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chador  a large cloth worn as a combination head covering, veil, and shawl by Muslim women especially in Iran

challis (chalys)  wool-also made in cotton, hair fibre, rayon, and a silk warp and worsted filling.
Plain weave.  Anglo-Indian word "Shallee" meaning soft.  Soft, very lightweight.  May be dyed or printed with a delicate floral pattern, paisleys, or geometric patterns and faint designs.  Often washable.  Originated in Norwich England in 1832. Generally used in women's and children's dresses and blouses, comforters, kimonos, neckties, and sportswear. In slacks or shorts it would have to be lined.

chambray  made of Cotton. Weave: Plain weave or dobby designs on a plain-weave ground.  Made with a dyed warp and a white or unbleached filling.  Both carded and combed yarns used.  Has a white selvedge.  Some woven with alternating white and colored warp. "Faded" look.  Has very soft coloring.  Some made with stripes, checks or embroidered.  Smooth, strong, closely woven, soft and has a slight lustre.   Wears very well, easy to sew, and launders well.  If not crease resistant, it wrinkles easily. Originated in Cobrai, France, where it was first made for sunbonnets.

chamois cloth  a cotton fabric.   fabric is napped, sheared, and dyed to simulate chamois leather. It is stiffer than kasha and thicker, softer and more durable than flannelette. Must be designated as "cotton chamoise-color cloth".   Plain weave.  Used in dusters, interlining, storage bags for articles to prevent scratching.

chamoisette  cotton, also rayon and nylon.  Double knit construction.  A fine, firmly knit fabric. Has a very short soft nap.  Nylon chamoisette is more often called "glove silk".  Used for gloves.

champagne  a pale orange yellow to light grayish yellowish brown.

chantilly lace  a delicate silk, linen, or synthetic lace having a six-sided mesh ground and a floral or scrolled design.  Chantilly lace is named after the city of Chantilly, France where it first was made in the 17th century. This lace has a bit of a disturbing history. It was highly prized by Marie Antoinette and her court. Once she was guillotined, the lace makers – considered protégés of the then royals – were also killed. Chantilly lace no longer existed until Napoleon I sponsored its revival around 1810. The best Chantilly laces are made in silk or linen. Notable to Chantilly lace is its use of a half-and-whole stitch which acts as a slightly raised fill that creates light and shadow in its patterns. Chantilly lace shawls in black or white were an important fashion statement in the 19th century.

chapeau hat

chaplet  a wreath to be worn on the head

chaps  leather leggings joined by a belt or lacing often with flared outer flaps and worn over the trousers, as by western ranch hands

charcoal  a dark gray.

charcoal fiber  Charcoal is the remainder after natural wood is dissolved by heat without an additive at a high temperature.(600~1200C)  As a pollution-free substance,it consists of 80~90% solid carbon.   It is alkali with PH8~9. It is also characterized by porosity caused by carbonized cell wall of wood. The internal surface area of 1g charcoal is 200~400 m2.  In addition, it is very excellent in absorption, ventilation, keeping warm, water discharging capacity and heat accumulation capacity. It provides a good deodorization effect by generating negative ion with property of emitting far infrared rays.

charmeuse  1) a lightweight silk, cotton or man-made fiber dress fabric which is soft and drapes well.  It is smooth, has a semi-lustrous satin face and dull back.  Hard twist yarn is used for the warp with a crepe yarn filling.  It is dyed in the piece or printed.  2)  A soft, lustrous finish produced by mercerizing and schreinerizing.

chartreuse  a variable color averaging a brilliant yellow green.

chased  a calendered finish for cotton fabrics that imparts beetled "bright-and-dim" surface effects.

chastity belt a belt device, as of medieval times, designed to prevent sexual intercourse on the part of the woman wearing it

chasuble  a sleeveless outer vestment worn by the officiating priest at mass

chaussure  footgear; [Plural] shoes.

check  a fabric woven or printed with a pattern in squares that resembles a checkerboard.

cheesecloth cotton, plainweave.   Originally used as a wrapping material for pressing cheese. Loosely woven, thin, light in weight, open in construction, and soft.  Carded yarns are always used.   It is also called gauze weave.  When woven in 36" widths it is called tobacco cloth.  When an applied finish is added, it is called buckram, crinoline, or bunting.  In the gray cloth, it is used for covering tobacco plants, tea bags and wiping cloths.  Finished cloth is used for curtains, bandages, dust cloths, cheap bunting, hat lining, surgical gauze, fly nets, food wrapping, e.g. meat and cheese, costumes and basket tops

chemise  a woman's one-piece undergarment; a loose straight-hanging dress

chemisette  a woman's garment, especially one, as of lace, to fill the open front of a dress

chenille fabric  warp yarn of any major textile fibre. Filling of chenille yarns (has a pile protruding all around at right angles).  The word is French for caterpillar and fabric looks hairy.  A fuzzy yarn whose pile resembles a caterpillar.    Do not confuse with tufted effects obtained without the use of true Chenille filling.  Used for millinery, rugs, decorative fabrics, trimmings, upholstery.  Sometimes used broadly to define a fabric woven from chenille yarns.

