textile terms & definitions


A very soft lustrous fabric produced from fibre taken from the semi-domesticated animal found in the high mountains of South America.


Fabric or knitwear made from yarn spun from the hair of the Angora rabbit. Not to be confused with the hair of the Angora goat that is called Mohair.


A curled pile fabric made to look like the fleece of a stillborn or very young astrakhan lamb.


This is the technical name for the back of a fabric (the front is the “face”). Any faults in the fabric are pulled to the back so they cannot be seen

Baize (Baze)

A woven woollen felt used for covering billiard tables and screens


A firmly woven Cheviot tweed in 2/2 twill weave (straight weave or herringbone) with single ply and two-ply yarns working alternately in both warp and weft.


A fabric of textured appearance, in twilled hopsack or broken-rib weave, made of in silk, worsted, or man-made fibres and used for a variety of clothing purposes but mostly formalwear.

Basket Weave

A variation of plain weave in which two or more contrast colour yarns weave alike in both warp and weft directions.


A method of producing designs on fabric using a wax or gum resist mix, to mask or protect parts of the fabric from dyes.


A soft, fine, plain-woven fabric traditionally of flax but can be made in other fibre.


Term normally used for the cylinder onto which a warp is wound before being placed into the loom.

Beaver Cloth

A heavy, firm textured fabric, made from woollen yarns, which is milled, raised and cut close on the face before receiving a dress-face finish. It is intended to simulate natural beaver skin and used frequently for hats.

Bedford Cord

A fabric showing rounded cords in the warp direction with pronounced sunken lines between them, produced by the nature of the weave. The weave on the face of the cords is usually plain, but other weaves may be used. There are weft floats the width of the cords on the back. Wadding threads may be used to increase the prominence of the cords.


A fabric with a warp-rib appearance running across the fabric and produced from cotton, worsted, silk or other continuous-filament yarns, or in part from any of the materials named, a typical example having silk warp and worsted weft. Sometimes known as Ottoman


A fabric with an all over ground of very small and uniform spots, the result of the combination of weave and colour.

Blazer Cloth

Traditionally an all-wool woven fabric for apparel, in either solid colours or stripes that may be milled and/or raised. Mainly made in worsted or wool but can be produced in any fabric


Term used for yarns and fabrics made from Merino wool.


A fabric with a textured surface produced by means of fancy yarns.


A dress cloth of cotton warp and lustre worsted weft. It is generally in plain weave, but jacquard designs are sometimes used as well.

Broadcloth – cotton type

A lightweight fabric of a poplin type, used extensively in North America for shirtings


A fabric made from fine woollen yarns in a twill weave, heavily milled. Traditionally approximately 230cm in the loom to finish at 140cm and given a dressed finish on the face.


A figured fabric in which the figure is developed by floating the warp threads, the weft threads, or both and interlaced in a more or less irregular order. The ground is usually a simple weave.

Broken Twill

Any twill weave in which the move number is not constant, with the result that the uniform appearance of the twill line is broken (example = Russian Twill).


A generic term for plain cotton fabric, which is heavier than muslin


Fabric made from the soft hair of the camel and used for coats and jackets. Comes in various qualities depending on the age of the animal.


A normally tightly woven and hardwearing fabric usually made from cotton, flax, hemp or jute. The weave is plain or double-end plain.


Is the down or fine fibre shed by goats, normally found in China and Mongolia but also common in Russia, Afghanistan and Iran. The yarn is used in fabric and knitwear and has one of the softest, most luxurious handles of all animal fibres.

Cavalry Twill

A firm warp-faced fabric in which the weave gives steep double twill lines with pronounced grooves formed by the weft. Originally used for riding trousers but can now be found in lighter weight fabrics


A coloured woven fabric for blouses and shirting’s, made from a cotton warp and a cotton-wool weft


A lightweight, soft-handling, plain weave dress fabric, generally of wool, using single worsted-spun yarns in warp and weft. It is frequently used as a print base fabric.

