Small Space? Not a problem with these five DIY projects

Source: Evans Home
Source: Evans Home

Small spaces can be restrictive and frustrating. The BBC website claimed that the UK has ‘some of the smallest new homes in Europe,’ and many houses also have only a pocket handkerchief sized garden. Worse still, some houses have little or no outside space at all. If your property only has a small space outside, don’t despair – here are five projects that can help you make the best of that area.


  1. Making the best of the great outdoors

Whether your garden is minute or you can only access the outdoors through your window, there are many tricks you can use to enhance your surroundings. Trellises are ideal. You can fix them onto your garden wall or even place them on the wall surrounding your windows. Take a look at the Ashridge Trees website to gain some ideas and inspiration about what to plant against your trellis. You don’t have to stick to flowers; strawberry plants can be encouraged to drape their tendrils along the side of a sunny wall.


  1. Use your furniture wisely

If your flat is tiny, you don’t want to clutter it up with too much furniture. With some clever shelving options you could knock down a wall between the kitchen and living space (provided it’s not a load bearing wall) and use the shelving to increase the light in your flat and store more objects too. You could always use a bunk bed for your children, which will free up space below the bed to use for homework or an additional play area.


  1. Create an illusion

Every inch of space is important if your home is on the miniscule size. The magazine House and Garden suggests using mirrors to enhance natural light. This will always make a room appear larger than it actually is. Hang a mirror close to a window so that the light can bounce off the mirror and flood into the room.


You can also create an illusion of space if you replace your roof with skylights in order to make the most of the valuable source of natural light. You may have to work with or receive advice from a professional builder in order to carry out this project.


  1. Paint is important

Another way of making the most of your small living space is to choose your colours for your walls wisely. You don’t have to stick to magnolia; crisp white walls always look good. If you really must have a feature wall – they’re not suitable for all small spaces – then make sure the colours you select don’t dominate your home. Purple and black may look dramatic in a large house but will look overwhelming in a smaller space. Bright blues or dazzling yellows might be more suitable.


  1. Hang things from the ceiling Kitchens can look very cluttered. One way to overcome this problem is to build cupboards so that any surplus kitchen equipment can be stored away. Investing in a ceiling rack is an ideal way of dealing with saucepans and utensils.


By the end of these DIY schemes you won’t have increased the space in your accommodation at all, but you will be making far better use of the available room and that’s a major bonus.





Moving House? How To Speed Up The Removal Process

Source: Harriet Anstruther
Source: Harriet Anstruther

Moving house is often listed as one of the most stressful things we can do in our lives, but the average person does this eight times!

Latest research from Money Supermarket has revealed that nearly nine out of 10 (86%) of Brits have found the moving process stressful, with almost half admitting they didn’t feel in control.

When the time comes to move out of your current home and into a new one, don’t you wish you could just click your fingers and be there? Well, unfortunately you can’t do that! However, there are a few ways you can speed up the removal process.

Plan your move

One of the best ways you can personally speed up the removal process is by being as prepared as possible. Plan your move down to the last detail. Obviously this doesn’t guarantee a completely smooth move, but it will help to avoid any unnecessary issues. The best way to do this is by creating a checklist of everything you need to do in the order it needs doing – then you can tick each one off as you go.

Have a clear out

You don’t want to waste time and effort moving things that don’t actually need to be moved and will only be got rid of at a later date. Firstly, sort out what you don’t want anymore – then throw it away, put into charity bags or list it on eBay and make some extra money to spend in your new home! During this time why not take advantage of storage? Everything you don’t need at the moment or aren’t sure about can be put into Ready Steady Store – to be collected at a later date.


Start packing early

First of all, you need to start accumulating boxes – otherwise where will you put everything? Then, while you are having a clear out, you can start packing the belongings you will be taking with you into boxes. Start packing as soon as you can, starting with items that you don’t need, and leave the essentials till last.

Clean before moving day

In the days leading up to the move you should start cleaning your home! Take it a room at a time, leaving the ones that you are still using (particularly the kitchen and bathroom) until last!

Pack strategically

Label each box with its contents and the room it’s for. This may seem to make the packing process slightly longer, but will save time in the long run when you get to the other end and just want to be unpacked. While doing this, make a plan of where everything will go – particularly large items of furniture – in the new house! Remember to pack a separate box with a moving day survival kit; nothing will make you more stressed than trying to find the kettle among the contents of your house when you are gasping for a cup of tea!

All the above should be done in the lead up to moving day so that on the actual day you can sit back and relax as the removal men transport your belongings from your old house to your new home. The last thing you want is to be running around, as the new family are trying to move their stuff into your old home, packing items and cleaning appliances. The more prepared you are and the earlier you start preparing, the less stress you will have across the whole process.

