Knit Back Fabric Backing

Schematic of stockinette stitch, the most basi...
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Some fabrics can be too fragile for use as upholstery unless knit backed. Knit backing is a process whereby, for example, a cotton polyester backing is applied to a lighter weight chenille, silk or cotton.

Essentially the fabric‘s life is increased with better durability and resilience. The handling characteristics of the fabric can be improved; and knit backing also helps prevent seam slippage.

The same principle applies for the fabric whether or not it is to be used for either upholstery or wall covering. There will certainly be other requirements for contract usage, say, in hotels and aviation and also other treatments like fire retardancy or stain protection would be required for contract upholstery.

Textile Pinking Machines

For the emergency fabric samples that we sometimes have to make when we are out of stock of samples we use the GOLDSTAR pinking machine. Here’s a quick youtube video from the manufacturer

And here is another one that looks a bit more industrial strength.

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 Named after the famous French village where they were originally made.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.

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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

A-Z Interior Fabric Qualities

2A-Z Glossary or Guide of fabric qualities


American Cotton
Cotton of medium fineness and medium staple length.

Alpaca Angora
Natural hair from the alpaca, or animal from which the fibre alpaca is obtained.
Hair fibre from the angora rabbit.

Fine, soft,plain weave fabric. Originally linen, now other fibres, eg cotton.
Combination of two or more different fibres within the same yarn. This can be for cost, properties and/or appearance.
Colour-and-weave effect where the pattern shows small, uniform spots. The reverse side of a flat jacquard weft knitted fabric where the yarns are arranged to show minimum amounts of each colour in an all-over pattern.
Bouclé yarn
Fancy yarn showing an irregular pattern of curls or loops.
Non-jacquard double jersey weft knit structure made on an interlock basis showing horizontal ridges on the effect side.
Figured woven jacquard fabric, usually multicoloured, much used for furnishings.
Plain weave fabric, generally of linen or cotton, which is stiffened during finishing with fillers and starches. Uses include interlinings and bookbinding fabrics.


General term used for plain cotton fabrics heavier than muslin. These are usually left unbleached, area made in a variety of weights, and are often used for making toiles.
Lightweight, closely woven, plain weave fabric, usually made from cotton or linen.
Strong, firm, relatively heavy and rigid, generally plain woven cloth traditionally made from cotton, linen, hemp or jute.
Cavalry twill
Firm woven fabric with a steep twill showing double twill lines, traditionally used for riding breeches and jodphurs.
Lightweight, plain weave cotton cloth with a dyed warp and a white weft.
Open, lightweight, plain weave fabric with a slightly crêpey appearance, usually made from carded cotton yarns with higher than average twist.
Chenille yarn
Fancy yarn produced by weaving a leno fabric and cutting into warp-way strips so that each strip forms the yarn, which has a velvety, caterpillar-like appearance.
Originally a very lightweight, sheer, plain weave fabric made from silk. Now can also be used to describe a similar fabric using other fibres.
Chiné yarn
Originally a 2-fold yarn, one black, one white, giving a regular two colour effect. Term now used to describe any 2-fold, two colour yarn.
Closely woven, lustrous, plain weave cotton fabric, printed or plain, that has been friction calendered or glazed. Much used for curtainings and upholstery.
Natural vegetable fruit fibre from the coconut.
One of several combinations of colours used for a particular fabric.
Wove, cut weft-pile fabric where the cut pile runs in vertical cords along the length of the fabric. A number of different types are found, ranging from pincord (very fine cords) to elephant cord (very broad cords).
Fabric characterised by a crinkled or puckered surface, which can be produced by a number of methods. 1. woven fabric where short, irregular floats in warp and weft are arranged to give an all-over, random pattern within the weave repeat. 2. woven or knitted fabric where the crêpe characteristics are achieved mainly by the use of highly twisted yarns, which in finishing develop the crinkled, puckered appearance of a crêpe. 3. fabric where the crêpe effect is produced in finishing by treatment with embossing rollers, engraved with a crêpe pattern, which impart a crêpe effect onto the fabric through heat and pressure.
Crêpe de chine
Lightweight, plain weave crêpe fabric, made with highly twisted continuous filament yarns in the weft, alternating one S and one Z twist, and with normally twisted filament yarns in the warp. The crêpe effect is relatively unpronounced.
Crepe yarn
Spun or filament yarns that are very highly S or Z twisted used for the production of crepe fabrics.


Lightweight, printed, all wool plain weave fabric.
Doupion (or Dupion)
Silk-breeding term meaning double cocoon, used to describe the irregular, raw rough silk reeled from double cocoons.
Woven twill fabric with a similar structure to denim, but usually piece-dyed.

Egyptian cotton
Type of cotton characterised by long, fine fibres.

