A handy archive to consult if you need a quick explanation or refresher, our glossary contains brief definitions of a number of common textile terms, from common fabric types and materials to patterns and production techniques.

Awning stripe Very bold stripes, usually alternating stripes of colour and white.

Batiste – a soft, fine, plain-woven fabric, originally of flax. e.g. Zephyr

Bengal stripe – stripes of apparently the same width and alternating light and dark colors. Bengal stripes are usually wider than candy stripes, but narrower than awning stripes. Originated in India and became popular during the Regency era in the United Kingdom. Also called Regency stripes. e.g. King AP

Broadcloth – a light-weight fabric of poplin type. A term used extensively on North America. e.g. Grange or Monarch

Brushed cotton – the fabric has been brushed to raise surface fibres in order to achieve greater bulk and softer handle e.g. Fife and Rydal

Candy stripe – a design usually constituting of a coloured stripe on a plain background. Usually narrower than a bengal stripe. So called from its similarity to some stick candy e.g. King HC

Chambray – a light-weight, plain weave cotton fabric having a coloured warp and a white weft, producing a mottled appearance. Our version of this is produced using a white warp and a coloured weft which enables smaller minimum productions – e.g. Zephyr

Country checks – designs that are favoured by field sport enthusiasts and participants. They are generally made with brushed cotton or wool and cotton for warmth. e.g. Kendal

Dobby – refers to the mechanism involved in producing fabrics that cannot be produced on a traditional loom e.g. malham

Egyptian cotton – refers to the origin of the raw material, ie where the cotton was grown. The majority of the collection is woven from Egyptian cotton.

End – an individual warp thread.

End on end – refers to a pattern where two coloured ends (one can be white) alternate in the warp and the weft is white. e.g. King EE

Fibre – textile raw material.

Finishing – process of enhancing the grey cloth (see below) to achieve the desired characteristics of the finished fabric. In our case, bleaching, sanforisation and mercerization.

Flannel– a wool or wool blend fabric of plain or twill weave with a soft handle e.g. Rydal

Gingham – a plain weave, light weight cotton fabric, approximately square in construction, in which dyed or white and dyed yarns, are used to form small checks. e.g. King AQ

Grey cloth – woven fabric straight off the loom (also known as greige goods or loom-state cloth)

Greige goods – woven fabric straight off the loom (also known as grey or loom-state cloth )

Hairline – an effect obtained by colour and weave producing a fine hair-like line in a fabric. e.g. King HL

Herringbone – a combination of twill weaves in which the direction of the twill is reversed to produce stripes resembling herring bones. e.g. Balmoral 230

Lawn – a fine, plain-woven fabric of linen or cotton. e.g. Devonshire

Loom-state – woven fabric straight off the loom. (also known as grey cloth or greige goods)

Mercerisation – treatment of the fabric with a alkaline solution whereby the fibres are swollen and stretched thus the strength and dye affinity are increased and the handle is enhanced.

Pick – an individual weft thread.

Pinpoint – (also referred to as pinpoint oxford) has the same weave as oxford cloth, although it uses a finer yarn and tighter weave. It is more formal than oxford cloth, but less formal than poplin. Pinpoint fabrics are generally not transparent and are slightly heavier and thicker than poplins. Because of their heavier construction, pinpoints are fairly durable fabrics.

Plain weave – the simplest of all weave interlacings in which the odd warp threads operate over one and under one weft thread and the even warp threads reverse this order to under one, over one.

Poplin – A term that refers to the construction (how it is woven) of a fabric. Poplin originates from the French word pipeline which was a fabric made in the 1400’s in Avignon. The fabric was so named due to the papal residence there. Usually there are twice as many warp threads as there are weft threads. E.g. Grange

Sea Island cotton – refers to the origin of the cotton. Sea Island cotton has extra long staple length and so the characteristics of cotton are enhanced. Generally Sea Island cotton is thought to be fabric with high yarn count – this does not have to be the case. Windsor has a high yarn count of 2/140’s but it is not Sea Island cotton.

Sanforisation – a pre-shrinking treatment applied to the fabric in finishing.

Staple – length of an individual fibre.

Swatch – a sample of fabric, in our case 19cms x 14cms.

Tattersall check – one theory is that the name comes from a Richard Tattersall (1724-1795) who was a horse auctioneer. The horses at the market often sported checked blankets. Today it refers to a fabric that has a darker check on a lighter ground and usually in conjunction with wool/cotton fabrics. e.g. Kendal & Fife

Tartan – Originally a woollen , twill fabric woven in checks of various colours and worn chiefly by the Scottish Highlanders, each clan having its distinct pattern. Our Tartan is a light-weight 100% cotton, plain weave fabric.

Twill – a weave that repeats on three or more ends and picks and produces diagonal lines on the face of the fabric. Twills often feel to have an enhanced handle. e.g. Balmoral

Two ply or Two fold – This refers to the yarn used in weaving the fabric. Two threads are twisted together (plied or doubled) which results in a much stronger fabric. This production method also yields a fabric that has a higher lustre, better handle and superior colour absorbtion than fabric woven from singles yarns.

Warp – The threads in a “north-south” lengthways direction.

Weave – the pattern of interlacing of warp and weft in a woven fabric.

Weft – The threads in a “east-west” widthways direction.

Yarn – a product of substantial length and relatively small cross-section consisting of fibres with or without twist.

Yarn count  – This is simply a measure of the fineness of the yarn used in producing the fabric. The higher the number, the finer the yarn. The “ 2 “ means 2 ply or 2 fold as described above. e.g. Grange is 2 ply 100’s whilst Grasmere is 2 ply 160’s.

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