Designer Profile: ZOË ETTER

Designer Zoe Etter  :: LibraryUp-and-coming Fabric Designer, Zoë Etter, was recently commissioned by KOTHEA to update our linen ‘Alpha Boucle’ upholstery fabric for S/S 2017 to incorporate new elements for the luxury market. The muted fabric features the addition of embellished and tufted yarn in simple linear shapes which are designed for a smart, contemporary look for the home.

alpha Boucle - Striped (2017)The refined designs are aimed at clients who want a simple, durable style that is visually effective. The soft colourways combined with the rich textures offers flexibility for a statement upholstery that is classic in style with a modern edge. Most suitable for chairs and soft furnishings, the fabrics’ 3D look is inviting, and remains comfortable whilst giving a luxurious feel.

Abstract shapes, bold lines and textures typify most of Zoë’s design work, whether it be for fashion or interiors. Photography strongly influences the start of a project and is always at the heart of her work. It is predominantly inspired by natural forms which are interpreted through mark making to create bold patterns and textures. Her most recent collection is based around neon florals for the festival-goer.

Another recent project focuses on strong monochromatic designs inspired by the Cornish coastline, which are ideal for creating a graphic look for warmth and interest in a room.

Zoë can be contacted for private commissions directly on or through

Cushion Visualisations   .

Bathroom Finishes and Fittings for All Budgets

bathroomThere are several of various factors to take into account when upgrading areas within your home. One of the greatest is your own budget. In the event your bathroom is in need of some more than due TLC then you have to find bathroom fittings and finishes for any spending budgets.

Renovating could be an outrageously expensive endeavour. It is because you do not only want the very best, but in some cases need to have the very best. The one element that you can’t afford to not spend money on is the tiling of the bathroom. There are so many different tiles on the market, however the tiles should be resistant to water and more durable. At the end of your day bathroom is actually a spot which is unavoidably getting wet. You don’t want to have a mold growing because you didn’t invest your money properly. After you have sorted out the tiles, you should look for other spots in which you will require replacing. The one excellent elements of a bath room is that it is very easy to buy bathroom fixtures that come in one set. Essentially you can get a sink, bath tub as well as toilet all in one go, for one overall price.

Bathroom fixtures are certainly the best choice for the budget conscious, specifically if you just have forked out a lot of cash on your tiles. Such bath room fittings are actually known as bathroom sets and there is a vast array to pick from. In most cases the particular designs are fairly simple. There are hardly any that seem to be particularly distinctive and the ones that possess a more contemporary look will be a bit more costly. This isn’t to say that the other sets look like they’ve got just emerge from the seventies but rather that they do not have an “artistic” appearance. Acquiring a set will surely help you to reduce your financial budget and spend cash in different places. All you need to do is decide on a colour and design and you’ll have three items checked off of your bath room wish list.

Other finishes that are a must have for the bathroom, is certainly storage space. Bathrooms are generally in the smaller sections just as it is, which is why making use of the space wisely is really a necessity. There are 2 methods to put storage space and arrange your bathrooms, either installing it or secluding it. Bathroom cupboards can be used on your wall, and not just offer a mirror but space within it to keep the medication along with other essential items into it. The next choice is to seclude the storage, by simply pushing it into a corner. There are actually 3 tiered corner tables that have been developed, having a triangle shape back so that they can be pushed into the corner sides of bathroom. In either case you’ll be able to build space that is budget conscious.

ZS Group Office Design

10873515_848018788582111_2571184353345087663_oThe design firm ZS Group in collaboration with famous Ukrainian fashion designer Serge Smolin designed their new office in the downtown Kiev. The mix of styles, forms and materials used for the design highlights the frenetic rhythm of the modern megapolis. Designers created a beautiful space for work, meetings and discussions about modern art and design.

Classic wall piers, ceiling roses and carved wooden doors pay homage to the historic heritage of the building. While the interior pieces – furniture, lamps, decor, and paintings – tell us about life “right here, right now”.

Neutral walls serve as perfect background for pieces of art, unique furniture and bright fabrics. Just entered the premises one immediately feels surrounded by the artistic atmosphere.

Source: Katerina Zacharchenko, designer

Tips for choosing a sofa: Q&A with Wesley-Barrell

A well-made sofa is an enduring investment. Juliette Barrell of Wesley-Barrell talks to and offers a comprehensive guide to selecting a sofa, highlighting its construction, size, style, shape, fabric and comfort.

Isabel, Eugenie & Juliette Barrell

Q.  What is the traditional method of constructing a sofa?
A. The most important element of a good quality sofa is the frame.  A frame should be solid wood which has been carefully dried to prevent warping and cracking.  Traditional construction uses a combination of hardwoods such as beech for the structural rails combined with soft wood to provide flexibility and ‘give’.  Frames are glued and screwed and deep coil springs added to the seat base overlaid with layers of natural materials.  A quick assessment to determine a well-constructed sofa frame is that it should be heavy to lift.

