The propensity of a material to take in and
retain liquid usually waters.
A dye that is applied to fabric or fiber from
an acid dye solutions. It can be used on nylon, wool and other animal protein
fibers, silk, acrylic, polypropylene and blends of the above. It is reasonably
colorfast to light and laundering.
Protein hair, furs, and cocoons materials
taken from animals for the purposes of weaving, knitting or felting into a
fabric. Typical animal fibers include wool, mohair, and llama, alpaca, and
cashmere, camel and vicuna and cocoon material (silk).
A bag, sack or oblong package into which fiber is
compressed. The size and weight of a bale is variable.
A weave in which the average float is the
same in the warp and the weft directions and in which the warp and weft floats
are equally distributed between the two sides of the fabric.
Batt or Batting
Sheets or rolls of carded cotton or wool
or other fiber or mixtures thereof which is used for stuffing, padding,
quilting, felting and spinning.
A toothed or spiked roll in an opening or
cleaning machine used for processing fiber into yarn.
A chemical which whitens yarn or fabrics. Sodium
chlorite (chlorine), hydrogen peroxide or reducing agents such as sulphur
dioxide or sodium bisulphite are the most common bleaches. Bleaching is used to
remove natural and other types of impurities and blemishes from fabrics prior to
dyeing and finishing. The removal of color from dyed or printed textiles is
usually called stripping.
Color which run together from wet, dyed material
onto a material next to it. It has been known that the property of bleeding,
sometimes caused through the use of fugitive dyes or bad dyeing techniques,
enhances its acceptability in certain markets. A range of striped and checked
cotton cloths woven in India known as Bleeding Madras.
A textile containing two or more different fibers,
variants of the same fiber or different colors and grades of the same fiber.
The mixing of quantities of the same fiber,
taken from many lots or of different types of fiber, to produce a uniform
A large area or background area of a design
printed in a uniform colour.
The rapidity with which an animals fiber
diameter increases (thickens) with age.
One of the three principal methods of
spinning worsted yarn in which longer fibers are utilized to produce very
compact and sleek yarns.
A measure of the breaking strength of a
yarn. It is the calculated length of yarn that equals its breaking load and is
equal to the tensile stress at rupture of the yarn.
The maximum stress needed to rupture a
fiber, yarn or fabric in a tension test.
An elaborate and richly figured fabric woven on a
Jacquard loom using satin weave. The warp float gives a raised appearance.
Originally woven in silk, but now can be made with man-made fibers, with
additional silver or gold threads. Was first produced in China. Light-weight
brocade is used for apparel and heavier weights for furnishings. A brocatine is
a brocade with a raised pattern imitating embroidery. Latin: brocare meaning to
A finishing process for knit or woven fabrics
in which brushes or other abrading elements are used to raise a nap.
Card or Carder
A textile machine or hand implement that
separates fibers. It removes some vegetation and spreads the fibers into a web
for subsequent operations that culminate in spinning. The hand implement has
iron teeth or wires and is used in pairs. It can be used to raise the nap on a
A preliminary process in manufacturing spun
yarn, in which the fibers are separated, distributed, equalized and formed into
a web. The web can be very thin or thick. The process of carding removes some
impurities, and a certain amount of short or broken fibers.
A machine used for the combing process in
A step that is subsequent to carding in worsted
spinning which separates the long, choice desirable fibers from the naps and
shorter stock (noils), removes almost all foreign matter and arranges fibers in
parallel order forming a sliver. Combed yarns are finer, cleaner, more lustrous
and stronger than carded yarns.
A yarn spinning process by which a
filament (usually elastic under tension) is covered with a sheath of staple
fibers to produce a stretchable yarn. The resultant yarn and fabric have the
characteristics of the sheath fiber along with the advantage of stretch and
The uniform distribution of all the fiber
characteristics within each lock and throughout the entire fleece.
The gathering of specimens of fiber for
testing from bales or packs by inserting a hollow tube into each package.
A yarn made by winding one yarn around another
to give the appearance of a yarn made solely of the outer yarn.
The spindle shaped cells forming the
inside structure of a fiber.
The ability of a creased or wrinkled
fabric to recover its original shape over time.
The ability of a fabric to retain a
pleat or a fold which has been made deliberately.
An organized or uniform waviness in an individual
lock of fiber.
The ability of a yarn or fiber to return
to its original crimped state after being released from a tensile force.
The waviness of each individual fiber when
separated from a lock. It is responsible for elasticity and is usually
The outer layer of cells of a fiber which are
hard, flattened and do not fit together evenly and whose tips point away from
the fiber shaft forming serrated edges. These serrated edges cause the fibers to
grip together during processing and manufacturing.
