Textile Glossary

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CableTo twist together two or more folded yarns.
Calico"Tightly-woven cotton type fabric with an all-over print, usually a small floral pattern on a contrasting background color. Common end-uses include dresses, aprons, and quilts."
CAICompression strength after impact.
CalenderedThe term is used to describe a fabric which has been passed through rollers to smooth and flatten it or confer surface glaze.
Camel's hairThe hair of the camel or dromedary; also used as a broad description of fawn colour.
CanvasA plain weave usually made from cotton or linen.
CaprolactamA chemical intermediate used in the manufacture of polyamide (nylon).
CardedDescription of a continuous web or sliver produced by carding.
Carding"The disentanglement, cleaning and intermixing of fibres to produce a continuous web or sliver suitable for subsequent processing. This is achieved by passing the fibres between moving pins, wires or teeth."
CashmereHair with a mean diameter of 18.5 microns or less from the downy undercoat of Asiatic or selectively bred feral goats.
Cavalry twill"A firm warp-faced cloth, woven to produce a steep twill effect."
Cellophane effectAn effect created in a fabric which gives it the iridescent appearance of cellophane.
Cellulosic fibresFibres made or chemically derived from a naturally occurring cellulose raw material.
Cellulosic filamentFilaments made or chemically derived from a naturally occurring cellulose raw material.
Centinewton (cN)A unit of force used to measure the strength of a textile yarn (see tenacity).
Centipoise"A measure of viscosity, equal to 0.001 newton second per m2."
CFRPCarbon fibre reinforced plastic.
Chafer fabricA fabric coated with vulcanised rubber which is wrapped around the bead section of a tyre before vulcanisation of the complete tyre. Its purpose is to maintain an abrasion-resistant layer of rubber in contact with the wheel on which the tyre is mounte
ChainetteA tubular cord produced on a circular knitting machine.
Challis"A lightweight plain-weave fabric, made from cotton or wool, usually with a printed design."
ChambrayA cotton shirting fabric woven with a coloured warp and white weft.
ChangeantSee shot.
Cheesecloth"An open lightweight plain-weave fabric, usually made from carded cotton yarns."
Chelate"A chemical compound whose molecules contain a closed ring of atoms, of which one is a metal atom."
Chelating agent"A chemical compound which coordinates with a metal to form a chelate, and which is often used to trap or remove heavy metal ions."
Chemical bonding"Part of a production route for making nonwovens; binders are applied to a web which, when dried, bond the individual fibres to form a coherent sheet."
Chenille"A yarn consisting of a cut pile which may be one or more of a variety of fibres helically positioned around axial threads that secure it. Gives a thick, soft tufty silk or worsted velvet cord or yarn typically used in embroidery and for trimmings."
Chiffon"A plain woven lightweight, extremely sheer, airy, and soft silk fabric, containing highly twisted filament yarns. The fabric, used mainly in evening dresses and scarves, can also be made from rayon and other manufactured fibers."
ChinéTextiles with a mottled pattern.
ChinoiserieFabric designs which are derived from or which are imitations of Chinese motifs.
Chintz"A glazed, printed, plain-weave fabric, usually made of cotton."
CIF"Cost, insurance and freight."
Circular jerseyFabric produced on circular knitting machines (see also weft knitting).
CiréIt is a lightweight performance fabric with a shiny surface made from synthetic fibres for use in outerwear.
Cloqué"Cloqué is a compound or double fabric with a figured blister effect, produced by using yarns of different character or twist which respond in different ways to finishing treatments."
Color fastness"A term used to describe a dyed fabric's ability to resist fading due to washing, exposure to sunlight, and other environmental conditions."
ComforterAn over-covering on a bed that is made with a fabric shell filled with an insulating material.
Commingled yarn"A yarn consisting of two or more individual yarns that have been combined, usually by means of air jets."
Composite composite material"A product formed by intimately combining two or more discrete physical phases-usually a solid matrix, such as a resin, and a fibrous reinforcing component."
Combing"The combing process is an additional step beyond carding. In this process the fibers are arranged in a highly parallel form, and additional short fibers are removed, producing high quality yarns with excellent strength, fineness, and uniformity."
Conjugate yarnsSee bicomponent yarns.
Continuous filamentSee filament.
Continuous filament strand (glass)A fibre bundle composed of many glass filaments.
Convertor"A person or a company which buys grey goods and sells them as finished fabrics. A converter organizes and manages the process of finishing the fabric to a buyers' specifications, particularly the bleaching, dyeing, printing, etc."
