Glossary for Silk Texiles

artifacts – anything made or modified by humans, both prehistoric and modern

block printing – a type of printing in which individual wooden or steel blocks are carved and then used to transfer the layers of the image one color at a time  onto the fabric

cochineal (Dactylopius) -  a red dye made from scale insects that feed on cactus

cocoons – the silk covering of pupae of Lepidoptera that are made from silk threads produced by the caterpillars

drop-spindles – hanging shafts weighted at the bottom, used for spinning fibers into thread

eri silk – silk produced from the cocoons of Samia ricini (Saturniidae), also called endi silk

fagara silk – silk produced from the cocoons of Attacus atlas (Saturniidae)

hand-embroidery – a technique of using early (pre-machine) hand sewn stitches, made using a needle and thread or yarn, to add embellishments to fabric.

hand-loom – a loom which is not power operated, that holds tension on the warp strings, as the weft is interwoven, making the fabric.

ipele - a wrap around skirt

kantha style – an embroidery style from India, which uses a running stich to add detail to a textile

muga silk – silk produced from the cocoons of Antheraea assamensis (Saturniidae)

reeled silk – silk fibers made from unbroken cocoons
 
skeins – hanks or bundles of spun or reeled thread or yarn

spun yarn -  made from the twisting of fibers to form yarn

stick lac -  branches of trees coated with a resin (lac) produced by scale insects (Laccifer lacca) and used to produce a red dye

tasar silk – silk produced from the cocoons of Antheraea paphia and A. proylei

temperate tasar silk – silk produced from the cocoons of Antheraea proylei, reared on oaks, also called oak tasar in India

textiles – pieces of fabric made from woven (warp and weft) fibers

tropical tasar silk - silk produced from the cocoons of Antheraea paphia

turmeric (Curcuma longa) – a plant in the ginger family, whose root is used for seasoning food and dye production, when used as a dye it is fugitive (fades with light exposure)

tussah – silk similar to tasar, but produced in China from the cocoons of Antheraea pernyi

warp – the threads that run lengthwise in a textile, they hold the tension in the fabric as it
is being woven.

weft – the threads that are woven into the warp to make a textile

weft brocading – a decorative technique made by adding decorative threads into the weft along with the structural threads as the fabric is being made.