Sanding/Emerising: A fabric finishing process where fabrics are sanded (real sandpaper) to make the surface soft without hair. Can be performed before or after dying.
Sanforize: A Cluett Peabody and Company trademark for the preshrinking fabric process that limits residual fabric shrinkage to less than 1%. Developed in the late 1920’s by the sanforize Co. the process was used on the garments in Wranglers first jeans line in 1947.
Sand Blast: A laundry process where jeans before washing are literally shot with guns of sand in order to make the jeans look as if they have been worn. While originally done only by hand, this processing has recently become automated. Chemicals are also now used in many laundries replacing sand.
Satin and Sateen: A fabric weave where one yarn floats over a series of yarns before it interlaces once. When the warp floats over a series of picks (at least four) the fabrics is called satin. When the filling floats over a series of ends the fabric is called sateen. Satin weaves make fabric surface shiny and very smooth.
Scouring: An industrial process where dirt or starch (oil, grease, and sizing) is taken off fabrics.
Screening: A laundry process where jeans are checked for quality, repaired, price tagged and packed.
Sea Island Cotton: Sea Island cotton is one of the best cotton fibres, known for its silky feel, and luster and long 1 ¾ inch staple.
Selvage Denim: Old 28/29 inch shuttle looms produced denim where selvages were closed. Vintage Levi’s jeans had a single red stripe along both selvages, Lee’s had a blue/green along one, and Wrangler’s was yellow. When vintage shopping for Jeanswear check jackets and jeans for selvages because there are a great clue to the real thing!
Shade Batching: The process of selecting batches of fabrics into homogeneous shade lots to obtain consistent color continually in garment making.
Shuttle: The weft insertion device that propels the filling yarn across (over and under) the warp yarns. Shuttles used to be (shuttle looms) wooden with a metal tip.
Silicone: Silicones are silicon-containing polymer materials that have found wide use in industry because of their great stability. They are available as fluids, sealant-adhesives, mouldable resins, and rubbers. When the first silicone oil was made in the 1870’s its insensitivity to both high and low temperatures were noted, but the first silicones rubbers were not invented until 1943. In the 1950’s silicones were developed commercially for the aerospace and electronics industries but rapidly found other applications, especially construction. Some fluid silicones are used in garment finishing giving a smooth handle to fabrics.
Silk: Silk is the filament secreted by the silkworm when spinning its cocoon, and the name for the threads, yarns, and fabrics made from the filament. Most common commercial silk is produced by the cultivated silkworm, Bombyx mori, which feeds exclusively on the leaves of certain varieties of mulberry trees and spins a thin, white filament. Several species of wild silkworm feed on oak, cherry, and mulberry leaves and produce a brown hairy filament that is three times the thickness of the cultivated filament and is called tussah silk.
Singeing: A phase of finishing when the fabric surface hair is burnt or singed using a controlled flame to give a clean appearance to the fabrics.
Sizing: Starch, gelatin, glue, was that is added to fabrics in the finishing state to improve touch or weight and to help fabric lying in the cutting phase. Denim fabrics for example have almost 1 oz of sizing. Sizing is also applied to reinforce warp yarns during weaving. Most common starches used are corn in the United Sates, rice in Asia, and potatoes in Europe, or PHOH and other chemical substances. Look out for fabrics containing P.C. P a highly toxic chemical still used sometimes as sizing agent.
Skewing: Twill fabrics have to be ensured not to skew or not unroll.
Slasher Dyed: One of the three methods to dye indigo yarn.
Slub Yarn: A yarn that is spun purposely to look irregular in shape (length and diameter). Usually slub yarns are very regular in repeat and size.
Spandex (PU): Generic name for man-made fibres delivered from a resin called segmented polyurethane. It has good stretch and recovery properties.
Spinning: Spinning is the process by which cotton, wool. Flax, and other short fibres are twisted together to produce a yarn or thread suitable for weaving into cloth, winding into rope or cable, or used in sewing. (Long, continues fibres, such as silk, are not spun. To achieve strength and the appropriate thickness, they are thrown, or twisted, together.)
Staple: Short lengths of fibers, normally measured in inches or fraction of inches, like those naturally found in cotton or wool. Silk, on the other hand, is the only natural fiber that does not come in staple lengths but instead in filament lengths.
Stone Wash: A type of wash where jeans are abraded with stones.
S-Twist Yarn: A left-handed twisted yarn. See also ‘Z-twist’.
Sulphur: A type of dyestuff used frequently on blacks, and neutrals (khaki’s) while economical, has only moderate fastness to washing and light.
