Glossary of terms used on this site

Worshipful Company of Weavers

Obtained from The Worshipful Company of Weavers

Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)


Term Main definition
dacca muslin

A very fine quality of muslin produced in Bangladesh. Traditionally the cotton yarn was handspun to 400s cotton count. Ten yards of this fabric would weigh only three or four ounces.


Also known as decating. A process used to improve the handle and appearance of fabrics usually containing wool. The fabric, interleaved with a cotton canvas wrapper forming an endless belt, is wound tightly round a perforated roller through which steam is passed under pressure.


The removal of grease, sometimes known as suint, natural fats, oil and dirt from wool by organic or synthetic solvents. degumming The process of removing of sericin (the gum) from silk filament, silk yarn, cloth or silk waste prior to spinning, by controlled hot, mildly alkaline treatment without effecting the fibroin. See discharging.


A direct fixed length count system to determine the size of a filament yarn. Denier is the number of grams per 9000 metres of yarn. The word denier comes from denarius, a Roman coin dating from AD 14, having a diameter of 18mm and was the forerunner of the French denier coin. See count.


A hard wearing cotton twill cloth originally woven in Nimes in Southern France where it was known as serge de Nimes and used as sail cloth for ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The warp is usually a hard twist indigo dyed cotton yarn with a softer undyed yarn in the weft. Woven in either a compact 2-and 1 or 3-and 1 twill weave. Used in recent years in the manufacture of jeans is also ideal for making work cloths and uniforms. There are some lightweight striped cloths, similar to denim called galatea (multi-coloured) and fodens (blue and white) traditionally used for fishmongers\', butchers\' and milkmen\'s aprons.


The space between two adjacent wire in a reed. The number of dents per inch determines the sett of the warp. Also known as split.

design paper

Sometimes referred to as point paper. Paper ruled with vertical and horizontal lines to form equally spaced squares divided by heavy ruling in blocks of eight. Used to show weaves or designs in diagrammatic form. designer\'s blanket Also known as a pattern blanket. A cloth woven with a number of warps, usually of a specific range of yarns either in solid colours or in stripes and woven with the same range of weft colours or stripes in the weft in the same sequence as the warp. See blanket.


A process of printing with certain chemical printing pastes onto specially structured cloths to produce burnt-out effects or sheer areas of a fabric. Fabrics constructed from blends containing nylon and viscose, nylon and cotton, nylon and cuprammonium rayon can be printed with: 15 20% Aluminium Sulphate, 20 15% water, 5% glycerine, 60% thickening. Bake the cloth after printing for 25 seconds at 165°-180°C. Wash off in hot water and follow with neutralizing treatment in 1gm to 1 gallon sodium carbonate at 45° C for 10 minutes. Rinse well in cold water and dry.


Durrie or dari -A reversible flat, plain weave floor covering usually made with a hard twist cotton warp, also forming a fringe, and either cotton, wool or silk weft.


A light weight, sheer, plain weave cotton cloth with well defined, raised warp. From the Greek word dismitos (dis = twice; mitos = warp threads).

direct count

Direct fixed length count (numbering) system. The number of weight units per length unit. See count.

direct dye

Of all the types of dye available for dyeing cotton direct dyes are the simplest to use. They can easily be applied to cotton or other cellulosic fibres without the need of pre-treatment or mordant, by heating the dye solution and adding common salt or Glauber\'s salt to increase dye take-up. Poor to moderate fastness to wet treatments. Light fastness varies from poor to very good according to group, for example:

  • Moderate light fastness: Chlorazol (ICI), Diphenyl (Ciba-Geigy), Benzo (Bayer)
  • High light fastness: Durazol (ICI), Chlorantine fast (Ciba-Geigy), Sirius supra (Bayer)
discharge (printing)

Method of printing with bleaching or colour-destroying chemicals on dyed fabric to produce white areas. Coloured patterns on a dyed ground are possible by adding a dye to the bleaching paste which will not be affected by the bleach.


The process of boiling off and removal of gum from silk. See degumming.

disperse dye

Developed in the 1920s to dye synthetic fibres which could not be dyed with existing, traditional methods. Available in powder or liquid form, they are also used in the manufacture of inks and crayons. The dyes are absorbed into the fabric only at high temperatures (90 - 100°C).