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Glossary of Textile Terms and Definitions, L - Textile Dictionary

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Letter L 

Labeda: A loose, tunic-like garment worn by men, mostly in nepal. Possibly from Persian libada. 

Lace: A fine openwork fabric with a ground of mesh or net on which patterns may be worked at the same time as the ground is formed or applied later, and which is made of yarn by looping, twisting, or knitting, either by hand with a needle or bobbin, or by machinery; also a similar fabric made by crocheting, tatting, darning, embroidering, weaving, or knitting. 

Lace: The term comes from the old French, las, by way of Latin, laquens, which means a noose, or to ensnare - rather well adapted to lace. A single yarn can produce a plaited or braided fabric or article since it will interlace, entwine, and twist in several directions to produce a porous material or lace. 

Lahore: A piece-dyed dress fabric made from cashmere in small dobby effects. 

Lamb's wool: wool obtained from a lamb (a young sheep up to eight months old or up to weaning). 

Lamb's wool: The first clip of wool sheered from lambs up to eight months old. The wool is soft, slippery and resilient. It is used in fine grade woolen fabrics. 

Lam: A general name for fabrics in which metallic threads are a conspicuous feature. 

Lambskin cloth: A term particularly applied to a heavily wefted cotton fabric, with a dense pile of fibre on the surface. The weave is of a weft-sateen character. 

Lame: A fabric woven or knit with metallic yarns. It is usually gold or silver in color. Used in evening wear. 

Lamé: A woven fabric using flat silver or gold metal threads to create either the design or the background in the fabric. 

Laminated: A compound fabric usually comprised of a continuous sheet of thermoplastic film such as polyurethane or pvc bonded to a base fabric with heat or adhesive. 

Laminated Fabric: A term used to describe fabrics which have been joined together through the use of a high-strength reinforcing scrim or base fabrics between two plies of flexible thermoplastic film.. It can a bonded utilizing either foam itself, or some other material, such as adhesives, heat, or chemical bonding agents. See bonding. 

Lampas: A multi-colour figured drapery and upholstery fabric similar to a brocade, made of silk, viscose rayon, or combinations of yams. Two warps, one forming the ground and one bind wefts, in regular or irregular order, form the figure. 

Lap: (1) (general) a sheet of fibres or fabric wrapped round a core with specific applications in different sections of the industry, e.g., Sheets of fibre wound on rollers or round endless aprons to facilitate transfer from one process to the next., Note: In cotton spinning, the sheets of fibre from openers and scutchers, sliver-lap machines, and ribbon-lap machines are wound on cores. (2) (flax) an arrangement of the fibre strands in scutched flax, pieced out for hackling, or in pieces of hackled flax, to facilitate their removal as separate units from built-up bundles. (3) (fabric.) The length of fabric between successive transverse folds when pieces are plaited down or folded,, (4) (fabric) an individual layer of fabric in roll form., (5) fibres wrapped accidentally round any rotating machine part., (6) silk waste after discharging and combing, but before processing into sliver or top. The staple length of the fibre decreases between the first, second and third drafts (combings). 

Lap Waste (wool): A sheet of fibres accidentally wound round rollers or aprons. It is substantially without twist and may be carded without further processing. 

Laser Cut: The process of cutting a design into the fabric by using a narrow beam laser to vaporize the fabric. 

Latent Crimp: A crimp that is potentially present in specially prepared fibres or filaments and that can be developed by a specific treatment such as thermal relaxation or tensioning and subsequent relaxation. 

Latent Heat: The quantity of heat absorbed or released by a substance undergoing a change of state, such as ice changing to water or water to steam, at constant temperature and pressure. When a solid material is heated and reaches its melting point, it goes from solid to liquid. During this process the material absorbs a certain amount of heat, despite the heat input, the temperature of the material stays at a relatively constant level, even though phase change is taking place. We thus speak of latent (concealed) heat having been taken up by the material. 

