Frequently Used Terminology of Textile and Apparel Industry

According to Wikipedia, Terminology is a general word for the group of specialized words or meanings relating to a particular field, and also the study of such terms and their use. Before embarking on discussing the research conducted to understand the interaction of fiber, yarn and fabrics, it is important to have a sound basis of the descriptions and definitions. Textile terminology is very important for textile engineers to understand textile easily.

textile terminology

Frequently Used Terminology of Textile and Apparel Industry

There are some frequently used textile terminology and definition which are used in the textile and apparel industry as below-

Abrasion resistance or durability: The ability to withstand the effect of rubbing or friction.

Acid Dyes: An anionic dye applied from an acidic or neutral dye bath. It has affinity for fibers containing basic groups.

Acrylic Fiber: A man made fiber containing nitrile. Maturing or ripening of alkali cellulose. Steaming of printed fabrics.

Aesthetic: The look, style or touch of a product.

Armure Fabric: A fabric that is woven in armure weave.

Armure: Embossing effect used to give a pattern e.g. in drapery or upholestry.

Automatic cutting device: A computer-controlled knife, laser, water-jet, plasma or ultrasound used to cut textiles and other materials.

Auxiliary materials: Textile materials of different shape, size and properties with a decorative and functional use (bands, stripes, ribbons, elastic bands, stickers, light reflectors, others).

Bagheera: Term used for uncut dyed velvet cloth to be used for gowns.

Basic Dyes: Dyes containing basic amino group and applied to natural cellulosic fibers in an alkaline dye bath.

Basket weave: Two or more warp yarns interlock over two or more filling yarns. This pattern has greater pliability than plain weave.

Bast fiber: A fiber that derives from the stems of plants. The phloem is used, which transports the organic materials produced during photosynthesis.

Bicomponent fiber: A man-made fiber composed of two different polymers (e.g. polyamide and carbon).

Biomimetic: The process of extracting good design from nature (e.g. Velcro was obtained by copying the hooked burrs found on goose grass plants that hook onto fuzzy fibers).

Biotechnology: The application of natural organisms and their derivatives to produce better products, processes and services while taking into account environmental issues.

Bleaching: Chemical process of improving the whiteness of the fabrics, yarn or fiber with! without removal of natural colors, c.g. hydrogen peroxide.

Blend: A fabric made of different fibers mixed together. This combination improves the performance of fabrics (e.g. making polyester cotton to produce an easy-care fabric). The process can also make fabrics cheaper to produce (e.g. blending a luxury fiber with a cheaper one to produce yarn).

Blending: Mixing of different fibers in definite proportion to get an end product having the cumulative advantages of its constituents e.g. cotton polyester blends.

Block of fusible components: Fusible components, separately grouped in a marker, fused together as a block and only cut as separate components afterwards.

Block of small components: Small components separately grouped in a marker where they form a separate spread; they are then cut by a band knife machine.

Body of a spreader truck: Part of a spreader truck of a spreading machine fixed on displacement wheels, which ensures longwise transportation of a fabric roll above a spreading table.

Bonded: A web of fibers held together via adhesive, heat, chemicals or agitation. Bonding is used to produce non-woven fabrics.

Broad Cloth: A rib effect woven cloth having high cover factor.

Brushing: Finishing process involving passing of the material over one or more brushes. It gives a raised effect.

Bundle: Stack of cut components, separated from the spread, folded or tied.

Buyer: Decides on the styles to be bought and negotiates production with suppliers.

Calendering: A finishing process to increase the smoothness and lustre of fabric. Whereby fabric is passed between steel rollers, usually heated, to change the appearance of the fabric. For example a sheen, an embossed pattern or suede effect.

Calico: A term used for plain weave cotton fabric having medium cover factor.

Canvas: A heavy weight, plain weave fabric of cotton, flax, hemp or jute. It has good strength and firmness.

