Textile Terminology


Material Description
AC CA How is it made?
Acetate fabrics are spun filaments of cellulose derived from wood pulp. -Acetate flakes are generated by a reaction of the wood pulp to a variety of acetic acids.
What textile family is it in?
-Acetate is a synthetic textile material, usually mixed with silk, wool, or cotton to strengthen it.
1. Drapes and hangs well
-Acetate fabrics have low static energy.
2. Wide number of variations
-It is readily available in various colors and sheens.

–The sheens give it a higher than average luster.

3. Resistancy

-As a synthetic it is resistant to mold and mildew.

–Very low shrinkage.
-Synthetics have little pilling.
4. Quick drying
1. Difficult to manipulate
-Acetate fabric does not stretch.

2. Poor durability
-The material is weak and does not hold up well.

-The material easily wrinkles.3. Heat sensitive
-Acetate is a plastic synthetic and will melt when placed under high heat.
4. Maintenance
-Acetate, cellulose materials typically require extra care, i.e. dry cleaning.
PC PAN How is it made?
-Acrylic fabric can either be wet or dry spun.
-They use solvents to dissolve the polymer and then solidify them for their spinning process to make this fabric.
What textile family is it in?
-Acrylic fabric is a wool like synthetic material.
1. Texture
-The material is warm and has a fuzzy, wool-like texture.
2. Longevity of color
–Acrylic based materials retain it’s color well.
3. Durability
-Acrylic materials typically do not wrinkle.
1. Heat sensitive
-Acrylic is a plastic synthetic and will melt when placed under high heat.
WP How is it made?
Alpaca fibers come from an Alpaca which is a camelid. The fibers themselves have different thicknesses depending on how they are spun which result in different uses.Unique properties:
-The hairs themselves have tiny air pockets that enhance its breath-ability and insulating properties. -Additionally it is one of the few animal fiber that has no lanolin that results in the fibers being hypoallergenic
1. Breathability
-As a natural fiber it breathes easier than synthetics.2. Insulating
-It retains heat and keeps the wearer warm.
3. Texture
-Alpaca has a softer feel when compared to sheep or wool.
4. Hypoallergenic5. Moisture wicking
-Highly water resistant6. Relatively fire retardant
1. Poor durability
-Prone to pilling and bubbling.2. Expensive3. Maintenance
-Special care instructions
WA How is it made?
-It is produced by the heavy down of an Angora Rabbit.

What textile family is it in?
-Angora is a specific type of wool.
Unique characteristics:
-Angora fiber is its own distinct fiber that should not be confused with mohair which comes from an Angora Goat.
-It is much warmer and lighter than regular wool due to the hollow core in the fibers that also provides it with a floating characteristic in its lightness.
1. Insulation
Angora has high heat retention.
1. Breathability
-There is no breath-ability to Angora.
-For garment purposes it is uncomfortable becomes the lack of breath-ability leads to trapped heat and moisture.

2. Sustainability
-Takes decades to break down.
 3. Not water resistant
Although the fabric itself is waterproof as soon as it has a seam it is no longer waterproof and water can get through the seams.
BB BA How is it made?
-The bamboo is made into a pulp which is filtered to create a fiber.
-The filtered pulp is soaked in natural enzymes and then turned into a yarn.
What textile family is it in?
-Bamboo fabric is sometimes referred to as bamboo rayon
-Bamboo fabric can either be rayon, lyocell, linen or blended with cotton
1. Eco-friendly
-Organically grown
-Grows very quickly
2. Breathable
-Naturally moisture wicking

3. Hypoallergenic4. Texture
5. Long lasting6. Flexible
1. Likely to pill
2. Easily wrinkled
3. Shrinks easily
WB What textile family is it in?
-Beaver is a heavy, napped, twill weave, double cloth made from wool or cotton.

