Fabric Dictionary

  1. A ridge or raised line formed in the weave of cloth.
  2. The texture of a fabric; the kind of weave.

Old English walu weal, ridge.

Warp-print Taffeta

Usually a plain weave, the warp yarns are printed before the filling is inserted. The fabric has a very fuzzy design when design is distorted as fabric is woven.


A common name for any of several small, furry, carnivorous mammals that are most abundant in North America and Europe but also occur elsewhere.

Uses: The fur industry uses nearly all the species of the weasel family in making coats, trimmings, capes etc. The textile industry uses large amounts of the fine fibers.


Fiber: Worsted or woolen, also cotton and rayon.

Weave: Twill.

Characteristics: Very much like gabardine, but the yarn is bulkier and much more pronounced. The twill is steep 63 degrees and goes from left to right (except for cotton). It is very durable, rugged and stands hard usage and wear. In time, it shines a bit with wear. Some times back is napped for warmth. So named because it simulates the lash of a whip.

Uses: Topcoats, uniform cloths, suitings, sportswear, riding habits. In cotton, it is also used for automobile seat covers and children's play suits.


This fiber is made from the hair of various animals such as sheep, llamas, camels and goats. It is very resilient and resistant to wrinkling. It is renewed by moisture and well known for its warmth.

Uses: Clothing, blankets, winter wear.

Middle English wole

Wool Broadcloth

Fiber: Wool. Also cotton and silk but very different from wool broadcloth.

Weave: Usually a twill with a two up and one down construction. Some also in the plain weave.

Characteristics: Has a napped face, closely sheared and polished, producing a silky gloss - in same group of fabrics as kersey, beaver cloth, melton. One way nap, must be handled like velvet when cutting. It comes in a variety of colors and weights. It is "dressy" fabric and must be handled with care - form fitting and drapes well.

Wool Flannel

Weave: Usually twill, some plain.

Characteristics: Originated in Wales. Soft, with a napped surface that partially cancels the weave. Dull finish. Made in a variety of weights. More loosely woven than worsted_flannel with a higher nap and bulkier hand. Shrinks if not pre-shrunk. Sags with wear, unless underlined. Does not shine or hold a crease. Watch pressing - if pressed too hard, it flattens in the nap. Comes in many colors, weights, and fancy effects. Sometimes has a prickly feel when worn.

Uses: Blazers, dresses, skirts, suits and coats. Boys suits, jackets, and shirts. Shirts and sportswear.

Wool Jersey

Fiber: Wool, worsted, silk, cotton, rayon, and synthetics.

Weave: Knitted on circular, flat-bed or warp knitted methods (later popular as a tricot-knit).

Characteristics: Right side has lengthwise ribs (Wales) and wrong side has crosswise ribs (courses). Very elastic with good draping qualities. Has special crease-resistant qualities due to its construction. Is knitted plain or has many elaborate tweed designs and fancy motifs as well as printed designs. Can look very much like woven fabric. Wears very well and if washable, it washes very well. First made on the Island of Jersey off the English coast and used for fisherman's clothing. Stretch as you sew.

Uses: Dress goods, sportswear, suits, underwear, coats, gloves, sweaters, hats.

Worsted Flannel

Weave: Twill

Characteristics: Made in a variety of weights. More closely woven and harder than Wool Flannel. Can have a very slight nap on one side. Tailors very well. Presses well and holds a hard crease.

Worsted Wool
  1. Firmly twisted yarn or thread spun from combed long-staple wool, used for weaving, etc.
  2. Wool cloth woven from such yarns, having a hard smooth surface and no nap.

Named after ME Worsted, parish in Norfolk, England.