Chalk Stripe

White stripes resembling chalk lines of varying widths, on a dark ground. A fabric can be printed but mostly woven with these stripes and for the best effect in a milled / flannel finish. Mainly used for men’s suits.


A lightweight plain-weave cotton fabric with a coloured warp and white weft, giving a mottled appearance. It can also be made in striped, checked or figured patterns.

Cheese Cloth

An open, lightweight fabric made in plain weave and usually made from carded cotton yarns.

Chenille Fabric

A fabric containing chenille yarn. Chenille yarn is a cut pile effect secured by fine binder threads.


A tweed made from the wool the Cheviot sheep, a breed of sheep originating from the Cheviot Hills in the South of Scotland and North of England. Used mainly for traditional heavyweight jacketing.


Originally this very light, sheer, open mesh fabric was made from silk yarns in plain weave, now made also from man-made fibres


A thick, spongy, weft-pile, double fabric that has a face of long floats in soft twist yarns that are teazled (or raised) to produce a long nap that is rubbed into curly nubs.


A glazed, printed, plain-weave fabric, originally and usually of cotton.

Clear-cut finish

This is where the fabric surface is treated to remove extra fibre and to make the appearance clear and smooth.

Cockle or Cockling

The distortion of fabric due to a variation in shrinkage of different fibres or threads when exposed to fluids or steam.

Common Twill

The most often used twill, also known as 2×2 Twill


Methods of finishing which add softness and lustre to fabrics after the scouring and heat processes, which remove naturally existing oils and added lubricants and moisture. This is an extremely important part of fabric processing and its ultimate hand and appearance.


The word given to describe how a fabric is made, or built. The combination of weave type, the yarn content and possible the finishing route used to establish a specific quality of fabric.

Continuous filament

This is yarn made from fibre of indefinite length such as silk and man-made fibres


A cut weft-pile fabric in which the cut fibres form the surface. The binding points of the pile wefts are arranged so that after the pile has been cut, cords or ribs are formed in the direction of the warp. Comes in various width of cords and is mainly made from cotton although there are now cords made in blends of cotton and cashmere.There are different names for different dimensios of cord. Pin cord = narrow width, standard – medium width cord, jumbo – wider width cord.


A warp faced fabric produced in a steep twill weave.


The degree in which the face of a fabric is covered with fibre from the yarns used in manufacture.

Covert Cloth

A warp faced fabric, made with two coloured twist yarns in the warp and single colour in the weft and finished to give a mottled appearance.


A process used on worsted and mohair fabrics to set or stabilise the fabric in a smooth flat state to stop cockling or wrinkling during wet processing. The fabric is held out under tension in open width in a hot or boiling aqueous solution

Crepe de Chine

Originally a silk fabric in plain weave made with a normal twist continuous – filament yarn in the warp and two S and Z highly twisted yarns alternating in the weft.

Crêpe Weave

A weave with a random distribution of floats to produce an all over effect in the fabric to disguise direction and repeat.


The process of passing fabrics over a sharp bladed roller to cut the fibres to a specific length or to remove fibre from the surface or face of a cloth.

Crossbred wool

This is a wool produced by breeding a long fibre fleeced sheep with a short fibre fleeced sheep in order to increase the varieties of wool quality and meat.


A figured fabric made with one warp and one weft in which, generally, warp-satin and weft-sateen weaves are used and most often combined with jacquard designs.


This is a finishing process, mainly used on worsted fabrics to improve the handle and appearance of the finished product. Fabric is wound on to a perforated drum and steam or hot water passed through it.


A process of dyeing modified fibres, which have a greater take-up of specific dyes than normal fibres. This is common in man made fibres but also applies to some natural fibres. Silk has a greater uptake than wool for example and when dyed together, the silk takes on a darker shade than the wool.


This is a process of removing natural gum from fibre or fabric by a hot, slightly alkaline treatment. Silk and Ramie are treated this way.


A measurement based on the weight in grammes of 9000 metres of continuous filament or yarn.