Carded: Fibers which have been straightened before spinning into a yarn

Carsolchromic: The coloration of fabric through the external stimulus of an electron beam.

Chopped fiber glass: Processes where lengths of glass threads are cut between 3 and 26 mm, threads are then used in plastics most commonly intended for molding processes.

Coating: Applying a layer onto the surface or back of a fabric to protect it (e.g. wax, oil, PVC or polyurethane. See the chapter on fabric finishes).

Color Fastness: The property by virtue of which the dyed material has resistance against bleeding on washed or exposed to light, gas, rubbing.

Coloration: Methods used to add color to fabrics (e.g. dyeing, printing, weaving and embroidery).

Continuous filament: Fibers that are infinitely long. They give a smooth surface to fabrics that often have sheen or shine because light can reflect off of them easily.

Continuous fusing press: Fusing press which ensures permanent fusing by transporting the components on a conveyor belt.

Cord: A general term used for a) plied b) cabled yarns and structures made by braiding, knitting or weaving.

Cotton: Ratio of the yarn/fiber’s weight to length or depending on the direct or indirect system usage. It is a measure of fineness of the fiber.

Course: A term used when knitting in one yarn is used to form connecting loops across a row.

Crochet: Continuous series of loops with single needle.

Crowfoot satin weave: One warp yarn interlocking over three and under one filling yarn. This pattern can conform to very complex contours.

Curing: A heat treatment to fix fabric finishes into fabrics.

Cutter driving software: Software to assign different cutting tools to certain shapes in CAD drawings (different tools are used to cut contours, sharp corners, notches or holes).

Cutting room: Separate area in a production enterprise where garment components are cut out.

Cutting: Process during which separate garment components are cut out from a single fabric ply or a fabric spread in accordance with the shape and number determined by the marker.

Dead heading: Transportation of a fabric ply or the entire roll above a spreading table without laying fabric.

Denier: Another term for fiber fineness such that 1 denier = 1 g/9000 m.

Denim: 3/1 warp faced, 2c/ld twill weave, heavy cotton cloth. The fabric is made of yarn-dyed warp and undyed weft yarn.

Designer: Provides creative direction and produces product designs for buyers to select from.

Die cutting: Cutting process carried out by fixed unchangeable dies – metal bands or pieces of metal in the shape of the perimeter of the cut components.

Direct Dyes: Dyes made of vegetable fibers. These are used for dying callulosic and protein fibers. It is easily applied dyed but has low fastness.

Discharge (Printing): A method of printing in which by application of a chemical substance onto specific areas of a dyed fabric, the dye is discharged (removed) leaving a white or differently colored pattern.

Discontinuous fusing press: Fusing press which performs sequential, one at a time fusing of components.

Disperse Dyes: Dyes used only for synthetics e.g. polyester.

Dividing of a spread into smaller parts: First step of a manual cutting process during which large size spreads are divided into smaller parts using movable cutting machines.

Dobby Fabric: Fabric having weave or effect requiring a dobby looms e.g. shepherds checks.

Dobby: It is a loom used for making double fabrics. It has healed capacity greater than tappet loom. It also shows greater efficiency. Different color and weave effects can be WOven using drop box motion at the shuttle box.

Drag knife: Knife with a slanting blade which is dragged along the profile of the cut component during the cutting process.

Drill marks: Round holes placed in the area of cut components to show ends of darts and placement points of ‘put on’ components (patch pockets, flaps, others).

Drill: A twill weave, piece dyed fabric. It is usually made in O.7m width.

Dye: A chemical containing chromophore, which on application to another suitable material imparts color to it accordingly.

Dyeing: Application and ftxing of a dye to the substrate.

Eight-harness satin weave: One warp yarn interlock over seven and under one filling yarn. This pattern produces the highest strength composite.

Elastic Fabric: A fabric composed of ftbres /yarns having very high young’s modulus. Thus the fabric is characterised by very high extensibility on application of stress without any permanent deformation e.g. lycra.

