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Fabric Resources

What is a Fat Quarter?

"Fat Quarter" is a quilting term. A fat quarter is a rectangle of fabric that is 18"x 22". A yard of fabric is usually 36" X 45", so there are 4 fat quarters to a yard of fabric. 4my3boyz was built on selling fabric by the fat quarter. We are one of few companies who offer fabric this way and the only company who can say that all of our fabrics can be purchased by the fat quarter.

fat quarter

How to keep fabric from fraying in the wash

Don't you just hate all the strings that come loose during the prewashing of quilting fabrics?

The threads twist and pull at the fabric when they get tangled up in the wash, and you have to remove them before they go into the dryer so that fabrics come out wrinkle-free. Neglect to remove the threads and you'll see oodles of accordion pleats when you take fabrics out of the dryer; folds that aren't always easy to press flat.

It's easy to eliminate nearly all of the strings. Just clip off a little triangular section from each corner of fabrics before you wash them. Try about 1/2" or a little less. You'll still see a bit of fraying, but not enough to create bunches of knots.

Give it a try the next time you prewash your quilting fabrics -- the little snip really makes a difference.

How to Identify Fabric Contents With a Fabric Burn Test

A fabric burn test will help you find out if a fabric is 100 percent cotton or made from other fibers. That knowledge is important for quilters who swap fabrics with others, and for anyone who wants to be sure of proper care instructions for specific fabric.

Be sure to perform the burn test outside on a day that's not windy, or in a well ventilated area inside.

Fabric Burn Test Supplies

•             The fabric(s) you want to test

•             A flameproof container with walls -- try a large ashtray

•             Long matches or another source of a small flame

•             Long tweezers or a hemostat

Perform the Burn Test

1.            Cut small swatches of each fabric you want to test. Two-inch squares are fine.

2.            Place a swatch in your fireproof container and ignite a corner of the fabric.

3.            Pay attention to the odor of the smoke.

 

Fabric Identification – Natural Fibers

Natural Fibers are a class of hair-like materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to pieces of thread. They can be spun into filaments, thread, or rope. They can be used as a component of composite materials. They can also be matted into sheets to make products such as paper or felt. Fibers are of three types: natural fiber, cellulose fiber, and synthetic fiber. The earliest evidence for humans using fibers is the discovery of wool and dyed flax fibers.

Cotton is a plant fiber. When ignited it burns with a steady flame and smells like burning leaves. The ash left is easily crumbled. Small samples of burning cotton can be blown out as you would a candle.

Linen is also a plant fiber but different from cotton in that the individual plant fibers which make up the yarn are long where cotton fibers are short. Linen takes longer to ignite. The fabric closest to the ash is very brittle. Linen is easily extinguished by blowing on it as you would a candle.

Silk is a protein fiber and usually burns readily, not necessarily with a steady flame, and smells like burning hair. The ash is easily crumbled. Silk samples are not as easily extinguished as cotton or linen.

Wool is also a protein fiber but is harder to ignite than silk as the individual “hair” fibers are shorter than silk and the weave of the fabrics is generally looser than with silk. The flame is steady but more difficult to keep burning. The smell of burning wool is like burning hair.

Fabric Identification Manmade Fibers

Man Made Fibers, often referred to as synthetic fibers, are the result of extensive research by scientists to improve upon naturally occurring animal and plant fibers. In general, synthetic fibers are created by forcing, usually through extrusion, fiber forming materials through holes (called spinnerets) into the air, forming a thread. Before synthetic fibers were developed, artificially manufactured fibers were made from cellulose, which comes from plants. These fibers are called cellulose fibers.

Synthetic Fibers account for about half of all fiber usage, with applications in every field of fiber and textile technology. Although many classes of fiber based on synthetic polymers have been evaluated as potentially valuable commercial products, four of them – nylon, polyester, acrylic and polyolefin – dominate the market. These four account for approximately 98% by volume of synthetic fiber production, with polyester alone accounting for around 60%.

Acetate is made from cellulose (wood fibers), technically cellulose acetate. Acetate burns readily with a flickering flame that cannot be easily extinguished. The burning cellulose drips and leaves a hard ash. The smell is similar to burning wood chips.

