Home » Fashion » Apparels » It’s Time To Tickle Your Brain With The Textile Industry Language Guide!

It’s Time To Tickle Your Brain With The Textile Industry Language Guide!

by Fashionlady
Cottons Textile Industry

Textile Industry Language Guide

How many of you use the word ‘language’ these days? We are comfortable with the word ‘lingo’ instead. There is ‘comfy’ for ‘comfortable’ and many more such wordplays. Uh! Disappointed, are you? You can’t be because we are in the 21st century. Who has the time for remembering long-long words? Being Shakespeare is difficult, no.

But you can’t have your way with the Textile Industry Language Guide. Can you replace ‘fabric’ with ‘fab’ or ‘Jamdani’ with ‘Jam’? Ha ha…now stop spinning the yarn while thinking of uber cool abbreviations. Having started on a humorous note, let’s get down to the Textile Industry Language Guide. No laughing business this is but something to PIN it for keeps.

You will agree why I say this. In fact, most of us, especially in the fashion industry and apparels trade always want to increase our knowledge of the textile industry, the textile industry in India and get an overview of the textile industry covering the cotton textile industry and the technical textiles.

Don’t worry. I am not going to make it look like an encyclopedia (I know none of us have the time for it). It will be short and sweet and won’t bore you to death. And yes, it will be in the Alphabetical order, which means it will be easy to spot. Happy? Let’s get cracking!


Acetate – A synthetic fiber in the textile industry.

Acrylic – A synthetic polymer fiber having at least 85% acrylonitrile.

Best Technical Textiles

Angora – Refers to the hair of the Angora rabbit or the fabric made from Angora rabbit fur.

Technical Textile

Applique – It is a sewing technique in which fabric shapes, lace or trim, are sewn onto a foundation fabric in order to create designs.

Technical Textiles

Aramid – The aramid fiber in the textile industry is a fire-resistant and strong synthetic fiber.

Argyle – This is a design using the diamond shape in a diagonal checkerboard pattern.

Not tough, I hope. Let’s move on.


Baize – It is a coarse cotton or woolen cloth, often colored in red or green.

Ballistic nylon – Thick and tough synthetic fiber, ballistic nylon is used for many applications in the textile industry.

Batik – This is an Indonesian traditional word popular in the textile industry which refers to a generic wax-resist dyeing technique used on fabric.

Textile Industry
Bobbinet – Used as a base for embroidery and lingerie, bobbinet is a tulle netting with holes in the form of a hexagon.

Bombazine – It is a fabric originally made of silk or silk and wool. Nowadays, it is also made of cotton and wool or of wool alone. Bombazine is corded or twilled and used as dress-material.

Braid – Darling, this is no ‘hairstyle’. In the textile industry, the word braid means to interweave or twine three or more separate strands of one or more materials in a diagonal and overlapping pattern.

Broadcloth – Means material of superior quality in the textile industry.

Brocade – A term used for forming patterns in cloth with a supplementary weft.


Buckram – A stiff cloth (made of cotton or linen) used to cover and protect a book. It is more expensive than its look-a-like “Brella” and stronger and resistant to cockroaches eating it (WOW!). In fact, Buckram can also be used to stiffen clothes.


Burlap – A type of cloth used for sacks.


Calico – In the cotton textile industry, this term refers to a fabric made from unbleached and unprocessed cotton. Calico is also referred to as a type of printing.

cotton textile industry

Cambric – It is a lightweight cotton cloth used as a fabric for lace and needlework.

Camel’s Hair – Undoubtedly, it is a natural fiber derived from the camel. A variety of yarn with different coarseness can be produced from camel hair. This is a novel fiber spun by hand-spinners.

Camels Hair

Canvas – An extremely heavy-duty fabric used for making tents, sails, and other functions where sturdiness is required. Canvas work means embroidery on canvas.
Did you know, the canvas is used for making the fashion handbags??? Thank Amazon, Jabong and other e-commerce sites for acquainting us with Canvas handbags as a shopping item.

Cashmere – In the textile industry, wool from the Cashmere goat is called Cashmere.


Cheesecloth – This loosely woven fabric is a product of the cotton textile industry used for pressing cheese curds.

Chiffon – A sheer fabric made of silk or rayon.

Chino cloth – This is a kind of twill fabric, made primarily from cotton.

Chintz – This refers to calico cloth printed with flowers in different colors.

Coir – It is a coarse fiber extracted from the outer shell of “nariyal” (meaning coconut).

Colorfast – It is a term used to describe whether the colors bleed or not in the process of washing.