Electrochromic: The coloration of fabric via the external stimulation of electricity.

Embossing: Method of developing a raised /depressed pattern on to the material by passing it between heated roller having the similar design engraved upon one of them. It is generally used upon thermo plastic fabrics.

End catcher: Device used with a spreading machine to fix the end of the laid material ply not allowing it to move from its correct position.

Extrusion: The process that occurs when molten polymer is pushed through the holes of a spinneret to form fibers.

Fabric faults (flaws, defects): Imperfections in the fabric. Divided into general defects, yarn defects in a woven fabric, defects in the weft direction, defects in the warp direction, defects due to, or apparent after, dyeing, printing or finishing, defects of, or associated with, the selvedges (ISO 8498:1990).

Fabric feed system: Part of a spreading machine which rolls a material from a fabric setting bar or a special cradle and takes it down to the spreading table. It controls loading, unloading, threading or rewinding of fabrics, performs adjustable or automatic control of material feeding speed and measurement of roll/material length.

Fabric feeder: Stand with a horizontal axis on which the fabric roll is fixed so that it can be rewound during the spreading process. The stand may be fixed on the table, on a wall (at the end of the spreading table) or just put next to the spreading table.

Fabric shrinkage: Dimensional changes of a material resulting in decrease in one or more dimensions, i.e. the length or width.

Fabric specification: Document characterizing delivered fabrics. It includes the following information: the fabric article, a color number and its description, the number of delivered rolls (pieces), footage in every roll, total footage.

Fabric: General term used for all materials made of fibers /yarns by weaving, knitting, lace binding, braiding, felting, bonding, fusing or inter locking.

Face down in a single direction spreading mode: All fabric plies are spread with their face side down only in one direction. After laying a ply it is cut off from the fabric roll across its width.

Face materials: Textile materials used to obtain the main components placed on a face side of a garment.

Face to face in a single direction spreading mode: The first fabric ply is spread with its face side up. After laying the ply it is cut off from the fabric roll across its width. After/during the ‘dead heading’ the fabric roll is turned for 180° and the next ply is spread in the same direction only with its face side down.

Face to face in both directions (zig-zag) spreading mode: The fabric is spread in both directions. At the end of every ply, fabric is folded and spreading continues in the opposite direction. So, the first ply has its face side up, the second ply, face side down and the third ply, again face side up.

Face up in a single direction spreading mode: All fabric plies are spread with their face side up and only in one direction. After laying a ply it is cut off from the fabric roll across its width.

Face up in both directions spreading mode: All fabric plies are spread with their face side up in both directions after laying a ply it is cut off from the fabric roll across its width.

Face: Correct or better-looking side of a fabric.

Fastness: Fastness of material to an agent means the resistance of the former towards the latter.

Fiber fabric: Web-form fabric reinforcing material that has both warp and weft directions.

Fiber mats: Web-form nonwoven mats of glass fibers. Mats are manufactured in cut dimensions with chopped fibers, or in continuous mats using continuous fibers.

Fiber: A fine strand that is the base component of textile materials.

Filament: A single long and continuous fiber with a predominantly circular shape.

Final operations: Work operations in a cutting room which end the cutting process and prepare the cut components for further processing in sewing lines. There are quality control of cut components, re-cutting of faulty components, numbering, sorting and bundling of cut components.

Fine cutting of components: Work operation of manual cutting process when components are precisely cut out along their original contours.

Finishing: Treatment of fabric to improve properties.

Fully automated spreading process: Spreading process using a spreading machine, when the operator only sets the necessary parameters (the length of the lay, spreading speed, fabric tension) and does not take part in the spreading process. It can be used for high-quality easy spread materials.

Fully automatic lay end cutter: Cutter which automatically cuts a fabric ply, returning to its original position, automatically counts each cut fabric ply and ensures automatic lifting and lowering of a front rail.

Functional properties: Aspects related to practical, working properties of fabrics (e.g. absorbent and breathable).

