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Fabric Information

Fabric Glossary:

Antique Satin: A widely used term for drapery and upholstery fabrics with a satin weave. It is available in many textures, fibers and weight.
Bark Cloth: A plain, firmly woven cotton with an irregular texture, available in both solids and prints. It is designed to resemble true bark cloth, a fabric made from the inner bark of certain trees from the South Pacific.
Batiste: A fine, delicate, soft, sheer fabric woven of high-count combed cotton or polyester. It can be found in many soft colors, screen-printed or embroidered.
Bedford Cord: A long wearing, durable, worsted fabric with vertical ribs, made of cotton, rayon or blends.
Boucle: A plain or twill weave fabric with looped yarns that create a textured, nubby surface.
Broadcloth: A fine, tightly woven fabric in a plain or twill weaves with a slight horizontal rib.
Brocade: A fabric characterized by raised designs on a flat surface, woven in cotton, silk, wool or synthetic-fiber combinations on a jacquard loom. It can be medium to heavyweight, in tones of one color, in florals or in traditional patterns.
Brocatelle: A heavy brocade with a more elaborate raised pattern on the right side.
Burlap: A better grade of plain-weave jute, bleached or dyed, generally with a coarse, interesting texture produced by a loose basket weave.
Calico: Any variety of plain-weave cotton fabric printed with small motifs.
Canvas: A firm, plain, medium to heavyweight woven cotton, available in a variety of colors, stripes and prints.
Casement cloth: A general term for fabrics in a variety of weaves and textures, usually semisheer, translucent or opaque, commonly used for casual draperies.
Challis: A lightweight, soft, firmly woven fabric, usually wool, cotton or a synthetic, especially rayon. It can be a solid color, or traditionally printed as a vivid floral on a dark ground or with a paisley pattern.
Chambray: A light to medium weight, plainly woven cotton or linen with a colored warp and white filling yarns. This gives the fabric a frosted look.
Chenille: A tufted pile fabric with a woven ground, very plush, similar to velvet, but with a more durable nap. Heavier chenille is suitable for upholstery.
: A lustrous, plain, closely woven cotton fabric available in a variety of colors and prints. A glazed finish (usually permanent) provides the surface shine and the crisp hand. Chintz is smooth, embossed or quilted.
Corduroy: A cotton or synthetic fabric with lengthwise wales of cut pile, which create pronounced vertical lines, or wales. It is durable, casual and available in a wide variety of colors and prints.
Cotton Satin: A warp-face weave, highly mercerized to give luster. It is superior to sateen and is available in solids and prints.
Crash: A coarsely woven cloth of cotton, linen or blends, usually made from uneven or irregular yarns, often hand-blocked or printed, and used for curtains.
Damask: A cloth of various fibers characterized by a flat and reversible woven Jacquard design combining plain and satin weaves, generally in one color. In its lightweight version, it is particularly popular for table linens.
Denim: A heavy, durable cotton twill weave with a colored warp and white filling. Also available in plaids and stripes.
Dimity: A delicate, sheer fabric, generally woven of combed or carded cotton in a fine stripe or checkered pattern.
Dotted Swiss: A sheer, crisp cotton with dots that are machine-embroidered or woven into the ground, or chemically applied to the surface.
Drill: A strong, durable, closely woven cotton twill similar to denim.
Duck: A durable, closely woven, plain or ribbed cotton fabric. It is similar to canvas but lighter in weight.
Faille: A somewhat shiny, closely woven fabric of silk, cotton or synthetics, characterized by flat, crosswise ribs. It can have a stiff or a soft finish.
Filet Lace: Originally a net, knotted by hand. Today, machinery has made it possible to imitate the plain net background with geometric designs darned into it. The lace is generally soft and filmy, but can also be coarsely woven.
Gabardine: A twill weave, worsted fabric made from wool, cotton, rayon or nylon yarns, alone or blended, with obvious diagonal ribs.
