Fabric Dictionary

Lamb's Wool

Elastic, soft, resilient wool fibers obtained from lambs when they are seven or eight months old - the first or virgin clipping from the animal. This lofty stock is used in better grades of fabrics.


Fiber: Silk or any textile fiber in which metallic threads are used in the warp or the filling. Lamé is also a trademark for metallic yarns.

Weave: Usually a figured weave but could be any.

Characteristics: A fabric with gold or silver threads interwoven. Often has pattern all over the surface. The shine and glitter of this fabric makes it suitable for dressy wear. The term comes from the French for "worked with gold and silver wire".

Uses: Principally for evening wear. a fabric with gold or silver threads interwoven

French for "trimmed with leaves of gold or silver", from Latin lamina


A term describing a jacquard fabric, a term interchangeable with a brocade or damask. Can be two-tone or multi color, the difference being that the design has a greater raised effect on the face of the fabric.


Characteristics: Natural and synthetic fibers are made from this raw material. Natural Latex is a white milky emulsion.


Fiber: Cotton

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: A fine linen or cotton fabric used for clothes. Word derived from Laon, a city in France, where linen lawn was manufactured extensively. Lightweight, sheer, soft, washable. It is crispier than Voilé but not as crisp as organdy. Made with fine high count yarns, silky feel. Made with either carded or combed yarns. Comes in white or may be dyed or printed. When made with combed yarns with a soft feel and slight luster it is called nainsook.

Uses: Underwear, dresses, blouses, night wear, curtains, lingerie, collars, cuffs, infant wear, shirtings, handkerchiefs.

Middle English, probably from Laon, a city in France important for linen manufacture


The skin of an animal tanned or otherwise dressed for use. Full Top Grain, indicating the very best hides available on the world market today. Only the finest hides, those that do not require sanding or buffing to remove defects or imperfections, can be classified as Full top Grain. These premium hides in their natural, unadulterated state retain the superior characteristics of suppleness and tuftability found only in genuine Full Top Grain leather.


Cloth woven from flax.

Old English lonen from West Germanic: related to obsolete line 'flax'


A jacquard fabric usually made with a taffeta or faille ground. The design is created by colored warp threads brought up on the face of the fabric, leaving loose yarns on the back. These threads are sometimes clipped.


Common name for a long-eared South American ruminant that is domesticated from the guanaco. The llama stands 0.9 to 1.3 m (3 to 4.3 ft) high at the shoulder and is usually white, blotched with black and brown; sometimes it is pure white or pure black. The long, coarse wool is used in the weaving of textiles, and the skins are tanned for leather. This fiber has impressive luster and warmth and is very light weight.

Loden Cloth

Fiber: Wool or mixed-wool.

Characteristics: It was originally made exclusively from wool but is now found in a combination of wool with alpaca, mohair or camel. It is well known for its thickness, durability and resistance to water.

Uses: Winter clothes and sportswear.

From the German word Loda, which means hair cloth.


It is one of the first fabrics created in especially long strips. Its luster is moderate but its quality is fairly high. This cotton and cotton blend fabric is very soft.


A machine or apparatus for weaving yarn into fabric. The warp (lengthwise) threads are secured on the loom through the eyes of heddles and attached to the loom beam at the front of the loom. The filling (crosswise) thread darts between the warp threads as they are alternately lifted and lowered. sometimes carried by a shuttle, sometimes propelled by air pressure, or other methods in shuttless looms.

The Plain Weave Consists of one thread over and one thread under. This type is found in sheeting.

The Twill Weave Has each warp thread passing over two or more filling threads, with the interlacing advancing one thread on successive warps. This type, with its "diagonal line", is found in denims.

The Satin Weave Has few interlacings widely but regularly spaced, resulting in a lustrous "right" side and dull back. This type is found in dress goods.

Jacquard Design A woven design made with the aid of a jacquard head (this constitutes a jacquard loom) and may vary from simple, self-colored, spot effects to elaborate, multicolored, all over effects.

The Major Motions or Actions of looms are shedding, picking, and beating-up. Minor motions on looms are the take-up, let-off, and pattern. The first three motions are linked together as follows:

Shedding Motion The separating of the warp ends into an upper and lower system of threads to permit the shuttle to pass through the space that has been formed. The warp ends are drawn through heddle eyes in the correct manner, and in the turning-over of the crankshaft of the loom, a shed is formed with each turn.

Picking Motion The actual passing of the shuttle through the shed of the loom. The shuttle passes over the lowered ends of the shed and under its raised ends. The shed permits the shuttle to pass through it and thereby makes it possible for the shuttle to deposit the pick or filling yarn.

Beating-Up The actual beating into place of the loose pick that was placed in the shed of the loom in Old English geloma - tool

Luster Fabric

Weave: Plain

Characteristics: It is created using fibers with high luster such as worsted or mohair yarn. Warp threads are used to create this fabric. Cotton is usually the main component, however, sometimes manufactured fibers are used.


An elastic polyurethane fiber or fabric used esp. for close-fitting sports clothing.

Lyons Velvet

A stiff, thick pile velvet. Used for hats, coat collars, also for suits, coats and dresses, when thick velvets are fashionable.