Nap (textile)

Nap (textile)
A cloth with a nap.

Primarily, nap is the raised (fuzzy) surface on certain kinds of cloth, such as velvet. Nap can refer additionally to other surfaces that look like the surface of a napped cloth, such as the surface of a felt or beaver hat.

Starting around the 14th century, the word referred originally to the roughness of woven cloth before it was sheared.[1][2] When cloth, especially woollen cloth, is woven, the surface of the cloth is not smooth, and this roughness is the nap. Generally the cloth is then 'sheared' to create an even surface, and the nap is thus removed.


Piled nap

Since the 15th century, the term nap generally refers to a special pile given to the cloth.[2] The term pile refers to raised fibres that are there on purpose, rather than as a by product of producing the cloth.[3] In this case, the nap is woven into the cloth, often by weaving loops into the fabric, which can then be cut or left intact. Carpets, rugs, velvet, velour, and velveteen, are made by interlacing a secondary yarn through woven cloth, creating a nap or pile.

Raising the nap

In the finishing process of manufacturing textiles, after the cloth is woven, it goes through processes such as washing, fulling, raising the nap, and trimming the nap. After the nap is trimmed, the fabric is considered finished. The raising process, which draws out the ends of the fibres, is done on both woollen and cotton fabric.[4] Flannelette is a cotton fabric that goes through this process. There are ways to 'raise the nap', most of which involve wire brushes such as raising cards. Originally, dried teasel pods were used[5] and were still preferred for use on woollen cloth for a long time.[4] Woollen fabrics, which must be damp when raising the nap, are then dried and stretched before the nap is trimmed or sheared. Cotton cloth goes straight to the shearing process, where the nap gets trimmed to ensure that all the raised fibres are the same length.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Nap". Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition. 1911. 
  2. ^ a b "Nap." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
  3. ^ "Pile." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
  4. ^ a b c "Finishing". Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition. 1911. 
  5. ^ "Teasel." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nap (disambiguation) — A nap is a short period of sleep. Nap may also refer to: Contents 1 Politics 2 Science and technology 3 Games and sport …   Wikipedia

  • Textile printing — is the process of applying colour to fabric in definite patterns or designs. In properly printed fabrics the colour is bonded with the fiber, so as to resist washing and friction. Textile printing is related to dyeing but, whereas in dyeing… …   Wikipedia

  • textile — /teks tuyl, til/, n. 1. any cloth or goods produced by weaving, knitting, or felting. 2. a material, as a fiber or yarn, used in or suitable for weaving: Glass can be used as a textile. adj. 3. woven or capable of being woven: textile fabrics. 4 …   Universalium

  • Textile manufacturing terminology — The manufacture of textiles is one of the oldest of human technologies. In order to make textiles, the first requirement is a source of fibre from which a yarn can be made, primarily by spinning. (Both fibre and fiber are used in this article.)… …   Wikipedia

  • Textile — For other uses, see Textile (disambiguation). Fabric redirects here. For other uses, see Fabric (disambiguation). Sunday textile market on the sidewalks of Karachi, Pakistan …   Wikipedia

  • Glossary of textile manufacturing — For terms specifically related to sewing, see Glossary of sewing terms. For terms specifically related to dyeing, see Glossary of dyeing terms. The manufacture of textiles is one of the oldest of human technologies. To make textiles, the first… …   Wikipedia

  • Frieze (textile) — In the history of textiles, frieze (French: frisé ) is a Middle English term for a coarse woollen, plain weave cloth with a nap on one side. The nap was raised by scrubbing it to raise curls of fibre, [ [http://www.british… …   Wikipedia

  • Pile (textile) — In textiles, pile is the raised surface or nap of a fabric, which is made of upright loops or strands of yarn.[1] Examples of pile textiles are carpets, corduroy, velvet, plush, and Turkish towels.[2]. The word is derived from Latin pilus for… …   Wikipedia

  • Conductive textile — A conductive textile is a fabric which can conduct electricity. Conductive textiles can be made with metal strands woven into the construction of the textile. There is also an interest in semiconducting textiles, made by impregnating normal… …   Wikipedia

  • Net (textile) — This article is about the fabric called net or netting. For other meanings of net, see Net (disambiguation). Net or netting is any textile in which the warp and weft yarns are looped or knotted at their intersections, resulting in a fabric with… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”