Fabric Dictionary


Fiber: Worsted cotton, rayon, or mixtures.

Weave: Steep twill (63 degrees).

Characteristics: A smooth durable twill-woven cloth esp. of worsted, spun rayon or cotton. Clear finish, tightly woven, firm, durable, rather lustrous. Can be given a dull finish. Has single diagonal lines on the face, raised twill. Wears extremely well. Also comes in various weights. Inclined to shine with wear. Hard to press properly.

Uses: Men's and women's tailored suits, coats, raincoats, uniforms, and men's shirts.

Old French gauvardine, perhaps from Middle High German wallevart 'pilgrimage'


Weave: Satin

Characteristics: It is made with a cotton filling and a silk warp. It is only found in solid colors and is known for its elegant luster and excellent drapability.

Uses: Elegant evening wraps.


Weave: Plain

Characteristics: A thin silk or crépe dress material. Usually done in silk but can also be found in manufactured fibers. It is characterized by its crispness, body and outstanding durability. It is sheer and has a dull face.

Named after Georgette de la Plante (c.. 1900), French dressmaker

Georgette Crépe

Lightweight, heavy, sheer fabric. Has quite a bit of stiffness and body. gives excellent wear. Has a dull, crinkled surface. Achieved by alternating S and Z yarns in a high twist in both warp and filling directions. Georgette has a harder, duller, more crinkled feel and appearance than Crépe de chine.

Uses: After 5 wear and dressy afternoon and weddings, lingerie, scarves, etc. Same uses as Crépe de chine.


Fiber: Cotton, man-made, and synthetics.

Weave: Plain.

Characteristics: Yarn-dyed plain weave cotton fabric, usually striped or checked. Medium or fine yarns of varying quality are used to obtain the checks, plaids, stripes, and plain effects. The cloth is yarn dyed or printed. The warp and the filling are usually balanced and if checks of two colors, usually same sequence in both the warp and the filling. It is strong, substantial, and serviceable. It launders will but low textured, cheap fabric may shrink considerably unless pre-shrunk. Has a soft, dull luster surface. Wrinkles unless wrinkle-resistant. Tissue or zephyr ginghams are sheer being woven with finer yarns and a higher thread count.

Uses: Dresses, blouses, for both women and children, trimmings, kerchiefs, aprons, beach wear, curtains, bedspreads, pajamas.

From Malay ginggang Lit. striped.


Cotton fabrics such as chintz or tarlatan treated with starch, glue, paraffin, or shellac and run through a hot friction roller to give a high polish. These types are not durable in washing. Newer, more durable methods use synthetic resins that withstand laundering.

Glove Silk

Fiber: Silk, rayon, synthetics.

Weave: Knit - two bar double knit tricot.

Characteristics: Made on a warp knitted frame. Very finely knit but very strong. Now called nylon Simplex.

Uses: Gloves and underwear. Similar to chamoisette (cotton).


Weave: Twill

Characteristics: Its name is derived from the Latin word Granum, which refers to the grainy quality of the textile. This granular quality is achieved by a broken twill weave. It is made of a cotton warp and alpaca or mohair filling. This fiber is exceptionally fine.


French for fabrics in unbleached, undyed state before finishing.


Weave: Leno

Characteristics: This fine fiber originated in Italy. It can be made in various fibers such as cotton, wool, silk or manufactured fibers. It is well known for its stiffness.

Uses: Women's clothing


Heavy, corded, silk or rayon ribbon or fabric. Plain weave with horizontal ribs.

French: grosgrain large grain.


Guanaco, common name for a species of wild South American ruminant (cud-chewing mammal). The closely related alpaca and llama are completely domesticated; the related vicuna is also found in South America. The guanaco lives on mountains and plains in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay. Produces a fleece of the most glorious natural honey beige color. Very soft.

Guipure Lace

A heavy stiff open lace. Design stands in relief. There is no background or net, the patterned areas are joined by threads known as bridges.

From old French word guiper meaning to cover a cord with silk or wool.