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Glossary

 

 
Acrylic
Acrylic is a man made fibre with a soft feel resembling wool. Acrylic products are easy to wash and dry and are non-allergenic, moth-resistant and durable.

Applique
This is the technique of embellishment in which fabrics are stretched onto a base fabric to create a design and texture.

Baroque
A design style originating in Italy in the early 17th century, characterised by bold, classical forms, highly ornate and often with a clever use of light and shadow to suggest movement and three dimensionality.

Bath Sheet
This towel is larger than a standard bath towel, ideal for men. 86cm x 160cm.
 
Bath Towel
Often referred to as a queen bath towel, this is the most common towel size. 70cm x 140cm.

Battenberg
Style of lace.
 
Bed In A Bag
A pre-assembled set that typically includes a queen comforter, fitted sheet, pillowcases, European pillowcases, cushion and a neck roll. 

Bed Skirt
Another name for a valance. The quilted piece of fabric that surrounds the base of the bed.

Bedspread Skirted
This style of bedspread is only quilted on the top of the bed and has a skirt that drops to the floor all the way around to hide the mattress and base of the bed.
 
Bedspread Tailored
Tailored bedspreads are a good option for smaller spaces as they fit very neatly to the bed and have no hanging fabric that might be tripped over. Tailored bedspreads have a full width reverse sham.

Bias
Fabric cut on a 45 degree angle to the direction of the warp or weft. Fabric cut on the bias has maximum strength.

Bleaching - Optical Brighteners
Products with bluing agents or whiteners are not recommended on coloured linens, as they may progressively fade the colours.
 
Bleaching - Skin Products
Certain skin and hair products that contain oxidizing agents (eg: lotions used for acne), may cause discoloration of sheets and towels. If you use such personal products, cover your pillow with a white pillowcase or white towel.
 
Blend
The combination of two or more types of fibres to create a specific weave. For example, cotton and polyester are often blended to combine the easy care qualities of polyester with the luxurious softness and breathability of cotton.

Boucle
Boucle is a novelty yarn which is looped and crimped to produce a bubbled surface.

Broderie Anglaise
Broderie Anglaise is the French term for English Embroidery. It is a style incorporating features of embroidery, cutwork and needle lace.

Cassette Walled Construction
This is the sign of a premium quality quilt. The quilt is divided up into individual pockets, each with four walls and exactly the same amount of filling is blown in to each one. This ensures that during both use and washing, the filling does not move around the quilt, ensuring an even distribution of warmth.

Chenille
A yarn with a fuzzy pile. Chenille has a velvet, caterpillar like appearance and the term is derived from the French word for caterpillar.
 
Combed Yarns
The process of combing yarns produces premium threads that are extra strong, fine and smooth. This is done by removing short fibres and all wastage from the material, ensuring only the longest finest staple fibres remain within the yarn.
 
Cotton
Cotton is a natural, cellulose seed hair fibre, obtained from the seedpod of the cotton plant. It is used for bed linen as one of it's main characteristics is it's ability to allow skin to 'breathe'. 

Coverlet
A thin, decorative bed covering with a thin layer of wadding. Ideal as a decorative addition to your bed or as a lightweight bed cover.
 
Crushed Fabrics
Crushed fabrics are those treated with heat, moisture and pressure in finishing to distort pile formation.
 
Damask
This jacquard fabric is usually made from linen, cotton, rayon, silk or blends and features a patterned finish. Often found in the finest linens, Damask was originally a rich silk fabric with woven floral designs made in China and introduced into Europe through Damascus, from which it derived it's name.
 
Denim
Denim is a yarn-dyed cotton cloth woven in a warp-faced twill, usually with a dyed warp and a natural weft.
 
Dobby
This type of loom creates small, geometric figures often woven into fabric as a regular pattern. Originally, a 'Dobby Boy' sat on top of the loom and drew up warp threads to form a pattern, a job now performed by machines. The term 'dobby' refers to the type of loom that is used to weave small, geometric patterns onto fabric.
 
Down
The soft, light clusters found under the feathers of geese or ducks that trap warm air next to the bird's skin. Each cluster has thousands of soft, puffy filaments that extend outward from a central quill, creating a 3-dimensional structure for maximum loft and insulation. These clusters trap heat and air, which provide insulation whilst letting you breathe. The higher the down count, the lighter the quilt.
 