Lawn: A light, fine cloth made using carded or combed, linen or cotton yarns. The fabric has a crease-resistant, crisp finish. Linen lawn is synonymous with handkerchief linen. Cotton lawn is a similar type of fabric, which can be white, solid colored, or printed. 

Lawn: A fine, plain-woven fabric of linen or cotton, made in various fine, sheer qualities. Various finishes may be applied to a fabric of this type, in which case the product is known by the name of the finish used, e.g. Organdie. 

Lawn: A thin, light, crisp, plain weave fabric usually of cotton, cotton bends or linen. More firm than batiste or voile but less firm than organdy. 

Lawn Finish: A medium-starch finish applied to lawn and other fine-yarn plain fabrics to give a crisp finished effect. 

Lea (cotton): In cotton, a length of 120 yards; in worsted 80 yards; in linen 300 yards., Note: In cotton and worsted these lengths are one-seventh of the standard hank. In determining grist. It was less wasteful to count leas per 1000 grains than hanks per pound (7000 grains). 

Lea (linen): The count of a flax-spun yarn., Lea count-strength product; csp; break factor (u.s.), The product of the lea strength, and the actual count of cotton yarn. 

Leading Strings or Tatas: Long narrow strips of cloth attached to the shoulders of small children's dresses to hold them by when they began to walk. These aids were used in the 17th and 18th centuries. In england, in the 18th century, young girls wore these bands of cloth until marriage. 

Left-hand twill: Any twill weave which runs from the left. The twill or diagonal line on the face of the fabric will run from the upper left-hand corner to the lower right-hand corner of the fabric. 

Lehnga: A kind of skirt. Worn generally in combination with an odhani, which is tucked into it at the waist. Possibly derived from sanskrit lanka, standing for the waist, and anga or limbs. 

Leight Weight: Having an airy weave. Used as a light weight base layer in apparel for aerobic activities and cool weather. 

Length, fabric: Unless otherwise specified, the usable length of a piece between any truth marks, piece-ends, or numbering, when the fabric is measured laid flat on a table in the absence of tension. 

Leno: Refers to an open weave fabric. In a leno weave the warp yarns are arranged in pairs, twisting or interlocking around the filling yarn to prevent slippage and make the open weave stronger and more firm. 

Leno Fabric: A fabric in which warp threads have been made to cross one another, between the picks, during weaving. The crossing of the warp threads may be a general feature of plain leno fabrics (as marquisette and some gauzes and muslins) or may be used in combination with other weaves (as in some cellular fabrics). 

Leno Weave (doup): A construction of woven fabrics in which the resulting fabric is very sheer, yet durable. In this weave, two or more warp yarns are twisted around each other as they are interlaced with the filling yarns; thus securing a firm hold on the filling yarn and preventing them from slipping out of position. The yarns work in pairs; one is the standard warp yarn, the other is the skeleton or doup yarn. Also called the gauze weave. Leno weave fabrics are frequently used for window treatments, because their structure gives good durability with almost no yarn slippage, and permits the passage of light and air. 

Letona: A bast fibre obtained from the plant agave letonae. 

Leuco Dye: A reduced form of a dye from which the original dye may be regenerated by oxidation. 

Levelling: Migration of dye leading to uniform coloration of a substrate. 

Lever Lace: Lace made on a leavers machine. The machine uses mechanically controlled bobbins and is controlled by a jacquard mechanism. They can produce fine delicate patterns that resemble handmade laces. 

Limbric: A light- to- medium-weight, closely woven, plain-weave, cotton fabric made from good-quality yams. The weft is coarser and more closely spaced and has a lower twist factor than the warp giving a soft fabric in which the weft predominates on both sides (cf. Casement cloth). A example was 50s x 36s (12 x 16 tex), both Egyptian yams, 68 x 102 (27 ends/cm x 40 picks/cm). 

Limit for acceptable quality (laq): The number of defects permissible per 100 square metres of fabric. 

