Friday, April 9, 2010

types of fabric and their uses ***this will be a continuing process of information to be gathered***

All of the of fabric listed below are variants or blends of just five basic fabric types (silk, cotton, linen, wool and worsted).
Word Definition
aba garment of camel or goat hair; camel or goat-hair fabric
aerophane thin crinkled semi-transparent fabric
ale-pinemixed wool and silk or mohair and cotton fabric
alpaca fine wool made from alpaca hair
angora silk-like fabric made from wool of angora goats
ardass fine silk
armure twilled woolen or silk fabric
arrasene embroidery fabric of wool and silk
atlas rich satin fabric
baft inexpensive coarse cotton fabric
bagging coarse fabric for making bags or sacks
baize coarse napped cotton or wool fabric
balbriggan knitted cotton fabric
baldachin rich embroidered silk and gold fabric
balzarine light cotton dress material
barathea pebbly silk or worsted fabric with broken rib weave
barege gauzy fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or worsted
barracan fine silk cloth
barras coarse linen fabric
batiste fine soft sheer fabric of plain weave
bayadere fabric with horizontal stripes in strongly contrasting colors
beaupers linen fabric used for flags
bengaline crosswise ribbed fabric
bombazine twilled silk and worsted fabric
borato thin fabric
bouclé fabric of uneven looped yarn
brilliantine light lustrous cotton and worsted fabric
broadcloth dense twilled wool or cotton worsted fabric used for shirting
brocade rich silk fabric with raised patterns
buckram stiff-finished cotton or linen used for linings of garments
bump coarse cotton fabric
bunting light loosely woven fabric used for flags
burdet cotton fabric
burlap coarse plain-woven jute or hemp fabric
burnet dark brown; dark woolen cloth
burrel coarse russet cloth
calamanco satin twilled woolen fabric
calico plain white cotton
camaca fine silk fabric
cambresine fine linen fabric
cambric fine thin white cotton or linen fabric
camlet strong waterproof silk or wool fabric
caneva fancy woolen fabric made to resemble canvas
canque Chinese cotton fabric
cashmere soft twilled fabric made of fine goat's wool
cashmerette soft imitation of cashmere
cashmereclosely woven twilled cloth of fine wool
cendal silk fabric resembling taffeta
challis soft lightweight silk, wool or cotton fabric
chambray lightweight fabric with colored warp and white filling used for shirting
chamois cotton fabric made in imitation of chamois leather
charmante silk fabric with a crepe back
charmeuse soft and satiny silk fabric
chenille velvety silk, wool or cotton fabric with protruding pile that looks like caterpillars. It is very heavy and used for bed spreads, robes. Thick it is a bit more difficult to sew
cheviot coarse heavy plain or twilled wool or worsted
chiffon sheer silk fabric
chino strong twilled cotton cloth (see twill)
chintz glazed printed cotton fabric
cire fabric with a glazed finish
cloque fabric with an embossed design
coburg thin single-twilled worsted fabric with cotton or silk
cordovan soft goatskin leather
corduroy durable cotton piled fabric with vertical ribs
crash coarse drapery and toweling fabric
crepe light crinkled fabric
crepon heavy crepe fabric with lengthwise crinkles
cretonne heavy cotton or linen cloth
crin horsehair fabric
crinoline stiff flax or cotton fabric
cubica fine unglazed fabric resembling light twilled wool like or a worsted
cypress usually black silk or cotton gauze fabric
damask a jacquard weave it is a reversible rich weave. Patterned in satin or plain weave. It is a linen
delaine light fabric of wool or mixed wool and cotton
denim firm and durable twilled cotton (see twill)
dimity sheer thin white cotton printed fabric with length wise cords, stripes or checks
domett plain cotton-wool blend
dornick stout linen
dowlas coarse linen
drabbet coarse linen
drap-de-Berry old woolen cloth
dreadnought heavy woolen cloth
drill strong twilled cotton used in men/women pants (see twill)
droguet ribbed woolen dress fabric
drugget coarse durable wool fabric
ducape plain-woven stout silk fabric
duck heavy closely woven cotton fabric, heavy weight is used in awnings, light weight is used in summer clothing
duffel low-quality thick woolen cloth
dungaree usually colored heavy coarse durable twilled cotton, often used in pants
dupion coarse silk
duroy coarse woolen
duvetyn smooth lustrous velvety fabric
ecarlate fine woolen cloth, usually dyed scarlet
éolienne fine silk and wool
etamine light open-mesh cotton or worsted
eyelet Small hole in fabric to allow passage of a ribbon; cotton fabric with small holes
faille shiny closely woven silk, cotton or rayon fabric
farandine silk and wool cloth
filoselle coarse floss silk

