The A-Z of Fabric By The Yard - Boho Luxe Home

The A-Z of Fabric By The Yard

If you’re thinking about trying your hand at the dynamic world of fabric decorating, you’ll have to pick up a few textile terms along the way. This glossary list will start you out with the basics. Use these terms to build up your fabric by the yard lexicon, and then add to it as you continue your home decorating projects.

 

A

Acrylic

A manufactured fiber, its major properties include a soft, wool-like hand, machine washable and dryable and excellent color retention. The fabric is surprisingly soft and comfortable and its durability makes it an excellent choice for home decor.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Antique Satin

A reversible satin-weave fabric with satin floats on the technical face and surface slubs on the technical back created by using slub-filling yarns. It is usually used for drapery fabrics and often made of a blend of fibers.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Applique

A sewing technique that involves stitching a small piece of fabric onto a larger one to make a pattern or design

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Boho Luxe Home’s Bakuba Lodge loveseat, a printed interpretation of traditional Raffia applique

Arts and Crafts Movement

Textiles from this period include flowing, swirling patterns by incorporating motifs with a natural influence.

B

Batik

A method of dyeing fabric where some areas are covered with wax or pastes made of glues or starches to make designs by keeping dyes from penetrating in pattern areas, also called “resist dyeing”.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Batiste

A lightweight, plain weave fabric, semi-sheer and usually made of cotton or cotton blends.

Beading

In this context, refers to sewing or gluing beads onto a fabric.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Gorgeous Velvet pillow embellished with a band of bright embroidery and beading

Bedford Cord

A corded cotton-like fabric with raised ridges in the lengthwise direction. Since the fabric has a high strength and a high durability, it is often used for upholstery.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Boucle

A knit or woven fabric with small curls or loops that create a nubby surface. The fabric has a looped, knotted surface.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Broadcloth

A plain weave tightly woven fabric that is usually made from 100% cotton or a cotton blend. Most common uses are for quilting.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Brocade

A heavy jacquard-type fabric with an all-over raised pattern or floral design. Appropriate for upholstery and draperies.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

C

Calico

A tightly-woven cotton type fabric with an all-over print, usually a small floral pattern on a contrasting background color. Commonly used in quilts.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Canvas

A strong, durable, closely woven cloth usually of linen, hemp, or cotton used where sturdiness is required.

Chambray

A plain woven fabric that can be made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers, but is most commonly cotton. It incorporates a colored warp (often blue) and white filling yarns.

 

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Chantilly Lace

This lace has a net background, and the pattern is created by embroidering with thread and ribbon to create floral designs. The pattern has areas of design that are very dense, and the pattern is often outlined with heavier cords or threads. (And if you now have a certain song stuck in your head, we apologize! If you don’t know what we’re talking about – carry on!)

Fabric by the Yard Glossary

Chintz

A plain-weave fabric, which has been glazed to produce a polished look. Fabric must be dry-cleaned as the glazing will wash off with machine laundering. Suitable for drapes and lining.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Classic Southern Chintz Fabric Pattern | Via Southern Living

 

Cotton-Linen Blend

A great, all-purpose woven fabric. This blend is ideal for curtains, light upholstery, and pillows for the following reasons: compared to either cotton and linen alone, the blend is more wrinkle resistant, thinner and lighter and is more durable.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Cotton-linen blend makes for great upholstery fabric, like this Boho Luxe Home chair in Vintage Gypsum!

Crewel

A true crewel fabric is embroidered with crewel yarn (a loosely twisted, two-ply wool) on a plain weave fabric. Traditional crewel fabrics are hand-woven and embroidered in India. The design motif for crewel work is typically outlines of flowers, vines, and leaves, in one or many colors.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

This unique pillow features bold floral crewel embroidery

D

Denim

A twill weave cotton fabric made with different colored yarns in the warp and the weft. Due to the twill construction, one color predominates on the fabric surface.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

This denim couch is both modern and rugged. Source: Desire to Inspire

E

Embroidery

An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Gorgeous Velvet pillow embellished with a band of bright embroidery appliquè

 

I

Ikat

Ikat is a popular fabric that is often crafted in Central Asia. It uses a labor-intensive dyeing technique that involves resist dyeing. The designs created are very vibrant and bold. They add a lot of color to a neutral room.

