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Fabric Dictionary

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A manufactured fiber formed by compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or wood pulp, and acetic acid that has been extruded through a spinneret and then hardened.

Acetate is a fiber primarily used in fabrics for pants and jacket linings. Acetate is silky, thin, dries fast and is resistant to shrinking and stretching. Acetate fabrics also drape and dye well.


Acrylic is a synthetic fiber with a soft, wool-like feel. Acrylic fabrics tend to be more resistant to sunlight and wrinkling. Many dress and upholstery fabrics contain acrylic fibers. In fact, most of our felt fabrics are 100% acrylic. Felt is the most common form of acrylic fabric.

Acrylic is machine machine washable and retains color very well.


A natural hair fiber from Llamas. It's similar to cashmere in its softness and luxury. Suitable for jackets, coats or throws.


Appliqué is a technique in which cut-out pieces of fabric or textile decorations are added to fabric to create designs. Appliqué adds dimension and texture to fabric.

Bamboo Fabrics

The entire process of distilling and producing bamboo and bamboo blends fabrics is a green process. Bamboo is a natural cellulose fiber that achieves natural degradation in the soil. Stands of planted bamboo plants require no replanting, pesticides or fertilizers.

Bamboo fabrics are naturally odor and bacteria-resistant. They are also porous, breathable and absorbent. Because of the latent strength of the bamboo fibers, fabrics based on or incorporating bamboo fibers are strong and durable.

Bark Cloth or Barkcloth

Bark cloth originally referred to fabric made from the bark of trees. Today, the term describes fabric with a bark-like surface texture. Bark cloth is now most often made from 100% cotton.

The bark cloths made today often have vintage designs reminiscent of those used during the heyday of bark cloth: the 1940’s and 50’s.

Bark cloth should only be dry-cleaned.


Batik is an Indonesian fabric dyeing technique. Certain areas of the fabric are coated with wax or paste to keep dye from penetrating. After dyeing the wax is removed so the design appears in the original color of the cloth. The process can be repeated several times to achieve the desired result. The veined look of some batiks is due to dye penetrating through cracks in the wax.


Batiste is a sheer, soft, plain-weave fabric often made of combed cotton, polyester, polyester/cotton or silk. Batiste can be used for nightwear, lingerie, shirts and dresses.

View Sheer Decorative Fabrics

Batting is traditionally the middle layer, or stuffing, of a quilt. Batting can be made from cotton, polyester, silk, wool or a blend of these. Different types of batting vary in size and fiber content. Batting also helps conserve warmth.


Bengaline is a fabric with a crosswise rib made from textile fibers in combination. At one time bengalines were most often made from cotton, silk, rayon or wool. Now bengaline is most commonly made from acetate and polyester.

Bengaline is similar to faille but heavier weight.

Boiled Wool

This is a felted knitted wool that it offers the flexibility of a knit with great warmth. Create your own by washing double the needed amount of 100% wool jersey in hot water and drying in a hot dryer. Expect 50% shrinkage. Appropriate for jackets, vests and stuffed animals.


Refers to both a fancy yarn with an irregular pattern of curls and loops and to the fabric made with such a yarn. Fabric made with boucle yarn also has a looped or knotted texture. Bouclé is often used in sweaters, vests and coats.


A plain weave tightly woven fabric that is usually made from 100% cotton or a cotton blend. Most common uses are quilting and shirt-making.

View Broadcloth

Brocade is an Asian-influenced fabric with an intricately designed, raised pattern. Brocade is usually made of silk, rayon or nylon yarns, although cotton and satin can also be used.

The pattern is usually emphasized by contrasting colors and surfaces and is only on the face of the fabric. Brocade is appropriate for upholstery, draperies, handbags and evening wear.


Bunting is a loosely woven cloth traditionally made of wool, but now often made with polyester. Bunting is mainly used for flags and festive decorations. It is also known as banner cloth.


A loosely constructed, heavy weight, plain weave fabric. It has a rough hand and is appropriate for draperies and decorative items.

Burn-Out Velvet

Created from two different fibers, the velvet is removed with chemicals in a pattern leaving the backing fabric intact. Appropriate for loosely fitting garments.


While calico sometimes refers to a coarse and not fully processed cotton, we use the term to refer to plain weave 100% cotton fabrics used for quilting. While most of our calicos are printed with small, repeated floral designs, that is not the case with all of them.

