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SG MASTERCLASS : HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR TEXTILES?

SG Style Blog

SG MASTERCLASS : HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR TEXTILES?

Lauren Graham

Think you know your polyester from your rayon? Test your textile knowledge with our master guide on the major textile types! We could all do with a brush up on the basics from time to time, so here's the technical 101 on furnishing fabrics:

ACRYLIC | A synthetic fibre derived from a petrochemical base. It most resembles wool in resiliency, high bulk and light weight.  

ACRYLIC | A synthetic fibre derived from a petrochemical base. It most resembles wool in resiliency, high bulk and light weight.

 

BOUCLE | A bulky cloth with loops or slubs on the surface. Also a type of yarn used in the weft for decoration purpose of a cloth.

BOUCLE | A bulky cloth with loops or slubs on the surface. Also a type of yarn used in the weft for decoration purpose of a cloth.

BROCADE | A heavy Jacquard patterned cloth in which the design stands out.

BROCADE | A heavy Jacquard patterned cloth in which the design stands out.

CAVALRY TWILL | A smooth-surfaced, 63 degree diagonal twill fabric with pronounced ribs, woven of worsted wool yarns.

CAVALRY TWILL | A smooth-surfaced, 63 degree diagonal twill fabric with pronounced ribs, woven of worsted wool yarns.

CHENILLE | A fuzzy, caterpillar-like yarn of either cotton or man-made fibres, produced by locking short, cut fibres at right angles to the core thread. Fabric woven with chenille yarn in the weft, producing a cut-pile surface.

CHENILLE | A fuzzy, caterpillar-like yarn of either cotton or man-made fibres, produced by locking short, cut fibres at right angles to the core thread. Fabric woven with chenille yarn in the weft, producing a cut-pile surface.

CHINTZ | A plain-weave, closely-woven cotton, either printed or dyed, with a glazed surface that increases the fabric's soil resistance.

CHINTZ | A plain-weave, closely-woven cotton, either printed or dyed, with a glazed surface that increases the fabric's soil resistance.

DAMASK | A figure jacquard woven fabric in which the weft forms the design and the warp, usually in satin weave, the ground. Most furnishing damasks have a right and wrong side but some are reversible. The design may be floral or geometric. Usually used for drapes, but is suitable for light upholstery.

DAMASK | A figure jacquard woven fabric in which the weft forms the design and the warp, usually in satin weave, the ground. Most furnishing damasks have a right and wrong side but some are reversible. The design may be floral or geometric. Usually used for drapes, but is suitable for light upholstery.

DOUBLE WEAVE | A fabric woven with two sets or warp and filling yarns, and an extra yarn that loosely holds the two cloths together. This connecting yarn is cut, and two cut-pile fabrics are produced.

DOUBLE WEAVE | A fabric woven with two sets or warp and filling yarns, and an extra yarn that loosely holds the two cloths together. This connecting yarn is cut, and two cut-pile fabrics are produced.

FLANNEL | A medium weight, slightly napped plain or twill cloth, most often of wool or cotton.

FLANNEL | A medium weight, slightly napped plain or twill cloth, most often of wool or cotton.

JACQUARD | A complex method of weaving making use of punched cards to control each warp yarn individually. This enables elaborate designs to be produced with no limit on the size of repeat design, e.g. brocades.

JACQUARD | A complex method of weaving making use of punched cards to control each warp yarn individually. This enables elaborate designs to be produced with no limit on the size of repeat design, e.g. brocades.

LINEN | A natural, smooth, lustrous yarn made from Flax fibres. Usually blended with cotton for curtain and upholstery fabrics. Linen is stronger than cotton and very absorbent. It is washable but teds to crease easily. Linen is not as colourfast as cotton.

LINEN | A natural, smooth, lustrous yarn made from Flax fibres. Usually blended with cotton for curtain and upholstery fabrics. Linen is stronger than cotton and very absorbent. It is washable but teds to crease easily. Linen is not as colourfast as cotton.

POLYESTER | A synthetic polymer fibre, manufactured from coal, water and petroleum. Strong, durable and wrinkle resistant, it is often blended with other fibres. It's major disadvantages are its inability to breath and tendency to pill.

POLYESTER | A synthetic polymer fibre, manufactured from coal, water and petroleum. Strong, durable and wrinkle resistant, it is often blended with other fibres. It's major disadvantages are its inability to breath and tendency to pill.

SATEEN | A filling-faced satin weave fabric with horizontal rather than vertical floats.

SATEEN | A filling-faced satin weave fabric with horizontal rather than vertical floats.

SHEERS (OR NET) | The most common term now for curtain nets.

