Clothes

To assist you in determining which category your fabric falls under, I have tried to list the categories as well fabric types below: (check out the related posts on  “What are textiles” ; Different types of textile fibers ; buying fabric and the one that tries to guestimate how much fabric to buy for making clothes)

Sewing Fabrics reference guide 

Fabric categoryFabric names
Very lightweight woven fabricsBatiste, chiffon, net, Voile, Organza, Georgette, transparent fabrics.
Lightweight Woven fabricsLawn, Muslin, Oxford cloth,Challis, chambray, charmeuse, crepe, dotted swiss, handkerchief linen, silk blouse fabrics, satin, eyelet, lace, Taffeta, lightweight wools and polyesters
Light to Medium Weight Woven fabricsMetallic, Sequined fabrics, elasticized fabrics, gingham, percale seersucker.
Medium Weight Woven fabricsBroadcloth, brocade, linen, pique, Velvet,shantung, chintz, velveteen, polyester blends acrylics, Woolens, fleece, gabardine, outerwear fabrics.
Medium to Heavy Weight Woven fabricsDenim, drapery fabric, twill-weave, corduroy, terry, velour, fake fur, double-faced fabrics, quilted fabrics.
Heavy Weight FabricsCanvas, duck, awning fabrics. sailcloth, upholstery , Burlap, Cheviot, Fleece, Tweed, Doeskin, Mohair
Lightweight KnitsDouble knit, interlocks, jersey, mesh, panne velvet, rib knits.
Light to Medium Weight KnitsSweater, sweatshirt, two-way stretch, velour.
Medium -heavy Weight Knits Double knits fleece

Types of fabricsFabric names 
Lightweight Fabricscotton Lawn, Voile, Organdie,SIlk chiffon, Crepe dechine, georgette, mulsin, Silk organza, Silk habotai
cotton batiste, thai silk
Mesh Fabrics /Open work FabricsTulle,Bobbinet, Assuit, Illusion(net fabrics) mesh knits
Buckram, Eyelet fabric, Borderie Anglaise, Lace,Cape net, Tarlatan
Medium weight FabricsPoplin, Gauze, Damask, Chintz, Sateen. Flannel, Gabardine,
Cashmere, cheesecloth, raw silk, Gingham, Crepe de china
Piled fabricsFur, Faux fur, Velvet, Chenille,Astrakhan, Plush, Velour, Velveteen, terrycloth, Boucle (loops)
Mild soft pile - Flannel, Suede, Ultra suede, microfiber, flannelette, felt, brushed denim
Heavy weight FabricsCanvas, Denim, Fleece,, Tartan, Tweed, Towelling fabric, Upholstery fabric
Chenille
Shiny glossy fabricsSatin, silk ( and all its many types), sateen, polished cotton, cire
Ribbed fabricsDenim, Gabardine, Corduroy, Grosgrain, Bengaline, Moire,Whipcord, Drill, serge, poplin (Broadcloth), Faille Taffeta, Pique, Bedford cord, Chino, Cavalry twill

Related posts ( Click on the images to go to the relevant pages with some more details)

 fabric finishes list     fabric texture

types of silk fabric   types of denimwhat is leather

rayon clothing fabricvelvet materialdifferent types of laces   stretchy material  flax fabric linenwaterproof material

wedding dress material  types of cotton  how to buy bedsheets

PILE FABRICS  knit fabric names  what is spandex

200+ Fabric names

By no means is this an exhausted list as there are innumerous types of fabric available. I have tried to list what I could find by researching around and the list continues to be updated making me realize the vastness of this fabric empire.  

 

Abaca

A hemplike fiber used for cordage grown in the Philippine Islands.

Aba

Camel or goat hair fabric

Acetate 

A manufactured fiber formed by a compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or wood pulp, and acetic acid .Acetate fabric, which has a satiny smooth texture, is used in wedding gowns, and as lining . It is also used to make an insulation tape.

Acrylic fabric

Fabric made of Synthetic, manufactured fibre that is soft, lightweight and wool-like. Acrylic fabric is used in winter wear, such as sweaters and fleece.

Active Comfort Denim

This premium ring spun denim features a unique blend of fibers with four-way flex designed for extreme range of motion. It is Lee’s innovation in fabrics.

Admiralty cloth

Melton fabric which is usually used to make military uniforms and peacoats

Aerophane

Thin crinkled semi transparent fabric

Aertex

A loosely woven cotton fabric that is used to make shirts and underwear.Trademarked name

Aida Canvas

Stiff coarse open and even weave fabric used for needlework particularly cross stitch

Albert Cloth

A type of wool double cloth which is reversible with different colours on front and back . It is usually sued to make coats

Albetross

Soft worsted fleece like fabric (resembles the soft downy feathers of the underside of an albatross bird) .

Alepine

Fabric which is a Mix of wool and silk or mohair and cotton.

Alencon Lace.

A needlepoint lace with fine net background with cord outlining design.

Alpaca

Alpaca fiber is a fine silk like soft natural fiber harvested from the Alpaca animal; It is very similar to sheep’s wool

Alpaca crepe

Soft fabric in plain weave.

Amercian Pima Cotton

A cross between Sea Island and Egyptian cotton. Grown in Arizona. 

Angora fibres

This is a fibre produced from the long, incredibly soft hair of an angora rabbit. This is different from Mohair which comes from Angora goat. The rabbit is bred for its soft wool. Used to make sweaters and accessories.

Angola

Plain or twill fabric, woven from a cotton warp and an Angola yarn weft. Principally used as shirting cloths for the home trade

Anti-pill

When washed fabric produces small pill like fibers on its surface – this is mainly due to the low quality of fibers in the fabric. Anti pill refers to fabric woven specially to resist this wear in the fabric

Antique satin

This is a reversible satin with a shiny texture on one side and a slightly slubbed texture on the other.It has a beautiful drape

 Ardass

Fine silk

Argyle

This is a pattern on knit fabrics in the shape of diamond or lozenges.

Armure

A pebbly /raised/ embossed surfaced fabric made from various fibers like cotton, silk, wool, rayon, synthetics, and blends. This fabric with a raised pattern is used to make gowns and drapery. Jacquard weave

Art Linen

A linen woven with even threads that are especially good for embroidery. It is crisp and has a plain weave

Astrakhan

Rough fabric with closely curled face resembling Astrakhan lamb’s pelt. Woven or knitted usually with base yarns of cotton and pile of wool, mohair, acrylic or modacrylic fibers

Atlas

Rich satin fabric.

Awnings

Heavy cloths used for shop blinds, garden tents and chairs, etc.

Baby Combing Wool

Short, fine wool which is usually manufactured on the French system of worsted manufacture. This term is synonymous with “French Combing Wool”.

Baft

Cheap coarse cotton fabric

Bagheera Velvet

A  fine, uncut pile velvet; it hs a rough surface.

Ballistic

This is a thick, tough, synthetic nylon fabric which has an even weave initially developed by Dupont. It is an extremely durable material. Used in luggage for reinforcement and abrasion resistance

Balloon cloth

A strong impermeable  cotton fabric once used to make hot air balloons

Banbury plush

Strong uncut fabric with long loops.

Bamboo fibers

Fabric incorporating bamboo fibres is eco friendly durable and strong.They are porous, breathable and absorbent

Banana Fabric

A fabric spun from fibers on the stalk of the banana plant .It is a fine fabric which looks like silk. See also Sinamay

Bandana

A fabric in printed styles, whether silk, silk and cotton, or all cotton. Originated in India as bright coloured handkerchiefs of silk and cotton with spots in white on coloured grounds, chiefly red and blue

Baize

A coarse woolen fabric ( green coloured) napped to resemble felt; used to cover gaming table and as liners and for craft projects. Shrinks when washed. 

Barathea

A fine rich soft looking lustrous cloth woven from silk, rayon or acetate.  The fabric has granular texture achieved by the short broken ribs in the filling direction. Used in making dinner jackets

Barege

Lightweight sheer fabric in plain weave.

