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Glossary of Textile Terms and Definitions, R - Textile Dictionary

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Letter R

Rabat: In the 17th century the rabat was a collar of linen and lace worn over the doublet. Ecclesiastics wore a narrower rabat and this accessory for ecclesiastical town dress remained in use for a long time afterwards.

Rabbit Hair: Fur from the common or wild rabbit.

Rack stitch: A knitting stitch that produces a herringbone effect with a rib back.

Raffia: A fibre obtained from the leaves of the raffia palm raphia raffia.

Rags (new): The waste fabric, whether woven or knitted, that is left after a garment has been cut out. The term also covers piece ends and discarded pattern bunches.

Rags (old): worn garments that have been discarded.

Raising: The production of a layer of protruding fibres on the surface of fabrics by brushing, teazing, or rubbing.

Raising: The production of a layer of protruding fibres on the surface of fabrics by brushing, teazling or rubbing. Note: The fabric, in open width, is passed between rotating rollers covered with teazles, fine wires, carborundum, etc., whereby the surface fibres are lifted or broken to give the required effect.

Ramie: A sustainable bast fiber, similar to flax, taken from the stalk of a plant grown in east Asia and china. It’s three to five times stronger than cotton, extremely absorbent, and dries quickly. It is often mistaken for linen.

Ramie: A bast fibre obtained from the stems of boehmeria nivea gaud, especially the variety tenacissima belonging to the urticaceae or nettle family. It usually reaches european markets in the form of ribbons.

Raschel: Refers to knit fabric made a a raschel machine, a warp knitting machine capable of a wide variety of intricate designs, various surface textures, and open work effects.

Raschel Knit: A warp knitted fabric in which the resulting knit fabric resembles hand crocheted fabrics, lace fabrics, and nettings. Raschel warp knits contain inlaid connecting yarns in addition to columns of knit stitches.

Raschel Lace: A lace fabric knit on a raschel machine. Usually moderately priced.

Rate of Dyeing: The rate at which a dye is absorbed by a substrate under specified conditions. Note: it may be expressed quantitatively in several ways, such as the weight of dye absorbed in unit time, or the time taken for the substrate to absorb a given fraction of the amount of dye which it will absorb at equilibrium.

Ratine: A plain weave, loosely constructed fabric with a rough, nubby texture resulting from the use of ratine yarn, a knotted, curly, plied yarn. Used for drapery, dresses and women's sportswear.

Raw Material: A natural unprocessed material used in a manufacturing process; defined as “unfinished goods consumed by a manufacturer in the production of finished goods”.

Raw Silk: Continuous filaments or strands containing no twist, drawn off or reeled from silk cocoons.

Rayon (fibre) (usa): A term used to describe manufactured fibres composed of regenerated cellulose, as well as manufactured fibres composed of regenerated cellulose in which substituents have replaced not more than 15% of the hydrogens of the hydroxyl groups. The iso generic names are viscose, modal and cupro.

Rayon: A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from cotton linters or the wood pulp of pine, spruce, or hemlock trees. Today, various names for rayon fibers are taken from different manufacturing processes. The two most commonly used production methods for rayon are the cuprammonium process and the viscose process. Rayon is soft and absorbent. End-uses for rayon include shirts, dresses, and slacks.

Reaction spinning (man-made-fibre production): A process in which polymerization is achieved during the extrusion of reactants through a spinneret system.

Reactive Dye: A dye that, under suitable conditions, is capable of reacting chemically with a substrate.

Reactive Dye: A dye that, under suitable conditions, is capable of reacting chemically with a substrate to form a covalent dye-substrate linkage.

Reactive Dyed: Water soluble dyes that bond well to cellulosic and nylon fibers. Provide good brightness and colorfastness.

Re-Breaking: The shortening of fibres in a sliver or top by a process similar in principle to stretch breaking. Re-breaking may be intended to shorten a limited number of over length fibres or to reduce the average length.

Recommended allowance: The percentage that, in the calculation of commercial weight of textile material and of yarn linear density is added to the oven-dry weight. The determination of this weight may or may not be preceded by washing to remove natural or added oils and dressings. The recommended allowance is arbitrarily chosen according to commercial practice and includes the moisture regain. It may also include the normal finish that is added to impart satisfactory textile qualities to the material.

Redox Potential: The potential developed when a bright platinum electrode is immersed in a solution containing an ionic species in two interconvertible oxidation (valency) states. The potential is dependent upon the ratio of the concentrations of the two oxidation states, e.g., Iron ii and iron iii ions; 4-dihydroxybenzene (hydroquinone) and 1,4-benzoquinone (p-benzoquinone); vat dye and leuco vat dye. Note: The standard redox potential, e, is that developed when the concentrations of the two oxidation states are equal to each other, and in vat dye systems indicates the difficulty with which the vat dye (the oxidized state) can be reduced.

