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Banana Fabric – A beautiful, animal-free textile that mimics real silk, and acts as a great vegan alternative. The fiber material comes from the stalk of the banana plant. (read more about Banana Fabric)

Barathea – A closely woven fabric made of silk, rayon, cotton, or wool, having a pebbled surface. Barathea is mainly used for dresses, neckties, trimmings and suits.

Barkcloth – Originally, the term referred to a fabric found throughout the South Pacific and is made from the inner bark of certain trees. The bark is beaten into a paper-like fabric, then dyed or otherwise colored. Tapa cloth is one of the best known types of true barkcloth. Barkcloth is a term that also refers to a fabric, often cotton or rayon, with a somewhat crepe-like feel that is designed to resemble true barkcloth. This fabric is used extensively for draperies, slipcovers, and other home furnishings.

Batik – Batik describes a special technique of resist dyeing which was first used in Indonesia. Before dyeing the fabric is pile-spread with wax. The waxed areas remain in the original color while the rest of the fabric adopts the dyeing color. To get the typical veined effect to the design the wax is cracked. Today, it is largely produced in an industrial way. (read more about batik)

Basket Weave – A variation of the plain weave construction, formed by treating two or more warp yarns and/or two or more filling yarns as one unit in the weaving process. Yarns in a basket weave are laid into the woven construction flat, and maintain a parallel relationship. Both balanced and unbalanced basket weave fabrics can be produced. Examples of basket weave construction includes monk cloth and oxford cloth.

Batiste – A medium-weight, plain weave fabric, usually made of cotton or cotton blends. End-uses include blouses and dresses.

Batting – Traditionally the middle layer, or stuffing, of a quilt. Batting can be made from cotton, polyester, silk, wool or a blend of these. Different types of batting vary in size and fiber content. Batting also helps conserve warmth.

Beaded – This refers to any style of fabric that has beads embroidered into the design. Beading can be done at the time the fabric is made or can be re-embroidered after the fabric is made.

Bedford Cord – A cord cotton-like fabric with raised ridges in the lengthwise direction. Since the fabric has a high strength and a high durability, it is often used for upholstery and work clothes.

Bengaline – A ribbed fabric similar to faille, but heavier and with a coarser rib in the filling direction. lt can be made of silk, wool, acetate, or rayon warp, with wool or cotton filling. The fabric was first made in Bengal, India, and is used for dresses, coats, trimmings, and draperies.

Berber Fleece – Berber fleece is made when the yarn is knitted into fabric, which is brushed with wire brushes to pull the material together and to fluff it up. The resulting material has a looped, soft pile, with large air pockets, which improve the insulating properties of the fabric. The pile is sheared to create an even length. Synthetic materials such as polyester are most frequently used to create Berber fleece, which tends to be strong, stretchy, and colorfast. In addition to being warm, Berber fleece is also designed to wick moisture away from the surface of the wearer. It will also not absorb moisture as readily as some natural fibers, since synthetics are water resistant. Berber fleece is a fabric that is very lightweight, warm, and soft. It is often compared to fur, because of the incredibly soft texture it has.

Bio Lycra – This new version of Lycra, Bio Lycra, is ideal for sustainable and eco-conscious designers, as the raw material and production process are both much better for the environment. Rather than man-made material, this new fabric is made from sugars derived from corn. (read more about bio lycra)

Birdseye – Fabric with a woven-in dobby design. The pattern has a center dot and resembles the eye of a bird. It is used in cotton diapers, pique, and wool sharkskin.

Boiled Wool – This is a felted knitted wool that it offers the flexibility of a knit with great warmth. Create your own by washing double the needed amount of 100% wool jersey in hot water and drying in a hot dryer. Expect 50% shrinkage. Appropriate for jackets, vests and stuffed animals.

Bonded – A fabric composed of 2 or more layers joined together with an adhesive, resin, foam, or fusible membrane.

Boucle – A knit or woven fabric made from a rough, curly, knotted boucle yarn. The fabric has a looped, knotted surface and is often used in sportswear and coats

Broadcloth – A plain weave tightly woven fabric, characterized by a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. The most common broadcloth is made from cotton or cotton/polyester blends.

Brocade – A heavy, exquisite jacquard type fabric with an all-over raised pattern or floral design. Common end-uses include such formal applications as upholstery, draperies, and evening wear.

Brushed – A finishing process for knit or woven fabrics in which brushes or other abrading devices are used on a loosely constructed fabric to permit the fibers in the yarns to be raised to create a nap on fabrics or create a novelty surface texture.

Buckram – Mainly cotton and sometimes synthetic. A cheap, low-textured, loose weave, very heavily sized and stiff fabric. Also, 2 fabrics are glued together; one is open weave and the other much finer. Some is also made in linen in a single fabric. Also called crinoline book muslin or book binding. Buckram softens with heat and can be shaped while warm. Used for interlinings and all kinds of stiffening in clothes, book binding, and for millinery (because it can be moistened and shaped). Used to give stiffness to leather garments not as stiff and often colored is called “tarlatan”. Buckram is originally from Bukhara a city in west Asia from whence the cloth was exported.

Bull Denim – A twill weave cotton denim fabric that is soft but tough as nails. Bull Denim is durable and heavier than regular denim. It takes dye well with very good results. Not stiff like canvas.

Bunting – Bunting is a loosely woven cloth traditionally made of wool, but now often made with polyester. Bunting is mainly used for flags and festive decorations. It is also known as banner cloth.

Burlap – A loosely constructed, heavy weight, plain weave fabric used as a carpet backing, and as inexpensive packaging for sacks of grain or rice. Also, as fashion dictates, burlap may also appear as a drapery fabric.

Burn-Out – A brocade-like pattern effect created on the fabric through the application of a chemical, instead of color, during the burn-out printing process. (Sulfuric acid, mixed into a colorless print paste, is the most common chemical used.) Many simulated eyelet effects can be created using this method. In these instances, the chemical destroys the fiber and creates a hole in the fabric in a specific design, where the chemical comes in contact with the fabric. The fabric is then over-printed with a simulated embroidery stitch to create the eyelet effect. However, burn-out effects can also be created on velvets made of blended fibers, in which the ground fabric is of one fiber like a polyester, and the pile may be of a cellulosic fiber like rayon or acetate. In this case, when the chemical is printed in a certain pattern, it destroys the pile in those areas where the chemical comes in contact with the fabric, but leave the ground fabric unharmed.