Bark Cloth

Slightly textured, Rugged looking 100% cotton fabric ( So named because of its resemblance  to the original bark cloth made from the bark of trees), used for unlined jackets and skirts and also extensively in home furnishing .Bark crepe is a crepe fabric with a rough texture

Baronet satin

Lustrous soft fabric .

Basket weave

A pattern which resembles basketwork. In this weave construction two or more warp and filling yarns are woven side by side to resemble a pleated basket

Bathroom Blanketing

A double faced fabric with nape. The fabric is soft thick and warm.

Batik

This is a resit method of making designs on fabric. In this technique of dyeing, parts of fabric are coated with wax, resulting in varying patterns or colors. When the wax cracks, resulting in fine lines or streaks which forms beautiful designs. Batik also refers to cloth made using this method

Batiste

A fine lightweight semi sheer cloth made from cotton wool or polyester  Cotton Batiste is used in Heirloom sewing.

Batt or Batting

Sheets or rolls of carded cotton or wool or other fiber or mixtures thereof which is used for woolen spinning or for stuffing, padding, quilting, and felting.

Beaded

This refers to any style of fabric that has beads embroidered into the design. Beading can be done at the time the lace is made or can be re-embroidered after the lace is made

Beaver cloth

A heavy woolen overcoating, napped and pressed down to resemble beaver fur..

Belly Wool

The wool that grows on the belly of the sheep and occasionally extends up the side in irregular patches. It is usually an uneven, different grade from the body of the fleece. It is shorter and less desirable because of its poor lock formation, and it usually lacks the character of the body of the fleece.

Bemberg

A soft rayon lining material with a silk like quality.A trademark of Bemberg Spa, Italy

Bengaline /Faille

A woven fabric ( Almost like poplin) with criss cross ribs ;resembles grosgrain. This fabric is lustrous & durable. The corded appearance given by the ribbed pattern makes it unique. It is  most often used in millinery, ribbons, and suits.It may be made of natural textiles, such as cotton, wool or silk, or from synthetic fibers, such as rayon or nylon; it also often is made of a combination of two different materials. usually used in suiting, this fabric is stretchy and durable. Also availabe in moire or a floral jacquard. Usually is a rayon-acetate or cotton acetate blend.

Binding cloth

Bookbinders’ cloth of muslin character, dyed, and embossed. Very stiffly finished.

Bobbinet

A machine-made cotton lace net produced by the bobbinet frame; It is also called genuine tulle.

Bunting

A plain, loose, even thread weave of worsted or cotton used for flags.

Burlap

A plain, coarse, heavy yarn cloth, used for wrappers, and upholstery. Generally made from jute, hemp, or flax yarn.

Bedford

A strong, ribbed fabric that can be made from cotton, wool, silk, or a combination of fibers, which looks somewhat like corduroy.  It is a very durable and strong material used usually as bedsheets.

Berber fleece

A type of fabric that is very warm lightweight and soft.It usually has a slightly nubby texture and subtly flecked appearance and a  knit backing made of polyester/modacrylic ; It  is used to make outer garments like jackets.

Bicast leather (PU leather)

Material made with split leather with a thick layer of polyurethane applied to the surface and then embossed. It is easy to clean and maintain and is used in furniture covering.

Biopolished cotton

A type of cotton treated by an enzyme that removes the roughness on the surface. The tiny loose protruding yarns of natural cotton are polished, creating a softer, smoother feel

Black Wool

Any wool containing black fibers. A fleece having only a few black fibers is rejected by a grader and goes into the black wool bag because there is no way of separating the few black fibers in the manufacturing processes. Black wool is usually run in lots that are to be dyed.

Black-top Wool
Wool containing a large amount of wool grease combined at the tip of the wool staples with dirt, usually from a Merino. This wool is usually fine in quality, of good character, and desireable in type, but the shrinkage is high.

Blends

Blended fabrics are made when two or more different kinds of fibres are mixed together to create a new fabric with unique properties

Bonded leather

A material composed of leather fibers and other substances, such as polyurethane, formed together to create the appearance of genuine leather. It is difficult to spot difference in items made with genuine leather and bonded leather. Bonded leather, as it is made from scraps and leftover pieces of leather, is inexpensive compared to genuine leather.

Bombazine

A fine English twilled fabric of silk and worsted or cotton.

Boiled Wool

Thick, dense fabric that is heavily fulled to completely obscure its knitted construction.It can be said to be almost water proof

Botany Wools

Originally referred to merino wool shipped from Australia’s Botany Bay. It has become a generic term used to describe superlative wools and fine worsted sweaters.

Boucle

A type of woven or knit fabric made with yarn with a looped ply. It has a looped, knotted surface

Boynge

Thermal underwear fabric.

Breech or Britch Wool

Wool from the thigh and rear region of the sheep. It is the coarsest and poorest wool on the entire fleece. It is usually manure-encrusted and urine-stained fiber. It should be “skirted” and removed from a fleece for a hand spinner.

Broadcloth

A clothing fabric that is tightly woven in a plain weave with a crosswise rib. Similar to poplin, but finer. Earlier broadcloth used to be made of wool but nowadays it is made of cotton or cotton/polyester blends.

Brocade

A heavy rich and decorative textured fabric woven with different colours of silk /cotton/polyester threads along with metallic thread. The weave of brocade gives the illusion of embossing or embroidery. It usually has patterns of flowers woven in to it. More on What is Brocade

Brocatelle

This fabric looks just like brocade and is used for home decor to make drapery and cover upholstery. The pattern will be puffed or blistered and will be in high relief, and is made on a jacquard loom 

Brushed Wool

Finished yarn or material that has been brushed to raise all loose fibers to the surface, i.e., the commercially-spun mohair yarn.

Buck Fleece

A fleece from a ram. The wool usually has a heave shrinkage due to excessive wool grease; thus wool of this type is not worth as much in the grease as a similar wool from ewes or wethers. Some buck fleeces have a distinctive odor that many find objectionable.

Burlap

A loosely constructed, heavyweight woven fabric in a plain weave that is very coarse and durable and inexpensive. It is usually made from the skin of jute plants or sisal fibers; used to make bags, table runners and many home décor products.

Buckram

A coarse, stiff, plain open-weave fabric  stiffened with glue; used in bookbinding and to stiffen clothing

Cabretta

A light soft leather from the skin of hairy sheep; used for making gloves and garments.

Calico

A plain weave cloth coarser than muslin made from unbleached and not fully processed cotton. The name came from Calicut (India), where the art of colour printing was first practised. Printed calicoes now generally pass under the name of chintz.They have a busy, small floral pattern

Cambric

A very fine fabric, without any weaving faults. It is made of cotton

Camel’s Hair

A Natural fiber obtained from the hair of bactian camel, used to make coats sweaters and suits

Camlet

A fabric of Asian origin; originally made of silk and camel’s hair.

Canton crepe

A soft crepe woven fabric with small crosswise ribs. Similar to crepe de chine but heavier.

Canvas

An extremely durable fabric made of cotton or linen. Canvas comes in two types – plain and duck.Used for heavy duty uses like for making sails, tents and backpacks

Casement

A plain weave fabric used for casement window curtains, usually white or cream, made from good quality yarns, well woven, mercerised finish

Cashmere

An incredibly soft wool made from the downy undercoat of cashmere goats. Considered a luxury fiber because it’s one of the rarest and most expensive fabrics available.shawls and sweaters in this fabric is highly prized.

Carpet Wool

Coarse, harsh, strong wool that is more suitable for carpets than for fabrics. Very little of this type is produced in the U.S. Some of the choicer carpet wools are used to make tweeds or other rough sport clothing. Some breeds, like Karakul, are mainly used for rugs.

Cashgora

Fiber produced by crossing cashmere goats with angora goats.

Cashmerlon

A soft, washable acrylic fabric that keeps its shape and feels like cashmere.Used in sweaters, cardigans and other winterwear.