Gauze: A thin, sheer fabric with a loose, extremely open weave. Think gauze bandages and you’ve got the picture.
Gingham: A yarn-dyed, plain weave cotton or synthetic fabric. Checked gingham is the most common version, but it can also be plaid, striped or plain.
Homespun: A loosely woven, irregular, coarsely textured fabric, originally made from yarn spun by early American homemakers. Today, it is machine-woven of mixed yarns and has a sturdy, informal character that resembles handweaving.
India Print: A hand-blocked cotton print with native designs, usually Indian or Persian.
Jaspe: A plain weave fabric with series of warp, or lengthwise, irregular stripes, created by varying shades of yarn in the same color family.
Lace: An openwork geometric or floral design with or without a net background.
Lawn: A fine, sheer fabric, originally made from linen. Today, it is commonly made from cotton or cotton and synthetic blends. It is similar to, but somewhat stiffer then, batiste.
Marquisette: A sheer, meshed, open-weave fabric, commonly used for curtains and drapes, which can be woven so it is fine and soft or coarse and crisp.
Matelasse: A heavy upholstery-weight fabric that is woven with two sets of warp and weft yarns on a jacquard loom. The result is a quilted, or puckered, texture. It is sometimes called “double cloth”.
Moire: A plain, ribbed weave of silk, cotton or rayon with a watermark pattern produced with engraving rollers, heat and pressure.
Monk’s Cloth: A heavy, coarse, loosely woven basket weave cotton, or cotton blended with jute, hemp or flax. Commonly used for drapes and upholstery, it can be a natural color or have dyed or woven stripes.
Muslin: A soft, plainly woven cotton similar to, but coarser than, percale. It is available in light and heavyweight weaves, bleached or unbleached, and as a base for printed and dyed fabrics.
Net: Machine-made mesh fabric. The yarns are knotted, twisted or woven together at regular intervals.
Ninon: A plain, smooth, sheer drapery or curtain fabric usually made of acetate or polyester.
Organdy: A finely woven, transparent fabric made from combed cotton or nylon with a crisp finish. Available in pale colors, it can be plain, printed or embroidered.
Osnaburg: A plainly woven cotton fabric with small flecks of cotton stalks remaining within the weave. Its appearance is similar to a coarse muslin.
Percale: A medium-weight, plainly woven cotton or cotton and polyester blend with a finer texture than muslin.
Pima Cotton: A cotton fabric with exceptional strength and firmness. Its long, staple fibers were developed in southwestern United States by the selection and breeding of Egyptian and Peruvian cottons.
Pique: A fabric with raised, lengthwise cords that create a three-dimensional, geometric effect, usually in cotton or a cotton blend.
Plisse: Usually made from cotton, rayon, or nylon, this fabric is chemically treated to produce an overall puckered surface with a blistered effect.
Point d’esprit: A lace woven with small oval dots or squares on a mesh net ground.
Pongee: A modern imitation of a fabric that was originally woven by hand from wild silk, using irregular yarns. Today, it is made from man-made fibers, generally in the color ecru.
Poplin: A coarse broadcloth with a pronounced horizontal rib.
Sailcloth: A fabric similar to canvas and duck, it is a heavy, plainly woven cotton available in colors, stripes or prints.
Sateen: A satin-weave fabric in mercerized cotton. It has a lustrous surface and a dull back.
Satin: A fabric made in an irregular twill weave with a long float that produces a highly lustrous surface. It is available in a variety of weights and fibers, generally with a cotton back.
Seersucker: A plainly woven fabric that can be recognized easily by its alternating plain and puckered stripes.
Shantung: A plain weave with irregular ”nubs and slubs” made of silk, cotton or other fibers. It is similar to pongee in texture and appearance.
Sheeting: A plain weave fabric, usually in cotton or cotton and polyester blends. The quality of the fabric is indicated by it thread count (the number of threads per inch, or per 2.5 centimeters). Percale, a finely woven sheeting, has a 180 thread count, while the coarser muslin sheeting has a thread count of between 128 and 140.
