Glossary of textile decoration


A term describing how dyed fabrics react when subjected to various mechanical or chemical strains (wash, light, sweat, chlorine…).

HEIGHT (curtains and wall coverings)

Refers to the reference clearance one needs to know in advance, in order to determine the length of fabric necessary to make a pair of curtains, for instance. Most fabrics come in a width of 130 or 140 cms, sometimes 280 or 290 cms. For a pair of curtains, or a wall covering, it is necessary to calculate the length of fabric necessitated by the reference clearance, without forgetting to take into consideration the width of the fabric and the size of the join. The larger the pattern, the bigger the join. It is probably wiser to let your upsholsterer do the math for you. For curtains, do not forget to include the hem, and the curtain heading.


It is most important as a finishing touch to a curtain or a net curtain, as it ensures they hang properly. 30 cm-long hems are the best option. If the fabric is too lightweight, the hem may be weighted with lead. Fashioned net curtains often come with rolled hems weighted with lead. Check with our specialists by clicking on “Store Locator”.


A textile annual plant, most likely originating from the Indian subcontinent. Its stems are straight, hairy, coarse and about 1 to 4 meter-high. The world-leading hemp producers are Russia and India, but it is also grown in France. To turn it into fabric material, hemp undergoes the same processes as linen: retting, scotching, combing etc. Hemp yarns are less flexible and coarser than linen, and mostly used for cordage. When weaved, hemp is ideal material for wrapping cloth or beautiful natural-looking lockstitched carpets. Examples: F2674, F2675. See a product


This is a hemstitch embroidery technique that involves removing threads from the fabric and setting the edges with ornamental stitching. The shape of the holes may vary: circular (sifnor F2878), square (Kéros F2877), etc. See a product


A type of weave with a distinctive zig-zag pattern that resembles the bone structure of a herring fish. Example: F2511 Gand. See a product


Also called waffle fabric. Refers to a figured fabric whose relief pattern is similar to the hexagonal wax cells built by honeybees. A groundbreaking model was developed by Pierre Frey: Papyrus fabric, which features a highly contemporary 3D relief. See a product


A vegetal or animal fibre once used to fill boxsprings and mattresses. Nowadays, it is mostly used for seat stuffing purposes. Narrow-width woven animal horsehair provides exceptionally hard-wearing coating for chairs.


Refers to a printed or woven textile pattern, almost identical to large houndstooth, yet smaller. Example: wallpaper by Boussac.

HUET Jean-Baptiste (1745-1811)

This artist deeply influenced the Oberkampf manufactory in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris. The patterns he created for print fabrics : 32 designs are listed, which greatly contributed to the fame of the manufactory. His collaboration with Oberkampf started in 1783 with a cloth named “The endeavours of the Manufactory” to end only with his demise. A disciple of Le Prince, Huet became a member of the French Academy of Arts in 1769. In 1773, he started experimenting with a new genre: Pastorales, wherein elegant lady farmers spend fun times in idealized countryside settings. His inspiration changed with time, and three styles have been identified: initially, characters are placed whimsically, and different scenes are featured over the whole width of the fabric: animals, characters, architectural ruins are showcased in little story-like drawings. His second style brings in new elements such as arabesques and draperies that are typical of the Louis XVI style. From 1796, his style becomes more geometrical, heavily influenced by Neoclassicism. References to Antiquity are rife, such as in Fabric B7545 The Muses and the lion. See a product


See Showerproof. Refers to a fabric that does not absorb water (water repellant).