Functional textiles: Products that are designed for specific end uses. They have specific properties (e.g. swimwear with UV protection).

Fusing resins: Polymers applied to fabrics intended for fusible interlinings, which melt under application of heat.

Fusing: Process during which cut components or their blocks are fused with interlinings coated with thermoplastic resin. Fusing certain garment components is performed to create strength and stability of the garment, improve its shape and increase resistance.

Gabardine: Worsted fabric with pronounced twill face.

Garment technologist: Provides technical (fabric and construction) advice and controls sample development.

Georgette: Crepe fine fabric with alternate twisted tam.

Geotextiles: Fabrics used on the land because they are permeable. Used for drainage, erosion control, road construction, landfill sites, waterproof lining, etc.

Glass fiber short strands: Short 0.2–0.3 mm strands of glass fibers that are used to reinforce thermoplastics most commonly for injection molding.

Greige: a fabric that has not been bleached dyed or finished and is usually an off-white color. It is ready to have the processes completed when they are ordered by product manufacturers. They are also known as grey goods.

Handle: The way a fabric feels when you touch it (e.g. crisp, stiff, soft, flexible etc).

Hosiery: Knitted articles.

Hydrophilic: A water-loving material; fibers will absorb moisture.

Hydrophobic: A water-hating material; fibers will not absorb water.

Hygroscopic: A material that attracts moisture from the air. Fibers will hold moisture on the surface of the fabric which will either not absorb it through or allow it to slowly seep in.

Imitation Velvet: Plain weave with small tufts or fibers fixed by adhesive.

Industrial textiles: Products manufactured specifically for industrial uses with particular functional properties (e.g., aerospace – heat shield on the space shuttle, automotive industry – tyres, seat belts).

Initial marker: Marker in which pattern pieces are placed in a logical way with allowances around them to achieve the required precise pattern matching of the components directly on to the fabric later.

Inspection of fabrics before cutting: Process during which the following data about the delivered textile materials are obtained: footage, width, number of different shades of one color and shrinkage after washing and fusing processes.

Interleaving paper (tissues): Paper (20–40 g/m2) spread between fabric plies in a spread to separate fabric plies from different rolls or to separate the cut components into manageable bundles.

Interlining: Woven or non-woven fabric layer between outer cloth and lining of a garment for stiffening or giving warmth.

Jacquard: A complex woven or knitted pattern produced on a loom or knitting machine where each warp yarn or knitting needle is controlled separately.

Jersy: Plain knitted fabric on circular knitting machine or tricot machines.

Jute: A multicellular baste fiber.

Knitting: A process of forming open work fabric by tying yarns when they cross one another, interlocking a series of loops.

Knot: Joining together by tying.

Lace: Openwork fabric, patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand plaiting, knotting, looping, or twisting.

Laminated fabric: Two or more fabrics are layered and held together by adhesive or thermoplastic properties. This process is carried out for a variety of reasons: to stiffen a fabric (e.g. iron on Vilene to the back of a fabric), a waterproof membrane adhered to fabric (e.g. Gore-Tex), or a jersey knit adhered to the back of a woven fabric to make it warmer and wind-resistant.

Large base iron (heatseal iron): Iron with a large heated base, used for thermo adhesive papers to fix a marker on the top of a spread.

Lawn: Light thin cotton fabric.

Lay end cutter: Cutting device, usually a round knife, used to cut laid fabric plies. It is fixed on a guiding rail perpendicularly to the width of the fabric. Often a lay end cutter is available together with a fabric feeder, rear and front cloth presses and a layers counter.

Lay planning: Process during which two or more different garment sizes are combined in every marker, the number of fabric plies in every spread and the number of spreads laid down for every marker is determined.

Lining: Fabric used to cover inner sides of a garment. Comes into contact with undergarments. Interlining fabrics have a slippery surface to improve put on and off comfort and increase movement comfort.

Loom: A weaving machine.