Cerecloth / altar cloth

A waterproof waxed cloth once used as a shroud (also called altar cloth, used in churches)

Cavalry Twill

A strong rugged fabric with pronounced narrow and wide wale

Challis

A lightweight, soft woven fabric made of wool, cotton, or rayon, either in a single colour or in small prints. Its slightly brushed surface creates a silky finish that can easily be dyed and is usually machine washable.

Chambray / Chambric

A fine, lightweight cloth (usually cotton) in a plain weave with colored, lengthwise threads and a white fill.A linen-finished gingham cloth with a white weft and a colour warp, producing a mottled appearance. Similar to denim but much lighter weight.

Charmeuse

A soft, lightweight fabric woven with a satin weave. It is a silk, cotton, or manmade fabric with a smooth, semi-lustrous satin finish and a dull matte backing.It is a very drapable material and shiny silk and soft, so very popular to make dresses

Chamoise

Soft pliable leather from the skin of chamois goat. This is mainly used to make gloves and to make cleaning cloth

Charvet silk

A soft fabric with high luster

Checks

Fabrics having rectangular patterns formed by crossing a striped warp with weft threads coloured in a somewhat similar order. Check out this post on the different types of checkered patterns

Cheese cloth

A low plain weave fabric ; lightweight soft and thin

Chenille

Incredibly soft, wool, cotton, silk, or rayon yarn with protruding pile ; fabric resembling this yarn ; It is popularly used in upholstery

Cheviot

A soft fine wool.

Chevron

Heeringbone weave. The fabric has V shaped weave across the width of the fabric

Chiffon

Lightweight, sheer fabric with a very good drape and crepe like feel. It is made of twisted filament yarns with a soft weave. Usually woven of silk, but also made of rayon and other synthetic fibers. It is used in making dresses and lingerie. The name is derived from “chiffe,” the French word for rag or flimsy cloth.

China silk 

This is a lightweight, relatively inexpensive silk used chiefly for  dance costumes. The fabric is  soft, lightweight & opaque

Chinchilla cloth

A heavy, spongy woolen overcoat fabric with a long nap that has been rubbed into a curly, nubby finish.

Chint

Nowadays it refers to clothing with floral prints. Earlier it used to refer to printed calico

Chino

A cotton fabric of a left-handed twill, which has a sheen. It was originally used in England for military uniforms. Washes and wears extremely well with a minimum of care

Chintz

A usually glazed printed cotton fabric with bright figures, large flower designs, birds and other designs. It also comes in plain colors.It is named after the Indian word “Chint” meaning “broad, gaudily printed fabric”. Used widely in upholstery fabric.

Chite

Printed linen

Cisele velvet

A type of velvet with Cut and uncut loops forming a  design ;  the pattern is formd by contrast between cut and uncut pile loops. 

Cloque

A cotton/ silk/rayon fabric with a raised woven heavy, sponge like hammered/blistered texture;  raised woven pattern has a puckered or quilted look

Coating

A heavy weight wool or wool blend material that is perfect for making warm coats and other winter clothes out of.

Coir

The coarse, stiff fiber extracted from the outside layer of the husk on the shell of a coconut.

Colorfast

It refers to the property of a fabric to resist fading or running due to washing, exposure to sunlight, and other environmental conditions.

Combed cotton

Refers to cotton with the highest thread count with highest quality. When cotton is “combed,” the shortest, additional fibres of a batch are removed with a wired brush. This process produces high-quality yarns with excellent strength and softness. Combed cotton is finer, softer, stronger and more compact.

Corduroy

A medium- to heavyweight thick and ribbed fabric (usually cotton), often used for clothing. A distinct pattern of vertical ribs, tufted “cords” is formed by twisted fibers that lie parallel to one another with channels in between the cords. A durable cloth, it is used to make jackets, trousers etc.

Cottagora

An extremely soft and environmentally sound material made from a combination of Angora rabbit hair and organic cotton.

Cotton

The most widely-used fabric made with natural fibers. Excellent for most projects. Comes in a variety of weights and thickness

Types of cotton fabric and cotton weave 

Broderie Anglaise

Brushed cotton
Calico
Cambric
Canvas
Cheesecloth
Chino
Corduroy
Cotton velvet
Crinkle cotton
Damask

Sailcloth
Gingham
Flannel
Muslin
Gauze
Diaper cloth
Percale
Outing flannel
Drill
Dimity
Duck
Organdy
Oxford
Flannellette

Moleskin
Seersucker
Silkcotton mix
Madras cotton
Lawn
Seersucker
Swiss
Terrycloth
Velvetten
Polished cotton
Pima cotton
Poplin
Sateen
Seersucker

Voile.

Shirting cotton
Ticking
quilting cottons
Poplin
Polycotton

Cotton backed Satin

A very high luster satin with a rayon face and a cotton back.

Cotton voile

 Lightweight and somewhat sheer fabric, it is perfect for draping.

Cotton Lawn

 Cotton Lawn is similar to cotton voile, but crisper.

Crazy Horse

Authentic American leather that is treated with oil and wax in a unique tanning process. During this process, the oil and wax surface to create a rich, beautiful patina that’s fade-resistant and long-lasting.

Crochet

A process of creating a loose, open knit fabric by looping thread, wool or strands with a hooked needle.

Crepe

Originally called crapes, now it refers to all fabric, silk, wool, or synthetic fiber fabric with a distinctively crisp, crimped appearance. Special hard-twisted yarns are used, and when the cloth is washed or finished a crepe effect is produced which is permanent, due to the shrinkage of the special yarns. The varieties of crepe include crepe de chine, wool crepe, Moroccan crepe, plisse crepe and crepe georgette. Crepe comes in different weights and degrees of sheerness.Crepe charmeuse has  a soft luster ; crepe de chine even more luster, it is sheer and very soft. Crepe de laine is another sheer fabric with a soft touch. Crepe meteor is a soft crepe which looks like satin from the front and georgette from the back. 

Crepe back satin

This is satin with one side crispy crepe and another smooth.It is very light weight and drapes beautifully and hence very suitable to make dresses.

Cretonne

An unglazed heavy fabric; brightly printed; used for slipcovers and draperies , from hemp or linen

Crinkle satin

Crinkle Satin is a light weight fabric, used mainly for cool, summer clothes

Crinoline 

A fabric used as stiffening for dresses. It was popular in the bygone days as the stiff fabric made of cotton or linen make the underskirt for gowns

Crinoline net

 A very stiff polyester or nylon netting with good resiliency. Used to add body, especially height to large sleeves or skirt poufs..

Cupro

A fabric similar to tencel and rayon, which has great drape similar to silk and breath ability like cotton.

Dacron

A polyester fabric which is the trademark of Dupont

Duplex prints

Cotton cloths printed on both sides in two distinct operations. The designs may or may not be the same.

Damask

A rich, glossy reversible fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibres usually woven with a variety of elaborate patterns that are flat. It is used for table covers, napkins, curtains, upholstery cloth, etc . They can be reversible or one-sided only. Designs floral or geometrical.

Dazzle

A lightweight, silky-soft polyester fabric that has a slight shine to it. Dazzle is primarily used to make sportswear , sports uniforms and active wear because it absorbs moisture quickly and allows air to easily circulate around the body

Deerskin

Soft, supple leather skin from deer hide. Makes first-quality garments; especially soft shirts, loose pants, and skirts..

Denim / dungaree / jean

A sturdy warp faced heavy-weighted rugged coarse durable twill-weave cotton fabric; It is usually of colour blue and is used to make work clothes and prominently used to make jeans and casual wear.It does not stretch or drape well.Checkout the post on the different types of denim fabric 

denim fabric

Diaper cloth

A fabric (usually cotton or linen) with actwill dobby or plain weave; very absorbent

Dimity

A lightweight but strong cotton fabric with a raised pattern; used for bedcovers and curtains; sheer, thin, white or printed fabric with lengthwise cords, stripes or checks.It is the two warp threads thrown into relief that form fine cords.