Lightweight, open-textured fabric made in plain weave a simple leno weave.
Fine, lightweight, plain weave, crêpe fabric, usually having two highly twisted S and two highly twisted Z yarns alternately in both warp and weft.

Variation on plain weave, where two or more ends and picks weave as one. Sometimes called basket weave.

Indian cotton
Type of cotton characterised by relatively short, coarse fibres.
Fabric used between the inner and outer layers of a garment to improve shape retention, strength, warmth or bulk. Interlinings may be woven, knitted or nonwoven, and can be produced with fusible adhesive on one surface.

Jacquard fabric
A fabric woven on a jacquard loom, where the patterning mechanism allows individual control on any interlacing of up to several hundred warp threads or a rib-based, double jersey weft-knit structure which shows a figure or design in a different colour or texture. Jacquard fabrics are sub-divided into flat-jacquard and blister fabrics.
General term used for any knitted fabric.
Natural vegetable bast fibre, the plant from which the bast jute fibre is obtained.

Coarse fibres present in varying amounts in wool fleece. Usually white, black or brown and can be used to give decorative effects in some wool fabrics.
Knickerbocker yarn
Fancy yarn characterised by random flecks or spots of differently coloured fibres.

Fine, plain weave fabric, traditionally of cotton on linen.
Natural vegetable bast fibre obtained from the flax plant.
Wool from the fleeces of lambs (young sheep up to the age of weaning).
A general name for fabrics where metallic threads are a conspicuous feature.

Square-hole, warp knitted net.
Merino Wool
Wool from the merino sheep, which produces the shortest and finest wool fibres.
Natural animal hair fibre from the angora or mohair goat.
Fabric which shows a moiré or wavy watermark pattern. This is produced by calendaring, usually on a fabric showing a rib or cord effect in the weft direction. The moiré effect can be achieved by embossing with a roller engraved with a moiré pattern, or by feeding two layers of fabric face to face through the calendar. the effect may be permanent or temporary depending on the fibres and the chemicals used.
Firm, woven warp-pile fabric where the pile yarns are lifted over wires, which may or may not have knives. Withdrawal of the wires will give a cut or an uncut pile. Used for upholstery, particularly on public transport vehicles.
General term for very fine, semi-opaque fabrics, finer than muslins, made of silk, wool or cotton.
Lightweight, open, plain or simple leno weave fabric, usually made of cotton.

Narrow Fabric
Any fabric that does not exceed 45 cms in width (in the UK). In the USA and Europe, the accepted upper width is 30 cms. Ribbons, tapes, braids and narrow laces are included in this category.
Natural Fibre
A textile fibre occuring in nature, which is animal, vegetable or mineral in origin.
New wool
Fibre from a sheep or lamb that has not previously been used. Alternative name for virgin wool.
Man made synthetic polymer fibre. Alternative name for polyamide.

Lightweight, plain weave transparent fabric, with a permanently stiff finish.
A sheer, lighweight, plain weave fabric, with a relatively firm drape and handle, traditionally made from the continuous filament of silk yarns. Now often made using other fibres.

Man made synthetic polymer fibre.
Pure Silk
Silk in which there is no metallic or other weighting of any kind, except that which is an essential part of dyeing.

Raw Silk
Continuous filaments containing no twist, drawn off or reeled from cocoons. The filaments are unbleached, undyed and not degummed.

Woven structure where the maximum amount of weft shows on the face. The smooth effect is enhanced by using filament yarns and/or lustrous fibres.
Woven structure where the maximum amount of warp shows on the face. The smooth effect is enhanced by using filament yarns and/or lustrous fibres.
Natural animal protein fibre obtained from the cocoons produced by silkworms.
Silk Noil
Very short silk fibres extracted during silk combing that are too short for producing spun silk. These fibres are usually spun into silk-noil yarns.
Slub yarn
Fancy yarn characterised by areas of thicker, loosely twisted yarn alternating with thinner, harder twisted areas.
Spun silk
Staple fibre silk yarn produced from silk waster which has been largely degummed.
Describes a substance which has been manufactured by building up a complex structure from simpler chemical substances.

Plain weave, closely woven, smooth, crisp fabric with a slight weftways rib, originally made from continuous filament silk yarns. Now often made using other fibres.
A woven warp-pile fabric where the loops are formed by applying a high tension to the ground warp and a very low tension to the pile warp. Beating-up does not occur on every pick, so that when a pick is beaten-up it causes the other picks to be moved into the main body of the cloth, at the same time forming the pile loops on the face and back of the cloth.
Thrown Silk
Yarn twisted from continuous filament silk.