Strie: Another name for jaspe.
Suede Cloth: A fabric woven from cotton, rayon, wool or nylon and finished to give it a napped surface that resembles suede.
Taffeta: A crisp, tightly woven fabric with a fine, crosswise rib. Originally made from silk, today’s taffeta is also made from cotton, acetate, rayon or polyester. You may also recognize it by its rustling sound.
Tapestry: Originally a hand-woven, reversible textile characterized by pictorial scenes. Today’s machine-made reproductions, fashioned on Jacquard looms, are heavyweight fabrics best suited for upholstery, cushions and throw pillows.
Ticking: A closely woven satin or twill weave commonly in linen or cotton. Striped ticking- narrow colored stripes on a white or cream background- is the most popular motif.
Toile de Jouy: Scenes of rural French country life and people from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, printed in one color (usually navy, cranberry or black) on a white background.
Tweed: Originally made in Scotland from hand-spun woolen yarns and woven on handlooms. Today, it is a plain weave, irregularly textured fabric of many colored yarns, dyed before weaving. It also can be fashioned from a twill or herringbone weave or have a distinct checked pattern, such as houndstooth. In home decorating, this heavyweight fabric is best suited for upholstery and cushions.
Velvet: A broad term that applies to warp-pile fabric with a soft, sturdy face created from dense loops that may or may not be cut. It is a luxurious fabric, originally made from silk, but now made from a wide variety of fibers. Velvet can be woven singly or as two fabrics, woven face to face the then cut apart.
Velveteen: A plain-weave cotton or cotton-blend fabric that resembles velvet. It has a closely sheared weft pile and is always woven singly.
Viscose: Term used to descried rayons made using the viscose process, this process helps rayons become more accessible to different chemicals in the finishing process.
: A plain weave, semisheer fabric made from tightly twisted yarns. It is available in a variety of textures and colors, sometimes with novelty effects.

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All cleaning information provided works with most fabrics but is not guaranteed to work with all fabrics. We suggest customers test methods provided on a non-visible section of fabric before applying to stain.

Ball-Point Ink: Douse the stain with ordinary hairspray or rubbing alcohol. Then rub with a bar of soap. Rinse in cold water. Repeat if necessary.
Blood: Soak item in 3% hydrogen peroxide. Launder as usual.
Candle Wax: Place folded paper towels on both sides of stained garment, press with warm iron until all wax is absorbed into towel. Remove any residue candle dye with rubbing alcohol.
Chocolate: Mix 2 quarts warm water with 1/2 cup water softener, agitate and launder as usual.
Coffee: Mix 2 quarts of warm water with 1/2 cup Borax, soak overnight. Launder as usual.
Fruit: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 tbsp. borax and 1/2 cup cool water. Apply the mixture to the stain and leave for 1 hour. Launder as usual.
Grass: Apply a little household ammonia and scrub with toothbrush. Add a little dish soap, agitate and rinse in cold water.
Grease: Rub waterless hand cleaner into the stain with your fingers or a toothbrush, rinse in cold water. Launder as usual.
Gum: Place item in freezer for an hour. Flick hardened gum off with finger. Remove any residue with rubbing alcohol. Launder as usual.
Hamburger Juice: Rub with waterless hand cleaner, rinse in warm water. Launder as usual.
Ketchup: Rub area with waterless hand cleaner, rinse in cold water. Launder as usual.
Lipstick: Douse well with hairspray and rub well with bar of soap. Launder as usual.
Makeup: Douse well with hairspray. Rub well with bar of soap and rinse in cold water. Launder as usual.
Mildew: Dampen stain with salt and lemon juice and let sit in sun, or apply a paste of borax and water. Launder as usual.
Motor Oil: As a pre-wash rub the area well with waterless hand cleaner and launder as usual.
Mud: Soak the stain in a solution of 2 cups warm water, 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup baking soda for an hour or two. Launder as usual.