Reed Mark: A warp-way crack or disturbance of the structure in a woven fabric, caused by a reed misdraw or a damaged or defective reed.

Reflective Insulation Technology: All materials emit energy by thermal radiation as a result of their temperature. The amount of energy or radiant heat reflected depends on the surface temperature. The higher the surface temperature is, the greater the reflection will be. Reflective insulation technology has been used by nasa since the earliest satellites, and continues to be used today as the primary space suit insulation to protect every astronaut in space from the extreme temperatures of outer space. The technology is effective in temperatures as high as 120 degrees c. (250 degrees f.) to as low as -273 degrees c. (-400 degrees f.)

Regain: The weight of moisture present in a textile material expressed as a percentage of the oven-dry weight.

Regenerated Cellulose Fibre: A term used to describe manufactured fibres composed of regenerated cellulose, as well as manufactured fibres composed of regenerated cellulose in which substituents have replaced not more than 15% of the hydrogens of the hydroxyl groups. The iso generic names are viscose, modal and cupro.

Regenerated Fibre: A man-made fibre produced from a naturally occurring fibre-forming polymer by a process that includes regeneration of the original polymer structure.

Regenerated Protein Fibre: A term used to describe fibres obtained from natural protein substances by chemical regeneration.

Relative Humidity: The ratio of the actual pressure of the water vapour in the atmosphere to the saturation water vapour at the same temperature. The ratio is usually expressed as a percentage e.g. 65 % rh.

Relative humidity: The ratio of the actual pressure of the water vapour in the atmosphere to the saturation pressure of water vapour at the same temperature. (the ratio is usually expressed as a percentage).

Relaxation: The releasing of stresses in textile materials.

Relaxation: The releasing of strains and stresses in textile materials.

Relaxation Shrinkage: A shrinkage induced by the relaxation of strains present in a textile. Note: strains of a temporary nature can be relaxed to a varied degree, e.g. by steam pressing or by immersion in water.

Rep: A plain weave fabric with ridges in the filling. Used for drapery, upholstery, neckties, robes.

Repeating Unit: A chemical group that recurs in the backbone of a polymer.

Repellency: The ability of a fabric to resist such things as wetting and staining by water, stains, soil, etc.

Reprocessed Wool: Fibers reclaimed from scraps of fabric never previously used.

Residual Shrinkage: The potential shrinkage that remains in a fibre, yarn or fabric after treatment designed to reduce or eliminate shrinkage. Note: The expression is commonly used with reference to heat-shrinkage properties of synthetic polymer fibre after it has been heat-set.

Residual Shrinkage: The latent shrinkage of a fibre, filament, yam, or fabric.

Resiliency: The ability of a fabric to spring back to its original shape after being twisted, crushed, wrinkled, or distorted in any way.

Resin-treated: A finishing process associated with the application of synthetic chemical compounds to the fabric to provide wrinkle-resistance, wash-and-wear characteristics, or an improved hand.

Resin treated: A fabric that has been treated with a synthetic film-forming polymer (resin). This may be done to make the fabric firmer, heavier, more stable, to add wrinkle resistance, to reduce shrinkage or to create surface effect such as embossing or glazing.

Resist printed: A chemical is printed on certain areas of the fabric to make those areas resistant to dye. Allows for the printing of small or fine motifs in the design..

Resultant Linear Density: The actual linear density of a plied (folded or cabled) yarn.

Retexturing: A process for treating dry-cleaned garments, etc., To improve their properties, particularly water repellence and handle.

Retractive force (textured yarn): The tension in a textured yarn due to the formation of crimp in the filaments under specified conditions of crimp development.

Retting (flax): The subjection of crop or deseeded straw to chemical or biological treatment to make fibre bundles more easily separable from the woody part of the stem. Flax is described as water-retted, dew-retted or chemically-retted, etc., According to the process employed.

Reused Wool: Wool rags and manufactured waste, torn up and reprocessed into fibres again, and used for such fabrics as are composed of shoddy and mungo yarns.

Rhinegraves: See petticoat breeches. They are said to derive from holland or Germany.

Rhinestones: Faceted, highly refractive, imitation gemstones that are attached to the fabric for decorative purposes.

Rib: Any fabric with a cord or ridge effect. 2. A knit fabric made with plain stitches alternating with purl stitches. Rib knits have natural stretch properties.

Rib Knit: A basic stitch used in weft knitting in which the knitting machines require two sets of needles operating at right angles to each other. Rib knits have a very high degree of elasticity in the crosswise direction. This knitted fabric is used for complete garments and for such specialized uses as sleeve bands, neck bands, sweater waistbands, and special types of trims for use with other knit or woven fabrics. Lightweight sweaters in rib knits provide a close, body-hugging fit.