Doeskin

A fine smooth soft woolen fabric. It has a leather like appearance

Dommet flannel

This fabric is soft and has a fleecy appearance

Donegal

A wool tweed that has colorful thick slubs woven into the fabric..

Dorian

Muslin with stripes

Dotted Swiss

Semi sheer crisp fabric with small raised dot pattern

Double cloth

A type of woven textile in which two or more sets of warps and one or more sets of weft yarns are interconnected to form a two-layered cloth. The two fabrics are woven on the loom at the same time, one on top of the other, the two layers are held together using binder threads

Double Gauze

2 layers of gauze are loosely woven together making the fabric very airy and breathable.. 

Down

A layer of fine feathers that grows under the contour feathers of ducks, geese and other waterfowl. Used as a thermal insulator because it’s known for warmth; used as filling in sleeping bags, pillows and comforters.

Dress net

Very lightweight netting fabric ; usually used to make tutus

Drill

Very durable Cotton twill fabric used in men’s and women’s slacks.It is a medium weight coarse fabric. When dyed a khaki color, drill is also called “khaki”.

Duchess satin

This is one of the heaviest and richest looking satin. It is commonly seen in wedding gowns and formal wear.beautiful lustre. Satin weave fabric

Duck cloth

A plain woven cotton fabric ; heavy-weight cloth (usually cotton) that is soft, breathable and durable. Tightly woven and retains color beautifully.It is commonly called canvas.It is a sturdy utility cloth used in home décor projects.

Duvetyne

Soft plush high quality fabric that looks like velvet; velvet like pile on one side; also called commando cloth.

Duffel

A coarse heavy woolen fabric

Dupioni

This is a textured silk  fabric recognized by irregular-sized, thick fibers woven into the base fabric. It has a lustrous sheen Derived from the Italian word “doppione”, meaning double. Two silkworms, having an affinity for one another and wanting to remain together may spin one cocoon, instead of two separate ones. It is difficult to unreel the two filaments separately from these cocoons, so knotting and slubbing often occur in the yarn. A shantung is a “type” of doupioni, but a doupioni isn’t always a shantung.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 Doupionini. Silk Doupioni is most often found in men’s and women’s fine suits and also dresses in lighter weight silk Doupioni.

Egyptian cotton

Egyptian cotton is a finely woven, high-quality cotton from Egypt. This high grade of cotton boasts the longest and strongest fibers.It is known for its softness

Epyngle

A type of high quality velvet fabric woven on a wire loom or épinglé loom. The épinglé velvet is distinguished by the fact that both loop pile and cut pile can be integrated into the same fabric; it dfferes from velvet in that it doesnot undergo the usual shearing process after weaving

Eyelet

A style of decorative fabric stitched with small cut out openings. A type of fabric which contains patterned cut-outs, around which stitching or embroidery may be applied in order to prevent the fabric from raveling

Eyelash

A fabric  with fringe oblongs resembling eyelashes.

Elastane

This is also known as spandex. It has great stretch and is used to make swimwear sportswear tights. The fibers of elasthane can be incorporated with other fibers to provide elasticity. It is denoted by EL on care labels

Elastique

Twill weave smooth surfaced fabric with fine double diagonal ribs

Eolienne

Lustrous Light weight fabric with a ribbed surface. 

English net

Fabric made of threads knotted to form a mesh. English Net is usually heavier than nylon net. Usually made from cotton or polyester, it is much softer and used as a base on which to applique motifs..

Faconne

Silk or rayon with small designs all over the fabric which stand out against a sheer background

Faille

A soft ribbed silk with wider ribs than seen in grosgrain ribbon. Slightly glossy..

Felt

A non-woven fabric made by matting wool fibers by the application of heat, moisture, and pressure Felt is used to make many thing including clothes, crafts, hats etc.

Flannel

An all-wool fabric of plain or twill weave, usually quite pure since it is worn as underclothing. The best flannel is made from fully shrunk yarns with a slight twist

Canton flannel – Heavy flannel with one side twilled surface and one side fuzzy surface
Outing flannel – This is fuzzy on both sides.

Flanellette

A soft cotton fabric imitating flannel.It has a nap on one side.

Flax

Linen is obtained from Flax plant

Fleece

A soft smooth and insulating fabric with a nap.It is made from Fiber sheared from animals (such as sheep) and twisted into yarn for weaving.

fleece

Foulard

A lightweight fabric which is twill, woven silk, or silk and cotton blend, usually decorated with a small printed pattern. It has a very soft finished and is used as scarves, trimmings and neckties.

French terry

The knit fabric that has loops designed to absorb water on one side while the other side is flat. It is a jersey version of terry cloth and is used to make sportswear; it has enough stretch and is used popularly in men’s women’s and children’s clothing

Frieze

A heavy woolen fabric with a long nap.

Full-grain leather

Refers to leather that have not been sanded or buffed, it is considered to be the highest quality of leather.

Faux Fur

Fabric made of synthetic fibers to resemble animal fur; It is increasingly being used instead of fur in clothing by animal activists

Faux silk

A fabric which looks like silk but is not. It has the look of silk without its difficult-to-care-for property.

Frieze

A strong, durable, heavy, coarse woollen cloth with a nap usually one on side. The pile is made by the over-wire method to create a closed-loop pile.

Fustian

A term given to the class of cotton fabrics which includes corduroys, moleskins, constitution cords, cords, heavy Bedford cords, etc., used for clothing purposes.fabric with a slight nap

Fur

Clothing made of furry animal hides; Skin of mammals like fox, beaver are usually used for fur.

Gabardine

A firm, tough tightly woven fabric with a subtle, diagonal line of twill and sometimes a high sheen.Used to make suits, overcoats, trousers, uniforms, windbreakers, and other garments; traditionally worsted wool, but may also be cotton, texturized polyester, or a blend

Gauze

A thin translucent fabric with an open weave similar to cheesecloth. It is used for dressings and absorbandt sponges; It is also made in silk.

Georgette

A sheer, lightweight crinkled fabric (crepe silk) named after a French dressmaker Georgette de la Plante, it is woven from hard-twisted yarns to produce a pebbly surface. Creates a lightweight, flowing look. Pure Georgette is made of silk, rayon or polyester is also used to weave faux georgette.

Gingham

A middle-weight, plain woven cotton fabric typically striped or checked in white and a bold colour or plaid using two or more colors with a plain weave made of cotton or cotton blend yarn.It derives from Malay word ginggang which means striped. The pattern of coloured squares in a gingham cloth is very attractive

Glen checks

A woolen fabric with small, even check designs..

Gossamer

A gossamer is a very light, sheer, gauze-like fabric

Grois point

A fabric which features large points of yarn on the surface of the fabric.

Grogram

A coarse fabric of silk mixed with wool or mohair and often stiffened with gum.

Grosgrain

This usually refers to grosgrain ribbon which is a strong, closely woven, corded ribbon with narrow, horizontal ribs, usually used as trim. It is also available as a fabric with narrow horizontal ribs

Handkerchief Linen

A lightweight linen fabric with a plain weave. It is used to make Handkerchiefs and bias binding. 

Habutai

Another name for china silk

Haircloth

Cloth woven from horsehair or camelhair; used for upholstery or stiffening in garments

Hessian

Coarse fabrics made of Jute ; Also called Burlap.

Hemp

A fibre obtained from the stalk of the plant “Cannabis sativa.” It is inferior in quality to flax, but stronger and easily bleached. The better grades are used in the manufacture of carpets

Homespun

The legal definition of this term is “cloth, the wool of which was hand spun and woven on hand-looms at home.” They are coarse fabrics of tweed character

Hopsacking

A coarse, loosely-woven fabric woven in hopsack or basket weave.

