Saturday, August 6, 2011

Complete Textile Glossery (A to B)

Learn Apparel Merchandising, Learn Fashion design.
ABNORMAL CRIMP: A relative term for crimp that is either too low or too high in frequency
and/or amplitude or that has been put into the fiber with improper angular characteristics.
ABRADED YARN: A filament yarn in which filaments have been cut or broken to create
hairiness (fibrillation) to simulate the surface character of spun yarns. Abraded yarns are usually
plied or twisted with other yarns before use.
ABRASION MARK: An area where a fabric has been damaged by friction.
ABRASION RESISTANCE: The ability of a fiber or fabric to withstand surface wear and
ABSORBANCE: The ability of a substance to transform radiant energy into a different form,
usually with a resulting rise in temperature. Mathematically, absorbance is the negative
logarithm to the base 10 of transmittance.
ABSORBENCY: The ability of one material to take up another material.
ABSORPTION: The process of gases or liquids being taken up into the pores of a fiber, yarn, or
fabric. (Also see ADSORPTION.)
ACCELERANT: A chemical used to speed up chemical or other processes. For example,
accelerants are used in dyeing triacetate and polyester fabrics.
ACETATE FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming
substance is cellulose acetate (FTC definition). Acetate is
manufactured by treating purified cellulose refined from cotton linters
and/or wood pulp with acetic anhydride in the presence of a catalyst.
The resultant product, cellulose acetate flake, is precipitated, purified,
dried, and dissolved in acetone to prepare the spinning solution. After
filtration, the highly viscous solution is extruded through spinnerets into
a column of warm air in which the acetone is evaporated, leaving solid
continuous filaments of cellulose acetate. The evaporated acetone is
recovered using a solvent recovery system to prepare additional
spinning solution. The cellulose acetate fibers are intermingled and
wound onto a bobbin or shippable metier cheese package, ready for use
without further chemical processing. In the manufacture of staple fiber,
the filaments from numerous spinnerets are combined into tow form,
crimped, cut to the required length, and packaged in bales.
CHARACTERISTICS: Acetate fabrics are in appearance fast-drying,
wrinkle and shrinkage resistant, crisp or soft in hand depending upon
the end use.
END USES: The end uses of acetate include lingerie, dresses, blouses,
robes, other apparel, linings, draperies, bedspreads, upholstery, carpets, umbrellas, formed
fabrics, and cigarette filters.

ACETIC ACID: An organic acid (CH3COOH) widely used in textile applications. It is used in
textile wet processing, dyeing and printing, and in the manufacture of cellulose acetate and
cellulose triacetate.
ACETIC ANHYDRIDE: Anhydrous acetic acid [(CH3CO)2O]. It is used in the acetylation
process in the manufacture of cellulose acetate.
ACETONE: Dimethyl ketone (CH3COCH3). One of the most powerful organic solvents.
Acetone dissolves secondary cellulose acetate and other derivatives of cellulose. It is miscible
with water and has a low boiling point (55-56°C).
ACETONE RECOVERY: A process for reclaiming the acetone solvent from acetate fiber or
plastics manufacture. Usually the recovery process consists of adsorption by activated carbon
and re-distillation.
ACETYL: The radical (CH3CO-) of acetic acid.
ACETYLATION: A chemical reaction whereby the acetyl radical is introduced into a
compound, as in the conversion of cellulose to cellulose acetate.
ACETYL VALUE: A measure of the degree of esterification or combination of acetyl radicals
with cellulose in acetate or triacetate products.
ACID-DYEABLE VARIANTS: Polymers modified chemically to make them receptive to acid
ACIDIC: A term describing a material having a pH of less than 7.0 in water.
ACID RECOVERY: A reclamation process in chemical processing in which acid is extracted
from a raw material, by-product, or waste product. In the manufacture of cellulose acetate, acetic
acid is a major by-product. Acid recovery consists of combining all wash water containing
appreciable acetic acid and concentrating it to obtain glacial acetic acid.
ACID RESISTANCE: The property of withstanding contact or treatment with any acids
normally encountered in use. The type of acid should be stated (i.e., organic or inorganic).
ACRYLIC FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long chain
synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of acrylonitrile units [-CH2-CH(CN)-]
(FTC definition). Acrylic fibers are produced by two basic methods of spinning (extrusion), dry
and wet. In the dry spinning method, material to be spun is dissolved is a solvent. After
extrusion through the spinneret, the solvent is evaporated, producing continuous filaments which
later may be cut into staple, if desired. In wet spinning, the spinning solution is extruded into a
liquid coagulating bath to form filaments, which are drawn, dried, and processed.