Duck Fabric
Duck is a broad term for a wide range of plain weave fabrics. Duck is usually made of cotton. The terms 'canvas' and 'duck' are often interchangeable, but canvas is often used to refer to the heavier constructions.
 
Duck Feather
This type of feather is often used in home furnishings due to it's soft, warm and comfortable properties.
 
Easy Fit Stretch Over Valances
A bedding evolution. The easy fit valance fits over the top of your linen and tucks in between the mattress and base. No more back breaking lifting trying to slide your valance between mattress and base. The elastic provides the flexibility to be able to add or change your valance with a minimum of fuss.
 
Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian cotton is a fine, lustrous, long-staple cotton that produces a soft, high-quality fabric. Although historically Egyptian Cotton all comes from Egypt, today 'Egyptian' cotton is also produced in other countries. It still complies with the original Egyptian standards of quality, including a 1¼ to 2 inch staple, compared, for example, with Pima cotton's 7/8-inch staple. Be aware that the type of cotton presents another area in which labels can be misleading - some may say Egyptian cotton, but in fact may contain only one percent. Look for labels that say 100% or pure Egyptian cotton.
 
Embellished
A design or feature to enhance a finished fabric. This is done in multiple ways including applique, embroidery, beads or buttons.
 
Embossing
Embossing is a process which produces a raised design or pattern in relief. The design is pressed into fabric or leather by passing it through hot, engraved rollers. Velvet or plush is embossed by shearing the pile to different levels or by pressing parts flat.
 
European Pillowcase
A large, square pillow, cushion or pillowcase measuring 65 x 65cm.

Faux Silk
Man-made fabric designed to look and feel like silk but with easy care properties.
 
Faux Suede
Man-made fabric designed to look and feel like suede but with easy care properties.
 
Fill
The material used to stuff items such as comforters or pillows. Examples of some fibres used as fill are feather, cotton, microfibre and polyester.
 
Fitted Sheet
Also known as a 'bottom sheet'. The fitted sheet is shaped and elasticised around the edges to fit snugly onto the mattress. A fitted sheet is an ideal protective covering and makes fitting quick and easy.
 
Flange
A flange is an additional decorative fabric border around a quilt cover or pillowcase usually about 5cm wide.

Flanelette
Cotton is the most common thread for flannel. Brushing of the fabric results in a very soft, fuzzy feel. Flannel is popular for it's warmth and comfort.
 
Flat Sheet
Also known as the 'top sheet'. This is placed on top of the fitted sheet and then tucked under the sides and bottoms of the mattress.

Frog Toggles
A decorative fastener often created from cord, woven into an oriental pattern.
 
Gingham
Gingham is a yarn-dyed fabric woven into a series of simple patterns in two or more colours. Typical gingham styles include checks, plaids and stripes.

Grosgrain
A firm, tightly woven fabric with a pronounced cross rib. The term often describes ribbon but may be full width fabric as well.
 
GSM
Gsm is an acronym for grams per square metre, a standard measure of the weight of certain fabrics used commonly for comparing towels and bed linen.

Hemstitch
A hemstitch is used to create a decorative open lace pattern in fabric. Often looking like a complex series of decorative gaps in the weave.

Herringbone
Herringbone is a twill weave that reverses direction across the fabric to form a chevron.
 
Hypo-Allergenic
Simply, it means an item with little likelihood of causing an allergic response. 

Jacquard
The term 'jacquard' refers to the attachment on the loom which enables a huge range of designs and patterns to be created. This attachment provides individual control of the yarns being woven, therefore patterns of almost any type or complexity can be made, creating a premium product. 

Japara
This is a very finely woven but durabel fabric mainly used as covers for quilts and pillows to keep the feathers from protruding through the fabric. 

King Pillow
A king pillow is a larger size pillow designed to fit across a king size bed. Two normal pillows are too short to fit across a king bed.
 
Latex
A well known natural rubber material used in pillows, which benefit from it's highly flexible, non-allergenic and long lasting properties.
 
Linen
Linen is a strong, lustrous yarn made from flax fibre.
 
Long Staple
The quality of the cotton depends on the lengths of the individual fibres, or staples - the longer the staple, the better the quality of the cotton.
 
Matelasse
A soft, double cloth or compound fabric with a quilted surface. It has two warps that, in weaving, achieve a puckered or quilted effect. In French, 'matelasse' means 'to quilt' or 'to pad'.
 
Mattress Protector
Designed to safeguard your valuable mattress. Mattress protectors go over the mattress and under the fitted sheet and are machine washable and non-allergenic.
 
