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Fabric Dictionary

Fabric Dictionary

Rabbit

A small mammal of the family Leporidae sought after for their fur's excellent heat retaining qualities. Most commonly used in hats, jackets, stoles, and other cold weather wear. Wild rabbits range in color from brownish to gray whereas tame ones range from black to white.

Uses:

  • • hats
  • • scarves
  • • coats
  • • shoe interiors
  • • trimming

Pros:

  • • retains heat
  • • soft
  • • silky uniform texture

Cons:

  • • sheds
  • • short wear duration
Raccoon

A medium-sized mammal common in North America sought for their fur's softness. First made famous by folklore and then later in the 1920s when college students started wearing raccoon fur coats as a part of a trend. The fur tends to be black or brown in coloration.

Uses:

  • • trimmings
  • • coating
  • • hats
  • • pelts

Pros:

  • • soft
  • • lofty
  • • warm
  • • abundant
  • • can be bleached or dyed
  • • durable

Cons:

  • • does not breathe
Raffia

The fiber of a particular palm tree that is used for weaving a variety of fabrics. While younger raffia fibers can be woven into a polished fabric with a satin-like hand, more mature raffia fibers are far denser and create a more textural, straw-like hand. Often seen in wicker hats, baskets, and mats.

Uses:

  • • upholstery
  • • wicker hats
  • • baskets
  • • mats

Pros:

  • • soft
  • • pliable
  • • strong
  • • durable
  • • easy to dye
  • • biodegradable

Cons:

  • • shrinks with water contact
Rajah

A fabric typically made from tussah silk or a rayon substitute with a rough surface akin to pongee, often used as a barrier when heat is being applied. Most commonly used as a form of pressing cloth. Its irregular yarns or slubs are thicker than that of a shantung providing a pebbly appereance and surface texture.

Uses:

  • • dresses
  • • curtains
  • • pressing cloth
Ramie

Otherwise know as rhea or China grass, ramie is a natural woody fiber resembling flax. One of the planet's oldest fibers dating back to ancient Egypt, ramie is praised for its uses and ability to be cultivated 6 times a year. The fiber is stiff and more brittle than linen. It can be bleached to extreme whiteness. Ramie fibers are long and very fine. The strength of ramie is excellent and varies from 5.3 to 7.4 grams per denier. Elastic recovery is low and elongation is poor. This fiber is also useful for rope, twine, and nets.

Uses:

  • • dresses
  • • shirts
  • • suits
  • • upholstery
  • • drapery
  • • rope
  • • twine
  • • nets

Pros:

  • • good body
  • • mildew and mold resistant
  • • texture
  • • hydrophilic
  • • stronger when wet
  • • non-static
  • • good thermal conductivity
  • • good tenacity

Cons:

  • • poor drape
  • • loft
  • • poor resiliency
  • • not flexible
  • • low elasticity
  • • poor dimensional stability
  • • low luster
  • • susceptible to silverfish
  • • poor inflammability
Raschel

A style of weaving made with a combination of warp-knitting (involving yarns zig-zagging along the length of the fabric rather than the width or weft) and the principals of the circular loom. Named for the French actress Elisabeth Felice Raschel. The knit resembles an open, lace-like construction with columns of knit stitches.

Ratine

A rough, bulky fabric woven from a loose weave of nubby yarns. Ratine yarns are similar to that of boucle yarns.

Uses:

  • • coats
  • • dresses
  • • sportswear

Pros:

  • • high visibility
  • • wicking
  • • flame resistant.

Cons:

  • • rough texture
Rattan

A natural fiber derived from several species of old world climbing or palm trees, most famously used for wicker baskets and outdoor furniture.

Uses:

  • • wicker baskets
  • • outdoor furniture
  • • clothing

Pros:

  • • resistant to sun damage
  • • withstands large range of temperatures
  • • durable
  • • eco-friendly
Rattail Cord

A form of Satin cord created from man-made fiber and typically measuring in at about 2mm in width.

