Clothing Answers

What are different types of fabric?

Fabric and Cloth

There is an enormous variety in fabrics, with many different national, historical and regional varieties. It is interesting to note, however, that almost all of the types of fabric listed below are variants or blends of just five basic fabric types (silk, cotton, linen, wool and worsted). Many of the terms are foreign in origin; English orthography has been adopted where it exists.

Fabric
Description
aba
garment of camel or goat hair; camel or goat-hair fabric
aerophane
thin crinkled semi-transparent fabric
alepine
mixed wool and silk or mohair and cotton fabric
alpaca
fine wool made from alpaca hair
angora
silk-like fabric made from wool of angora goats
ardass
fine silk
armure
twilled woollen or silk fabric
arrasene
embroidery fabric of wool and silk
atlas
rich satin fabric
baft
cheap coarse cotton fabric
bagging
coarse fabric for making bags or sacks
baize
coarse napped cotton or wool fabric
balbriggan
knitted cotton fabric
baldachin
rich embroidered silk and gold fabric
balzarine
light cotton dress material
barathea
pebbly silk or worsted fabric with broken rib weave
barege
gauzy fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or worsted
barracan
fine silk cloth
barras
coarse linen fabric
barrateen
some kind of fabric
batiste
fine soft sheer fabric of plain weave
bayadere
fabric with horizontal stripes in strongly contrasting colours
beaupers
linen fabric used for flags
bengaline
crosswise ribbed fabric
bombazine
twilled silk and worsted fabric
borato
thin fabric
bouclé
fabric of uneven looped yarn
brilliantine
light lustrous cotton and worsted fabric
broadcloth
dense twilled wool or worsted fabric
brocade
rich silk fabric with raised patterns
buckram
stiff-finished cotton or linen used for linings of garments
bump
coarse cotton fabric
bunting
light loosely woven fabric used for flags
burdet
cotton fabric
burlap
coarse plain-woven jute or hemp fabric
burnet
dark brown; dark woollen cloth
burrel
coarse russet cloth
calamanco
satin twilled woollen fabric
calico
plain white cotton
camaca
fine silk fabric
cambresine
fine linen fabric
cambric
fine thin white cotton or linen fabric
camlet
strong waterproof silk or wool fabric
caneva
fancy woollen fabric made to resemble canvas
canque
Chinese cotton fabric
cashmere
soft twilled fabric made of fine goat's wool
cashmerette
soft imitation of cashmere
cassimere
closely woven twilled cloth of fine wool
cendal
silk fabric resembling taffeta
challis
soft lightweight silk, wool or cotton fabric
chambray
lightweight fabric with coloured warp and white filling
chamois
cotton fabric made in imitation of chamois leather
charmante
silk fabric with a crepe back
charmeuse
soft and satiny silk fabric
chenille
velvety silk, wool or cotton fabric with protruding pile
cheviot
coarse heavy plain or twilled wool or worsted
chiffon
sheer silk fabric
chino
strong twilled cotton cloth
chintz
glazed printed cotton fabric
cire
fabric with a glazed finish
cloque
fabric with an embossed design
coburg
thin single-twilled worsted fabric with cotton or silk
cordovan
soft goatskin leather
corduroy
durable cotton piled fabric with vertical ribs
crash
coarse drapery and towelling fabric
crepe
light crinkled fabric
crepon
heavy crepe fabric with lengthwise crinkles
cretonne
heavy cotton or linen cloth
crin
horsehair fabric
crinoline
stiff flax or cotton fabric
cubica
fine unglazed fabric resembling shalloon
cypress
silk or cotton gauze fabric, usually black
damask
fine lustrous fabric with flat patterns and a satin weave
delaine
light fabric of wool or mixed wool and cotton
denim
firm and durable twilled cotton
dimity
sheer and stout white cotton
