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Glossary of Textile Terms and Definitions, O - Textile Dictionary

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Letter O

Oatmeal Cloth: A heavy, soft fabric with a specked pebbly surface. Used for drapery, upholstery.

Odhani: A veil-cloth for a woman, often worn tucked into the side of the waist and drawn upward over the back and the head, the free end being draped over the shoulder. Literally, 'a wrap'.

Oil Coated: The application of oil to a fabric (usually linseed oil) to seal it and made it waterproof.

Oil Repellent: A treatment that allows a fabric to resist staining by oily substances.

Oilcloth: A general term for any oil coated fabric.

Oiled Silk: Oiled viscose: Silk and viscose fabrics, respectively, made impervious to water by treatment with a drying oil.

Oiled Wool: Unscoured or undyed knitting wool or wool dyed before spinning and containing added oil not subsequently removed.

Oil-repellent: Descriptive of textile material on which oil globules do not spread.

Olefin (fibre) (us.): A term used to describe manufactured fibres in which the fibre-forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of ethene (ethylene), propane (propylene), or other olefin units. The term includes the iso generic names are polypropylene and polyethylene

Olefin (polyolefin/polypropylene): A manufactured fiber characterized by its light weight, high strength, and abrasion resistance. Olefin is also good at transporting moisture, creating a wicking action. End-uses include activewear apparel, rope, indoor-outdoor carpets, lawn furniture, and upholstery.

Oligomer: A simple polymer containing a small number of repeating units., Note: The oligomer most frequently encountered in the textile industry is the cyclic trimer of poly(ethylene benzene-1,4-dicarboxylate) (poly(ethylene terephthalate)), the polymer used for polyester fibre. This material can form deposits during the processing and dyeing of yarns and fabrics.

Ombre: Refers to a gradual change in shade from light to dark or from one color to another. May be done as a yarn dye or in printing.

Ombr: A french term meaning shaded. It is used in relation to textiles (a) as an adjective to describe fabrics with a dyed, printed, or woven design in which the colour is graduated from light to dark and often into stripes of varying shades: and (b) as a noun, meaning (i) shaded or (ii) a fabric with shaded design.

On-call Cotton: Raw cotton purchased under a procedure whereby the price (points on or off futures) is between buyer and seller, but the actual futures price is left to be fixed within a stipulated period. Buyer has the right to 'call' (i.e., Demand fixation of the futures price) at any time within stipulated period.

Onium Dye: A cationic dye that is solubilized by a labile ammonium, sulphonium, phosphonium, or oxonium substituent which splits off during fixation to leave an insoluble colorant in the fibre.

Open Boil: Scouring of cellulosic textiles with alkaline liquors in open-topped vessels at or near the boiling. Note: scours at temperatures lower than the boil are usually referred to as 'steeps'.

Open end: A high speed yarn spinning process that creates yarn by transferring twist from previously formed yarn to fiber or sliver continuously fed into the spinning machine. The twisting may be done by mechanical methods, rotors or air jets.

Open-end spinning: The production of spun yarns by a process in which the sliver (q.v.) or roving (q.v.) is opened or separated into its individual fibres or tufts and is subsequently reassembled in the spinning element into a yarn. (see also spinning).

Open-end spinning; Break Spinning: A spinning system in which sliver feedstock is highly drafted, ideally to individual fibre state, and thus creates an open end or break in the fibre flow. The fibres are subsequently assembled on the end of a rotating yarn and twisted in. Various techniques are available for collecting and twisting the fibres into a yarn, the most noteworthy being rotor spinning and friction spinning.

Opening: The action of separating closely packed fibres from each other at an early stage in the processing of raw material into yam.

Open-width processing: The treatment of fabric at its full width in the unfolded state in contrast to rope-form processing. The fabric may be carried on rollers through the processing media or be held on a roller, as in dyeing.

Optical Brightener: A substance that is added to an uncoloured or a coloured textile material to increase the apparent reflectance in the visible region by conversion of ultra-violet radiation into visible light and so to increase the apparent brightness or whiteness. Also termed fluorescent brightener; optical whitener; fluorescent whitening agent; brightening agent.

Organdy: A thin, very stiff, lightweight, plain weave fabric usually of cotton or cotton blends. It is often treated to make the crisp finish permanent. Used for apparel trim such as collars and cuffs, evening wear, dresses, curtains.

