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Glossary of Textile Terms and Definitions, E - Textile Dictionary

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Letter E

Easy Care: Refers to fabrics which are restored to their original appearance after laundering with little or no ironing. Generally such fabrics can be machine washed and tumble dried/see drip-dry. 

Eco: Of or relating to habitat or household, mostly used as a prefix related to ecology. Eco comes from the ancient Greek word "oikos" (house). e.g. eco-label, eco-friendly, eco-shopping. Within the textile industry, "eco" refers to fibers/fabrics that are sustainable or friendly to the environment. 

Eco-friendly: A term used to describe services and goods that cause very little, if any, harm to the environment. 

Ecru (knitting): Descriptive of fibres, yarns, or fabrics that have not been subjected to processes affecting their natural colour. 

Effect threads: Yarns inserted in a fabric that are sufficiently different in fibre, count, or construction to form or enhance a pattern. 

Egyptian Cotton: Cotton from Egypt characterized by its strong, fine, long and lustrous fibers. 

Elastane (fibre) (generic name): A term used to describe fibres that are composed of synthetic linear macromolecules having in the chain at least 85% (by mass) of segmented polyurethane groups and which rapidly revert substantially to their original length after extension to three times that length. 

Elastic fabric: A fabric containing rubber or other elastomeric fibres or threads, having recoverable extensibility in a direction parallel to the elastomeric threads, and characterized by a high resistance to deformation and a high capacity to recover its normal size and shape. 

Elasticity: The ability of a fiber or fabric to return to its original length, shape, or size immediately after the removal of stress. 

Elasticity: The extent of the ability of a stressed textile to recover its original size and shape immediately after removal of the stress. 

Elastodiene (fibre) (generic name): A term used to describe fibres composed of natural or synthetic polyisoprene, or composed of one or more dienes polymerized with or without one or more vinyl monomers, which rapidly revert substantially to their original length after extension to three times that length. 

Elastomer: Any polymer having high extensibility together with rapid and substantially complete elastic recovery., Note: most fibres formed from elastomers have breaking elongations in excess of one hundred percent. 

Elastomer: Any polymer that has high extensibility together with rapid and substantially complete elastic recovery. 

Elastomeric Yarn: A yarn formed from an elastomer., Note 1: elastomeric yarn may either be incorporated into fabric in the bare state or wrapped with relatively inextensible fibres. Wrapping is done by covering (see covered yarn), core spinning or uptwisting., Note 2: examples are elastane and elastodiene yarns. 

Electrostatic Flocking: The process of applying a flock to an adhesive-coated substrate in a high-voltage electrostatic field. 

Elongation: see extension, note: The increase may be expressed in three ways, namely:, (i) as a length, (ii) as a percentage of the initial length, and, (iii) as a fraction of the initial length. 

Elongation: An increase in length. Note: The increase may be expressed: 
A) in units of length, 
B) as a percentage of the initial length, or 
C) as a fraction of the initial length. 

Elysian: A thick, heavy, usually woolen fabric with a deep nap that forms a diagonal or ripple pattern on the surface. Used for coatings. 

Emboss: To produce a pattern in relief by passing fabric through a calendar in which a heated metal bowl engraved with the pattern works against a relatively soft bowl, built up of compressed paper or cotton on a metal centre. 

Embossing: A calendering process in which fabrics are engraved with the use of heated rollers under pressure to produce a raised design on the fabric surface. 

Embossed: fabric with a raised design that has been engraved on a metal cylinder then impressed on the fabric with heat and pressure. 

Embroidered: A fabric decorated with needlework stitching of yarn or thread. May be done by hand or machine. 

Embroidery: An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine. 

Embroidery Linen: See art/embroidery linen. 

Encapsulation: A process in which the fibers of a fabric are coated with a filmy substance to create certain high performance qualities, such as breathability. 

Emerizing: A process in which fabric is passed over a series of emery-covered rollers to produce a suede-like finish. Note: A similar process is known as sueding. 