Cord – Remember Corduroy? ‘Cord’ is a short form of it – a twisted fiber which falls between rope and string.

Cotton – A soft fiber most often spun into thread, it is used to make a soft and breathable textile. The fabric’s massive popularity powers the cotton textile industry.

Crepe – It is a silk fabric that has a gauzy texture, with a crisp or crimpy appearance (peculiar to it).


Cross-stitch – This is a popular form of counted-thread embroidery. The popular thing is the X-shaped stitches which are used to form a picture.

Crochet – This word describes the process of creating a fabric from a length of cord, yarn or thread with a hooked tool.



Denim – Who wouldn’t know this in the textile industry? Denim indicates a rugged cotton twill textile.

Double weave– It is a type of advanced weave, done by interlacing two or more sets of warps with two or more sets of filling yarns.

Dyes – They are used to color fabric. There are two types of dyes: Natural and Synthetic.



Embroidery – It is an ancient form of decorative needlework in which designs and pictures are created by stitching strands of some material on to a layer of another material.

Eyelet – They are metal, rubber or plastic rings inserted into a hole made through another material.



Felt: It is a non-woven cloth produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers. These fibers make the structure of the fabric.


Fiber (or Fibre) – They are the basic raw materials which are often used to weave a fabric. Fibers can be spun into filaments, thread, or rope.

Filament – This is fine, thinly spun fiber, wire or thread.

Fishnet – A material which has an open diamond-shaped knit.

Flannel – It is a cloth commonly used to make clothing and bed sheets. Flannel is usually made from wool, or wool and cotton, or wool and synthetic fabric.


Flax – This type of fiber is soft, flexible and lustrous. You will be surprised to know that flax is stronger than cotton fiber but less elastic.

Fulling – It is a step in clothmaking where cleansing of cloth (particularly wool) is done in order to get rid of dirt, oils and other impurities.


Gabardine – It is a tough fabric (tightly woven) often used to make suits, trousers, and overcoats. The fiber chosen to make the fabric is a woolen yarn, but can also be cotton, synthetic or mixed. You can identify this fabric – smooth on one side and diagonally ribbed surface on the other.


Gauze – It is a very light, sheer, finely woven fabric.

Gingham – A fabric made from dyed cotton yarn.

Gossamer – Light, gauze-like fabric, gossamer is popular for white wedding dresses and decorations.



Hem – In sewing language, to hem a piece of cloth means a garment worker folds the cloth to a cut edge, folds it up again and then sews it down.

Hemp – Any clue you have on the main uses of hemp? They are multiple – rope, carpet, sacking, nets, webbing and, of late, in paper manufacturing.

Huckaback – Used for making towels, it is a type of coarse absorbent cotton fabric.



Ikat – Popular style of weaving it is which uses a tie-dye process on either the warp or weft (before the threads are woven) to create a pattern or design. Double-Ikat is when both the warp and weft are tie-dyed before starting the process of weaving.


Intarsia – A knitting technique which uses multiple colors to create patterns.

Interfacing – A common term which is used for a variety of materials used on the wrong side of the fabrics (in sewing).


Jacquard loom – It is a form of dobby loom which shows a raised pattern that is woven (instead of printed) onto the fabric. Some of the popular jacquard designs are damasks, florals, and geometrics.

Jamdani – Fine fabric that traces its origin to Bangladesh.


Jute – Is a long and soft shiny plant fiber that can be spun into strong and coarse threads.

Interesting fact –

Jute is one of the cheapest natural fibers (next to cotton) and has a variety of uses.


Lace – Lace-making is an ancient craft and lace fabric is light-weight created by looping, twisting or knitting threads in a specific pattern, with open holes in the fabric.

Lawn – Not your garden lawn sweetie, this ‘Lawn’ in the technical textiles lingo is a fine linen or cotton cloth.

Linen – Aw! How can we miss linen when it comes to the Textile Industry Language Guide? Linen has been used for clothing, table coverings, bed coverings for centuries. It is a material made from the fibers of the flax plant.

Textile Industry Language Guides

Heard of ‘Irish linen’? It is linen produced in Ireland. Simple and Un-complicated na!

Loom – The machine used for fabric-weaving.

Lucet – A method of cord making or braiding.

Textile Industry Language Guide


Mercerized Cotton – What is Mercerisation? In the textile industry, it is the treatment of the cotton fabric and thread mostly done to give cotton a lustrous appearance.

Merino – Is the Spanish name for a sheep breed. Hence, Merino wool.

Mesh – A fabric that has a large number of holes which are closely-spaced.