Cut-out chair - Wesley-Barrell

Q.  Why is traditionally constructed furniture more expensive than foam filled upholstery?
A. Layering of good quality natural materials takes more time than just using foam exclusively.  The benefits are that you get a combination of natural resilience of the different layers; rubberised hair, wool and cotton, which means the padding materials retain their shape and the contours of the sofa look good for longer.  Natural materials allow air to circulate, working to keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in summer.

Q.  How do you determine the size of sofa suitable for your room?
A. Use paper templates cut to the actual size of the furniture you are planning before making your decision and draw your room and furniture to scale to get a sense of the best use of available space.  Large, higher ceilinged rooms will need larger pieces to clearly define the seating area within the space.   Modular sofas with streamlined arms and large cushions are ideal for open-plan living spaces as they maximise seating possibilities and are flexible enough to fit in awkward corners.

Q. Which styles are best for small rooms?
A. Compact styles with slim arms and fixed sprung backs look less bulky and suit a smaller space.  Sofas on wooden legs will lighten the look within a small room. Bench style single seat cushions will enhance the available seating space on a small sofa whilst love seats have become a popular option for smaller rooms.

Q.  Which styles of sofas are ‘timeless’?
A. Sofa styles inspired by classic English designs, reinterpreted and refined for contemporary tastes are less likely to date and offer a timeless appeal.  Arm styles are key to defining a classic sofa; look out for scroll, lollipop or swan neck arm shapes.

Cokethorpe Sofa from Wesley Barrell

Q. Would you recommend loose back cushions or fixed back?
A. Fixed back sofas are lower maintenance than a loose back cushion style as you will only need to plump the seat cushions, so ideal for busy households.

Q.  What types of fabric coverings wear best?
 A. Strong textured weaves and wools are exceptionally hard wearing and wools are also inherently flame retardant.   Traditional Jacquard weaves, upholstery weight damasks and velvet chenilles also wear well.  Fabric with an element of man-made fibre in its composition adds tensile strength and a sturdy leather will age gracefully.   Always ask about rub tests – (which determine how many rubs a fabric can withstand before it tears or changes in appearance).  We would recommend over 20,000; anything under is really for light or decorative use only.

Q.  Which fabric designs and colours are currently popular?
A. Textured plains in natural colours remain popular giving scope to inject colour and drama by using more vibrant fabric for scatter cushions or an occasional armchair or footstool.  Chartreuse greens have continued to appeal along with classic taupe and duck egg combinations remaining a perennial favourite, whether used on prints or in small patterns.  Blues in all their hues have been a key trend this year: from sky blues to teal and indigo partnered with green, yellow or grey.

Q.   Are there any rules regarding mixing styles of sofas and armchairs?
A. Aim to mix styles of similar scale and proportion. Choose arms with a similar profile on the chair and the sofa so that the two share the same vocabulary of design and complement each other.  Armchairs with fixed backs rather than a loose back cushion, such as a tub or fireside wing chair, tend to work well with most sofa styles.  French or English show-wood armchairs are a great alternative to a fully upholstered chair; they often take less space and give a more informal, personalised feel to a room scheme.

Taynton Chair by Wesley Barrell

Q.  When would you choose loose covers over upholstered furniture?
A. Loose covers are practical for family rooms that are likely to get plenty of wear.  Tailored loose covers will look smart whilst easy fit loose covers in cotton or linen fabrics in natural shades lend an informal relaxed style to a room.

Q. Fringing, braid, tassels, upholstery studs, self-piped…how do you choose?
A. Classic English sofa styles such as the Wesley-Barrell ‘Knole’ sofa lend themselves well to bullion fringing to the seat base and tassel ties.  Ruched braids and tufts work well to detail a scatter cushion or bolster whilst upholstery braid finishes a show wood frame chair to hide upholstery tacks.  Studs work well on leather and tapestry fabrics to detail the profile or arm or define the line of the seat base.  Piping and contrast piping is another slightly more relaxed way to tailor your sofa, be it on cushions or arm contours.

Clanfield Sofa by Wesley Barrell

Q.  When are valances on sofas the best option; how do you select the legs of a sofa?
A. Valances are less popular than they were 10 or 15 years ago and tend to be a feature of the more formal English styles.  Turned legs and more contemporary square tapered legs have become a design feature of many sofas helping to make the sofa look less bulky.