Acrylic technically acrylonitrile is made from natural gas and petroleum. Acrylics burn readily due to the fiber content and the lofty, air filled pockets. A match or cigarette dropped on an acrylic blanket can ignite the fabric which will burn rapidly unless extinguished. The ash is hard. The smell is acrid or harsh.

Nylon is a polyamide made from petroleum. Nylon melts and then burns rapidly if the flame remains on the melted fiber. If you can keep the flame on the melting nylon, it smells like burning plastic.

Polyester is a polymer produced from coal, air, water, and petroleum products. Polyester melts and burns at the same time, the melting, burning ash can bond quickly to any surface it drips on including skin. The smoke from polyester is black with a sweetish smell. The extinguished ash is hard.

Rayon is a regenerated cellulose fiber which is almost pure cellulose. Rayon burns rapidly and leaves only a slight ash. The burning smell is close to burning leaves.

Blends consist of two or more fibers and, ideally, are supposed to take on the characteristics of each fiber in the blend. The burning test can be used but the fabric content will be an assumption for fabric identification.

Quilt Dimensions

How many times have you gone to buy fabric and just couldn’t remember the dimensions of the type of bed that you were making the quilt for? Make a copy of this handy chart from American Quilter magazine and put it in your wallet for your next fabric excursion.

Suggested Quilt Dimensions
Bed Size Comforter Coverlet Bedspread
Crib 27" x 52" 37" x 62" 37" x 62" na
Youth 33" x 66" 57" x 78" 65" x 92" 74" x 94"
Twin 39" x 75" 63" x 87" 71" x 101" 79" x 105"
Double 54" x 75" 78" x 87" 86" x 101" 94" x 105"
Queen 60" x 80" 84" x 92" 92" x 106" 101" x 110"
King 76" x 80" 100" x 92" 108" x 106" 116" x 110"
California King 72" x 84" 96" x 96" 104" x 110" 113" x 115"

Metric Conversions
1 Inch 2.54 Centimeters
1 Foot 30.48 Centimeters
1 Yard 91.44 Centimeters
1 Yard .914 Meters

US Units Multiplied by Metric Units
Inches 2.54 Centimeters
Inches 25.4 Millimeters
Yards 91.44 Centimeters
Yards 0.914 Meters

Metric Units Multiplied by US Units
Centimeters 0.394 Inches
Millimeters 0.039 Inches
Meters 39.37 Inches
Meters 1.094 Yards

Fabric Trivia

Cotton ~ Did you know?

Texas is the largest producing state for cotton, followed by Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.

China is the largest producing country for cotton, followed by the U.S, India and Pakistan.

Most of the cotton produced in the U.S. is produced along the Mississippi delta. Extreme dry conditions during the summer or flooding of the Mississippi rive will cause cotton prices to move higher.

Money can't buy happiness...but it can buy fabric, and fabric makes me happy!!!

Different types of cotton fabric

Diaper Cloth is a twill, dobby or plain woven absorbent cotton fabric.

Dimity is sheer, thin, white or printed fabric with lengthwise cords, stripes or checks.

Drill is a strong twilled cotton fabric, used in men’s and women’s slacks.

Duck is a heavy, durable tightly woven fabric. Heavy weight drill is used in awnings, tents, etc. Lighter duck is used in summer clothing.

Flannel cotton is plain or twill weave with a slight nap on one or both sides.

Flannelette is a soft cotton fabric with a nap on one side.

Gauze is a sheer, lightly woven fabric similar to cheesecloth. Is also made in silk.

Gingham is a lightweight, washable, stout fabric that is woven in checks, plaids or stripes.

Lawn is a plain weave, soft, very light, combed cotton fabric with a crisp finish.

Muslin is a sheer to coarse plain woven cotton fabric. Muslin comes in “natural” color or is dyed.

Organdy is a very thin, transparent cotton with a crisp finish.

Outing flannel is a soft, twill or plain weave fabric napped on both sides. Used for baby clothes, diapers, and sleepwear.

