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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.
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.
The first shearing of the alpaca animal. Yields the softest and finest fibre, but in smallest quantity.
A type of yarn which has looped or crimped fibres, giving it an irregular nubby surface.
Done after the knitting or weaving process: raises loose fibre ends without breaking the yarn.
A smooth, lustrous fabric of silk; like satin.
Cotton 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.
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.
A sheer, durable, slightly crinkled silk fabric.
A kind of needlework in which loops of yarn are interwoven using a single hooked needle.
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.
A 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.
Each ply of yarn has different colour fibres.
A weaving technique, originally from Asia, in which a pattern is created from tie-dyed thread.
The colours are tied off on the inside of the sweater, creating a flat knit fabric with patterns knitted in solid colours, so that both sides of the fabric are alike, a characteristic that distinguishes intarsia from jacquard knitting. Intarsia can be machine or handknit.
A 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.
The yarn colours 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.
A 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 is a natural luxury fibre that has been produced from the blue-flowered flax plant for more than 3,500 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.
Knit vertically with a very lightweight yarn. Very breathable and flexible.
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.
The trademark for spandex fibre. Added to pima cotton and other fibre knits for shape retention.
A cellulosic fabric made from gum trees that has a soft hand feel, drapes well and is wrinkle resistant. Takes dye very well, allowing it to be dyed a variety of colours.
Fabric made on a knitting machine, then cut and sewn into garments.
A finishing process for cotton yarn or fabric, which results in a stronger and more lustrous yarn that takes dye better with brighter, deeper colours.
A very fine, high-quality wool from the Merino breed of sheep, raised extensively in Uruguay.
A smooth, sturdy machine knit often used in tailored, full-fashion knit pieces.
A sheer, somewhat stiff fabric, usually of rayon or silk.
A knit stitch that looks like horizontal, overlapping tiers.
A series of small loops, usually crocheted, to form an ornamental edging.
A woven fabric with a soft, velvety finish and fur-like nap, made by cutting looped yarns to a uniform length.
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.
A knit fabric that is characterized by its waffle-like appearance.
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.
Embroidery added to a finished sweater to add dimension and enhance detail.
A soft woven cotton cloth made with yarns that are usually mercerized. Has a very smooth, lustrous surface that resembles satin.
A heavyweight rib knit fabric developed by members of the Shaker sect.
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.
A unique variety of cotton that grows in Peru's Cañete Valley on the Pacific coast. Long fibreed, very soft, and takes dyes beautifully.
Each ply is one colour and the plies are twisted together to make multicoloured yarn.
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-coloured 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.
A rayon fabric that drapes well and is soft after washing. Takes dye very well, allowing for brilliant colours.
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.
Yarn spun from wool fibres that have been carded several times, but not combed. Soft, bulky, often napped.
Leaner, smoother yarn. The fibres are carded followed by combing to remove short fibres. Stronger than woolen yarns.