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Fabric Information
Post On:2013-11-18 08:11:58


Cotton is a soft fiber that grows around the seeds of the  cotton plant . The fibre is most often spun into  thread and used to make a soft, breathable  textile.
Cotton is a valuable crop because only about 10% of the raw weight is lost in processing. Once traces of wax, protein, etc. are removed, the remainder is a natural polymer of pure cellulose. This cellulose is arranged in a way that gives cotton unique properties of strength, durability, and absorbency. Each fibre is made up of twenty to thirty layers of cellulose coiled in a neat series of natural springs. When the cotton boll (seed case) is opened the fibres dry into flat, twisted, ribbon-like shapes and become kinked together and interlocked. This interlocked form is ideal for spinning into a fine yarn


Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh, made from sajan Persian pashm ("wool"). The wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas. Pashmina shawls are hand spun, woven and embroidered in Kashmir, and made from fine cashmere fibre.
Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a fiber obtained from Cashmere and other goats. The word cashmere derives from an old spelling of Khmir.
Cashmere wool is fine in texture, and it is also strong, light, and soft. When it is made into garments, they are extremely warm to wear.
Cashmere is characterized by its soft fibers. It is noted as providing a natural light-weight insulation without bulk. Fibers are highly adaptable and are easily spun into fine or thick yarns, and light to heavy-weight fabrics. The original undyed or natural colors of cashmere wool are various shades of grey, brown and white.
In the United States, under the U.S. Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939, as amended, (U.S.C. 15 Section 68b(a)(6)), a textile product may not be labeled as containing cashmere if:
  • such wool product is not the fine (dehaired) undercoat fibers produced by a cashmere goat (Capra hircus laniger);
  • the average diameter of the fiber of such wool product exceeds 19 microns; or
  • such wool product contains more than 3 percent (by weight) of cashmere fibers with average diameters that exceed 30 microns.
The average fiber diameter may be subject to a coefficient of variation around the mean that shall not exceed 24 percent.


The term wool is usually restricted to describing the fibrous protein derived from the specialized skin cells called follicles in sheep.
Wool is taken from animals in the Caprinae family, principally sheep, but the hair of certain species of other mammals is also sometimes called "wool", including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, vicuña, alpaca, and camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits.
Wool has several qualities that distinguish it from hair or fur: it is crimped, it has a different texture or handle, it is elastic, and it grows in staples (clusters)


Rayon/Viscose is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber. Because it is produced from naturally occurring polymers, it is neither a truly synthetic fiber nor a natural fiber; it is a semi-synthetic fiber. Rayon is known by the names viscose rayon and art silk in the textile industry. It usually has a high lustre quality giving it a bright sheen.


Acrylic fibers are synthetic fibers made from a polymer (Polyacrylonitrile) with an average molecular weight of ~100,000, about 1900 monomer units. To be called acrylic in the U.S, the polymer must contain at least 85% acrylonitrile monomer. Typical comonomers are vinyl acetate or methyl acrylate.
Acrylic is lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel. Acrylic is colored before it is turned into a fiber as it does not dye very well but has excellent colorfastness. It's fibers aren't very resilient, and wrinkle easily, but most acrylic fabrics have good wrinkle resistance. Acrylic has recently been used in clothing as a less expensive alternative to cashmere, due to the similar feeling of the materials. The disadvantages of acrylic are that it tends to fuzz or pill easily and that it does not insulate the wearer as well as cashmere. Many products like fake pashmina or cashmina use this fiber to create the illusion of cashmere.
Acrylic is resistant to moths, oils, chemicals, and is very resistant to deterioration from sunlight exposure. However, static and pilling can be a problem.
Acrylic has a bad reputation amongst many knitters - however cheap the yarn is, its performance does not come near natural fibers. Also, some knitters complain that the fiber "squeaks" when knitted.
Acrylic can irritate the skin of people with eczema.


Polyamide fabric contains polyamide, which is a naturally non-flammable material. Polyamide fabric is used in heat and fire protective clothing.


Polyester fabric is a perennial favorite, durable enough for repeated use and machine wash ability, but soft and workable enough to be ideal for costumes, crocheting fabrics, and printed dance wear. Polyester is often blended with other yarns to create wonderful fabrics that mix the benefits of both textiles, like dressy uniform fabrics and professional wear.

Silk Fabric

Silk chiffon

Silk chiffon is the most prized, since it has a rich shimmer and slick texture. Silk chiffon is also surprisingly strong for its weight. Because silk chiffon is made from a natural fiber, it tends to be more expensive than synthetics, and it also needs to be dry cleaned. Silk is also used to make georgette, sometimes called crepe, a thicker and more opaque fabric which drapes and behaves like chiffon. Another natural fiber, cotton, is sometimes used to make chiffon, although the resulting fabric is more matte and less floaty.

Silk Georgette

Silk Georgette has a grainy texture and a sheer feel. Similar to silk crepe, but is not as soft or lustrous as crepe. Georgette is durable, but snags easily. Drapes very fluidly, and falls into soft ripples. Great for loose, full blouses, evening wear, dresses and skirts. More difficult to sew than most and may require a special foot for your machine. Doesn't show pin marks, and georgette won't hold a crease.