Oxford is shirting fabric with a lustrous, soft finish. It is characterized with narrow stripes and can be woven in plain or basket weave. Also a term used for wool fabric that has black and white fibers.

Percale is a light weight, closely woven, sturdy fabric that can be found printed or in dark or light colors.

Pima Cotton, from Egyptian cotton, is an excellent quality cotton fabric.

Polished Cotton is either a satin weave cotton or a plain weave cotton that is finished chemically to appear shiny.

Poplin is a plain weave fabric with a cross-wise rib.

Sailcloth is a very strong, heavy canvas or duck made in plain weave.

Sateen is a satin weave cotton fabric.

Seersucker is a lightweight cotton fabric crinkled into lengthwise stripes.

Swiss is a sheer, very fine cotton that can be plain or decorated with dots or other designs.

Terry Cloth is a looped pile fabric that is either woven or knitted. Very absorbent and used for towels, etc. French terry cloth is looped on one side and sheared pile on the other.

Velveteen is an all cotton pile fabric with short pile resembling velvet

Whipcord Cotton Fabric is a strong cotton fabric with diagonal round cords that can also be produced in wool.

Glossary of Fabric Terms

ACETATE

A generic term for man-made fiber from cellulose acetate. Acetate yarn or thread has a silk like appearance, resists wrinkles and fading, and is low cost; used for dress and coat linings, blouses, lingerie, and shoe linings.  Acetate can shine from pressing and may snag easily. Acetate or triacetate is also further identified as acetate rayon or just rayon or viscose rayon.
 

ACRYLIC

A generic name for man-made fibers and yarns from acrylic resins; acrylics are easy to wash; dry quickly, resist wrinkles, moths, and mildew, and has a high resistance to sunlight. However, with increased heat the fibers progressively discolor and decompose. Often used for sweaters and hosiery.  Acrylic loves oil so such stains require special attention, generally removed with laundering. Wash cool, gentle agitation so (delicate cycle or hand). NO hot water or hot dryer – steam cleaning isn’t even recommended.  Woven items can line dry knitted should be dried flat. Cool iron only.
 

ALPACA

Type of yarn spun from an alpaca, a sheep like animal of the camel family, related to the llama, native to the Andes in South America; alpaca yarn is lustrous and shiny, similar to mohair. Alpaca is often used in sweaters, coats, gloves, scarfs and sometimes upholstery fabric.
 

ANGORA

Soft yarn made from the under hair of Angora goat or rabbit.  The fur fibers are usually blended with other fibers such as wool, silk, rayon or nylon and then spun.
 

BROCADE

Classification of fabric woven on the Jacquard loom giving design a raised appearance. Design is usually satin weave with background in satin, rib, or plain weave.  Launder according to fiber content.  Cross reference Jacquard.
 

BURLAP

Loosely constructed, plain woven fabric made of Jute or other minor bast fibers. Originally considered a utility fabric for bags and sacks. Also called Hessian in Great Britain and Europe. Cross reference Jute.
 

CASHMERE

An extremely soft luxurious fabric made from the hair of the cashmere goat, native to Kashmir in northwestern India, Tibet, Turkestan, Iran, Iraq, and China; used in sweaters, suits, and overcoats. Cashmere is often blended with other wools, silk, cotton and lycra.  We recommend laundering accordingly to the highest % of fiber content.
 

CHAURMEUSE

Lightweight, smooth, semi lustrous, soft fabric with a crepe back. Made of cotton, silk, or man-made fibers and may be dyed or printed; used for dresses.  This fabric is often confused with satin. Wash according to fabric content.
 

CHENILLE

Fabric made with fuzzy core yarns. Soft wool, silk, cotton, or rayon yarn with protruding pile. Popular in the 80’s in big sweaters now commonly used in upholstery fabrics. Wash according to fabric.
 

CHIFFON

A transparent and lightweight fabric originally made with silk now also made with man-made fabrics; nylon and rayon.  Wash according to fabric.
 

CHINO

A durable cotton, firmly woven with a fine twill fabric. Once only dyed yellowish tan or khaki for the army now a common fabric vat-dyed in many colors.
 

