our fabrics - steelcase selectour fabrics - steelcase select

In a new 'enhanced level of choice', Steelcase Select makes POLLACK’s unique style available as pre-approved options for seating.

our fabrics - color storiesour fabrics - color stories

Yearning for yellow? Re-thinking red? Tempted by taupe? Flip through our Color Stories to see how we make sense of color.

resources - glossary of terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  • Abrasion  
    1. The wearing away of any part of a fabric by rubbing against another surface.
    2. Industry standards for abrasion measured on a Wyzenbeek machine.
  • Absorbency
    The propensity of a fabric to take in and retain a liquid, usually water, in its pores and interstices.
  • Acrylic
    Man-made, resin based fiber created to look like wool that has a soft hand,
    is resistant to wrinkles and sunlight, and can be easily dyed and washed.
  • Bamboo
    1. Fibers from this plant are made into raw pulp which undergoes a viscose-like process.
    2. A rapidly renewable resource, grown without pesticides or chemicals, that is naturally antibacterial.
  • Basket weave
    A variation of plain weave in which two or more yarns are woven together in both warp and weft directions
  • Batik  
    A traditional wax-resistant dyeing technique.
  • Bouclé
    A novelty yarn characterized by rough loopy knots
  • Burn-out fabric
    A patterned fabric, made with two different fibers, whose effect is produced by destroying one of
    the fibers through a printing process which employs chemicals instead of color
  • Carding
    A preliminary process in spun yarn manufacture in which impurities and very short fiber pieces are removed and the remaining fibers are separated and smoothed into a thin web of condensed material
  • Chenille
    A novelty yarn with a pile protruding on all sides
  • Clipping
    Cutting away the floating portions of supplementary yarns to allow the remaining
    loose-cut edges to be used as a part of the design
  • Color Blanket  
    A trial fabric wherein numerous options of color, yarn, etc., will be woven together in sequence
  • Colorway  
    A set of colors to be used in a design; multiple colorways are often given for one fabric
  • Cotton
    1. Natural fiber from the white fluffy fruit of the cotton plant
    2. Graded by length, brightness, color and purity
    3. Dyes well, is strong and soft to the touch, and cleans well because it absorbs water easily
    4. Untreated, it wrinkles and shrinks
  • Cotton boll
    A seed pod that when ripe splits open exposing seeds covered in cotton fibers
  • Cradle to Cradle  
    A set of design and manufacturing protocols that aims to reduce or eliminate ecologically harmful waste
  • Cross dyed
    Fabric composed of two or more different fibers with varying dye affinities dyed to achieve a multicolored effect in a single dye bath
  • Cut and loop pile
    A combination of cut ends and loops of pile yarn creating a variety of surface textures
  • Cut pile
    A pile cut during manufacture by means of cutting wires or by a reciprocating knife blade, as in double plush or dress velvet, or cut in a separate finishing operation, as in corduroy, velveteen, knitted velour or cut-pile tufted carpet
  • Damask
    1. A group of jacquard-woven fabrics in which the pattern is created by contrasting satin weaves
    2. Originally a rich silk fabric with woven floral designs made in China and introduced into Europe through Damascus, from which it derives its name
  • Degumming
    The process of removing the sericin (gum) from raw silk by boiling in a soap solution
  • Dobby loom
    A type of loom on which small geometric patterns can be woven
  • Drape
    1. A character of fabric indicative of flexibility and suppleness
    2. The degree to which a fabric falls into graceful folds when hung or arranged in different positions
  • Dye
    A colorant that chemically interacts with fibers
  • Elongation
    1. Ability of a fiber to be stretched, extended, or lengthened
    2. Provides “give”
  • Embossing  
    A technique usually involving pressure and/or heat that creates a three-dimensional surface pattern
  • Embroidery
    An example of the decoration of fabric or leather ground with needle-worked accessory stitches made with thread, yarn, or other flexible materials
  • End use  
    The way a fabric will be applied by the consumer, for example in apparel, furnishings (residential and contract), medical, industrial, military, or other uses
  • Felt
    1. Woven fabric made of wool or a wool blend that is heavily fulled and shrunk so the yarns become closely interlocked, making it almost impossible to distinguish the weavn
    2. Nonwoven sheet of matted material made from wool, hair, fur or certain manufactured fibers
  • Fiber
    The fundamental component that is used in the assembly of yarns, including cotton, wool, silk, nylon, and polyester