CHARACTERISTICS: Because acrylic fibers
are thermoplastic, fabrics may be heat-set for
wrinkle resistance and to provide permanency to
pleats. Acrylic fabrics have low moisture
absorbency and dry relatively quickly. In
general, acrylic fibers are resistant to the
degrading effects of ultraviolet rays in sunlight
and to a wide range of chemicals and fumes.
They provide warmth in fabrics that are
lightweight, soft, and resilient. Acrylic fibers
have relatively poor flame resistance compared
with other fibers.
Some acrylic fabrics, particularly knit types,
approximate the hand of fine wool. Because of
the composition and cross section of the fiber,
fabrics made therefrom have a high bulk to
weight ratio. This is further enhanced with the
so-called “high bulk” spun yarns.
END USES: End uses of acrylic fibers include
floor coverings, blankets, and apparel uses such as suitings, pile fabrics, coats, collars, linings,
dresses, and shirts.
ACRYLIC RESIN: A polymer of acrylonitrile, used in the production of manufactured fibers, as
a fabric finish and as a size.
ACRYLONITRILE: A colorless, volatile, flammable liquid (CH2=CHCN) used as a raw
material in the manufacture of acrylic polymers and fibers.
ACTION STRETCH: A term applied to fabrics and garments that give and recover in both the
lengthwise and the widthwise directions. Action stretch is ideal for tight-fitting garments such as
ski pants.
ACTIVATED CARBON: Charcoal, mostly of vegetable origin, of high adsorptive capacity. It
is used for decolorizing liquids and other adsorption purifications. Usually made by
carbonization and chemical activation.
ADDITION POLYMERIZATION: A reaction yielding a polymer in which the molecular
formula of the repeating unit is identical with that of the monomer. The molecular weight of a
polymer so formed is a simple sum of the molecular weight of the combined monomer units.
Combination occurs by means of rearrangement of the chemical bonds.
ADDITIVE: A supplementary material combined with a base material to provide special
properties. For example, pigments are used as dope additives to give color in mass dyeing.

ADHESION: The force that holds different materials together at their interface and resists
separation into two layers.
ADHESION PROMOTERS: Products used to treat the smooth fiber-face of closely constructed
base fabric to provide a chemical bonding site for subsequent coating. This step is done because
it is difficult to get good coating adhesion via strikethrough and mechanical bonding in closely
constructed fabrics. Products containing the isocyanate group are the most widely used
promoters. (Also see DIP TREATING.)
ADHESIVE ACTIVATED YARNS: Yarns treated by the fiber manufacturer to promote better
adhesion to another material such as rubber and/or to allow easier processing.
ADHESIVE MIGRATION: In nonwovens, the movement of adhesive together with its carrier
solvent in a fabric during drying, giving it a non-uniform distribution within the web, usually
increasing to the outer layers.
ADHESIVES: In textiles, materials which cause fibers, yarns, or fabrics to stick together or to
other materials.
ADIPIC ACID: 1,4-butanedicarboxylic acid [COOH(CH2)4COOH]. It is used in the
polymerization reaction to form nylon 66 polymers and in the manufacture of polyurethane
ADSORPTION: The attraction of gases, liquids, or solids to surface areas of textile fibers, yarns,
fabrics, or any material. (Also see ABSORPTION.)
ADVANCED COMPOSITE: Polymer, resin, or other matrix-material system in which
reinforcement is accomplished via high-strength, high-modulus materials in continuous filament
form or is discontinuous form such as staple fibers, fibrets, and in-situ dispersions. (Also see
AESTHETICS: In textiles, properties perceived by touch and sight, such as the hand, color,
luster, drape, and texture of fabrics or garments.
AFFINITY: Chemical attraction; the tendency of two elements or substances to unite or
combine, such as fiber and dyestuff.
AFTERGLOW: The flameless, glowing combustion of certain solid materials that occurs after
the removal of an external source of ignition or after the cessation of combustion of the material.
AFTERTREATMENT: Any treatment done after fabric production. In dyeing, it refers to
treating dyed material in ways to improve properties; in nonwovens, it refers to finishing
processes carried out after a web has been formed and bonded. Examples are embossing, creping,
softening, printing, and dyeing.
AGEING: 1. Deterioration of textile or other materials caused by gradual oxidation during
storage and/or exposure to light. 2. The oxidation stage of alkali-cellulose in the manufacture of
viscose rayon from bleached wood pulp. 3. Originally, a process in which printed fabric was
exposed to a hot, moist atmosphere. Presently, the term is applied to the treatment of printed
fabric in moist steam in the absence of air. Ageing is also used for the development of certain
colors in dyeing, e.g., aniline black.

AGER: A steam chamber used for ageing printed or padded material.
AGGLOMERATION: A cluster of particles or fibers.
AGITATE: To stir or to mix, as in the case of a dyebath or solution.
AIR BAG: An automatically inflating bag in front of riders in an automobile to protect them
from pitching forward in an accident. End use for manufactured textile fibers.
AIR BRUSHING: Blowing color on a fabric or paper with a mechanized pneumatic brush.
AIR CONDITIONING: 1. A chemical process for sealing short, fuzzy fibers into a yarn.
Fabrics made from air-conditioned yarns are porous. Because they allow more air circulation,
these fabrics are also cooler. 2. Control of temperature and/or humidity in work or living space.
AIR FORMING: A process in which air is used to separate and move fibers to fashion a web
such as the Kroyer® process for short fibers, usually of wood pulp; or the Rando-Webber®
process for staple-length fibers.
AIR JET SPINNING: A spinning system in which yarn is
made by wrapping fibers around a core stream of fibers with
compressed air. In this process, the fibers are drafted to
appropriate sliver size, then fed to the air jet chambers
where they are twisted, first in one direction, then in the
reverse direction in a second chamber. They are stabilized
after each twisting operation.
AIR-LAID NONWOVENS: Fabrics made by an air-forming process (q.v.). The fibers are
distributed by air currents to give a random orientation within the web and a fabric with isotropic
AIR PERMEABILITY: The porosity or the ease with which air passes through material. Air
permeability determines such factors as the wind resistance of sailcloth, the air resistance of
parachute cloth, and the efficacy of various types of air filters. It also influences the warmth or
coolness of a fabric.