Ikat

A dyeing technique used on yarns prior to weaving; The tie-dyed threads are woven to create a rich and lively pattern on a fabric. Ikat fabrics often possess a distinct look based on their region of origin

Illusion

Similar to tulle, illusion is a fine net used in bridal veils. Usually made of nylon. Sometimes Illusion is available in silk which is very expensive..

Interlock

Also known as Tshirt knit. A type of knit fabric that is identical on both sides. It is the tightest knit and gives the smoothest surface.  It comes in natural and synthetic fiber. It is primarily used as Tshirt material

Irish poplin

Fine linen or cotton shirting also made in Ireland. It was originally a fabric constructed with silk warp and wool filling in plain weave with fine rib

Jaconet

A fine, sheer plain-weave cotton fabric

Jacquard

A type of fabric that is defined by the process of weaving (by using the jacquard attachment on the loom) that creates it. It is a decorative fabric with an intricately woven pattern. Some types of jacquard fabrics have specific names, such as damask and brocade.

Jersey

A Dress making knit fabric that is made of wool, cotton and synthetic fibers. Soft and breathable, with extra “give” for comfort. it is usually thinner or lighter-weight than Interlock knit with less stretch making it appropriate for tops and fuller dresses. Tshirt jersey is a cotton jersey with a 2 way stretch. Tri Blend jersey is a blend of poly rayon and cotton fibers and qualities of each of them

Jute

A natural fiber woven from long soft and shiny vegetable fiber from the plant Jute. Used to make shoes, rugs, decor and more. It is extremely durable and eco friendly as it is biodegradable

Khakhi

Fabric made of cotton, linen, wool, worsted, or manmade fibers and blends;The name means earth colour and is derived from Indian word; this fabric is a Tan or dusty colored warp face twill.

Kidskin

A soft leather made from the hide of a young goat for a supple hand. 

Knit

A fabric that results from knitting, a process in which yarn is manipulated in in a series of connected loops either by hand or by machine. Comes in a wide variety of weights, stretchy and great for garments.

knitting

Types of knit

Cotton spandex knits

Cotton ribbed knits

French terry knits

Cotton jersey knits

Fleece knits

Sweater knits

Lycra spandex knits

Ponte de roma knits

Speciality knits

Lace

This is a decorative fabric that is very delicate, made by machine or hand in an open weblike pattern, making it see through

Lamb’s wool

Very fine grade wool clipped from lamb’s upto 8 month old. It is very soft slippery and resilient

Lambskin

A soft leather made from the skin of a young sheep.

Lame

A shiny metallic looking  fabric which is woven or knit with metallic threads that form either a solid or a decorative pattern

Lawn

A finely-woven, semi-crisp fabric woven in cotton or linen. It is very lightweight breathable and has a smoth texture. It is primarily used in heirloom dresses, blouses, collars, and cuffs. Also makes great underlining.

Layette

A collection of essential pieces of clothing, bedding and accessories for a newborn child.

Linen

A fabric made from the fibers of flax plant. Coarse fibers taken from inside the woody stem of the flax plant is used to make this fabric. Linen is considered cool, absorbent, breathable and durable

Different linen fabric

Butcher’s linen
Damask
Venise

Linsey woolsey

A coarse fabric first made in Lindsey, England, of wool combined with flax or cotton.

Lint

Cotton or linen fabric with the nap raised on one side; used to dress wounds

Lisle

A fabric woven with lisle thread (a type of cotton).

Llama

Long coarse wool which is very light weight lustrous and warm is obtained from an animal Llama in South America

Loden Fabric

A thick, soft, waterproof, windproof, wool used in outerwear that has a characteristic green color..

Lycra

A stretchy spandex fiber introduced in 1958 by DuPont. Usually woven with other fibers to provide extra comfort, movement and shape retention

Lurex

Brand name of a yarn with a metallic appearance. It has a sprkling appearance. The fabric knit with this yarn is also called Lurex. The fabric is soft, with a good tretch and drape

Leather

Hide of an animal after the fur is removed, used to make clothing and accessories.Some common names are alligator, buckskin, calfskin, chamois, cordovan, cowhide, crocodile, doeskin, grain leather, kid, lambskin, mo-rocco, nappa, patent, peccary, pigskin, pin seal, reptile, reversed leather, Russian, shearling, skiver, snakeskin, and suede

Leathertte

Fabric made to look like leather.

Liquid cotton

A luxurious cotton jersey designed with an ultra-smooth and slinky finish.

Lycra

A brand-name spandex stretch fiber trademarked by DuPont in 1958.

Macrame

Fabric made by knotting rather than knitting or weaving. A Coarse lacework is made by knotting a series of cords, threads, strings or yarns into a decorative pattern

Macinaw

A heavy double woolen cloth heavily napped and felted, often with a plaid design

Mackinosh

A lightweight water proof fabric.

Madras

A lightweight, breathable cotton with a typical patterned texture, often in brightly coloured plaid patterns, used primarily for warm-weather clothing.

Marled

This refers to a fabric that is made by Interlocked, different coloured fibers twisted together to create a long, continuous strand resulting in a contrasting effect on the finished garment, which is preferred by many designers around the world.

Marquissette

Lightweight sheer fabric of gauze weave (open)

Marvello

Heavy weight high luster pile fabric

Marceline

Thin lightweight lustrous sheer fabric

Matelasse

A method which results in a quilted or padded look. Derived from French for “cushioned or padded,” matelasse patterns mimic the style of hand-stitched quilts.The fabric has a springier, bubbly textured weave

Melange

A fabric made from more than one colour yarn. Yarn will be of many tones and hues. It resembles tweed, but is very lightweight.

Merino  wool

A type of high-quality wool made from the fleece of purebred merino sheep. It is fine, strong, stretchy and dye-retentive.It is soft and luxurious as cashmere

Messaline

Soft lustrous fabric in satin weave

Mesh

A type of knit, woven, laced or crocheted fabric with a net-like, open weave. Mesh is lightweight and breathable, which makes it ideal for warm-weather clothing.

Microfiber

An ultrafine synthetic fiber made from usually polyester. It is used in clothing and other textiles because it is soft, stretchy and stain resistant and it wicks away moisture. Microfiber is also ideal for cleaning products because it is non-abrasive, absorbent and leaves no lint or dust. It is also called Microdeniers. The different types are acrylic microfibers, nylon microfibers, polyester microfibers, and rayon microfibers

Milanese

Soft lightweight knitted fabric

Milk yarn

Milk yarn is a glossy and luxurious yarn made from milk protein fibers and is used in making kids wear lounge wear tshirts and underwear. It combines the qualities of synthetic and natural fibers

Modal

A type of rayon made from fibers of the beech tree. It is soft, smooth, shape-retentive (even when wet), durable, colour-rich and lustrous.

Moire

A corded fabric (usually silk, but may be cotton, wool or rayon) having a wavy, watermarked pattern on the surface

Mohair

Hair fibers of Angora goat used to make sweaters, coats, gloves and scarfs.

Moleskin

A heavy cotton fustian cloth with a great number of picks raised before dyeing, resulting in a brushed surface. Used for workmen’s clothing where very hard wear is required. It is used to make sportswear.

Monks cloth

A heavy weight cotton in a 4*4 basket weave

Mother of pearl

The strong, lustrous and iridescent lining of the oyster, abalone or other mollusk often used to make buttons.

Mull

A plain soft fine sheer fabric of cotton, silk, or rayon. The cloth is bleached and soft finished.

Muslin

A medium-weight, woven fabric of cotton or cotton/polyester blends of plain weave. Used in a wide variety of sheers and sheeting. It is bleached and undyed. It is very economical and comes in a good range of weights and fineness.

Nankeen

A kind of pale yellowish cotton cloth

Nappa Leather

A rich supple calf leather that has been tanned with a special oil mixture for a soft, pliable feel.

Neoprene

A brand of polychloroprene by DuPont®. It’s an extremely durable synthetic rubber that is lightweight and buoyant, and has an outstanding resistance to temperature, chlorine and general physical wear.

