Tales of the Bale
Cotton fiber is amazingly versatile, whether alone or blended, it outsells all other fibers combined.Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the seedpod of the cotton plant and is used to make many fabric types at every price point. The fiber is hollow in the center and, under the microscope, resembles a twisted ribbon. Cotton fiber has been cultivated for 7,000 years, and it seems to increase in popularity as modern technology blends it with other fibers and gives it special performance finishes. People in Indus Valley civilization used cotton clothes and that was 3300 BC. Today India is the biggest producer of cotton followed by China.
In spring, cotton is planted and will be ready for harvest within 2 or 3 months,when the flower of the shrub splits to reveal the ball of cotton. Once harvested, cotton is made into bales. These bales are cleaned and washed, separating the dirt and lint that comes with the fibers. Then, the bales go into spinning process, where fibers are twisted to make thread or yarn. The threads are the sent to specialized loom, where they are woven to produce cotton fabric.
Cotton fibers are known for its quality which makes it the best choice for sewing. Cotton fabrics can be silky or rough, smooth or textured, thick or sheer, indestructible or luxurious, making them world's favorites for both home furnishings and clothing. Versatility, softness, breath-ability, absorbency, performance and durability are just a few of the qualities that have earned it year-round status.
Broadcloth is a dense, plain woven cloth, historically made of wool. The defining characteristic of Broadcloth is not its finished width, but the fact that it was woven much wider (typically 50 - 75% wider than its finished width) and then heavily milled (traditionally the cloth was worked by heavy wooden trip hammers in hot soapy water) in order to shrink it to the required width. The effect of the milling process is to draw the yarns much closer together than could be achieved in the loom and allow the individual fibers of the wool to bind together in a felting process. This results in a dense, blind face cloth with a stiff drape which is highly weather-resistant, hard wearing and capable of taking a cut edge without the need for being hemmed.
A compact, firm, heavy plain weave fabric usually made with cotton. The terms canvas and duck are used interchangeably. Once used in tents, boat sails, and other utilitarian products, canvas has expanded into other products such as sport gear, sneakers, and bags because of its durability. The texture of canvas is sturdy and slightly rough to the touch.
Chambray is a cotton plain-weave fabric made with a dyed warp yarn and a white filling yarn. Chambray is typically light blue in color. While it may look like denim, chambray is lighter and is woven differently. It has a softer texture than denim and is thinner in construction. Chambray is perfect for spring and summer tops, jumpsuits, and dresses.
A fuzzy cotton yarn of fabric that has pile protruding around the weave. This fabric looks exactly like what its name means in French: a caterpillar! Because of its softness, it’s often used in blankets, sweaters, bedding, pillows, and upholstery.
A medium-weight plain weave cotton fabric printed with large designs, and given a polished or glazed finish. Solid colored glazed fabrics are called "polished cottons." Chintz is often used as upholstery for sofas, armchairs, and curtains.
A fabric with evenly-spaced vertical rows of soft pile. Corduroys are classified by the number of lengthwise pile rows per inch—feather-cord has 20-25; pin-wale has 16-23; regular wale has 14; wide wale has 6-10; and broad wale has 3-5. Depending on the weight of the fabric, corduroy can be used in dresses, shirts, pants, coats and upholstery. It is a particularly popular clothing fabric for the cooler months.
Damask refers to a broad group of woven fabrics made on a jacquard loom. It's a patterned cotton fabric distinguished by using contrasting luster. The contrasting luster is created by utilizing a satin weave in combination with a sateen, twill or plain weave. It is reversible, and known for being regal in effect. It's used for decor, such as sheets and curtains, and fine apparel.
Denim is a sturdy cotton twill fabric woven with an indigo, gray, or mottled white yarn. Denim is perhaps one of the most well-known and commonly worn fabrics there is, from the classic blue jeans to jackets, dresses, overalls, and more. For almost a hundred and fifty years the blue jean has been a symbol of classic fashion.
A soft, medium-weight cotton fabric that has a napped, or fuzzy, finish on one or both sides. This napped finish either comes from brushing or from its characteristic loosely spun weave. Its soft, cozy feel makes it the perfect fabric to keep you warm and comfortable all winter long. It’s often woven with patterns, especially plaid and tartan, and is a favorite fabric for sheets during the winter.
Flannel has been made since the 17th century and likely originated in Wales. Though it was once made of wool, by the 20th century, flannel was more commonly made with cotton, sometimes mixed with silk. Nowadays, the softest, coziest flannel is 100% cotton.
A medium to lightweight plain weave fabric made with cotton. Gingham is usually made with white and another color to create a check or plaid design. Gingham has historically been associated with tablecloths and aprons. Today, gingham is also used in numerous apparel products like dresses and shirts. Gingham has been a major summer trend for the past couple years.
A decorative design that’s woven into the fabric on a jacquard loom forming a slightly raised decorative area. Typically made of cotton, these designs can range from basic floral to very large, intricate patterns.