80 Textile and Fabric Terms Used in Interior Décor

Explore essential textile and fabric terms in the interior décor industry. From materials to weaves, printing to finishes, elevate your design expertise now!


As an experienced professional in the interior décor and architecture, a comprehensive understanding of textiles and fabric terms is vital for creating captivating and harmonious living spaces. In this article, we will delve into essential textiles and fabric terms, categorized to showcase their relevance in interior design.

From the fundamental textile materials like cotton, linen, silk, and wool, to the intricate weaves of satin, twill, and jacquard, and the innovative textile printing and finishing techniques, we will explore the language of interior textiles. As we navigate through sustainable options, embellishments, measurements, and industry standards, you will gain a deeper insight into the world of interior textiles and fabrics.

Textile Materials

  1. Cotton [ˈkɒtn]: A natural fiber widely used in textiles and fabrics, known for its softness and breathability, making it ideal for various interior décor applications.
  2. Linen [ˈlɪnən]: A natural fiber made from the flax plant, characterized by its durability and coolness, commonly used for upholstery and drapery in interior design.
  3. Silk [sɪlk]: A luxurious natural fiber produced by silkworms, cherished for its smooth texture and lustrous appearance, often used for elegant and sophisticated interior décor elements.
  4. Wool [wʊl]: A natural fiber derived from sheep, valued for its warmth and resilience, commonly utilized in carpets, rugs, and cozy home textiles.
  5. Hemp [hɛmp]: A sturdy natural fiber obtained from the hemp plant, known for its strength and sustainability, gaining popularity in eco-friendly interior design products.

Textile Weaves

  1. Satin [ˈsætɪn]: A fabric weave with a glossy surface and a smooth, luxurious feel, used to add elegance and sophistication to interior furnishings.
  2. Twill [twɪl]: A fabric weave featuring diagonal lines or patterns, offering durability and resistance to wear, commonly used in upholstery and drapery.
  3. Jacquard [ˈʒækɑːd]: A complex fabric weave that creates intricate patterns, often used for decorative textiles and high-end interior design.
  4. Plain Weave [pleɪn wiːv]: The simplest and most common fabric weave, creating a balanced appearance, often employed in a wide range of interior fabrics.
  5. Dobby [ˈdɒbi]: A textured fabric weave with small geometric patterns, commonly found in upholstery and decorative interior elements.

Textile and Fabric Terms for Dyeing and Printing

  1. Batik [bəˈtiːk]: A traditional dyeing technique involving the application of wax to fabric, creating unique patterns, often used in decorative home textiles.
  2. Tie-Dye [ˈtaɪ daɪ]: A dyeing technique that creates distinctive patterns by tying and compressing fabric, commonly seen in bohemian-style interior décor.
  3. Screen Printing [skriːn ˈprɪntɪŋ]: A method of printing designs on fabric using screens, allowing for detailed and repeatable patterns, frequently used in soft furnishings.
  4. Digital Printing [ˈdɪdʒɪt(ə)l ˈprɪntɪŋ]: A modern printing technique that transfers designs onto fabric using digital technology, enabling intricate designs for contemporary interior textiles.
  5. Block Printing [blɒk ˈprɪntɪŋ]: A traditional printing method where patterns are carved onto blocks, and ink is applied to print designs on fabric, popular for creating rustic and artisanal interior textiles.

Textile Finishes

  1. Flame Retardant [fleɪm rɪˈtɑːdənt]: A finish applied to fabrics to reduce their flammability, ensuring safety in interior spaces, commonly used for upholstery and curtains.
  2. Water Repellent [ˈwɔːtər rɪˈpɛlənt]: A finish that makes fabrics resistant to water penetration, suitable for protecting interior textiles from moisture and spills.
  3. Stain-Resistant [steɪn rɪˈzɪstənt]: A treatment applied to fabrics to prevent staining, ideal for high-traffic areas and interior furnishings prone to spills.
  4. Anti-Microbial [ˌænti maɪˈkrəʊbiəl]: A finish that inhibits the growth of microorganisms on fabrics, promoting hygienic and healthy interior environments.
  5. UV-Resistant [ˌjuːˈviː rɪˈzɪstənt]: A finish that protects fabrics from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, ensuring the longevity of interior textiles exposed to sunlight.

Textile and Fabric Terms for Embellishments

  1. Embroidery [ɪmˈbrɔɪdəri]: The art of decorating fabric with needle and thread, adding intricate designs to enhance interior décor elements.
  2. Sequins [ˈsiːkwɪnz]: Small, shiny, and flat discs used to add sparkle and glitz to interior textiles and fabrics.
  3. Fringe [frɪndʒ]: An ornamental border or edging made of hanging threads, commonly used to embellish curtains and upholstery.
  4. Beading [ˈbiːdɪŋ]: The application of small beads onto fabric to create decorative patterns and texture, often seen in luxurious interior textiles.
  5. Piping [ˈpaɪpɪŋ]: A narrow tube of fabric used to edge and define the seams of interior furnishings, providing a polished and tailored look.