Traditionally a 3/1 warp-faced twill fabric made from yarn-dyed warp and undyed weft yarn. Also comes in 2/1 warp-faced twill and a variety of other constructions. One of the most widely used fabrics in the world it originated in the French town of Nimes. De Nimes, hence Denim


The unit of a reed made of a wire and the space between the next wire. The reed is used to keep the warp threads spaced in the weaving process.

Differential dyeing

Describes fibres or yarns of the same generic class but which have different dyeing properties from a standard fibre. Nylon is a good example. In the same fabric, ordinary and deep dye nylon take on the same colour but in different depths, while basic nylon dyes to a completely different colour.

District Check

Bold distinctive woollen checks originally made in Scotland, designed in mainly 2×2 twill weave. Made for areas of Scotland where tartan is not historically connected, such as the Scottish Borders.


Any one of a variety of fabrics or weaves, which require a dobby. A dobby is a mechanism for controlling the movement of the heald shafts of the loom. These shafts lift the warp threads in a specific order to allow the weft threads to pass between them to form a fabric. The dobby is required when the number of heald shafts or the number of picks in a repeat of the pattern or both are beyond the capacity of tappet shedding. It would normally run to a maximum number of 24 shafts at which point for more complex designs the Jacquard system would be used.


A five-end satin or other warp-faced fabric with dressed finish

Dogstooth (Houndstooth)

A simple colour and weave effect in a fabric produced by a combination of 2/2 twill weave and a 4 /4, 6/6 or 8/8 order of colouring in warp and weft. Attributed to the Scottish Borders and to Sir Walter Scott, who adopted the Shepherds Check, a 2 by 2 twill weave, coloured 4 black and 4white Donegal A plain weave fabric woven from woollen spun yarns, characterized by randomly spaced, coloured flecks or slubs. It was originally produced as a coarse woollen suiting in County Donegal, Ireland. Adopted by weavers everywhere in a variety of weights and qualities.

Double Cloth

A compound fabric in which the two component fabrics are held together by one of the following: -Self-stitching, in which threads from one fabric interlace with the other. -Centre stitching, in which a special series of stitching threads, lying between the two fabrics, are interlaced alternately with them and thus binding them together. -Interlacing, in which the two fabrics interchange with each other. In some cases, the fabrics are completely interchanged whereas in others only the warp or weft threads interchange. Known also as interlacing double plain.


This is the order in which threads are pulled through the heald eyes on the heald shafts before being placed in the loom. The heald shafts are there to lift the threads in a sequence, which will help form the weave appearance


This is a fabric similar in quality to denim but is usually piece-dyeing compared to yarn dyed denim.


A series of thin metal strips, which are suspended on each warp thread in loom. If the thread breaks, the dropper falls and stops the weaving process therefore reducing the possibility of broken ends causing expensive faults in the cloth.


Originally a fabric woven from doupion yarns made specifically from double silk cocoons and giving an uneven surface effect. The term is sometimes applies to imitations woven from man-made fibre yarns.


A low quality fabric made from woollen fabric raised on both sides and used for outerwear.


Fabric made in 2/1 or 3/1 twill and very similar to denim. Originally used for overalls.

Ecru (also greige cloth)

The colour of fibres, yarns or fabrics that have not been subjected to dyeing processes or printing affecting their natural colour.

Elastomeric Yarns

These are yarns formed by elastomers and have the benefits of stretch and return. They can be used in fabric in their normal or bare state, or they can be covered with other yarns.


This is the term given to a warp thread. Pick is the name for weft threads


A very matted, non-directional fabric where the fibres have been forced together by heavy finishing.


– Woollen dress fabric made from printed yarns – Plain-weave fabric produced from yarn-dyed linen warp and cotton weft, used for tablecloths and curtains. Also used to describe a yarn with thick and thin drawn slubs.


All wool, wool–worsted and all worsted fabrics of plain or twill weave with a soft handle. They are milled and raised. The all wool is normally the best covered, the worsted the least covered, due to the smoothness of the fibres being less affected by milling.

Four and Four or 4×4

A simple check, also known as dogstooth, formed by two colours, four ends of each colour in the warp and four picks of each colour in the weft.


