Type of fibre: Can be made from natural or synthetic fibres. Most often made from natural cotton, wool, linen and silk or with a combination of these with various manmade fibres.
How is it manufactured: Damask is fashioned by weaving the fabric threads on a computerized jacquard loom (which controls individual yarns and constructs intricate patterns). The fabric is often one colour (monochromatic) and weaved with warp angles creating a background and a weft generating the design on top. It is these subtle highlights of woven warp and weft threads that generate patterns depending on the lighting or positioning of the fabric.
Common use in interior design: A unique, plush and glossy fabric that is suitable for curtains, draperies, beddings, cushions, upholstery, table liners and napkins. A reversible fabric with endless pattern and fresh colour possibilities making it an adaptable fabric suited to all interior styles, such as traditional and contemporary.
Fabric Care: Damask should be hand washed or on a delicate washing cycle with cold water and a mild cleaning product.
Type of fibre: Made with either natural fibre (silk) or synthetic fibres.
How is it manufactured: Moiré is distinguished from silk by the watermark and wavy pattern applied during a finishing technique called ‘calendaring’. This involves the fabric being folded in half, moistened and then passed through a roller at a high pressure. The application of various pressures as the fabric passes through this roller produces a wavy effect on the woven material.
Common use in interior design: A deluxe and lush fabric used for furniture upholstery, drapery, curtains and window treatments and exclusive wallpapers. Has a chic and graceful appearance that enhances the quality aesthetic within an interior.
Fabric Care: Moiré can retain creases so should never be folded, and like silk it is recommended to dry clean or handwash at a cold temperature to prevent the fabric from shrinking.
Type of fibre: A synthetic fibre made from filaments of tree pulp cellulose. It is sometimes spun with cotton, wool or silk to make it stronger.
How is it manufactured: Converts the cellulose taken from wood pulp into a chemical mixture which is then dissolved into a solvent and passed through a spinneret. This evaporates the solvent generating the filaments used to make the modified fibre and acetate fabric.
Common use in interior design: Has a silky stylish appearance so it often employed in window treatments, drapery and furniture. Available in a wide range of colours and patterns, it is an inexpensive easy fabric to work with.
Fabric Care: Is resistant to shrinkage, moths and mildew. It should be noted that it can sometimes become static.
Type of fibre: Crewelwork is a type of embroidery that uses the natural fibre of wool.
How is it manufactured: A plain weave fabric will have a design screen printed onto it, which is then embroidered over with a needle and the crewel yarn (a twisted, two ply wool). The wool used is thicker than silk or cotton embroidery so the design will feel raised and have more dimension to it. There are many distinctive embroidery stitches used in crewelwork creating various textures and colours. In modern day Crewelwork has progressed, and these raised designs are made without traditional embroidery but simply weave work on its own.
Common use in interior design: Exceptional patterns and designs can be produced, most often botanical motifs such as flowers, leaves and vines. Crewelwork can frequently be seen in bed and wall hangings, curtains and cushions.
Fabric Care: Crewelwork should be hand washed in cold water or dry cleaned only.
Type of fibre: A natural fibre most often created with cotton, however you can get a blend of cotton and polyester Chintz.
How is it manufactured: A tightknit plain cotton weave is glazed with a vinyl resin glue or starch, generating a polished ‘look’. This fabric is then hand printed and dyed in bright vibrant patterns and colours, most often imagery of flowers, plants and wildlife on neutral, light backgrounds.
Chintz was originally manufactured in the 16th century in China and India before being exported to Europe, however when this threatened the European mills which could not reproduce the dying processes, there was a ban in importing Chintz fabrics. Eventually the ban was lifted in the 17th century when European mills were able to dye and generate their own Chintz materials which subsequently increased the fabric’s popularity.
Common use in interior design: Chintz features interesting and feminine inspired imagery with bright, lively colours so is a great accent piece within an interior space. It is often used for draperies, curtain, canopy beds, cushions, furniture upholstery and headboards.
Fabric Care: Chintz should be dry cleaned to avoid washing off the glazing and it should never be folded or creased as this will break the glazing.
Type of fibre: A natural fibre consisting of wool and sometimes cotton, silk and linen.
How is it manufactured: Wool threads are placed on a frame called the ‘loom’ with warps (the vertical threads) attached. The wefts (horizontal threads) are then repeatedly thread over and under the warps. The weft fabric can be individual threads of various yarn (silk, wool, linen etc) in various colours that cover and disguise the warps which acts as a support to the fabric. Tapestries can be hand woven or machine woven.
Common use in interior design: Tapestries usually feature intricate designs depicting a story, scene or moment in history. They almost look like paintings. Tapestry can be used in wall hangings and upholstery.
Fabric Care: It is easiest to regularly dust your tapestry with a soft brush and wash by dry cleaning it.