Unique characteristics:
-Beaver cloth originally from England
-Commonly sheared on one side to resemble Beaver fur.
-Very thin fibers
1. Insulation
-Extremely warm
2. Very lightweight 3. Texture
-Provides a silky texture.
Extremely soft.4. Creates a halo effect
1. Durability
-Can easily felt when exposed to abrasion or humidity.
2. Manipulability
-Not very elastic3. Very expensive.
Camel Hair
WK How is it made?
-Camel hair specifically refers to the hair fibers collected from a camel. -The hairs are separated between fine and course hairs for their different purposes and from there are washed away of dirt and debris.
-The last step is then to spin the hairs into a yarn or thread.
1. Insulation
-High heat retention capabilities.
2. Mildly breathable3. Mildly moisture wicking4. Durability
-Isn’t prone to pilling or bubbling.
5. Manipulability
-Can be woven into extremely thin garments.
Can be easily blended with cashmere to bring down garment cost while providing the same luxurious quality.6. Sustainable
-Entirely biodegradable.
Due to the small amount of camel hair harvested and it being centralized in Mongolia there is very little negative environmental impact
1. Expensive
-Most expensive textile in the world ranging from $1,500-$3,000 USD per yard.
2. Difficult to create
-Can only be harvested from the animal once every three years.
-The animal cannot be help in captivity so it has to be captured and returned to the wild
3. Fragile
-Sensitive to chemical treating.
Extremely careful care instructions.
WS How is it made?
-Hair of the Indian cashmere goat that is made into a fabric by spinning either by hand or with a machine.
What textile family is it in?
-Cashmere is a soft lightweight material often used to make delicate clothing
1. Texture
-Cashmere is soft and silky in touch as well

2. Lightweight
1. Expensive
-As cashmere is only made from the wool of one breed of sheep it is expensive.
2. Maintenance
-It also must be taken care of carefully as it is lightweight and less durable than other wool-like fabrics
CO How is it made?
-Cotton is a flower that is made into the fabric after it has been cleaned, spun into threads, and then woven.
-The process is fairly complicated and is mostly done by machine.
1. Breathable

2. Cost-effective

3. Heat resistant
-It can withstand high heat.

1. Durability
-Cotton is prone to shrinking and stretching with usage.
-Not wrinkle resistant

2. Dries slowly
HL How is it made?
-It is entirely synthetic and is composed of a long chain of polymer known as poly urethane.What textile family is it in?

-Cotton is a soft fluffy staple fiber that grows as a protective case around the seeds of cotton plants.
-The fiber is almost pure cellulose.

1. Breathable.

2. Heat resistant
-High heat retention.

3. Lightweight

4. Manipulability
-Relatively high tensile strength.
Very absorbent while also being able to dry quickly.
Naturally white or slightly yellowish making it easy for dying processes.
Drapes well.

1. Durability
-Wrinkles easily.
Shrinks in the wash unless it has gone through a pre treatment.2. Sustainability
-Most cotton is not made sustainably and uses a lot of harmful pesticides and fertilizers
CU CUP How is it made?
-It is made in the same closed loop way as Lyocell and Tencel, meaning all the chemicals and water used to make the fabric can be repurposed to make more fabric.

What textile family is it in?

-Cupro is “regenerated cellulose” fabric made from cotton waste, specifically cotton linter.
-Cupro/cupra is actual slang for the actual textile name Cuprammonium rayon that originated in textile factories in China.
-Extremely fine fiber
1. Biodegradable
-Vegan alternative to silk
2. Maintenance
-Easily machine washable
3. Manipulability
-Drapes well
-Extremely elastic
1. Low durability
-Easily pills
-Doesn’t handle high heat.
-Chars when ignited.
-Doesn’t burn cleanly like other natural fabrics.
2. Low fabric breath-ability.3. Sustainability
-Is not a particularly sustainable option as it was created with mild disregard in China and as a result has disregard for proper disposal of toxic chemical used in its manufacturing process resulting in more toxic waste than it produces in biodegradable fabric.
Cannot be manufactured in the USA due to environmental laws that don’t allow that much toxic waste and pollution to come from manufacturing something
EA What textile family is it in?
-Elastane is the generic term for Lycra or spandex. Its primarily used for its elasticity traits.
1. Manipulability
-Highly elastic.
2. High breath-ability.3. Moisture-wicking
4. Heat retention
-Low heat retention abilities.
1. Expensive

2. Low durability

3. Lycra is trademarked

LI How is it made?
-Unlike cotton, Linen has a very intensive and long manufacturing process.
-Since the cotton gin was invented the popularity for Linen has decreased but is still in demand due to its unique attributes and capabilities.
What textile family is it in?
-Linen is similar to cotton but instead it is made from fiber derived from the stems of flax plants.
1. High breath-ability.

