The list given below provides a description of some key terminology that is used every day in the production of our products. This is provided as a source of information and reference only. 


Alternating Current (AC) – A flow of electrons which reverses its direction of flow at regular intervals in a conductor.

Ambient Temperature – The temperature of the surrounding medium, such as gas, air or liquid, which comes into contact with a particular component.

Ammeter – An instrument for measuring the flow of electrical current in amperes. Ammeters are always connected in series with the circuit to be tested. 

Ampere – A unit of measure for the flow of current in a circuit. One ampere is the amount of current flow provided when one volt of electrical pressure is applied against one ohm of resistance. The ampere is used to measure electricity much as “litres per minute” is used to measure water flow. 

Amplitude – A term used to describe the maximum value of a pulse or wave. It is the crest value measured from zero. 



Balanced Weave A weave in which the average float is the same in the warp and the weft directions and in which the warp and weft floats are equally distributed between the two sides of the fabric. See weaves. 

Bobbin – A spool or cylindrical barren onto which yarn is wound for use in weaving.

Braid – The simplest form of fabric which is woven or plaited flat, in the round or as a tubular narrow fabric. 



Cable – An insulated wire or wires having a protective casing and used for transmitting electricity or telecommunication signals.

Calibration – The determination or rectification of the graduations used on a testing instrument.

Capacitor – A device which stores electrical energy. Commonly used for filtering out voltage spikes. 

Cellulose – A carbohydrate polymer found in organic woody substances of most vegetation. The basic raw material in the production of rayon and acetate fibres. Cotton is 96% cellulose.

Cheese – A cylindrical package of yarn, cross-wound on a parallel sided central core made of either paper, plastic or wood.

Colorant – Any colouring matter, e.g. a dye or a pigment.

Colour – A sensation of light in the eyes induced by certain frequencies, each colour of the rainbow as we know it, having a different frequency. Colour is applied to textiles by dyeing and printing. The basic, so called primary colours, are red, blue and yellow. Secondary colours are made up of a mixture of two of each of the primary colours: red + blue = purple; blue + yellow = green; yellow + red = orange. The word hue normally means red colour, blue colour and yellow colour. The word shade is a colour which has been made darker with black. A tint is a colour which has been lightened with white. The word tone, often misused, means lightness, darkness or brilliance of colour. 

Colour Abrasion – Sometimes called frosting. Colour change is localised areas of a fabric where differential wear has taken place. 

Conductor – An electrical conductor is a substance in which electrical charge carriers, usually electrons, move easily from atom to atom with the application of voltage. Conductivity, in general, is the capacity to transmit something, such as electricity or heat. Pure elemental silver is the best electrical conductor encountered in everyday life. Copper, steel, gold, aluminium and brass are also good conductors. In electrical or electronic systems, all conductors comprise solid metals moulded into wires or etched onto circuit boards.

Cop – A yarn package spun on a mule or ring spindle. A paper, cardboard, wooden, plastic or metal tube is used as the core of the package.

Count – The number of weight units per length unit. 

  • Tex = number of grams per kilometre
  • Decitex = number of grams per 10,000 m 
  • Denier = number of grams per 9,000 m 

Current – Movement of electricity along a conductor. The current is measured in amperes. 

Current Flow – The flow or movement of electrons from atom to atom in a conductor.

Cut – Cables that have been cut into specific lengths as per customer’s design specification.



Diode – An electrical device that will allow current to pass through itself in one direction only. 

Direct Current (DC) – A steady flow of electrons moving steadily and continually in the same direction along a conductor from a point of high potential to one of lower potential. It is produced by a battery, generator or rectifier. 

Discharge – To remove electrical energy from a charged body such as a capacitor or battery.

Dyeing – 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. 



Electrical Field – The region around a charged body in which the charge has an effect.

Electricity – The flow of electrons from atom to atom in a conductor.

Electromagnetic Field – The magnetic field about a conductor created by the flow of electrical current through it. 

Electromagnetic Induction – The process by which voltage is induced in a conductor by varying the magnetic field so that lines of force cut across the conductor. 

Electron – A tiny particle which rotates around the nucleus of an atom. It has a negative charge of electricity.

End – An individual warp yarn (single, plyed or corded). The term is used to describe an individual sliver, roving, thread or cord. Also the term is used to describe a length of finished fabric less than the standard unit length or piece (in certain places a half-piece). 



Fixed Resistor – A resistor which has only one resistance value. 

Frequency – The number of pulse or wave cycles that are completed in one second. Frequency is measured in Hertz, as in 60 Hz (hertz) per second. 

