Fabric Terms - Crocking, Selvedge and More

Written by Kristen Cathell

There is a plethora of fabric terms in the design and upholstery industry. Greenhouse Fabrics has an extensive list of definitions for you and your client’s ease of understanding key fabric terms. Below are the top 10 fabric terms that our Fabric & Customer Specialist Team is asked on a regular basis. 

  • Abrasion Resistance - The degree to which a fabric is able to withstand surface wear, rubbing, chafing, and other friction forces (also known as double rubs).
  • Crocking - The tendency of excess dyes to rub off. Napped and pile fabrics in deep colors are most likely to crock. The textile industry has set standards and tests to measure and prevent crocking. Yarns and woven fabric can be rated for both wet and dry crocking. 
  • UFAC - Acronym for Upholstered Furniture Action Council, an American association of furniture manufacturers and retailers. This association conducts research and disseminates information on voluntary guidelines for more fire resistant upholstery materials. Headquarters are in High Point, NC 
  • Finishing - A general term which refers to treatment of a fabric to add a desired quality. Different types of finishing processes include, but are not limited to: washing, drying, shrink control, needle-punching, napping, shearing, back coating, and stain repellent finishes such as Scotchguard™ and Teflon™.  A finish often contributes to a fabric's "feel" or "hand." It may also contribute such characteristics as bulk or loft, and resistance to abrasion back coating a fabric adds durability
  • Olefin - A synthetic, man-made fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of ethylene, propylene, or other olefin units. Two major categories of olefin are polypropylene and polyethylene. 
  • Piece Dyed Fabric - Fabric that is dyed after it is woven, in full piece form. The greige goods for piece dying can be cotton, polyester, or blends. The construction can be a dobby, jacquard, epinglé, or velvet.
  • Yarn Dyed Fabric - Fabric woven with yarns that have been dyed prior to the weaving of the goods. This is as opposed to piece dyed fabrics, which are woven with undyed warp and fill yarns. 
  • Selvedge - The lengthwise, or warp wise, edge of a woven fabric. The point at which the weft yarns bind the warp to form a finished edge. 
  • Up-the-Roll - Describes the orientation of a pattern's direction. When looking at an up-the-roll pattern, the warp yarns are in the vertical direction, while the filling yarns are in the horizontal direction. Some industries and manufacturers prefer up-the-roll patterns, while others prefer railroaded patterns for their application

Greenhouse Fabrics is here to work for you, call our Fabric & Customer Specialists if you have questions about any of the fabrics we offer, 866-755-5000.