cheongsam  an oriental dress with a slip skirt and a mandarin collar

cherry  a variable color averaging a moderate red.

chesterfield  a single-breasted or double-breasted semifitted overcoat with velvet collar

chestnut  a grayish to reddish brown.

cheviot  wool originally and mostly made from wool from the Cheviot sheep but today also made of blends, spun synthetics, crossbred and reused wools.  Twill weave (modern version sometimes plain).  Very rugged, harsh, uneven surface that does not hold a crese and sags with wear. Resembles serge but is much more rugged and coarse and will not shine because of the rough surface.   Often sold as a homespun but true homespun has a plain weave and very heavy.   Also sold as a tweed.

Chiengora is a yarn or wool spun from dog hair. The word is a portmanteau of "chien", the French word for dog, and "angora." It is up to 80% warmer than wool [1] and is not elastic. Often chiengora is blended with wool during the carding process. This blend has some give to it, which is preferable when knitting. It is also often blended with wool in order to create a yarn with less heat insulation. (Info. for this definition obtained from Sept. 1, 2008)

chiffon  (French for "rag")  Silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics.  Plain weave.  Lightweight, sheer, transparent.   Made with very fine, tightly twisted yarns.  The tightly twisted yarns could be either in the filling or the warp or both.  It is very strong, despite filmy look.   Wears very well. It is very difficult to handle when sewing and it is best to baste the pieces over tissue to make it easier.  It has slightly bumpy look.  It is best suited to shirring, draping, gathering, tucking, etc., because it is so limp.   If made in a straight sheath style, it should be underlined with very firm fabric. e.g. faille taffeta.

chimere  a loose sleeveless robe worn by Anglican bishops over the rochet

china silk originally hand woven in China of silk from the Bonabyx mori.  Very soft and extremely lightweight but fairly strong.  Irregularities of threads caused by the extreme lightness and softness are characteristic of the fabric.  Mostly for linings and underlinings, and could be used for blouses.

chinchilla  cotton or wool, and some manmade and synthetics.  Sateen or twill construction with extra fillings for long floats.  Does not resemble true chinchilla fur.  Has small nubs on the surface of the fabric which are made by the chincilla machine.  It attacks the face and causes the long floats to be worked into nubs and balls. Cotton warp is often used because it cannot show from either side. Made in medium and heavy weights.  Very warm and cozy fabrics. Takes its name from Chinchilla Spain where it was invented.  In cotton, used for baby's blankets and bunting bags.

chino  cotton , twill (left hand) weave.  Combined two-ply warp and filling.  Has a sheen that remains.   fabric was purchased in China (thus the name) by the U.S. Army for uniforms.   Originally used for army cloth in England many years before and dyed olive-drab.   fabric is mercerized and sanforized.  Washs and wears extremely well with a minimum of care.  Army uniforms, summer suits and dresses, sportswear.

chinos  casual men's trousers made from chino fabric (British), called "khakis" in America.

chintz  cotton cloth, usually printed with flowery patterns, that has a slightly shiny appearanceCotton plain weave.  Has bright printed gay figures, large flower designs, birds and other designs. Also comes in plain colors.  Several types of glaze.  The wax and starch glaze produced by friction or glazing calendars will wash out.  The resin glaze finish will not wash out and withstand drycleaning.  Also comes semi-glazed.  Unglazed chintz is called cretonne.  Named from the Indian word "Chint" meaning "broad, gaudily printed fabric".  Used in draperies, slipcovers, dresses, sportswear.  

chiton  the basic garment of ancient Greece worn usually knee-length by men and full-length by women

chlamys  a short oblong mantle worn by young men of ancient Greece  Chlamys

chocolate a brownish gray.

choli  a short blouse usually worn with a saree or a lengha. You can vary the collar, sleeve and length.  A traditional garment worn in India.

choker  something, as a collar or a necklace, worn closely about the throat or neck

choli  a short blouse usually worn with a saree or a lengha. You can vary the collar, sleeve and length as you choose.

chopine  a shoe with a very high sole designed to increase stature and protect the feet from mud and dirt worn by women in the 16th and 17th centuries

chrisom  a white cloth or robe put on a person at baptism as a symbol of innocence

chukka  a usually ankle-length leather boot with two or three pairs of eyelets or a buckle and strap

chunni or dupatta  a scarf or wrap worn with most Indian garments. The item can be plain or embellished with embroidery.  Traditional garment from India.

churidhar  fitted pants with deliberate snugness around the calf and ankle with gatherings and hooks for fastening.  Traditional garment from India.

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