Fuse – A replaceable safety device for an electrical circuit. A fuse consists of a fine wire or thin metal strip encased in glass or some fire resistant material. When an overload occurs in the circuit, the wire or metal strip melts, breaking the circuit.



Generator – A device which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Glass Transition Temperature (Tg) – The temperature below which a polymer in the amorphous rubbery state forms a brittle amorphous glassy state. The transition from rubber to glass (or glass to rubber) is a second-order transition. Polymer chains are able to move past each other above Tg and therefore the bulk polymer becomes processable.

Ground – A ground occurs when any part of a wiring circuit unintentionally touches a metallic part of the machine frame.


Hank – A continuous loop of yarn, without a specific measurement or weight the circumference of which can be a yard, metre, 45 inches or 60 inches depending on the type of textile trade. See skein.

Homopolymer – A polymer made of only one type of monomer repeat unit, e.g. poly(methyl methacrylate)



Insulator – A substance or body that resists the flow of electrical current through it. Also see “Conductor”. 



Light Emitting Diode (LED) – A solid-state display device that emits infrared light when a forward-biased current flows through it. 

Linear Polymer – A polymer that is a single continuous chain of chemically linked monomer repeat units without any branching, e.g. polystyrene.



Melting Temperature (Tm) – A temperature at which crystalline or semi-crystalline polymers melt to form an amorphous phase. Tm is higher than Tg.

Milliampere – 1/1,000,000 ampere.

Multimeter – A testing device that can be set to read ohms (resistance), voltage (force), or amperes (current) of a circuit. 



Neutron – An uncharged elementary particle. Present in all atomic nuclei except the hydrogen nucleus.

Nylon – See Polyamide.



Ohm – The standard unit for measuring resistance to flow of an electrical current. Every electrical conductor offers resistance to the flow of current, just as a tube through which water flows offers resistance to the current of water. One ohm is the amount of resistance that limits current flow to one ampere in a circuit with one volt of electrical pressure. 

Ohmmeter – An instrument for measuring the resistance in ohms of an electrical circuit.

Ohm’s Law – Ohm’s Law states that when an electric current is flowing through a conductor, such as a wire, the intensity of the current (in amperes) equals the electromotive force (volts) driving it, divided by the resistance of the conductor. The flow is in proportion to the electromotive force, or voltage, as long as the resistance remains the same.



Pick – A weft thread in a fabric. Sometimes referred to as a shot. When weaving, to pick is process of passing the weft through the warp shed. 

Ply –  When two or more threads or yarns are plied or twisted together. The industrial term for ply is fold. 

Polarity – A collective term applied to the positive (+) and negative (-) ends of a magnet or electrical mechanism such as a coil or battery.

Polyamide – A polymer formed by reaction of poly(carboxylic acides) with polyamines, whose monomer repeat units are linked together by amide groups, e.g. poly(hexamethylene adipamide), known as Nylon 6, 6.

Polycarbonate – A polymer whose monomer repeat units are linked together by carbonate groups, most commonly by reaction of bisphenol-A with phosgene, e.g. LexanTM

Polyester – A polymer formed by reaction of poly(carboxylic acids) with polyols, whose monomer repeat units are linked together by ester groups, e.g. polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polycaprolactone, poly(lactic acid) (PLA), poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA).

Polymer – A macromolecule consisting of at least 100 chemically bonded repeat units. Can have more than one type of repeat unit.

Polyurethane – A polymer formed by reaction of polyisocyanates with polyols, whose monomer repeat units are linked together by urethane (carbarnate) groups.

Positive – Designating or pertaining to a kind of electricity. Specifically, an atom which loses negative electrons and is positively charged.

Potentiometer – A variable resistor used as a voltage divider.

Printed Circuit Board – A device used to hold integrated circuit components in place and provide current paths from component to component. Copper pathways are etched into the board with acid. 

Proton – A particle which, together with the neutron constitutes the nucleus of an atom. It exhibits a positive charge of electricity. 

Pulse – A signal that is produced by a sudden ON and OFF of direct current (DC) within a circuit.



Rayon – Rayon (viscose rayon) is the oldest of all the man-made fibres and was originally produced by dissolving nitro-cellulose into a solution which could be extruded through a nozzle and made into a filament. The process was patented by Count du Chardonnet in 1884, whose recipe was similar to that of producing gun-cotton and was too dangerous. Towards the end of the 19th century further experiments were carried out to make artificial silk by the cuprammonium process. This process was much safer. Then, in 1892, the viscose process was patented by C.F.Cross and his partners. The first filaments of viscose rayon were made in England in 1904 by Samuel Courtauld and Company, silk weavers. Rayon is made from cellulose and the highest yield of high-grade cellulose is from Scandinavian and Canadian Spruce and South African Eucalyptus. Viscose can be used in filament form or as staple fibre.

