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Sailcloth – Any heavy, plain-weave canvas fabric, usually made of cotton, linen, polyester, jute, nylon, etc. that is used for sails and apparel (i.e. bottomweight sportswear).

Sateen – A fabric made from yarns with low luster, such as cotton or other staple length fibers. A variation of the satin weave, produced by floating fill yarns over warp yarns. The fabric has a soft, smooth hand and a gentle, subtle luster.

Satin – A basic weave, characterized by long floats of yarn on the face of the fabric. The yarns are interlaced in such a manner that there is no definite, visible pattern of interlacing and, in this manner, a smooth and somewhat shiny surface effect is achieved. The shiny surface effect is further increased through the use of high luster filament fibers in yarns which also have a low amount of twist. A true satin weave fabric always has the warp yarns floating over filling yarns. Typical examples of satin weave fabrics include: slipper satin, crepe-back satin, faille satin, bridal satin, moleskin, and antique satin.

Saxony – Originally a high grade coating fabric made from Saxony merino wool raised in Germany.

SeaCell – An eco-friendly fabric made from seaweed. Developed by Nanonic Inc, a small percentage of the plant is mixed with cellulose, putting it in the same family as lyocell. The type of seaweed used, known as brown algae, is certified organic. (read more about SeaCell)

Seersucker – A woven fabric which incorporates modification of tension control. In the production of seersucker, some of the warp yarns are held under controlled tension at all times during the weaving, while other warp yarns are in a relaxed state and tend to pucker when the filling yarns are placed. The result produces a puckered stripe effect in the fabric. Seersucker is traditionally made into summer sportswear such as shirts, trousers, and informal suits. (read more about seersucker fabric)

Sequinned – Fabric covered with sequins is available by the yard. Sequins are a shiny, usually metallic, decoration or spangle. Sequins are sewn to clothing, especially evening dresses because they shimmer and sparkle in the light. Sequins usually have a single, central hole for fastening to the garment or fabric. Sequins are also known as paillettes.

Serge – A very distinct twill (2 up/2 down) which shows on both sides of the fabric. On the face, the distinct diagonal runs from the lower left to the upper right – piece dyed. Has a smooth, hard finish that wears exceptionally well but will shine with use. The shine cannot be removed permanently. It is a good cloth in tailoring as it drapes and clings very well. Made in various weights. unfinished worsted and wool are not quite as clear on the surface. Used mainly for coats, suits and sportswear.

Shantung – A medium-weight, plain weave fabric, characterized by a ribbed effect, resulting from slubbed yarns used in the warp or filling direction. End-uses include dresses and suits.

Sharkskin – A hard-finished, low lustered, medium-weight fabric in a twill-weave construction. It is most commonly found in men’s worsted suitings; however, it can also be found in a plain-weave construction of acetate, triacetate, and rayon for women’s sportswear.

Sheer – The opposite of opaque. Sheer fabrics are usually made in an open weave to create fabrics with varying degrees of transparency. Batiste, organdy, and voile are examples of sheer fabrics.

Sheeting – Sheeting is a plain woven cotton cloth made from carded yarns that can be found in medium and heavy weights. Low thread count sheeting is called muslin, while high thread count sheeting with combed yarns is known as percale.

Sherpa – A heavy fabric with clumped pile resembling the fleece of a sheep. The name comes from the group of people who live near or on the Himalayan mountains. Used for outerwear trim and lining.

Shetland – Wool from Shetland sheep in Scotland. These sheep have a coarse outer coat and a very fine undercoat which gives added warmth. The best is the undergrowth. It is not shorn but pulled out by hand in the spring. Other wools sometimes called Shetland if they have a similar appearance. Shetland wools have a very soft hand and a shaggy finish of protruding fibers. It is very lightweight and warm. Much is made by hand and comes in distinctive soft coloring. Often the natural colors ranging from off-white, various grays to almost black and brown are used and not dyed. Real Shetland wools are expensive, high quality products. – In the same family group as homespun, tweed and cheviot. Used in coats, suits, and sportswear for both men and women. Fine Shetlands are made into fine shawls, underwear crochet, work and hosiery.

Shimmer – A lightweight fabric made of two different colored yarns. The fabric has an iridescent look and a crisp but not stiff hand. Shimmer is typically made of a rayon/polyester blend. Shimmer can also be made with a crushed finish which adds texture and brings out the shine in the fabric. Shimmer is most commonly used for apparel but can also be used to create sophisticated window treatments and pillows.

Slinky – A knit fabric. It drapes well, never wrinkles and washes beautifully. It’s the perfect travel fabric with four-way stretch for ultimate comfort. Suitable for almost any wardrobe item.

Slipper Satin – Slipper satin is a tightly woven satin fabric, usually lighter in weight than duchesse satin, and used for many purposes including evening shoes or slippers.

Soysilk – A Vegan Alternative to silk, and often called vegan cashmere. Like real silk, Soysilk is cool to the touch, has a lovely drape and is very soft. There is a slight sheen to it as well, especially when finished. It is also generally wrinkle-free (unlike real silk which is stubborn with wrinkles), and also has little to no shrinkage when washed. Since it is a natural fiber, it takes dye very easily. (read more about soysilk, or sourcing soy fabric)

Sparkle Organza – An organza woven fabric that uses a yarn, usually nylon with a high reflectance of light that gives the fabric a sparkled look.

Stretch – Rubber or man-made plastic fibers (such as spandex and anidex) that are naturally elastic or man-made fibers, highly twisted, heat-set, and untwisted to leave a strong crimp. Polyester has a certain degree of natural stretch and more can be given to the yarn in the processing or in the finishing of the fabric. Occasionally, polyester woven fabrics are described as stretch fabrics. Usually, stretch implies a degree of visible give in a fiber or fabric that stretches and then returns quickly to its original shape. Stretch fabrics are sometirnes described as elastic.

Suede Cloth – A woven or knitted fabric of cotton, man-made fibers, wool, or blends, finished to resemble suede leather. It is used in sport coats, gloves, linings, and cleaning cloths.

Sueded – Sueded fabrics are brushed, sanded or chemically treated for extra softness. ‘Suede’ yarns are generally thick and plush.

Sugar Nylon – Created by scientists in Singapore, this eco-friendly fabric is an alternative to Nylon. The creators figured out how to create adipic acid, a key component of nylon, from sugar in stead of petroleum-based chemicals. (read more about sugar nylon)

Supplex – Supplex is a state-of-the-art nylon fabric. It was specially engineered by DuPont to provide the soft, supple touch of cotton with the strength, durability and performance advantages of nylon. It has high water and wind resistant properties, high abrasion and is tear resistant. Supplex manages moisture and keeps its vibrant color, wash after wash. Clothes made of Supplex will never fuzz or pill.

Surah – A light weight, lustrous twill weave constructed fabric with a silk-like hand. Surah is the fabric of ties, dresses, and furnishings. It is available in silk, polyester, and rayon.