Textile Types

  1. Velvet [ˈvɛlvɪt]: A soft and plush fabric with a dense pile, highly prized for its luxurious feel and elegant appearance in interior design.
  2. Chenille [ʃɪˈniːl]: A fabric with a fuzzy surface due to protruding yarns, known for its softness and used in cozy upholstery and decorative textiles.
  3. Organza [ɔrˈɡænzə]: A sheer and lightweight fabric with a crisp texture, often employed for creating ethereal drapes and curtains in interior spaces.
  4. Denim [ˈdɛnɪm]: A sturdy and durable cotton fabric, typically used for casual and rugged interior textiles like denim upholstery and throw pillows.
  5. Brocade [brəˈkeɪd]: A richly patterned fabric woven with raised designs, frequently used for opulent and decorative interior furnishings.

Textile Measurements

  1. Thread Count [θrɛd kaʊnt]: The number of threads per square inch in woven fabric, often used as an indicator of quality for interior bedding and linens.
  2. GSM (Grams per Square Meter) [ˈɡræmz pə ˈskwɛər ˈmiːtər]: A unit of measurement for the weight of fabric per square meter, guiding the choice of textiles for different interior applications.
  3. Pile Height [paɪl haɪt]: The length of the fibers in a fabric with a pile, like carpets and rugs, influencing the texture and comfort of interior floor coverings.
  4. Width [wɪdθ]: The measurement of fabric from selvedge to selvedge, an important consideration for drapery and upholstery projects in interior design.
  5. Repeat Pattern [rɪˈpiːt ˈpætərn]: The distance between identical motifs in a fabric’s design, critical for matching patterns in interior décor applications.

Textile Construction

  1. Knit [nɪt]: A method of fabric construction where yarns are interlocked in loops, providing stretch and flexibility, often used in casual and comfortable interior textiles.
  2. Woven [ˈwoʊvən]: A fabric construction technique involving the interlacing of vertical and horizontal yarns, resulting in a stable and structured material for various interior applications.
  3. Non-Woven [nɒnˈwoʊvən]: A fabric made from fibers bonded together through heat or chemicals rather than weaving, commonly found in interior upholstery and wall coverings.
  4. Tufted [ˈtʌftɪd]: A type of textile construction where loops of yarn are pulled through a fabric base to create a pile, used in plush and comfortable interior carpets.
  5. Felt [fɛlt]: A textile material produced by matting fibers together, offering a soft and dense fabric for interior crafts and accessories.

Textile and Fabric Terms for Printing

  1. Colorfast [ˈkʌlərfæst]: Describing a fabric or textile that retains its color when exposed to washing or sunlight, important for maintaining the vibrancy of interior textiles.
  2. Sublimation [sʌblɪˈmeɪʃən]: A printing process where dye transfers directly to fabric as a gas, resulting in vivid and long-lasting designs on interior textiles.
  3. Discharge Printing [dɪsˈtʃɑːrdʒ ˈprɪntɪŋ]: A technique that removes color from dyed fabric, creating unique patterns and designs in interior textiles.
  4. Pigment Printing [ˈpɪɡmənt ˈprɪntɪŋ]: A method of printing where pigments are applied to fabric to create durable and vibrant designs for interior applications.
  5. Reactive Printing [riˈæktɪv ˈprɪntɪŋ]: A process that uses reactive dyes to bond directly with fibers, resulting in excellent colorfastness and detailed designs in interior fabrics.

Textile Applications

  1. Upholstery [ʌpˈhoʊlstəri]: The process of covering furniture with fabric, providing comfort, and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of interior pieces.
  2. Drapery [ˈdreɪpəri]: Fabrics used for curtains and window treatments, adding privacy, insulation, and style to interior spaces.
  3. Bedding [ˈbɛdɪŋ]: Textiles used for covering beds, including sheets, duvets, and pillowcases, essential for creating a cozy and inviting interior bedroom.
  4. Rugs [rʌɡz]: Textile floor coverings used to add warmth, comfort, and decorative accents to interior spaces, available in various styles and materials.
  5. Throws [θroʊz]: Small blankets or coverings used to add texture and warmth to interior seating areas, enhancing the coziness of the space.

Sustainable Textiles

  1. Organic Cotton [ɔrˈɡænɪk ˈkɒtn]: Cotton produced without harmful pesticides or chemicals, promoting eco-friendly interior textiles and sustainable home décor.
  2. Recycled Polyester [rɪˈsaɪkld ˈpɒlɪɛstər]: Polyester fibers derived from recycled plastic bottles, offering a greener option for interior fabrics and furnishings.
  3. Bamboo [ˈbæmˌbuː]: A fast-growing and sustainable material used to produce soft and eco-friendly interior textiles like bedding and towels.
  4. Tencel [ˈtɛnsəl]: A biodegradable fiber made from sustainably sourced wood pulp, prized for its softness and eco-consciousness in interior fabrics.
  5. Hemp Textiles [hɛmp ˈtekstīlz]: Textiles made from the versatile and environmentally friendly hemp plant, providing durable and eco-conscious options for interior design.