Uses:

  • • jewelry
  • • accessories
  • • veils
  • • trim

Pros:

  • • good tensile strength
  • • flexible

Cons:

  • • very slippery
  • • does not hold knots well
Raw Denim

Denim that has not undergone the typical washing and distressing process, and does not have a tightly woven selvage like selvedge denim. Often very stiff, but can be molded through washing to any form desired.

Uses:

  • • tops
  • • bottoms
  • • dresses
  • • upholstery

Pros:

  • • durable
  • • long lasting
  • • versatile

Cons:

  • • longer break-in period than pre-washed denim
  • • tends to bleed
Raw Silk

The silk fiber in its most natural form prior to the removal of its gummy substance (which is typically eliminated through boiling the silk in soap and water). The gum around the fiber causes irregularities throughout the yarn, and when spun into a piece of fabric, creates a slubbed appearance.

Uses:

  • • shirts
  • • ties
  • • blouses

Pros:

  • • good protection against biting insects
  • • absorbent
  • • retains heat

Cons:

  • • stains by water
  • • needs dry cleaning
  • • yellows with age
Rayon

A brand name for viscose, Rayon was the first man-made fiber produced 19th century to replicate silk. Rayon is comprised of regenerated cellulose fibers (wood pulp) forced through spinnerettes to create a fibrous material. Although intially produced as a replacement for silk, it is now used to replicate the feel of a wide variety of natural fibers.

Uses:

  • • clothing
  • • draperies
  • • bedspreads

Pros:

  • • drapability
  • • hydrophilic
  • • anti-static
  • • conducts heat away from the body
  • • soft
  • • dyes easily
  • • resistant to moths
  • • biodegradable

Cons:

  • • poor recovery or resiliency
  • • poor dimensional stability
  • • poor tenacity
  • • poor elasticity
  • • shrinks and loses strength in water
  • • susceptible to mold and mildew
Re-Embroidered Lace

A technique where the pattern of the lace is outlined with a topical embroidery stitch or a heavy thread called a "gimp." It can also be further embellished with pearls, gems, or ribbons sewn onto the lace. It is most commonly seen in bridal applications.

Uses:

  • • bridal wear
  • • evening gowns
  • • dresses
  • • skirts

Pros:

  • • ornate
  • • somewhat stronger than regular lace

Cons:

  • • does not stretch
  • • typically only comes in 3-yard incremants
Reflective

A material made with a property to absorb light, typically found in high visibility clothing. Some incorporate glass bead technology which uses tiny glass beads to reflect light. Incoming light beams bend as they pass through the front surface of each glass bead and reflect off a mirrored surface behind the bead.

Uses:

  • • high visibility safety gear
  • • performace clothing
  • • rave gear

Pros:

  • • reflects light
  • • durable
Regimental Stripes

A striped pattern, which typically runs diagonally rather than perpendicular or parallel to the selvage of a fabric, originating from British Regiments. Most commonly seen in ties and other neckwear, but occasionally used in shirting.

Uses:

  • • ties
  • • shirting
Repp

A form of cloth woven with fine cylindrical rib (or cords) across the width (or weftt) of the material. The crosswise rib is less distinct than bengaline but more distinct than poplin. Often made from silk, wool, or cotton with each form having its own uses.

Uses:

  • • heavy suits
  • • coats
  • • upholstery
  • • draperies

Cons:

  • • frays badly
  • • difficult to press
Resiliency

The wrinkle recovery of a fiber or fabric in which it returns to its original shape after folding, crumpling, twisting, etc. Examples of fibers with good resiliency include wool, bamboo, lyocell, polyester, and nylon. Examples of fibers with poor resiliency include cotton, linen, rayon, ramie, and silk.

Resin Finishing

A resin is produced when products of simple or low molecular weight join together becoming a complex product of higher molecular weight. It falls in a large class of products made from either a natural polymer or a synthetic substitute for it. Resin finishing is a permanent chemical process where a resin is applied to fabrics as a coating to resist creasing. Often used as the topical coating for waxed cottons.