Lustre: Gloss of textiles.

Manual lay end cutter: Cutting device (usually a round knife) for cutting laid fabric ply is transported along a guiding rail manually using a pull/push handle.

Manual spreading: Spreading process which is performed by two (could be also one) workers. They move a fabric ply above a spreading table, ensure quality placement of the ply, recognise faults in the fabric, make decisions to leave or cut them out, count plies and cut fabric ply at the end of the spread.

Marker: Efficient layout of pattern pieces. It can be used in manual or automated cutting to minimise consumption and organise the cutting process.

Medical textiles: Used for swabs, wound dressings, etc. The textiles must be non-toxic, non-allergenic, and non-carcinogenic, for example. More advanced medical applications of stents, embroidered tendon implants to connect muscle to bone, artery replacements etc.

Melange: A mixture of colored stocks.

Mercerization: A process used to untwist cotton fibers to give them sheen.

Merchandiser:  Works with buyers planning stock mix according to trend analysis, manages budget and controls stock deliveries and allocation to stores.

Microfiber: A fiber that has a denier count lower than one.

Mineral acids: A group of acids that include hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, and nitric acid.

Mohair: Fine lustrous hair of Angora goat.

Movable fabric feeder: Movable carriage on which the fabric roll is fixed. It can move along a spreading table and perform ‘face to face in both directions’ (zig–zag) mode.

Multi-tool cutting head: Set of cutting devices for cutting by an automated cutting system. It may contain between two and five different tools, knives, creasing and scoring tools, notch tools, drill punches and markers. The choice of each tool for the cutting process depends on the cut material, the configuration of cut lines and cutting operations used.

Muslin: A fine plain white cotton fabric.

Narrow Fabrics: Fabrics of 24-36 inch width.

Nap: Prominent direction in which surface fibers lie on a fabric.

Natural Polymers: These polymers are mainly short-length fibers.

Nesting software: Specialized software which allows the operator to move pattern pieces on a computer screen and position them in the area whose width corresponds to the width of the cut material.

Noils: Short fibers that have been removed during the combing process.

Non-woven: Fabric that is made using fibers that have not been spun into a yarn. Making non-woven fabrics is faster than making woven fabrics, but the fabrics have limited use due to their poor durability and strength.

Notches: Short cuts at the edge of components which help to join components correctly and precisely during the sewing process.

Numbering cut components: One of the final operations in a cutting room during which every component gets a sequential number. It corresponds to the number of a fabric ply from which the component was previously cut. In the further sewing process, components with one sequence number are joined in one article.

Numdah Stitches: A felt Indian rug of goat’s hair embroidered with colored chain stitches.

Nylon: Synthetic polyamide fiber.

Oleophilic: Fabrics that love oil.

Oleophobic: Fabrics that lack an affinity for oil.

Operator stand panel: Special platform to allow the operator to ride alongside the table during the spreading process. It can be equipped with an adjustable seat.

Organdy: Thin transparent stiff effect on cotton.

Oscillating (reciprocating) knife: Type of knife whose blade achieves cutting action through a push and pull reciprocating motion.

Overall marker: Marker in which all pattern pieces of one or more garments are positioned in a free arrangement to obtain minimal fabric utilisation.

Oxford: 2 x 1 basket weave.

Package Dyeing: Dying of yarn in packages.

Pattern: Design or style of a printed, woven or knitted fabric, e.g. stripe, check, floral.

Patterning (ribboning): This is a sort of defect which occurs during winding on a random winding machine when the wind per double traverse becomes exactly an integer. Some coils of yarns tend to superimpose on each other thereby creating a sort of short band or a ribbon. If a package with such a defect is used in subsequent processes such as knitting, warping or weaving, they adversely affect the unwinding properties of the yarn. During unwinding of the yarn at high speed, the coils of yarn from the ribbon tend to slough off in a bunch and cause a machine stoppage.

