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Panné – A type of lustrous, lightweight velvet fabric, usually made of silk or a manufactured fiber, in which the pile has been flattened in one direction. Panné velvet has a longer or higher pile than regular velvet, but shorter than plush. It is pressed flat and has a high luster made possible by a tremendous roller-press treatment given the material in finishing. It is now often made as knit fabric.

Parachute – A compactly woven, lightweight fabric comparable with airplane cloth. It is made of silk, nylon, rayon, cotton, or polyester.

Peachskin – Peachskin is a smooth finish applied to finely woven Micro Fiber fabric. The soft, sueded finish results from sanding or chemical treatment of the fabric. This finish allows suits and dresses to flow with movement and drape beautifully. The feel of peachskin is soft, smooth and moderately wrinkle-resistant. It is a medium weight fabric that has a fuzzy, suede like feel.

Peau de Soie – A medium to heavy weight smooth and silky fabric with a satiny, lustrous finish. Looks like Charmeuse, but Peau de Soie has a moderately stiff drape. Those who cannot pronounce Peau de Soie (French for ‘skin of silk’) call this Duchess Satin. It can be made of silk or manufactured fibers, and used mainly for bridal gowns and eveningwear.

Percale – A medium weight, plain weave, low to medium count (180 to 250 threads per square inch) cotton-like fabric. End-uses include sheets, blouses, and dresses.

Performance – Fabrics made for a variety of end-use applications, which provide functional qualities, such as moisture management, UV protection, anti-microbial, thermo-regulation, and wind/water resistance.

Pile – A fabric in which certain yarns project from a foundation texture and form a pile on the surface. Pile yarns may be cut or uncut in the fabric. Corduroy and velveteen are examples of cut filling pile fabrics.

Piña – The textile is light and airy. It is similar to linen or hemp in that it is cooling and slightly stiff, although piña is a bit softer. The fabric has a natural gloss similar to silk, and is better in quality. This gloss protects the fibers and as a result, piña does not require any treatment with toxic chemicals. (read more about Pina Fabric)

Pincord – Fabric with a very narrow wale or rib. Used in describing piques, corduroys or other ribbed fabrics. Also called baby cord.

Piqué – A medium-weight fabric, either knit or woven, with raised dobby designs including cords, wales, waffles, or patterns. Woven versions have cords running lengthwise, or in the warp direction. Knitted versions are double-knit fabric constructions, created on multi-feed circular knitting machines.

Pleather – The term pleather (“plastic leather”) is a slang term for synthetic leather made out of plastic. A portmanteau of plastic and leather, the term is sometimes used derogatorily, implying use as a substitute for genuine animal hide to cut costs. Besides cost, pleather may also be preferred because it is lighter than leather, or as an alternative to real leather citing reasons of animal cruelty. Pleather, being made of plastic, will not decompose as quickly. Not all pleathers are the same. Polyurethane is washable, can be dry-cleaned and allows some air to flow through the garment. PVC pleather in contrast does not “breathe” and is difficult to clean. PVC cannot be dry-cleaned because the cleaning solvents can make the PVC unbearably stiff.

Plissé – A lightweight, plain weave, fabric, made from cotton, rayon, or acetate, and characterized by a puckered striped effect, usually in the warp direction. The crinkled effect is created through the application of a caustic soda solution, which shrinks the fabric in the areas of the fabric where it is applied. Plissé is similar in appearance to seersucker. End-uses include dresses, shirtings, pajamas, and bedspreads.

Plush – A compactly woven fabric with warp pile higher than that of velvet. Plush (from French peluche) is a textile having a cut nap or pile the same as fustian or velvet. Originally the pile of plush consisted of mohair or worsted yarn, but now silk by itself or with a cotton backing is used for plush. Modern plush is commonly manufactured from synthetic fibres such as polyester. Brushed or sheared fabrics are also sometimes referred to as plush. One of the largest uses of this fabric is in the production of toys, with small stuffed animals made from plush fabric, such as teddy bears, known as plushies. The French term for “teddy bear” is ours en peluche. Plush is also one of the main materials for the construction of designer toys.

Point d’Esprit – Mainly cotton, sometimes silk, a leno, gauze, knotted, or mesh woven fabric. Point d’Esprit was first made in France in 1834. as a dull surfaced net with various sized holes. Has white or colored dots individually spaced or in groups. Used for curtains, bassinets, evening gowns.

Pointelle – A Very feminine, delicate-looking, rib-knit fabric made with a pattern of openings. Pointelle is a drop needle knit fabric. It is a textured fabric with holes forming a design in the fabric.

Pongee – The most common form is a naturally colored lightweight, plain weave, silk-like fabric with a slubbed effect. End-uses include blouses, dresses, etc.

Ponte di Roma – A fabric made in a double knit construction, usually produced in one color rather than color patterns. This plain fabric has an elastic quality with a slight horizontal line. The fabric looks the same on both sides.

Poplin – A fabric made using a rib variation of the plain weave. The construction is characterized by having a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. Poplin used to be associated with casual clothing, but as the “world of work” has become more relaxed, this fabric has developed into a staple of men’s wardrobes, being used frequently in casual trousers.

Pucker – The uneven surface caused by differential shrinkage in the two layers of a bonded fabric during processing, dry cleaning, or washing.