Limp: Refers to a fabric that is very drapey and lacking in body. 

Line Flax (obsolescent): Hackled flax. 

Linear Density: The mass per unit length of linear textile material. 

Linen: Descriptive of yarns spun entirely from flax fibres., (2) descriptive of fabrics woven from linen yarns., (3) descriptive of articles which, apart from adornments, are made of yarns spun from flax, note: despite some usage of this term in non-technical circles as a generic one, e.g. Linen department, baby linen, household linen, it does not apply to individual articles that do not comply with the definition. 

Linen: A fabric made from linen fibers obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant. The term, linen, cannot be used except for natural fiber flax. The fiber length ranges from a few inches to one yard, with no fuzziness, does not soil quickly, and has a natural luster and stiffness. Linen fibers are much stronger and more lustrous than cotton. Linen fabrics are very cool and absorbent, but wrinkle very easily, unless blended with manufactured fibers. Linen is one of the oldest textile fibers. 

Linen Prover: See counting glass. 

Lingerie: Feminine underwear, slumberwear and similar garments of fine texture and aesthetic appeal., Note: The term, derived from the French 'lin', referred originally to linen articles, especially ladies' underwear. 

Lining: A fabric that is used to cover the inside of a garment to provide a finished look. Generally, the lining is made of a smooth lustrous fabric. 

Lining: A component of a garment or other article and that consists of a single layer or multiple layers of fabric attached along one or more edges to the main fabric. 

Linseed Flax: Varieties of flax cultivated mainly for seed production. 

Linsey-Wolsey (formerly linsey-woolsey): (1) A coarse linen fabric., (2) a strong, coarse fabric with a linen warp and a worsted weft. 

Lint: The main seed hair of the cotton plant, (cf. Linters).,(2) a plain-weave, highly absorbent material with one raised fleecy surface. For surgical purposes it is sterilised. 

Linters: Whole and broken lint fibres and fuzz fibres that are removed from the ginned cotton seed by a special ginning (q.v.) process. 

Linters: Whole and broken lint fibres and fuzz fibres, which are removed from ginned cotton seed by a special ginning process., Note: The first ginning of cotton removes most of the lint fibres from the ordinary raw cotton of commerce. The seed is then subjected to a second processing on a special gin to remove the linters, which are composed of a small proportion of whole-lint fibres, greater amounts of broken-lint fibres, and fuzz fibres that are much coarser and shorter than the lint. The removal of lint and fuzz is not completed by this operation and the residue may be successively re-ginned. The products are termed 'first-cut linters', 'second-cut linters', etc., The length of the fibres in each successive cut becoming progressively shorter. 

Lint Ball: Lint or fluff that has accumulated on a knitting machine and become incorporated in the fabric. 

Liquid Ammonia Treatment: A process during which textile material is immersed in or brought into contact with anhydrous liquid ammonia. The treatment confers 'flat setting', i.e., Smooth drying properties and an attractive soft handle to cotton fabrics. 

Liquor ratio: The ratio between the mass of liquor employed in any treatment and the mass of fibrous material treated. 

Lisle thread: A highly twisted, plied (usually 2-ply) good quality cotton hosiery yarn, spun generally in fine counts. All lisle threads are gassed and some may be mercerized (mercerized lisle). A lisle thread was formerly a plied yarn having singles of opposite twist. 

Listing: An uneven dyeing effect in which there is a variation in colour between that of the selvedge and that of the centre of a piece-dyed fabric. 

Llama fibre (hair): fibre from the fleece of the llama (lama glama) that inhabits the high mountain regions of South America. 

Loading: Increasing the weight of fabrics by the addition of delequescent salts, starch or china clay. This term is not restricted to one class of textile fabrics, but is used loosely in connection with finishing of wool, cellulose, or silk goods. 

Locks: A term used in wool-sorting for short oddments of wool which fall from the skirting tables or are swept up from the boards. In some countries it can include soiled tufts and pieces from near the rumps of sheep. 