Calicos are machine washable.


Cambric is a lightweight cotton used as fabric for lace and needlework. Cambric is firm and closely woven and is treated to give it a slight gloss on one side. Cambric is slightly heavier than muslin.

Camel Hair

A natural fiber obtained from the under-hair of the camel. It is relatively close to cashmere and is appropriate for coats and jackets. Camel hair has a very soft hand and is a very luxurious fabric.


Canvas is a heavy, firm, strong fabric often made of cotton or acrylic. Canvas is excellent for awnings, slipcovers and covers for boats. Canvas is available in many grades and qualities.


Cashmere is a highly appreciated lightweight dress fabric. It is collected by combing the hair of the Cashmere goat, found in the Middle and Far East. While very soft, warm and luxurious it is not particularly durable.

Cashmere is often combined with wool and is commonly used in sweaters, shawls, suits, blazers, coats and dresses. Cashmere tends to be more expensive because each goat only produces about 4 ounces a year.


Challis is a lightweight, plain weave fabric usually made of cotton, rayon or wool. Challis can be used for blouses, dresses, skirts and neckties.


Chambray is a plain woven fabric most often made from cotton. Chambray can also be made from silk or synthetic fibers. Lighter weight chambrays are used for shirts, dresses and children’s garments. Heavier chambrays are used for work clothes.

Chambray is usually made from blue and white fibers. It can also be made in striped, checkered and figured patterns. Chambray tends to have a frosted appearance. Our chambrays can be viewed in our Denim Fabrics section.


Charmeuse is an opaque, shiny fabric that is similar to satin but lighter weight. Charmeuse also has a softer hand and a clingier look. Silk, polyester and rayon fabrics are commonly given a charmeuse finish.

Charmeuse is often used for blouses and intimate apparel.


A soft fabric in which the fibers are combined and tufted to create a protruding pile. Chenille refers to the structure of the fibers rather than the fibers themselves. This process can be applied to acrylic, cotton, rayon, silk or wool.

Chenille is made in dress, decorative and upholstery weights.

Chenille should be dry-cleaned only.


A lightweight fabric usually made from nylon, polyester, rayon or silk. It is used in dresses, blouses, scarves and veils.

Chiffon is machine-washable if it is nylon or polyester. Nylon chiffon should be hung to dry. If it is rayon or silk it is to be dry-cleaned only.


Chintz is a brightly glazed cotton usually printed with figures, stripes or floral designs. Chintz is frequently used in country style or casual surroundings for drapes. Chintz can also be used as a lining.

Chintz must be dry-cleaned as the glazing will wash off with machine laundering.

View Cotton Chintz

Corduroy is most commonly composed of tufted cords, sometimes exhibiting a channel between the tufts. It is used for both apparel and home furnishings.

Of all cotton fabrics, corduroy is the warmest because its tufted cords form an insulated cushion of air.

Corduroy is machine-washable.


Cotton is a soft, natural, vegetable fiber that grows around the seed of the cotton plant. The breathable textile made from cotton fibers is the most widely used in the world.

Most fabrics made primarily of cotton are machine washable unless they are decorative, such as bark cloths, etc.

Cotton is a fabric of medium strength and dyes well. Nevertheless, cotton also absorbs moisture, serves as a haven for dust mites and compresses.


A lightweight dress fabric with a crinkled texture that is achieved by using highly twisted yarns. It is available in two varieties: soft (Oriental) and hard or crisped. Crepe is most often made in silk, polyester or rayon. Some varieties of crepe are crepe de chine, crepe georgette, marocain, matelasse crepe and crepe plisse.

Crepe can be used to make blouses, coats, dresses and suits. Polyester crepe is machine-washable. Rayon and silk crepes are to be dry-cleaned only.

Crepe de chine

Silk crepe de chine has a slightly crinkly surface create with highly twisted fibers. It comes in three weights: 2 ply, appropriate for blouses and lingerie; 3 ply, appropriate for dresses, fuller pants and dresses; and 4 ply, most luxurious and best for trousers and jackets.


Crewel is a hand embroidery technique in which fine, loosely twisted yarn is chain stitched on cotton cloth. Imperfections, color variations, irregularities, natural black specks, dye marks, and dirt spots are characteristics that identify crewel as genuine. Most crewel designs are outlines of flowers, vines or leaves.


