dacca muslin
A very fine quality of muslin produced in Bangladesh. Traditionally the cotton yarn was handspun to 400s cotton count. Ten yards of this fabric would weigh only three or four ounces.

A heavy jacquard woven fabric woven in silk, linen, cotton, worsted wool and man-made fibres. Traditionally woven with an 8 and 8 satin weave. The reversible pattern is distinguished from the background by contrasting lustre. The word derives from a rich silk fabric introduced into Europe through Damascus.

Also known as decating. A process used to improve the handle and appearance of fabrics usually containing wool. The fabric, interleaved with a cotton canvas wrapper forming an endless belt, is wound tightly round a perforated roller through which steam is passed under pressure.

The removal of grease, sometimes known as suint, natural fats, oil and dirt from wool by organic or synthetic solvents. degumming The process of removing of sericin (the gum) from silk filament, silk yarn, cloth or silk waste prior to spinning, by controlled hot, mildly alkaline treatment without effecting the fibroin. See discharging.

A direct fixed length count system to determine the size of a filament yarn. Denier is the number of grams per 9000 metres of yarn. The word denier comes from denarius, a Roman coin dating from AD 14, having a diameter of 18mm and was the forerunner of the French denier coin. See count.

A hard wearing cotton twill cloth originally woven in Nimes in Southern France where it was known as serge de Nimes and used as sail cloth for ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The warp is usually a hard twist indigo dyed cotton yarn with a softer undyed yarn in the weft. Woven in either a compact 2-and 1 or 3-and 1 twill weave. Used in recent years in the manufacture of jeans is also ideal for making work cloths and uniforms. There are some lightweight striped cloths, similar to denim called galatea (multi-coloured) and fodens (blue and white) traditionally used for fishmongers', butchers' and milkmen's aprons.

The space between two adjacent wire in a reed. The number of dents per inch determines the sett of the warp. Also known as split.

design paper
Sometimes referred to as point paper. Paper ruled with vertical and horizontal lines to form equally spaced squares divided by heavy ruling in blocks of eight. Used to show weaves or designs in diagrammatic form. designer's blanket Also known as a pattern blanket. A cloth woven with a number of warps, usually of a specific range of yarns either in solid colours or in stripes and woven with the same range of weft colours or stripes in the weft in the same sequence as the warp. See blanket.

A process of printing with certain chemical printing pastes onto specially structured cloths to produce burnt-out effects or sheer areas of a fabric. Fabrics constructed from blends containing nylon and viscose, nylon and cotton, nylon and cuprammonium rayon can be printed with: 15 20% Aluminium Sulphate, 20 15% water, 5% glycerine, 60% thickening. Bake the cloth after printing for 25 seconds at 165°-180° C. Wash off in hot water and follow with neutralizing treatment in 1gm to 1 gallon sodium carbonate at 45° C for 10 minutes. Rinse well in cold water and dry.

dhurrie Durrie or dari 
A reversible flat, plain weave floor covering usually made with a hard twist cotton warp, also forming a fringe, and either cotton, wool or silk weft.

A light weight, sheer, plain weave cotton cloth with well defined, raised warp. From the Greek word dismitos (dis = twice; mitos = warp threads).

direct count
Direct fixed length count (numbering) system. The number of weight units per length unit. See count.

direct dye
Of all the types of dye available for dyeing cotton direct dyes are the simplest to use. They can easily be applied to cotton or other cellulosic fibres without the need of pre-treatment or mordant, by heating the dye solution and adding common salt or Glauber's salt to increase dye take-up. Poor to moderate fastness to wet treatments. Light fastness varies from poor to very good according to group, for example:

  • Moderate light fastness: Chlorazol (ICI), Diphenyl (Ciba-Geigy), Benzo (Bayer)
  • High light fastness: Durazol (ICI), Chlorantine fast (Ciba-Geigy), Sirius supra (Bayer)

discharge (printing)
Method of printing with bleaching or colour-destroying chemicals on dyed fabric to produce white areas. Coloured patterns on a dyed ground are possible by adding a dye to the bleaching paste which will not be affected by the bleach.

The process of boiling off and removal of gum from silk. See degumming.

disperse dye
Developed in the 1920s to dye synthetic fibres which could not be dyed with existing, traditional methods. Available in powder or liquid form, they are also used in the manufacture of inks and crayons. The dyes are absorbed into the fabric only at high temperatures (90 - 100°C).

district checks
Scottish district checks are synonymous with glenchecks which are woollen check cloths or tweeds designed for use as the livery of Scottish estates. See glen checks.