Q.  What types of cushion fillings are available?
A. Duck feather is a natural, luxurious cushion filling that is durable, warm and fire retardant but will need plumping daily to maximise loft.  For lower maintenance options fibre and feather and soft foam with a feather wrap offers more support, recovers its shape quickly and will not need daily plumping.   100% polyester fabric fillings, such as Quallofil, provide a non-allergenic choice.  Foam is the firmest seat cushion interior, giving a neat appearance and requiring minimum maintenance.

Q.  Do you have any advice about the arms on a sofa? When is it best to select an armless style?
A. Armless styles where space is limited or you require a more open look can be a useful option, often available with modular sofa styles.

Q. Can you sum up the most important tips one should remember when buying a sofa?
A. Write a checklist itemising what you need from your sofa. The ideal sofa must look good but be comfortable and practical to fit in with your lifestyle. Include measurements and consider access. Always ask how the sofa has been constructed and whether it meets British Standards.  Good quality frames should be guaranteed for at least 10 years.  Find out how the sofa has been sprung and the type of padding materials used.  Inspect the upholstery carefully to see how well it has been finished. Have back panels and valances been sewn rather than stapled on? If you are buying as a couple, ensure you both try out the sofa for comfort. If you are very different heights it might be better to consider an armchair too.  The choice of fabrics can be overwhelming. Seek advice from the sales consultant considering practicality, colour and pattern.

Bobbins- Wesley-Barrell

Wesley-Barrell make an extensive range of traditional, informal and contemporary sofa and armchair styles. Their traditional upholstery methods have hardly changed for generations (they use seasoned wood frames, coil springing and natural materials) ensuring high standards of quality and strength. If after reading these tips from them you still need more guidance, they have experienced consultants in 14 showrooms all over the UK.

For your nearest showroom, visit:
Brochure Line: 00 44 (0)1993-893130 Enquiries: 00 44 (0)1993-893100

re-blogged from, with permission

A Modern Approach towards Minimalistic Interior Design and Architecture

2The use of latest technology has not only speeded up the construction and interior designing tasks but has also boosted the minimalist approach of a modern architect and interior designer in Pakistan.

Now, the complex and lager construction and interior designing projects even do not take too long to be completed because the latest equipment, modern methods and techniques save a lot of time.

Do the modern constructional and interior designing needs and trends have similarity with the past tendencies? Although, basics remain the same but the use of latest knowledge and involvement of technology in every domain have introduced new trends and techniques. When it comes to describing the interior design and construction, the concepts about several basic things have been changed to a greater extent. Let us learn about the latest approach towards minimalistic interior designing and architecture.

Using Symmetrical, Sleek and Simple Designs

As far as structural and constructional aspects of a building are concerned, the modern construction companies across Pakistan such as Amer Adnan Associates ® prefer designing symmetrical, sleek and simple structure because these signify the modern architecture. The modern architecture in Pakistan is different from that of Mughals’ era, where the artwork (carvings, curves, domes and complex patterns) were considered more appealing.

In this modern era, the buildings with more of sleek look both from inside and outside, are considered trendy. The modern architecture focuses more on the angular shapes while using geometry. Additionally, the use of 3D technology has also revolutionized Pakistan’s construction sector because it allows architects to get the exact tangible models of modern houses, using which, the architects can make their work much easier and faster than ever.

Checking the Colors’ Effect on Moods

When you think of your house the first thought that comes in your mind is a relaxing, peaceful and comfortable place but only if the interior is designed while keeping all the technical factors in view. Do you know the colors do affect your moods? The best way of making a house interior colorful is by painting it with different color paints but this is never a random choice. The modern interior designers choose a particular color after exploring its effects on the overall house interior and on the moods of the inhabitants. Every part of a house perhaps has its own requirement when it comes to choosing paint colors; you need to consider its usage, exposure to natural light and the climatic conditions of particular locations where the house is situated.

Maintaining a Livelier Interior with Proper Lighting

Do you know the proper lighting is essential to transform a lifeless ambiance of a house into a livelier feel? Light signifies life, so when it comes to construction, architects do consider whether or not, the particular design is promoting the entrance of natural light inside. Like colors, it also has a direct impact on the moods of people; a dull, dark and quiet feel may cause you depression. Light makes your mood lighter and happier; therefore, the modern day construction companies not only promote the entrance of natural light in a house but also use the artificial lighting fixtures, while keeping the technical factors in view. This is the reason why there is a visible shift from smaller congested windows to larger door-size windows in almost every part of a house.

Going Green

The trend of green construction is also getting popularity in Pakistan because it allows the architecture and interior designing companies in Pakistan to design environment friendly houses, where dwellers can enjoy more of a healthy and pleasing life with a well-maintained balance between a house interior and that of the outside environment.

Whether it is about mapping, construction or interior designing of a house, a minimalistic approach allows a professional to come up with creative ideas.