The number of hair follicles per square inch of
Direction of twist (S twist or Z twist)
twist, hold yarn in a vertical position and examine the angle of the spiral. The
angle of the S twist will correspond to the center portion of the S. The angle
of the Z twist will correspond to the center portion of the Z. When spinning,
the wheel should rotate counter clockwise for an S twist and rotate clockwise
for a Z twist. In South America, yarn that is spun with Z twist is believed to
The process of drawing out a strand of material
by pulling it apart. Commercially, this is done between rollers and in
handspinning it is done with the hands.
A colorant that becomes molecularly dispersed at some
point during application to fiber and exhibits some degree of permanence. There
are many application classes of dyes, including acid dyes, disperse dyes,
reactive dyes, and natural dyes. Dyes may be generally divided into natural and
synthetic types. Natural dyes are obtained from berries, flowers, roots, bark
and more. Synthetic dyes are chemical compounds.
The capacity of fibers to accept dyes.
The solution (usually water) containing the
dyes, dyeing assistants and any other ingredients necessary for dyeing.
The process of applying a comparatively permanent
color to fiber, yarn or fabric by immersing in a bath of dye.
The amount of dye taken from the dyebath by
the fiber, yarn or fabric being dyed.
A dye that is stable to color destroying
agents, such as sunlight, perspiration, washing, abrasion, and wet and dry
An ancient technique that produces a non woven
sheet of matted material which is most frequently made from wool, hair or fur
created by the entanglement of a mass of fibers that takes place when heat,
moisture and pressure are combined.
The degree to which fibers will consolidate
The property of wool and some other
fibers to interlock with each other to create felt. Felting is caused by the
directional friction effect of scales on the fiber surfaces. The factors
involved in felting are the fiber structure, the crimp of the fibers, the ease
of deformation of the fiber and the fibers power of recovery from deformation.
Any tough substance, natural or man-made, composed
of thread-like tissue capable of being made into yarn.
A unit of matter characterized by having a length at least 100 times its
diameter or width. The fundamental component used in making textile yarns and
The mean fiber diameter that is usually
expresses in microns.
The entire coat sheared from an animal at one
The skin structure from which hair or wool
A finishing process in which the woven or
knitted cloth is subjected to moisture, heat and friction causing it to shrink
considerably in both directions and become compact and solid. In heavy fabrics
both the weave and the yarn are obscured, thus giving the appearance of felt.
A chemical, usually a surfactant, that
acts as a lubricant during the process of fulling.
The classification of fibers according to such
properties as staple length, strength, evenness and fineness. The sorting of
The long, stiff, usually coarse fiber which
projects from the wooly undercoat of a mammals pelt.
A specialty fiber obtained from an animal
other than a sheep. It is usually from the goat and camel families (mohair,
cashmere, angora, llama, alpaca, vicuna and guanaco). These products, except
angora, may be included in the term wool according to the Wool Products Labeling
Act of 1939.
Hand or Handle
The tactile feel of fiber related to the
combination of all the fiber characteristics.
Yarns which are spun by hand using a spinning
wheel or electric spinner.
A definite length of textile material that varies
according to the material. A hank of wool is 560 yards, cotton and silk is 840
yards and linen is 300 yards.
Any procedure for determining kinds
of fibers, yarn construction, fabric construction, or finish and coloring of
textiles. Physical, chemical, microscopic and other methods may be used.
Any undesirable extraneous material present in
a fleece or textile product.
A short, coarse wool or hair fiber with a large
(>60% of fiber diameter) unevenly developed medulla that causes uneven
A protein substance which is the chief component
of wool fiber.
A method of constructing fabric by interlocking
a series of loops of one or more yarns.
A device or machine for weaving cloth.
The light reflective quality of fiber exhibited
in shine and gloss.
Mean Fiber Diameter
The average diameter (thickness) of
a group of fibers from an animal.
The hollow, rounded cells which are found along
the center of the main axis of a fiber. They may run continuously along the
length of the fiber.
A true hair fiber which does not have
the same spinning and dyeing properties as wool, alpaca and llama. Medullated
fibers are kemp, found in on the faces, head and legs of sheep and guard hair
which is grown by goats and some alpacas and llamas.
A unit of measurement used in assessing the
diameter of a fiber, which equals 1/25,000 of an inch.
Dye obtained from substances such as roots,
bark, wood, berries, lichens, insects, shellfish and flowers.
Fiber obtained from animal, vegetable or
mineral sources, as opposed to those regenerated or synthesized from chemicals.
A small knot of tangled fibers, usually consisting
of short, dead or immature fiber.
Short fibers removed during the combing process of
A piece of equipment that opens fiber and removes
The process of opening fiber and/or removing
A system of drafting in which the fibers
are oriented relative to one another in the sliver and are controlled by rolls
of pins between the drafting rolls. It is primarily used for long fibers in the
semi-worsted and worsted spinning systems.