AIRPLANE FABRIC: A plain, tightly woven, water-repellent fabric traditionally made of
mercerized cotton. During World War I, the fabric was treated with a cellulose acetate dope and
used to cover the wings, tail, and fuselage of airplanes. Today, similar fabrics made from nylon
or polyester/cotton blends are used in rainwear and sportswear.
AIR-SUPPORTED ROOF: A fabric-based roofing system that is supported and held in place by
air pressure.
ALBATROSS: A soft, lightweight wool or wool blend fabric in a plain weave with a napped,
fleecy surface that resembles in texture, the breast of the albatross. It is usually light-colored and
is used in negligees, infants’ wear, etc.
ALGINATE FIBER: Fiber formed from a metallic salt (normally calcium) of alginic acid,
which is a natural polymer occurring in seaweed. Alginate fiber is soluble in water.
ALKALINE: A term used to describe a material having a pH greater than 7.0 in water.
ALKYLATION: The introduction of an alkyl radical into an organic molecule.
ALLOY: A solid or liquid mixture of two or more metals; or of one or more metals with certain
nonmetallic elements formed by fusing the components.
ALPACA: 1. Long, fine hair from Alpaca sheep. 2. A fabric from alpaca fibers or blends,
(originally a cotton cloth with alpaca filling) that is used for dresses, coats, suits, and sweaters. It
is also used as a pile lining for jackets and coats. (The term has been incorrectly used to describe
a rayon fabric.)
ALPACA STITCH: A 1 x 1 purl-links stitch that is knit so that the
courses run vertically instead of horizontally as the fabric comes off the
knitting machine. A garment made with an alpaca stitch is not always
100% alpaca; it can be made of other natural or manufactured fibers.
ALPHA CELLULOSE: One of three forms of cellulose. Alpha cellulose
has the highest degree of polymerization and is the chief constituent of
paper pulp and chemical dissolving-grade pulp. (Also see BETA
ALSIMAG®: Registered trademark of American Lava Corporation for
ceramic materials. These materials are used in guides and discs on textile processing machines
and fiber manufacturing equipment.
ALTERNATING TWIST: A texturing procedure in which S and Z twist are alternately inserted
in the yarn by means of a special heating arrangement.
AMINE END GROUP: The terminating (-NH2) group of a nylon polymer chain. Amine end
groups provide dye sites for polyamides.
AMORPHOUS: Noncrystalline, lacking regular geometrical shape. Used to describe certain
regions in polymers.

ANGORA: 1. The hair of the Angora goat. The long, fine fibers are so smooth and soft that they
must be combined with other fibers in weaving. 2. The hair of the Angora rabbit. The fine,
lightweight hair is warm, and it is often blended with wool to decrease price and to obtain novelty
effects in weaving. By law, the fiber must be described as Angora rabbit hair.
ANHYDRIDE: A compound formed by abstraction of water, usually from an acid. Example:
acetic anhydride, which is used in converting cellulose to cellulose acetate.
ANIDEX FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long chain
synthetic polymer composed of at least 50% by weight of one or more esters of a monohydric
alcohol and acrylic acid, (CH2=CH-COOH) (FTC definition).
ANIMAL FIBERS: Fibers of animal origin such as wool, alpaca, camel hair, and silk.
ANION: A negatively charged ion.
ANISOTROPIC: Not having the same physical properties in every direction. In the plane of a
fabric, it is related to a non-random distribution of fibers.
ANTIBACTERIAL FINISH: A treatment of a textile material to make it resistant to, or to
retard growth of, bacteria.
ANTICHLOR: A chemical, such as sodium thiosulfate, used to remove excess chlorine after
ANTIFELTING AGENTS: Products that prevent or minimize matting and compaction of
textile materials.
ANTIFOAMING AGENT: An additive that minimizes the formation of bubbles within or on
the surface of a liquid by reducing the forces that support the bubble’s structure.
ANTIOXIDANT: A substance to retard deterioration (of fiber, fabrics, finishes, etc.) resulting
from reaction with oxygen.
ANTISOILING PROPERTIES: The properties of textile materials whereby they resist
deposition of dirt and stains.
ANTISTAINING PROPERTIES: The ability of a textile to resist the deposition of oil- or
water-borne stains.
ANTISTATIC AGENT: A reagent capable of preventing, reducing, or dissipating static
electrical charges that may be produced on textile materials.
ANTISTATIC PROPERTIES: The ability of a textile material to disperse an electrostatic
charge and to prevent the build up of static electricity.