Author Bio:

Nabeel Abbas is an experienced author, having more than 9 years of experience under his belt, is currently contributing as a senior author for Amer Adnan Associates. He is working as a modern interior designer in Pakistan for several years. For more see

Public Winter gardens

Winter Gardens are the perfect location to get some sun without suffering from the cold weather. Warm, sunny, usually hosting some exotic plants, winter gardens replace our summer parks for lunch breaks or simply to relax with a good book to read.


The first Winter Gardens were built in the 17th in Europe in order to grow tropical plants. They were used also as a living space and were built attached to the main building. In the 19th the Winter Garden become a public place thanks to England that built its first in Regent’s Park used for social gathering, events and flowers shows.


WinterGarden_HelsinkiMain Staircase of the Helsinki’s winter garden decorated with bamboos


In Finland, the Helsinki Winter Garden was founded in 1893 for the pleasure of the residents. No matter if it is winter or summer, the place is always opened to the public to discover the exotic plants, the fish in the pools, the beautiful Rose Garden in front of the main entrance.




Inaugurated in 2003 by the Queen Elizabeth II herself, the Sheffield winter garden is one the biggest glasshouses built in the UK. It hosts more than 2,000 plants form all around the world. The building is long 70 meters and 22 meters high and has won multi award for the great-accomplished engineers and designers. The place is also hosting an art gallery and a coffee shop.


WinterGarden_NY2Winter Garden Atrium


Along the Hudson River, between the Financial Center Plaza and the Yacht Harbor, the Winter Garden Atrium of New York was completed in 1988. A pedestrian bridge was connecting the winter garden to the World trade Center. Damaged after 9/11 the Atrium reopened in 2002 after a year of reconstruction. Usually hosting exhibition, concerts, ballet and other performances, the winter garden is 10 floors high and offers a beautiful view on the Ground Zero.


Acquario_4copieWinter Garden of the Aquarium of Milan


To conclude, originally built to host exotic plants, winter gardens became then the place of social meetings, events and exhibitions where it is possible to enjoy nature, architecture and entertainment.

Fabric Thesaurus – All words fabric


English: Piece number: 3797 At the Coptic Muse...

OK get ready for some exciting bedtime reading. A list of farbic finishes type, kinds, every word a thesaurus could ever dream of for FABRIC.

Acrylic Manmade fibre derived from petrochemical by-products.

Aubusson Fine, hand-woven tapestry used for wall hangings or carpets. Named after the famous French village where they were originally made.

Basket Weave Plain weave where two or more warp yarns interlace with the same balance of filler yarns so that the fabric surface resembles a basket.

Batik An ancient Japanese resist printing technique. Wax is blocked on the cloth to cover the design before dyeing and after the wax is removed by a washing procedure the design takes shape.

Batiste A translucent plain-weave sheer fabric made with fine long staple cotton.

Block Printing A hand-printing process where the motifs have been carved on wooden blocks. The dye is applied to the fabric from these blocks in a procedure similar to the rubber stamp technique.

Border A border is a gimp, but wider. This trim is sometimes woven in plain patterns, such as stripes or chevrons.

Boucle A novelty yarn that is looped and crimped to produce a pebbly surface.

Click To Read More Interior Design Articles
Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

Brocade A figured fabric often of silk with an embroidered look. The motifs are frequently floral and elaborate. They are raised on the surface of the cloth. It cannot be used on the reverse side but is easily identified by the floating yarns that appear there. Origin: Medieval Latin; brocade – to embroider.

Brocatelle A heavy fabric similar in appearance to a damask. The filler yarns (often linen) give it an embossed look. Originally it was made to imitate 19th century Italian tooled leather.

Brush Fringe A brush fringe is a cut fringe that has a flat skirt made of thin yarns.

Bullion Fringe Bullion Fringe is made of cords, rather than yarns. The heading can be plain or decorative.

Burn-out Printing The application of an acid solution to dissolve an opaque fibre from a translucent sheer of blended yarns. After this process, the desired motifs appear in silhouette on the surface of the fabric.

C.O.M. Customer’s Own Material.

Calendaring The procedure of pressing fabric between heated and rotating cylinders to give a smooth glossy surface.

Casement Cloth A light-weight textile made in a combination of fibres usually dyed in light neutral colors.

Cashmere A fine fibre obtained from the undercoat of the Himalayan Cashmere goat.

Chenille Derived from the French word for “caterpillar”. A special yarn with pile protruding on all sides, produced by first weaving a fabric, which is cut lengthwise between each of these groups of warp yarns, each cutting producing a continuous chenille which is then twisted.

Chiffon Plain weave, soft, sheer fabric – often silk or rayon yarns.

Chinoiserie A Chinese decorative style that was extremely popular in France and exemplified by its vogue in England especially during the reign of Queen Anne.