CHINTZ

Not a print or fabric – chintz is a glaze or shiny finish applied to medium weight printed or plain fabrics: usually on cotton or linen. The glazed fabric is usually printed with a brightly colored pattern or base cloth. Chintz gives the idea of a water resistant but is not resistant to laundering. The glaze will wash off after a number of washing and drying cycles.
 

COIR

A coarse fiber obtained from the husk, the fibrous outer shell of a coconut, used chiefly in making rope and matting. Commonly used in rugs.
 

CORDUROY

Ribbed cotton fabric; a heavy cotton fabric with a ribbed nap running lengthways.  Please reference cotton on chart for washing instructions – however, avoid ironing as to not crush the ribbed nap.
 

COTTON

Soft white vegetable fiber from ½ to 2 inches long, which comes from the fluffy boll of the cotton plant, grown in Egypt, India, China, and southern U.S. Cotton is one of the strongest and most washable fabrics and makes removing stains easier. Cotton fabrics can withstand hot temperatures for washing and ironing. Fabric shrinks due to relaxation of yarn tension; however there is a maximum shrinkage. Highly resilient to degradation, however chlorine and oxygen bleaches over prolonged use will cause degradation. Strong acids degrade cotton fiber found in air pollutants etc therefore fine and antique articles should be stored in acid free paper and boxes. The fibers are damaged by fungi such as mildew and bacteria. Heavily starched items attract silverfish, therefore cotton items should be stored unstarched and unironed. Moths and beetles do not attack or damage cotton. Prolonged exposure to sunlight causes cotton to yellow and gradually degrade. Biodegradable and ecologically sound.
 

CREPE

A variety of fabrics use this term. Crepe satin, crepe georgette, wool crepe, etc. All fabrics are related as they have a slightly pebbly texture. Some made with crepe yarns others artificially with embossing or chemical application. Wash according to fabric.
 

DOWN

Comes from fluffy soft fibers under the feathers of water fowl i.e. geese and ducks. Often used in winter jackets, comforters, pillows and cushions. See The Laundress washing chart link below.  Can be laundered in the washing machine and dried using the dryer. We recommend using the detergent can care corresponding with the outer shell material. Drying with tennis balls or clean shoes is recommended to deter clumping. Cross reference Fiberfill.
 

EMBROIDERY

Fancy needlework or trimming using colored yarn, embroidery floss, cotton, silk, or metallic thread usually done by hand. Wash according to fabric.
 

FELT

One of the ways shrinkage can take place.  Felting is unique to wool and other animal fibers. Felting takes place when a wool fabric is subjected to mechanical action when it is wet.  The fabric is shrinks, but it also undergoes characteristic changes in its structure. The fabric becomes thick and the fibers are matted into closely-packed masses.  The outline and character of the yarn pattern become indistinct, and the fabric loses much of its elasticity. Specifically, the tumbling or stirring actions of washing machines and any form of rubbing will cause felting. Some wool fabric felt more easily than others- a fluffy hand-knit sweater, for example, will felt more easily than a tightly-woven worsted flannel skirting.
 

FIBERS

A class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread.  They can be spun into filaments, string, or rope, used as a component of composite materials.
 

FIBERFILL

Generic term for material consisting of fluffy short fibers frequently made of polyester and used between two layers of fabric to make quilting, padding and blended with down. Will wash without mating. Good for people with allergies. Can be Laundered in the washing machine and dryer. We recommend using the detergent can care corresponding with the outer shell material.
 

FLAX

Vegetable or bast fiber from tissue between bark and woody fiber of a flax plant. Long fibers are called line linen and shorter fibers are called tow. Grown in Europe and Egypt. Flax becomes linen. Cross reference Linen.
 

GORE-TEX

A waterproof/breathable fabric and a registered trademark of W.L. Gore & Associates.  Gore-Tex materials are typically based on thermo-mechanically expanded materials.  Gore-Tex is best known for its use in protective, yet breathable rain wear. Gore-Tex is washable.
 

HEMP

A tough fiber of a tall Asiatic plant of the nettle family. Resistant to insects but damaged by mildew. Sunlight effects Hemp the same way it does Cotton. Cross reference Cotton.
 