Mustard: Rub with waterless hand cleaner and rinse in cold water. OR apply rubbing alcohol. Launder as usual.
Pet Accident: Mix 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 tsp. dish soap and 1 tbsp. baking soda. This should remove the stain as well as the odor. Launder as usual.
Rust: Apply a paste of lemon juice and baking soda. Let sit for an hour, dry in sun.
Salad Dressing: Rub area well with waterless hand cleaner. Rinse with cold water. Launder as usual.
Scorch: Place dry white face cloth under stain. Apply another white face cloth dampened with 3% hydrogen peroxide on top of stain. Press with medium heat iron. Repeat if necessary.
Spaghetti Sauce: Rub stain well with waterless hand cleaner and rinse in cold water. Launder as usual.
Tar: Place garment in the freezer for 2 hours. Chip off brittle excess. Mix 1 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. eucalyptus oil. Work well into stain. Rub with dish soap and rinse in warm water. If necessary rub with waterless hand cleaner, launder as usual.
Tea: Rub with waterless hand cleaner, rinse with cold water. Or soak in Borax solution. Launder as usual.
Wine-Red: Soak stain in a solution of 1 tbsp. borax and 2 cups of very warm water until stain disappears. Launder as usual. Best results with early treatment.
Wine-White: Dab area with white vinegar or club soda. Rinse well in cold water before laundering.

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  • Pre-wash fabrics that are likely to shrink (i.e. cottons and cotton blends) before starting a project. 
    Some common fabrics made of cotton are flannel, corduroy, and denim.
  • Press all seams after stitching.  Make sure all seams are pressed flat before joining with other seams.
  • Press seam allowances open to prevent imprinting the seam allowance edges onto the right side of the fabric.
  • 'Pressing' and 'ironing' are different.  Ironing is when you slide the iron across the fabric in one fluid motion.  Pressing is when you pick the iron up and press it back down in an overlapping pattern.  Make sure you refer to iron settings for proper fabrics.
  • Whenever you are ironing fusible adhesive onto fabric always use a press cloth to prevent any of the adhesive from messing up the sole plate of your iron.
  • Seam allowances of knit fabrics are finished together and pressed to one side because, although they do not ravel, the cut edges will curl.
  • For a 1⁄4" seam allowance, run the right edge of pressure foot along the cut edge of fabric.  (Often used in collars and knit fabrics.)
  • Oftentimes knits or ribbings don't have a right or wrong side.  In order to test this, stretch the knit or ribbing on its crosswise grain.  If the edge curls to one side, that is the right side.  If it does not curl, there is no right or wrong side.
  • When sewing a skirt or pants, sew a short loop of twill tape under the waist seam to identify the back.
  • When a seam allowance is enclosed between the fabric and lining, there is no need to finish them.
  • Before sewing on buttons, run the thread through beeswax.  The beeswax will make the thread stronger and help prevent tangling.  Make sure you run the thread between your fingers after running it through the beeswax to melt the wax into the thread.
  • Buttonholes go on the right front of a garment for females and on the left front of a garment for males.
  • Avoid using the selvage edge of fabrics because it is more tightly woven then the rest of the fabric, and it may tend to pucker if used in a seam.
  • To prevent sheers from slipping and sliding while sewing, one can use a small amount of hairspray between layers. (Always test fabric first.)
  • When making a decorative pillow, cut your fabric to the same size as your pillow form - for example, 18" x 18".  Do not add extra fabric for seam allowances.  That way, your pillow form will fit snuggly, the corners won't "dog ear" and the pillow will not shift in the cover.
  • When measuring fabric for curtains, double the amount of width for standard fullness in gathers.  Triple width is recommended for an even fuller gather.
  • Tape a small plastic bag over the end of a curtain rod to make it slide into the rod pockets easier.
  • Use a large garbage bag when putting foam cushions into covers, if you pre-cut one side of the bag you can pull it out once the cushion is in place.

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