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Fabric Dictionary

Fabric Dictionary

Nacre Velvet

A form of velvet where the pile is one color while the plain base fabric is another, creating an iridescent or pearly appearance. Named after the material Nacre used to create Mother of Pearl .

Uses:

  • • jackets
  • • dresses
  • • skirts
  • • gowns

Pros:

  • • vibrant
  • • luxurious
  • • statement making

Cons:

  • • frays
  • • dry clean only
Nailshead

A pattern that consists of small specks on a darker background that when seen from a distance gives the appearance of a solid finish. Often seen in suiting. A cousin to houndstooth.

Uses:

  • • suiting
Nainsook

A soft, fine, lightweight form of Muslin, slightly heavier than a batiste and not as crisp as a lawn. The cotton fabric is soft, contains a slight luster, but lacks body; has more of a billowy drape. Always plainly woven.

Uses:

  • • costuming
  • • summer dresses
  • • blouses
  • • night wear
  • • lingerie

Pros:

  • • lightweight
  • • airy
  • • soft
  • • slight luster

Cons:

  • • lacks body
Nap

The direction of which the vertical fibers of piled fabric such as velvet or corduroy stand in relation to the plain fabric base.

Natural Cotton Thread

Thread made from 100% long-staple mercerized cotton fibers. Cotton threads are fine, but strong with a silk-like luster. Both soft and flexible, natural cotton threads are also known for their tear and abrasion-resistant properties.

Pros:

  • • lightweight
  • • strong
  • • lustrous
  • • flexible
  • • tear resistant
  • • abrasion
  • • resistant

Cons:

  • • not suitable for heavier density fabrics
Needle Lace

One of the two main forms of lace. Created with a needle and thread where hundreds of button hole stitches are combined with one another to create the pattern that never permeates the backing, when done a knife is passed between the lace and the backing to cut the stitching thread and remove the lace. This process dates back to the 15th century.

Uses:

  • • trim
  • • drapery

Pros:

  • • intricate
  • • unique

Cons:

  • • delicate
  • • requires lining for modesty
Neoprene

A family of fabrics created by polymerizing chloroprene. The original form of neoprene most commonly seen in scuba-gear was made from a piece of rubber sandwiched between one or two layers of polyester fabric. Along with scuba-diving and surfing wetsuits, this form of neoprene is also used for laptop slipcovers due to the fact that it maintains its flexibility over a wide variety of temperatures and it displays an enormous amount of chemical stability. Now, neoprene can be found without the layer of rubber replaced with air cushioning for fashion apparel and accessories, also known as scuba knits.

Uses:

  • • wet suits
  • • scuba gear
  • • dresses
  • • industrial wear
  • • athlesiure
  • • swimwear
  • • laptop slipcovers

Pros:

  • • water resistant
  • • retains heat
  • • durable
  • • flexible
  • • chemically stable

Cons:

  • • breathability
  • • bulky at times
Netting

A textile where the yarns are fused or knotted to create a material with open holes.

Uses:

  • • activewear
  • • hosiery
  • • fishing supplies

Pros:

  • • breathable

Cons:

  • • varies in durability
Nickel

A silvery-white metal, typically used in electroplating metal items to add additional strength and durability.

Uses:

  • • used as an additional metal coating on needles
  • • pins
  • • scissors

Pros:

  • • lightweight
  • • compatible with most ferrous metals

Cons:

  • • tarnishing
  • • can cause allergic reactions
Ninon

A sheer fabric made of silk, rayon or nylon in a variety of weaves, from tight weaves to open lacy patterns with a mesh -like appearance. Comprised of high-twist filament yarns. The material is crisp, heavier than chiffon, but much like a voile with more body. The warp yarns are often grouped in pairs.

Uses:

  • • evening wear
  • • drapery

Pros:

  • • breathable
  • • lightweight
  • • launders well

Cons:

  • • typically requires a lining
Non-Crushable Linen

A specialized form of plainly woven linen that has better washability and durability. Has a treatment that increases resistance to wrinkles as well as increasing resilience and elasticity.

Uses:

  • • suiting

Pros:

  • • resiliant
  • • wrinkle resistance
  • • breathable

Cons:

  • • does not retain heat
Nonflammable

A material that is unable to be lit on fire without the aid of an accelerant.

Pros:

  • • cannot catch fire
  • • can be used in children's clothing as per California law
Nubuck Leather

Cowhide leather that has been treated on the outer side to provide a hand similar to a suede.

Uses:

  • • shoes
  • • wallets
  • • handbags jackets

Pros:

  • • low maintenance
  • • breathes well
  • • comfortable

Cons:

  • • not suitable for dirt mud or dust
  • • stains with oil
Nutria

A semi-aquatic rodent similar to muskrat or beaver marketed as "guilt-free" fur due to the overpopulation issue in its home region.

Uses:

  • • coats
  • • hats
  • • linings
  • • trims

Pros:

  • • cost effective
  • • abundant
  • • waterproof
  • • warm

Cons:

  • • very dense fur
  • • doesn't breathe
  • • sheared nutria requires specific maintenance
Nylon

A tough, lightweight synthetic fiber usually produced in fibers, sheets, or molded objects. The polymer contains a protein-like chemical structure. This manufactured fiber is very strong and is resistant to both abrasion and damage from many chemicals. It is elastic, easy to wash and is quite lustrous. It returns easily to its original shape and is non-absorbent. It is fast drying, resistant to some dyes, and resistant to moths and other insects, water, perspiration, and standard dry-cleaning agents.

Uses:

  • • parachutes
  • • tents
  • • windbreakers
  • • hosiery
  • • activewear
  • • lingerie
  • • fishing materials

Pros:

  • • lightweight
  • • hydrophobic
  • • tenacity
  • • contains wicking properties
  • • resilience
  • • dimensional stability
  • • thermoplasticity

Cons:

  • • hydrophobic
  • • pilling
  • • stains easily
  • • colors bleed
  • • poor sunlight resistance
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