APPLIQUE: A design made separately and then sewn on a cloth or garment.
ARACHNE MACHINE: A machine for producing loop-bonded nonwovens. The fabric is
formed by knitting a series of warp yarns through a fiber web processed on a card. (Also see
BONDING, 2. Stitch Bonding.)
ARAMID FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming material is a long chain
synthetic polyamide having at least 85% of its amide linkages (-NH-CO-) attached directly to two
aromatic rings (FTC definition).
Aramid fibers exhibit low flammability, high strength, and high modulus. Fabrics made from
aramid fibers maintain their integrity at high temperatures, such fabrics are used extensively in
hot-air filters. Aramids are also found in protective clothing, ropes and cables, and tire cord.
ARGYLE: A pattern consisting of diamond shapes of different colors knit in a fabric.
ARTIFICIAL TURF: A manufactured carpet having the appearance of grass. Used to replace
grass in sports arenas, yards, etc. (Also see RECREATIONAL SURFACES.)
ART LINEN: A plain-weave, softly finished fabric used either bleached or unbleached as a base
fabric for needlework.
ASBESTOS: A nonmetallic mineral fiber, which is nonflammable. The fiber is woven into
fabrics and used for theater curtains and industrial uses where flame-resistant materials are
ASPECT RATIO: 1. The ratio of length to diameter of a fiber or yarn bundle. 2. In tire
production, the ratio of the height of the tire to its width. 3. In a rectangular structure, the ratio of
the longer dimension to the shorter.
ASTRAKHAN CLOTH: A thick knit or woven fabric with loops or curls on the face. The base
yarns are usually cotton or wool and the loops are made with fibers such as mohair, wool, and
certain manufactured fibers. The face simulated the pelt of the astrakhan lamb.
ATACTIC POLYMER: A type of polymer molecule in which
substituent groups or atoms are arranged randomly above and
below the backbone chain of atoms, when the latter are all in
the same plane (e.g., in polypropylene). (Also see ISOTACTIC
ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS: In general, the relative humidity, barometric pressure, and
temperature existing at a given time.

ATTRITION MILLS: Machines for reducing materials into smaller particles by grinding down
by friction. In the manufacture of acetate and triacetate fibers, equipment used in shredding pulp
prior to acetylation.
AUTOCLAVE: 1. An apparatus for carrying out certain finishing operation, such as pleating and
heat setting, under pressure in a superheated steam atmosphere. 2. Apparatus for polymerizing
condensation polymers such as nylon or polyester at any pressure above or below atmospheric.
AVERAGE STIFFNESS: The ratio of change in stress to change in strain between two points
on a stress-strain diagram, particularly the points of zero stress and breaking stress. (Also see
AXIAL YARN: A system of longitudinal yarns in a triaxial braid that are inserted between bias
AXMINSTER CARPET: A machine-woven carpet in which successive
weft-wise rows of pile are inserted during weaving according to a
predetermined arrangement of colors. There are four main types of
Axminster looms: Spool, Gripper, Gripper-Spool, and Chenille.
AZLON FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming
substance consists of any regenerated naturally occurring proteins (FTC
definition). Azlon is not currently produced in the United States.
AZOIC DYES: See DYES, Naphthol Dyes.

BACKCOATING: The application of latex or adhesive to the back of a carpet to anchor the
tufts, usually followed immediately by addition of a secondary backing material such as woven
jute or nonwoven polypropylene.
BACKED CLOTH: A material with an extra warp or filling added for weight and warmth.
Satin-weave and twill-weave constructions are frequently used in the design of backed cloth
because they are relatively resistant to the passage of air.
BACKFILLING: A solution composed of varying amounts of cornstarch, China clay, talc, and
tallow that is applied to the back side of low-grade, low-cost cloth to change its hand, improve its
appearance, and increase its weight.
BACKING: 1. A general term for any system of yarn which interlaces on the back of a textile
material. 2. A knit or woven fabric or plastic foam bonded to a face fabric. 3. A knot or woven
fabric bonded to a vinyl or other plastic sheet material. 4. See CARPET BACKING.
BACK WARP: The warp which, along with the back filling, actually forms the second face
(back) of double, triple, or quadruple fabrics.
BACKWINDING: 1. Rewinding yarn or fiber from one type of package to another. 2.
Winding yarn as it is deknit.
BACTERICIDAL FIBER: Fiber used for medical applications, socks, shoe liners, etc., in which
bactericides are introduced directly into the fiber matrix as opposed to fiber simply having a
bactericidal finish applied.
BAGGING: 1. A fabric woven in cylindrical or tubular form on an ordinary cam loom and used
for grain bags, etc. 2. Fabric bulging caused by extension at the knees, elbows, etc., of a garment
lacking dimensional stability.
BAGGY CLOTH: A fabric that does not lie flat, caused by sections of tight or loose yarns in
either the warp or the filling.
BALANCED CLOTH: A term describing a woven fabric with the same size yarn and the same
number of threads per inch in both the warp and the filling direction.
BALANCED TWISTS: In a plied yarn or cord, an arrangement of twist which will not cause the
yarn or cord to twist on itself of kink when held in an open loop.

