Apparel Search Glossary  N : The First Fashion Glossary on the Internet (the first great one).
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Textile Glossary

nainsooka (nainsook)   soft lightweight muslin.  Produced in the finishing processes from the same greige goods as used for batiste, cambric, lawn.  Fine and lightweight.  Soft and has a slight luster in the better qualities (mercerization).  Slightly heavier than batiste.  Like lawn but not as crisp.  Soft, lacks body.  Usually found in white but also comes in pastel colors and some printed.

nankeen a durable brownish yellow cotton fabric originally loomed by hand in China.   Trousers made of nankeen, namely a durable brownish yellow cotton cloth originally hand-loomed in China

napery household linen, especially table linen.

napping is a process that may be applied to woollens, cottons, spun silks, and spun rayons, including both woven and knitted types, to raise a velvety, soft surface. The process involves passing the fabric over revolving cylinders covered with fine wires that lift the short, loose fibers, usually from the weft yarns, to the surface, forming a nap.

napkin   [Dialectical British] handkerchief; [Chiefly Scottish] kerchief.  A napkin is also utilized to clean the messy food from your face after eating a marvelous meal.  The employees of Apparel Search generally use our sleeves as napkins.

native regalia simply means Indian Dance, Potlatch  etc clothing apparel (costumes - in laymans terms) and is basically made from animal skins.

natural  of an off-white or beige color.

natural dyes  are a class of colorants extracted from vegetative matter and animal residues.

navy  a variable color averaging a dark grayish purplish blue.

neckerchief   a kerchief for the neck.

necktie   a narrow length of material worn about the neck and tied in front

neckwear   articles of clothing, as ties and scarves, worn about the neck

needlepoint lace worked with a needle over a paper pattern.

negligee   a woman's long flowing usually sheer dressing gown; careless informal or incomplete attire

nehru jacket   named after Jawaharial Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. The jacket was well known for its lack of lapels and lack of a collar. 

net an open-meshed fabric twisted, knotted, or woven together at regular intervals.  Made on a lace machine or gauze or leno weaves.   A mesh fabric made in a variety of geometric-shaped meshes of different sizes and weights. It is very open and light.   It forms the foundation for a great variety of laces, curtains, millinery, fancy pillows, trims, evening and bridal wear.   In cotton, some is used for mosquito netting and screening.

newmarket   a long close-fitting coat worn in the 19th century

nightcap   a cloth cap worn with nightclothes

nightclothes   garments for wear in bed

nightdress   nightgown; nightclothes

nightgown   a loose garment for wear in bed

nightie   a nightgown for a woman or child

night rail   [Archaic] nightgown

nightshirt   a nightgown resembling a shirt

nile green  a pale yellow green.

ninon  a sheer, fairly crisp fabric, heavier than chiffon. Much like voile, but more body.  The warp yarns are often grouped in pairs.   Washes well, particularly in the synthetics. Mostly used for curtains, and some for evening or bridal wear.

noil  short fiber removed during the combing of a textile fiber and often separately spun into yarn.

nonwovens are a sheet, web, or batt of natural and/or man-made fibers or filaments, excluding paper, that have not been converted into yarns, and that are bonded to each other by any of several means.  The various methods for bonding are:

  • Adding an adhesive

  • Thermally fusing the fibers or filaments to each other or to the other meltable fibers or powders.

  • Fusing fibers by first dissolving, and then resolidifying their surfaces.

  • Creating physical tangles or tuft among the fibers.

  • Stitching the fibers or filaments in place.

norfolk jacket   a loose-fitting belted single-breasted jacket with box pleats

nosepiece   a piece of armor for protecting the nose

novelty / accent  yarns   these yarns are very very fine and are not intended to be used by themselves; they are intended to be knit with another yarn and will provide additional color and texture to a finished fabric. They do possibly change the gauge of your fabric, so a swatch is recommended whenever you are going to use an accent yarn to make the necessary adjustment to your needle size. (this definition was kindly provided by Karen at Red Meadow fiber Arts)

nut-brown  of the color of a brown nut.

nylon any of numerous strong tough elastic synthetic polyamide materials that are fashioned into fabrics.

Textile Glossary

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The Apparel Search glossary has been compiled from numerous resources over the past several years.   In addition to receiving definitions from our viewers and friends, we have also compiled information from various newsletters, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, lectures, brochures etc.   The glossary is also supplemented with words and definitions from Merriam Webster's Dictionary (Tenth Collegiate Edition) and Webster's New World Dictionary.   In addition, we have also created words & definitions entirely from our own imagination (we tried to make them as accurate as possible).   In some cases, we have created single definitions by combining information from various locations.  This has been done to create a broader & more detailed definition.  Due to the fact that this resource is a compilation from literally hundreds of resources, we can not guarantee the accuracy, spelling , definitions etc., of any of the items listed on these pages.   Please utilize this resource at your own risk.   Do not rely on our definitions for accuracy.   If you have any additional definitions or have suggestions for updating current definitions, please continue to submit your comments for review; Add or Modify Definitions.  Thanks to viewers like you, this glossary has become a helpful tool for the apparel industry.  Please continue to send your new definitions and definition revisions.


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