JERSEY

A knitted textile made from cotton or wool and synthetics. Most common use of jersey is our basic t-shirt. Fabric is warm, stretchy, flexible and insulating. Cross reference Knit.
 

JUTE

A long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, family Tiliaceae. Jute is one of the cheapest natural fibres and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses. Jute fibres are composed primarily of the plant materials cellulose (major component of plant fibre) and lignin (major components wood fibre). It is thus a ligno-cellulosic fibre that is partially a textile fibre and partially wood. It falls into the bast fibre category (fibre collected from bast or skin of the plant) along with kenaf, industrial hemp, flax (linen), ramie, etc. Jute fibre is often called hessian; jute fabrics are also called hessian cloth and jute sacks are called gunny bags in some European countries. The fabric made from jute is popularly known as burlap in North America.
 

KNIT/KNITTING

A method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth. Knitting consists of loops called stitches pulled through each other. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them. Knitting may be done by hand or by machine. Different yarns and knitting needles may be used to achieve different end products by giving the final piece a different colour, texture, weight, or integrity. Using needles of varying sharpness and thickness as well as different varieties of yarn adds to the effect. Knitted items especially hand or lose knit are most volatile to shrinkage and distorting. Less agitation and less heat are best for care; therefore handwash and air dry in shape. Wash according to fabric content.
 

LAMBSWOOL

The hide of a sheep, also called lambskin or sheepskin.  Lambswool is used to produce sheepskin leather products and soft, wool-lined clothing or coverings, including gloves, hats, footstools, and automotive seat covers.
 

LINEN

Fibers of a flax plant, used to make linen yarn. Fabrics made of linen yarns in many qualities and many weights which are cooler, stronger and more absorbent than cotton. Linen yarns are very strong and highly washable like cotton. Good quality linen gets better with washing. Do not dry clean. Biodegradable and ecologically sound.  Reference Cotton for washing and properties.
 

LYCRA

Also known as spandex, or elastane, a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity.  It is stronger and more durable than rubber.  The most famous brand associated with spandex is Lycra, is used to describe any kind of spandex.  Lycra is a registered trademark of Du Pont. Fabrics are not composed entirely of Lycra, since only a small amount is need to provide stretch and recovery. When washing, follow our rule to wash accordingly to the higher fabric content.
 

LYOCELL

A fabric better known from its brand name Tencel. Made from cellulose or wood pulp, may be a mix of hardwood trees. Noted for its durability and strength. Natural fabric. Tends not to wrinkle, most require line drying. Wash according to delicates- do not use the dryer.
 

MERINO WOOL

Comes from an economically influenced breed of sheep prized for its wool.  Merinos are known as having the finest and softest wool of any sheep.  Wicking, odor resistant, breathable, temperature regulating, quick drying, lightweight, flame retardant, washable, soft, and comfortable and is regarded as one of the top performance fabrics used in the world for outdoor sports. Merino fibers have a complex structure with a hydrophobic exterior (water repelling) and hydrophilic interior (water holding).  This makes fiber dry to the touch, yet wicking moisture away from the body at the same time.
 

MODAL

A bio-based fiber made by spinning reconstructed cellulose from beech trees.  It is designed to dye just like cotton, and is color-fast when washed in warm water.  Modal is essentially a variety of rayon.  Textiles made from Modal are resistant to shrinkage and fading.  They are smooth and soft, more so than mercerized cotton, to the point where mineral deposits from hard water do not stick to the fabric.  Like pure cotton, modal is ideally ironed after washing.
 

MOHAIR

Hair of the Angora goat, course wiry yarn of mohair fibers popular for sweaters in the mid and late 60’s. Fabric made of 100% mohair or mohair and other fibers. The fibers must be indicated by the percentage on the label. For washing instructions, reference wool.
 

NYLON

Generic term for a man-made fiber made of long chain or synthetic polymides extracted coal and petroleum. Also known as the “strong man” fiber qualities include silky hand, strength, crease resistance, washability, and resistance to mildew and moths.  It can take an enormous amount of rubbing, flexing, scraping without wearing away.  It is susceptible to degradation by weak acids and sunlight.
 