SHEERS (OR NET) | The most common term now for curtain nets.

TAFFETA | A plain weave fairly stiff fabric with a stiff weft rib. Traditionally made in Silk although Polyester Taffeta has high performance ratings for colourfulness, rub-test and easy care.

TAFFETA | A plain weave fairly stiff fabric with a stiff weft rib. Traditionally made in Silk although Polyester Taffeta has high performance ratings for colourfulness, rub-test and easy care.

TREVIRA | A brand name for inherently flame retardant polyester fibre.

TREVIRA | A brand name for inherently flame retardant polyester fibre.

TWILL | A weave giving the effect of diagonal lines on the face of the cloth.

TWILL | A weave giving the effect of diagonal lines on the face of the cloth.

VELVET | A close-cropped, warp-pile fabric with a smooth, rich surface, that is produced by a double weave or with wires. Though originally woven in silk, it is now made with cotton or synthetics.

VELVET | A close-cropped, warp-pile fabric with a smooth, rich surface, that is produced by a double weave or with wires. Though originally woven in silk, it is now made with cotton or synthetics.

WORSTED | A superior yarn using long staple wool. Smooth, round with extra twist, fibres lying parallel.

WORSTED | A superior yarn using long staple wool. Smooth, round with extra twist, fibres lying parallel.

CHEVRON | A twill weave with a zigzag repeat.

CHEVRON | A twill weave with a zigzag repeat.

CUT PILE FABRIC | A cloth with a three dimensional surface produced y double weaving or by looping an additional warp or filling thread into the basic weave, and then cutting the loops. E.g. Velvet, Velour, Plush.

CUT PILE FABRIC | A cloth with a three dimensional surface produced y double weaving or by looping an additional warp or filling thread into the basic weave, and then cutting the loops. E.g. Velvet, Velour, Plush.

DOBBY | A cloth produced by a loom enabling small geometrical patterns to be woven.

DOBBY | A cloth produced by a loom enabling small geometrical patterns to be woven.

DUCK | A compact, durable plain-weave cotton fabric.

DUCK | A compact, durable plain-weave cotton fabric.

HOPSACKING | A coarse basket wave fabric of jute, hemp or cotton.

HOPSACKING | A coarse basket wave fabric of jute, hemp or cotton.

LACE | An open designed decorative fabric used in curtain nets. It is beautiful in 100% cotton but it is also blended with man-made fibres for strength and versatility.

LACE | An open designed decorative fabric used in curtain nets. It is beautiful in 100% cotton but it is also blended with man-made fibres for strength and versatility.

NYLON | A synthetic fibre known for it's strength, resistance to abrasion, inherent elasticity and relatively low cost. Nylon has a tendency to pill, and can attract soil because of static electricity.

NYLON | A synthetic fibre known for it's strength, resistance to abrasion, inherent elasticity and relatively low cost. Nylon has a tendency to pill, and can attract soil because of static electricity.

RAYON | The generic name for a man-made fibre derived from cellulose, that can be manufactured to have the basic characteristics of cotton or silk. Viscose and Cuprammonium are two common rayons.

RAYON | The generic name for a man-made fibre derived from cellulose, that can be manufactured to have the basic characteristics of cotton or silk. Viscose and Cuprammonium are two common rayons.

SHANTUNG | A plain weave cloth using Tussah yarns. It has a rough uneven appearance and often left undyed.

SHANTUNG | A plain weave cloth using Tussah yarns. It has a rough uneven appearance and often left undyed.

TAPESTRY | A jacquard-woven fabric with supplementary multi-coloured yarns that form a design often modelled on traditional handwoven  tapestries.

TAPESTRY | A jacquard-woven fabric with supplementary multi-coloured yarns that form a design often modelled on traditional handwoven  tapestries.

TICKING | A fabric made in plain, twill, satin or figured weave of cotton. Used for mattress covers, slip covers and upholstery.

TICKING | A fabric made in plain, twill, satin or figured weave of cotton. Used for mattress covers, slip covers and upholstery.

TUSSAH SILK | Wild silk from uncultivated silkworms. A sturdy, tough fibre used as Shantung.

TUSSAH SILK | Wild silk from uncultivated silkworms. A sturdy, tough fibre used as Shantung.

VELOUR | A cut warp-pile fabric of cotton or wool, with higher, less dense pile than velvet.

VELOUR | A cut warp-pile fabric of cotton or wool, with higher, less dense pile than velvet.

VELVETEEN | A single-woven cotton weft pile fabric with a dense cut surface.

VELVETEEN | A single-woven cotton weft pile fabric with a dense cut surface.

 

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