Textile Glossary - K

KAPOK: Short, lightweight cotton-like fibers from the seed pod of trees of the family Bombacabeae. A very brittle fiber, it is generally not spun. It is used for stuffing cushions, mattresses, etc., and for life jackets because of its buoyancy and moisture resistance.

KERATIN: The basic protein constituent of wool and other hair fibers.

KERSEY: A heavily fulled or milled woolen fabric having a high lustrous nap and a “grainy” face, kersey is frequently used in overcoats.

  1. A light yellowish brown.
  2. A khaki-colored cloth of cotton, wool, or combinations of these fibers with manufactured fibers used primarily in military uniforms and workclothes.

KIER: A large metal tank, capable of being heated uniformly, used for wet processing.

KIER BOILING: Process of boiling cellulosic materials in alkaline liquors in a kier at or above atmospheric pressure.
  1. In fabrics, a place where a short length of yarn has spontaneously doubled back on itself.
  2. In yarn, see SNARL.
KINKING: The doubling back of yarn on itself to relieve torque imparted by twisting or texturing.


Textile Glossary - J

  1. A blade having high and/or low butts used to actuate the movement of latch knitting needles.
  2. Part of a dobby head designed to serve as a lever in the operation of the harness of a loom.

  1. A woven or felted tubular sleeve for covering and shrinking on a machine roll. 
  2. A short coat.
  3. In polymer manufacture, an external shell around a reaction vessel. For example, jacketed vessels are used when heat-transfer medium is circulated around the vessel.

JACQUARD: A system of weaving that utilizes a highly versatile pattern mechanism to permit the production of large, intricate designs. The weave pattern is achieved by a series of punched cards. Each card perforation controls the action of one warp thread for the passage of one pick. The machine may carry a large number of cards, depending upon the design, because there is a separate card for each pick in the pattern. Jacquard weaving is used for tapestry, brocade, damask, brocatelle, figured necktie and dress fabrics, and some floor coverings. A similar device is used for the production of figured patterns on some knit goods.

Textile Glossary - I

IMBIBITION: A measure of the liquid or water-holding capacity of a textile material.

IMMEDIATE ELASTIC DEFORMATION: Recoverable deformation that is essentially independent of time, i.e., occurring in (a time approaching) zero time and recoverable in (a time approaching) zero time after removal of the applied load.

IMPACT RESISTANCE: 1. The resistance of a material to fracture by a blow, expressed in terms of the amount of energy absorbed before fracture. 2. In yarn or cord, the ability to withstand instantaneous or rapid rate of loading.


IMPREGNATED FABRIC: A fabric in which the interstices between the yarns are completely filled, as compared to sized or coated material where the interstices are not completely filled. Not included in the definition is a woven fabric constructed from impregnated yarns, rather than one impregnated after weaving.

Textile Glossary - H


HAND: The tactile qualities of a fabric, e.g., softness, firmness, elasticity, fineness, resilience, and other qualities perceived by touch.

HAND-BLOCKED PRINT: A fabric that has been printed by hand with wooden or linoleum blocks. (Also see PRINTING.)


HANG PICK: A pick that is caught on a warp yarn knot for a short distance which produces a triangular hole in the fabric. Hang picks usually result from knots that are tied incorrectly, shuttle tension that is too loose, or harness that is timed too early.


  1. A skein of yarn.
  2. A standard length of slubbing, roving, or yarn. The length is specified by the yarn numbering system in use; e.g., cotton hanks have a length of 840 yards.
  3. A term applied to slubbing or roving that indicates the yarn number (count); e.g., a 1.5 hank roving.

Textile Glossary - G

GABARDINE: A firm, durable, warp-faced cloth, showing a decided twill line, usually a 45° or 63° right-hand twill.


GAITING: The spacing of the needles in the dial and cylinder in relation to each other on rib (double-knit) and interlock knitting machines. In rib gaiting, the dial needles are midway between the cylinder needles. For interlock gaiting the dial and cylinder needles are in direct alignment.

GALATEA: A sturdy, serviceable, warp-effect, five-shaft, left-hand twill-weave fabric, frequently cotton or a cotton blend, used for children’s play clothes.

GAMMA CELLULOSE: One of the three forms of cellulose. With beta cellulose it is called hemicellulose. (Also see ALPHA CELLULOSE and BETA CELLULOSE.)

GARNETTING: A process for reducing various textile waste materials to fiber by passing them through a machine called a garnett, that is similar to a card.

Textile Glossary - F

FABRIC: A planar textile structure produces by interlacing yarns, fibers, or filaments.

FABRIC CONSTRUCTION: The details of structure of fabric. Includes such information as style, width, type of knit of weave, threads per inch in warp and fill, and weight of goods.

FABRIC CRIMP: The angulation induced between a yarn and woven fabric via the weaving or braiding process.

FABRIC CRIMP ANGLE: The maximum acute angle of a single weaving yarn’s direction measured from a plane parallel to the surface of the fabric.

FABRIC SETT: The number of warp threads per inch, or other convenient unit.

FABRIC STABILIZER: Resin or latex treatment for scrims used in coated fabric manufacture to stabilize the scrim for further processing.