A heavy woollen over coating made from a coarse wool. The fabric is shrunk in by very heavy milling and then raised to give a rough fibrous surface with the nap laid in one direction.


A firmly woven, clear-finished, warp-faced fabric in which the end density considerably exceeds the pick density, the twill line being produced at a steep angle. It is usually woven in 2/1 twill and is used for suitings and rainwear because of its density.


A fine lightweight, open-texture fabric, usually in a plain weave, made from crepe yarns, usually having two s-twisted (cross section of yarn looks like an s) and two z-twisted (cross section of yarn looks like a z) yarns in both warp and weft.


A plain weave, lightweight cotton fabric, approximately square in construction, in which dyed yarns or white and dyed yarns, produce small checks.


A plain weave fabric with a rib in the weft direction, the rib is more pronounced than in a taffeta. It is usually made with a closely set continuous- filament warp and coarse folded continuous filament or staple weft.


This is an effect created by colour and weave combinations, normally plain weave or 2/2 Twill. It resembles pronounced warp and/or weft lines and can be used in design effects.

Handle (or hand)

Is the description of how a fabric feels when handled.


This is the heald shafts ad heald threads that control the warp ends during weaving. It is also the name of all the control strings in Jacquard weaving.

Harris Tweed

Defined by the British Board of Trade and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as referring only to woollen fabric hand-woven on the islands of the Outer Hebrides off the northern coast of Scotland. The yarn content and woven construction, normally common twill, are specifically defined by an act of parliament.


A shirting cloth with 2/2 twill weave, usually with a coloured warp and white weft. These cloths are normally ornamented by stripes of white or coloured threads or by simple weave effects.

Heald (or heddle)

This is the wire, which is shaped with an eye at its centre through which a warp end is threaded and the end is then controlled during weaving. The heald wire is attached to heald shafts.


A combination of twill weaves in which the direction of the twill is reversed, to produce stripes resembling fish bones. Comes in a huge variety of sizes. For instance 4/4, 8/8, 12/12, 16/16 herringbones


A plain cloth made from single yarns of approximately the same linear density in warp and weft, usually made from the bast fibres, particularly jute. Used for sacks and also wall coverings.


A fabric, which is woven with long floats and an open construction which in relaxed tension and with finishing, distort to create a cellular effect or honeycomb look.


A modification of plain weave in which two or more ends and picks weave as one, or a fabric made in such a weave. There are regular and irregular hopsacks and the weave is commonly used in combination with other weaves.


A resist form of fabric decoration. A textile fabric is called an Ikat when the yarn is tied for dyeing and weaving purposes, as distinct from tying the whole fabric. The ikat principal can be applied to the warp, the filling or both and called warp ikat, filling ikat or double ikat.


A fabric that has a shaded appearance created by a warp thread colour pattern or by the use of special melange type yarns. It may be woven plain or figured


Jacquard weaving is a much more complex system of making fabric as, instead of dobby weaving which can onlt deal with a limited movement of yarn as the normal loom can cope with a maximum of heald shafts. In Jacquard, each warp thread can be lifted individually, meaning that the repeat of a design can spread over the complete width of the warp. There are a variety of rules in jacquard weaving and these should be investigated before deciding on individual designs.


Course animal hair (mostly sheep), which is shed by the animal once a year. They can be used as effect in yarns. Because the cortex is relatively thin, it appears much lighter than the normal fibres after dyeing.

Knickerbocker yarn

This is a yarn which has natural or coloured neps (knots of entangled fibre) added which, when woven, gives a random spotted effect in the fabric.


A general name for fabrics in which metallic threads are used as all over shiny effects or decoration threads.


A fabric in which warp threads have been made to cross one another between the picks, during leno weaving. The crossing of the warp threads may be a general feature of plain leno fabrics or may be used in combination with other weaves. This construction relies on special heald wires and shafts. Where these are not available, a similar effect can be produced by using mock leno or mock gauze weaves.


