Fabrics Glossary

Fabrics 

First Tier Fabrics

Cotton

The most popular fabric. Soft, versatile, and comes in varying forms. Think: oxford shirt, t- shirt. 

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Linen

The world’s strongest natural fiber is valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot and humid weather.  Durable, absorbent, luxurious. Think: summer-wear.   

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Vicose/Rayon 

Known for its silk-like feel, drapes easily, almost always needs to be dry cleaned, and stains easily. Think: fast fashion clothing, athletic jerseys.

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Polyester

Man-made plastic fiber. It's very resilient and can withstand a good amount of wear and tear. Sensitive to heat and doesn’t breathe well. Think: linings of dresses and skirts.

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Acetate

Man-made fiber. It often takes the place of other shiny, soft, and luxurious fabrics Think: fast fashion clothing. 

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 Light Wool

Elegant, pliable, and comfortable to wear. Think: professional suits. 

 

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Other common, light, sturdy fabrics- Nylon, Poplin, Jersey Knit 

 

Second Tier Fabrics

 

Denim

 A sturdy cotton twill fabric. Think: jeans! 

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 Silk

Considered on the of the most luxurious fabrics, pure silk originates from the cocoon of silk worms. Incredibly luster, delicate sensation when wearing, shimmers and shines. Think: scarves, evening wear. 

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Lace

This delicate and decorative fabric is created by looping, interlacing, or knitting thread in elaborate open web-like pattern. Think: lingerie, trims on clothing.

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Elastane

A fabric which has elasticity and recovery in it. Think: spandex, yoga pants, tights.

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Ruffles

A decorative frill of lace or gathered ornamentation of fabric. Think: feminine dress. 

 

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Pleats

A fold or doubling of fabric that is pressed, ironed, or creased into place. Think: school uniform skirt. 

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Corduroy

A fabric with evenly spaced vertical rows of soft pile. Think: fall/winter pants.

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 Velvet

A closely woven fabric with a short, thick, plush pile. Think: velour tracksuit.

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Other temperamental or thicker fabrics- Spandex. 

  

Third Tier Fabrics

 

Wool

Cashmere, mohair, alpaca and other thicker wools. Think: sweaters, hats, and outerwear. 

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Sequins

Small shiny disks sewn into clothing. Think: New Year’s Eve.

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 Beads

Decorative pierced materials sewn into clothing. Think: evening wear. 

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Knitwear

Refers to a wide variety of different types of fabrics that all are constructed by knitting and has stretch. Think: sweaters and cardigans.

 

 

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Chiffon

This type of fabric is sheer, light, lustrous, semi-transparent, and incredibly delicate. Think: bridesmaid dresses and evening wear. 

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Organza

This lightweight, transparent, very delicate fabric is woven from silk yarns that usually overlays thicker fabrics.

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Tulle

A sheer often stiffened silk, rayon, or nylon net used chiefly for veils or fancy dresses. Think: veils or tutus.

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Other elaborate fabrics- Mohair

 

Fourth Tier Fabrics

 

Fur

Short, fine, soft hair of certain animals. Think: fur coat.

 

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Leather

Tanned material made from animal skin. Think: purses and leather jackets.

 

 

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Suede

A fuzzy type of leather that results in a velvety texture. Think: shoes and outerwear.

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Down

A feather filling. Think: down comforter and winter jacket.

 

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Other premium fabrics- Includes all alternative versions ie. faux leather, faux fur, down alternative.