Luxury Fabrics
Luxury Fabrics

 fabric terms

The following fabric types are offered at Luxury Fabrics:


A term describing both a weave and a fabric type -- a rich, heavy, jacquard woven fabric. Relief patterns, typically in a floral or paisley motif, emphasized by contrasting colors and surfaces produced by the filter thread. True brocades have “floating” yarns on the reverse side, while fine brocades often have threads of real gold or silver.

Buffalo Plaid

A plaid with large blocks formed by the intersection of two different colored yarns. May be found in multi-purpose or upholstery weight fabric, usually seen in a black or red color ways.


A pattern consisting of crossed horizontal and vertical bands in two or more colors in a woven cloth. May be found in upholstery, multipurpose or drapery weight fabrics.


A type of woven yarn which has a pile protruding all around the body thread giving it a fluffy, fuzzy face. Comes from the French word for caterpillar and may be made of silk, wool, cotton or rayon and may be woven with a floral pattern, stripe, geometric, etc.


Very similar to a flame stitch, but found mostly in multi-purpose weight prints. The chevron is not an embroidered flame stitch, but is composed of zigzag lines that are printed onto the fabric. May be found in an array of colors and printed on different fabric grounds, ranging from cotton, linen, rayon and polyester.


An upholstery, multi-purpose or drapery weight fabric that has a modern look to the design and pattern, often characterized by geometric or abstract shapes and designs. May come in a magnitude of different ways.


Heavy duty, long-wearing material made to certain specifications, i.e., particular flammability codes or abrasion resistance. The end use is normally used in hospitality or public places. For contract use, a fabric must meet a minimum abrasion resistance of 30,000 double rubs.


From the French word for “clot of kings”. A strong and durable cut pile fabric usually of cotton. Corduroy is distinguished by vertical ridges of uniform or varying thicknesses.


An embroidered fabric usually featuring floral and vine patterns embroidered with wool on linen or cotton. Popular during the English Jacobean period.

A classic fabric that has existed unchanged for hundreds of years. The original figured designs of Pomegranates and stylized floral were first produced in Europe in the late 15th century. Woven on Jacquard loom, and is when different weaves are used for the pattern and background and woven in one color and reversible. The pattern is made visible by the effect of light striking contrasting satin and mattes urface areas. Originally made of silk, damasks are now made of linen, cotton, rayon, wool or a combination of any two.
A heavy cotton cloth with a twill weave and was originally called Toile de Nimes.
A term used to describe fabric reproductions of original textile and wallpaper patterns. These reproductions may be exact replicas or adaptations incorporating current colors, proportions or textures.
A closely-woven, durable cotton similar to canvas originally used in the Netherlands for sailors’ clothing. This is one of the most durable fabrics made.

Dupioni Silk

An irregular silk thread reeled from two or more entangled cocoons producing a coarse yam generally used in fabrics such as shantung or pongee. Usually considered a drapery weight fabric.


A pattern consisting of rows of short, slanted parallel lines with the direction of the slant alternating row by row. The size and shape of the pattern may vary, as may the color way. Ususally found in multi-purpose or upholstery weight fabrics.


A woven or printed pattern of broken or jagged checks. The pattern can vary in size and shape. It can also range in multiple color ways. May be found in multi-purpose or upholstery weight fabrics.


A fabric produced on the Jacquard loon; developed in France at the beginning of the 19th century. Elaborate motifs, woven into many fabric categories; typically brocades, brocatelle, and demasks.


Linen is less widely grown than cotton, and more expensive to process from the raw flax fiber to cloth. Both a natural fiber and fiber type, and often blended with other fibers (such as cotton) to make a more supple fabric.


A method of printing woven fabric by tie-dying warp yams, the weft yams or both before weaving, The Ikat pattern resembles a tribal pattern and is usually very bright and bold. May be found in multi-purpose or upholstery weight fabrics.


From the Scottish town of Paisley, the 19th century center for the production of Indian-style shawls. The Motif’s source is thought to have been adapted from European illustrations of the date palm sent to the East in herbal glossaries. In India the motif is known as “buta", meaning flower, which was incorporated into textiles, carvings and tiles. Paisley motifs have been described as a pine cone, mango, pear and teardrop.


The Chinese discovered silk cocoons 4,500 years ago. They domesticated the silkworm and maintained a monopoly on silk production for centuries. Silk takes dye superbly and produces iridescent colors. The texture may vary from supple to crisp, but slubs are often evident. Natural light can often discolor silk.


An upholstery, multi-purpose or drapery weight fabric consisting of no pattern or repeat. The fabric is usually one color way, but may resemble a two tone in some cases.


A fabric with a narrow stripe or streaked effect produced by using warp threads of various colors.


A heavy and soft upholstery weight textile in a jacquard weave. Surface appears puffy or cushioned. The pattern may vary in size or shape or may have multiple color ways. Very similar to a tribal pattern shown in very bright and bold colors. May also be printed onto a cotton or polyester fabric, allowing for it to be used as a multi-purpose fabric.


A symbol of wealth and nobility during the middle ages. The art of tapestry was revived in the 19th century. Often called the “mirror of civilization” because so many tapestries representing scenes of everyday life. Jacquard loons are used today with the multiple sets of warp and filling yarns used to create the design or pattern. A very durable fabric for upholstery, tapestry is most effective on tight cushions and straight skirts.


Originally hand-woven of linen as covering for feather mattresse, the characteristic herringbone weave was intended to keep feathers in and ticks out. It is a closely woven cotton in a twill or satin weave, usually with woven (sometimes printed) stripes. Tickings are popular today for upholstery, accent fabrics and as wallpaper patterns.


Toiles ( Toile de Jouy) are printed fabrics are usually in monotones, telling a story by depicting scenes from daily life or special occasions. Originally produced in France during the 18th century by Philippe Oberkampf.


A category of wool fabrics made from worsted yarns, usually woven of two colors in a plain, twill or herringbone weave to create some type of checked, plaid or multi-speck pattern. Originally made by hand in the homes of the country people near the Tweed River which separated England and Scotland.


Woven fabrics are produced from virtually all types of textile fibers and threads. The fabric is produced by weaving the perpendicular threads--the warp and weft. The fabric is very durable and is most commonly found in upholstery weight goods. Depending on the sector of the textile industry producing the fabric and the principal fiber composition, they may be classified as cotton, linen, wool, polyester, olefin or rayon.


Popular since the 16th century, velvet is a pile fabric with short, closely-woven cut pile and a rich, soft texture. Velvets have a nap, or directional quality and require consistent direction in cutting and frame applications. They are made of cotton, linen, synthetic fibers or silk and may be finished to become crush-resistant and water repellent.
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