Performance textiles: Products using fabric designed for specific end uses with specific properties (e.g. sportswear is lightweight, breathable and it dries quickly).

Photochromic: The coloration of fabric via the external stimulation of light.

Pick and Pick Weaving: Weaving by alternate picks.

Piezochromic: The coloration of fabric via the external stimulation of pressure.

Pile height: The height of pile yarn above the backing.

Pile: Raised surface of a fabric. It can be either cut or loop, patterned or plain, textured of flat.

Pilling: The little balls of fiber that form on the surface of fabrics due to abrasion. It usually occurs with staple fibers.

Plain weave: One warp yarn passes over and under one filling yarn. This pattern has maximum stability with respect to slippage and fabric distortion.

Ply: Piece of fabric laid in a spread in accordance with the spreading mode and fabric pattern. Its length corresponds to the length of the marker.

Polyamide: Polymerised product of alcohols and acids.

Polymer: This compound is a combination of large molecules made from a chain of smaller, repeating chemical units called monomers.

Poplin: A plain weave fabric with ribbed or corded effect.

Power loom: Looms driven by power.

Precision wound package: This is mostly wound on a precision winding machine where the package is driven independently. The number of coils per double traverse (wind ratio) remains constant from the start to the finish of the package, i.e. as the package diameter increases, the angle of wind decreases.

Properties: Characteristics of fibers, yarns and fabrics that make them suitable for an end product (e.g. durable, soft handle and windproof).

Quality control of cut components: One of the final operations in a cutting room during which all cut components are inspected visually to control fabric quality; the conformity of the size and shape of cut components to their pattern pieces; the quality of the notches and drill marks.

Random wound package: This kind of package is mostly produced on a drum winding machine. The wind ratio, i.e. the number of coils per double traverse, decreases as the package diameter increases but the angle of wind remains the same.

Raw Silk: Reeled silk directly from cocoon with slight twist.

Re-cutting faulty components: One of the final operations in a cutting room, during which the faulty components are re-cut from fabric pieces with the same color shade using their original pattern pieces.

Reed: Frame in front of harnesses separating warp and swinging forward.

Resiliency: The ability for a fiber or fabric to return to its original shape after being bent or folded.

Re-spreading roughly cut components: Spreading operation which is performed to obtain precise matching of the pattern in all the components.

Roll loader: Lifting device to take fabric rolls from the floor or table top to the cradle of the spreading machine. The roll loaders can ensure both fabric roll loading and unloading operations.

Rotary blade knife (pizza wheel): Knife with a circular blade. During the cutting process it rolls over the material to be cut.

Rough cutting: During cutting a fabric allowance is left around the contours of components; their cut lines may not be perfectly parallel to their original contours.

Router: Cutting tool which rotates around a vertical axis during cutting and allows movement along the profile of the cut component.

Roving: Process where filaments are spun into larger diameter threads. These threads are then commonly used for woven reinforcing glass fabrics and mats and in spray applications.

Satin: A woven cloth of smooth surface caused by weft floats.

Sectioned marker: Marker in which components with similar lengths or single size bodice pieces are united. The length of a section is determined by the longest pattern piece included in it.

Selvedge or selvage: The finished edge of woven fabric that prevents it from fraying. Often, there is a double warp count that should not be used in the manufacture of a product because the fabric property will behave differently – for example, it may have a different shrinkage rate and will pucker seams.

Semi-automated spreading process: Spreading process using a spreading machine, when the operator moves along the spreading table and follows the spreading process. The operator also smoothes the surface of the lay, recognises faults in the spread fabric and makes decisions to leave faults in the spread or to cut them out.

Semi-automatic lay end cutter: Lay end cutter which performs fabric cutting and returns to its original position automatically. Counting fabric plies, lifting and lowering of the front rail has to be performed manually.

Shade variations of one fabric color: Fabric from different dye lots (batches) may have variations in shading (batch-to-batch color variations). Slight color variations may also occur in one fabric roll (side-centre-side or end-to-end color variations).

