Fabric Dictionary


A seed fiber or floss obtained from the cotton tree. It is used chiefly for stuffing.


Also caracul. n. Also called broadtail. A breed of Central Asian sheep having a wide tail and wool that is curled and glossy in the young but wiry and coarse in the adult. Fur made from the pelt of a karakul lamb.


Weave: Twill

Characteristics: Originally made of Vicuna. Today the Vicuna is considered an endangered species so Kasha is made from either a blend of cashmere and wool or a very fine wool.

Uses: Clothing.


Fiber: From the Kashmir goat, a hair fiber found in Kashmir India, Tibet, Iran, Iraq, China, Persia, Turkestan and Outer Mongolia. Often mixed with wool or synthetics to cut costs and improve the wear.

Weave: All weaves but mostly plain or twill. All knits.

Characteristics: Fiber is cylindrical, soft and silken. More like wool than any other hair fiber. Has a very soft silky finish; very light in weight. Doesn't stand up to hard wear on account of extremely soft downy finish. Natural fiber is white, black, brown or gray but can be dyed a variety of shades. Comes in different weights.

Uses: The textile industry is only interested in the soft fibers. Knitted into sweaters for men and women, also women's dresses. Often combed and sold in tops and noils.


It is a bast fiber that is obtained from the Hibiscus cannabinus plant. The stalk of this plant varies in height from 8 to 12 feet and is about half an inch in diameter. Kenaf is mostly produced in India and Pakistan but also grows in Africa, South East Asia, Indonesia, Russia, Mexico, the Philippines, Cuba and the United States. It is mainly used for cordage, canvas, and sacking. It is sometimes used as a substitute for Jute.


Fiber: Wool - poor quality, can also be made of re-used or remanufactured wool.

Weave: Double cloth.

Characteristics: Medium to heavy weight, similar to melton and beaver. Well fulled in the finishing with a rather lustrous nap caused by the use of lustrous crossbred wools. Nap often has direction. Gives good wear and is dressy looking. Blues, browns and blacks are the most popular colors. Originated in Kersey, England in 11th century. Very similar to beaver but it is fulled more, has a shorter nap and a much higher luster.

Uses: Men's over coating, uniforms, women's coats, and skirts.


Process of making fabric by interlocking series of loops of one or more yarns.