BALE: A bag, sack, square or oblong box, or package into which silk, staple fibers, or tow are
compressed. The common shipping and storage package for these fibers.
BALLING UP: A defect in which loose or frayed fibers form into a ball and are then woven into
the fabric.
BALL MILL: A standard method of reducing water-insoluble substances such as pigments or
dyestuffs to a fine state of division. It consists of a cylinder, rotating on an axis, partly filled with
steel balls, porcelain balls, or common pebbles. The controlling factors are size of balls, relative
volumes occupied by balls and substance, type and quality of substance, and rate and time of
BALLOON: The curved paths of running yarns about the take-up package
during spinning, downtwisting, plying, or winding, or while they are being
withdrawn over-end from packages under appropriate yarnwinding
BALLOON FABRIC: A plain-weave cloth having the same breaking
strength in each direction. This fabric is made from fine (60’s to 100’s)
combed yarn woven to constructions of 92 x 108 to 116 x 128. Vulcanized
balloon fabric is used for air cells in planes and barrage balloons.
BALL WARP: Parallel threads in the form of a twistless rope wound into
a large ball. When wound mechanically with quick traverse a ball warp
may be made in the form of a large cylindrical package.
BANDING, HEAVY TOW: Nonuniform distribution of filaments across towband width.
BANDLE: A coarse homespun linen made on narrow hand looms in Ireland.
BANK: Another name for a yarn creel.
BARATHEA: 1. A silk, rayon, or manufactured fiber necktie fabric with a broken rib weave and
a characteristic pebbly appearance. 2. A fine, dress fabric with a silk warp and worsted filling,
woven in a broken filling rib which completely covers the warp. 3. A smooth-faced worsted
uniform cloth with an indistinct twilled basket weave of fine two-ply yarns.
BAR CODE: Adjacent stripes of varying width used to represent
alpha-numeric characters. These permit rapid reading by means of
electronic scanners.
BARKING: The removal of bark from wood prior to pulping.
BARRE: A defect characterized by bars or streaks, fillingwise in woven fabrics or coursewise in
weft-knit fabrics, caused by uneven tension in knitting, defective yarn, improper needle action, or
other similar factors.
BASE FABRIC: In coated fabrics, the underlying substrate (q.v.).
BASIC: A term describing substances having an alkaline nature. Bases may or may not be water

BASIS WEIGHT: The weight of a unit area of fabric. Examples are ounces per square yard and
grams per square centimeter.
BASKET STITCH: In this knit construction, purl and plain loops are
combined with a preponderance of purl loops in the pattern courses to give
a basket-weave effect.
BASKET WEAVE: A variation of the plain weave in which two or more
warp and filling threads are woven side by side to resemble a plaited
basket. Fabrics have a loose construction and a flat appearance and are
used for such things as monk’s cloth and drapery fabrics.
BAST FIBER: Any of certain strong, woody fibers used in making rope,
cordage etc.
BATHROBE BLANKETING: A double-faced fabric woven with a
tightly twisted spun warp and two sets of soft spun filling yarns. The
fabric is thick and warm and its filling yarns are frequently napped to
produce a soft surface. Today’s blankets are made of spun polyester,
acrylic, or polyester/cotton blends.
BATISTE: 1. A sheer, woven, mercerized fabric of combed cotton or polyester/cotton
resembling nainsook, only finer, with a lengthwise streak. 2. A rayon fabric decorated with
dobby woven striped and Jacquard florals. 3. A smooth, fine, woven fabric, lighter that challis
and very similar to nun’s veiling.
BATTING: A soft, bulky assembly of fibers, usually carded. Battings are sold in sheets or rolls
and used for warm interlinings, comforter stuffings, and other thermal or resiliency applications.
BAYARDERE: A very broad term for stripes that run crosswise in a knit or woven fabric.
BCF YARNS: Bulked continuous filament yarns for carpet trade, usually nylon, polypropylene,
or polyester.
BEADED VELVET: Velvet with a cut-out pattern or a velvet pile effect, made on a Jacquard
loom. This fabric is used primarily for evening wear.
BEAM: A cylinder of wood or metal, usually with a circular flange
on each end, on which warp yarns are wound for slashing, weaving,
and warp knitting.
BEAM DYEING MACHINE: A machine for dyeing warp yarns or fabrics that have been
wound onto a special beam, the barrel of which is evenly perforated with holes. The dye liquor is
forced through the yarn or fabric from inside to outside and vice versa.

operation of
winding warp yarns
onto a beam
usually in preparation for slashing, weaving, or warp knitting.
Also called warping.
BEARDING: Fuzz on loop pile carpets usually resulting from poor anchorage or fiber snagging.
BEATER: 1. The machine which does most of the opening and cleaning work on a fiber picker
and opener. Revolving at high speed, it beats against the fringe of fiber as the latter is fed into the
machine. 2. A machine used in the paper industry for opening pulp and combining additives.
BEATING-UP: The last operation of the loom in weaving, in which the last pick inserted in the
fabric is “beat” into position against the preceeding picks.
BEAVER CLOTH: Made of high-quality wool, this heavy but soft fabric has a deep nap.
Beaver cloth is frequently used in overcoats.
BECK: A vessel for dyeing fabric in rope form, consisting
primarily of a tank and a reel to advance the fabric.
BEDFORD CORD: A rib-weave fabric with raised lengthwise
cords produced by using stuffing threads in the warp. Since the
fabric is strong and wears well, it is used for upholstery, suits,
riding habits, and work clothes.
BEETLING: A process in which round-thread linen or cotton
fabric is pounded to give a flat effect. Beetled linen damask has an
increased luster and a leather-like texture. Beetling is also used to
give a thready or linen-like appearance to cotton.
BENDING LENGTH: A measure of fabric stiffness based on how the fabric bends in one plane
under the force of gravity.
BENDING MODULUS: Maximum stress per unit area that a specimen can withstand without
breaking when bent. For fibers, the stress per unit of linear fiber weight required to produce a
specified deflection of a fiber.