Nep

Small knots of tangled fibers added intentionally to increase the fabric’s aesthetic appeal. The knots can be made from the same or different colour and material.

Netting

Like lace, this fabric is transparent and used for accents

Ninon

A fine strong sheer silky fabric made of silk or rayon or nylon.

Nonwoven fabric

Fabric that is not made by weaving, knitting, knotting, or crocheting. 

Nubuck

Nubuck is the top side of leather, slightly sanded to make it more resistant to scuff marks and give it a suede-like feel. Its texture is finer than suede because a superior brushing technique leaves the natural grain pattern intact. It’s made from split-grain (half of a hide) or full-grain (entire hide) leather.

Nylon

The first completely synthetic fiber developed by DuPont® in 1938. It is lightweight strong flexible and has excellent stain resilience. It’s often added to natural fibers to boost a garment’s durability

Nytril

A manufactured fiber with very low melting point .

Oilcloth

Cloth treated on one side with a drying oil or synthetic resin

Olefin

A lightweight, manmade material also known as polypropylene. It is known for its strength, colourfastness and comfort, its resistance to staining, mildew, abrasion, sunlight and its good bulk and cover.

Organdie / Organdy

A fine thin, light, and transparent cotton fabric with a stiff, crisp finish. It is the sheerest finest cotton cloth

Organic cotton

Cotton grown on fields where the soil is free of all artificial pesticides or insecticides. 

Organza

A lightweight, plain-weave fabric made of nylon, silk, polyester or rayon. Crisp and sheer with a medium to high thread count.

Ottoman rib

A elegant, lightweight, 100% polyester woven fabric with a stiff, heavyweight, warp rib (vertical running yarns) sometimes referred to as Ottoman cord made of silk or a mixture of cotton and other silk like yarns

Oilcloth

A fabric with one side trated with oil or covered in vinyl to make it waterproof. Used to make kitchen acessories, table cloth etc

Outing Flannel

Soft, twill or plain weave fabric napped on both sides. Used for baby clothes, diapers, and sleepwear.

Oxford cloth

A soft, thick and durable, cotton or synthetic blend with a plain or basket weave that boasts a silk like, lustrous finish. It is usually used to make shirts;  It is characterized with narrow stripes and can be woven in plain or basket weave.

Paisley

A swirled pattern of fancy, curved teardrop/droplet shapes of Persian origin

Panama cloth

A plain woven worsted wool, sometimes resembling the texture of Panama hat..

Panne

A silk or rayon velvet with lustrous pile flattened in one direction by applying heavy pressure. It has a high sheen which is very valued by designers.It comes with with irregular watermarks

Pashmina

A lightweight and very soft fabric which is made from wool combed from the undercoat of Himalayan mountain goats. 

Patent Leather

A type of leather that has been treated to create a shiny, hard surface.

Peached fabric

A soft feel usually obtained by sanding the fabric lightly; it also can be achieved with chemical or laundry abrasion.

Percale

A closely woven plain-weave fabric that’s smooth, firm, medium weight and fine. Usually made of cotton from a minimum of 180 threads per square inch

Performance Knit

This is a knit fabric with poly/nylon and spandex fibers usually used in athletic wear. Qualities are moisture wicking and good stretch and recovery

Permanent press fabric

A fabric that has been chemically processed to resist wrinkles and hold its shape.

Peau de Soie

This fabric  has a very smooth, silky, semi-dull appearance. Usually heavier than most satins.It  is slightly corded. 

Petersham

Very thick, waterproof woolen coating, usually dark blue, is used for men’s trousers or heavy coat.

Pile knit

A type of knit with a decorative pattern of yarns interlaced to create loops, most often used in faux fabrics.

Pile weave

A type of weave with a decorative pattern of yarns interlaced to create loops.

Pill

A term used to describe small balls of fibers tangled together on a fabric (usually fleece). Pills are generally caused by wear and tear producing an uneven, worn look

Pilot cloth

A thick blue woolen cloth with nap used to make overcoats and coats for sailors etc.

Pima cotton

One of the best grades of cotton in the world with long, luxurious fibers.This  luxurious high-quality long-staple cotton  resists pilling.

Pincord

A fabric with very narrow ribbing.

Pinpoint

A type of weave with two-over, one-under stitching. More durable than most weaves but less soft than sateen. This soft and lustrous oxford cotton has an ultra-fine basket weave.

Pina Fabric (Pineapple)

Light weight soft and beautiful fabric made from fiber obtained from the pineapple leaf.It is very popular in philippines.

Pinstripe

Thin, evenly spaced white or grey lines on dark fabrics, often used in suiting.

Pique

A woven or knit fabric usually made of cotton, rayon or silk. Medium- or heavyweight, it’s characterized by raised cords, or ribs, in all-over waffle, honeycomb or diamond patterns. It usually has spandex bended to make athletic wear

Plisse

A crinkled fabric

Plush

Fabric with a high soft pile.; used to make soft toys

Point d’esprit

A net like fabric with a repeat pattern of small dots in the netting.

Poiret

A soft medium weight fabric in a twill waev.

Pongee silk

This is a medium weight silk with a slight irregularity in the yarn to give it some texture. Used extensively in period garments and wedding gowns.This unbleached silk with a rough woven surface requires an underlining for stiffening.

Poodle cloth

Cloth made from Boucle yarn which resembles poodle dog.

Polo cloth

Soft Fabric with a heavy pile.

Polished cotton

Either a satin weave cotton or a plain weave cotton that is finished chemically to appear shiny..

Polyester

Man-made fabric that is very popular. Low water absorbency. Often used for clothes. Not as popular as it once was.

Polyethylene

A popular, high-density plastic. This polymer can be melted into a liquid and then remolded as it returns to a solid state. Its fibers are so strong, that in some cases, polyethylene is used to construct bullet-proof vests.

Polypropylene

A lightweight, manmade material characterized by a high-strength, abrasive quality. Also boasts moisture-absorbing, stain- and fade-resistant qualities. (Also known as Olefin.)

Polyresin

A combination of polyester and resin metals reinforced with fiberglass mat.

Polystyrene

A lightweight plastic often used for insulation. Its heat- and shape-retention abilities make it moldable and comfortable. Commonly used to fill beanbag chairs.

Ponte Roma

A double knit fabric with some stretch across the grain. It is a thicker fabric than other knits and is more stable

Poplin

A tightly woven plain-weave fabric (usually a light weight cotton) characterized by a corded surface. A durable fabric, poplin is usually made of cotton but can also be silk, wool or synthetic blends. It does not wrinkle much and is popular for making shirts, dresses.Checkout the post on what is poplin ? and tips on how to sew and care for the fabric

Poult de soi

Also called faille taffeta. It is a silk fabric with heavy cross ribs.

Rabbit hair/wool

Hair of a rabbit  used in woven wool’s as a substitute for vicuna to give a soft effect in the fabric.

Raccoon fur

Black or brown raccoon hair.

Radium

Soft and smooth fabric with hugh luster

Raffia

Material obtained from the leaves of the raffia palm, a plant in Madagascar with featherlike leaves that yield strong, flexible fibers. After the fibers are peeled from the stem of the leaves, they’re dried in the sun. They are used on walls, lampshades, table mats or as upholstery. Rabbana is the cloth made out of Raffia.

Ramie

A woody fiber characterized as being extremely durable. It is used to make fabric called mechera used to make dresses suitable for warm climate.It is obtained from a plant grown in china

Raschel knit

A lace like open-worked knit construction, where heavy, coarse yarns are held in place by finer yarns. It has good draping qualities and is also easy to sew. It is frequently used as an unlined material for coats, lingerie and dresses.

Rayon

A group of smooth, synthetic fibers manufactured from cellulose. It’s known for excellent softness, drape, high absorption and a lustrous look. It has all the comfort properties of natural fibers and imitate the feel and texture of silk, cotton or wool. Read more about rayon here

Rayon Spandex

Lightweight 4 way stretch fabric (also called modal) made of poly rayn and spandex fibers

Repp

A type of weave that creates a subtle ribbed texture.