  • Filament fibers
    Long, continuous fiber strands of indefinite length, measured in yards or even miles
  • Filling
    See weft
  • Flax
    1. Slender annual plant that produces bast fiber (linen)
    2. Oldest textile fiber known
  • Greige
    Fabric that has received no preparation, dyeing or finishing treatment
  • Hand
    1. Characteristic of fabric that is perceived by touching, squeezing, or rubbing
    2. Properties of hand: flexibility, compressibility, extensibility, resilience, density, surface contour, surface friction, thermal character
  • Hydrophilic
    Having an affinity for water
  • Hydrophobic
    Tending to repel water
  • Jacquard loom
    A type of loom used to produce elaborate designs having intricate weaves
  • Knit
    1. General term for the process of inter-looping yarns either by hand or machine
    2. The fabric made by this process
  • Knit yarn
    Yarn with an interesting surface created by inter-looping
  • Leno weave
    A variation of plain weave in which pairs of warp threads are alternately twisted between each insertion of filling yarn to stabilize the yarn in an open construction
  • Linen
    1. The oldest and best known fiber of the bast family, linen comes from the inner fiber of the flax plant stalk
    2. Feels and looks crisp
  • Loom  
    1. A device used to weave cloth
    2. A device holding warp yarns in tension to allow the interlacing of filling yarns
  • Luster
    1. The amount of light reflected from the surface of a fiber, yarn, or fabric
    2. Textiles that reflect a great deal of both specularly and diffusely reflected light are considered to have a high luster, those that do not reflect much light have low luster
  • Matelassé
    A doublecloth with a quilted or padded texture resulting from stuffer yarns inserted between layers
  • Mohair
    A long fiber from the hair of the angora goat that is spun into a soft, lustrous, luxurious yarn that is very durable
  • Moiré  
    A surface effect resembling a watermark or wood grain on fabric
  • Nonwoven
    1. A textile structure produced by bonding or interlocking fibers, or both
    2. Accomplished by mechanical, chemical, thermal or solvent means and combinations thereof
  • Novelty yarn
    A yarn with unusual or special effects such as nubs, flakes, loops, beads, or lumps
  • Nylon
    A man-made fiber that is strong, durable, elastic, exhibits high static and pilling, and has low moisture retention
  • Ogee  
    A design motif resembling a modified oval with both concave and convex curves
  • Olefin
    1. Synthetic petroleum-based fiber that is durable, resilient, economical, and cleans well
    2. Also known as Polypropylene
  • Panné velvet
    A pile fabric with a longer pile than normal velvet but shorter than plush, the pile is flattened or pressed down by means of heavy roller pressure in finishing, giving the fabric a high luster
  • Piece dyed
    Fabrics that are dyed after they have been woven or knitted
  • Pile
    1. Raised loops or other yarns or fibers deliberately emplaced to stand away from the surface of a fabric, forming all or part of the fabric surface
    2. The length and thickness vary
  • Pilling
    The tendency of a fabric, usually synthetic, to form little fuzzy balls in reaction to abrasion
  • Plain weave
    1. A filling yarn crosses over a warp yarn and then under the next warp yarn, with each row alternating the “over” and “under” warp yarns
    2. Simplest and most important of the basic weaves, providing the greatest number of intersections in a given space; 3used in about 80% of all woven fabric
  • Pleating
    Doubling a fabric over into folds and fixing them in place by sewing or pressing
  • Ply yarn
    A yarn formed by twisting together two or more single yarns or strands in one operation
  • Pocket weave
    A woven doublecloth in which the layers are joined only at pattern changes, space between the two layers of cloth are called pockets
  • Polyester 
    Fiber made from petroleum, coal, air, and water that is high-strength, washable, and abrasion resistant, but subject to pilling, staining, and static electricity
  • Polyurethane
    Fiber with high strength, high elongation, and low moisture absorption used for nonwoven faux leathers and vinyls
  • Raffia
    A long fiber harvested from the raffia palm used to make baskets, mats, hats, and fabrics
  • Rayon
    1. Soft silk-like man-made fiber that is produced from cellulose (wood chips) and chemicals
    2. Also known as viscose
  • Reeling
    The process of unwinding raw silk from cocoons by placing them in hot water and unwinding the filaments onto a reel to form a single yarn without any twist
  • Satin weave
    1. The face of the fabric is formed almost completely of warp or filling floats produced in the repeat of the weave, achieved by spacing the yarn crossover or intersection points as evenly and widely as possible
