The cloth, textile, material from which we make clothes and home furnishings; to a large extent and for our purposes these terms are interchangeable although each on it’s own has a wider meaning and usage.

* The fabric of something is it’s essence; from the fabric and the fabrication method we know how we expect this thing to perform. So to that extent just as brick, concrete, stone or plastic sheets are the materials used to create the fabric of built constructions (that may serve different or overlapping purposes) so wool, cotton, silk, linen or polymers, however they are then treated, provide the construction materials for furnishings.

* To fabricate is the act of making something from any material and at any scale and level of visibility – from a whole building to the smaller rough parts of shower fitting that do the real work but remain hidden.

* Cloth is generally used to describe the fabric from the loom or at the printing table – it’s a twill woven cloth or printed cloth ….

* Textiles are any of the soft construction materials – everything made using skins, yarn or fibre by any method – knitting, stitching, collage, weaving, felting, interlacing, scouring, tanning….

* In referring to fabric  here we will always mean a textile of one sort or another. Most but not all will be cloth of one sort or another and finished by one method or another.

In our instructions we refer to  the primary fabric used for  that project as ” the fabric”. Other fabrics are  the second or third  fabrics, or  lining.

Fabrics for furnishing are many and varied with different properties and functions. There will always be a core that we use time and again because they have been tried and tested- they fulfil all requirements and  are pleasing to all the senses.

For a furnishing fabric to work it must feel good, and look good.  It must smell good- when something arrives not properly cured or finished it can be very off putting. It must also sound good – comfortable fabrics aren’t noisy.

See leather, skins, stuff, thread, yarn, fibre, skein.

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