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What Is Fabric

by Carol Coski, Quilt-a-way
as published in The Quilted Feather

 

The following is an excerpt from the P&B Text-Files, published by Irwin Bear, owner of P&B Textiles. Used with permission.

There is one major market cloth that is used in our trade that has been the mainstay of the industry for over 20 years. This is the 68 x 68 (threads per square inch) greige (muslin fabric) using 30 x 30 size yarns. The thickness of the yarn is indicated by a number, with low numbers (10 or 20) being thicker threads and higher numbers (40 and up) being thinner threads. The original percale was an 80 x 80 using 40 x 30 yarns. Gradually the thread count came down to 78 x 78 and finally, by changing yarn in one direction of the weave from a 40 to a 30, they reduced the count to 68 x 68. Actually, the 68 square is slightly heavier than the 78 square, due to the heavier yarn. These 68 x 68’s are woven by every country making textiles and the quality is determined not only by who weaves them but also by the cotton used.

Other greige goods used are a 60 x 60 count with 20 x 20 yarns which, in spite of their being fewer threads per square inch, are a little heavier than a 68 x 68. A prominent user is Kaufman for its Kona cotton. Many others use it and you can feel the difference. The 60 x 60 finish is a little coarser. The more threads there are per square inch, the better the printing and dyeing surface, creating a smoother and tighter finish. The 68’s and 60’s are priced similarly.

One of our Japanese trading companies, due to some export quota restrictions, has been using a 120 x 60, which offers more surface to print and dye, resulting in a beautiful, soft, silky finish. Here the price is slightly higher, but you can feel the difference. To test this, you might want to touchy-feel collections like “Baltimore Beauties III,” “Skywriting,” “Color Bridge”, “Century of Progress” and “Color Profusion”. Other Japanese trading companies use a 68 x 68 such as in our “Etchings” and “Shadows” collections.

The other greige goods we use are a 78 x 78 with a 40 x 30 yarn, which is not as popular as the 68 x 68 or the 60 x 60. The price is higher and availability are restricted. We use these goods when we print domestically and for patterns and solids that are light colors. These greiges have a silky finish and better show the lighter colors.

Editor's Note: I hope you enjoy these excerpts from different publications that I have access to. I firmly believe in education so look for more articles in the future. If there is a topic you would like to know more about, please let me know. Sandi Hubka, Owner, The Quillted Feather

The above courtesy of Carol Coski, owner of Quilt-a-way Fabrics in Westminster, Vermont

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