Tag Archives: Piled Weave

About Upholstery Fabrics

You should never neglect the home décor section when shopping for costume fabric. You’ll find patterns and colors there appropriate for a surprising swathe of history and some drawn characters too. For instance, when you need emergency princess gear, pintuck taffeta can be a lifesaver. Sheer gauze curtains can provide material for fairy wings. I’ve lost count of… Read More »


Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics‘ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. AKA Moquette. A wool fabric made to imitate silk velvet – a wool pile on a linen and wool base. It was first created in the mid-16th century, so it’s apt for costuming… Read More »

The Difference Between Nap and Pile

The terms nap and pile are often used interchangeably to indicate any fabric with a fuzzy surface. The term napped fabric is almost always used to describe anything that changes color depending on how the fuzz lies. Sewing patterns will refer to the “with nap” layout when giving directions on how to cut the pattern.… Read More »


Let me just this get out of my system right away. Did you hear about the new corduroy pillows? They’re making headlines! Whew. Thanks. Corduroy is a woven fabric that features a fuzzy pile, just like velvet (the difference between nap and pile). But while velvet’s pile is sheared all the same length, corduroy is… Read More »


Terrycloth is often called toweling because that’s a primary use for it: towels and bathrobes. It’s also great for muppets, monsters, mascots and other things that might or might not begin with “m”. The big difference between terrycloth and, say, velvet is that terrycloth features a looped pile, instead of a sheared pile. Because the primary… Read More »


Velvet. Epitome of luxury. A de-rigeur fabric whether you’re costuming Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings or even certain Doctor Who characters. Velvet is ubiquitous. Wikipedia puts it pretty succinctly: Velvet is a woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed with a short, dense pile. In other words, it’s fuzzy… Read More »


I mentioned velveteen briefly during the section on velvet, because they’re so closely related. Like velvet, velveteen is a napped fabric. Like velvet, the pile – the fuzzy part – is on a non-stretchy base. So what’s the difference between velvet and velveteen? Velveteen has a shorter pile than velvet, which makes the fabric physically… Read More »


Ultrasuede is a trade name, like Spandex, but like Spandex and Kleenex and Coke it’s passed into the vernacular and it’s used to describe any fabric that looks like suede. For the moment, let’s stick to the trademarked product, Ultrasuede. It was created in the 1970s out of a veritable chemical stew. It indeed looks… Read More »

Peachskin And Moleskin

Peachskin is a marketing term used to describe a lightweight fabric – usually pure polyester – that has a very short, fuzzy nap on one side. Just like – you guessed it – a peach. Sometimes it’s called moleskin and there is a trademarked version of moleskin called Sensuede. The two aren’t exactly the same,… Read More »

How to Sew Fabrics With Pile

  Velvet, velour, velveteen, corduroy and even terrycloth. What do these have in common? They’re fabrics with pile – that delightfully fuzzy surface. It’s a joy to see and touch, but it can present some real challenges to cut and sew. Addendum: The difference between nap and pile. When cutting it, you want to use lots… Read More »