2. Moisture wicking

3. Heat retention
-Low heat retention abilities.
-Ideal for garments worn in hot or humid climates
-Has natural UV protection qualities

4. Durable
-Not prone to pilling or bubbling.

5. Quick drying

1. Manipulability
-Not stretchy.
2. Very expensive3. Sustainability
-Commonly made with toxic chemicals to reduce the manufacturing time.
4. Labor conditions
-The dying Linen industry contributes to poor working conditions and results in what is considered slave labor in areas like Bangladesh and China.
JU How is it made?
-The fiber is most commonly spun into yarn or thread to create a highly breathable material.
-Jute is a shiny, long, and soft Bast fiber that is spun into strong course threads.
What textile family is it in?
-It’s fibers are primarily composed of cellulose and lignin.
-Jute is one of the most affordable and versatile fibers second to cotton. In some cases it can even replace cotton for the same effect.
1. Durable
-Strong2. Holds color well3. Naturally UV protected4. Insulation
-Sound and heat insulated
Low thermal conduction.
5. Sustainability
-Carbon dioxide neutral.
Biodegradable.6. High breath-ability.7. Highly moisture wicking.8. Anti-static properties
1. Manipulability
-Not stretchy.
Not great for clothing applications and is primarily used for industrial purposes.2. Longevity
-Due to it being easily biodegradable it is not durable in long term outdoor applications.
KE How is it made?
-Kenaf is a plant. The center of the kenaf fiber must be extracted from its outer layers. It is then combined with cotton to make a yarn.
What textile family is it in?
-Kenaf is a natural fiber with low levels of lignin.
1. More shiny than jute

2. Very sustainable
-Made in many places worldwide, including various locations in the US
-Grows quickly
-Grows year round
-Doesn’t require much water to grow

3. Lightweight

4. Naturally absorbent

5. Fire retardant

1. Manipulability
-Very rigid and not flexible.
LH LTHR How is it made?
-Leather is made from animal hide, most commonly cow. The hide must be salted and tanned which preserves the hide and turns it into leather.
1. Durable

2. Flexible

3. Easily cleaned

1. Expensive
2. Relatively low level of color variations3. Rigid when first made4. Low breathability
WL 1. Texture
2. Insulating
1. Manipulability
2. Maintenance
Can only be hand-washed cold.
3. Expensive
CLY How is it made?
Composed of cellulose precipitated from an organic solution in which no substitution of the hydroxyl groups takes place and no chemical intermediates are formed.

What textile family is it in?

-Lyocell is a form of rayon
1. Texture
-Soft2. Absorbent3. Durability
-Very strong when wet or dry
Resistant to wrinkles.
4. Manipulability
-Drapes well
-Can be used to simulate textures such as leather, suede, and silk
1. Expensive
-More expensive to produce than cotton or viscose rayon
ME How is it made?
-Metallic fibers are composed of varying metallic alloys, metal, plastic coated metal, metal coated plastic, or a core completely covered by metal.
1. Highly electrically conductive

2. Thermal resistant to high temperatures

3. Durability
-Corrosion resistant in most cases depending on the metal used
-High failure strain
-High ductility
-Shock resistant
-Fire resistant

4. Sound insulating

1. Maintenance
-Requires special care
-Can only be dry cleaned
-Can’t be ironed
Metallicized Polyester
MA MAC How is it made?
-Modacrylic is a copolymer made from modified acrylic fibers made from acrylonitrile with large amounts of other polymers being added to create the copolymers.
-From this the copolymers are dissolved in acetones, dry spun and stretched while hot to create Modacrylic fibers.
1. Texture
2. Resistancy
-Dimensionally stable
-Resistant to chemicals and solvents
-Resistant to moths and mildew
-Flame retardant and don’t combust
-Resistant to abrasion3. Very low tenacity4. Arc flash protectant
5. Hypoallergenic
1. Durability
-Prone to pilling, matting and bubbling
-Not heat resistant
-Prone to shrinking

2. Maintenance
-Have special care instructions for washing and drying
MO CMD How is it made?
-A cellulose fiber made by spinning reconstituted cellulose, often from beech trees.
1. Water-absorbent
-Modal is 50% more water-absorbent than cotton

2. Manipulability
-Can be dyed like cotton
-Resistant to shrinkage and fading
3. Lightweight
4. Texture
-Appearance of silk, soft and smooth.
1. Durability
-Not very durable over time
-Prone to stretching and pilling.
WM How is it made?
-Hair of the North African Angora goat that is then made into a soft to the touch fabric.
1. Texture
2. Manipulability
-Easier to dye
3. Durability
-Resistant to creases.
4. Lightweight5. Absorbent
PA What textile family is it in?
-Nylon is a thermoplastic silky material made of synthetic materials.
Unique characteristics:
-The makeup of this fiber also allows it to have a elastic quality and be semi water resistant.
-It is also widely used as plastic for making machine parts.
1. Versatility
-Nylon is extremely versatile in its uses from stockings and bathing suits to carpets.

