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Dictionary Of Fabrics For Curtains And Other Decor Elements

 Dictionary Of Fabrics For Curtains And Other Decor Elements

Antique Satin is a fabric that resembles silk satin from the century before.  It is a satin weave.  It is used for decorating accessories and upholstery. Batiste is a French fabric named after Jean

Baptiste who was a weaver.  It is a cotton, polyester or rayon blend of fabric, or in cotton it’s a sheer material woven from combed yarns and has a mercerized finish. 

Broadcloth is a mixture of different fabrics with different finishes and weaves.  The name came from a fabric for silk shirts that was very wide.  It is also a high-count cotton cloth that's tightly woven and has a fine crosswise rib.   

Calender is a fabric with a glossy finish.  The gloss is achieved by pressing the material between two rollers. 

Calico is cotton that is lightweight and inexpensive.  It comes solid and printed with bright colors. 

Challis comes from an Anglo-Indian word that means soft.  It is very soft, lightweight, fine, plain weave fabric.  Challis is made from worsted yarns.  Another name for challis is challie. 


Chambray is woven plain fabric that has a count that's almost square.  The colored surface comes from a white filling and colored warp. 

Chintz is a plain woven cotton that's very luscious and bright.  It is made with a print cloth construction. 

Cotton is made from the cotton plant that's spun and woven.  It is popular to blend cotton with other fibers, and is used mostly in home textiles.  Cotton's popularity comes from its safe for environment qualities. 

Damask is a firm fabric with texture.  Its patterns resemble brocade, except they are lighter.  Damask fabric comes in rich designs and is Jacquard woven. 

Denim is made of hard twist yarns, where the filling yarns are undyed and the warp yarns are dyed blue.  Denim fabrics made for sports are lighter and softer than those for other purposes. 

Dotted Swiss fabric is sheer and has dots that are embroidered.


Duck is a plain weave, durable fabric that comes in many thread counts and weights.  It is very closely woven and mostly made of ply yarns. 

Gauze is a plain weave fabric.  It has widely spaced yarns.  At a higher weight, gauze can be stiffened for curtains and other items.  In the time of war it was used for wrapping the wound, because gauze absorbs liquids well. 

Gingham is plain weave fabric that can be light or medium in weight.  It is mostly dyed to make patterns, like plaids, checks and stripes.  It has a soft, rich look with a lustrous finish.  The thread count varies with gingham.  It is very popular in Country decorating. 

Homespun is coarse and plainly weaved.  The yarns in homespun are unevenly spun and tightly twisted for a hand woven look. 

Jacquard fabric is woven on looms.  That's done to create different textured patterns. 

Linen is woven from flax plant fibers.  It is usually blended with silk, rayon or cotton for a softer touch.  Linen is very popular and is used in interior decorating and apparel. 

Lace has a pattern and some of the fabric has open areas.  The design is made by a network of threads.  Some lace is handmade and some is made using machinery. 

Lawn is sheer and lightweight.  The finish on lawn can be soft or crisp.  It is rich in appearance.


Matelasse looks quilted.  It is a soft double fabric.  Heavier types of matelasse can be used for home decorating, and lighter types are used in apparel. 

Mercerize is a chemical process that creates a silky gloss on yarn and increases the color absorbing qualities of the fabric. 

Moire is an effect on fabrics that looks like watered silk. 

Muslin can be light or heavy.  It is a group of plain weave cotton fabrics.  Muslin comes solid or printed. 

Paisley is a busy pattern that is associated with India.  It usually has a tiny flowery scribble feels. 

Percale is a printed cotton that's plain woven and medium in weight.  It is made out of combed yarns. 

Seersucker is a cotton blend or a light cotton with woven in stripes that are crinkled.  These stripes are created by having some warp yarns tight and others loose. 

Tergal is a French fabric.  It is sheer, lightweight and soft.  It is made out of highly twisted yarns. 

Ticking is basically a heavy twill fabric that's made with a colored yarn stripe which is in the warp. 

Toile is a printed scenic design on fabric.  Most of these scenes picture countryside nature. 


Twill is a thicker woven fabric which makes a rib or a diagonal line. 

Voile is soft, transparent and lightweight.  It is a plain weave fabric that's made out of highly twisted yarns.  Voile can be made out of wool, silk, cotton or man-made fiber. 

Yarn-dyed is a fabric that is woven with yarn dyed before it is weaved.

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