Damask can be made from cotton, linen, silk, wool or synthetic fibers. Damask fabrics are reversible and are usually tone-on-tone. Damask is suitable for draperies, curtains bed and table linens. Multi-colored damask is known as lampa.


Denim is a cotton twill textile that mostly used for jeans and jackets. It can also be combined with Lycra to add stretch. Denim is becoming a more common decorative and upholstery fabric.

Due to the twill construction, one color predominates on the fabric surface. Denim is suitable for pants, jackets and skirts. Pre-wash and dry 100% cotton denim at least twice to eliminate shrinkage and color bleeding.


A dobby weave is a decorative weave characterized by small, geometric figures woven into the fabric.


Generally applied to fabric with a low nap that is brushed in one direction to create a soft suede-like hand on the fabric front. Doeskin is great for tops, pants and fuller skirts.

Duck Cloth

Duck cloth is a tightly woven, heavy cotton fabric. Its properties are wind and snag resistance. Duck cloth can be used for apparel, tents, decorative items and much more.

The duck cloth we carry is very similar to canvas and sailcloth.

Dupioni Silk

A crisp fabric with irregular slubs. It is perfect for tailored slimmer silhouettes like flat-front trousers, jackets and fitted blouses and dresses. Silk Dupioni can be machine washed in the gentle cycle and drip-dried.


Embroidery is a variety of needlework in which colored threads are sewn onto fabric to create designs.


Eyelets are fabrics with cut out areas stitched or embroidered around the edges to prevent unraveling.


Faille is a glossy, finely ribbed fabric made from using heavier yarns in the filling than in the warp. Faille finishes are most often woven from silk, cotton, rayon or polyester.

Faille is similar to bengaline but lighter weight.


Felt is made from matted, condensed and pressed fibers. Felt is also soft, as the fibers form the structure of the fabric.

Felt is a popular fabric for crafts and pool and poker tables.


Flannel is a warm, medium-weight fabric made from cotton, wool, wool and cotton or wool with synthetic fibers. Flannel is also known for its softness which is achieved by brushing the fabric to lift the fiber ends. Most of the flannel fabrics we carry are 100% cotton.

View Flannel Fabric

Fleece is a napped fabric with a deep, soft, woolly-style surface developed in the 1980’s by Malden Mills.

Fleece has many appealing properties: it is soft, it dries quickly and still insulates when wet. Since it is also lightweight, you won’t perspire too much when active. Polar fleece is machine washable.

View Polar Fleece Fabric

The fur we carry is artificial and made from synthetic material. Our faux fur fabrics come in a variety of piles (or thread lengths): low, medium and long.


Gabardine is a durable, tightly woven twill with diagonal ribs on the right side. It can be woven in many different fibers, alone or blended. Cotton, rayon and wool are three of the most common fibers.


A sheer, open-weave fabric usually of cotton or silk. It is suitable for blouses, dresses and curtains.


Georgette is a sheer polyester/silk fabric with a crinkled, crepe-like surface. Georgette is commonly used for blouses and flowing dresses.


Gingham is a fabric in which dyed yarns and white yarns form a checkered pattern. It is most commonly made from cotton.


Grosgrain is a firmly woven, ribbed fabric. Because of its dressy appearance it is often used in trimmings for formal wear and in neckties.

Grosgrain is usually made of silk or rayon with cotton filler. It is to be dry-cleaned only.


Habutai is a very lightweight and soft plain weave silk. It is similar to, but heavier than, China silk. Habutai is also lighter than shantung.

Habutai tends to have many defects in the cloth since it is made from waste silk that can be twisted. These defects, however, do not affect the cloth.


Herringbone is broken twill weave producing a zigzag pattern resembling the varying diagonals of a fish’s backbone.


Houndstooth is a small broken check pattern most commonly found on dress goods.

Interlock Knit

Also known as T-shirt knit. It usually has stretch across the grain. Great for tops, skirts and lightweight pants.


Jacquard is the name of an intricate fabric weaving method invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard. Jacquard is also refers to an intricately woven shiny fabric with an all-over interwoven design. The different types of yarns and stitch patterns create textured and dimensional designs.

Jacquard fabrics include brocade, damask and tapestry. Silk, rayon and polyester are the most common fabrics to which the jacquard process is applied to.

