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ACETATE     A silky fibre made from cellulose (wood pulp). Often blended with other fibres to give sheen and drape, or woven into a satin fabric for linings.

ALPACA   The fine fleece of the alpaca, cousin to the llama. Alpaca is warmer and lighter than wool yet stronger and far more durable. The fineness of alpaca hair and its hollow, insulating core give alpaca fibre a smooth, velvety hand and cloud-weight softness.

BABY ALPACA   The first shearing of the alpaca animal. Yields the softest and finest fibre, but in smallest quantity.

BOUCLE   COMBED COTTONA type of yarn which has looped or crimped fibres, giving it an irregular nubby surface.

BRUSHED FINISH   COMBED COTTONDone after the knitting or weaving process: raises loose fibre ends without breaking the yarn.

CHARMEUSE   A smooth, lustrous fabric of silk; like satin.

COMBED COTTON   COMBED COTTONCotton which has had all short fibres and impurities removed from long cotton fibres that have been carded. Combed yarn is finer, smoother, stronger, and more compact than carded cotton.

FULL-FASHION KNIT   The shaping of knitted fabric as it is being knitted (without subsequent cutting). Stitches are reduced or increased to form a shape, usually at the hip or for set-in sleeves. A difficult process, indicates quality.

GEORGETTE   A sheer, durable, slightly crinkled silk fabric.

HANDCROCHET   COMBED COTTONA kind of needlework in which loops of yarn are interwoven using a single hooked needle.

HANDFRAMED / HANDLOOMED   A garment that has been produced on a hand knitting machine or loom. This is still a manual process and involves no automation. Includes jacquard knits.

HANDKNIT   COMBED COTTONA garment knit by an individual with two knitting needles. This type of knitting is the most time-consuming, and usually results in slightly irregular, handmade stitches.

HEATHERED YARNS   Each ply of yarn has different color fibres.

IKAT   A weaving technique, originally from Asia, in which a pattern is created from tie-dyed thread.

INTARSIA KNIT   COMBED COTTONThe colors are tied off on the inside of the sweater, creating a flat knit fabric with patterns knitted in solid colors, so that both sides of the fabric are alike, a characteristic that distinguishes intarsia from jacquard knitting. Intarsia can be machine or handknit.

INTERLOCK KNIT   COMBED COTTONA double-knit, plain-stitched fabric that is similar to a jersey, except both front and back of fabric look identical. Interlock is a variation of rib knit construction. The resulting fabric is extremely soft, firm and absorbent.

JACQUARD KNIT   COMBED COTTONThe yarn colors are carried across the sweater, creating floats. Floats are the yarns that are loose on the inside of the sweater. Jacquards are usually made by handlooming. Some industrial jacquard knitting produces floatless fabrics.

JERSEY KNIT   COMBED COTTONA plain stitch knitted cloth which is made on circular, flatbed or warp knitting machines. Very elastic with good draping qualities like a T-shirt, has no distinct rib.

LINEN   Linen is a natural luxury fibre that has been produced from the blue-flowered flax plant for more than 3500 years. Linen is highly breathable and cool to the skin and becomes softer with repeated washings. It is one of the few fibres that has a greater breaking strength wet than dry.

LINKS KNIT   COMBED COTTONKnit vertically with a very lightweight yarn. Very breathable and flexible.

LLAMA   Cousin to the alpaca and vicuña, the llama is raised as a beast of burden as well as a source of fibre. Llama wool is generally coarser than alpaca fibre.

LYCRA   The trademark for spandex fibre. Added to pima cotton and other fibre knits for shape retention.

MACHINE KNIT   Fabric made on a knitting machine, then cut and sewn into garments.

MERCERIZED COTTON   COMBED COTTONA finishing process for cotton yarn or fabric, which results in a stronger and more lustrous yarn that takes dye better with brighter, deeper colors.

MERINO WOOL   COMBED COTTONA very fine, high-quality wool from the Merino breed of sheep, raised extensively in Uruguay.

MILANO STITCH   A smooth, sturdy machine knit often used in tailored, full-fashion knit pieces.

ORGANZA   A sheer, somewhat stiff fabric, usually of rayon or silk.

OTTOMAN STITCH   COMBED COTTONA knit stitch that looks like horizontal, overlapping tiers.

PICOT   COMBED COTTONA series of small loops, usually crocheted, to form an ornamental edging.

PILE   A woven fabric with a soft, velvety finish and fur-like nap, made by cutting looped yarns to a uniform length.

PIMA COTTON   An ultralong staple (1 5/8") length cotton native to the Piura coastal region of Northern Peru. Classified as a precious fibre owing to its extremely soft hand and the scarcity of the harvest.

PIQUE   COMBED COTTONA knit fabric that is characterized by its waffle-like appearance.

PLIED YARNS   Ply yarn is formed by twisting together 2 or more single yarns. The number of single yarns utilized is indicated as 2-ply, 3-ply, etc.


  A knit fabric made on a flat knitting machine, rather than circular.

REEMBROIDERY   COMBED COTTONEmbroidery added to a finished sweater to add dimension and enhance detail.

SATEEN   A soft woven cotton cloth made with yarns that are usually mercerized. Has a very smooth, lustrous surface that resembles satin.

SHAKER STITCH   A heavyweight rib knit fabric developed by members of the Shaker sect.

SILK   Silk is a lustrous natural fibre that is obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm larva. Clothes made from silk are not only strong and lightweight, they are also warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather. Silk may be woven or knit into a variety of shimmery fabrics, and blends beautifully with other fibres.

TANGUIS COTTON   A unique variety of cotton that grows in Peru's Cañete Valley on the Pacific coast. Long fib reed, very soft, and takes dyes beautifully.

TWEEDED YARNS   Each ply is one color and the plies are twisted together to make multicolored yarn.

VICUÑA   Once an endangered species, the vicuña is the wild relative of the alpaca and llama. The vicuña has a fine, tawny coat with a cream-colored chest, legs and belly. Its sumptuous fleece is the finest and most valuable fibre in the world, with each fibre measuring just 12 microns in diameter—finer than the most select cashmere, and a third the diameter of sheep’s wool. Through strict protection measures, their populations have rebounded. Vicuñas may be shorn every two years, in a "chaccu" in which the vicuñas are herded into pens and are carefully sheared and released unharmed.

VISCOSE   A rayon fabric that drapes well and is soft after washing. Takes dye very well, allowing for brilliant colors.

WOOL   Wool is the fibre produced as the outer coat of sheep. Its insulation properties can be used to keep body warmth in or to keep heat out. Wool is very durable and has been used for thousands of years to produce clothing and other fabrics.The fibre diameter of wool varies greatly, depending on the breed of sheep.

WOOLEN YARNS   COMBED COTTONYarn spun from wool fibres that have been carded several times, but not combed. Soft,bulky, often napped.

WORSTED YARNS   Leaner, smoother yarn. The fibres are carded followed by combing to remove short fibres. Stronger than woolen yarns.
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