Resin

A natural or synthetic compound. It’s a lightweight and tough material. Plastic is an example of a synthetic resin

Rib Knit

A stretchy, durable knit fabric with alternating raised and lowered rows frequently used for trim on socks, sleeves, waists and necklines

Ribbon

A flat, long and narrow strip of fabric made in a variety of weaves, including grosgrain, satin and velvet

Ric Rac

A woven trim characterized by a zigzag pattern.

Ringspun fabric

A soft durable fiber (usually cotton) spun prior to knitting, so it’s finer, softer and more durable than ordinary cotton. The twisting prior to weaving makes the short hairs of cotton stand out, resulting in a stronger yarn with a significantly softer hand.

Ripstop

Fine woven fabrics, often made of nylon, plainly woven with coarse fibers ribbed at intervals to stop tears. Lightweight and durable, ripstop also boasts wind and water resistance. It is also very strong and is used to make sporting apparel like jackets, pants and utility bags

Russet

A reddish brown homespun fabric , a coarse cloth made of wool and dyed with woad and madder to give it a subdued grey or brown shade..

Santoprene

A synthetic material with a soft, nonslip surface that absorbs shock and reduces fatigue. These properties make it ideal for grips and handles

Sarcenet

A fine soft silk fabric often used for linings.

Sarong skirt

Asymmetric wrap skirt with either side ties or other closure which looks like a sarong

Sateen

A type of fabric weave that creates a soft, smooth, lustrous surface.They are usually treated with a high luster and crease resistent finishes

Satin

Checkout the tips for caring and sewing with Satin fabric

A fabric with a silky, lustrous finish on one side and a dull finish on the other, made so by the type of weave used. The fabric’s long, interlaced yarns have no visible pattern, which creates a smooth, shiny surface. It comes in different weights (light to heavy). Similar to silk in appearance.

Types of satin and satin weave

Cotton Backed Satin – a very high luster satin with a rayon face and a cotton back.
Charmeuse – a soft, drapey, clingy fabric with a high luster face and a dull back.
Crepe back satin – a soft lustrous fabric with one side pebbley and one side shiny.
Peau de Soie – This satin fabric has a very smooth, silky, semi-dull appearance. Usually heavier than most satins.
Slipper or Bridal – A basic satin that may vary in weight.
Duchess Satin – Full bodied and heavy satin.
Panne – stiffest textured satin weave
Antique – This satin has a dull, nubbed surface

Seersucker

A woven, light- to medium-weight fabric with a puckered appearance made of cotton or rayon.It is commonly striped or chequered

Scrim

A very light textile made from cotton, or sometimes flax. Its light weight and translucent. The fabric is used for bookbinding and upholstery.

Serge

This is a type of twill fabric which is one of the basic suiting fabrics. It has a firm, compact twill weave and traditionally is woven from wool. Mostly used to make military uniforms

Serpentine crepe

A plain weave with lengthwise crinkled effect. Also in a ribbed form with heavy filling in the ribs.

Sharkskin

Woven with warp and filling yarns of alternating white with black, brown or blue.

Shantung

This is a rough, plain weave (1×1) silk fabric made of uneven yarns to produce a textured effect, particularly evidenced in occasional thicker threads in the weft or filling. Originally made of wild silk yarns on hand looms from the Shantung Province in China..

Sheeting

A lightweight, woven fabric made from cotton or linen. It sometimes has a crinkled texture and is commonly used for seasonal bottoms like capris.

Sherpa (fleece)

Knit terry fabric brushed and washed to raise the fibers for a fluffy, plush feel. The thick terry loops stay soft and absorbent over time

Silesie

A sturdy twill-weave smooth finished cotton fabric; used for pockets and linings

Silk Satin

Fabric with satin weave with a plain back..

Silk

This natural fiber is known as one of the finest textiles because of its softness and radiant sheen. Very delicate and light-weight fabric. Very slippery and oftentimes difficult to work with. Silk comes in many forms. 

Types of silk fabric and silk weaves

Noil – A weak silk made from short waste fibers from the inner cocoon; It is similar to cotton and has a nubby texture.
Dupioni – Medium weight Crisp silk fabric with a beautiful texture; uneven and irregular
Tussah – Soft and luxurious  silk ; also known as tusser
Fuji silk – also called silk broadcloth
China silk – also Habati – used for lining
Shantung – a linen look fabric great for suits
Matka – jackets, skirts, pants – interlined with silk organza will never wrinkle
Taffeta – a distinctive look and rustle
Crepe de chine – beautiful for blouses
Charmeuse – a satin side and matte side

Peau de soi
Metelasse
Brocade
Chiffon
Doupioni
Faille
Georgette
Organza
Pongee
Silk linen
Silk Satin
Poult de soi

Simplex

A ribbed V-knit material (usually nylon) offering firm support, shape retention, and elasticity.

Sinamay

An open-weave, straw-like fabric spun from banana plant fibers. Usually dyed and stiffened, but pliable, and mainly used in the production of hats.

Sisal

A coarse, durable material often used for rugs because of its anti-static, natural insulation and flame-resistant qualities.

fabric

Slipper Satin

A very durable kind of satin, it has a very high thread count.Used to make evening gowns.

Slub jersey

Lightweight 2 way stretch fabric with horizontal slubs on the face.

Spandex

Extremely stretchy fabric used to create tight, form-fitting pieces that make moving easier.Used in dance , fantasy and period costumes

Stitch bonded fabric

This is a nonwoven fabric which looks like woven fabric and has fibers running in  parellel direction .It is mostly used for industrial purposes .  The fabric made by bonding has good tensile strength and high thermal resistance ; they provide  greater range and flexibility than woven fabrics

Stone washed

This refers to a washing process that uses abrasive stones to achieve a soft finish.Mostly done on denim.

Surah

A soft twilled fabric of silk or of a blend of silk and rayon.

Suede

The softer side of leather, which has been brushed, leaving a velvet like texture.It is made from the hide of a cow though  goat, pig, calf and deer are also commonly used

Suedecloth

A woven fabric with a flat, napped surface finished to resemble suede. .

Sueded fleece

A very smooth and luxurious fabric that involves a unique finishing process to gently sand the fabric making it very soft.

Supima

An abbreviation for “superior pima.” Made of 100% American pima cotton or extra-long staple cotton.

Supriva

A family of fibers designed to create durable, stylish accent and kitchen rugs. Because of its versatility, mills can use SUPRIVA fibers to create fashionably printed rugs, elegant solids and natural-looking textures

Swiss Dot

A small dot pattern woven or embroidered on a very lightweight fabric.

Synthetic

Used to describe manufactured materials made to imitate a natural material.

Tactel

A versatile nylon fabric trademarked by DuPont® that’s incredibly soft, yet durable. It’s lightweight, versatile, breathable, shape-retentive and easy-to-wash.

Taffeta

A medium-weight, plain-weave fabric with a slightly ribbed texture that is known for its lustre. It has a smooth, crisp feel and is made from silk or rayon.It has a soft lustre and is used to make ball gowns.

Tapa cloth

A fabric made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree. 

Tape yarn

A pure cotton yarn used to create a narrow, woven fabric. The yarn is wide and flat like a ribbon. It is a soft with an airy texture and ideal for warmer temperatures. It is used for crafting

Tapestry

A heavy textile with a woven design.It is usually hung on walls as a decoration

Tarpaulin

A heavy duty waterproofed cloth sometimes made of nylon or other manmade fibre.

Tartan

This is a multi-colored plaid fabric which is generally associated with Scotland region. Authentic tartan designs originated in Scotland where different plaids were used to represent each clan and their heritage.

Tattersall

A small-scale check/plaid design against a solid background. The check pattern is woven  into cloth

Teflon

A trademarked DuPont fiber used as a water-repellant coating on garments.