L

Linen-textured

A smooth, lint-free, lightweight fabric that is woven to feel like linen even while made with other fibers such as cotton or polyester.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Boho Luxe Home’s Medina Arch pillow in linen-textured fabric makes a great exotic addition to your sofa.

M

Moire

Made by pressing two layers of the textile together when wet. The similar but imperfect spacing of the threads creates a characteristic pattern which remains after the fabric dries.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

This one-of-a-kind pillow features Vintage Moirè Silk Ikat with velvet.

Muslin

An inexpensive, medium weight, plain weave, low count (less than 160 threads per square inch) cotton sheeting fabric. Muslin fabric has a simple, loose weave and is made in varying weights, ranging from finer, delicate textures to coarser, unfinished sheeting.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Source: Paper Mart

N

Nylon

Produced in 1938, the first completely synthetic fiber developed. Known for its high strength and excellent resilience, nylon has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Credit: Horia Varlan CC-BY 2.0 Source: Reference.com

O

Obi

A traditional Japanese sash for keikogi, a uniform for martial arts training, and for kimonos.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

This Vintage obi pillow in a modern graphic discovered by Melanie and Kelly on a journey to Japan.

P

Paisley

Originated from India, paisley is a tear drop shaped ‘leafy’ motif. The name is derived from the town of Paisley in West Scotland, a center for textiles where the designs were produced. This pattern fits in both modern and traditional interiors, and can add an exotic accent, especially when done in bright bold colors.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Boho Luxe Home’s Neela pattern is reminiscent of paisleys and Indian saris, but this particlar image actually originated as Moorish architectural elements in Italy. Each of the brand’s exclusive patterns tells a travel story.

R

Ralli Quilt

From Pakistan and India, a traditional quilt constructed from layers of discarded cloth and sewn into a variety of patterns.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Vintage ralli quilt sewn into this decorative throw pillow collected on a trip to India.

S

Sari

Originally meaning “strip of cloth”, sari refers to traditional women’s attire in Ancient India. Made of cotton and silk, it is usually dyed in indigo or turmeric, resulting in shades such as blue, purple, red, yellow, and orange.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

The Neela Blue fabric by the yard, seen here as draping and upholstery, is evocative of Indian prints.

Shibori

A style of Japanese pattern making by twisting, binding, wrapping, folding, and stitching fabric and dyeing it. Similar to tie-dye.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Silk

A soft, lustrous fiber from the cocoon of the silkworm. Also refers to the fabric made from this fiber, often used in luxurious clothes and furnishings.

Suede

leather finished with a fine velvet-like nap, usually on the flesh side of the skin or hide, produced by abrasive action.

T

Tassels

A pendant-style ornament commonly made up of thread and cords hanging from a round knob, used in clothing, jewelry, curtains, and bags.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Taffeta

With a crisp hand, taffeta is typically used for formal wear like gowns and fuller skirts. Underlining prevents some of the wrinkling it has a tendency to have. More classic decor uses taffeta as drapes.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Faux silk taffeta drapes | Via Joss & Main

Tribal

Often ceremonial or religious in nature, tribal print refers to the craftsmanship of artefacts from tribal cultures. Tribal prints are heavy with symbolism and geometric patterns that have a lot of meaning rooted in tribal culture.

 

V

Velour

A fabric that resembles velvet but has more stretch and is made of rayon, wool, and used for outerwear or upholstery.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Source: Nuevo Living

Velvet

A closely woven fabric of silk or cotton with a short pile on one side, commonly used for luxurious touches on clothing, upholstery, or curtains.

W

Wool

Textile fiber from sheep and other animals. Today, wool tassels and pom poms are a fun way to add a bouncy flourish to home decor.

Fabric by the Yard Glossary - Decorative Throw Pillows

Natural sheep’s wool, hand-spun and twisted, hand-dyed and crafted by Bedouin women in the Negev Desert, these tassels are traditionally used as decoration on camel bridles.

We broke down the definitions of some of the trickiest words in the textile sphere. With this guide by your side, we bet you can haggle with suppliers and convince them that you're a fabric by the yard pro.

 

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