CopolymerA polymer in which there are two or more repeat units.
Cord"A term used to describe the way in which textile strands have been twisted, such as in cabled or plied yarns."
Corduroy"A fabric, usually made of cotton, utilizing a cut-pile weave construction. Extra sets of filling yarns are woven into the fabric to form ridges of yarn on the surface. The ridges are built so that clear lines can be seen when the pile is cut."
Core-spun yarnA yarn consisting of an inner core yarn surrounded by staple fibres. A corespun yarn combines the strength and/or elongation of the core thread and the characteristics of the staple fibres which form the surface.
Core-twisted yarnA yarn produced by combining one fibre or filament with another during a twisting process.
Count"A measure of linear density (see decitex, denier)."
Countervailing duty"An extra duty imposed on an imported product by an importing country (or group of countries, as in the case of the EU) to compensate for subsidies deemed to be illegal which are given to the manufacturer of the product in the exporting country."
CourtelleA brand name for acrylic fibre used by Acordis (formerly Courtaulds).
Cover factor (knitted fabrics)(tightness factor) A number that indicates the extent to which the area of a knitted fabric is covered by yarn. It is also an indication of the relative looseness or tightness of the knitting.
Cover factor (woven fabrics)"A number that indicates the extent to which the area of a fabric is covered by one set of threads. For any woven fabric, there are two cover factors: a warp cover factor and a weft cover factor. Under the cotton system, the cover factor is the ratio
Covered yarnA yarn made by feeding one yarn through one or more revolving spindles carrying the other (wrapping) yarn. Covered yarn may also be produced using air-jet technology.
CoverstockA permeable fabric used in hygiene products to cover and contain an absorbent medium.
Covert"A warp-faced fabric, usually of a twill weave, with a characteristic mottled appearance obtained by the use of a grandrelle (two-colour twisted yarn) or mock grandrelle warp."
Crease-resist finish"A finish, usually applied to fabrics made from cotton or other cellulosic fibres or their blends, which improves the crease recovery and smooth-drying properties of a fabric. In the process used most commonly, the fabric is impregnated with a solutio
CrêpeA fabric characterised by a crinkled or puckered surface.
Crêpe de chine"A lightweight fabric, traditionally of silk, with a crinkly surface."
Crepe-back satin"A satin fabric in which highly twisted yarns are used in the filling direction. The floating yarns are made with low twist and may be of either high or low luster. If the crepe effect is the right side of the fabric, the fabric is called satin-back c
Crêpe yarnA highly twisted yarn which may be used in the production of crêpe fabrics.
CrêponA crêpe fabric which is more rugged than the usual crêpe with a fluted or crinkled effect in the warp direction.
CrimpThe waviness of a fibre or filament.
Crimp contraction"The contraction in length of a previously textured yarn from the fully extended state (ie where the filaments are substantially straightened), owing to the formation of crimp in individual filaments under specified conditions of crimp development."
Crimp stabilityThe ability of a textured yarn to resist the reduction of its crimp by mechanical or thermal stress.
Crimped yarnsee textured yarn.
Crinoline"A lightweight, plain weave, stiffened fabric with a low yarn count (few yarns to the inch in each direction)."
Crocking"The rubbing-off of dye from a fabric. Crocking can be the result of lack of penetration of the dyeing agent, the use of incorrect dyes or dyeing procedures, or the lack of proper washing procedures and finishing treatments after the dyeing process."
Cross-dyeing"The dyeing of a yarn or fabric containing a mixture of fibres, at least one of which is coloured separately."
Cross-linking"The creation of chemical bonds between polymer molecules to form a threedimensional polymeric network, for example in a fibre or pigment binder."
CuproA type of cellulosic fibre obtained by the cuprammonium process.
Cuprammonium"A process of producing a type of regenerated rayon fiber. In this process, the wood pulp or cotton liners are dissolved in an ammoniac copper oxide solution. Bemberg rayon is a type of Cuprammonium rayon."
CurcumaA fabric with a yellow colour similar to that produced by the curcuma spice.
Curesee curing.
Curing (chemical finishing)"A process carried out after the application of a finish to a textile fabric in which appropriate conditions are used to effect a chemical reaction. Usually, the fabric is heat treated for several minutes. However, it may be subject to higher temperat
Cut and sew"A system of manufacturing in which shaped pieces are cut from a layer of fabric and stitched together to form garments. In the case of tubular knitted fabric, the cloth is either cut down one side and opened up into a flat fabric or left as a tube an