Tencel

An environmentally friendly man made fabric made from wood cellulose. A brand of lyocell trademarked by Tencel Ltd. It is machine washable.It is soft and has a good drape and is popularly used to make pant shirts and jackets.

Terrycloth

An absorbent knit fabric usually in cotton, that has a plush pile of loops on one side or both sides. This fabric is used to make towels , bathing robes etc.Extremely water absorbant.

Terry Velvet

The ordinary velvet, but with the pile weft left uncut.

Thai silk

It is a heavy silk, woven in brilliant  iridescent colours.

Thermal knit

Also called waffle knit because of the appearance of ribs on the surface

Ticking

A strong smooth lustrous fabric

Tissue

Refers to a very light weight fabric. Tissue Taffeta is a beautiful transparent fabric 

Toweling

Various fabrics (linen or cotton) used to make towels

Toile

French term for a sheer cloth; this cloth has prints of pastural scenes.

Transparent Velvet

Lightweight, soft sheer velvet of silk or rayon pile and silk or rayon back, which drapes well. This fabric is used for evening gowns, negligees

Tropical wool

A smooth wool fabric made from two-ply yarns in an open plain weave. Often used for summer clothing, tropical wool is lightweight enough for year-round wear.

Tricot

A plain knit fabric formed by interlooping adjacent, parallel yarns. Known for being exceptionally soft and versatile. Its unique weave allows it to be smooth on one side and with texture on the other side. It is usually used as lining.

Tricotine

A lightweight/ medium weight, breathable sturdy worsted fabric made of lightly twisted yarns in a double twill

Tri Acetate

A fiber similar to acetate with good wrinkle recovery.It is made by modifying wooden cellulose

Tricollete

 A knitted fabric which is soft and lustrous.

Tsumugi Silk

This is fabric which has a somewhat coarse, homespun quality and handsome appearance, with yarn-dyed striped or plaid patterns.Made in central Honshu, Japan

Tufted fabric

Fabric decorated with short clusters of elongated strands of yarn. Made by hooked needles into fabric structures or by high-speed tufting machines..

Tulle

Fine, lightweight, stiff net of hexagonal mesh. Generally made of silk, rayon, or nylon. Used for ballet costumes, bridal dresses, and veils.. 

Tumbled leather

A type of leather with a unique, pebbled finish that looks like soft wrinkles.

Tusseh silk / Tussah silk

Silk woven by silk fibers produced by wild silk worms; it has a rougher texture than silk woven by cultivated silk worms; also called raw silk

Tweed

A middle- to heavyweight, coarse rugged woolen fabric with color-speckled yarns. It is rough and unfinished and has a flexible plain weave  twill or herringbone structure.

Twill

A woven fabric characterized by distinct, diagonal lines on the surface. It’s very strong, yet relatively lightweight. It is a medium weight fabric perfect for creating structured garments like pants, suits etc. Eg :  flannels, serges, gabardines

Ultrasuede

A trademarked synthetic microfiber that feels like natural suede but is stain-resistant and machine washable.

Velboa

A low pile faux fur like fabric which is very soft, luxurious and plush ; it has a polyester construction that is a cross between fur and velvet. It is usually a medium-weight, short-pile textile. The is used mostly in making stuffed animals

Veloutine

Velvety corded wool.

Velour

A medium-weight, plush knit fabric with a napped surface, usually made of cotton, with qualities similar to velvet. It’s soft and plush with a close, dense pile. It is used in clothing and upholstery.

Velvet

A woven, medium-weight tufted fabric made of natural or synthetic fibers. Its pile is cut and evenly distributed and brushed for a rich, plush texture that stands straight up. Velvet has a high sheen with a short pile that drapes loosely. Cut velvet has a soft flat burned-out pattern.  Crushed velvet is  the heaviest with regular watermarks. Brocaded velvet has an embossed pattern. Panne velvet has an extra high sheen.Translucent velvet is lightweight and reflects light that appears almost iridescent. Check out the post on different types of velvet

Velveteen

A woven, cotton fabric with a velvet-like but short and compact pile.

Velveteen plush

A cotton velveteen, but the weft has longer floats, which when cut give a longer pile. The pile is also firmly bound

Venecia

A wrinkle resistent  fabric which is  92% nylon and 8% spandex.

Venetian fabric 

A lustrous fabric of twill weave or sateen weave.

Venice

A lace without a net background. The background surface of the lace is removed after the lace design is made with chemicals

Vichy

This is a fabric weave with light horizontal bands and strong vertical bands of the same colour

Vicuna

Textiles made from wool obtained from fleece of vicuna. It also refers to textile made in imitation of the wool. The fur is of orange red colour and it is extremely soft and very much valued. 

Vinyl

A versatile plastic with physical properties that make it ideal for a wide variety of consumer products. Depending on its application, vinyl can be any thickness or colour, it can be rigid or flexible, and it can also be weather-, heat- or impact-resistant

Viyella

A fabric made from a twilled mixture of cotton and wool.Lightweight, soft and warm

Viscose

The most common type of rayon, it is manufactured from wood pulp and treated with chemicals. The result is a soft and absorbent fabric.Feels supple and soft

Voile

A soft, fine, sheer fabric with a slightly crisp feel. Usually made from plain woven cotton, but can also be made from acetate, silk or rayon. It is lightweight see through and has a good drape. It is used to make summer clothes and curtains

Wadmal

Thick coarse wool.

Waffle cloth

Soft honey comb weave cotton (usually) fabric made on a dobby loom; A fabric similar to pique in texture

Whipcord

A ribbed bulky fabric which is closely woven; It has a back nap.; Also refers to a thin tough cord used to make whips

Wincey

Plain or twilled fabric which is a mixture of wool with cotton or linen.Strong and lightweight

Wirecloth

Fabric woven of metallic wire.

Wool

A thick, heavy natural fiber, obtained from sheep and certain other animals eg Cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, angora from rabbits. . They all have a surface of overlapping scales, are easy to dye, but difficult to bleach. Sheep’s wool is by far the most abundant, and is produced all over the world. Wool also refers to a weave

Fabrics of wool fabric and weave

Houndstooth check
Flannel wool
Gabardine
Cheviot
Chinchilla cloth
Challis
Botany Merino wool
Glen checks
Homespun
Harris tweed
Felt
Broadcloth
Herringbone wool
Donegal
Beaver cloth

Lambsdown
Linsey woolsey
Jersey
Loden fabric
Tartan
Tweed
Rabbit hair
Sharkskin
Pilot cloth
Poodle cloth
Petersham
Panama cloth
Oatmeal cloth
Merino wool
Melton
Mackinaw fabric

Wool crepe

A lightweight wool fabric with a dry pebbly surface

Woolsy

Cotton and wool blend fabric.

Worsted wool

Fabric made from a smooth compactevenly combed  wool yarn made from long wool fibers ; with a hard textured surface and no nap; woven of worsted yarns.

Worsted 

A general term applied to fabrics and yarns from combed wool and wool blends. Worsted fabric is made from worsted yarns and is tightly woven with a smooth, hard surface. 

Worcester

Fine wool.

Yak

Black hair of the wild or domesticated ox found in central Asia .

Yoryu

A fabric usually made of silk or polyester or rayon with a pleated crinkle effect. It is a lightweight and durable fabric

Zanella

Italian wool or twill fabric

Zephyr

Lightweight wool or worsted fabric. Used for making suits ; the twill fabric is also used in umbrellas

Zibeline

Soft piled wool.

*Slub – an uneven area in a yarn which gives the fabric a textured surface.

More reading :

A Dictionary of Textile Terms by Dan River Inc.,

Fabric Glossary (3rd Edition) by Mary Humphries

info.fabrics.net

Textile Glossary by Marvin Klapper.Fairchild Publications 

Encyclopedia of Textiles by Judith Jerde

The Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory: A Guide to Fabrics’ Properties, Characteristics, and Garment-Design Potential by Gail Baugh

The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Textiles By Phyllis G. Tortora, Ingrid Johnson

 

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