View Jacquard Fabric
Jersey Knit

Jersey is a slightly elastic machine knit dress fabric. Jersey knits are usually made of wool or cotton but can also be made from rayon or synthetic fibers.


Khaki is a sturdy twilled fabric. Khaki can be made from cotton, worsted or linen yarns, wool or from synthetic fiber blends.


A decorative mesh of interlaced threadwork which is plaited, knotted, looped and turned to make either simple or complicated patterns and raised work. Lace also refers to an ornamental, openwork fabric made by the intricate manipulation of fibers and yarn.


Lamé is one of the most basic evening wear fabrics. Lamé is woven with metallic yarns which produce a unique glistening effect. Some of the varieties of lamé are tissue lamé (not backed), hologram lamé (organza), tricot lamé (backed with tricot), and flat lamé.

Lamé should not be machine washed nor dry cleaned.


Linen is produced using the fibers from the flax plant. Linen is stronger and more naturally lustrous than cotton. Linen fabrics are very cool and absorbent, but wrinkle very easily, unless blended with manufactured fibers.

Linen has many properties including soil-resistance, moisture absorption and stiffness. Linen also drapes away from the skin rather than clinging to it. Therefore, linen is primarily used in lightweight summer clothing. Depending on the weight, it’s also appropriate for anything from heirloom sewing and blouses to slacks and jackets. Linen can be machine washed and tumbled on low. Remove before it’s completely dry and hang for a pleasingly casual look.


Loden is a water-resistant greasy wool used in heavy coatings.


A heavyweight, dense, compacted, and tightly woven wool or wool blend fabric used mainly for coats.


Microfiber is a lightweight synthetic fiber that can be woven into fabrics with a soft and luxurious silk or suede-like finish. Microfiber is available in acrylic, nylon, polyester and rayon. Microfiber is naturally water repellent. It is also wrinkle resistant and easy to care for. Microfiber is machine washable.


Mohair is obtained from the Angora goat and is known for its durability and resiliency. The value and quality of mohair are determined by its luster. Mohair can also be woven with cotton, silk or wool.


Moiré is a textile finish that is achieved by passing fabric between engraved rollers that press a watermarked motif into the fabric. Moiré is a finish that is commonly used in dress and decorative fabrics.

The moiré finish can be given to acetate, rayon, cotton and other types of fabric. Many of our dress moirés are specifically acetate/cotton blends. Moiré is to be dry-cleaned only.


Moleskin is a heavy, strong (usually cotton) fabric woven with coarse, carded yarns that give it a velvety nap. The feel of moleskin is smooth and solid, reminiscent of suede. The reverse has a satiny look and feel. Generally, it will contain 2-4% spandex. Great for pants, jackets and heavy shirts.


Muslin is a plain woven, usually non dyed cotton fabric. It is available bleached (white) and unbleached (off white). Muslin is often used as neutral background for appliqué in quilts.


The nap of a fabric refers to the direction which the pile faces. Velvet, corduroy and suede are fabrics with nap.


See Vinyl entry.

Netting and Tulle

Netting is a fine mesh made from nylon, rayon or silk. Netting can be used for bridal veils and gowns, but can also be included in gift favors, crafts, picture albums and other items. Netting is not as soft to the touch as tulle.

Novelty Fabric

Novelty fabrics are almost exclusively 100% cotton. Novelty fabrics tend to have fun designs such as trains, sports, food, etc. These are excellent fabrics for quilts, crafts, garments, curtains and light-usage decorative items. 100% cotton novelty fabrics are machine-washable.

View Novelty Fabric

Nylon is a synthetic material which is strong and elastic. It is also stain and water resistant. Some of the hallmarks of nylon are its flexibility and color retention. It is also moth and mildew resistant. Nylon is also washable.


Organdy is a stiff, transparent dress fabric - usually cotton or polyester - made with slightly twisted yards. Organdy is also noted for its crisp finish. Organdy can be used for blouses and dresses as well as for draperies. Organdy can also be used for apparel trim such as cuffs and collars.

Organic and Natural Fabrics

These fibers for these fabrics are grown using a production system that replenishes the soil and maintains its fertility. The growing methods also reduce the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, while at the same time they contribute to biologically diverse agriculture. Fields must be free from synthetic chemicals for three years to achieve organic certification. Our organic and natural fabrics are based on bamboo, organic cotton and seacell fibers.


