Glossary of textile decoration

LA SALLE (Philippe de) (1723-1804)

One of the most famous designers who ever worked for the Grande Fabrique (the most prestigious Silk manufactory in Lyon), where he created the most beautiful silk fabrics of the 1770s and 1780s. His compositions are harmoniously balanced, and mix flowers, animals and music instruments. He also proved highly innovative, and used seldomly used tricks (such as piping) to give his creations more depth and relief.


Lace is a lightweight fabric, patterned with open holes in the work. Lace may be made using a needle, spindles or crochet, and comes in a variety of styles and stitches, all derived from Point de Venise, a venetian needle lace from the XVIIth century. Today, lace is mostly machine-made, and thriftly used for decorating purposes, mostly for net curtains to dim the light, on bed sheets, as gathered frills, as tablecloth lining, womanly terrycloth towels, quilts or pillow cases. Woven or printed imitation lace are also available.


Refers to a support whose surface is shiny and frosted, as a result of heat press calendering.


The act of bonding two superposed layers of fabric together through a specific binding process, in order to create a single piece of fabric. Various binding processes may be used, whether chemical (glue, adhesive) or mechanical (flaming foam, powder fuse…). Lamination is used to achieve various purposes: make a fabric thicker or puffer; insulate with an extra-layer of foam that may either be visible or placed between two layers of fabric; shape manufactured items (such as bags and luggage) and delicate fabrics (such as lace and other light fabrics. Example: Laminated Taiga O7710.


This richly decorated silk fabric coming from Persia is arguably the most luxurious fabric available. It has a background weft with supplementary wefts laid on top forming a pattern. Already renowned as far back as the Xth century, lampas was considered the ultimate fabric in the XVIIIth century, thanks to the range of colours it was available in, and its unique shimmering quality. Today, it is mostly used for antique furniture renovation: an original XVIIIth century armchair upholstered in Lampas is brought back to its original glory. Example: Carlotta. See a product


Refers to a duotone textile pattern, characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes, often in black and white. Typically woven, it may also be printed.

LASTING / PERMANENT finish / fold

Refers to a finish that does not go away after being washed several times, whether with water or solvent. To ensure a lasting finish, it is crucial to be aware of the care instructions, and in particular the maximal temperature, the number and nature of the care cycles, or the cleaning solvents not to use. Make sure to check the care labels or the Pierre Frey catalogue for guidance, or ask our textile engineers.


Standard lengths for upholstery fabrics are 130 cms, 140 cms, 150 cms or 160 cms. However, 280 or 290 centimer long fabrics are not that uncommon. Some silk fabrics are woven in small lengths, typically 70 or 80 cms. Bear in mind that net length does not include selvage.


A famous department store in London. It was founded under the reign of Queen Victoria by Arthur Lasenby Liberty, and quickly became an institution for home decorating and fashion. His founder enjoyed intricate motifs and oriental patterns, and hired William Morris as creative director for upholstery textiles. Art Déco flowers and leafage or tiny seedlings are emblematic of his singular style, essentially based on delicate floral patterns.


A type of fabric similar to Canvas Sheet, yet lighter (300/350 g per Sq.meter).


A key element to a perfect decor, as it is responsible for achieving a good balance between light and shade, lighting must be carefully thought of. Pierre Frey offers a large range of regular and floor lamps that create many lighting atmospheres: subdued, iridescent, cosy… They also make sure your carefully chosen fabrics, colours and objects are properly showcased. See a product


Considered the oldest textile fibre, linen was already widely known and used over 5000 years in Mesopotamia, Assyria and Egypt. The Old Testament is crammed with references to linen. A natural vegetal fibre, it is made with the stem of the eponymous fast-growth yearly plant. It is hard-wearing, cool and absorbent. See a product


Initially a lightweight satin or plain weave cloth, used as interfacing for curtains, in order to keep them from stretching out of shape, or improve their light-dimming quality. Today interfacing is often made of a distinct fabric, and used as a decorative flat reverse.


Aluminium thread coated covered with plastic film. It comes in a wide range of colours, and it is much more versatile than traditional metal threads, as it is both longuer-lasting and lighter. It is used to manufacture lamé and brocade fabrics, among many other fabrics, as it brings them an extra-touch of fancy. See a product


The city of Lyon, France, became the capital of silk making thanks to the privileges granted by king Louis XI. Under the rule of king Francis the first, Lyon overstaged rival city of Tours. Prior to this, Silk was imported from Italy, whilst Taffeta came from Florence, and Velvet from Genoa. Philippe de la Salle, a disciple of Boucher, took the Lyon silk industry to a new level thanks to his designs. Joseph-Marie Jacquard’s loom made it possible to mass product figured fabrics.