Chintz A cotton fabric, with or without a printed pattern, with a glaze created by applying resin and calendaring

Cord Cords consist of plied yarns (plies) that have been twisted together. Cords are frequently used in place of fabric welting.

Cotton A vegetable fibre composed of pure cellulose. It is soft and absorbent, and takes dyes and special finishes extremely well. Strong and durable, it has excellent resistance to piling and abrasion. Mercerization enhances all these inherent qualities.

Crewel Embroidery An embroidery made with coloured wool yarns stitched on unbleached cotton or linen, usually in a vine or leaf formation with floral details added. Its popularity began in England during the late 17th century.

Damask A patterned fabric with a reversible design of contrasting satin and dull surfaces. Most commonly woven in silk, cotton or linen, it may, however, consist of a combination of these or other fibres. Origin: Damascus in Asia Minor.

Dimensional Stability The degree to which a fabric will retain its original shape in various atmospheric conditions.

Duck A broad term for a wide range of plain weave fabrics, duck is usually made of cotton, although sometimes linen is used. The terms canvas and duck are often interchangeable, but “canvas” often is used to refer to the heavier constructions.

Dupion A silk reeled from double cocoons or dupions. This yarn has excellent tensil strength.

Embossed An effect obtained by rolling fabric between engraved cylinders so that the design appears in relief on the face of the cloth.

Faille A fabric of the rep variety where the construction of pronounced cross-ribs gives a corded effect.

Figured Velvet A patterned velvet formed by contrast in cut and uncut loops.

Filling (Weft) An element carried horizontally through the open shed of the vertical warp in a woven fabric.

Flame Resistant Fabric A fabric whose fibre content or topical finish makes it difficult to ignite and slow to burn.

Flannel A woollen fabric whose surface is slightly napped in finish.

Flax The plant from the stem of which best fibre is extracted by retting to produce linen. An erroneous term for linen fibre, particularly in blends.

Frieze or Frise Firm fabric with pile of uncut loops on the surface. Origin: French; frisé – curled.

Gauze A light weight sheer in a plain weave which is translucent and somewhat transparent. Origin: Gaza, Palestine.

Gimp Gimps are flat, narrow, woven textiles made in many styles. One or both edges of a gimp can be plain or cut or have scalloped loops.

Greige Goods Plain fabric coming directly off the loom before it has been bleached or finished. Used mainly for printing.

Gros Point A non directional pile fabric that is warp-looped. It is hard-wearing and extremely resilient. Made of wool or synthetic fibres, it has larger loops than a frieze and resembles the ground area of needlepoint.

Hand Literally, the feel of the goods in the hand; a qualitative term used to describe the tactile properties of a fabric.

Herringbone A twill weave that reverses direction across the fabric to form a chevron.

Hounds tooth A pointed check effect produced by a two up, two down broken twill with four ends and four picks in a repeat.

Imberline An effect produced by laying a variety of colors in the warp which reveals a stripe running through the overall design of the fabric. Origin: Adapted from cloth of the uniforms worn by the Swiss Guard, who serve the Vatican.

Iridescent A color effect created by weaving warp ends of one color and a weft of another color. The taffeta weave creates the best iridescent effects.

Jacquard Loom A weaving device that manipulates a series of perforated cards that are attached to the top of the loom. The lifting or lowering of the warp that results make the most intricate designs possible. This revolutionary technique was developed in France by Joseph Jacquard at the turn of the 19th Century.

Jute A bast fibre obtained from the round pod jute or the long pod jute of the family Tiliaceae. Grown extensively in Pakistan and India, mainly in the Bengal district of Pakistan.

Leno Construction used in all good quality open mesh casement cloths. The warp yarns arranged in pairs twist one around the other over the filling yarn making the figure eight. The interlocking (chain) prevents the yarns from slipping. Origin: French; lin – flax.

Linen A cellulose yarn made from natural flax fibres. It is especially noted for its strength, texture and lustre. Cool to the touch although lacking in resilience, it easily creases.

Lisere The design is created by coloured warp threads brought up on the face of the fabric, leaving loose yarns on the back woven vertically, which gives it a vertical stripe effect. Liseres are Victorian in appearance and have embroidered style patterns.

Loom state Goods as they come off the loom before converting/finishing. Called gray or griege.

Matelassé The French word Matelassé means to quilt, to pad. This fabric is woven similar to a brocatelle, having two warps, which in weaving, achieves a puckered or quilted effect.

Mercerized A high-quality finishing process to cotton yarn where the application of caustic soda and tension develop a smooth lustrous surface.

Meter A universally accepted measurement based in hundreds. It is equivalent to 39.37′. This measurement is used in the majority of the world.

