fabric Technologies glossary of terms

glossary of terms


Laminate is a shortened, and often confused word for laminated – layers that are bonded together.


A coating is a material which when applied to a surface, then cured or dried, yields a thin film. For example, a Microporous Poly Urethane coating is applied to an outer face fabric to make it both waterproof and breathable. (think paint).


A membrane is a selective barrier; It allows some things to pass through but stops others. For example, a microporous membrane will allow water vapour to pass through but not water droplets. Membranes are bonded to other materials to produce a laminate. (think wallpaper).

DWR - Durable Water Repellent

A treatment applied to the outer face of fabrics to make them water repellent. (Hydrophobic).


Poly-Urethane used as a layer of coating on the face fabric of a garment. It is a versatile and abrasion resistant layer that is used to provide waterproofing qualities.


Laminate or coating which has millions of tiny pores too small for liquid moisture to get through, but considerably larger than molecules of water vapour, which pass easily through the material via gas phase diffusion.


A single layer. A monolithic waterproof membrane transports water molecules through diffusion (diffusion is a process by which a substance at a high concentration is transported to a region of lower concentration).


Water loving


Water hating


A smooth, crisp plain woven fabric.


A strong plain woven fabric with a corded surface.

Plain weave

The warp and weft are aligned so they produce a simple criss-cross pattern (1 over 1)


Made of two different components/materials. Dir-Release is a bi-component yarn, Dri-zone is a bi-component fabric.


A two-layered cloth.


Absorb or draw off by capillary action. The test for wicking is to place a droplet of water on a fabric and time how it takes for the drop to disappear.


Is a knit fabric, named after Jersey, Channel Islands where the fabric was first produced in medieval times. Usually light-weight, stretchy with one side flat and one piled.


A weave that contains slight lumps and imperfections to add visual interest and a textured hand.


An apparatus with perforated cards, fitted to a loom to facilitate the weaving of intricate patterns.


A process of lightly abrading the face of a fabric. The teased broken fibre ends create a soft hand.


A type of warp knitting (a family of knotting methods in which the yarn zig-zags along the length of the fabric). It gives it a very soft and “drapey” texture.

Cationic Polyester

A polyester that is suitable for using cationic dyes. These dyes are deep and vibrant, can achieve cross-dying effects.