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F

fabric
Fabrics are woven, knitted, felted, tufted, braided, embroidered, made of lace or net and some produced by a range of non-woven processes. Sometimes referred to as cloth.

fabric widths
Standard fabric widths in centimetres and inches:

65 cm 25 in dress
70 cm 27 in dress
80 cm 32 in dress and non-woven interlinings
90 cm 36 in dress
100 cm 40 in dress
105 cm 42 in dress and furnishings
113 cm 45 in furnishings
120 cm 48 in furnishings and coatings
125 cm 50 in furnishings and coatings
138 cm 54 in furnishings, coatings and sheetings
150 cm 60 in furnishings and sheetings
170 cm 68 in furnishings and sheetings
180 cm 72 in furnishings, sheetings and knitted jersey

fabric care
Soiled fabrics are either washed or dry cleaned. The cleaning treatment given to each type of fabric varies according to the fibre content, construction or finish of the cloth, including the types of dye used. An International Textile Care Labelling Code was introduced in 1974 in Europe.

fancy yarn
Decorative yarns used in weaving or knitting which are usually produced from a combination of two or three of the same or different single, 2-fold or three-fold yarns. Often made on conventional doubling machinery or on specialized machines. Fancy yarns include: spiral, loop, gimp, cloud, knop, eccentric, stripe, slub, snarl or chenille types.

fastness
This term applies to the resistance to change or fading, either by water, washing with soap or detergent or by daylight, which the dye possesses. Sometimes referred to as colour-fastness.

fell
The last weft thread which is introduced through the shed of the warp, forming the woven fabric.

felt
A cloth formed directly from fibre without the formal structure of a weave or knit. Usually short staple loose wool fibre or noil compacted together by milling with soapy water. Some felts can be made with a combination of wool and cotton, rayon or sometimes kapok. Compared with wool felt, fur felt is softer, smoother and is often more water resistant. Fur felt, used in hat production, can be made from the short fibres of rabbit, muskrat and the better grades of beaver. Felt is probably the earliest form of fabric. Nomads all over Asia were able to travel through extreme terrain and climates using felt for protection. In the fourth century BC China was called 'the land of felt'.

fents
Synonymous with remnants of short lengths of cloth, cut from a piece, end or lump of cloth, having been accumulated either at the mill or sometimes in the wholesaler's or retailer's store, and often sold at cost or below cost price.

fibre length
The length of each individual natural or man-made fibre. See staple length.

fibroin
A protein chemical substance which is the chief constituent of silk, not soluble in water and which forms the core of the silk filament.

flax Linum usitatissimum L. Linaceae
A stem fibre commonly grown in Europe and Russia. The fibre, produced after retting and put through the scutching process, is used in the production of linen and paper. The seed of the flax plant produces linseed oil. See linen.

fleece
The complete crop, in one go, of wool from a living sheep. The first clip of the sheep is called lamb's wool while subsequent clips are called fleece wools.

floss
The loose silk round the cocoon which is retained, before reeling is started, and used in the production of spun silk. It is also the name given to some low twist silk embroidery yarns.

fly-shuttle
The fly-shuttle technology is the basis of all power shuttle looms and some handlooms where a batten is used. The shuttle is propelled from side to side by being hit with a picking stick or picker.

folding
Twisting together two or more single yarns to form a folded, plied or doubled yarn.

foulard
A 2 and 2 twill soft, lustrous, silk fabric originally woven in India.

frame loom
A handloom which is usually made of wood, although other materials can be used, such as bamboo, palm tree, metal, concrete or any material with which to build a simple frame form which to support the back beam, the front take-up beam, shafts and peddles, and the sleigh or beater carrying the reed.

fruit fibre
Fibre obtained from the mature seed (or fruit) of a plant. Typical examples are: the cotton boll and coir from the coconut fruit.

fur felt
See felt.