Fabric Glossary



A knit-back fabric which is plush like velvet, but stretches slightly.  Velour is a luxurious fabric which is appropriate for casual use.  It is  suitable for pants, jackets, and tops.

Velvet Fabrics  :

Short cut-pile fabrics, generally made of cotton or a polyester/cotton blend, woven with two sets of warp yarns; the second set makes the pile.  Velvet fabrics come in many rich, jewel colors. They have a luster and are plush and luxurious, with a soft hand.  They are attractive to the touch as well as the sight and are used for evening wear, bridal wear, historical and stage costumes, as well as for drapery, and pillows.  Velvet can even be included in a quilt or bedspread for a rich effect.  Stretch velvet and crushed velvet are two varieties of this fabric group.


A woven cotton/cotton blend fabric which looks similar to velvet, but which has much shorter pile. Velveteen is stiffer than velvet and does not drape well; it also is not as lustrous as velvet.  This fabric comes in numerous rich colors and is appropriate for many period and stage costumes. It is a luxurious choice for skirts, jackets, pants, evening wear, children's dresses, drapes and home décor. It can be incorporated in quilts or bedspread with a  stunning effect.  It is suitable for intermediate and advanced sewers.

Venice Lace:

A lace made with a needlepoint technique. Venice lace is heavier than other laces. Its patterns include floral and geometric designs.

Vintage Burlap Bags:

Antique burlap sack which has been used to store feed or coffee beans or another product.  A vintage burlap bag may date from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, but used contemporary bags and reproductions of the old-time feed sacks are frequently also called vintage.  True vintage bags often have company logos imprinted on them and make interesting conversation pieces when used in craft items such as wall hanging, casual throw pillows, basket linings, and re-useable grocery bags.  These bags go by many different names.   See also “antique grain sack” “gunny sacks”  “feed bags.”

Vinyl Fabric:

Fabric made from the synthetic fiber called vinyl.   Vinyl fabric is waterproof and great for use in areas where it will receive moisture or food spills.  The thin vinyl known as “oilcloth”  generally has a cotton/polyester backing or a flannel backing.   Oilcloth vinyl comes in many delightful colors and prints and is suitable for tablecloths.  Upholstery weight vinyl, is heavier than that used for tablecloths and is very durable. It also usually has a cotton/polyester backing and is available in many colors and in designs which imitate leather.  The upholstery vinyl called “marine vinyl”  is designed to withstand the elements during outdoor use of any sort.  See also “vinyl seat material.”

Vinyl Seat Material:

Fabric made from vinyl, a synthetic fiber and designed to upholster seats.   Vinyl seat material is waterproof vinyl on the front with a cotton/polyester backing.  It is easy to wipe clean with soap and water and comes in a variety of patterns, ranging from leather-looking grains to bright colors.  Marine vinyl is especially designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor use.  Vinyl seat cushions are easy to make using upholstery foam; outdoor foam should be used if the cushion will be used outside.  See also “vinyl fabric.”

Vinyl Table Padding:

Vinyl padding which is placed under tablecloths to protect the table surface.  Vinyl table padding has a white vinyl surface and a foam underside. When used under tablecloths it will protect table surfaces from moisture damage, spills, scratches, scuffs, and dings, while protecting glassware from breakage. This padding also muffles noise for quieter dining. It sold by the yard. Table padding does not ravel and is  easily cut to the table size. This product is ideal for restaurants, parties, and catered events.


A synthetic fiber used to make rayon.  Viscose was invented in 1891 and was one of the first synthetic fibers. Because of environmental concerns it is less used than it once was.

Voile Fabric:

A plain woven, lightweight fabric with a somewhat crisp hand. Voile resembles organza and organdy and can be cotton or polyester.  It is available in several colors and has long been a popular spring time fabric. In garments it is used for overskirts, yokes, inserts, and sleeves.  It is popular for sheer curtains.  Voile for curtains is available in a 118” inch width.  Curtains of voile fabric are generally made using a heading tape.