Glossary: Linen Tabby

Tabby is the most common weave for fabrics made of linen, also known as flax, a natural fiber. For more information, see the entry Glossary: Linen Fiber. Linen lawn is also tabby weave, but for the sake of clarity I will use this entry to discuss medium and heavier weights of linen. See Glossery: Linen Lawn for information about lawn and “handkerchief” weight linens. In modern use, specific types of linen fabric are often not specified, being referred to only by weave, weight, and/or use, as in “lightweight linen suiting” or “linen twill suiting.”

Definitions from a variety of print resources, each of which contains further information:

The glossary entry for “linen” on page 178 states that “many types of strong and endurable fabrics [can be] made from the flax plant; they can be bleached pure white, have no elasticity.”

Entry for “Linen” on pages 277-278: “Cloth of many grades and weaves made from flax fibers.” Varieties listed include types of canvas, cambric, damask, diaper, lawn, Holland cloth, Irish cloth, twill, ticking, Osnaburg, and drilling.

Online Resources:

For more information about an individual fiber, fabric, or other material, select it on the right side menu for “Fibers, Fabrics, and Materials.” This will bring up all entries which have that tag, including (in most cases) a Glossary post like this one, which will offer a definition of that fiber, fabric, or material, and sometimes also offer useful links to outside sources on working with it. For more general information, visit the core entry for the Glossary: Fibers, Fabrics, and Materials. For a directory of all textile glossary posts, go to the Glossary Table of Contents.

Updated January 10, 2012

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