A mechanism which controls the shafts or harnesses to permit more complex geometric weave patterns than those obtainable on simple cam, tappet, countermarch or counterbalance looms and simpler than those obtained by the use of a Jacquard mechanism.

A straight-edge metal blade mounted either parallel to a printing roller or on the face of a fabric to remove excess or unwanted print paste.

A pattern made with four dark coloured threads in the warp and weft alternating with four lighter coloured threads using a 2-and 2 twill weave. See houndstooth.

A machine normally used for washing open-width cloth which is sewn end to end and passed continuously through the washing liquor.

dooputty Dupatta
A hindi word for a piece of cloth. In north east India the word also meant that a one piece garment cloth was made from two pieces of cloth sewn together and worn by low caste Bengali women.

During the production of man-made fibres, a colourant is introduced into the chemical spinning solution, known as dope, before extrusion into filaments. Often pigments, which withstand high temperatures during the production process, are used as colourants.

A hindi word for an inexpensive coarse, double thread cotton fabric. See duck.

double cloth
A compound fabric in which the two component fabrics are woven with either centre-stitching, self-stitching or interchanging.

double jersey
A weft knitted fabric which is produced on a rib or interlock knitting machine. Usually made on a 10 gauge circular knitting machine, or finer, it is often referred to as non-jacquard or jacquard double jersey. See jersey.

Combining, plying or twisting two or more yarns together to make a single yarn. The process is often carried out on a machine called a doubler.

See leno weaving.

Dupion silk is a irregular, bumpy or nubby silk yarn which usually quite coarse produced from double cocoons. Often inferior quality cocoons are combined with the silk from the double cocoons in the reeling process. Used in weaving shantung, nankeen and pongee cloths.

The order in which warp threads are drawn through the heddle or heald eyes. This will determine the weave of the fabric when the shafts, holding the heddles or healds are mounted into the loom. See heddle and healds.

When a fabric hangs in soft, gentle folds.

draw frame
A machine which draws out and combines several slivers of carded fibre into one sliver, which is then drawn out still further into a roving, then spun into a yarn. drawing in See drafting.

Woven with hard-twist coarse cotton yarns in a 3-and-1 weave. This type of cloth is often used in making lightweight, washable uniforms. From the Greek word drillich, which broadly means three warp threads. The French word for drill is contil and the fabric, sometimes called coutille, is commonly used for making mattress covers whereas lighter qualities were traditionally used in the manufacture of brassières.

drop spindle
The simplest and oldest method of intermittent spinning. Used for thousands of years this simple device takes the form of a short stick, forming the spindle, and a weight or whorl, which can be a stone, dry mud or bone. Known as a takli in India.

Derived from the Dutch word doek meaning a linen canvas which was used for sailors' clothing. There are now many types of duck or fabrics referred to as duck. A very tightly woven cotton fabric made with double warp threads and double weft threads in plain weave. The duck family includes: number duck, army duck, flat duck, ounce duck, sail duck, belting duck, hosepipe duck, boat or bootleg duck, linen duck, shoe duck, plimsoll duck (used for sneakers, track shoes or tennis shoes, wagon cover duck, tent duck and naught duck. A heavy duck cloth made in for tents in India is called dosooty. See dosooty.

From the hindi word dungri or dongari to describe a low-priced coarse cotton cloth, traditionally dyed brown, woven originally in the Rajapur and Karwar areas of Goa. The fabric was originally exported in the 17th century to the Malaysian islands including those owned by the Dutch and eventually becoming an important export from India to Britain. The Dutch called it dangerijs. This cloth is similar to denim woven with yarn dyed blue in a 3 and 1 or 2 and 1 weave, but sometimes piece dyed. Has also been known as bluettes.

The process of colouring yarn or cloth through immersion in a liquor containing either mineral, vegetable or animal dyes or synthetic chemical dye compounds together with other chemicals to fix the dye into the fibre. The process of dyeing, to give colour to a fabric is used in the context of any of the following: batik chemical dyeing, cross-dyeing, dope-dyeing, ikat natural dyeing, patola piece-dyeing, plangi space-dyeing, tie-dyeing, top-dyeing, vat-dyeing, yarn-dyeing.

Dyes and dyestuffs are classified as follows: Reactive Vat Disperse Modified basic Chrome Azoic Direct Acid Pigment Natural or Vegetable.