Batiste / Lawn / Voile

Batiste / Lawn / Voile

Batiste, lawn and voile are all lightweight, slightly sheer plain weave fabrics. They are all great for blouses, scarves, layered skirts, etc.

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Broadcloth / Poplin

Broadcloth / Poplin

Poplin and Broadcloth are plain weave fabrics that have a sturdy hand and are somewhat wrinkle-resistant. Poplin is generally lighter weight than broadcloth. Traditionally poplin was made of silk and wool while broadcloth was felted wool, today both are woven in a multitude of fibers.

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Canvas / Heavier Fabrics

Canvas / Heavier Fabrics

Canvas, duck, upholstry weight, outdoor fabrics, etc

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Challis

Challis

Pronounced "shall-ee" A soft, fluid plain weave fabric usually in rayon, wool, silk or blends.

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Chiffon / Georgette

Chiffon / Georgette

Very lightweight, semi-transparent billowy fabrics. Chiffon has a smooth surface and soft hand and georgette has a slightly more textured surface due the the crepe twist in the yarns. often used for scarves, layered skirts, etc. Usually made from silk or polyester.

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Corduroy

Corduroy

A soft cut-pile fabric with grooves, or "cords" in the surface of the pile. Basically velveteen with stripes in the surface. Usually produced in cotton, polyester or a blend of the two. Modern corduroy sometimes has spandex added for stretch.

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Crepe

Crepe

The term crepe refers to the type of yarn used in the fabric's construction. Crepe yarn is highly twisted to create a distinctive slightly textured surface. Silk, wool, polyester & rayon are commonly used in crepe fabrics. Crepe can be very lightweight, such as georgette, or much heavier, such as crepe wool suiting.

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Denim / Twill

Denim / Twill

Twill and denim bottom weight fabrics, constructed with a twill weave which creates the distinctive diagonal pattern on the face of twill and denim fabrics. Usually cotton or a cotton blend.

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Dupioni / Shantung / Matka

Dupioni / Shantung / Matka

Dupioni and shantung are plain weave crisp silk fabrics, produced by using fine thread in the warp and uneven, thicker yarn for the weft. This creates fabrics with a highly-lustrous and textured or "slubby" surface. Dupioni and shantung are similar, but dupioni is slightly thicker, heavier, and has a greater slub count. Both have a high sheen and are often constructed with different color warp and weft yarns to create an iridescent effect.

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Flannel

Flannel

Flannel is a plain weave fabric woven with loosely spun yarn and then brushed to create a napped surface. Flannel can be cotton, wool, synthetic or a combination.

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Brocade / Jacquard

Brocade / Jacquard

Fabric woven on a Jacquard loom. often complex designs are incorporated into the weave structure rather than printed or embellished onto the surface. Fabrics usually called "jacquards" are generally soft and fluid, while "brocades" tend to be heavier with a lot of body.

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Habotai / China Silk

Habotai / China Silk

Habotai and China Silk are interchangeable terms today, but historically Habotai is from Japan. Habotai/China silk is a plain weave somewhat lustrous fabric with a nice drape and soft smooth hand. It is available in a variety of weights from barely there feather light to heavier, dress weight.

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Linen

Linen

The term linen refers to the fiber content rather than the type of construction of the fabric. Most linen fabrics are plain weave, but linen can be used in almost any loom construction. Linen comes from the Flax plant and is valued for its light, cool, crisp characteristics.

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Lining

Lining

Linings are smooth, light to medium weight, usually silky, fabrics used to line garments. Linings are most often made of silk or synthetic fibers.

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Noil / Raw Silks

Noil / Raw Silks

Silk noil is often referred to as raw silk, although that is a misnomer. Noil comes from the shorter fibers left over after the longer, finer fibers are processed. The fabric made from these shorter, fluffier fibers is also known as noil. Silk noil is a medium weight, plain weave fabric with a textured, but soft surface. It makes great skirts, pants, jackets or heavier blouses.

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Organza / Organdy

Organza / Organdy

Organza and organdy have similar characteristics but a made from different fibers. Organza is traditionally made of silk and organdy of cotton, however today you see both blended with, or made entirely from synthetic fibers. Both are transparent, stiff fabrics used in bridal and formal wear. Organdy is usually reserved for underling or other functional uses, while organza can be used as a design element or a functional support.

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Outdoor

Outdoor

Polyester fabric, UV treated fabrics for outdoor use.

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Piqué / Dobby

Piqué / Dobby

Fabric woven with a small (usually geometric) pattern in the weave. Has a slight texture.

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Sateen

Sateen

Sateen is satin weave fabric made with spun fibers rather than filament fibers (satin). The "random" arrangement of long floats on the face of the fabric give it its characteristic sheen and crisp surface.

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Satin / Charmeuse

Satin / Charmeuse

Satin and charmeuse are both constructed using a satin weave. The face of the fabric is lustrous and smooth and the back side is dull. Charmeuse is typically lighter with more drape that classic satins. Both are made from filament (i.e. silk or synthetic) fibers.

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Taffeta

Taffeta

Taffeta is a smooth, lustrous, crisp, plain weave fabric made from filament fibers (i.e. silk or synthetics). Usually used for formal or bridal wear.

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Velvet & Velveteen

Velvet & Velveteen

Velvet is a tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed on the surface, creating a short dense pile, which, in turn, creates a luxurious fabric. Velvet is often made of silk, rayon or synthetic fibers.

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