Mohair A long, white, lustrous hair obtained from the Angora goat. Mohair plush is a fabric with a cut pile of mohair yarns. It is lustrous and extremely strong and will hold a permanent embossing.

Moiré A French word which means watered. A finishing process which produces a wavy or rippling pattern on the fabric. Each fabric moiré’s differently.

Ombre A fabric made by laying in wefts of yarn that are closely coloured hues that after weaving created a shaded effect. Origin: French; ombre – shadow.

Organza A thin, transparent silk, rayon or nylon fabric made in a plain weave and given a stiff, wiry finish.

Pile Raised loops, cut interlacing’s of double cloths or tufts (cut loops) and other yarns or fibres deliberately produced on cloth, which form all or part of the surface of the fabric.

Pill A fuzzy ball caused by the rolling up of abraded surface fibres.

Plain Weave The most basic method of interlocking warp and weft threads to form a cloth. Each filling thread passes alternately under and over the warp yarn to make a balanced construction. Also known as a Tabby, this is a strong weave and generally inexpensive to produce.

Ply The number of yarns twisted together to make a composite yarn.

Polished Cotton A combed and carded fabric in satin construction which has been calendared to give a high lustre to the surface.

Polyester A synthetic polymer fibre that is manufactured from coal, water and petroleum. It is strong and durable making a wrinkle resistant fabric.

Railroad To turn a fabric in a direction where the selvages are in a horizontal position. In a plain fabric or when the design is non directional, you can avoid making seams when the width of the goods will accommodate the height required. Some upholstery fabrics are designed in this manner to be used exclusively for furniture.

Rayon The first synthetic fibre, rayon is derived from cellulose (a substance forming the framework of plants). Produced in 1884 by de Chardonnet, a French scientist, it has the basic characteristics of both silk and cotton. Viscose rayon which is used in many decorative fabrics is of a superior quality and is considered the best silk substitute.

Rep or Repp A plain weave fabric produced by weaving large filling yarns through fine warp threads which result in distinct ribs running from selvage to selvage.

Repeat One complete pattern of the fabric measured vertically and/or horizontally.

Sail Cloth A plain woven cotton duck of medium weight that is piece dyed and usually comes in a wide range of colors.

Sateen A satin weave fabric usually made of mercerized cotton in a light weight construction that is primarily used for drapery linings.

Satin Very smooth, lustrous face with duller back on a fabric created by majority of warp yarns showing on the surface. Origin: China; zaytun (tzutíing) – silk.

Selvage The edge on either side of a woven or flat-knitted fabric, often of different threads and/or weave, so finished to prevent ravelling.

Shantung A lightweight silk cloth woven in a plain weave with doupioni yarn.

Sheers Light weight translucent fabrics used mainly for under curtains and casement treatments.

Silk The natural protein fibre unwound from the cocoon of the silkworm. Silk is noted for its resilience, affinity for dyes and strength when woven into a fabric. It has a fine luxurious appearance but is very sensitive to light and is the most costly natural yarn.

Strie A very fine irregular streaked effect made by a slight variance in the color of warp yarns. Origin: French – streaked.

Tabby A plain weave construction in which one warp thread passes over and under a single weft thread. The threads of the warp and weft are of the same size and set with the same number per square inch thereby resulting in a balanced weave.

Taffeta A plain weave that is reversible because the same size yarns are used for the warp and filler. The firm construction is light weight which gives the resulting fabric a crisp hand (feeling). Origin: Persian; taftan – to twist.

Tapestry An intricate weave employing several sets of heavy filler yarns on a single warp which produce a multi-coloured pattern. Originally made with large scale scenic designs that frequently illustrated a tale. They were used as decorative wall hangings but also provided insulation. Origin: Greek; tapíes – rug.

Tassel Tassels come in all sizes, shapes and forms. A hanging ornament consisting of a head and a skirt of cut yarn, looped yarns, or bullion fringe.

Tassel Trim A plain or decorative gimp with attached tassels.

Toile A French word for cloth or fabric, describes a one color, fine line printed design that resembles a pen and ink technique. Toiles are printed by various methods, but the most beautiful are still created by engraved plates or rollers.

Toile de Jouy Printed fabric made at Jouy in France by Philippe Oberkampf from 1760 to 1815. They were usually printed on white or off-white grounds in monotone red, blue, green or black.

Tussah A rough silk extruded from the cocoons of uncultivated silkworms. Slubs appear in the yarn as it is spun which leave uneven depths of color especially after dyeing. Therefore fabric woven with tussah will have an irregular surface.

Tweed A homespun effect created by multi or monochromatic coloured yarns woven on plain looms. The fabric is usually wool or worsted and often has a rough texture.

Twill A basic weave where the filler threads pass over two or more ends in a regular progression. This creates a diagonal pattern. Origin: Scotland; twill – to make a diagonal effect.