Loden: Coarse woollen milled water-repellent fabric used for jackets, coats and capes. 

Loft: High loft is thick and fluffy, low loft is thin and dense. The higher the loft, the better the insulation characteristic. 

Lofty: A term applied to an assemblage of fibres to denote a relatively high degree of openness and resilience, or a large volume for a given mass. 

Loom: A machine used for weaving fabrics. 

Loom: A) machine for producing fabric by weaving. a) automatic loom, a loom on which the shuttles or pirns are changed automatically. 
B) circular loom, a loom on which the shuttles travel simultaneously on a circular path through a wave shed (q.v.). 
C) shuttle loom,a loom that uses a shuttle (q.v.) to insert the weft. 
D) shuttleless loom, a loom in which the weft is drawn from a stationary supply and is inserted by means other than a shuttle. 
There are three main types of shuttleless looms:1. Gripper-projectile <gripper-shuttle> loom in which the weft thread is taken through the shed by a projectile fitted with a jaw that grips the end of the weft thread during insertion of the pick. 
2. Jet loom in which the weft thread is taken through the shed by a jet of liquid or air. Note: because of the nature of these weft insertion methods, the weft yarn in the fabric is in lengths of one or two picks. Consequently, means are usually provided for forming acceptable edges. (see also selvedge). 
3. Rapier loom in which the means for carrying the weft thread through the shed is fixed in the end of a rigid rod or of a flexible ribbon, that (in both cases) is positively driven. Rapier looms may have a single rapier to carry the weft across the full width, or two rapiers that operate from opposite sides of the loom. 

Loom: A term used for weaving machine. 

Loom-finished: Material sold in the same condition in which the goods came from the loom duck, webbing, canvas, burlap, etc. 

Loom-state: Any woven fabric as it leaves the loom before it receives any subsequent processing. 

Loose: Refers to a fabric that is not tightly constructed and shifts easily. 

Lousiness: See exfoliation. 

Love lock: In the first half of the 17th century men grew one lock longer than the rest of the long hair. It is tied with a ribbon and laid to the front of the left shoulder ("cavalier"-style). 

Lungi: A garment-piece worn by men, as a long, straight skirt-cloth. 

Lurex brand: Brand of metallic fiber and yarn of the lurex co. 

Lustre: The display of different intensities of light, reflected both specularly and diffusely from different parts of a surface exposed to the same incident light. High lustre is associated with gross differences of this kind, and empirical measurements of lustre depend on the ratio of the intensities of reflected light for specified angles of incidence and viewing., Note: this definition makes these differences in intensity of light the key point, since these form the chief subjective impression on the observer of lustre. Both specular and diffuse light must be present together, for, if diffuse light only is present, the surface is matt, not lustrous, whereas, if specular light only is present, the surface is mirror-like, and again not lustrous. The phrase 'exposed to the same incident light' has been included to rule out shadow effects, which have no part in lustre proper. The general term 'surface' is intended to apply to fibres, yarns, and fabrics, and indeed to other surfaces, e.g., That of a pearl (through there the differently reflecting parts are very close together). In the second sentence of the definition, lustre is regarded as a positive function of the differences, the appropriate adjective of intensification being 'high'. 

Lycra Brand: Du pont brand of spandex yarn. 

Lyocell Fiber: This fiber is made from the wood pulp cellulose of such hardwood trees as birch, oak, or eucalyptus, and is typically classified as a fiber cousin to rayon. Lyocell shares many properties with other cellulosic fibers such as cotton, linen, ramie and rayon. Some main characteristics of lyocell fibers are that it is soft, absorbent, very strong when wet or dry, and resistant to wrinkles; it can be machine- or hand-washed or drycleaned, it drapes well, and it can be dyed many colors, as well as simulating a variety of textures like suede, leather, or silk. In the united states, it is manufactured by lenzing, inc. and marketed under the trademarked brand name tencel®. 

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