BENGALINE: A fabric similar to faille, only heavier, with a fine weave and widthwise cords.
Originally, bengalines were made of a silk, wool, or rayon warp with a worsted or cotton filling
and used for dresses, coats, trimmings, and draperies. Modern bengalines are made with filament
acetate or polyester warps. Also, some bengalines have fine spun warps with 2- and 3-ply heavier
spun yarns for filling cord effects.
BENZENE: A volatile, flammable, colorless liquid hydrocarbon, (C6H6), used as an illuminant, a
solvent for fats and resins, a raw material in dye synthesis, and the hydrocarbon source for many
manufactured fibers.
BENZOATE FIBER: Fiber with a silk-like hand made from a condensation polymer of p-(Bhydroxyethoxy)
benzoic acid.
BETA CELLULOSE: One of the three forms of cellulose. It has a lower degree of
polymerization that the alpha form. With gamma cellulose it is known as hemicellulose. (Also
BIAS FABRIC: A two-dimensional fabric that when oriented in the XY plane contains fibers
that are aligned in a different direction, i.e., 45° to the X-axis fibers.
BIAS FILLING: A fabric defect in which the filling yarn does not run at a right angle to the
warp. The principal cause is improper processing on the tenter frame. (Also see BOW.)
BICOMPONENT YARNS: Spun or filament yarns of two generic fibers or two variants of the
same generic fiber.
BICONSTITUENT FIBER: A fiber extruded from a homogeneous mixture of two different
polymers. Such fibers combine the characteristics of the two polymers into a single fiber.
BIDIRECTIONAL FABRIC: A fabric having reinforcing fibers in two directions, i.e., in the
warp (machine) direction and filling (cross-machine) direction.
BILATERAL FIBERS: Two generic fibers or variants of the same
generic fiber extruded in a side-by-side relationship.
BINDER: An adhesive applied with a solvent or a softenable plastic
melted to bond fibers together in a web or to bind one web to another.
BINDER CONTENT: The weight of adhesive used to bond the fibers of a
web together. Usually expressed as percent of fabric weight.
BINDER FIBERS: Fibers that can act as an adhesive in a web because
their softening point is relatively low compared with that of the other fibers
in the material.
BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND (B.O.D.): A standard test for estimating the degree of
contamination of water supplies. It is expressed as the quantity of dissolved oxygen (in mg/liter)
required during stabilization of the decomposable organic matter by aerobic biochemical action.

BIODEGRADABLE: The ability of a substance to be broken down by bacteria so that it can be
returned to the environment without posing an environmental hazard.
BIRDSEYE: 1. A generic term describing a cloth woven on a dobby loom, with a geometric
pattern having a center dot resembling a bird’s eye. Originally birdseye was made of cotton and
used as a diaper cloth because of its absorbent qualities, but now the weave is made from a
variety of fibers or fiber blends for many different end uses. 2. A speckled effect on the back of
a knit fabric resulting from the use of different colors on the face design.
BIREFRINGENCE: An optical term meaning double refraction, and used in examination of
manufactured fibers to measure the degree of molecular orientation effected by stretching or
BLANKET: An unquilted bedding fabric designed primarily to provide thermal insulation.
BLEACHING: Any of several processes to remove the natural and artificial impurities in fabrics
to obtain clear whites for finished fabric or in preparation for dyeing and finishing.
BLEB: A blister or bubble on the face of a spinning jet, interrupting the extrusion of the filament
from the spinneret hole involved.
BLEB RATE: The frequency of bleb formation in an extrusion operation.
BLEEDING: Loss of color by a fabric or yarn when immersed in water, a solvent, or a similar
liquid medium, as a result of improper dyeing or the use of dyes of poor quality. Fabrics that
bleed can cause staining of white or light shade fabrics in contact with them while wet.
BLEND: 1. A yarn obtained when two or more staple fibers are combined in a textile process for
producing spun yarns (e.g., at opening, carding, or drawing). 2. A fabric that contains a blended
yarn (of the same fiber content) in the warp and filling.
BLENDING: The combining of staple fibers of different physical characteristics to assure a
uniform distribution of these fibers throughout the yarn.
BLINDING: Loss of luster of fibers after wet processing.
BLISTER: A bulge resulting from separation of coating or laminating material from the base
BLOOM: The appearance of brightness of a dyed fabric when the fabric is viewed across the top
while held at eye level.

