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Fabric Dictionary

Fabric Dictionary

Gabardine

A tightly woven fabric with a warped twill weave that gives it a ribbed face and smooth back. It was traditionally made with worsted wool, however, cotton may also be used. Created by Thomas Burberry in 1879, the weavers waterproofed the yarns before weaving to create a more comfortable raincoat alternative than the rubbery material that was being used. The woven was used to create trench coats for the military during the early 20th century, an outfit for Arctic explorers, and a flying suit for Betty Kirby-Green on her ground-breaking flight from London to Cape Town. Depending on whether it is made of wool or cotton, it may be used to create durable pockets, suits, coats, uniforms, and windbreakers.

Uses:

  • • suits
  • • coats
  • • pockets
  • • uniforms
  • • trousers
  • • windbreakers
  • • raincoats

Pros:

  • • durable
Gattar

A satin that has silk warp yarns and cotton weft yarns. It is only found in solid colors and is known for its elegant luster and excellent drapability.

Uses:

  • • evening wraps

Pros:

  • • luster
  • • drape
Garment Dyeing

When the finished garment is dyed as a whole.

Gauges

A ruler that is typically 6" in length with a slider that runs through the center. It may be used to measure and mark hems, seam allowances, buttonhole spacing and length, tucks and pleats, and scallops.

Gauze

A loosely woven fabric that is thin and translucent. Stability is given to the fabric as fine weft yarns cross before and after each fine warp yarn. Originally made of silk, it can also be made with cotton, synthetic fiber and even wire. Gauze has many uses depending on what it is made out of. It may be used for clothing, lighting in film, bookbinding or medical use.

Uses:

  • • fashion applications
  • • bookbinding
  • • medical bandaging

Pros:

  • • thin
  • • translucent
  • • lightweight
  • • drapable
  • • breathable
Gazar

A plain woven fabric that is made with high-twisted double yarns made of either wool or silk. It was originally made in collaboration with Cristobal Balenciaga and is now known for its sheen, lightweight and ability to hold its shape. The body of a gazar can be compared to that of an organza, but the weave is often more pronounced and the ground is typically less sheer. Gazar is primarily used in bridal and evening wear.

Uses:

  • • bridal
  • • evening wear

Pros:

  • • crisp
  • • smooth
  • • lightweight
  • • holds shape
Geometric Pattern

A pattern that is made up of shapes. This pattern has a long history and is made unique by a number of different cultures from Greece to Guatemala. Geometric patterns can stay simple with one or two shapes, or shapes may be layered for a more intricate design. In many cultures, different geometric markings can symbolize which tribe you belong to or ranking within the culture. The op art movement throughout the 1960's used geometric patterns to create optical illusions. This trend transferred to fashion with bold black and white patterns.

George

A shantung-like fabric with an embroidered design that is typically gold and lines its edge. This fabric saw its beginnings in India and was used to make saris. It later became a staple in Africa as the primary fabric to dress royalty, people of wealth, or brides and grooms. (See African George)

Uses:

  • • saris
  • • dresses
  • • trousers
  • • tops
Georgette

A crepe fabric that is lightweight and sheer. Similar to chiffon, it has a springier feel and is more matte. It is made with crepe's signature twisted yarns in both the warp and weft giving it a crinkled hand. Usually done in silk but can also be found in Manufactured Fiber. (See crepe, Chiffon)

Uses:

  • • dresses
  • • blouses
  • • saris
  • • evening gowns
Gimp

Gimp is a type of thread made of wool, cotton or silk with a wire or cord running through the center. Gimp trim stems back to the 15th century and features a flat braided design. It is also used to outline designs in lace, as well as embroidery applications.

Gingham

A plain-woven fabric that features a check design made by pre-dyed yarns that are then woven together. Gingham's design was originally in blue and white or red and white, and was striped instead of the check we know now. The pattern has many different meanings from culture to culture. In Indonesia, the pattern symbolizes good and evil. The U.S. and Europe see the pattern as synonymous for country and colonial style making it a popular choice for tablecloths, aprons, work wear and curtains.

Uses:

  • • tablecloths
  • • aprons
  • • casual clothing
  • • curtains
Glass Buttons

Glass buttons date as far back as 1500 B.C. and were primarily used by kings. During the 14th century, fashion trends saw buttons lining the front and sleeves of dresses boosting the need for glass buttons. The Renaissance saw an influx in jeweled buttons for the rich, leaving glass buttons for the poor. After the death of her son, Queen Victoria only wore black glass buttons, seeing a resurgence of glass buttons in fashion.