Or woven list is another word for selvedge, or left and right edges of a cloth. This “list is used to strengthen the edges which have to be strong enough to cope with the tensions that are commonly applied to cloth during weaving and fabric finishing


Coarse woollen, milled water-repellent fabric used for jackets, coats and capes.


A crêpe fabric with a pronounced weft rib formed by the use of a fine close-sett warp and a highly twisted weft, picked two Z and two S-twisted yarns.


A double fabric with a quilted appearance. It is commonly made with two warps and two wefts, the threads generally being arranged two face, one back in both warp and weft, but other proportions are sometimes used. The quilted effect may be accentuated by the use of wadding threads and a tightly bound ground weave.


This is a yarn, which is from colour printed tops or slivers and in weaving gives a mixed or blend appearance. The word is used today for mixture yarns although originally mixture yarns had only one colour added, normally to white or black, depending on the depth of shade required.


A heavy weight fabric, all wool, or with a cotton warp and woollen weft, which is finished by heavy milling and cropping. The fibres in the cloth are tightly matted together by the heavy milling process, and this gives the fabric a felted appearance. Melton is mostly used for outerwear.

Mercerisation (adj. mercerised)

Process used to enhance the lustre of cotton and linen by treating with caustic alkali, which swells the fibre and increases the dye affinity and strength and then stretching the yarn when wet.


Wool from pure bred merino sheep with a micron count of less than 24.


A colour is defined to be metameric if it visually alters under different light sources, say daylight and fluorescent lighting.


Fibre diameter commonly used to denote the fineness and quality of natural animal fibres – the finer the micron count, the better the quality of the fibre / yarn. 1 Micron = 1 millionth of a metre.

Mock Gauze

An open mesh mock-leno fabric created primarily by the weave and not as a true leno, which relies on special shafts.


Normally based on ribbed or corded fabric that has been subjected to heat and heavy pressure by rollers after weaving as to present a rippled appearance. The effect is created from differences in reflection of the flattened and unflattened parts.


A thick cotton fabric, originally uncut corduroy. It has a very high weft sett, is piece dyed and given a smooth raised finish to simulate the fur of a mole.


A generic term for a lightweight, open cloth normally in plain weave or simple leno weave.


Is a fibrous surface produced on the face of a fabric or on felt, by bringing up the base fibre from the yarn used by finishing methods.


Is a small knot of entangled fibres, which can be dyed and can be added to yarn in spinning to create Donegal effects.


A French term meaning shaded. It is used in relation to textiles to describe fabrics with a dyed, printed or woven design in which the colour is graduated from light to dark or colour to colour, often in stripes and checks of varying shades and dimensions.


A plain weave, transparent, lightweight fabric with a permanently stiff finish.


A raised weft rib normally created in simple weave with fine warp and a course weft or a wadding thread added to create the texture.


A plain weave shirting produced with good quality yarns that have two warp ends weaving as one. Has a look of a hopsack. Fancy weave effects can be incorporated, and dyed yarns are used to form stripes.


A decorative pattern featuring an Indian cone or pine, used on shawls and fabrics and produced on the jacquard system or by printing.


A clear finished, plain weave fabric of square sett construction. Generally used for men’s tropical or lightweight suitings.

Panne Velvet

A raised fabric in which the pile is laid in a single direction during finishing to give a very high lustre.

Pile fabric

A fabric with a pile surface, which may be of cut and/or uncut loops. Used in home furnishings and velvets.


Fabric that has a fine-line stripe effect mainly on dark grounds for men’s suitings. The stripe has a subtle appearance.


Commonly used in the USA to describe the tartan pattern but also any check design.

Plain Weave

The simplest of all weave, where the warp is 1 end up and 1 end down, whilst the weft is 1 pick under and 1 pick over.


Originally and traditionally a lightweight fabric hand woven in China of wild silk in plain weave. This gives a very uneven, slubby appearance. Made frequently in India


A plain weave, cotton-type fabric with weft ribs and a high warp sett.

Prunelle Twill

2×1 twill weave which is commonly used for men’s suitings and gaberdines. This gives a warp face look but helps to reduce the weight of the fabric.