BOARDY: A term used to describe a fabric with a very stiff hand.
BOBBIN: A cylindrical or slightly tapered barrel, with or without flanges, for holding slubbings,
rovings, or yarns.
BOBTEX® ICS YARN SYSTEM: A process for producing a simulated spun yarn by
embedding individual fibers in a thermoplastic or adhesive coating on a filament yarn.
BODY: The compact, solid, or firm feel of a fabric.
BOILING WATER SHRINKAGE: A test designed to measure shrinkage in a cord, yarn, or
high-shrinkage fiber when it is immersed in boiling water while under a tension of 0.05
BOLT: A roll or piece of fabric of varying length.
BONDED FABRIC: 1. A fabric containing two or more layers of cloth joined together with
resin, rubber, foam, or adhesive to form one ply. 2. See NONWOVEN FABRIC.
BONDING: 1. A process for adhesive laminating two or more fabrics or fabric and a layer of
plastic foam. There are two methods: the flame method used for bonding foam and the adhesive
method used for bonding face and backing fabrics. 2. One of several processes of binding fibers
into thin sheets, webs, or battings by means of adhesives, plastics, or cohesion (self-bonding).
Bonding with Binder Fibers: Specially engineered low-melting point fibers are blended with
other fibers in a web, so that a uniformly bonded structure can be generated at low temperature by
fusion of the binder fiber with adjacent fibers.
Point Bonding: The process of binding thermoplastic fibers into a nonwoven fabric by applying
heat and pressure so that a discrete pattern of fiber bonds is formed. Also called spot bonding.
Print Bonding: A process of binding fibers into a nonwoven fabric by applying an adhesive in a
discrete pattern.
Saturation Bonding: A process of binding fibers into a nonwoven fabric by soaking the web
with an adhesive.

Spray Bonding: A process of binding fibers into a nonwoven fabric involving the spray
application of a fabric binder.
Stitch Bonding: A bonding technique for nonwovens in which the fibers are connected by
stitches sewn or knitted through the web. Also known as quilting.
BOND STRENGTH: 1. The amount of force required to delaminate a piece of woven or knitted
fabric from its backing. 2. The amount of force required to break the fusion points found in
certain nonwovens. 3. The amount of force required to break the chemical bonds between atoms
in molecules and crystalline salts. 4. See PEEL ADHESION.
BOOK CLOTH: Print cloth treated with pyroxylin or starch and clay and used in bookbinding.
BOOK FOLD: A method of folding finished fabric in which the fabric is first folded in half
widthwise, then folded back and forth in equal lengths. Finally, the fold edge on each side is
folded to the inside, forming a compact bundle equal in length to one-half the width of the goods.
BORON FIBER: A vapor-deposited filament made by depositing boron on a heated tungsten
wire. These fibers are being developed for use in aircraft and space applications. They can be
woven into fabrics.
BOSS: That part of a drafting roll of largest diameter where the fibers are gripped. It may be an
integral part of the roll, as in steel rolls, or it may have a covering of leather, cork, etc. In the
former case, the boss is fluted.
BOUCLÉ: A fabric woven or knit with bouclé yarns. Bouclé fabric has a looped or knotted
surface and is used for sportswear and coats.
BOUCLÉ YARN: A novelty yarn with loops which give fabrics a rough appearance. Some
bouclé yarns have cotton cores with other fibers wound around them. Bouclé yarns may be made
from wool, cotton, silk, linen, manufactured fibers, or combinations of fibers.
BOURRELET: A double-knit fabric with raised loops running horizontally across the surface of
the cloth giving a rippled or corded effect.
BOW: The greatest distance, measured parallel to the selvages, between a filling
yarn and a straight line drawn between the points at which this yarn meets the
selvages. Bow may be expressed directly in inches or as a percentage of the
width of the fabric at that point.
BOX LOOM: A loom using two or more shuttles for weaving fabrics with filling
yarns that differ in fiber type, color, twist, level, or yarn size. The box motion is
automatic, changing from one shuttle to another. Examples of fabrics made on
box looms are crepes and ginghams.
BOX MARK: A fine line parallel to the filling caused by shuttle damage to a group of filling

BRAID: 1. A narrow textile band, often used as trimming or binding, formed by plaiting several
strands of yarn. The fabric is formed by interfacing the yarns diagonally to the production axis of
the material. 2. In aerospace textiles, a system of three or more yarns which are interlaced in such
a way that no two yarns are twisted around each other.
Biaxial Braid: Braided structure with two yarn systems one running in one direction and the
other in the opposite direction. Triaxial Braid: A braided structure with axial yarns running in
the longitudinal direction.
BRAID ANGLE: The acute angle measured from the axis of a fabric or rope to a braiding yarn.
BRAIDED FABRIC: A narrow fabric made by crossing a number of
strands diagonally so that each strand passed alternatively over or
under one or more of the other strands. They are frequently used in
shoelaces and suspenders.
BRAIDING: The intertwining of three or more strands to make a
cord. The strand form a regular diagonal pattern down the length of
the cord.
BREAK FACTOR: A measure of yarn strength calculated as: (1) the product of breaking
strength times indirect yarn number, or (2) the product of breaking strength times the reciprocal
of the direct yarn number.
BREAKING LENGTH: A measure of the breaking strength of a yarn; the calculated length of a
specimen whose weight is equal to its breaking load. The breaking length expressed in
kilometers is numerically equal to the breaking tenacity expressed in grams-force per tex.
BREAKING LOAD: The maximum load (or force) applied to a specimen in a tensile test carried
to rupture. It is commonly expressed in grams-force (kilograms-force), pounds, or newton’s.
BREAKING STRENGTH: 1. The maximum resultant internal force that resists rupture in a
tension test. The expression “breaking strength” is not used for compression tests, bursting tests,
or tear resistance tests in textiles. 2. The load (or force) required to break or rupture a specimen
in a tensile test made according to a specified standard procedure. (Also see BREAKING
BREAKING TENACITY: The tensile stress at rupture of a specimen (fiber, filament, yarn,
cord, or similar structure) expressed as newtons per tex, grams-force per tex, or gram-force per
denier. The breaking tenacity is calculated from the breaking load and linear density of the
unstrained specimen, or obtained directly from tensile testing machines which can be suitably
adjusted to indicate tenacity instead of breaking load for specimens of known linear density.
Breaking tenacity expressed in grams-force per tex is numerically equal to breaking length
expressed in kilometers.