Microfiber – It is a term used for fibers which have strands thinner than one denier. Fabrics made with microfiber are very very soft and hold their shape well.

Mohair – Silk-like fabric made from Angora goat’s hair. Durable, light and warm it is though some people find it itchy.


Muslin – Cotton fabric, finely woven, introduced to Europe in the 17th century.

From city name to fabric name. Yes, that’s the story of Muslin – it was first made in Mosul which is now Iraq.



Nainsook – It is a fine and soft muslin fabric used most often to make clothing for babies. So cutey pie word used in the textile industry!


Nap – No afternoon nap this is! It is a term coined for the raised surface of a certain cloth, example flannel.

Needlework – Anything used for decorative sewing and textile arts.

Nonwoven fabric – Are those which are neither woven nor knit. Example: felt. They are neither strong nor stretched.

Nylon – A synthetic polymer or plastic. Nylon fibers and stockings have a strong connection!!!


Organdy – Also called Organdie, it is sheer cotton for you. Very prone to wrinkling because of its stiffness and fiber content.


Organza – Thin plain weave made from silk. The most luxe of organzas is still woven with silk threads.




Paisley – Call it the Indian bodhi tree leaf, Paisley is a droplet-shaped vegetable motif. Paisley originated in India but spread to Scotland when Brit soldiers brought home cashmere shawls.


Patchwork– It is a form of needlework in which small pieces of fabric are sewn and stitched together into a larger design.

Persian weave – A weaving method used in jewelry and other art forms.

Plaid – Scots language word which means blanket, a plaid largely refers to patterned woolen cloth.


Poplin – A heavy durable fabric which has a ribbed appearance, Poplin is made of cotton, silk, wool, rayon or a mixture of these.



Qalamkari – Also known as Kalamkari in the textile industry. It is a type of hand-painted or block-printed textile. Qalamkari is produced in many places in India. Hey, it has nothing to do with pen or Qalam!!!


Quilt – Is a method of sewing or stitching 2 layers of cloth with an insulating layer in between. E.g. – a bed covering is a form of a quilt.



Rayon – This transparent fiber is the outcome of processed cellulose.

Rug – Is a form of carpet though small in size.



Satin – A cloth which has a glossy surface but a dull back.

Seam – In sewing language, a seam is a line where a thread holds two pieces of fabric together.

Sheer – It is a semi-transparent flimsy cloth.

Shoddy – Is recycled wool which is of inferior quality as compared to the original wool.

Did you know, Benjamin law invented Shoddy in 1813?


Spandex fiber – Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fiber which stands out for its stretch-ability. It’s stronger and more durable than its major plant competitor Rubber.
Dupont invented Spandex in 1959 and revolutionized the clothing industry.

Spandex fiber

Spinning – The process of yarn creation from other raw fiber materials.

Super – Better put as the Super Grading system, it is used to grade the quality of the wool fabric. The higher the number, more is the yarn packed in per sq. inch.


Tactel – It is the brand name of a man-made fiber made from Nylon.

Taffeta –A type of fabric often used for fancy dresses in the textile industry.


Tapestry – A form of textile art hand-woven on a weaving loom.


Tassel – A bunch of plaited or entangled threads. At one end of the tassel, there is a cord protruding on which the tassel is hung. There are loose dangling threads at the other end.

Terry Cloth – This is a cloth in which loops are sticking out. Guess the example of terry cloth? Bath towels.

Terry Cloth

Threads Per Inch (TPI) – It is the measurement of the number of threads per inch of the material.

Thread Count – It is the number of the warp threads per inch plus the no. of weft threads.

Tissue – Fine woven fabric or gauze is called “Tissue”.

Tulle – It is “netting”. Often starched, it is made of various fibers. Tulle is most often used for veils and wedding gowns.



Velveteen – It’s not real velvet, honey. It is a cotton cloth, an imitation of velvet.


Viscose – Sometimes used as a synonym for Rayon, Viscose in the textile industry is an artificial cellulose-based polymer.


Warp – It is the set of lengthwise threads attached to a loom before weaving begins. It is through the warp that the weft is woven.


Yarn – Continuous length of interlocked fibers, the yarn is suitable for use in the production of textiles, weaving, knitting, sewing, crocheting, and rope-making.

MYYYY GOD!!! This is what you must be saying to yourself having read this overview of the textile industry. Did you find this article helpful in getting an insight of the textile industry in India? Aweeeeesome or Amaaazing? Do share your feedback in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

(Source: https://wifd.in)

You may also like

Leave a Comment