Glossary of textile decoration


A cotton or wool fabric with a visible reclining diagonal rib on its right side. Warp yarns are more numerous than weft yarns. Gabardine is typically a twill weave fabric, dyed whether as a whole or yarn by yarn. Its twisted fibres and high tread count make it very hard-wearing.


Quilted fabric to be used in its natural state to line specific garments. It is pretty much identical to Fleece, which is rather used for upholstery purposes.


Refers to pleats designed to give a fabric more fullness. Gathers may be made of especially designed ribbons, which make it easier to manufacture net and plain curtains. The thiner the fabric, the more width will be necessary to achieve a beautiful gather. Gathered fabric ruffles are a perfect match for pillows, curtains, tiebacks, bedspreads, sheets or duvet covers.


Refers to a finishing technique: a fabric is placed between two heated cylinders engraved with a pattern. The pattern is thereby stamped onto the fabric, giving it an embossed appearance. Only synthetic fibres can be permanently gauffered.




See style entry. Geometrical patterns are made of lines that may criss-cross or run parallel. Its architectural quality and understated aesthetics are very popular with contemporary interior designers. Checked patterns and stripes and diamonds and triangles and octogons and rectangles and Kilim motifs and dots may be mixed with floral patterns or Paisley. Pierre Frey offers a wide range of geometrical patterns for you to choose from. Example: Bastille F2673, Vavin F 2678. See a product


Refers to a woven and pasted piece of ribbon, used for decorative wrapping purposes.


Refers to a woollen support with a glossy appearance. This shiny look is achieved by machine brushing. May also refer to a flaw in the fabric, due to prolonged rubbing.


Refers to a finishing process that gives fabric a buffed and shiny surface. The fabric is first chemically treated, and then calendered at high temperatures. Washing in water removes the finish, unless special synthetic resins are used. Chintz is a fine example of glazed fabric. Glazing is not the only way to make a fabric shiny: the same effect may be achieved with a satin weave or with calendering finish. See a product


This national tapestry manufactory was founded in Paris in the XVIIth century. Under the guidance of Charles Le Brun, it became highly successful. In 1825, The Savonnerie carpet factory became part of the manufactory. The quality standards are extremely high. Today, a museum, a drawing school, a research centre and a dyeing and repair workshop are also part of the manufactory, making it a first rate creative hub. Gobelins tapestries are made for heads of state only, and are typically inspired by history and mythology. Used as wall decoration or carpets in state palaces, they always tell epic stories or sagas, as bit like tapestry comic strips. Ancient tapestries may be purchased at antique dealers or auction houses. The house of Braquenié was founded in 1824, and owns large Gobelins tapestry archives featuring designs that may be customized, recoloured and woven on historical looms that keep alive the highest levels of French tapestry.


A sheer, light, gauze-like fabric made of linen, cotton or polyester, used as under-curtains. It is also used as mostquito net.


A fabric with vertical stripes (running parallel to the warp) that are created by the lengthwise juxtaposition of different weaves. It may be monochromatic or striped. It is often used as wall hanging or seat cover in royal palaces or stately homes. See a product


Refers to type of wall covering made with natural fibres, typically woven by hand in East Asia. Its textured and uneven look make it highly decorative, yet a bit fragile. Check out the various models of grass cloth manufactured by Pierre Frey: each of them meets the highest standards in terms of lasting dye and hard-wearing quality.


Silk thread produced by weaving several cocoons that are binded together. By extension, any spunbond chemical fibre.


Refers to a silk fabric similar to Taffetas, yet coarser, originally made in the city of Tours, France. It is a finely diagonal ribbed fabric with a two or three ply warp interlaced with tram filling. It is mostly used as hanging or seat cover in stately homes. See also Cannelé.