Textile Trivia

Fiber-Seal’s technicians are the most thoroughly trained in the fabric care business. At the conclusion of their initial training courses, they take a written test that is designed to be very challenging. The following questions are taken directly from our technical training. How many can you answer correctly?

Animal Fibers


Everyone knows that sheep provide us with wool, one of the most popular fibers used in upholstery fabrics, rugs, carpets, and other home furnishings. There are several other animal fibers used to make fabrics. How many can you name?

Lesser-used animal fibers in fabrics and floor coverings include mohair (from the Angora goat), Alpaca, Cashmere (Cashmere goat), Llama and Vicuna.

Fancy Yarns


One thing that makes fabrics interesting is the different ways in which yarns can be constructed. Yarns that are created with deliberate irregularities are called fancy yarns, or novelty yarns. Do you know the name of the yarn shown in the diagram below?

It is bouclé! Bouclé is a type of fancy yarn that is characterized by its appearance. The name “bouclé” is originally derived from the French word meaning “to curl.” Check out our bouclé blog!

Name That Rug


A special type of rug bears an interesting name that is derived from the place of its origin. Can you name this rug?

The name of this rug style is Savonnerie. These rugs were originally woven in 17th century France, as Louis XIV sought to reduce the tremendous cost of importing rugs from the Orient. The first workshop for Savonnerie rugs was created on the site of a defunct soap factory (”Savon” is the French word for “soap.”) During the first 150 years of their existence, these rugs were the exclusive property of the royal court and left France only as grand diplomatic gifts.

Rayon Names


The popular fiber generically known as “rayon” is also often called “viscose.” There is another type of rayon that is made using a more environmentally friendly process. Can you name it?

Lyocell is the name for a type of rayon produced using a “closed loop” system. Essentially all of the solvent used in the process is recovered. The most common branded lyocell fiber is called Tencel. While the fiber is slightly stronger than other rayon, it still mats easily and is distorted by water-based cleaning methods.

Colorfastness Code


The colorfastness codes (also called cleaning codes) associated with upholstery fabrics are: W, S, WS, and X. Of these four, which is the most restrictive? Can you describe each code?

Summary of each code:

W = Clean using water-based products.

S = Clean using only solvent-based (drycleaning) products.

WS = Clean using either water or solvent.

X = Brush or vacuum only. Do not use either water or solvent.

Obviously, the most restrictive of these is “X.” A true X-code fabric would be best used in only the least demanding situations. Check out our ‘FiberFacts’ article on cleanability codes!



Resiliency is the ability to recover from deformation. In our industry, the term is most often used when discussing a carpet or rug’s resistance to crushing and matting. Which manmade non-cellulosic fiber is known for very poor resiliency?

Olefin, also known as polypropylene, is the least resilient of all common floor covering fibers. Particularly when loosely constructed, rugs and carpet made from olefin will tend to crush in traffic lanes and areas that receive more wear. This crushing can be difficult or impossible to correct.

Did you answer enough questions correctly to be a Fiber-Seal technician? Fiber-Seal is here to answer any of your fabric related questions, as we continue to be the number one resource for designers and clients when it comes to all things fabric!

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