POLYESTER

Generic name for man-made fibers made of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid (PET) which includes naturally occurring chemicals.  Natural polyesters and a few synthetic ones are biodegradable, but most synthetic polyesters are not. Polyester is generally shrinkproof, retains shape and is wrinkle and moth resistant. While combustible at high temperatures polyesters tend to shrink away from flames and self-extinguish upon ignition.  Polyester fibers have high tenacity as well as low water absorption and minimal shrinkage in comparison with other industrial fibers.  Polyester fabrics are claimed to have a “less natural” feel when compared to similarly-woven fabrics made from natural fibers.  Yarns are knitted or woven, often in blended fabrics with cotton or rayon.
 

RAMIE

A coarse fiber, ramie fabric is pure white and silk like in appearance.  Ramie does not have the fineness and softness sought in fabrics for apparel and interior uses, thus are usually blended with cotton, flax, silk, and some manufactured fibers. Ramie fibers are currently found in the United States in a wide variety of imported apparel items, especially sweaters, shirts, blouses, and suiting.  The plant from which ramie fiber is obtained is a tall shrub from the nettle family that requires a hot, humid climate for growth.  It grows primarily in the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, and Brazil.
 

RAYON

A manufactured regenerated cellulosic fiber.  Because it is produced from naturally occurring polymers, it is neither truly synthetic fiber nor natural fiber, it is a semi-synthetic fiber.  Rayon is known by the names of viscose rayon and art silk in the textile industry.  It usually has a high luster quality giving it a bright shine.  Rayon weakens while wet so it must be laundered properly- delicate cycle or hand wash, low/no heat, lay flat or hand to dry.  Light/low heat pressing or steamer. Can attract silverfish. Also see VISCOSE RAYON.
 

SATIN

A smooth, lustrous silk fabric woven with floating yarns in the warp in many variations. Made of silk, rayon, acetate, nylon, or combinations of these yarns. Wash according to fabric content.
 

SATEEN

A smooth, glossy cotton fabric made in the sateen weave with floating fillings on the right side, given a lustrous finish. Sateen or satin weave is commonly used in bedding. For washing instructions, reference cotton.
 

SILK

A natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best type of silk is obtained from cocoons made by the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori.  The shimmering appearance for which silk is prized comes from the fibers triangular prism-like structure which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles. Silks are produced by several insects, but only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacture. Silk fabric was first developed in ancient China, possibly as early as 6000 BC.
 

SPANDEX

A generic term for manmade fibers composed largely of segmented polyurethanes, which is stretchable, lightweight, and resistant to body acid. Cross reference Lycra.
 

TAFFETA

A term used for a classification of crisp fabrics with a fine, smooth surface usually made in the plain weave, sometimes with a small cross weave rib. Originally made in silk, now more commonly made with man-made fibers.  Wash according to fabric content.
 

TERRYCLOTH

An absorbent fabric made in the pile weave with uncut loops and a background weave of plain or twill. Usually made in cotton but now also made with man-made yarns. Sometimes woven in plaid, dobby, or jacquard patterns. May be yarn-dyed, bleached, piece-dyed, or printed.  For washing instructions and reference Cotton.
 

THINSULATE TM

A 60% polyolefin, 40% polyester microfilament insulation providing warmth equal to down or polyester insulation of close to twice the thickness. Does not absorb water. Wash according to fabric content.
 

TRIACETATE

A man-made fiber made from regenerated cellulose. Differ from acetate in that a much higher percentage of the cellulose has been acetylated- not less than 92%. Used particularly for knitted fabrics which have elasticity with good return, are easily washed, dry quickly, and need little or no pressing. Does not wrinkle easily.  Acetate or triacetate is also further identified as acetate rayon or just rayon or viscose rayon.
 

TULLE

Fine sheer net fabric made of silk, nylon, or rayon with hexagonal holes. Wash according to fabric content.
 

VELOUR

Soft, velvety thick pile originally made with all wool yarns now made of various fibers and yarns. Think warm-up suits. Wash according to fabric content.
 