Smart materials: Materials that have ‘intelligence’. They will react to the wearer or the environment by changing their properties or use. For example, they may change color.

Solvatochromic: Coloration of fabric via external stimulation of liquid.

Sorting and bundling cut components: Final work operation performed in a cutting room during which a full set of components of an article is formed and cut garments are grouped by sizes and colors.

Spinneret: A device made out of stainless steel or platinum that has holes and is used in the production of man-made fibers.

Spinning: Process of making yarns. Details here,

  1. The process of twisting fibers to produce a yarn.
  2. The extrusion of man-made fibers through the spinneret to produce fibers.

Splice lines: Two lines marked at every splice place in the marker. In the case of fabric faults, the zone between the splice lines is the area where the fabric is laid double (overlapping) to obtain all cut components in their full shape in either the first or the second piece of fabric.

Splice marks: Marks to determine the places where the fabric has to be spread double. They are printed outside the marker borders along its bottom and top edge or marked directly on the edges of a spreading table before the spreading process.

Splice places: Zones where more or less straight lines may be lined across the fabric width, the fabric ply could be cut off and the fault cut out without affecting the quality of the cut components.

Spreader truck turret: Part of a spreader truck which ensures crosswise transportation of a fabric roll during the spreading process. It can move aside to adjust the alignment differences of the fabric roll in order to achieve perfect fabric edge placement on the table.

Spreader truck: Part of a spreading machine which ensures transportation of a fabric roll above a spreading table in a longwise and crosswise direction. It has two main parts, a body and a turret.

Spreading machine: Machine which moves above the spreading table, carries a roll of fabric, ensures qualitative placement of a fabric ply on the top of a spread and cuts the ply.

Spreading mode: The way fabric is spread. It determines the placement of the face side of every fabric ply in a spread, up or down, and the placement direction of every fabric ply in a spread, one or both directions.

Spreading table: Table with smooth surface for performing the spreading process. The table surface can be perforated and equipped with an air flotation system which provides air to lift the lay moving it to the cutting section or a vacuum system to hold the lay in place.

Spreading: Process during which fabric is cut in certain length pieces and placed one above other in one or many plies.

Spun Silk: Silk yarn from short filament.

Staple fiber: Short-length fibers that range from approximately 1 cm to 12cm in length. Typically, short fibers protrude onto the surface of the fabric, which gives it some texture and the appearance is matt (i.e. it cannot reflect light). All natural fibers, except silk, are staple fibers and man-made fibers can be produced in staple or continuous filament formats.

Staple: Average length of fiber for natural or, cut in case of man-made fiber.

Step kind of spread: Spread in which a different number of plies are laid in different (two or more) zones (steps).

Suede Cloth: A finish to resemble chamois leather.

Synthetic Polymers: These polymers are produced by a process called polymerization to make a long chain of linear polymers.

Taffeta: Plain closely woven filament fabric.

Tapestry: Yarn dyed figured fabrics in jacquard loom.

Tearing device: Device on an automated spreading machine to tear light fabrics.

Technical textiles: Products designed with specific functional properties used by many industries (e.g. aerospace, building, automotive, military, medical, agricultural and construction).

Tenacity: The strength of the fiber.

Tensile strength: How strong a fiber is and how much weight the fiber can withstand before it breaks.

Terry Cloth: Absorbent fabric with uncut pile loops.

Tex: A unit of fiber fineness defined by the weight in grams of 1000 m of yarn; the lower the number, the finer the yarn (weight per unit length, i.e., 1 g/1000 m = 1 tex).

Textile: A textile is a flexible material made up of a network of natural or synthetic fibers. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibers from wool, flax, cotton, flax, or other materials to produce long strands. Textiles are made by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, tatting, felting, or braiding.

Texture: Surface effect and appearance of fabric.

Thermochromic: The coloration of fabric via heat.

