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Glossary

  • Bedding
  • Fabric, Drapery, Upholstery
  • Fabric Terms
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    Bedding

    Percale
    Sheeting with a minimum of 180 thread count.
    Thread Count
    Number of threads vertically and horizontally per square inch of cloth. The higher the thread count the smoother and stronger the sheet.
    Sateen
    Woven with multiple warp (lengthwise) thread over top of weft (widthwise) thread to produce a silky lustrous sheen with a beautiful hand.
    Egyptian Cotton
    Cotton grown in Egypt with long staples (fibers) to produce the silkiest and strongest cotton available.
    Pima Cotton
    Similar to Egyptian cotton, grown in the southern U.S.A. staples not quite as long as Egyptian Cotton.
    Combed Cotton
    Cotton that has short fibers and impurities removed.
    Mercerized Cotton
    A process that has been used to increase strength and colour saturation of cotton.
    Matelasse
    A cotton or cotton blend fabric woven to produce a slightly quilted or pique look.
    Jacquard
    An elaborate woven design done on a Jacquard loom. The use of punch cards to produce patterns allows for a great variety of patterns and colours to be woven.
    Cashmere
    This luxurious wool comes from the Cashmere Goat living high in the mountains of Tibet and China. The cold weather helps to creat a silky undercoat of wool which is spun into one of the softest silkiest fibers imaginable.
    Merino
    This wool comes from the Merino Sheep, originally European but now farmed mostly in Australia. The wool is delicate but very resilient making it ideal for warm long lasting blankets.
    Linen
    Literally, the strongest of all the natural fibers, it also has a deep luster making it a natural choice for table linens. A cool touch makes it a superb summer bed sheet. It is also a lint free fiber making it ideal for dish towels.

     

    Fabrics, Drapery, Upholstery

     

    Allowance/Give
    Extra given to width of finished curtain to allow for “springback” that naturally occurs, especially in pleated drapes.
    Austrian
    A style of curtain, usually in sheer or lace where there is gathering up the length as well as across the width.
    Balloon Shade
    A shade with gathering in the width that can be pulled up or down.
    Box Pleat
    A flat, unpinched pleat in the heading of the drape.
    Butterfly Pleat
    A pleat that is tacked at the bottom end and flares out and is tacked down at the top.
    Bracket
    The piece of hardware, usually metal that holds the curtain rod in place.
    Cascade/Jabot
    Side pieces to swags that fall in zigzagging folds down the sides of the window.
    Casement
    Fabric that is more opaque that sheers but more open that solid fabrics, usually with a texture.
    Cornice
    A box-like structure, often decorative to hide the top heading of a drape or curtain.
    Finished Length
    The final length of drape after hems and headings are done.
    Finished width
    The final width of drape including give/ease and returns.
    Fullness
    The proportion of the amount of fabric used to the finished width. i.e.. sheers are usually triple full whereas lined drapes are often 2.5:1 fullness.
    Gathered
    A heading that is finished by pulling on strings in a heading tape to create a ruffled/gathered look.
    Heading
    The top end of the drape, usually containing a stiffener that is usually pleated or gathered.
    Interlining
    A fabric, usually soft, sewn between the regular lining and the face fabric to provide more bulk and insulation. Recommended for silk draperies to provide more protection from the sun.
    Inside mount
    Drapes that are installed above and over the sides of the window frame.
    Outside mount
    Curtains or blinds that are installed inside the frame of the window.
    Pattern repeat
    The distance between a given point in the pattern and the point where the pattern starts again.
    Pinch pleats
    Pleats that are divided into two or three smaller pleats and sewn together at the bottom.
    Railroading
    Most fabrics have the pattern running up and down with selvedges at the side. Railroaded fabrics are turned so that the pattern runs up and down with selvedges at the top and bottom. Often used in upholstery.
    Repeat
    Distance from the front of the drapery to the wall.
    Rod pocket
    Drapes with a hollow sleeve at the top and sometimes at the bottom to allow a rod to slide through for gathered treatments.
    Roman shade
    A fabric shade that goes up and down in a series of folds.
    Traverse rod
    A rod that uses a cord to open and close the drape.
    Valance
    A top treatment used by itself or over draperies to hide hardware and as a decorative feature.

     

    Fabric Terms

     

    Acetate
    Used for artificial silks dry clean only.
    Acrylic
    Lightweight, soft synthetic polymer.
    Antique satin
    Reasonably priced fabric with a silk look, usually made with rayon and acetates. Very popular.
    Batiste
    A sheer fabric slightly more opaque than a voile.
    Blackout lining
    A heavier lining used to create a more opaque curtain.
    Boucle
    French for curled, indicates a fabric with a curled or loopy texture.
    Brocade
    Rich jacquard with all over interwoven design of raised figures or flowers. Usually silk or silk-like fabrics.
    Chintz
    Glazed cotton, often with bright floral prints.
    Damask
    Similar to brocade but flatter and reversible.
    Dupion
    Textured silk, real or synthetic.
    Faille
    Plain ribbed fabric.
    Linen Union
    A cotton-linen blend, very durable.
    Madras cotton
    Lightweight cotton from India woven often in check or plaid patterns.
    Mohair
    Wool from the Angora goat, used in fabrics and woven into blankets.
    Moire
    A pattern finish given to cottons or cotton blends to simulate a watermark.
    Nylon
    Remarkably strong fiber made from polymers of petroleum , natural gas and water.
    Polyester
    A synthetic with good draping qualities.
    Rayon
    Similar texture to silk, part synthetic, part natural.
    Shantung
    A randomly textured silk.
    Taffeta
    A fine, plain fabric, smooth on both sides with some sheen.
    Tapestry
    A heavy, upholstery weight fabric imitating hand-sewn tapestries.
    Ticking
    A striped cotton, often used for covering mattresses and pillows.
    Velvet
    Cloth with short cut piles that stand close together giving an even surface.
    Voile
    A fine, sheer fabric usually made of polyester.
    Warp
    The yarns which run vertically down the roll of fabric.
    Weft
    The yarns which run across the roll of fabric.
    Worsted
    Fabric made of twisted yarns, usually wool.
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