VELVET

Textile term applied to several fabrics made from various fibers in different weights. These are cut and brushed to form a pile or left uncut.  Originally velvet was made of silk but now is made with cotton or man-made fibers. Wash according to fabric content.
 

VINYL

Man-made material that is non-porous plastic, tough, flexible, shiny, elastic, and can be transparent. Used for fabric coating and to produce materials resembling leather for boots, gloves, shoes, etc. Vinal fibers are used because of its flame resistant properties such as childrens sleepwear. Also resilient to insects and microorganisms. Oddly, vinyl fibers and vinyl copolymers shrink in perchlorethylene (the most common solvent used in dry-cleaning). Thus launder.
 

VISCOSE (or Rayon)

A manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber produced from naturally occurring polymers. It is neither a truly synthetic fiber nor a natural fiber, it is a semi-synthetic fiber. Rayon usually has a high luster quality giving it a bright shine. SEE RAYON.  NOTE: “Viscose Rayon” is the most volatile construction because it becomes weak when wet and is the least predictable fabric.
 

VOILE

Lightweight open weave fabric made of tightly combed yarns giving it a grainy feel. Originally made of cotton but now popular in blends of cotton/polyester. Wash according to fabric content.
 

WICKING

Refers to technical fabrics that move sweat away from the skin to the outer surface of the fabric, where it evaporates.
 

WOOL

The fiber derived from the specialized skin cells, called follicles, of the animals in the Caprinae, principally sheep.  The hair of other mammals such as goats, llamas, rabbits, and keeshonds may also be called wool. Wool is crimped, it is elastic, and it grows in clusters.  Because of the crimp, wool fabrics have a greater ability to retain air than other textiles, which causes the product to retain heat. Insulation works both ways.
 

WOVEN

Fabrics in which two or more sets of yarns are interlaced at right angles to each other. There are eleven structures or types of fabrics that fit into the woven category—plain-woven, twill, satin, leno, crepe woven, dobby, jacquard, pique, surface-figure, pile woven, and double-woven. Wash according to fabric content.
 

YARN

Textile term for fibers twisted together tightly enough for weaving purposes. The two basic types are a) staple yarn made from short fibers, ie. Cotton or wool carded to lay parallel, then twisted; b) continuous filament man-made yarn comprised of strands of indefinite length used singly or several filaments twisted together. Wash according to fabric content.
 

YARN-DYED

Describing fabric that is woven or knitted from yarns already dyed rather than gray goods dyed after weaving, ie. Checked gingham, striped chambray, and any tartan. Wash according to fabric content.

Sources:

Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion by Charlotte Mankey Caalasibetta, Ph.D. Fairchild Publications, New York, NY copyright 1988
Performance of Textiles by Dorothy Lyle copyright 1977 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Textile Science by Kathryn L. Hatch copyright 1993 West Publishing Company St. Paul Minnesota
Handbook of Textile Fibres by J.Gordon Cook I. Natural Fibres Merrow Publishing Co, LTD Copyright by J. Gordon Cook 1984
Handbook of Textile Fibres by J.Gordon Cook II. Man-Made Fibres Merrow Publishing Co, LTD Copyright by J. Gordon Cook 1984                 The Laundress Blog

Fabric Organization

How to Keep Strips of Fabric Neat and Tidy

Most quilters have leftover strips of fabric from quilting projects, and those strips can become a jumbled mess if you don't have some sort of system in place to keep them orderly. Here are some methods to use to keep strips of fabric organized.

~ Keep the strips organized by length in a plastic flatware tray -- the kind of tray that holds utensils in separate compartments. You can get these at the Dollar Store and they work perfectly.

~ Use clothes pins or bulldog clips to group the strips and hang the groups on a wire clothes hanger. The fabric is ready to use when you need it and can also be hung in a closet, out of the way, when you are not sewing.

~ Place strips of similar width and color family together and store them in clear plastic bins, marked with the strip width. Strips are easy to store as they lie flat, which prevents them from wrinkling or becoming distorted.

~ Purchase 6-8” metal rings at the local craft store. Fold the scrap in half and loop it around the ring. You can organize them by color, width or length this way.