Glossary of terms used on this site

Worshipful Company of Weavers

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From the Medieval Spanish word gabardina. A Hebrew garment called a gaberdine (worn by Shylock in Shakespeare\'s Merchant of Venice). Therefore the word is used to describe a cloth and a garment. Traditionally woven with fine worsted yarns although cotton and man-made fibres are now used. A tightly woven cloth which is recognized by the fine steep twilled wale on the face and smooth back. Is water repellent and hard wearing. Can be used for uniforms.

garnett machine

A type of carding machine fitted with rollers and cylinders covered very coarse metal teeth. Used to loosen highly matted wool fibre, waste fibre and in tearing apart woollen rags during the primary stage in the preparation of regenerated fibre for the production of shoddy cloths.


A very fine sheer fabric called gazzatum was produced originally in Gaza, Palestine. Traditionally woven in silk, cotton or linen with a leno or gauze weave construction, it was used for veiling and mosquito netting. Although surgical bandage is often referred to as gauze it is in fact plain woven fabric similar to cheesecloth. The French word for gauze is gaze, from which the names many types of fabric derive, such as gaze de fil (linen), gaze de voilette and gaze fond filoche. The French term for leno or gauze weave is gaze tour anglais.


A very thin, transparent or semi-transparent fabric, which is more grainy than crepe. This quality is the result of highly twisted warp and weft threads.


Known as the cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney in 1793, which separates the cotton fibre from the cotton seed. The process is called ginning and is carried out in a ginnery.


A cotton checked cloth usually woven with equal numbers of dyed and undyed threads alternating in the warp as well as the weft. Although it is said that the term guingan originates from north east India, meaning a striped or checked cloth made from cotton and tussah silk, it is also alleged that the word gingham derives from the town of Guingamp in Bretagne, France, where gingham was traditionally made. Some say that it comes from the Javanese or Malay word ginggang but a similar sounding word, kindan is used in Tamil Nadu in south India, for a similar cloth. A type of gingham is woven in Peru called cerifos check. Another term for gingham is zephyrs.

glen checks

Sometimes referred to as Scottish Estate Tweeds or in the United States of America as Gun Club Checks and are synonymous with Scottish district checks. These distinctive woollen tweeds, with bold but sometimes subtle checks were, and continue in some cases, to be woven in the Highlands of Scotland. Originally designed as the livery for the landowners and their estates they identify the people who live and work in the same area whether they are related or not. Modified versions of glen checks were adopted by some individual regiments in the British army and often worn by officers when out of uniform as \'plain clothes\', sometimes referred to as mufti. The word glen is Scottish for valley. See district checks and tartan.

The most famous estate checks or glenchecks are:

Aberchalder, Altnaharra, Affric, Altries, Altyre, Ardtalla, Ardtalnaig, Ardtornish, Ardverikie, Ardvorlich, Arndilly, Old Atholl, Atholl, Auch, Auchleeks,Auchnafree, Badanloch, Baillie, Balavil, Ballindalloch, Ballogie, Balmoral, Balnakeilly, Bateson, Ben Alder, Ben More Assynt, Ben Loyal, Black Mount, Blairquhan, Bolfracks, Boreland, Braulen, The Brook, Camusericht, Camusrory, Canacraig, Cardrona, The Carnegie, Carnousie, Castle Fraser, Cawdor, Coigach, Ceannacroc, Conaglen, Corrour, Cruach, Dacre, Dalhousie, Delgatie, Delnabo, Dinnet, Dorback and Revack, Dougarie, Drummond, Dunbeath, Dunlossit, Dunecht, Dupplin or Hay, Edradynate, Erchless, Eilanreach, Esslemont, Fairburn, Fannich Farleyer, Farr, Finzean, Ford and Etal, Fyvie, Gairloch, Gannochy, Garden, Glenample, Glenavon,Glenbuchat, Glencanisp, Glendelvine and Riemore, Glendoe, Glen Dye and Fasque, Glenfeshie, Glenfinnan, Glenisla, Glenkinglass, Glenlivet, Glenmoidart, Glen Moriston, Glenmuik, Glen Orchy, Glenogil, Glen Quoich, Glensanda, Glen Tanar, Glenurquhart, Guisachan, Inge, Innes, Invercauld, Inverailort, Inverailort, Inverary, Invermark, Islay, Kinchoan, Kilfinichen and Tiroran, Killiechassie, Killiechonate, Kincardine Castle, Kingairloch, Kinloch, Kinnaird and Balnaguard, Kinlochewe, Kinnell, Kinnordy, Kinpurnie, Kintail, Knockando, Knockdolian, Kylnadrochit, Lairg, Lairgie, Langwell, Laudale, Lawers, Lochan and Bandirran, Letterewe, Lochiel, Lochbuie, Lochmore, Lochs, Logie Buchan, Lothian, Lude, Glen Quoich and Barrisdale, The Lovat Mixture, Mamore, Meggernie, Mansfield, Mar, Millden, North Uist, Otter, Phones, Pitcastle, Portmore, Pitgaveny, Ralia, Reay, Rothiemurchus, Sannox, Scatwell and Cabaan, Seaforth, Skelpick and Rhifail, Snaigow and Glenquaich, South Chesthill, South Uist, Strathallan, Struy, Strathconon, Strathspey, Tarbert, Tillypronie, Tulchan, Urrard, Wemyss and March, West Monar and Patt, Wyvis and by no means last, The Shepherd check.
See tweed.


A building or set of buildings in which disease-free silkworm eggs disease-free-layings (DFL) are produced under strict, hygienic conditions. From the word grain meaning seed. greasy piece Woollen cloth, the yarn from which it has been woven containing spinning oils, that comes straight from the loom.

greasy wool

Sheep\'s wool that contains natural grease and lanoline. The wool is usually scoured before being prepared for dyeing or spinning. greige Undyed, unprinted, unbleached and unfinished \'grey\' cloth straight from the loom.


Grenadine is the name given to a tightly twisted yarn in which two or three single twisted strands are plied and double twisted in the opposite direction more tightly than organzine giving it, extra strength in weaving and a dull appearance to the fabric.


A silk fabric with pronounced ribs across a heavy cloth. From the French gros, meaning large and grain, meaning cord.


A cloth handwoven in Zimbabwe from the softened inner bark from either the munhondo or mupfuti trees. The cloth is used for making blankets, bags, arrow quivers, storage pouches for food or beer filters. guard hairs The coarse long hairs which protect the short fine wool-like undercoat of some mammals. For example the coarse hair which protects the fine wool of the pashmina goat. See pashmina and cashmere.

gum arabic

A gum obtained from several species of acacia. The best gum is obtained from A.senegal and A.arabica. Used as a dye thickener for textile printing and in the manufacture of inks and adhesives.

gum tragacanth

Sometimes known as gum dragon. Obtained from the leguminous plant, Astragalus gummifer, and in its old form was sold in white or yellow horny scales known as devil\'s toenails. Is now obtained in powder form and used, sometimes in combination with starch, as a thickener in the preparation of textile printing paste.


A sacking fabric woven from jute yarn in India and Bangladesh. From the Hindi word goni meaning sacking. Chiefly exported from Pondicherry, South India, to West Africa as negro\'s clothing in the 17th century. Throughout its long history gunny has been known as chatee, gunnys, guiny, guinea-stuffs, guinees, goeneys and even goonies.
See burlap, hessian, jute, osnaburg and sacking.