Velour A fabric with a pile or napped surface resembling velvet.

Velvet There are 2 types of velvets: cut loop velvets (wire looms that form thread loops, the loops are then cut to form the pile) and double-faced velvets. (2 fabrics are woven, face to face, joined by the weft yarns, which are then cut forming the pile on both faces.)

Warp or End The threads of a textile that run vertically through the loom and are parallel to the selvage.

Weft or Filling The horizontal yarns in a cloth which run selvage to selvage across the fabric.

Wool The fibre made from the fleece of sheep. Noted for its elasticity and lustre, it has an affinity for accepting rich color when dyed. Wool fibres vary in crimp, length and thickness. Wool fabrics are good insulators. The yarns are frequently spun from fleece of several breed of sheep.

Yarn Dyed Cloth that is woven with yarns that have been dyed prior to weaving. Most good quality fabrics are yarn dyed.


Glossary of Eco-Friendly Terms

Bamboo Treelike tropical and semitropical grasses with woody stems that are typically hollow. Bamboo has a rapid growth and harvest cycle, typically does not require fertilizers or pesticides and requires little irrigation with sufficient rainfall. Last but not least, bamboo takes in more greenhouse gases than an equivalent stand of timber trees and releases more oxygen into the atmosphere. Although the process of turning bamboo into a viscose yarn requires significant chemical input, bamboo has many eco-friendly characteristics that make it a sustainable fibre.

Biodegradable Biodegradable products are the perfect solution for reducing a large percentage of the waste products that pollute our environment. These products are ideal because when immersed into an ecosystem, they are broken down by the action of living organisms.

Certified Organic Items that have been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by independent state or private organizations.

Closed-loop A type of manufacturing process that utilizes a cyclical material flow in order to minimize waste.

Cradle-to-cradle A term used in life-cycle analysis to describe a material or product that is recycled into a new product at the end of its defined life.

Eco-efficiency Reducing the ecological impact of goods and services while at the same time producing and delivering desirable, competitively priced goods and service.

Environment The complex of physical, chemical and biotic factors (such as climate, soil and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival.

Flax See Organic Linen

Green An adjective used to describe something that is perceived to be beneficial to the environment.

Heavy Metal Any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic at low concentrations. (Examples are mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, thallium and lead). Semi-metallic elements (such as antimony, arsenic, selenium and tellurium) are often included in this classification.

Jute A coarse, brown fibre from the stalk of the bast plant, grown in India.

Organic The process of treating and processing fibres and yarns without the use of any synthetic harmful chemicals or pesticides. The fabrics are processed using organic compounds, which are not harmful to the environment. Organic textiles are naturally hypoallergenic, healthy, and non-irritating. Fibres that fall into this category include organic cotton, organic hemp and organic linen. All of our organic fabrics are made from certified organic fibres.

Organic Cotton Traditional cotton production uses more chemicals per unit than any other crop. Organic cotton reduces this chemical use because it is grown without pesticides or chemical additives to fertilizer, relying instead on methods with less ecological impact.

Organic Hemp Hemp grown without pesticides or chemical additives to fertilizer, relying instead on methods with less ecological impact. Hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen which also makes it an eco-friendly fibre.

Organic Linen A natural fibre made from the flax plant and grown without pesticides or herbicides. Organic linen is one of the most ecological of natural fibres as no irrigation is necessary, the flax plant purifies the soil, and is biodegradable and recyclable.

Recycled Fibres Fibres made from post-consumer and post-industrial material. Post consumer fibre is made from material left over once a product has been used by a consumer. Post industrial fibre is from material generated by an industrial process before the material has been used by a consumer. Recycled fibre lessens our dependence on resources, reduces waste and produces less pollution. Our post-industrial recycled fibres come from petroleum by-products, recycled cotton, corn derivatives, recycled silk, and soybean husks.

Renewable Capable of being replaced by natural ecological cycles or sound management practices. A natural resource qualifies as a renewable resource if it is replenished by natural processes or by re-planting at a rate comparable or faster than its rate of consumption.

Silk The only natural fibre that comes in a filament form; from 300 to 1600 yards in length as reeled from the cocoon, cultivated or wild.

Sustainable A method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. A sustainable product refers to a product that can be sustained with limited exhaustion of natural resources. Sustainable fibres come from rapidly renewable resources with growth and harvest cycles of five years or less. Fibres that fall into this category include alpaca, bamboo, cotton, linen, mohair, hemp, wool, cork.

Wool The fine, soft, curly hair that forms the fleece of sheep and certain other animals, wool is characterized by minute, overlapping surface scales that give it its felting property. Wool is a renewable resource.

Partial Source: tradesourcedesign