BREAK SPINNING: A direct spinning process for converting manufactured fiber tows to spun
yarn that incorporates prestretching and tow breaking with subsequent drafting and spinning in
one operation.
BRIGHT: The term applied to fibers whose luster has not been reduced by physical or chemical
means; the opposite of dull or matte.
BRISTLE: 1. A short, stiff, coarse fiber. 2. The hair of the hog.
BRITTLE POINT: The temperature at which a polymer no longer exhibits viscoelastic
BROADCLOTH: 1. Originally, a silk shirting fabric so named because it was woven in widths
exceeding the usual 29 inches. 2. A tightly woven, lustrous cotton or polyester/cotton blend
fabric in a plain weave with a crosswise rib. It resembles poplin, but the rib is finer, and
broadcloth always has more picks that poplin. The finest qualities are made with combed pima or
Egyptian cotton. 3. A smooth, rich-looking, woolen fabric with a napped face and a twill back.
Better grades have a glossy, velvety hand.
BROAD GOODS: Woven fabrics 18 inches or more in width.
BROADLOOM: A term that refers to carpets woven in widths from 54 inches to 18 feet, as
distinguished from narrow loom widths of 27 to 36 inches.
BROCADE: 1. A rich, Jacquard-woven fabric with an all over interwoven design of raised
figures or flowers. The pattern is emphasized by contrasting surfaces or colors and often has gold
or silver threads running through it. The background may be either a satin or a twill weave. 2. A
term describing a cut-pile carpet having a surface texture created by mixing twisted and straight
standing pile yarns.
BROCATELLE: A fabric similar to brocade with a satin or twill figure in high relief on a plain
or satin background.
BROKEN END: A broken, untied warp thread in a fabric. There are numerous causes, such as
slubs, knots, improper shuttle alignment, shuttle hitting the warp shed, excessive warp tension,
faulty sizing, and rough reeds, heddles, dropwires, and shuttles. (Also see END OUT.)
BROKEN PICK: A broken filling thread in a fabric. Usual caused include too much shuttle
tension, weak yarn, or filling coming into contact with a sharp surface.
BRUSHING: A finishing process in which rotating brushes raise a nap on knit or woven fabrics.
Brushing is used on sweaters, scarves, knit underwear, wool broadcloths, etc.
BUCKRAM: A scrim fabric with a stiff finish, often used as interlining.

BUILDUP: A term applied to substantivity of dye for a textile material. It refers to the ability of
a dye to produce deep shades.
BULK DEVELOPMENT: Any of various relaxation treatments to produce maximum bulk in
textured or latent crimp yarns or in fabrics made therefrom. The essential conditions are heat,
lubrication, movement, and the absence of tension. Bulk development may be accomplished
during wet processing or may be a separate operation such as hot-air tumbling, steam-injection
tumbling, or dry cleaning.
BUNTING: A soft, flimsy, loose-textured, plain weave cloth most frequently used in flags.
Bunting was originally made from cotton or worsted yarns, but today’s flags are made primarily
from nylon or acrylic fibers.
BURLAP: A coarse, heavy, plain weave fabric constructed from singles yarn of jute. Used for
bags, upholstery lining, in curtains and draperies.
BURLING: 1. The process of removing loose threads and knots from fabrics with a type of
tweezers called a burling iron. 2. The process of correcting loose tufts and replacing missing tufts
following carpet construction.
BURNING RATE: The speed at which a fabric burns. It can be expressed as the amount of
fabric affected per unit time, in terms of distance or area traveled by the flame, afterglow, or char.
BURR: A device that assists in loop formation on circular-knitting machines equipped with
spring needles.
BURSTING STRENGTH: 1. The ability of a material to resist rupture by pressure. 2. The force
required to rupture a fabric by distending it with a force applied at right angles to the plane of the
fabric under specified condition. Bursting strength is a measure widely used for knit fabrics,
nonwoven fabrics, and felts where the constructions do not lend themselves to tensile tests. The
two basic types of bursting tests are the inflated diaphragm method and the ball-bust method.
BUTCHER’S LINEN: A plain weave, stiff fabric with thick and thin yarns in both the warp and
the filling. The fabric was originally made of linen but is now duplicated in 100% polyester or a
variety of blends such as polyester/rayon or polyester/cotton.


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