End: (1) (spinning) an individual strand,, (2) (weaving) an individual warp thread., (3) (fabric) a length of finished fabric less than a customary unit (piece) in length, (4) (finishing), (a) each passage of a length of fabric through a machine, for example, in jig-dyeing., (b) a joint between pieces of fabric due, for example, to damage or short lengths in weaving or damage in bleaching, dyeing or finishing. 

End: a) Fabric, a length of finished fabric of less than a customary unit (piece) length. 
B) finishing, 1. Each passage of a length of fabric through a machine, for example in jig-dyeing. 
2. A joint between pieces of fabric caused by, for example, damage or short lengths in weaving, or damage in bleaching, dyeing and finishing. 
C) spinning, An individual strand. 
D) weaving, An individual warp thread. 

End-down: A break of a warp thread in the loom, that, if not corrected, leads to a fault. (see also broken end). 

End & end: A plain weave fabric with a warp yarn of one color alternating with a warp yarn of white or a second color. Often the weft yarns alternate with the same 2 colors forming a mini check design. Used most commonly in shirtings. 

Ending: Uneven dyeing that consists of a difference in colour between the bulk and the end of a length of fabric. 

End-group: A chemical group that forms the end of a polymer chain. Linear polymers possess two end-groups per molecule and branched polymers with n branch points possess n + 2 end-groups per molecule. 

Engagantes: Lace cuffs with two or three rows of ruffles, finishing women's gown sleeves. They were still worn in the 18th century with gowns la francaise. 

Enzyme washed: Refers to the process of washing with a cellulase enzyme -one which attacks the cellulose in the fabric- giving it a used, worn appearance and a desirable soft hand. The effect is similar to stone washing but is less damaging to the fabric. It is sometimes called bio-washing. Done commonly with denim or other cottons and fabrics of lyocell. 

Epitropic Fibre: A fibre whose surface contains partially or wholly embedded particles that modify one or more of its properties, e.g., Its electrical conductivity. 

Ergonomic Seaming: This apparel construction technology is aimed at maximizing comfort and ease of movement. The key feature of this seaming technology is that the seams are constructed ergonomically. Therefore, the seams flow according to the body's natural movements, regardless of the type of activity engaged in by the wearer. The seams are placed away from potential pressure points, in order to maximize comfort and movement. 

Ergonomics: The study of improving a garment design by enhancing the wearers' comfort, performance, or health. 

Eri: A type of wild silk. 

Ethnic: Refers to designs with elements suggesting the culture or traditional designs of a particular group of people. 

Exfoliation: An inherent fault in silk only apparent after degumming or dyeing. It is characterized by fine fibrils or fibrillae that become separated from the filament, so giving a speckled, dishevelled appearance. 

Exhaustion: The proportion of dye or other substance taken up by a substrate at any stage of a process to the amount originally available. 

Expression (percent): The weight of liquid retained by textile material after mangling or hydroextraction, calculated as a percentage of the air-dry weight of the goods. 

Extension: An increase in length., Note: The increase may be expressed in three ways, namely:, (i) as a length, (ii) as a percentage of the initial length, and, (iii) as a fraction of the initial length. 

Extract: Wool or hair recovered by the wet process of carbonization. 

Extrusion: In the spinning of man-made filaments, fibre-forming substances in the plastic or molten state, or in solution, are forced through the holes of a spinneret or die at a controlled rate. There are five general methods of spinning (extruding) man-made filaments, but combinations of these methods may be used (see dispersion spinning, dry spinning, melt spinning, reaction spinning, and wet spinning). 

Extrusion (fibre production): The process of forming fibres by forcing materials through orifices. 

Extrusion Ratio: In man-made filament extrusion, the ratio of take-up or haul-off speed to the average speed of the spinning fluid as it leaves the spinneret. 

Eyelash: A fabric with clipped yarn on the surface suggesting eyelashes. 

Eyelet: A fabric decorated with cut out areas surrounded by stitching. Used for dresses, blouses, children's apparel, curtains. 

Eyelet: A type of fabric which contains patterned cut-outs, around which stitching or embroidery may be applied in order to prevent the fabric from raveling. Often worked around with a buttonhole stitch. 

Extensibility: The extent of the ability of a textile to stretch when a tensile force is applied to it. 

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