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Calico – A tightly-woven cotton type fabric with an all-over print, usually a small floral pattern on a contrasting background color. Common end-uses include dresses, aprons, and quilts.

Canton Flannel – Four harness warp-faced twill weave. Characteristics The filling yarn is a very loosely twisted and soft and later brushed to produced a soft nap on the back, the warp is medium in size. The face is a twill. Heavy, warm, strong and absorbent. Named for Canton, China where it was first made. Comes bleached, unbleached, dyed, and some is printed. Used in Interlinings, sleeping garments, linings, coverings, work gloves.

Canvas – Cotton, linen, or synthetic fabric made with a basic plain weave in heavy and firm weight yarns for industrial or heavy duty purposes. Also referred to as “duck”, although the term “canvas” usually relates to the heavier coarser constructions.

Challis – A lightweight, soft plain weave fabric with a slightly brushed surface. The fabric is often printed, usually in a floral pattern. Challis is most often seen in fabrics made of cotton, wool, or rayon.

Chambray – A plain woven fabric that can be made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers, but is most commonly cotton. It incorporates a colored warp (often blue) and white filling yarns. (read more about chambray fabric)

Chantilly Lace – One of the most popular of bridal laces often used for the trimming on bridal veils. It is made by the bobbin method and has designs outlined by thick cords.

Chamois –Chamois cloth is woven to imitate the leather, usually has a slightly napped surface, and is usually yellow, as is the goat skin. It is used for gloves and as a cloth for washing autos. It is also used in clothing.

Charmeuse – Charmeuse is an opaque, shiny fabric that is similar to satin but lighter weight. Charmeuse also has a softer hand and a clingier look. Silk, polyester and rayon fabrics are commonly given a charmeuse finish. Charmeuse is often used for blouses and intimate apparel.

Cheesecloth – A lightweight, sheer, plain-woven fabric with a very soft texture. It may be natural colored, bleached, or dyed. It usually has a very low yarn count. When dyed it may be called bunting and could be used for flags or banners.

Chenille -. A specialty yarn, characterized by a pile protruding on all sides, resembling a caterpillar. The yarn is produced by first weaving a fabric with a cotton or linen warp and a silk, wool, rayon, or cotton filling. The warp yarns are taped in groups of tightly woven filling yarns, which have been beaten in very closely. After weaving, the fabric is cut into strips between the yarn groups. Each cutting produces a continuous chenille yarn, which is then twisted, creating the chenille yarn, and giving the pile appearance on all sides of the yarn. The chenille yarn is used mainly for decorative fabrics, embroidery, tassels, and rugs.

Chiffon – A plain woven lightweight, extremely sheer, airy, and soft silk fabric, containing highly twisted filament yarns. The fabric, used mainly in evening dresses and scarves, can also be made from rayon and other manufactured fibers.

China Silk – A plain weave silk of various weights. This silk is the “hand” or touch that many people identify as silk. There are various weights of China silk from light, used for linings and many “washable silks” with the wrinkled look, to heavy for shirts and dresses.

China Twill – A lightweight cotton twill fabric. China Twill is 6-7 ounces per yard and is typically used for blouses, shirts and light weight skirts. See Twill.

Chintz – Glazed plain weave cotton fabric with a tightly spun fine warp and a coarser slack twist filling, often printed with brightly colored flowers or stripes. Named from Hindu word meaning spotted. Several types of glazes are used in the finishing process. Some glazes wash out in laundering, but others such as resin finishes are permanent. Unglazed chintz is called cretonne. Chintz end-uses include draperies, slipcovers, skirts, and summer dresses, and shirts.

Chromosonic Fabric – Referred to as the “Chamelon fabric”, it’s able to sense its surroundings such as temperature and sound, Chromosonic changes color based on this information, and can even blend itself into the background. (read more about Chromosonic Fabric)

Cire – A finishing process that produces a high gloss on the surface on the fabric by passing it through heavy rollers (calendering). Fabrics made of thermoplastic fibers like nylon or polyester are cired by calendering with heat and pressure alone. Other fabrics like rayons or silks are calendered with wax or other compounds. Cire fabrics have a much higher shine than glazed fabrics and are usually somewhat slippery.

Clips – A fabric decorated with small woven spots of extra warp or filling yarn-the floating threads between the spots being clipped or sheared in finishing. Also known as clip-spot fabric.

Cloque – Term used to describe a fabric with a raised effect Jacquard, usually knitted from two colors, and often used interchangeably with matelasse and blister. Cotton cloque is frequently popular for summer dress and jacket or coat costumes.

Coated – Fabrics that have been coated with a lacquer, varnish, rubber, plastic resin of polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene, or other substance to make them longer lasting or impervious to water or other liquids.

Coating – A term used to describe a fabric suitable for outerwear, such as coats, as in coating fabric. Also, something applied to a finished fiber or fabric, such as a rubber coating to make a fabric impervious to water. Coating suggests a thicker layer of the substance than does the word finish. A rubber-coated fabric is probably more resistant to water than one that has been treated with a water-resistant finish.