Is a bast fibre from a plant in the nettle family. Needs to be degummed and the fibre is then about 12 inches long, white and lustrous.


A plain weave, loosely constructed fabric with a rough, nubby surface produced by weaving ratiné yarn in warp and weft or in weft only.


The reed is a piece of equipment which looks like a metal comb, closed at both sides. The reed is used to space out the warp ends and to hold them out at a specific width during the weaving process. It comes in a variety of sizes and the choice of reed depends on the fineness or course-ness of the warp yarn.


Originally a striped cotton-type fabric woven in 2/1 twill. The pattern consists of fast-dyed colour and white in warp stripes of equal width. Also, can be found in multi coloured stripes on dark grounds and using warp satin weaves, to give non-directional appearance.

Russian Twill

A broken twill, this construction is produced by having a 2/2 twill base on a 2 right / 2 left draft used in jacketings in this broken twill form. The warp is mostly lighter in colour than the weft.

Sateen (or weft sateen)

A weft faced weave in which the binding places are arranged to produce a smooth fabric surface, free from twill. Any design effect comes from the weft.

Satin (or warp satin)

A warp faced weave in which the binding places are arranged to produce a smooth fabric surface, free from twill. Any design effect comes from the warp.


A high quality soft handling fabric made of wool of 60s quality or finer, spun on the woollen system and finished with a covered appearance.


A fabric made up of puckered (uneven) and relatively flat sections, particularly in stripes, but also in checks. Created originally by warp yarns of different tensions. Can also be created by yarns with differential shrinkage.


Is the edge of the woven fabric. Whilst it is normally just an edging to strengthen the fabric for finishing and used to hold the weft yarns, a named selvedge, which is formed by an extra mechanism on each side of the loom, can be used to add wording down each side. This is used mainly in the men’s fabric trade.


A piece dyed fabric usually 2/2 twill, in a square or nearly square sett, giving a 45-degree twill, with a clear (smooth) finish.


A plain weave silk fabric showing random yarn irregularities resulting from the use of yarn spun from tussah silk.


A generic name used to describe a woven or warp-knitted fabric, which is made in a firm construction with a rather stiff handle. Recently it is also a definition of a shiny men’s suiting, sometimes in mohair/wool, sometimes silk/wool.

Shepherds Check

A small check effect developed in black and white, or in contrasting colours, generally by groups of four, six or eight threads of the two colours and in twill weaves, commonly 2/2 twill. Originally worn as an over garment by shepherds in Scotland and championed by Sir Walter Scott as one of the first tweed designs. Now called dogstooth or houndstooth check.


Is another name for pick or weft thread.


This is the fibre forming the cocoons produced by silkworms.

Silk noils

These are fibres, which are extracted during the dressing or combing of degummed silk and are too short for the production of spun silk. These can however be used to spin silk noil yarns which are much cheaper than filament silk yarns.


This is a method of removing unwanted fibre from fabric by passing the fabric over a hot plate or flame. Used in cheaper fabric types.


This is a method of applying a gelatinous film- forming substance to warps to tie in loose fibre, in order to stop warp ends catching and breaking in the weaving process.


A fabric with an irregular thick and thin appearance.


A plain weave, closely woven smooth and crisp fabric with a faint weft-way rib, produced in silk and today in man made filament yarns.


Is a method of adding complex design in fabric form. Some designs are still produced by hand for specific commissions. Much is now mechanically produced on Jacquard machines, which give a wide design scope with quick production time.


Originally a woollen fabric in plain weave or 2/2 twill, woven in checks of various colours. Based on the identity of Scottish clans, now tartans can be traced to individuals, clubs, and organisations not necessarily connected to Scotland.

Terry Fabric

A warp-pile fabric in which loops are created by varying the relative positions of the fell and the reed. Used mainly in towelling.

Thornproof Tweed

A fabric produced from highly twisted woollen yarns that are closely sett to give a firm, hard handle that is resistant to damage. Two-fold yarns consisting of differently coloured single components are normally used.