Organza: A thin, plain weave, sheer fabric of silk or synthetic filament yarn such as polyester or nylon. Used for evening or party wear, bridal wear, curtains, millinery.

Orientation: Parallelism of fibres, usually as a result of a combing or attenuating action on fibre assemblies causing the fibres to lie substantially parallel to the axis of the web or strand. (2) a predominant direction of linear molecules in the fine structure of fibres. Note 1: in man-made fibres orientation is usually parallel to the fibre axis as a result of extrusion stretching, or drawing. In natural fibres the predominant direction is determined during growth, for example a helix around the fibre axis in cotton. Note 2: unoriented structures are those in which orientation is absent. Disoriented structures are those in which orientation has been reduced or eliminated as a result of a disrupting treatment.

Orientation: a) The degree of parallelism of fibres, usually as a result of a combing or attenuating action on fibre assemblies that causes the fibres to be substantially parallel to the main axis of the web (q.v.) or strand.
B) a preferred direction of linear molecules in the fine structure of fibres and usually caused by so stretching an extruded fibre that the length direction of the molecules tends to lie parallel to the main axis of the fibre.
C) in the case of natural fibres, a preferred direction of linear molecules laid down during growth, e.g. a spiral around the fibre axis in cotton.

Organdy: A stiffened, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count. End-uses include blouses, dresses, and curtains/draperies.

Organic Cotton: Cotton that is grown without pesticides from plants that are not genetically modified using crop rotation and biological pest control instead of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

Organic Linen: An extremely durable sustainable fiber that is made from the flax plant and grown without herbicides or pesticides. 

Organza: A crisp, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count, made of silk, rayon, nylon, or polyester. The fabric is used primarily in evening and wedding apparel for women.

Osnaburg: A tough medium to heavyweight coarsely woven plain weave fabric, usually made of a cotton or cotton/poly blend. Lower grades of the unfinished fabric are used for such industrial purposes as bags, sacks, pipe coverings. Higher grades of finished osnaburg can be found in mattress ticking, slipcovers, workwear, and apparel.

Osnaburg: A coarse, strong, plain weave, medium to heavy weight fabric, usually of cotton. Used for industrial purposes, drapery and upholstery.

Ottoman: A medium to heavy weight fabric with wide horizontal ribs. May be knit or woven. Used for women's apparel, upholstery, drapery.

Ottoman: A tightly woven plain weave ribbed fabric with a hard slightly lustered surface. The ribbed effect is created by weaving a finer silk or manufactured warp yarn with a heavier filler yarn, usually made of cotton, wool, or waste yarn. In the construction, the heavier filler yarn is completely covered by the warp yarn, thus creating the ribbed effect. End uses for this fabric include coats, suits, dresses, upholstery, and draperies.

Outline embroidered: A fabric with a design motif traced (outlined) with embroidery stitches.

Outline quilted: A quilted fabric in which the quilting stitches follow the motif of a print design.

Oven: Enclosed heating chamber used by garment manufacturers to apply heat for the purpose of applying heat to a garment to set, or cure (bake), a durable press finish on the article.

Oven-dry mass: The constant mass obtained by drying at a temperature of 105-110 °c.
Note: A ventilated drying oven (that has a positively induced air current) or other suitable oven must be used for determination of the oven-dry mass.

Oven-dry weight: The constant weight of textile material obtained by drying at a temperature of 105 3c.

Overdyed: Dyeing of a print or yarn dyed fabric in a shade which does not totally cover the original design.

Overprinted: Usually refers to printing over a previously dyed fabric, however yarn dyes, cross dyes and previously printed fabrics are also sometimes overprinted.

Oxford: A fabric with a single filling yarn woven over and under 2 smaller warp yarns. Commonly found in cotton shirtings, but oxfords are produced in a wide variety of fibers and weights for many uses, mainly in apparel.

Oxford: Soft, somewhat porous, and rather stout cotton shirting given a silk-like luster finish. Made on small repeat basket weaves, the fabric soils easily because of the soft, bulky filling used in the goods. The cloth comes in all white or may have stripes with small geometric designs between these stripes.

Oxford Weave: A modification of plain weave in which two warp yarns weave together as one. 

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