Microfibre
Microfibre is a revolutionary polyester fibre. As it's name suggest, it is incredibly fine (0.01 denier, compared to a strand of human hair at 20 denier). Because it is so fine it traps a lot of air, creating a filling that's exceptionally warm, soft and light, so in fact it feels like a down duvet, but because it's synthetic it's non-allergenic, making it perfect for allergy sufferers and children.

Mitre Corners
Mitred refers to a border or a flange that is matched in the corners with a diagonal seam.

Mohair
Mohair is long, white, lustrous hair obtained from the Angora goat. Mohair is one of the world's oldest textile fibres and is renowned for it's durability and natural properties which include unique lustre, lightweight and excellent crease resistance. Sourced originally from the Angora goat, today Mohair is usually woven with wool and nylon.
 
Natural Fibre
Natural fibres refer to fibres derived from natural substances such as cellulose, proteins and minerals.
 
Neck Roll (Bolster Cushion)
A smaller, cylindrical cushion. This can be extremely useful for stiff neck sufferers as an additional lumbar support underneath the neck when lying on a bed.
 
Non-Allergenic
Non-allergenic describes a fibre that doesn't (under normal circumstances) cause an allergic reaction, ie: synthetics.

Nylon
Nylon is a generic term for synthetic polyamide fibres.

Organza
Thin, plain weave, sheer fabric. Made of silk, polyester or nylon.

OSFA
One Size Fits All.
 
Ottoman
A medium to heavy fabric with horizontal ribs.
 
Overstitching
A decorative stitch applied after item has been constructed to form part of the design.
 
Paste Print
A printing technique which leaves the print on the surface of the fabric. White is often used in this way to highlight areas of a design.
 
Pattern Repeat
A pattern repeat is the distance between any given point in a design to where that exact point is repeated again.
 
Percale
A fabric woven from cotton or blends with a thread count of at least 225. Originating from the Persian word 'pargalah', percale is a smooth fabric of especially high quality and is generally less likely to pill than other types of woven fabric. Percale has a soft, silky feel which makes it ideal for bed linen.
 
Piece-Dyeing
Piece-dyeing is a process of dyeing the fabric in the piece after it has been woven.
 
Pigment
Pigment is an insoluble powdered colouring agent carried in a liquid binder and printed or padded onto the surface of a cloth.
 
Pile
The surface effect on a fabric that is formed by loops or tufts of yarn or fibre that stand on end.
 
Pill
A pill is a fuzzy ball caused by the rolling up of abraded surface fibres. All sheets are treated to minimise pilling.
 
Pillow Protector
Simple covers to cover and protect a valuable pillow before it's placed into a pillowcase.
 
Pillowtop
Pillowtop sheets are designed to fit the extra deep walls of a pillowtop mattress.
 
Pintuck 
A type of finish applied to some of our bed linen designs. Folds of fabric are neatly folded, pressed and stitched into small pleats.
 
Piping
Piping refers to decorative cords used at edges of an item. Piping is usually fabric-covered and is attached to an item by inserting it through a seam.
 
Ply
Ply refers to the number of yarns twisted together to make a composite yarn.
 
Polyester
Polyester is a man-made fibre that is easily blended with other fibres to enhance a fabric. Some of the qualities polyester can add to a fabric are crease resistance, shape retention, quick drying, resilience and minimum care.
 
Quilting
Created by placing a layer of fill between two layers of fabric. It's all held in place by a consistent stitching pattern.
 
Rayon
Rayon is a generic term for a man-made fibre derived from regenerated cellulose.

Rococo
A design style characterised by elaborate detail, smallness of scale, delicacy of colour, freedom of brushwork and the selection of playful subjects.
 
Reactive Print
A printing technique used on cellulose fibres, such as cotton, where the print reacts with the fibre to create the design. This means that the fibres remain much softer as the dye is not sitting on the surface of the fabric.
 
Ric-rac
A narrow, zig-zag ribbon.

Ruched
Ruched refers to the process by which a fabric is gathered to achieve a voluptous effect.
 
Sateen
Yarns with a mellow lustre such as cotton are ideal for this type of weave. A sateen weave is distinct because of it's lustrous appearance, this is created by weaving 4 or more floating weft yarns over 1 warp yarn to create a glossy surface.
 
Seersucker
A fabric with puckered stripes, made by weaving with some tight warp yarns and some loose warp yarns so that the loose warp yarns become crinkled.
 