light woolen or cotton fabric with a nap on one or both sides often used in sleep ware
soft cotton with a nap on one side
foulard soft lightweight plain-woven or twilled silk fabric
foulé light woolen fulled cloth
frieze rough heavy woolen cloth
fuji plain spun silk fabric
fustian coarse twilled cotton
gabardine closely woven cotton or wool twill (see twill)
galatea striped cotton
a twilled worsted cloth
sheer light woven fabric, similar to cheese cloth. It is also made from silk. Machine wash but it WILL SHRINK
gazar silk organza fabric
genappe smooth worsted yarn
georgette thin silk
gingham light weight washable stout cotton fabric woven in striped plaids or checks
grenadine thin silk
grogram coarse loosely woven silk fabric
grosgrain heavy close-woven corded silk
gulix kind of fine linen
coarse linen
soft warm fabric made from a plant fiber. Very durable. Used in garment and kitchen linens. Finest is from Italy and largest producer is China
herringbone twilled fabric woven in rows of parallel sloping lines
hodden coarse un-dyed woolen cloth
holland coarse plain-woven cotton or linen
hopsack loose fabric with a rough-surfaced
houndstooth fabric with an irregular checked pattern
huckaback absorbent cotton or linen used for towels
jaconet stout cotton cloth
jacquard intricately-woven variegated fabric
jaspe cotton or rayon cloth with shaded effect
jean durable twilled cotton material
jersey plain weft-knitted fabric of wool, cotton, nylon or silk
kalamkari fabric colorized by repeated dyeing
kelt coarse fabric made of black and white wool
kente hand-woven African silk fabric
kersey coarse woolen cloth
kerseymere twilled fine wool
khaddar homespun cotton cloth
kincob embroidered silk with gold and silver threads
lamé fabric in which metallic threads are interwoven
lasting sturdy cotton or worsted cloth
lawn plain woven soft very light combed cotton or linen fabric with a crisp or  finish. Used to make baby clothes, lingerie or simi- fitted dresses. Sews easily creases easily
leno open-woven fabric
linsey coarse linen and wool blend
linsey-woolsey thin coarse fabric of wool and linen
lockram coarse linen
loden heavy waterproof woolen fabric
lustring glossy silk
lutestring plain glossy silk
mackinaw heavy napped and felted wool cloth
mackintosh lightweight rubberized waterproof cotton
madapollam fine cotton cloth
madras fine plain-woven cotton or silk
marabout thin downy silk
marcella cotton or linen in twill weave
marocain ribbed crepe fabric
marquisette sheer meshed cloth
matelassé having a quilted ornamentation; fabric with raised pattern as if quilted
meltonstrong and smooth heavy woolen cloth
merinosoft wool of the merino sheep; any soft merino-like wool or wool and cotton cloth
messaline soft lightweight silk with a satin weave
mockado inferior quality woolen fabric
mogadore ribbed silk used in making neckties
mohair fabric made from silky hair of angora goats
moire watered silk
moleskin heavy durable cotton
moreen stout corded wool or cotton
mousseline fine sheer fabric
mull soft fine sheer cotton or silk fabric
muslin plain-woven fine cotton
musterdevillers archaic mixed gray woolen cloth
nainsook fine cotton fabric
nankeen buff-colored; durable buff-colored cotton
needlecord thinly ribbed cotton
ninon silk voile or other thin fabric
organdie fine translucent cotton sheer lightweight rather stiff. Well used for curtain lining. Some as fine as wire mesh. Creases well

