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Glossary of textile decoration

NANKEEN FABRIC

Refers to a kind of pale yellowish cloth, originally made in the city of Nanjing, China, from a yellow variety of cotton.

NAPOLEON III

See “Style” entry. See a product

NAPOLEON III STYLE

Woollen fabrics, printed cotton cloth and velvet are the most widespread fabrics for upholstery purposes. Prints are influenced by a distinct iconography: ton sur ton bouquets, flowers, ribbons, floral or characters insets. Following the longstanding tradition of Jouy and Normandy prints, they feature erotic, oriental or historical scenes. Textile designs in this era are extremely versatile. Trimmings, as it is used for both practical and decorative reasons, become widespread. Somptuous curtain linings, revealed by tasselled cords, compete with the damask or velvet fabrics that covers them. Door and net curtains are also very much in demand. New colours appear: fuschia, peacock blue, canary yellow. See a product See a selection

NATURAL LOOKING

Contemporary interior designers are all crazy about them: natural looking shades are in the spotlight. The Pierre Frey Pure Nature range combines both a painstaking and refined attention paid to details with a large range of natural shades such as beige, straw or ecru, not to mention a broad palette of pastel tones. This natural look is perfect for serene homes, as it offers a perfect counterpart to heavily patterned rooms and colours galore. It is particularly suited for bedrooms. See a product

NEEDLEPOINT STITCH

Refers to a small, diagonal embroidery stitch that was very popular in the XVIIIth century. It is performed onto a canvas with a needle. Today, it has become a very popular past time, including for men. Needlepoint stitched cushions, period armchairs or foot stools are ideal for sophisticated interiors. Needlepoint stitched rugs are also available in contemporary and refined versions. Ask our experts from the Pierre Frey carpets and rugs department.

NET CURTAIN

A very popular item in contemporary decorating, it has been reinvented by talented designers who know how to make it elegant looking. Houses like Pierre Frey were also instrumental in this come back by coming up with lighter, more vaporous patterns. Today, net curtain fabric is natural looking and easy care. Typically available in broad length, it is available in many models by Pierre Frey: plain, embroidered, striped, printed… More than enough choice to make your windows look sleek and clean. See a product

NETTING

A type of fabric with a large and soft mesh that is very popular in Scandinavian homes, and is widely used for contemporary looking net curtains.

NOIL

Loose fabric made with the first layer of raw silk surrounding the cocoon. Yet this first layer, called silk floss, is coarser than the silk coming from the inside of the cocoon. Its matted and uneven look makes it unsuitable material for covering seats. By extension, coarse yarn made with fibres left over from spinning silk, and fabrics made with it.

NON-WOVEN FABRICS

Nonwoven Fabrics appeared in the 1940s, but only took off in the 1960s. A non-woven fabric is a fabric-like material made from long fibers, bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment, or by combining all of them. To make a tablecloth, chemical fibres (whether artificial or synthetic) are cut at a certain length. The holding together of the tablecloth is then ensured by various processes (drying, wetting). As these fibres underwent only very little alteration, and as they also are very quick to produce (several hundred meters per minute when weaving produces only 10 to 15 centimeters of fabric per minute), they are very cheap, and perfect for disposable items. End uses include diapers, house linen, surgical clothing.

NONFLAMMABLE

Refers to a textile that, when subjected to ignition by a flame (or any other means), will not be set on fire if the flame is removed from its proximity. Such a characteristic is either due to the very nature of the fibre, whether natural (wool) or synthetic (polyester, modacryl, trevira, aramide), or is the result of a fireproofing treatment (fireproof cotton). See Fireproof entry. See a product