Glossary of  Silk Terms

Charmeuse: A lightweight silk that is soft and drapes well. It has a smooth satin face and dull finish back.

Chiffon: A very light fabric in a plain weave, usually transparent.

Crepe: A lightweight fabric with a pebbly surface obtained by using high twist yarns.

Crepe de chine: A lightweight fabric with a plain weave, very drapey.

Douppioni or douponi: Refers to the thicker thread made when two silk worms nest together. More casual reference is to Indian made silk using doupioni thread, usually has a nice sheen, slub, and a slightly crisp hand.

Habutai: Smooth soft plain weave silk. Often referred to as China silk.

Momme: Japanese unit of weight (equal to 3.75 grams) used to describe weight of silk fabrics. (The numbers increase with the increase weight.)

Noil: Actually refers to fiber length, but is casually used to refer to silk fabric made from short fibers. The fabric is slightly rough to the touch and may have specks of irregularities of fiber that add to its appeal.

Organza: A light, thin, transparent stiff fabric.

Pongee: A thin tan-colored silk fabric.

Shantung: Silk woven from wild silk, has slubs, and a subtle sheen.

Tussah: Refers to silk fabric made from wild silk rather than cultivated silk. Usually has many slubs and takes a less intense dye appearance.

Fabric Gallery
146 West Grand River Avenue
Williamston, MI 48895, (517-655-4573)

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