Supima: The name “Pima” was applied to extra long staple American cotton (previously called American-Egyptian) developed in the U.S. desert southwest in the early 1900’s. The name was given in honor of the Pima Indians who were helping to raise the extra ling staple cotton on the USDA experimental farm in Sacaton, Arizona.
Synthetic Dyes: In 1856 William Henry Perkin, an English chemist, discovered the synthetic dye mauveine. From this day forward, synthetic dyestuffs began to supplant natural dyes. The synthetic-dye manufacturing industry was founded by Perkin in 1857, when he set up facilities near London for te commercial production of mauveine and, later, of other synthetic dyes. Other dye-making factories followed both in the U.K. and continental Europe, and new dyes began to appear on the market.
Synthetic Fibers: Chemicals combined into large molecules called polymers, produce fibers like nylon, polyester, spandex, acrylic, modacrylic, olefin, saran, and vinyon.
Tencel: A cellulose fiber invented by Courtaulds using non-chemical solvent. It was originally developed to produce viscose fibers without polluting the environment. The end result was a new fiber which was not only environmentally friendly (more than any other fiber) but also featured very high strength and a wonderful touch.
Textiles: A general term used from the latin textere “to weave”. Used today to describe all woven and knitted materials.
Textile Industry: Derived from the latin “textere” (to weave) and originally used to describe woven fabrics, textiles and has become a general term for fibers, yarns, and other materials that can be made into fabrics as well as for woven or knitted fabrics. Threads, cords, ropes, braids, lace, embroidery, nets, bonding, felting, or tufting are textiles.
Textile Finishing: The non coloring process to make woven of kntted fabric more acceptable to the consumer. Finishing processes include bleaching prior to dying, treatments, sizing applied after dying affecting touch treatments adding properties to enhance performance, such as preshrinking. Greige fabric is generally dirty, harsh, unattractive and requires considerable skill and imagination for conversion into a desirable product. Italian textile mills are famous as being the best finishers in the world.
Trevia: A branded type of polyester, produced by Hoechst Fibers Inc. It offers better pilling performance than regular polyester.
Twill: The term twill designates both a textile weave characterized by diagonal structural designs and the cloth made from that weave. The weave may be varied to produce broken or intertwining fabrics. Twill fabrics are usually firm and are used especially in suits and in sport and work clothes. Twill-weave fabrics are also used for linings, pockets, and mattress ticking. Serge, gabardine, and cheviot are major types of twill.
Uneven Yarn: Ring spun yarn is by nature never perfectly regular. These irregularities can be used to give character to the yarn and subsequently to the fabric. It can be either light to give a natural appearance or pronounced, to give and “antique: effect. Even Open end yarns can sometimes reproduce the antique effect, although they are very regular and cannot give a natural effect.
Velour: A knit or woven fabric with a thick, short, cut pile
Velvet: A fabric with a short, closely woven pile, originally made of silk, it is today made of rayon, nylon acrylic cut pile fibers.
Virgin Fibers: Fibers never made into fabric before, primarily used for wool fibers (virgin wool) to differentiate between these and reclaimed, reprocessed and reused fibers.
Vicose Rayon: See Rayon
Wales: They are a series of ribs or ridges usually running lengthwise on woven fabrics. The describe the pile ribs found on corduroy.
Warp: The lengthwise, vertical yarns carried over and under the weft yarns. Warp yarns generally have more twist than weft yarns because they are subjected to more strain in the weaving process and therefore require more strength.
Weft (filling): The lengthwise, selvage to selvage horizontal, yarns carried over and under the warp. Filling yarns generally have less twist than warp yarns because they are subjected to less strain in the weaving process and therefore require less strength. In pile-fabric constructions, such as velvet or velveteen, extra sets or warps are used to form the pile. A single filling yarn is known as a pick.
Width: One of the most controversial issues in the fabric sale; it can be “selvage to selvage”, where the width value is inclusive of selvages, or “usable” where the value indicates the fabric effectively cuttable.
Wrangler: Jeans manufactured by a company called Blue Bell (Blue Bell overall established in North Carolina in 1904, changed its name to Blue Bell Company in 1925 and eventually became the biggest work wear company in the world!). After the war, in 1947, Blue Bell started manufacturing jeans for cowboys. The first model was No. 11MW.
X-Dyed Fabrics: Cross dyed fabrics present a two color weave , obtained using different color yarns in the warp ad weft.
XX: The original denim fabric used by Lev’s for the production of their 501 jeans. According to the legend, he name 501 is derived from the lot number of this fabric.
Yarn: A generic term for a continuous strand spun from a group of natural or synthetic staple fibers or filaments used in weaving, knitting to form textile fabrics.
Yarn Dyed: Or color wovens, are fabrics produced with yarns already dyed prior to the weaving process.