Glazed

A type of finishing that adds shine and smoothness to a fabric's face. Wax, starch or resin cover the fabric which is then fed through two heated metal rollers that give it a polished look and feel. (See finishing)

Pros:

  • • luster

Cons:

  • • poor washablility
Glen Plaid

Like most plaids, this plaid originated in Scotland, specifically Glenurquhart. The plaid features alternating light and dark stripes that create a plaid design over a checkered fill that resembles a houndstooth. It is most commonly made of wool and seen in menswear suiting.

Uses:

  • • suits
  • • ties
  • • pocket squares
Goat Skin

Goat skin hides are soft, supple, and durable. It has a flexibility and breathability that makes it a go-to for fashion and accessory applications.

Uses:

  • • jackets
  • • shoes
  • • bags

Pros:

  • • soft
  • • supple
  • • durable
  • • flexible
  • • breathable
Goose Feather

Not only are goose feathers used as a trim embellishment, they also are used for warmth! Many down coats are filled with goose feathers, which gives it resilience, warmth and dryness while remaining lightweight.

Uses:

  • • jackets
  • • coats

Pros:

  • • warm
  • • resilient
Granada

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.

Graph or Grid Check

A pattern that features perpendicular stripes over a solid backdrop. The check pattern typically is made with thin lines and resembles graph paper. (see tattersall, plaid, checks)

Greek Key

This motif consists of a swirled single line design that has sharp edges making a square/rectangular shape that interlocks in a maze-like manner. The pattern is said to have been created to resemble the Meander River that moves throughout what once was Ancient Greece. It has been used as a border in temples, buildings and pottery across the country throughout history. Today, the pattern is used throughout fashion and home applications. This pattern may also be referred to as Meander and Greek Fret too.

Greige

A fabric in its rawest state that hasn't been dyed or put through any finishing process. Greige is customizable since they are yet to be touched or altered. It can be a woven or knit and may be used for fashion or upholstery applications.

Uses:

  • • upholstery
  • • fashion

Pros:

  • • easy to dye
  • • customizable
  • • eco-friendly

Cons:

  • • rough
  • • natural color of fiber
Grenadine

Produced on Jacquard looms, this fabric is identified by its open woven design that is similar to gauze. It is lightweight and typically made from silk. The fabric was originally used in laces/a> throughout France, but more recently has been used for ties. The weave is typically made using one color allowing the woven design to shine through. You may recognize it in James Bond movies.

Uses:

  • • ties

Pros:

  • • thin
  • • lightweight
  • • decorative
  • • versatile in styling
  • • breathable

Cons:

  • • weak
Grommet

A metal ring used to reinforce holes that are to be laced through. They are most commonly seen in modern-day corsets, shoes and outdoor gear such as tents. They can also be made of plastic or rubber. A smaller version of a grommet might be refer to as an eyelet.

Uses:

  • • shoes
  • • corsets
  • • tents

Pros:

  • • strong
  • • durable

Cons:

  • • may rust over time
Grosgrain

Grosgrain is a plain woven that has a heavier warp yarn giving it a horizontal ribbed or corded texture. Although grosgrain is primarily seen in ribbons today, the weave was originally used in fabric form for the bodies of coats and jackets throughout the 17th century. It is strong and may be used in a number of applications such as decorative touches, watch bands, lanyards and bookbinding.

Uses:

  • • ribbon
  • • watch bands
  • • lanyards
  • • bookbinding

Pros:

  • • strong
  • • durable
  • • textured
Guanaco

Part of the llama family, Guanacos live in South America. It produces a fleece of the most glorious natural honey beige color which is soft and warm making it a luxurious, sought after fiber. It is sometimes used as a substitute for fox fur because of the similar feel.

Uses:

  • • coats
  • • jackets
  • • outerwear

Pros:

  • • soft
  • • warm

Cons:

  • • sometimes coarse
Guinea Feather

Guinea fowls are sometimes called "pet speckled hens" and primarily come from Africa. Their feathers are black with white spots and because of this, are sought after for trims and decorative uses.

Uses:

  • • trims
  • • decorative applications

Pros:

  • • soft
  • • spotted
Guipure Lace

An open bobbin lace where the design is connected by bars or plaits rather than a mesh or netting. Design stands in relief. This lace tends to be heavier and more durable than most laces and can present a large-scale design. Cluny lace is a type of guipure lace as well.

Uses:

  • • bridal
  • • fashion applications

Pros:

  • • strong
  • • durable
  • • bold patterns
Guipé

A yarn that is wrapped in metallic fiber for a decorative touch. (see lamé)

Gunmetal

A type of bronze, also known as red brass, composed with a mix of copper, tin and zinc. Often seen as a dark gray color in the form of buttons and trims

Uses:

  • • buttons
  • • trims

Pros:

  • • resistant to corrosion
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