Textile Care

  1. Dry Clean [draɪ kliːn]: A cleaning method for delicate and dry-clean-only fabrics in interior furnishings, ensuring their longevity and preservation.
  2. Hand Wash [hænd wɒʃ]: A gentle washing method by hand suitable for delicate interior fabrics and textiles that require special care.
  3. Spot Clean [spɒt kliːn]: The process of cleaning isolated stains or spots on interior textiles using mild cleaners or specialized spot-cleaning products.
  4. Ironing [ˈaɪərnɪŋ]: The act of smoothing fabric with a heated iron, essential for maintaining the crisp appearance of interior textiles.
  5. Steam Cleaning [stiːm ˈkliːnɪŋ]: A method of cleaning fabrics using steam, effective for freshening and sanitizing interior textiles.

Textile Trends

  1. Bold Prints [boʊld prɪnts]: Interior fabrics featuring large and eye-catching patterns, currently trending in contemporary home décor.
  2. Earthy Tones [ˈɜːrθi toʊnz]: A color palette inspired by nature, including warm browns, greens, and terracotta, gaining popularity in interior textiles and design.
  3. Textured Fabrics [ˈtɛkstʃərd ˈfæbrɪks]: Interior fabrics with tactile elements like fringes, embroidery, and weaving, adding depth and interest to décor.
  4. Sustainable Materials [səˈsteɪnəbl məˈtɪriəlz]: An increasing focus on eco-friendly interior textiles made from renewable resources, in response to environmentally conscious consumers.
  5. Vintage Revival [ˈvɪntɪdʒ rɪˈvaɪvəl]: A trend bringing back retro and vintage-inspired fabrics and patterns for a nostalgic touch in interior design.

Textile Testing

  1. Abrasion Resistance [əˈbreɪʒən rɪˈzɪstəns]: Evaluating the fabric’s ability to withstand wear and tear, crucial for durable interior textiles and upholstery.
  2. Colorfastness [ˈkʌlərfæstnəs]: Testing the fabric’s resistance to fading or running when exposed to water, light, or other environmental factors, vital for long-lasting interior fabrics.
  3. Pilling [ˈpɪlɪŋ]: Assessing the tendency of fabric to form small, tangled balls of fibers on its surface, essential for maintaining the appearance of interior textiles.
  4. Martindale [ˈmɑːrtɪndeɪl]: A test method measuring the durability and abrasion resistance of interior fabrics, ensuring their suitability for high-traffic areas.
  5. Crocking [ˈkrɒkɪŋ]: Determining the fabric’s tendency to release color when rubbed, vital for preventing color transfer in interior textiles.

Textile Standards and Certifications

  1. OEKO-TEX [ˈoʊkoʊ tɛks]: An independent certification ensuring that interior textiles meet strict environmental and human safety standards.
  2. GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) [ɡɑts]: A certification guaranteeing the organic status of textiles from the harvesting of raw materials to environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing.
  3. Fair Trade [feər treɪd]: A designation indicating that interior textiles were produced under ethical and fair labor practices, promoting sustainable and responsible sourcing.
  4. Greenguard [ɡriːnɡɑːrd]: A certification ensuring that interior textiles and furnishings meet stringent emissions standards, contributing to healthier indoor air quality.
  5. Bluesign [ˈbluːsɪɡn]: A system that ensures environmentally friendly and safe production processes for interior textiles, reducing the impact on the environment.

Textile Industry Terminology

  1. Selvedge [ˈsɛlvɪdʒ]: The finished edge of a woven fabric, often used as a guide for cutting and sewing interior textiles.
  2. Warp [wɔrp]: The lengthwise yarns in a woven fabric, essential for its stability and strength, influencing the appearance of interior textiles.
  3. Weft [wɛft]: The crosswise yarns in a woven fabric, interlacing with the warp to create the fabric’s structure, affecting the texture of interior textiles.
  4. Bolt [boʊlt]: A roll or piece of fabric with a standard width, usually 44-60 inches, often used for interior design projects.
  5. Cutting Table [ˈkʌtɪŋ ˈteɪbl]: A large table used by interior decorators to measure and cut fabric accurately for various projects.

With this comprehensive exploration of textile and fabric terms, you are now equipped with essential knowledge to make informed decisions when incorporating interior textiles in your design projects. Whether it’s choosing the right material for upholstery, drapery, or bedding, understanding fabric weaves for texture and durability, or embracing sustainable and eco-friendly options, this expertise will elevate your interior décor creations.

Moreover, the understanding of textile printing, finishing, and embellishments empowers you to add artistic flair and unique touches to your designs. As you apply these insights, your proficiency in handling textiles and fabrics will undoubtedly shine through in your outstanding interior design endeavors.

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