Organza is an almost transparent, mesh-like sheer fabric. Organza tends to have a slightly stiff hand or feel. It is similar to chiffon but is heavier and has more body. It is also similar to tulle but flows freer.

Organza is used in bridal wear, trimming, neckwear and as lining for sheer fabrics. It is also often used in layers for gowns. Organza can be made of silk, rayon, nylon, or polyester. Our sparkle organza fabrics are 100% nylon.


Osnaburg is a medium to heavyweight coarsely woven cotton. Osnaburg can be made of 100% cotton or a cotton and polyester blend. Higher grades of finished osnaburg are known for their durability and can be used for mattress ticking, slipcovers, work wear and apparel. Osnaburg can also be used for industrial purposes as sack or bag material. It can also serve as a less expensive drapery or upholstery fabric. Osnaburg is most often used in its natural color, but it can also be dyed or printed.


The name is derived from Paisley, Scotland which became one of the primary producers of paisley in 18th-century Britain. The paisley design always incorporates teardrop shaped swirls with intricate designs inside. Paisley is a classic design that is often found on drapery and quilting fabrics.

View Paisley Fabric
Panné Velvet

Panné is a lustrous, lightweight velvet fabric, in which the pile has been flattened in one direction. Has good stretch across the grain. Appropriate for tops and dresses.


Percale is a closely woven, plain weave cotton sheeting made from carded and combed yarns. The high thread count of percale lends it a soft, silk-like feel.


The pile of a fabric refers to the yarn or threads that stand up from the weave. Fabrics with pile include velvet, corduroy and faux fur.


Pima cotton is produced from high-quality yarn made by plying yarns spun from long combed staple (meaning the length of the individual fibers). This type of cotton is a very soft and strong fiber that accepts dye well. Pima cotton was developed in the Southwestern United States by crossing Egyptian and Uplands cotton.


A medium-weight cotton or cotton blend fabric with a pebbly weave that looks almost like a check. Suitable for vests, jackets and fitted blouses. Also used in children’s clothes.


Plaid is an overlapping crisscross pattern made by using different colored threads in the warp and weft. Plaid originated in Scotland, where it is known as Tartan. Most of the plaids we carry are drapery weight fabrics although we also carry a few upholstery weight plaids.

Our decorative plaid fabrics are not machine washable; they are to be dry cleaned only.

View Plaid Fabric

Plissé is a fabric with a creased or pleated effect created by treating the fabric with a solution that shrinks part of it. Plissé usually has a striped or spotted design and has a slight resemblance to seersucker. It can be made of acetate, cotton or rayon.


Poplin is a tightly woven medium weight fabric with a slight rib effect made of cotton or a polyester/cotton blend. It is often given a water-repellent finish. Poplin is commonly used for men’s trench coats, pants and shirts and women’s dresses. Poplin is machine-washable.

Quilted Fabric

Quilted fabric is pre-quilted and generally used for blankets and wall hangings. Most of our quilted fabrics are 50% cotton and 50% polyester. The quilted fabrics we carry are available in a variety of stitches from vertical lines to the classic diamond stitch. Our quilted fabrics are also available in solid colors and with novelty designs. Most of our quilted fabrics have 2.5 oz polyester batting (or fiber fill) in the middle with tricot backing.

Most of our quilted fabrics are machine washable, however there may be a few that are to be dry cleaned only. Please be sure to read the product description in order to find out the proper care for each pre-quilted fabric.

Quilting Fabric

Quilting fabric is generally 100% cotton and 45” wide. Novelty and calico fabrics are two of the most common and popular fabrics used for quilts.

Railroaded Pattern

Railroaded refers to the orientation of the pattern on a fabric. It describes a vertical or sideways pattern on the fabric. It also includes fabrics where stripes run horizontally.


Rayon is a synthetic textile fiber made from regenerated cellulose that is derived from vegetable matter. Rayon has a silky feel, lustrous appearance, good draping qualities and dyes well. Rayon is used for tops, skirts, shirts and dresses.

Rib Knit

This knit has tremendous stretch across the grain a 1 x 1 rib has one rib up and one down. A 2 x 1 rib has two ribs up and one down, similar to a Poor Boy Knit.

Rip-Stop Nylon

A lightweight, wind resistant, and water resistant fabric. Appropriate for outdoor wear and equipment as well as outdoor flags.


Virtually synonymous with canvas, duck cloth and twill.


