Guide to Fabrics
Thank modern technology (and Mother Nature, of course) for the amazing variety of fabrics available to you. Now you can find the perfect fabric … with just the properties you want. Here's why:
Fabrics are made from natural or man-made fibers, blended into yarns and then knit or woven for the desired effect. What's more -- new fibers and manufacturing processes are always being introduced, giving you even more fabric choices!
And you can count on Blair to bring you the best of all those choices!
A Guide to Fibers
Fibers are thin hair-like structures that are either natural or man-made. They are the true building blocks of today's fabrics.
Natural fibers. These come from plants, animals or vegetables. Some natural fibers are: cotton, flax/linen, ramie, silk and wool.
Man-made fibers. These are either cellulosic (for example, rayon or lyocell) or non-cellulosic (such as nylon and polyester) fibers that are chemically produced and created through technology.
A Guide to Yarns
Yarns are continuous strands of textile fibers or material and are suitable for weaving or knitting into a fabric. Here are some helpful terms.
2-ply yarn – two yarns twisted together
3-ply yarn – three yarns twisted together
bouclé yarn – a novelty yarn with tightly twisted loops for rich texture
slub yarn – a yarn with a thick spot for variation in texture
chenille yarn – yarn with a core and pile-like surface for super softness
seed yarn – a yarn with a nub that is slightly twisted
denier – a numbering system for yarns; the higher the number, the thicker the yarn
carded – a yarn that contains a wide range of fiber lengths
combed – a yarn that contains long, even fibers that produces a stronger, finer and smoother effect
worsted – a yarn that is smooth surfaced and spun from long-staple, evenly combed wool
mercerized – a yarn that has been treated to increase luster and affinity for dyes
ring-spun – a yarn that has been twisted and wound simultaneously and continuously so that it's stronger.
warp – the yarns which run vertically or lengthwise in woven goods.
weft – the crosswise or filling pick yarns in a woven cloth.
A Guide to Finishes
Today’s popular finishes give fabrics a new look, superb comfort and great performance!
Acid Wash finish -- garment is treated with chemicals to alter the color of indigo denim fabrics.
Brushed finish -- knit or woven fabrics are finished with brushes or other abrading devices to raise a nap on the fabric or create a novelty surface texture.
Enzyme Wash finish -- garment is washed with enzymes with the goal to ‘age’ the fabric so that it looks and feels much softer
Garment Wash finish -- garment is washed producing a soft, already worn feel
Heat-Set finish -- heating treatment is applied to stabilize many man-made fiber fabrics so that there will not be any subsequent change in shape or size
Stain-Resistant finish -- treatment, usually Teflon®, is applied to fabric to help repel water and stains
Stonewash finish -- garment is washed with stones with the goal to ‘age’ the fabric so that it looks worn and feels much softer
Water-Resistant finish -- fabric is treated chemically to resist water or given a "wax-coating treatment" to make it repellent. Not to be confused with "water-repellent".
Wrinkle-Free finish -- treatment is applied to fabric, primarily cottons, to produce a permanent crease requiring little or no ironing
Wrinkle-Resistant finish -- treatment is applied to fabric, primarily cottons, to produce a prominent crease and a crisp look with just light ironing