Fabric Guide Glossary

The embellishment on a garment where the decoration is made by cutting pieces of one material and applying them to the surface of another.

A popular design for knitted fabrics (both hand and machine knit), most often used on sweaters and socks. Usually two or three colours appear in this diamond shaped plaid patter, named for the tartan of a clan in the county of Argyle, western Scotland.

Used for mainly jersey products, such as t-shirts. Bamboo, when grown correctly in FSC certified forests can be a sustainable and renewable source. However Bamboo does use a lot of chemicals to process the raw cellulose into a yarn – we make sure that the chemicals from the bamboo fabrics we buy are dealt with correctly.A strip of fabric sewn over or attached along an edge to secure or protect.

A strong, durable, closely woven cotton fabric popular for raincoats, handbags and boots. Originally made of unbleached hemp or flax used for sails, tents, etc.

Medium to heavyweight cotton pile fabric usually cut vertically. This is strong, durable fabric, originally used by the household staff of French kings, was called corde du roi or "cord of the king".

Used to describe all kinds of fabrics – wool, cotton, silk, rayon, synthetics and blends – that have a crinkly, crimped or grained surface. From the French word creper, which means, "to crimp of frizz".

Crepe De Chine (krepp deh sheen)
A fine lightweight crepe usually made of silk.

Loose, open knit made by looping thread with a hooked needle. Used for light, summer sweaters.

Denim has been around since the late 19th century and is indigo-dyed cotton. Indigo is a non-penetrable dye hence the garment always fades with wash. Darker denim has a tendency to transfer onto light-coloured skins, fabrics and products. We advise to take care when coming into contact with anything where the colour may transfer

Type of woven fabric that contains simple geometric forms or motifs, where the design on the fabric is created in the weaving process.

Fancy needlework or trimming consisting of a coloured yarn, embroidery floss, soft cotton, silk or metallic thread.

Engineered Print
Also called a place print, because it is integrated into a specific area of design. Border prints are often engineered into place.

Fabric that is designed with a series of finished small holes or perforations, adding beauty and breathability to the garment.

A piece of fabric sewn to the inside of a garment for the lining purposes to add structure.

A warm, soft fabric, made in tightly woven twill or plain weave, and finished with a light napping. Derived from the Welsh word gwlanen, which means wool.

A sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric with a fine crepe surface. Also called georgette crepe. Herringbone A twill weave made up of parallel lines balanced evenly in each direction to create a zigzag effect.  

A type of cut and sew fabric that is characterised by the interconnecting of the knit stitches.

Jacquard (ja-card)
Elaborate woven or knitted pattern made on a jacquard loom. Invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in France 1801, the loom uses a punch card much like a player piano does. Some Jacquard fabrics have specific names e.g. Brocade, Damask, Tapestry.

A generic term for a plain knit fabric without a distinct rib. Originally made of wool, jersey fabric was first manufactured on the island of jersey.

Fibres of the flex plant, woven into a fabric that is cooler, stronger and more absorbent than cotton.

The generic name for Tencel (see below).

Marled Yard
Two single yarns of different colours twisted together. Most often seen in sweaters.

Merino Wool
This high quality wool yarn is made from the fleece of merino sheep. It is fine, strong, elastic, and takes dye well.

A generic category of manufactured fibers that have a greater ability to retain shape when wet, as well as a high breaking strength.

This finish allows a garment to stay smooth without ironing, and stay crisp throughout the day.

A shaded effect of colour ranging from light to dark tones, and used in a striped motif.

Organic Cotton
Organic means the plants at the source have not been genetically modified or sprayed with chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The soil’s fertility is also replenished and maintained naturally.

Piece Dyed
Fabrics that are dyed in piece form after they are woven, and usually offer just a single colour.

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

The piece of cloth that reinforces a split or opening in a garment; and that usually also serves as the closure (i.e. the button packet for a shirt).

Delicate looking rib knit fabric made with a pattern of openings.

A durable, plain weave fabric similar to broad cloth, but with a heavier rib and weight. Made of silk, cotton, synthetic fibres, wool or blends.

A sleeve where one piece of fabric extends all the way to the neckline, with slanted seams from the armhole to the neck.

A semi lustrous surface distinguishes this smooth, durable fabric in a satin weave. Sateen is usually made of cotton.

Medium weight, plain weave, silk like fabric with pronounced slub filling yarns. Slub means the yarns are uneven or nubby.

Made from raw natural fibers containing no toxic substances. This is 100% biodegradable and comes from tree farms that practice sustainability. Holds the European quality seal PEFC and the international FSC.

A fabric that shows a distinct diagonal wale on the fence (e.g. denim, gabardine).

Soft, plush fabric with a close, dense pile. Originates from the French word for velvet.

A short, closely woven cut pile fabric with a rich, soft texture. Originally silk, velvet is now also made of cotton blends.

A fabric woven or knitted with yarns that have been dyed prior to fabrication of the cloth (i.e. plaid). Considered a sign of quality because yarn-dyes make the fabric resist fading.