domett
plain cotton-wool blend
dornick
stout linen
dowlas
coarse linen
drabbet
coarse linen
drap-de-Berry
old woollen cloth
dreadnought
heavy woollen cloth
drill
durable twilled cotton
droguet
ribbed woollen dress fabric
drugget
coarse durable wool fabric
ducape
plain-woven stout silk fabric
duck
durable closely woven cotton fabric
duffel
fabric of thick, low-quality woolen cloth
dungaree
heavy coarse durable twilled cotton, usually coloured
dupion
coarse silk
duroy
coarse woollen
duvetyn
smooth lustrous velvety fabric
ecarlate
fine woollen cloth, usually dyed scarlet
éolienne
fine silk and wool
etamine
light open-mesh cotton or worsted
eyelet
small hole in fabric to allow passage of a cord; cotton fabric with small holes
faille
shiny closely woven silk, cotton or rayon fabric
farandine
silk and wool cloth
filoselle
coarse floss silk
flannel
light woollen fabric
foulard
soft lightweight plain-woven or twilled silk fabric
foulé
light woollen fulled cloth
frieze
rough heavy woollen cloth
fuji
plain spun silk fabric
fustian
coarse twilled cotton
gabardine
closely woven cotton or wool twill
galatea
striped cotton
gambroon
twilled worsted and cloth
gazar
silk organza fabric
genappe
smooth worsted yarn
georgette
thin silk
gingham
striped cotton cloth
grenadine
thin silk
grogram
coarse loosely woven silk fabric
grosgrain
heavy close-woven corded silk
gulix
kind of fine linen
harn
coarse linen
herringbone
twilled fabric woven in rows of parallel sloping lines
hodden
coarse undyed woollen cloth
holland
coarse plain-woven cotton or linen
hopsack
rough-surfaced loose fabric
houndstooth
fabric with an irregular checked pattern
huckaback
absorbent cotton or linen used for towels
jaconet
stout cotton cloth
jacquard
intricately-woven variegated fabric; loom for making jacquard
jaspe
cotton or rayon cloth with shaded effect
jean
durable twilled cotton material
jersey
plain weft-knitted fabric of wool, cotton, nylon or silk
kalamkari
fabric coloured by repeated dyeing
kelt
coarse fabric made of black and white wool
kente
hand-woven African silk fabric
kersey
coarse woollen cloth
kerseymere
twilled fine wool
khaddar
homespun cotton cloth
kincob
embroidered silk with gold and silver threads
lamé
fabric in which metallic threads are interwoven
lasting
sturdy cotton or worsted cloth
lawn
fine sheer plain-woven cotton or linen
leno
open-woven fabric
linsey
coarse linen and wool blend
linsey-woolsey
thin coarse fabric of wool and linen
lockram
coarse linen
loden
heavy waterproof woollen fabric
lustring
glossy silk
lutestring
plain glossy silk
mackinaw
heavy napped and felted wool cloth
mackintosh
lightweight rubberized waterproof cotton
madapollam
fine cotton cloth
madras
fine plain-woven cotton or silk
marabout
thin downy silk
marcella
cotton or linen in twill weave
marocain
ribbed crepe fabric
marquisette
sheer meshed cloth
matelassé
having a quilted ornamentation; fabric with raised pattern as if quilted
melton
strong and smooth heavy woollen cloth
merino
soft wool of the merino sheep; any soft merino-like wool or wool and cotton cloth
messaline
soft lightweight silk with a satin weave
mockado
inferior quality woollen fabric
mogadore
ribbed silk used in making neckties
mohair
fabric made from silky hair of angora goats
moire
watered silk
moleskin
heavy durable cotton
moreen
stout corded wool or cotton
mousseline
fine sheer fabric
mull
soft fine sheer cotton or silk fabric
muslin
plain-woven fine cotton
musterdevillers
archaic mixed grey woollen cloth
nainsook
fine cotton fabric
nankeen
buff-coloured; durable buff-coloured cotton
needlecord
thinly ribbed cotton
ninon
silk voile or other thin fabric
organdie
fine translucent cotton
organza