A weft-faced woven fabric, with a cotton warp and worsted weft, showing a fine flat twill line, or a plain weave woven fabric, with fine horizontal ribs, made from silk warp and cotton weft.


A very fine net fabric made in plain weaves from silk yarns.


Originally a coarse, heavy weight, rough surfaced wool fabric for outerwear, woven in the South of Scotland, now used to describe wool look, courser fabrics.

Twill (see common twill)

A weave that repeats on two or more ends and picks and produces diagonal lines on the face of the fabric. There are a variety of twill weaves, which have been developed to extend the possibilities of designs based on this construction.

Twist Cloth

A fabric made entirely from twisted yarns in a variety of colours.

Union Fabric

A fabric made with a warp of one kind of fibre and a weft of another.


A heavy pile fabric with the pile laid in a single direction.


A cut warp-pile fabric, originally of silk, in which the cut ends of the fibres form the surface of the fabric. Now made in cotton and man-made fibres.


A term applied to warp-faced fabrics, in five-end or modified satin weaves, from woollen or worsted warp and woollen weft, milled, lightly raised and cropped to reveal fine, steep twill. Used mostly in home furnishings.


Is the word used to describe the threads which run in a vertical direction in a loom (weaving machine).  These threads are lifted up in a specific order when required to allow the weft (the horizontal component of a fabric) to pass underneath to create a structure, which will hold together as a cloth.  The total of the vertical threads is called the Warp.  Each individual thread is called a Warp Thread or more commonly an End.  Warps are commonly made with stronger yarns to withstand the wear of constant lifting under tension.


The action, by hand or mechanical, required to form a warp in the colour grouping or yarn variety required to form a particular fabric type or design. This could be for weaving or warp knitting.

Warp beam

The cylinder on which the prepared warp is wound before it is loaded on to the weaving machine for the next stage of the setting up for the weaving process.

Warp knitting

This is a method of knitting fabric from one or more sets of yarns, which are prepared as warps fed through guide bars. The more guide bars used, the more complex the design.

Warp pattern

The effect or design created by the arrangement of threads of different sizes, materials and/or colours, which will then combine with the weft to form a textured or patterned appearance.

Warp pile

Fabrics created by introducing extra warp threads that form the “Pile Surface” of a fabric. Velour, velvet, carpeting and towelling would be good examples.

Warp printing

When warp threads are printed with a design before the weft is introduced.

Warp satin

This is normally a smooth surfaced fabric formed by having the warp threads dominating the face of the cloth in a design construction which shows no direction.

Warp stripe

Stripes running in the vertical direction and formed by the warp threads.

Warp yarn

Is yarn especially adapted for use in warps, to withstand the more aggressive action needed to lift warp threads during weaving. This added strength can be attained by the type of fibre used or increasing number of turns in the twist.

Weft(Filling yarn in the USA)

Is the yarn which is introduced across and between the threads of the warp to create a fabric. In other words, the horizontal element of a woven fabric. Each thread is called a pick or a shot. This yarn is inserted through the warp threads by a shuttle, projectile, rapier, air jet or water jet.

Weft knitting

This is the most commonly used knitting construction with the fabric being formed by a continuous yarn running horizontally and forming the loops in a course. This construction can be produced on either Flat Bed or Circular Knitting machines.

Weft sateen

This is a construction where the surface is predominantly made of weft yarn, which are looser twist and can be used with various yarn compositions to cover the harder warp yarn and create more luxurious handling fabrics.

Weftiness (Wefty or Weft bars)

This horizontal effect can be created in several ways and can be classed as a fault or a mistake. It can be caused by uneven dyeing or spinning of yarn. It can be created, by unbalanced colours in warp and weft, so the effect will appear to run across the fabric particularly in checks or plaids.


A term applied to fabrics of a wide range of qualities and commonly made of cotton or worsted. The characteristic feature is a bold upright warp twill and mainly used as a trousering fabric.


A check formed by vertical and horizontal threads to resemble the frame of a window .


A fine fabric of plain weave used for dresses, blouses and shirtings and made in various qualities.