    2. Produces a characteristic smooth surface, employing a great number of yarns in the set that forms the face
  • Sericin
    A natural, gummy coating on raw silk filaments that makes the silk harsh and stiff and imparts a dull luster
  • Shrink yarn  
    Thermoplastic yarn that contracts or shrinks when exposed to heat
  • Silk 
    A protein harvested from the cocoons of silkworms that is naturally in filament form and when cleaned is fine, supple, lustrous, and exceptionally strong
  • Silkworms
    1. Larvae of moths (caterpillars) that produce a large amount of silk when constructing cocoons before changing to pupae
    2. Feed on the leaves of the white mulberry, certain other mulberry species, and the osage orange tree
  • Slit film yarn
    1. Film slit into narrow strips that may be used as flat monofilaments in spinning, weaving, or knitting
    2. Metallic/Lurex yarns are made by this process
  • Slub yarn
    A novelty yarn with alternating thick and thin areas
  • Solution dyed
    1. Manufactured filaments or staple fibers that are colored by incorporating pigments in the melt or polymer solution from which they are extruded
    2. Provides high levels of colorfastness
  • Spinneret
    A thimble-like nozzle through which the spinning solution is forced to form fiber
  • Spinning
    The process of producing a yarn from staple fibers
  • Staple fibers
    1. Short fibers, measured in centimeters or inches
    2. natural fibers, except silk, are staple length and vary from 1.3 cm to 1 meter
  • Textile
    A general term used to refer to fibers, yarns, or fabrics including woven, knitted, and nonwoven structures as well as lace and crocheted goods
  • Tissue picks
    Supplementary filling yarn or yarns which "float" along the back of fabric in bands, and are brought up in selected areas for added color detail on the face of a fabric
  • Trevira polyester
    1. Registered trademark owned by Hoechst-Celanese for specialized polyester fiber
    2. Trevira CS is fire-retardant
  • Tussah silk
    A strong, coarse, light-brown silk yarn or fabric made from cocoons of undomesticated silkworms with filaments that are more irregular and dull than cultivated silk and take dye poorly
  • Twill weave
    1. The filling yarns pass over one or more and under one or more warp yarns in offset progression to create the appearance of diagonal lines
    2. Used to produce strong, durable, firm fabrics such as denim
    3. Has many variations, such as herringbone and bird’s eye
  • Twist yarn
    A yarn created by twisting two differently colored yarns together
  • Two directional velvet
    Velvet with more than one pile direction, each of which reflects light differently, creating dark and light values
  • Velvet
    1. A warp pile fabric with short, closely woven cut pile that gives the fabric a rich soft texture
    2. First made of all silk, many major fibers are now used in this construction
  • Viscose
    1. A man-made fiber processed from cellulous into a liquid and extruded into filament that is easily dyed and lustrous
    2. Used in fabrics with a soft hand that drape well
  • Voided velvet
    1. A velvet with a pile raised only in selected areas
    2. Designs are created by weaving the pile yarns into the flat weave of the ground
  • Warp
    1. The set of yarn elements running lengthwise on a loom and in woven fabrics on the bolt
    2. In place before the weft yarns are woven over and under it
  • Warp print  
    A printing method in which only the warp yarns are printed with a design before the fabric is woven. A hazy, grayed effect is produced
  • Weft
    1. The set of yarn elements in a woven fabric that runs horizontally, crossing and interlacing with the warp
    2. Also known as filling
  • Weight  
    How heavy the fabric is, generally measured in ounces per square or linear yard
  • Wool
    1. Fiber derived from the fleece of sheep
    2. In some instances may refer to the fibers from the hair of the alpaca, camel, llama, and vicuña
    3. Resilient and may be blended with natural or man-made fibers
  • Woolen yarn
    A coarse, short staple wool or wool-like yarn that has not been combed
  • Worsted yarn
    A tightly spun, long staple, fine wool or wool-like yarn that is smooth and straight
  • Woven  
    1. General term for the process of inter-lacing yarns either by hand or machine
    2. The fabric made by this process
  • Wrapped yarn
    Constructed by wrapping a binder yard around a bundle of parallel fibers with little or no twist
  • Yarn
    A continuous strand of textile fibers that my be composed of endless filaments or shorter fibers twisted or otherwise held together
  • Yarn dyed
    1. Fabric woven or knitted with yarns that have been dyed prior to fabrication of the cloth
    2. Commonly used to produce striped, plaid, or jacquard color effect