Rib Weave: One of the plain weave variations, which is formed by using: 1) heavy yarns in the warp or filling direction, or 2) a substantially higher number of yarns per inch in one direction than in the other, or 3) several yarns grouped together as one. Rib fabrics are all characterized by having a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. Such fabrics may have problems with yarn slippage, abrasion resistance, and tear strength. Examples of this construction include broadcloth, poplin, taffeta, faille, shantung, and cord fabric.

Ribbon: A fillet or narrow woven fabric of varying widths, commonly one-quarter to three inches, having selvage edges, chiefly or rayon, silk, or velvet, and used for braiding, decoration, trimmings, etc.

Ring Spinning: A system of spinning, using a ring spinning frame that drafts the roving, twists the yarn, and winds it on the bobbin continuously and simultaneously on one operation. Modern ring frames are suitable for spinning all counts up to 150s.

Ring Spinning: A spinning system in which twist is inserted in a yarn by using a revolving traveller. The yarn is wound on since the rotational speed of the package is greater than that of the traveller.

Ring Spun: A yarn spinning method in which roving ( a thin strand of fiber with very little twist) is fed to a "traveler" with rotates around the edge of a ring. Inside the ring is a faster rotating bobbin. The process simultaneously twists the roving into yarn and winds it around the bobbin. Ring spun yarns are generally stronger than open end yarns.

Ripening: A process in the production of cellulose ethanoate (acetate) consisting in the splitting off of some of the ethanoic acid (acetic acid) and most of the combined catalyst present in the primary cellulose ethanoate (acetate). (2) a process in the manufacture of viscose in which, prior to spinning, the number of xanthate groups is reduced and some redistribution takes place. The process is time and temperature dependent.

Ripping: The operation of removing cotton or man-made fibre linings from garments prior to the sorting and classification of rags.

Ripstop: A woven fabric with corded yarns spaced at regular intervals in both the warp and filling, forming squares on the surface of the fabric. Originally intended so a tear in the fabric would not spread. Used mainly for outerwear and active wear.

Rip-stop nylon: A lightweight, wind resistant, and water resistant plain weave fabric. Large rib yarns stop tears without adding excess weight to active sportswear apparel and outdoor equipment such as sleeping bags and tents. Cloth used originally for parachutes and sails, now finding favor in fashion and accessories.

Robe: Originally this described all the furniture and effects belonging to a person, then the meaning was gradually reduced until it denotes a person's collection of clothing.

Robe l'anglaise: Mid- to second half of 18th century dress that was made with a fitted back called "en fourreau".

Robe de chambre / robe volante: In the 17th century the word had nothing of the modern sense of dshabill, it was simply a gown differing from the court gown, and was admitted to the chambres of the royal apartments outside receptions and ceremonies.

Roller Printed: A method of printing by passing the fabric over metal rollers on which the design has been engraved. One roller is used for each color. Used for printing long runs with good register and a clear, sharp design.

Rolling (flax): The more general term is breaking and consists of deformation of the plant structure by flattening the stem, loosening the bond between the fibre bundles and the wood, and breaking the woody part into short pieces, to facilitate their removal from the fibre by scutching.

Rope mark ''running mark'': A long crease mark (q.v.) in a dyed or finished textile and that runs approximately in the length direction. Note: The marks are caused during wet processing in the rope form and may be the result of:
A) for formation of creases along which abrasion or felting may occur; or
B) imperfect penetration or circulation of the processing liquors.

Rose Point Lace: A needlepoint lace with floral patterns connected by bars. Similar to venitian lace but with smaller patterns.

Rotary Screen Printed: In screen printing a separate screen is created for each color. The open mesh part of the screen corresponds to the area to be printed in that color. The areas where color is not to pass through are blocked. Dye paste is forced through the open mesh area with a squeegee. In rotary screen printing the squeegees are contained within cylindrical screens aligned one after the other, and the fabric moves continuously. Rotary printing is a much faster process than flat screen printing but the pattern repeat is limited by the circumference of the cylinders.

Rotor Spinning: A method of open-end spinning which uses a rotor (a high speed centrifuge) to collect a individual fibres into a yarn, the fibres on entering a rapidly rotating rotor are distributed around its circumference and temporarily held there by centrifugal force. The yarn is withdrawn from the rotor wall and, because of the rotation, twist is generated.

Roughing (scutched flax): A preliminary hand hackling operation involving the removal of tangled and short fibres by means of a roughing tool.

Roughing-out (flax): The rough separation of the seed from the chaff, short straw, weeds, and other extraneous material produced during de-seeding.

Roving: A name given, individually or collectively, to the relatively fine fibrous strands used in the later or final processes of preparation for spinning.

Rubber-like: Having a hand suggesting rubber.

Ruff: Stiffened frill of lace or pleated linen, worn in the 16th and early 17th centuries. A forerunner of falling band and cravats.

Rug, scutching (flax): The partly scutched short straws that fall below the two compartments of a scutching machine after (a) the shives have been shaken out of it, or (b) the waste made during the production of scutched flax on a wheel. 

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