Cocona Fabric – Made from recycled coconut shells. Activated carbon is taken from these shells and incorporated into yarns and fibers. It’s fast drying, highly durable, wrinkle resistant, and provides sun protection. (read more about cocona fabric)

Coolcore – A performance fabric that wicks away moisture and keeps the wearer cool during strenuous activity. The textile is able to reduce its surface temperature by up to 30 percent. While many performance fabrics use added substances such as polymer crystal treatments to aid in their cooling properties, Coolcore is completely chemical-free. (read more about Coolcore)

CoolMax – CoolMax is the brand name of a series of high-performance fabrics designed and marketed mainly for sportswear that are designed to wick moisture away from the skin. CoolMax was created using four channel polyester fibers that are woven together in cross sections to allow air to flow through the fabric. The fabrics employ specially-engineered polyester fibers to improve “breathability” compared to natural fibers like cotton. It’s a lightweight, durable fabric that is temperature regulating and keeps the skin dry and warm.

Coolmax EcoTech – This ultimate performance fabric delivers the same high-performance, quick-dry benefits and comfort as the original Coolmax fabric, but has the added benefit of being made from recycled resources. The process for making Coolmax EcoTech fiber begins with post-consumer bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET.

Corduroy – A fabric with a pile that is usually in rows that are parallel to the selvedge. The pile is formed by weaving the fabric with two types of picks – binder picks that ‘hold the fabric together’, and pile picks that go over an number of warps on the face side of the fabric. The pile picks are sliced open after weaving in a process known as cutting. The ridges are built so that clear lines can be seen when the pile is cut. The fabric is then desized and bleached, and then brushed to develop the pile into uniform races that are known as wales. Corduroy is classified by the number of wales or cords to the inch. The foundation of the fabric can be either a plain or twill weave. It is traditionally made of cotton but may be cotton blends or other fibers as well. Of all cotton fabrics, corduroy is the warmest because its wales form an insulated cushion of air. It is common in men’s women’s and children’s apparel especially trousers.

Coutil – Coutil (or Coutille) is woven cloth created specifically for making corsets. It is woven tightly to inhibit penetration of the corset’s bones and resist stretching. Coutil has a high cotton content. Cotton has good dimensional stability, or a resistance to stretching, which makes it a good choice for such a stressed garment. Coutil may be plain (similar to 100% cotton facing), satin, or brocade. It is also common for coutil to have a herringbone texture, or a similar woven texture.

Covert – Made with two shades of color e.g. (Medium and light brown). The warp is 2 ply (1 light; 1 dark) and filling 1 ply (dark or same as warp). Very rugged and closely woven. Has a mottled or speckled effect. First used as a hunting fabric. Has a clear finish and hard texture. Wears exceptionally well and has a smart appearance. Light in weight. Used for over coating for both men and women. It is also made waterproof and used a great deal in rain water.

Crash – Typically made of Linen. It is very rugged and substantial in feel. Come in white or natural shades or could be dyed, printed, striped, or checked. The yarn is strong, irregular in diameter but smooth. Has a fairly good texture. Used for toweling, suitings, dresses, coats.

Crepe – A lightweight fabric of silk, rayon, cotton, wool, man-made, or blended fibers, and characterized by a crinkled surface. This surface is obtained through the use of crepe yarns (yarns that have such a high twist that the yarn kinks), and by chemical treatment with caustic soda, embossing, or weaving (usually with thicker warp yarns and thinner filling yarns). Although crepe is traditionally woven, crepe yarns are now used to produce knit crepes.

Crepe-Back Satin – A satin fabric in which highly twisted yarns are used in the filling direction. The floating yarns are made with low twist and may be of either high or low luster. If the crepe effect is the right side of the fabric, the fabric is called satin-back crepe.

Crepe De Chine – Traditionally, a very sheer, pebbly, washable silk with the fabric degummed to produce crinkle. Today, it is a sheer, flat crepe in silk or man-made fibers. It is used for lingerie, dresses, and blouses.

Crepon – Crêpe effect appears in direction of the warp and achieved by alternate S and Z, or slack, tension, or different degrees of twist. Originally a wool Crêpe but now made of silk and rayon. It is much stouter and more rugged than the average Crêpe. Has a wavy texture with the “waves” running in a lengthwise direction. Mostly used for prints. Used for dresses and blouses.

Crewel – Crewel is a hand embroidery technique in which fine, loosely twisted yarn is chain stitched on cotton cloth. Imperfections, color variations, irregularities, natural black specks, dye marks, and dirt spots are characteristics that identify crewel as genuine. Most crewel designs are outlines of flowers, vines or leaves.

Crinkle – A fabric with an uneven surface, created by use of caustic soda that causes it to shrink unevenly. Plisse is an example of a crinkle crepe fabric. Crinkle crepe and plisse usually have a larger pattern to surface irregularities than crepe.

Crinoline – A lightweight, plain weave, stiffened fabric with a low yarn count (few yarns to the inch in each direction).

Crushed – Any fabric that has been treated so as to have a permanently crinkled, crushed or rumpled appearance.

Crushed Velvet – Any velvet with an irregular pattern of nap going in different directions. The pattern gives the fabric a “crushed or rumpled” appearance.