Regulator – A device which controls the flow of current or voltage in a circuit to a certain desired level.

Relay – An electrical coil switch that uses a small current to control a much larger current.

Resistance – The opposing force offered by a circuit or component of a circuit to the passage of electrical current through it. Resistance is measured in ohms.



Self-Induction – Voltage which occurs in a coil when there is a change of current.

Series Circuit 

A circuit in which the parts are connected end to end, positive pole to negative pole, so that only one path is provided for current flow. 

Series-Parallel Circuit – A circuit in which some of the circuit components are connected in series and others are connected in parallel. 

Short (or Short Circuit) – This occurs when one part of a circuit comes in contact with another part of the same circuit, diverting the flow of current from its desired path.

Skein – A continuous length, of no set measurement, of yarn or thread coiled into collapsible coil obtained by winding a definite number of turns on a a reel with a set circumference. The circumference of the reel can measure a yard or a metre, 45 inches or 60 inches often depending on the type of textile trade. Often referred to as a hank.

Slip Ring – In a generator, motor or alternator, one of two or more continuous conducting rings from which brushes take, or deliver to, current.

Storage Battery – A group of electrochemical cells connected together to generate electrical energy. It stores the energy in chemical form. 

Strand – A single or multiple yarn used as a component of a rope or cable.  The term also refers to a strand of raw silk which is composed of filaments reeled from several cocoons at the same time. 

Switch A device which opens or closes electrical pathways in an electrical circuit. 



Tex – The unit of the tex count system. This is a direct fixed-length count system which is used often in Britain. See count. 

Thermistor – A temperature-compensated resistor. The degree of its resistance varies with the temperature. In some regulators, it controls a Zener diode so that a higher system voltage is produced in cold weather, when needed.

Thermoplastic – A polymer that undergoes reversible softening on heating and can be moulded when hot. 

Thermoset – A polymer that chemically cures (crosslinks) on heating, into a form that does not soften on reheating.

Transformer – A device made of two coil windings that transfers voltage from one coil to the next through electromagnetic induction. Depending upon the number of windings per coil, a transformer can be designed to step-up or step-down its output voltage from its input voltage. Transformers can only function with alternating current (AC). 



Variable Resistor – A resistor that can be adjusted to different ranges of value. 

Vinyl – A polymer made by polymerising monomers that contain the vinyl group, e.g. poly(vinyl pyrrolidinone) (PVP), poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), EVA, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, TeflonTM)

Viscose Rayon – See rayon.

Volt – A unit of electrical pressure (or electromotive force) which causes current to flow in a circuit. One volt is the amount of pressure required to cause one ampere of current to flow against one ohm of resistance.

Voltage – That force which is generated to cause current to flow in an electrical circuit, which can also be referred to as electromotive force or electrical potential. Voltage is measured in volts. 

Voltmeter – An instrument for measuring the force in volts of an electrical current. This is the difference of potential (voltage) between different points in an electrical circuit. Voltmeters are connected across (parallel to) the points where voltage is to be measured.



Warp – The threads(ends) which run the length (of the fabric) on the loom and interlaced with weft (picks) to form the fabric. See end.

Watt – A unit of measure for indicating the electrical power applied in a circuit. It is obtained by multiplying the current (in amperes) by the electrical pressure (in volts) which cause it to flow. That is: watts = amperes x volts.

Watt-Hour – A unit of electrical energy. It indicates the amount of work done in an hour by a circuit at a steady rate of one watt. That is: watt-hours = ampere-hours x volts.

Wave – A signal that is produced by varying a continuous flow of current within a circuit. Waveforms can be created by either AC or DC current. 

Weft – The threads which are passed across and through the warp by a shuttle, air jet, rapier or water jet to form a woven fabric. 



Yarn – The basic component of most, particularly woven or knitted, fabric. Yarn, sometimes referred to as thread, is either a collection of small lengths of natural or man-made fibre which are spun and twisted together or endless extruded natural or man-made filament. Spun yarn can be a blend of two or more fibres. Any yarn can be made thicker or stronger by plying, doubling, twisting or folding two or more single yarns together. The term ply is often used to describe the thickness or size of hand knitting or hand embroidery yarns.