To twist together two or more single yarns to form
another yarn or cord. One of any number of single yarns twisted together to form
Shearing, sorting, opening,
cleaning, carding, drawing, possibly combing, possibly roving, twisting or
A fiber composed of protein, including
such naturally occurring animal fibers as wool, silk, alpaca, llama and other
hair and fur fibers.
Fiber, which is unacceptable because of poor
color, tenderness, seeds, burrs, kempiness, stains, lumps and tufts.
The power of recovery to original shape and
size after removal of the strain, which caused the deformation. A fiber may
possess this quality to spring back to its original state after being crushed or
wrinkled. Resilience is sometimes referred to as memory.
A loose assemblage of fibers drawn or rubbed into
a single strand, usually thicker than sliver.
A small portion of a larger amount of material
which is taken for testing.
Also known as cuticle. The outer layer of cells
of mammal hair fiber which are hard, flattened, do not fit together evenly and
whose surfaces overlap and enclose the cortex. The size and shape vary from
species to species and are important characteristics used in fiber
identification. The exposed edges of scales point towards the tips of animal
fibers and give rise to the friction effect and felting.
Cleaning raw wool or fiber and removing such
impurities as dirt, sweat, and grease by washing with soaps and alkalies or with
The short pieces in a fleece caused by
careless shearing. Second cuts are caused by re-shearing areas not sheared to
the skin. This diminishes the value of a fleece.
Semi-worsted Spinning System
Spinning similar to the
worsted spinning system in which the combing process is eliminated.
Yarn spun from sliver carded (not
combed) and pin-drafted on worsted spinning system machines.
Cutting the fleece from an animal with electric
or hand shears.
A reduction in length or width of a material
caused by certain treatments, especially washing. A loss of weight and volume of
wool due to scouring when grease, sweat, and foreign matter are removed.
Removing the stained, unusable, or undesirable
portions of a fleece.
Separating a fleece or fiber into groups of
comparable character and quality. The grading of fiber.
The final step in the production of yarn. The
twisting of the sliver or roving. The entire process of making yarn from fiber.
Standard Deviation (SD)
The amount of variation from the
mean (average) within a single data set. The greater the standard deviation, the
greater the range (difference between the highest and lowest values) of values
within the sample.
A synonym for fiber. A lock or tuft of wool.
The length of sheared locks obtained by
measuring the natural staple without stretching or disturbing the crimp. The
fiber growth or regeneration from one shearing to the next.
The combination of crimp and crinkle ranging from
good crimp and good crinkle to no crimp and no
A complex colorant
derived from coal tar.
Broken or dung-covered wool and other wastes that
are swept from the floor of shearing areas.
A wool staple with weak places in the
fibers. It can only be used for carding rather than combing. It is caused by
illness, excessive exposure to weather, or poor nutrition.
The amount of pulling a fiber can
withstand before it stretches and breaks.
A broad classification of materials that can be
utilized in constructing fabrics and the fabrics made with those materials.
The surface effect of cloth or fiber as dull,
lustrous, wooly, stiff, soft, fine, coarse, open or closely woven. Also known as
hand or feel.
A strand of longer fibers that have been
straightened made parallel and separated from the shorter fibers by combing.
Total Fleece Weight
The weight of the entire raw fleece.
The number of turns about its axis per unit of
length observed in a yarn or other textile strand. It is usually indicated as
turns per inch or tpi.
According to the Federal Trade Commission,
wool, which has not been processed in any way, shape or form. Hair and other
specialty fibers are classed as wool as measured by the Federal Trade
Commission. This term is a misnomer when used in advertising or on labels.
Making cloth by interlacing yarns at right
angles according to a predetermined pattern.
It is the fibers covering the skin of a sheep.
According to the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939, the term includes the
fleece of a sheep, angora goat, undercoat of a cashmere goat, and specialty
fibers of alpaca, llama, vicuna, and guanaco. The undercoat of mammals other
than the sheep, goat or camel families are referred to as fur.
Describes yarn made using the woolen spinning
Woolen Spinning System
In this system, fiber is carded
two or three times but not combed and goes directly from cards to the spinning
process. Generally wool used for this system is shorter, have more crimp and
better felting qualities. With this system it is possible to use wools of
different types, lengths and character together in blends.
A yarn that has been made using the worsted
Worsted Spinning System
A system of yarn production
designed for medium or longer wools, and other fibers. The suitable fiber
lengths vary from 2.5 to 7 inches. The process includes, opening, blending,
cleaning, carding, followed by combing, drawing and spinning. These yarns are
compact, smooth and more even and stronger than similar yarns spun using the
A continuous strand of textile fibers that may be
composed of endless filaments or shorter fibers twisted or otherwise held
together. Yarns are utilized in making fabric.
The quantity of clean wool obtained from a
specified amount of grease wool. The amount of usable fiber after the processes
of washing, drying, and removing guard hairs.
A colorless natural impurity consisting of grease