Sateen is a lustrous cotton fabric made of cotton in a satin weave. Sateen is usually produced with a higher than average thread count for extra softness and durability.


A smoothly finished fabric with a glossy face and a dull back. Acetate, nylon, polyester, silk are the fibers used for most satins. The softness and sheen of the satin will vary depending on the fiber used. Silk or rayon satins have the best stitch results. When cotton is used, the fabric becomes sateen.

At J&O we carry four types of satin: Crepe-Backed Satin, L'Amour Satin, Mystique Satin, and Slipper Satin. The first three are machine washable, while the slipper satin is dry clean only. Slipper satin in particular is compactly woven and was originally used for women's evening shoes.


SeaCell® is a cellulose fiber with incorporated active substances of seaweed. First, a cellulose based fiber is produced using the eco-friendly Lyocell process. The resulting fiber then serves as the supporting material for the seaweed.


Seersucker is a crinkled, traditionally striped, lightweight fabric mainly used for summer garments, especially suits, slacks and children's garments. Seersucker is usually made from cotton but may incorporate nylon, silk and other yarns.


Sequins are small, round and flat pieces of metal or plastic sewn or glued onto a garment to add interest. Most of our sequin fabrics use plastic sequins that adhere to a knitted base fabric. Sequins that are sewn onto the fabric tend to adhere better; thus fabrics with the sequins sewed on are more expensive.

Sequin fabrics are most definitely not washable and are to be dry cleaned only.


Shantung is a medium weight, plain-weave fabric with an unevenly ribbed surface and a plain texture. Shantung is often used for dresses and suits. Although similar to Dupioni silk, shantung has a more refined appearance with smaller slubs.

Silk shantung is to be dry-cleaned only. Polyester and cotton shantung are both machine washable.


Sheer fabric is semi-transparent fabric with multiple, mainly drapery-related, uses. Sheer fabrics are often used underneath an outer drapery or as stand-alone window treatments. Sheer fabrics drape very nicely and therefore can be used for valances, window scarves and drapes. Our sheer fabrics can also be given dress uses as in shawls, scarves and gowns.

Our sheer drapery fabrics are predominantly 100% polyester, although there are some polyester blends. Sheer drapery fabric is for the most part machine washable. For specific care instructions please view individual fabrics as care may vary.

View Sheer Decorative Fabrics

Sheeting is a plain woven cotton cloth made from carded yarns that can be found in medium and heavy weights. Low thread count sheeting is called muslin, while high thread count sheeting with combed yarns is known as percale.


Silk is a protein fiber that can be woven into textiles. Silk is known for its softness, luster and beauty. Along with its beauty, high quality silk is also strong.

Silk is to be dry-cleaned only. Silk will also fade in sunlight and stains easily.

Slinky Knit

It drapes well, never wrinkles and washes beautifully. It’s the perfect travel fabric with four-way stretch for ultimate comfort. Suitable for almost any wardrobe item.


A slub is a thick, uneven nub in the yarns of a fabric that creates a textured effect. It can be an imperfection or a part of the design. Linen is an example of a naturally slubbed fabric.


Spandex is a lightweight, highly elastic synthetic fabric known for its strength, durability and resistance to water and oils. Spandex is also highly elastic and abrasion resistant.


Suede primarily refers to the velvet-like nap finish given to some leather products. The suede carried at J & O Fabrics is made from polyester, not animal skins. Our suede fabrics are thin, lightweight and intended primarily for use in garments.

Our polyester suede is machine washable.


It can be made from silk or synthetic fibers. It is one of the most common fabrics for gowns and evening wear. It is also suitable for interior treatments such as draperies.

As far as silk taffeta is concerned there are two distinct types: yarn-dyed and piece-dyed. Piece-dyed taffeta is often used in linings and is quite soft. Yarn-dyed taffeta is much stiffer and is often used in evening dresses. Taffeta can be dry-cleaned.


Tapestry is a heavy woven textile with intricate designs. Tapestry is suitable for wall-hangings, upholstery and draperies. While most tapestry fabrics are made with at least six colors in the warp, some use only four colors.

View Tapestry Fabric

Created from wood pulp, Tencel is very soft with great drape. It’s usually a medium weight fabric that suitable for pants, skirts and jackets.

