Glossary of Terms


A technique of applying cutout patterns of fabric onto a ground cloth using either plain or embroidery stitches.


A woven jacquard fabric with a raised surface. Brocade fabrics have an all-over interwoven design of raised figures or flowers. Brocades are generally made of silk, rayon and nylon yarns.


A variant of damask with raised areas of patterns.


A coarse, hardwearing fabric woven from fibers of hemp or flax.


A velvet-like fabric woven from a soft, fuzzy-textured woven yarns of natural or synthetic fibers.


A geometric pattern consisting of regularly spaced squares of alternating color.


Western adaptations of Chinese artifacts and styles of ornaments.


A pile fabric with regularly spaced, parallel ridges.

Cutting/Cutting for Approval/CFA:

A tiny piece of fabric that is cut directly from a specific bolt of fabric to match up with a previously purchased dye lot. Do not get this mixed up with a memo or a sample.


A monochrome reversible fabric displaying patterns (usually floral) created by the contrast between a shiny, satin-weave ground and matte, satin weave figuring.

Dye Lot:

Bolts of the same fabric pattern that were manufactured at the same time. Occasionally "dye lots" may vary slightly which is the reason for ordering a cutting from the specific bolt of fabric that you will receive.


A decorative stitching applied to the surface of a fabric


A stylized three of five petal lilly. Originally a symbol of purity.

French knots:

A decorative embroidery knots worked on the show side of a fabric to create textured dots of color.


A Method of embossing patterns onto the surface of fabrics with heated metal rollers (often used with velvets).


A lightweight cotton fabric with geometric check pattern of two alternating colors on a white or off white background.

Half Drop:

Half-drop patterns repeat at the ceiling line on every other strip and the design tends to run diagonally. It requires three strips of wallpaper to repeat the vertical design. A half-drop match is a straight match that has been split in half. You'll need to lay out the room and determine which strips will go where ahead of time.


A Coarse fabric woven from fibers of plants.


A geometric pattern consisting of alternating diagonal lines similar in appearance to the spine and ribs of a herring fish.


A generic term for fine-woven linen cloth, available bleached or unbleached.


A soft, but thick fabric that is inserted between the main fabric and the back lining. Interlining helps fabric drape gracefully.


An Indonesian fine cotton or silk fabric, decorated with clocks, circles or stripes, softened by a vegetable dying process that blends the edges of the colors into one another.


Fabric with an all-over interwoven design.


A Fiber derived from Asian plants.


A grid like design made up of open diamond shapes.


A Strong fabric woven from fibers of flat plant stalks


Fabric sewn on the back of drapery or slipcovers. It gives substance to the item. When used for drapery, it also protects the front fabric from the sun. Due to its delicate nature, silk drapery that is exposed to sunlight should always have a lining.


Derived from the French verb "matellaser", which means to quilt. Metalasse is a term used to describe double-woven damasks and other fabrics that incorporate raised figures or motifs on their surface.


(Synonymous with "sample") A small piece of fabric from a selected fabric pattern. This may or may not be from the bolt of fabric a customer will receive. Samples show general color and texture of the pattern.


One color or shades of one color.


A woolen velvet, either plain or patterned, used for upholstery and carpeting.


A lightweight, plain weave cotton gauze.


A Silk fabric with a shimmery surface created by the presence of tiny balls made from the waste products of spun silk mixed with cotton or wool.


A fine, plain weave sheer cotton fabric. Produced plain or patterned.


A Collective term for decorative trimmings applied to soft furnishings, includes ribbons, bows, braids, tassels and fringes.


A decorative furnishing trim that is made of small loops of thread.


A plain or twill-weave cloth with a pattern of intersecting stripes.


A velvet-like fabric but with a longer, denser pile. Mostly used for upholstery.


A durable, crease-resistant synthetic fiber.


Lightweight fabric traditionally woven with fine silk to produce a ribbed effect.

Railroaded (RR):

Refers to the way a fabric is milled. Usually a bolt of fabric will feature a pattern going Up The Bolt (UTB). However, a Railroaded (RR) pattern will feature a pattern going across the width of a bolt.


The pattern repeat is the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again. That distance can be less than an inch or as much as the entire width of the product.


Fabric that is reserved for a customer for a one week period. This ensures the customer of having a specific fabric available until the purchase is made.


(Synonymous with "memo") A small piece of fabric from a selected fabric pattern. This may or may not be from the bolt of fabric a customer will receive. Samples show general color and texture of the pattern.


Originally and India striped fabric of mixed silk and cotton. Characterized by a rippled or puckered textured formed by weaving the cotton warps at a looser tension.


Luxury fabric woven from shiny, smooth filaments spun from the cocoons of the silk worm.

Slub silk:

A raw silk fabric with a textured surface produced by incorporating small flecks of the silkworm cocoon in the weave.


A mottled effect on the surface of the fabric produced by dyeing the yarns with two different colors before weaving.


A firm, closely woven silk or linen fabric with an identical glossy surface on both sides.


A length of robe, cord or fabric used to secure a curtain to one side of a window.


A plain cloth, or, when described as Toile de Jouy , one that is printed with pastoral scenes printed on cotton.

Up The Bolt (UTB) or Up The Roll (UTR):

Refers to the way a fabric is milled, resulting in a pattern that runs along the entire length of a bolt of fabric. To use window curtains as an example, if you want the stripes running lengthwise (from top to bottom), you would seek a pattern that is Up The Bolt (UTB or UTR). Conversely, if you want the stripes running across the width of the curtain (from side to side), you would seek a Railroaded (RR) pattern.


A heavy, velvet-like fabric with a thick pile that lies in one direction.


A fine, sheer, crisp fabric woven from cotton, silk, wool or synthetic fibers.


A yarn spun from the fibrous coat of an animal, such as a sheep or a goat.


A place where upholstery and drapery are made.


A smooth, strong woolen fabric made from carded and combed wool yarn.