Silk gauze

Similar to Chiffon but an even lighter weight. An extremely sheer and delicate fiber with a very soft hand and floaty drape. Dyes and paints easily with great color retention. Comes in two weights, 3mm and 4.5mm

Silk charmeuse

Satiny and drapey, it puts the 'silk' in silky

China Silk (Habutai)

Habutai is a Japanese word meaning 'soft as down' and both Habutai and China silk are soft, lightweight and lustrous. Very closely related, both have a soft graceful drape, a smooth surface and vary in weight from 5mm (momme) to 10 mm. Habutai is natural in color, sheer and ivory, and China silk is smoother and usually dyed. Sari silk is a variation of china silk from India. Very sheer, but good for lining and lightweight garments like lingerie. Seams may pull open on tightly fitted garments. Sews relatively easily, and doesn't show pins marks.
Care: Handwash, drip dry.

Embroidered and beaded Silks

These are usually one of a kind items, often on a dupioni or organza base, but are absolutely exquisite. Most of the ones we have are on a white or ivory base, and are frequently used for bridal gowns. Call for more info on what we have. You wouldn't want to do this by hand.
Care: Dry clean

Silk Broadcloth

Silk Broadcloth is a soft, lightweight silk with a cotton-like feel. It has a dull luster, with a flat, smooth surface. Holds creases well, and makes excellent tailored dress shirts and light blouses. Very easy to sew, doesn't show pin marks.
Care: Hand Wash, drip dry.

Silk Brocades (Chinese patterns)

These are jacquard patterns woven on a heavyweight twill base, usually with patterns of peonies, dragons, bamboo, mums or other oriental patterns. Silk/Rayon blend. Used in close fitting skirts, jackets and evening wear. Also used extensively in home decoration where an Oriental Motif is desired. Heavy enough for chair cushions. We usually have about 20 different patterns in stock, call. Sewing is slightly more difficult than most, may show pin marks.
Care: Washable by hand, IF you wash it before you cut it out, drip dry. Washing changes the texture and it does shrink about 10-20%.

Silk Crepe and Crepe de Chine

Silk Crepe is a luxurious fabric with a good sheen and a pebbly texture. Crepe de Chine ('krape dee sheen') is similar, but lighter weight and less textured than silk crepe. Silk Crepe has a beautiful drape, and is great for semi-fitted to loose-fitted styles of dresses, blouses, suits, bridal gowns and evening wear. Easy to sew, doesn't show pin marks. Does unravel, so seams should be finished.
Care: Wash by hand, but beware as silk crepe can shrink a lot. Drip dry.

Silk / metal tissue

Silk/metal tissue is a rather stiff, translucent gauze made with silk and metallized threads. Very crinkly by nature. It has a metallic iridescence and is very reflective, although it moves fairly well. It is usually used for home decoration, due to limitations on cleaning. Difficult to work with, but beautiful.
Care: A paradox. This can't be dry cleaned, and if you wash it, the silk shrinks dramatically and the metal crimps, looking something like a kinky permanent hair wave. Solution: Don't get it dirty, or live with the wrinkling.


Our pure silk gabardine is a dressy smooth twill weave fabric, characterized by the distinct diagonal line on the fabric. Faintly lustrous, it has a beautiful drape, resists wrinkles, but creases well. Durable and crisp, it is most often used for skirts, slacks and suits. Easy to sew, doesn't show pin marks. Does unravel, so seams should be finished.
Care: Handwash (shrinks more than most), drip dry.


Silk Georgette has a grainy texture and a sheer feel. Similar to silk crepe, but is not as soft or lustrous as crepe. Georgette is durable, but snags easily. Drapes very fluidly, and falls into soft ripples. Great for loose, full blouses, evening wear, dresses and skirts. More difficult to sew than most and may require a special foot for your machine. Doesn't show pin marks, and georgette won't hold a crease.
Care: Handwash, drip dry.

Peau de Soie (Duchess Satin)

A medium weight smooth and silky fabric with a satiny, lustrous finish. Looks like Charmeuse, but Peau de Soie has a moderately stiff drape. Those who cannot pronounce Peau de Soie (French for ‘skin of silk') call this Duchess Satin. We have both 100% silk and silk/rayon blends. Use in close-fitted to loose-fitted styles in evening wear, bridal gowns, and elegant dresses. Sew easily, but pins and needles leave marks. Not much stretch, may be difficult to ease seams.
Care: Dry Clean


Matka is a heavy weight silk made from very thick yarns. The yarns are obtained from short ends of silk from Mulberry silkworms (Bombyx Mori) and spun by hand without removing the gum (sericin). As such, there are slubs and irregularities that give the fabric a unique character. It looks something like a tweed, but the fibers are all the same color. Matka is good for suits and jackets, sews easily.
Care: Probably better to dry clean unless you can live with a a lot of shrinkage from handwashing.


Tussah (also Tussar) is a medium to heavy weight silk made from free-range (Woo Hoo!) silkworms of the Antheraea mylitta or Antheraca proylei species. The warp and weft yarns are very different, giving tussah the look of woven grasses. Tussah is almost always a natural brown color, but it does dye well. Good for suits and jackets, and home decoration. Sews easily, but may unravel, so finished seams are advisable.
Care: Handwash, but it does shrink more than most, drip dry.
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