Terry Cloth

Terry cloth is a cotton fabric with moisture absorbing properties used for home fashions or summer apparel. Terry cloth is also used for towels and robes. The absorbency is attributable to the loop pile that can cover either side of the fabric. When the pile covers only one side it is called "Turkish toweling". Terry cloth is easy to launder and requires no ironing.


Ticking refers to a strong, durable, closely woven fabric in plain, twill or satin weave. Ticking can made from linen or cotton and is used both in upholstery and for covering mattresses.


Toile primarily refers to a one color design that resembles pen and ink drawings. Most toile fabrics depict allegorical or pastoral scenes, although some designs may simply be of flowers, etc.

Most of our toile fabrics are mid-weight, 100% cotton decorative prints and are dry clean only. We also have toile fabrics in novelty weight cotton.

View Toile Fabric

Tricot is a flat-knitted fabric with ribs on the face and back that is most often used as a lining or backing, as in tricot-backed lamé.

Tulle and Netting

Tulle is a fine mesh netting made from nylon, rayon or silk. Tulle is most often used for bridal veils and gowns, but can also be included in gift favors, crafts, picture albums and other items. Tulle is softer to the touch than netting.


Tweed is one of the most durable fabrics we carry. It is an irregular, heavy woolen fabric with an unfinished texture. Our tweeds are upholstery weight.


Twill is a strong, durable fabric with a diagonally woven appearance. Gabardine and denim are both varieties of twill.

Our twill fabrics are dress-weight and are composed of a polyester/cotton blend.


Ultra-suede is a synthetic micro-fiber fabric with a feel similar to suede. Ultra-suede also ages better than real suede, is stain resistant and is animal friendly.

Up-The-Roll Pattern

This describes the most common (horizontal) orientation of fabric patterns. Up-the-roll patterns run horizontally or right-side-up. This includes vertically running stripes.


Velour is a medium-weight, closely-woven fabric with a thick pile reminiscent of velvet but lower. Velour also has some stretch. Appropriate for tops and sportswear like pants and jackets.


Velvet is a type of tufted fabric in which the cut threads are very evenly distributed, with a short dense pile, giving it its distinct feel. Velvet can be made from any fiber.

Although the highest grade of velvet is made with silk, other materials are also being used now. Cotton, polyester, poly-cotton, acetate and viscose are the primary materials used for velvet, with cotton being particularly common.

View Velvet Upholstery Fabric

Velveteen is a velvet-like fabric made from cotton with a short pile. It is also lightweight and thus not suitable for upholstery. Velveteen lacks the sheen and drape of velvet. It can be used to make tops, skirts and fuller pants.

Vinyl (Naugahyde)

Vinyl is a synthetic, leather-like material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Vinyl is very durable and will hold up under almost any conditions. Therefore, it is a preferred upholstery fabric for boat cushions, car interiors and patio furniture. The smooth surface and water resistant properties of vinyl make it easy to clean. Our vinyl fabrics are available in solid colors, with patterns, with texture or in marine grade.


Viscose is the most common type of refined rayon. Viscose rayon typically has a soft and silky feel. Rayon is often used in linings for high quality garments. Viscose is also absorbent and drapes well.


A crisp, lightweight, plain weave cotton-like fabric, similar in appearance to organdy and organza. It is appropriate for curtains as well as blouses and dresses.

View Sheer Decorative Fabrics

In weaving, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns through which the weft is woven. Simply put, they are the threads that run vertically up and down the fabric.


In weaving, the horizontal threads interlaced through the warp. Simply put, they are the threads that run horizontally across the fabric.


Wool is naturally stain and wrinkle resistant. It can absorb up to 40% of it’s weight in moisture without feeling damp. Wool comes in many forms including coating, crepe, flannel, challis, gabardine, merino, melton, jersey, suiting and worsted wool suiting.

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Woolen Fabrics

Woolen fabrics are counterparts to worsted fabrics. In woolen fabrics, the fibers are deliberately tangled to produce a rougher surfaced yarn and fabric. Fabrics made from woolen yarn are often fuzzy and thick.

Worsted Fabrics

Worsted fabric can be composed of any natural or synthetic fiber but usually is made with wool. The process by which worsted fabric is created maintains the fibers parallel before spinning. This in turn creates tightly twisted yarns, one set of which runs along the length of the fabric while another set runs perpendicularly to the first.

Worsted fabric has a hard, smooth surface. Gabardine is one example of worsted fabric.

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