transparent thin silk or nylon Silk Organza is a sheer, thin open weave fabric that is heavier and crisper than silk gauze. It has a smooth, flat finish, is strong and durable, and gets its stiffness from tightly twisted yarns. Often used as the base fabrics for embellished fabrics. Silk organza is very lightweight and sheer, but a bit stiff, and can be gathered for bouffant uses, used alone or over other fabrics for fitted to loosely fitted blouses, dresses and evening wear. Also useful for facings, inter facings or lining. Silk organza can be used as an underlining to add crispness to parts of a garment. Sews easily, doesn't show pin holes. Holds creases well. Organza is washable, but wash it before cutting out. Click on the fabric care buttons to the left for more information on washing silks.
orleans interwoven cotton and worsted
osnaburg coarse linen or cotton
ottoman heavy clothing fabric with crosswise ribs
oxford soft durable plain-woven cotton used in shirting
paduasoy corded silk
paisley soft wool fabric with ornamental pattern
panne heavy lustrous silk or rayon with waxy feel
paramatta worsted and cotton blend
pashmina fine goat's wool fabric used for making shawls
pekin fine soft silk
pellicule thin diaphanous fabric
percale closely woven lightweight cloth
percaline glossy lightweight cotton
perse dark blue or bluish-gray; cloth of such a color
piqué stiff durable corded fabric of cotton, rayon or silk
platilla fine white linen
plissé fabric with puckered finish
pongee thin soft fabric woven from raw silk
poodle coarsely looped or nubby fabric
poplin corded woven silk and worsted
prunella strong and heavy silk or wool
rabanna raffia fabric of Madagascar
ramie strong lustrous fabric resembling linen or silk
raploch coarse un-dyed woolen cloth
raschel light loosely kitted cloth
ratiné rough bulky plain-woven fabric
rep plain-woven fabric with crosswise ribs
reticella old Venetian lace-like fabric
romal handkerchief or head-cloth; silk or cotton fabric
rumchunder fine silk
russel ribbed cotton and wool
russet coarse homespun cloth
sagathy light blend of silk and cotton or wool
samite rich and heavy silk, sometimes interwoven with gold or silver
sarsenet fine and soft silk; soft or gentle
satara ribbed wool with a luster
sateen glossy cotton or wool
satin closely woven silk with lustrous face
satinet thin silk satin or imitation thereof
saxony fine soft woolen fabric
say delicate woolen fabric
scarlet fine clotton


durable plain-woven cotton fabric
sempiternum durable wool
sendal thin silk or linen
serge strong twilled worsted
shalloon light twilled wool or worsted
shantung plain rough silk or cotton
sharkskin smooth durable wool or worsted fabric
shetland lightweight loosely twisted wool fabric
shoddy woolen fabric made from rags
sicilienne ribbed silk
silesia thin twilled cotton or linen

soft light cotton fabric resembling silk
sindon fine linen
stammel coarse woolen fabric, usually dyed red; bright red color
stockinette soft elastic cotton fabric
surah soft twilled silk or rayon
swansdown heavy napped cotton flannel
Swiss dot
soft napped fabric resembling flannel
light weight plain weave cotton with a pattern of hand knotted or clipped dots. Creases well
tabaret striped watered silk and satin fabric
tabby plain-woven silk taffeta fabric
tabinet silk and wool watered fabric
taffeta thin glossy silk
tamin thin glazed worsted
tamis thin wool
tarlatan thin sheer stiff cotton
terry piled fabric consisting of uncut loops
ticking strong linen or cotton fabric used for mattress and pillow cases
tiffany transparent silk-like gauzy fabric
tiretaine wool cloth mixed with cotton or linen
toile plain or simple twilled fabric
tricolette silk or rayon knitted fabric
tricot plain knitted silk or woolen fabric
tricotine double-twilled worsted fabric
tulle sheer and delicate thin silk
tussah brownish silk fabric
tweed rough twilled wool
twill distinguished by diagonally woven stripes a strong fabric well used in uniforms, pants or work clothing. Sews easily
velour piled velvety cotton
veloutine velvety corded wool

soft piled fabric of silk, cotton or synthetic material
Silk velvet is a soft, elegant fabric that looks and feels expensive. It drapes better than other velvet, falling close to the body. S-L-I-N-K-Y. The silk velvet we most often have is a rayon pile on a silk base, making the fabric 18% silk, 82% rayon. We also have a good selection of 'burnout' silk velvet, processed silk velvet where parts of the pile have been removed so you can see through around the resulting pattern. We occasionally have 100% silk velvet, but it is very rare and expensive.
Silk velvet is most often used for loose, full, flowing garments. Popular for dresses and evening wear. Choose simple styles with few seams to make the most of its drape ability. Difficult to sew because silk velvet is so-o-o-o slippery. Pin and sew carefully, pins and needles show holes. Worth the effort
cotton with silk pile
 a very fine damask with with large floral patterns used often in table cloth
vicuna fabric made from wool of the vicuna, a small ruminant
voile soft fine sheer fabric originally used for veils, now it is used in bloused, baby clothing, lingerie and semi-fitted garments
wadmal thick coarse wool
whipcord fabric with bold twill used for making dresses
wigan stiff plain-woven cotton
wincey plain or twilled cotton
woolsey cotton and wool blend
worcesterfine wool
worsted fine closely-woven wool
zanella mixed twilled umbrella fabric
zephyr lightweight wool or worsted fabric; the west wind
zibeline soft piled wool


  1. WOW! That is a lot! Who knew?!? :):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  2. I to think I just love cotton! There is a world out there that I know nothing about.. !

  3. OK, I know where to come if I need help in identifying a fabric. Tafetta, terry, ticking... Love it!

    Just stopped by to say Hi! at another of your sites. FUN, Donetta. Hey, come visit me at Susannah's {Kitchen} Aprons.

    Hugs, e-Mom