Self Stripe
A stripe which is created by weave, rather than colour.
 
Sequin
A small, decorative flat reflective disk with a hole for attaching to the fabric. May be made of metal, plastic or shell.

Sheer
Sheer refers to very thin, transparent or semi-opaque fabric
 
Shrinkage
Shrinkage is the contraction of a fibre, yarn or fabric after washing and drying. Most products made of natural fibres will shrink 4-6%.
 
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fibre produced from the cocoon of wild of cultivated silkworms.
 
Skirt Drop
Skirt drop is the length of a valance from the top of the base to the bottom of the valance.

Smocking
A style of embroidery used to hold gathered fabric in even folds.
 
Suede Velour
A pile fabric, which is an alternative to velvet. This usually has a napped or brushed finish.
 
Super King
Super king quilts and quilt covers are 265 x 210cm in New Zealand. This size has been developed to generously cover a king bed. With the increase in deep wall mattresses, the next size up in quilt is often advisable to cover the sides of the mattress.
 
Thread Count
Thread count is simply a measure of how many threads - warp (lengthwise) and weft (width wise) - are woven into one square cm of fabric. While improvements in spinning and milling technologies have pushed up the numbers, thread counts above 500 are something of a misnomer. Very high thread counts generally entail the use of a 'plied' yarn - one that is produced by twisting together goassamer-fine threads. For marketing purposes, it is not uncommon to count the twisted yarn as double and, for example, describe fabric with 250 individual four-ply yarns in a square cm as a 1,000 thread count product. Thread counts aren't the be-all and end-all when it comes to sheets you love to touch. Softness depends more on the quality of the fibre, which is why a 200 thread count fine cotton sheet can have a softer 'hand' or feel than a 400 thread count sheet that uses an inferior grade of cotton or twisted thread.
 
Twill
Twill is a weave that creates a diagonal effect by having the warp float on top of a few weft yarns, or vice versa.

Two Needle Finish
A small tailored border created by two lines of stitching 1cm apart. Applied after the construction of the item as a decorative finish. 

Underblanket
Underblankets provide a dual purpose of protecting your valuable mattress as well as providing an additional layer of comfort and warmth.
 
Valance
A valance is the decorative skirt for the ensemble bases to cover the bed base. .
 
Velour
Velour is a fabric with a pile or napped surface resembling velvet. Similar to velvet but with a softer, sleeker nap.
 
Velvet
Different fibres can be used to make velvet but are all made the same way using a special loom to weave the fabric where it is then cut to give it the plush look and feel.

Velvet Burnout
A decorative velvet created by bringing the surface pile of the velvet into contact with the burnout paste. This can be used for relief effects on velvets and velour. If the back of the velvet is synthetic or protein, the pile can be totally removed by printing the burnout on the backside of the fabric. 

Viscose
Viscose fabrics are general fibres like nylon or cotton which have been coated in a special cellulose-based solution. Once treated, the finished fabric has an especially soft feel and are superb for everyday use in clothing or bed linens.
 
Voile
A sheer, plain weave fabric with a crisp feel made from high twist yarns. Commonly made of cotton, silk, polyester or rayon.

Waffle
Generally this is a cotton textured fabric with a sunken weave to give a three dimensional effect in oblong or square shapes.
 
Warp
Warp refers to yarns placed on a warp beam and entered into a loom. The vertical fibres.
 
Washing
Linens should be separated into light or dark colours. Avoid overloading the machine to prevent breaking long fibres like those in Egyptian cotton. Whether cotton, pure linen or a cotton/linen blend, bedding should be washed in cold or warm water, using a gentle laundering agent. If pre-soaking is necessary, it should be in cold water. Beware of washing powders that contain optical brightners as these can cause fading over time in darker colours.
 
Weft
Weft is the yarn that traverses the warp yarns horizontally during the weaving operation. A weft is often referred to as filling. The horizontal fibres.
 
Wool
Wool is a fabric made from the hair of animals such as sheep, llamas, goats and camels. It is a resilient fabric that is resistant to wrinkling, renewed by moisture and known for it's warmth. Wool is a natural insulator. It does not conduct heat but keeps the body at an even temperature.

Woven Tape
A decorative ribbon applied to embellish a design. 

Yarn Dyeing
This is when a fabric has yarns dyed prior to the weaving, as opposed to the colour having been printed or dyed onto the cloth after being woven.