Thermoplastic: Fabrics affected by heat, which causes them to become pliable or mouldable. These materials can be set into new shapes.

Thread count: The number of warp and weft yarns in one inch of fabric.

Tubular fabric: Fabric in a tubular form knitted on a circular knitting machine.

Turnable fabric feeder (turntable): Fabric feeder with a turnable axis which turns a fabric roll around its vertical axis to perform a ‘face up in both directions’ spreading mode.

Twill weave: One or more warp yarns over and under two or more filling yarns. This produces a very drapeable fabric.

Underlay paper: Paper (40–100 g/m2) spread under a fabric spread to ensure easy transportation of the ready spread or its parts along the spreading table and eliminate deformations of the lowest fabric plies during the transportation.

Velvet: Cut pile fabric of silk or man-made fiber.

Wales: Columns of loops along the length of a knitted fabric.

Wales: the interconnecting loops up the length of knitted fabric.

Warp faced fabric: More warp yarns show on the surface of the fabric, and more weft yarns appear on the back.

Warp knitting: One or two yarns feed a needle on a machine to form loops up the length of the fabric.

Warp: Lengthwise threads in a fabric attached to a loom before weaving begins.

Weave count: The number of yarns per one inch in the warp and weft.

Weaving: Interlacing of two sets of yarns usually at right angles to form a fabric.

Weft faced fabric: More weft yarns show on the surface of the fabric, and more warp yarns appear on the back.

Weft knitting: A yarn forms loops across the width of the fabric.

Weft: The yarns that run across the width of the fabric; they can also be called filling.

Wicking: The movement of moisture through fabric via capillary action to the surface of the fabric where it can evaporate.

Winch Dyeing Machine: A dyeing machine consisting of a dye vessel fitted with a drive winch, which rotates and draws a length of fabric, normally joined end to end, through the liquor.

Wind ratio: This is defined as the number of coils wound on the package per double traverse. This can be found by counting the number of times the package is revolved to traverse and return the yarn to the same point.

Wind: During the winding process, the package rotates, whether by friction of the drum or when mounted onto a spindle, and the yarn is traversed on the package from one side to the other and back. In one stroke of the single traverse, a certain number of coils are wound on the package and this number is defined as the wind. Wind is therefore defined as the number of coils wound around the package in a single traverse.

Woollen: Descriptive of yarns or fabrics or garments made from yarns, which have been produced on the condenser system, wholly from wool fibers, new or otherwise. (Wool is the fibrous covering of a sheep.)

Worsted Fabric: A fabric manufactured wholly from worsted yarns, except that decoration threads of other fibers may be present.

Worsted: A process, usually on longer and finer fibers of wool, which entails a second combing. It ensures that the fibers are parallel to give a smoother yarn.

Woven fabric: Manufactured by intertwining two rectangular crossing thread systems, defined as warp and weft (or fill). The kind and crossing of warp and weft is called the “weaving pattern.” The weaving pattern influences the fabric properties and design. One of the variables in the process is how often a thread is crossing threads of the other system on a certain length. This length is called floating.

Woven: A cloth formed by weaving. It only stretches in the bias directions (at an angle between the warp and weft directions). There are three basic weaving patterns—plain, twill, and atlas weave.

Yarn: A product of substantial length and relatively small cross~ section consisting of fibers and or filament (s).

Yarns (or filament yarns): A bundle of elementary fibers or filaments. Yarns consist of several hundreds up to thousands of single filaments. The fineness of the yarn, indicated as tex (gram per 1000 m), depends on the number of filaments, the average filament diameter, and the fiber density.


  1. Fibers to Fabrics by Bev Ashford
  2. Industrial cutting of textile materials by I. Viļumsone-Nemes
  3. Mechanics of Fiber and Textile Reinforced Cement Composites by Barzin Mobasher
  4. Woven Textiles: Principles, Developments and Applications Edited by K. L. Gandhi
  5. Career in Textile and Fashion Designing Edited by: Cameron Luther

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