Uses:

  • • coating a fabric

Pros:

  • • resists creasing and pleats
  • • enhances durability and resiliancy
  • • improves dye fastness
  • • good soil repellency
Reversible

A fabric or material that can be worn or used two ways, creating a garment with no true face. In other words, the front and back of the cloth used are both viable faces of the fabric.

Rhinestone

An imitation diamond or gem of high luster made of glass, paste, or gem quartz.

Uses:

  • • decoration
  • • closures

Cons:

  • • hand wash only
Ribbon

A thin strip of material used mainly for decoration, binding or tying. Comes in several forms including, but not limited to,velvet, Satin, organza, and grosgrain.

Uses:

  • • decoration
  • • binding
  • • tying
Rib Knit

A knit material created through alternating rows of knit and purl stitches. This knit lies flat due to the method of knitting and generally features more stretch in the width then the length. Many t-shirts feature rib knits in the collars as well as in the cuff due to the ideal amount of elasticity in this fabric.

Uses:

  • • shirts
  • • cuffs
  • • sweaters

Pros:

  • • stretch
  • • comfort

Cons:

  • • prone to pilling
Ric Rac

A flat narrow braid woven into a zig zag pattern most commonly used in trims.

Uses:

  • • trimming
Rigilene

A type of polyester filament used for the boning in corsets for additional flex. It is the sole score of boning that can be sewn into fabric as each side is lined with a border or lip that can be sewn through.

Uses:

  • • corsets
  • • prom dresses
  • • evening gowns

Pros:

  • • high flex
  • • can be sewn through
  • • durable

Cons:

  • • does not offer much support
Ripstop

A type of fabric woven with a double thread at regular intervals so that small tears do not spread. Characteristically features small visible and tactile squares in the weave caused by the double threads. This form of construction makes it a viable option for everything from jackets to hot air balloons depending on the base material.

Uses:

  • • hot air balloons
  • • windbreakers
  • • pants
  • • outdoor wear
  • • tents

Pros:

  • • durable
  • • good heat conductivity
  • • high tensile strength
  • • resistant to tearing or ripping
Romaine

A heavy, yet transparent form of crepe fabric typically used for drapery sheers.

Uses:

  • • drapery sheers

Pros:

  • • light
  • • breathable

Cons:

  • • transparent
  • • not very durable
  • • low thread count
Rotary Cutter

A handle with a circular blade commonly used by quilters for cutting fabric.

Rotary Printing

A seamless form of screen printing where the desired pattern is curved around a large cylinder. If the process uses continuous rolls it is referred to as web printing.

Uses:

  • • printing

Pros:

  • • long-lasting
  • • cost-effective for larger print jobs
  • • can be done on a multitude of grounds

Cons:

  • • complex printing process
  • • not practical for small productions
  • • price increases with number of colors involved
  • • not environmentally friendly
Rubber

A material created from elastomers such as latex, modified through compounding. A key factor in materials such as neoprene that require high chemical stability, elasticity and tensile strength.

Uses:

  • • safetywear
  • • fetishwear
  • • clubwear
  • • can be used to create puncture resistant clothing items

Pros:

  • • durability
  • • stretch
  • • variance of usage
  • • abrasion resistance
  • • tear resistance
  • • good compression
  • • waterproof

Cons:

  • • tends to gain permanent holes when punctured
  • • not machine washable
Ruche

Ruching is an overlay of fabric that has been gathered, pleated or fluted on two parallel sides, which creates a ripple-like effect. Often seen in sheer fabrics like chiffon, lace, or gauze, ruching evolved from the 16th-century ruff. Similar to shirring.

Pros:

  • • creates volume or body
Ruffled

A strip of material tightly gathered or pleated on one edge and then applied to a garment, bedding, or other type of textile.

Pros:

  • • creates volume or body
Russian Veil

A form of lace typically used in millinery (hatmaking) and bridal veils. Often characterized by its structural form identified with a diamond weave pattern and occasionally detailed with dots.

Uses:

  • • millinery applications
  • • bridal veils

Pros:

  • • structural

Cons:

  • • stiff
  • • coarse
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