Types of fabric

Plain weave

This type of fabric is the most common and basic style of weave. The fabric is characterised by its two-dimensional surface and thus the lack of a vertical pile. The weft alternates over and under the warp. Depending on the patern this can result in a nice and smooth or distinct structured surface.

Chenille

Chenille can refer to both the yarn and the fabric made from it and is characterised by its irregular pile and the lack of one distinct direction. The three dimensional character of chenille fabrics is caused by the many lateral hairs on the yarn used. This is created during the weaving process. Two core yarns are  twisted together while placing short lengths of yarn, called the pile, between the core yarns. The result is an almost velvet like appearances and an irregular alignment of the pile. 

Another characteristic of chenille fabrics is the so called ‘shading’ of the fabric. Putting weight on the fabric can cause the pile to flatten. This caused the fibres to catch the light differently, creating a sort of shadow on the fabric. 

The downside of chenille fabrics is that many chenille fabrics should only be dry cleaned. Water can cause damage to the pile. Which means stains may be difficult to remove from chenille upholstery. 

Jacquard

Jacquard is a collective term which includes all fabrics with complex patterns that are woven into the fabric rather than printed on the surface. During the weaving process some yarns are lifted to create an endless variety of patterns, designs and textures.

 

Microfibre

Usually made with synthetic fibres such as polyester, polyamide or polyurethane. There are two common types of microfibre fabrics. One is a very thinly woven microfibre, the other is also called a microsuede. The thinly woven microfibre is very water resistant. Whilst not completely waterproof, the thin weave allows more time to absorb spilled liquids before they migrate into the fabric. Microfibre is nice and soft to the touch and its appearance can strongly resemble suede. The most common fabrics are Alcantara® and Dinamica®.

Corduroy or ribcord

Sturdy looking fabric with a distinct pattern, called a cord, rib or wale. The distinct pattern is created by weaving extra loops of fibre into a plain weave fabric. The loops are then cut into clear lines which creates the typical wales or ribs of the fabric. The appearance of corduroy resembles a ribbed velvet.

Velvet 

A type of woven tufted fabric with a distinctive soft feel. Velvet requires a special loom that weaves two layers of the same material on top of each other. These layers are then cut apart in the middle to create the pile effect. Velvets can be made from either natural or synthetic fibres. Some velvets are only suitable for dry cleaning. For these velvets we developed the Puratex® velvet brush.

Felt

This type of fabric consists mainly of wool fibres, sometimes supplemented with other textile fibres. Felt is produced by matting, condensing and pressing the fibres together randomly. This creates a sturdy and compact fabric. Most felts can only be dry cleaned. Water can cause the felt to bulge or form ugly bumps.

 

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