Cut pile weft or warp knitted fabric.
Cut warp-pile fabric, in which the cut fibrous ends of the yarns from the surface of the fabric. Many effects are possible, e.g. the pile may be left erect, or it may be laid in one direction during finishing to give a very high lustre.
Man made natural polymer regenerated cellulose fibre.
Plain weave, semi-sheer, lightweight fabric made with fine, fairly highly twisted yarns. Originally made from cotton, now other fibres are sometimes used.

Lofty sheet of fibres used for padding, stuffing or packing.
Wet spun
Describes man made filaments produced by wet spinning, where the dissolved polymer is converted into filaments by extrusion through the spinneret into a coagulating bath of chemicals, causing the filaments to solidify.

Source Credit: R Haworth

Crib 5, Crib 3 FR treatment – is it OK to mix these? inter liner fabric

Sonny's Crib
Image via Wikipedia and not too much to do with Crib 5!

“Is it OK to mix Crib 5 and Crib 3?” was the question. The client further explained that they planned to use a Crib 5 inter-liner and a Crib 3 fabric and was this OK in a restaurant?

I think the uncertainty existed as sometimes with domestic usage interlining can help with meeting FR needs.

However for non-residential spaces that is NOT the case.

The Crib5/Crib 3 mix would have been OK in an office type environment where Crib 3 was required however in a public space this is certainly not acceptable and so a different fabric is needed that is inherently Crib 5 or can be treated to Crib 5.


Related Information:

Crib 7

Crib 5

UK and European FR




A Chat With Verity du Sautoy – Her Thoughts On Winter Fabrics

Luxury Silk velvet From KOTHEA
Truly beautiful Cashmere Silk Velvet by KOTHEA

KOTHEA Fabric Picks For A Chilly Winter’s Day
With Verity du Sautoy of KOTHEA.

We love the seasons. All have their beauties and all have touched our senses in memorable ways over the years. Winter is no exception: lower, more balanced light; quietness and chaos with both the shopping and the weather; festive celebrations; the cuddle of a loved one; the hope and expectation of early spring flowers grasping for rare and tiny glimmers of light; and, perhaps, the welcomed warmth of a beautiful fabric.

Some of my best memories are centred on family: a warm fire; a little baby; or a bouncing toddler. Then an old children’s classic on the iPlayer watched on my Mac as it balances precariously on an elegant coffee table. I stroke my children’s hair with one hand and rest my other hand on my sofa. A generous cushion is warm, encapsulating and a bit of fun for the little ones to hide under. The curtains are not yet fully drawn but they smooth the boundary to the cold outside and give us tantalising glimpses of the world beyond – should we venture too close to the sheers that offer the final, soft protection from the elements.

Dominika B Tana Lawn

I work for a fabric company. I love fabric. I can’t pretend that it (fabric) is a be-all and end-all to life and that somehow it will make your life complete. It can’t. But what it clearly can do is complete the sensory experiences in the parts of life that, if you choose, you have control over…the parts of your home. Memories are not just photo-like snapshots in your brain; they are stored, multi-sensory splashes of emotion.

Here are my Winter picks. They are actual ‘picks’ that I’ve recently purchased or are about to purchase.

Take my sofa as an example. My sofa isn’t Continue reading “A Chat With Verity du Sautoy – Her Thoughts On Winter Fabrics”

Fabric Tips #12: Rolling a velvet

Image via Wikipedia

You’ve just ordered a new velvet and unrolled it to admire your purchase. But how do you re-roll it?

When you roll almost any fabric you should have the face on the inside. With a velvet this is the pile so you have the pile on the inside.

Some, but not all, velvet piles stand straight up others will ‘lay down’. for the former it does not matter which way you then roll the fabric (provided the pile is on the inside). However for typically longer pile which lays down (ie you can brush it flat with your hand in one direction only) then you should roll the fabric down the pile as you return it to its roll.

Hopefully that made sense. Good luck.

An interview with KOTHEA’s founder

Notting Hill Carnival 2007 (London, UK)
Notting Hill Carnival 2007 (London, UK) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

London based Lisa Parsons supplies fabrics to the hippest and most exclusive UK designers. The founder of KOTHEA, her Spring2011 collection-in-progress is about to take Velvet to a new level of opulence.

With no time to think I would paint my walls withKelly Hoppen’s “Perfect Taupe”. Her colours are fantastic and, in this case, it does what it says on the tin.

My favourite piece of furniture is … an old chair I picked up in a local junk shop and I had it recovered in one of my fabrics; LeapFrog.

The car’s almost full in that small space I would pack … The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, I’ve just started it and a spot of holiday reading beckons.

Guests to my house are intrigued by … this bizarre surveying tool I have in the corner of my lounge. It’s a measuring stick used with a theodolite and it adds a bit of height and interest to a corner of my room. It also detracts from a piece of my husband’s artwork which, although good, I have to compromise on putting on show from time-to-time.