2. Resistency
-Resistant to fungi, insects and animals.

3. Heat resistant
-The synthetic make up of the material means that it can easily withstand different temperatures
-Melts instead of burns at high temperatures
1. Durability
-Nylons synthetic make up means that the fabric experiences high shrinkage in molded sections and a lack of stability.
2. Sustainability
-There are also pollution problems associated with the mass production of this material.
3. Absorbancy
-The unique makeup of Nylon means it does not absorb a large amount of water.
Other Fibers
AF What textile family is it in?
-Other fibers is also referred to as Altre Fiber.
-Almost all garments are made up of a mix of synthetic and natural fibers, and it is not always practical to list them all out.
-Other Fibers is used to account for the additional fibers included in a garment that only make up a small percentage of the overall fabric content.
1. Manipulability
-Retains color well
2. Texture
-Has a wool-like texture
3. Durability
-Resistant to wrinkling.
1. Vague
-Doesn’t explicitly identify the “other fibers” being used which can lead to misconceptions about expectations of a fabric.
PL PES How is it made?
-Polyester is a synthetic fiber derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum.
-Polyester fibers are formed from a chemical reaction between an acid and alcohol.
1. Durability
-Polyester is a no wrinkle fabric
-It is hard to stain
-Holds its shape over time.
1. Manipulability
-Since it is hard to stain, it doesn’t absorb dyes
-Highly shrinkable material
2. Texture
-It doesn’t feel as soft as cotton does
RA How is it made?
-The manufacturing process of Ramie is similar to that of Linen, as it’s fiber are produced from the stalk of the plant and the process so very long and intensive.

What textile family is it in?
-Ramie is chemically classified as a cellulose fiber like cotton and linen.
-It originates from eastern Asia and was used long before cotton was introduced to eastern Asia.
1. Durability
-It is one the strongest natural fibers
-It is stronger when wet
-Doesn’t shrink
-Resistant to mildew, moths and bacteria

2. Manipulability
-Hold shape well
-Can reduce wrinkling when mixed with other fibers
-Dyes easily
-Easily bleachable

3. Extremely absorbent
4. Heat resistant
-Can withstand high heat when being washed or dried

5. Texture
-Has a natural silky texture
-The smooth lustrous texture and appearance increase the more its washed

SE How is it made?
-Silkworms are a type of caterpillars that naturally produce silk fibers.
-The silk fibers are then harvested by heating with steam, and the fibers are then spun to make long threads, which are treated, dyed and woven together to make silk fabric.
1. Strong

2. Lightweight

3. Texture
-Soft and smooth to touch

4. Resistancy
-Stain resistant

1. Durability
-Not extremely durable
-Not very resilient overall
-Wrinkles easily on its own
-Low abrasion resistance

2. Manipulability
-Low elasticity
-Stiff, brittle
SI How is it made?
-Sisal refers to a special type of agave plant.
-Sisal fibers are extracted through a process known as decortication, where leave are crushed, beaten and brushed away by a spinning wheel set with knives that results in the remains only being the plants fibers.
-From there the fibers are dried which has varying levels of quality depending on the drying method with artificial drying providing the best quality of fibers.
1. Durability
-High strength
-High durability
-Resistant to deterioration in salt water

2. Manipulability
-Some stretch
-Affinity for certain dyestuffs
1. Expensive
-Very expensive to produce and purchase

2. Longevity
-Degrades over time- making it hard to preserve.
3. Sustainability
-Sisal farming contributes to deforestation as Sisal is an invasive species
-Creates a lot of waste with no purpose for reuse
Terry Rayon
TR What textile family is it in?
-Terry Rayon refers to a specific fabric made from a blend of polyester and viscose yarn.
-It is considered a premium grade fabric due to the effect that weaving the two fibers together creates, where it provides a strong yet super comfortable and lux appearance that is ideal for tailored suits.
Unique characteristics:
-Its texture and appearance has that of wool while retaining the positive attributes of Rayon and Polyester.
1. Texture
-Soft and simple texture
2. Durability
-Strong, high durability
3. High breathability
-Superior to cotton when used for tailored suits, Insulates heat
CTA TA How is it made?
-Triacetate is made by combining acetate with a cellulose pulp which enhances some of the properties present in acetate and diminishes some of the weaknesses as well.

Unique characteristics:
-Triacetate is commonly mixed with other fibers to decrease its weaknesses and cost.
-Triacetate is used to make a variety of different textile texture and is best known for its ability to hold pleats and folds.
1. Durability
-Shrink and wrinkle resistant.
-Resistant to grease, oil, aromas, and other general solvent.
2. Maintenance
-Easily washable.

