GLOSSARY

ACETATE

A silky fiber made from cellulose (wood pulp). Often blended with other fibers to give sheen and drape, or woven into a satin fabric for linings.

ALPACA

The fine fleece of the alpaca, cousin to the llama. Alpaca is warmer and lighter than wool yet stronger and far more durable. The fineness of alpaca hair and its hollow, insulating core give alpaca fiber a smooth, velvety hand and cloud-weight softness.

BABY ALPACA

The first shearing of the alpaca animal. Yields the softest and finest fiber, but in smallest quantity.

BOUCLE
Boucle

A type of yarn which has looped or crimped fibers, giving it an irregular nubby surface.

BRUSHED FINISH
Brushed Finish

Done after the knitting or weaving process: raises loose fiber ends without breaking the yarn.

CHARMEUSE

A smooth, lustrous fabric of silk; like satin.

COMBED COTTON
Combed Cotton

Cotton which has had all short fibers and impurities removed from long cotton fibers that have been carded. Combed yarn is finer, smoother, stronger, and more compact than carded cotton.

FULL-FASHION KNIT

The shaping of knitted fabric as it is being knitted (without subsequent cutting). Stitches are reduced or increased to form a shape, usually at the hip or for set-in sleeves. A difficult process, indicates quality.

GEORGETTE

A sheer, durable, slightly crinkled silk fabric.

HANDCROCHET
Handcrochet

A kind of needlework in which loops of yarn are interwoven using a single hooked needle.

HANDFRAMED / HANDLOOMED

A garment that has been produced on a hand knitting machine or loom. This is still a manual process and involves no automation. Includes jacquard knits.

HANDKNIT
Handknit

A garment knit by an individual with two knitting needles. This type of knitting is the most time-consuming, and usually results in slightly irregular, handmade stitches.

HEATHERED YARNS

Each ply of yarn has different color fibers.

IKAT

A weaving technique, originally from Asia, in which a pattern is created from tie-dyed thread.

INTARSIA KNIT
Intarsia Knit

The colors are tied off on the inside of the sweater, creating a flat knit fabric with patterns knitted in solid colors, so that both sides of the fabric are alike, a characteristic that distinguishes intarsia from jacquard knitting. Intarsia can be machine or handknit.

INTERLOCK KNIT
Interlock Knit

A double-knit, plain-stitched fabric that is similar to a jersey, except both front and back of fabric look identical. Interlock is a variation of rib knit construction. The resulting fabric is extremely soft, firm and absorbent.

JACQUARD KNIT
Jacquard Knit

The yarn colors are carried across the sweater, creating floats. Floats are the yarns that are loose on the inside of the sweater. Jacquards are usually made by handlooming. Some industrial jacquard knitting produces floatless fabrics.

JERSEY KNIT
Jersey Knit

A plain stitch knitted cloth which is made on circular, flatbed or warp knitting machines. Very elastic with good draping qualities like a T-shirt, has no distinct rib.

LINEN

Linen is a natural luxury fiber that has been produced from the blue-flowered flax plant for more than 3500 years. Linen is highly breathable and cool to the skin and becomes softer with repeated washings. It is one of the few fibers that has a greater breaking strength wet than dry.

LINKS KNIT
Links Knit

Knit vertically with a very lightweight yarn. Very breathable and flexible.

LLAMA

Cousin to the alpaca and vicuña, the llama is raised as a beast of burden as well as a source of fiber. Llama wool is generally coarser than alpaca fiber.

LYCRA

The trademark for spandex fiber. Added to pima cotton and other fiber knits for shape retention.

MACHINE KNIT

Fabric made on a knitting machine, then cut and sewn into garments.

MERCERIZED COTTON
Mercerized Cotton

A finishing process for cotton yarn or fabric, which results in a stronger and more lustrous yarn that takes dye better with brighter, deeper colors.

MERINO WOOL
Merino Wool

A very fine, high-quality wool from the Merino breed of sheep, raised extensively in Uruguay.

MILANO STITCH

A smooth, sturdy machine knit often used in tailored, full-fashion knit pieces.

ORGANZA

A sheer, somewhat stiff fabric, usually of rayon or silk.

OTTOMAN STITCH
Ottoman Stitch

A knit stitch that looks like horizontal, overlapping tiers.

PICOT
Picot

A series of small loops, usually crocheted, to form an ornamental edging.

PILE

A woven fabric with a soft, velvety finish and fur-like nap, made by cutting looped yarns to a uniform length.

PIMA COTTON

An ultralong staple (1 5/8") length cotton native to the Piura coastal region of Northern Peru. Classified as a precious fiber owing to its extremely soft hand and the scarcity of the harvest.

PIQUE
Pique

A knit fabric that is characterized by its waffle-like appearance.

PLIED YARNS

Ply yarn is formed by twisting together 2 or more single yarns. The number of single yarns utilized is indicated as 2-ply, 3-ply, etc.

PURL FABRIC OR PLAIN KNITTING

A knit fabric made on a flat knitting machine, rather than circular.

REEMBROIDERY
Reembroidery

Embroidery added to a finished sweater to add dimension and enhance detail.

SATEEN

A soft woven cotton cloth made with yarns that are usually mercerized. Has a very smooth, lustrous surface that resembles satin.

SHAKER STITCH

A heavyweight rib knit fabric developed by members of the Shaker sect.

SILK

Silk is a lustrous natural fiber that is obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm larva. Clothes made from silk are not only strong and lightweight, they are also warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather. Silk may be woven or knit into a variety of shimmery fabrics, and blends beautifully with other fibers.

TANGUIS COTTON

A unique variety of cotton that grows in Peru's Cañete Valley on the Pacific coast. Long fibered, very soft, and takes dyes beautifully.

TWEEDED YARNS

Each ply is one color and the plies are twisted together to make multicolored yarn.

VICUNA

Once an endangered species, the vicuña is the wild relative of the alpaca and llama. The vicuña has a fine, tawny coat with a cream-colored chest, legs and belly. Its sumptuous fleece is the finest and most valuable fiber in the world, with each fiber measuring just 12 microns in diameter—finer than the most select cashmere, and a third the diameter of sheep’s wool. Through strict protection measures, their populations have rebounded. Vicuñas may be shorn every two years, in a "chaccu" in which the vicuñas are herded into pens and are carefully sheared and released unharmed.

VISCOSE

A rayon fabric that drapes well and is soft after washing. Takes dye very well, allowing for brilliant colors.

WOOL

Wool is the fiber produced as the outer coat of sheep. Its insulation properties can be used to keep body warmth in or to keep heat out. Wool is very durable and has been used for thousands of years to produce clothing and other fabrics. The fiber diameter of wool varies greatly, depending on the breed of sheep.

WOOLEN YARNS
Woolen Yarns

Yarn spun from wool fibers that have been carded several times, but not combed. Soft, bulky, often napped.

WORSTED YARNS

Leaner, smoother yarn. The fibers are carded followed by combing to remove short fibers. Stronger than woolen yarns.