I am … passionate about my fabrics and design; I am always inspired by many of today’s amazing yacht interiors, Terence Disdale is fantastic.  I would love to be in a position to commission him.

The hardest thing about work is … keeping my beautiful fabrics at home clean whilst having three children and their 30 sticky fingers. Gulp.

In my spare time … I just said I have had a third child; what spare time! I do love yoga though, with headstands being my forte. I have also designed and made many pieces of jewellery. Chris Farrow made this one up to my design, it has 3 rotating rings with a semi-precious stone on which rotate around a larger holding ring also with a set stone.

The trendiest colour is … hmm, trendy. Difficult one, KOTHEA operates at the top end of the market and I would have to say that the desirable colours there have varied little over the last ten to 15 years. Lower down the market it is different.

My favourite designers are … well I’ve mentioned a few already. I would certainly look at Gotham (Notting Hill) for furniture. John Hutton did amazing chairs and I was privileged enough to sell a few when I worked at Donghia in the 90s. Nick & Christian the famous Candy brothers have done some amazing things just look at One Hyde Park.

The best technology is … I suppose I should say Apple but I love my Blackberry as it helps me stay in touch with everyone and everything.

The most iconic British designer is … without a doubt, Terence Conran. His massive influence has probably been understated.

A plug for your company?…We mostly deal with the very top interior designers; not all of them but many of them. That’s the market we are in and intend to stay in. We know it pretty well and we like to think our fabrics meet their needs. A case-in-point is our new velvet collection. Opulent Cashmere and Italian Silk velvet.

Most interesting use of your products? … Some of the yachts they are specified on are pretty interesting! We’ve supplied some pretty interesting pop stars and celebrities (if you are into that sort of thing). One interesting client came through a Mayfair yacht broker and temporarily wanted his ‘fishing boat’ fitted out wall-to-wall with faux leather. All I can say is that it must have been a pretty large fishing boat and certainly not what I had in mind when I think about fishing boats!

Upholstery Linen – Sourcing Luxury Upholstery Linen in the UK

Upholstery Linen
Upholstery Linen

Upholstery Linen is notoriously difficult for interior designers to source. Sourcing linens for curtains is easy enough but often linens are not woven with sufficient strength to score Martindale results that are high enough to warrant using the fabric for upholstery.

Some suppliers can be a little evasive and will quote the weight of the linen as a measure of the linen’s quality. The implicaiton being that the higher the weight the better suited the fabric will be for upholstery. There is some thuth in that implication but you cannot say for certain that a high weight linen is inherently suitable for upholstery. Get the Martindale!

Most KOTHEA luxury upholstery linens have inherent Martindale rub tests of around 20,000 rubs with one range further strengthened to 85,000 rubs for contract usage – 20,000 Martindale being eminently suitable for domestic upholstery.

Furthermore when buying upholstery- (or curtain-) linen you need to know whether or not it will shrink when washed. Linen ALWAYS shrinks. So what you have to find out is whether or not it has been pre-shrunk before you buy it. A common way of pre-shrinking linen is through the sanforisation process.

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Here are the details of our new 2011 upholstery linens that are named Recline, Relax and Restful. We have many others, these are just the new ones:

Name: Recline

Usage: Luxury Contract Upholstery

Colourways: 24

Width:   135cm

Comp:  54% Li 35% Co 11% Pa

Weight: >350g/m2

Notes:   Martindale >85,000

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Name: Relax

Usage: Luxury Domestic Upholstery

Colourways: 24

Width:  135cm

Comp: 100% Li

Weight: >265 g/m2

Notes:   Martindale >15,000

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Name: Restful

Usage: Heavyweight Luxury Domestic Upholstery

Colourways: 4

Width:  135cm

Comp: 100% Li

Weight: >470 g/m2

Notes:   Martindale >45,000

Request Samples

What is fabric sanforisation, sanforised, sanforising?

interior design oxford rogue designs
Image by rogue-designs via Flickr

Sanforising is a finishing technique for already woven fabric.

Interior Designers do not need to know the detail of exactly what happens. So, in brief, the process is usually associated with cotton fabric and often also with shirting fabric. The idea behind sanforising is to pre-shrink the fabric. Clearly any shrinkage after the fabric has been made up may cause problems and Interior Designers DO need to be aware of that!

When sanforised fabric is subsequently made up into curtains or used on upholstery the naturally occurring effects of fabric stretching are reduced, but like many natural fabrics some further shrinkage could occur.

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As a general rule: more tightly woven fabrics tend to shrink less.

The sanforisation process involves stretching and heating damp fabric over a series of rollers