-Can be washed at high temperatures.
-Can be ironed at higher temperatures than acetate.
1. Manipulability
-Easily marred by pinholes, seam ripping, and water spots
Tends to pucker along seam lines
True Hemp
CA/HA How is it made?
-True hemp is made from a specific Cannabis Sativa plant that is used for multiple industrial purposes and is one of the oldest spun fibers in history.
What textile family is it in?
-Pure hemp has a texture similar to linen and for clothing purposes it is commonly mixed with lyocell.
1. Versatile
-Has many versatile uses for industry purposes
-The fibers themselves are very strong so it can be used for making things like canvas and chords
1. Legality
-Due to the fact that its derived from a Cannabis plant, although the industry hemp plant commonly used is a specific strain with low THC, the legality of growing it between countries varies greatly because of the possible THC content.
WG How is it made?
-Vicuna fibers come from a Vicuna that originates in the Andes and resembles a Llama.

Unique characteristics:
-It is coveted for its luxurious extremely fine hairs, that are finer than cashmere, that are covered in tiny interlocking scales that trap air.
-It is the most luxurious fabric in tailoring due the fine hairs ultra lightweight insulating properties.
-Due to the shortness of the fine hairs, it is only suitable for scarves and accessories and is almost impossible to use for garment purposes like a suit.
1. Texture
-Extremely soft
2. Extremely lightweight3. High insulating properties
VY How is it made?
-Although commonly PVC is hard, but by adding plasticizers it allows the PVC to become pliable enough for textile purposes.
What textile family is it in?
-Vinyl in textile is a plasticized version of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Unique characteristics:
-It was created by accident in 1926 and was found to provide many useful and varying purposed from waterproofing to coating of electrical wires.
1. Insulating

2. Waterproof
-Can be used to coat other textiles to provide those textiles with the enviable waterproof property
3. Manipulability
-Can create matte or textured surfaces to imitate fabrics like leather
-Can be produced in any imaginable color
-Can be recycled and converted into new applications
1. Sustainability
-Viscose is not environmentally friendly.
2. Durability
-The fabric creases very easily.
Virgin Wool
WV How is it made?
-Virgin wool refers to sheep wool that comes from either a baby lamb’s first shearing or wool that has not been recycled.
Sheep’s wool becomes more course as the sheep ages, so by shearing a baby lambs wool its the softest the wool will ever be.
1. Very Breathable

2. High moisture wicking capabilities

4. High heat retention,

5. Durability
-Some stretch ability
-High durability
-Can last decades
-Fairly fire retardant

6. Very water absorbent

1. Manipulability
Prone to bubbling and pilling
2. Expensive
-Very expensive for sheep’s wool
3. Sustainability
-Can have a negative environmental impact if the sheep’s aren’t raised properly
CV VI How is it made?
-Viscose has become the generalized term for regenerated manufactured fiber, made from cellulose, through a viscose process.What textile family is it in?
-Viscose is the term used for Rayon in the USA which came from the manufacturing process of Rayon.
-Viscose is a organic liquid used to make rayon and cellophane. Viscose is becoming synonymous with rayon, a soft material commonly used in shirts, shorts, coats, jackets, and other outer wear.
1. Durability
-Strong and robust

2. Breathable.
-Light material.
-Similar to cotton

3. Heat retention
-Does not hold heat.
4. Manipulability
-Viscose drapes well
Retains its color well
-Viscose is a versatile material and is typically blended with other materials
-No static buildup
5. Highly absorbent6. Texture
-Smooth to the touch.
-Very soft and comfortable

-Viscose rayon has a silky appearance and feel
7. Cost efficient
1. Susceptibility
-Shrinks when wet.
Wrinkles easily
Deteriorates when exposed to light.
Susceptible to mildew and mold.
2. Weak fiber3. Maintenance
-Has very specific care instructions.
-Cannot be machine washed.

4. Not great for summer months
WO How is it made?
-Wool fabric is sheared from sheep, then its quality is checked and it is prepared for spinning.
-The wool is spun into long strands.
-Then the strands are woven into fabric.
Unique characteristics:
Wool is naturally very thick and provides good insulation.
1. Absorbency
-As a natural fiber, wool is very absorbent
2. Insulating
-Wool retains heat.
1. Texture
-Some people find wool to be itchy.
WY How is it made?
-Yak fiber is the wool produced by the hair from a Yak.
-Yaks are sheared then sorted into three types of fibers.
-The fibers are washed and then spun to make a fine thread.
1. Insulating

2. Breathable

3. Durable

4. Texture
-Naturally soft

5. Odor resistant

6. Absorbent






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