transparent thin silk or nylon
orleans
interwoven cotton and worsted
osnaburg
coarse linen or cotton
ottoman
heavy clothing fabric with crosswise ribs
oxford
soft durable plain-woven cotton
paduasoy
corded silk
paisley
soft wool fabric with ornamental pattern
panne
heavy lustrous silk or rayon with waxy feel
paramatta
worsted and cotton blend
pashmina
fine goat's wool fabric used for making shawls
pekin
fine soft silk
pellicule
thin diaphanous fabric
percale
closely woven lightweight cloth
percaline
glossy lightweight cotton
perse
dark blue or bluish-grey; cloth of such a colour
piqué
stiff durable corded fabric of cotton, rayon or silk
platilla
fine white linen
plissé
fabric with puckered finish
pongee
thin soft fabric woven from raw silk
poodle
coarsely looped or nubby fabric
poplin
corded woven silk and worsted
prunella
strong and heavy silk or wool
rabanna
raffia fabric of Madagascar
ramie
strong lustrous fabric resembling linen or silk
raploch
coarse undyed woollen cloth
raschel
light loosely kitted cloth
ratiné
rough bulky plain-woven fabric
rep
plain-woven fabric with crosswise ribs
reticella
old Venetian lace-like fabric
romal
handkerchief or headcloth; silk or cotton fabric
rumchunder
fine silk
russel
ribbed cotton and wool
russet
coarse homespun cloth
sagathy
light blend of silk and cotton or wool
samite
rich and heavy silk, sometimes interwoven with gold or silver
sarsenet
fine and soft silk; soft or gentle
satara
ribbed lustred wool
sateen
glossy cotton or wool
satin
closely woven silk with lustrous face
satinet
thin silk satin or imitation thereof
saxony
fine soft woollen fabric
say
delicate woollen fabric
scarlet
fine cloth
scrim
durable plain-woven cotton fabric
seersucker
light puckered cotton or linen fabric
sempiternum
durable wool
sendal
thin silk or linen
serge
strong twilled worsted
shalloon
light twilled wool or worsted
shantung
plain rough silk or cotton
sharkskin
smooth durable wool or worsted fabric
shetland
lightweight loosely twisted wool fabric
shoddy
woollen fabric made from rags
sicilienne
ribbed silk
silesia
thin twilled cotton or linen
silkaline
soft light cotton fabric resembling silk
sindon
fine linen
stammel
coarse woollen fabric, usually dyed red; bright red colour
stockinette
soft elastic cotton fabric
surah
soft twilled silk or rayon
swansdown
heavy napped cotton flannel
swanskin
soft napped fabric resembling flannel
tabaret
striped watered silk and satin fabric
tabby
plain-woven silk taffeta fabric
tabinet
silk and wool watered fabric
taffeta
thin glossy silk
tamin
thin glazed worsted
tamis
thin wool
tarlatan
thin sheer stiff cotton
terry
piled fabric consisting of uncut loops
ticking
strong linen or cotton fabric used for mattress and pillow cases
tiffany
transparent silk-like gauzy fabric
tiretaine
wool cloth mixed with cotton or linen
toile
plain or simple twilled fabric
tricolette
silk or rayon knitted fabric
tricot
plain knitted silk or woollen fabric
tricotine
double-twilled worsted fabric
tulle
sheer and delicate thin silk
tussah
brownish silk fabric
tweed
rough twilled wool
twill
any diagonally woven fabric
velour
piled velvety cotton
veloutine
velvety corded wool
velvet
soft piled fabric of silk, cotton or synthetic material
velvetine
cotton with silk pile
vicuna
fabric made from wool of the vicuna, a small ruminant
voile
soft fine sheer fabric
wadmal
thick coarse wool
whipcord
fabric with bold twill used for making dresses
wigan
stiff plain-woven cotton
wincey
plain or twilled cotton
woolsey
cotton and wool blend
worcester
fine wool
worsted
fine closely-woven wool
zanella
mixed twilled umbrella fabric
zephyr
lightweight wool or worsted fabric; the west wind
zibeline
soft piled wool
Hots dresses