Sunday, 13 October 2013

Textiles glossary

Words to describe textiles work or portfolio, the appearance and presentation of your work, layout, descriptive words of your style, elements and materials.


Professional – the work is highly skilled.
Thorough – in depth, exact
Organised – arranged, put together in a system
Considered – well thought over
Ordered – arranged well
Selective – careful
Thoughtful – caring, mindful
Methodical – precise, following a pattern
Fluent – clear, makes sense
Visually stimulating – exciting to look at
Visually creative – looks original, artistic, different
Coherent – is understandable


Aesthetic – the way it looks
Effective – works well
Creative – artistic, imaginative
Innovative – breaking new ground
Independent – on your own
Lively – full of energy
Logical – makes sense
Well researched – a lot of background work
Perceptive – shows a lot of insight
Evocative – suggests something
Powerful – strong
Personal – individual, reflecting the person who made it
Informed - full of knowledge
Exploits – takes advantage of
Conceptual – abstract, fantasy
Technical – factory made
Experimental – testing out new idea 
Opulent – rich, luxurious
Provocative – disturbing, aggressive
Seductive – appealing, drawing attention to, sexual
Inventive – new idea
Contemporary – modern
Poignant – sad
Well balanced – goes together well
Disparate – at odds, different, contrasting
Atmospheric – creates a mood
Traditional – old
Classical – simple, elegant, old
Timeless – always looks good, dateless
Sublime – magnificent, great

Surreal – strange
Complex – difficult
Simplistic – easy


Neutral - flat, dull colours, white, vanilla, beige
Subdued – kept under control, quiet
Opulent – rich, luxurious
Opaque – not transparent or transmitting light, thick, cloudy
Transparent – see through
Translucent – clear, light passes through
Subtle – quiet, delicate
Rich – full, deluxe, warm colours
Cool – cold colours
Acidic – harsh
Vivid – intense, powerful
Fluorescent – very bright
Earthy – natural colours, greens, browns, like earth
Metallic – like metal
Pearlescent - pearly
Iridescent – rainbow coloured


Broken – with gaps
Scratchy – harsh
Regimented – controlled, with order
Undulating – rise and fall
Rhythmic – has a pattern
Expressive – says a lot, different
Linear – in straight line
Squiggly – not straight
Curvaceous – lots of curves, feminine
Intersecting – crosses over
Parallel – running side by side
Regular/Irregular –
Delicate – light, small
Tenuous – weak, thin
Bold - strong
Meandering - bending, wandering, zig zagging

Coarse – rough
Hairy – full of hair
Fluffy – full of fluff
Smooth – no bumps
Silky – like silk
Slippery – wet, very smooth
Plush – rich, luxurious
Sticky – gummy
Bubbly – fizzy, full of bubbles
Sandy – gritty
Grainy – coarse, rough
Dry – not wet
Wet – not dry
Layered – one on top of another
Uneven – not symmetrical, not the same
Crackled – 
Cracked - dry
Scaly – rough
Porous – has holes, allows water through
Spongy – like sponge
Soft – not hard
Hand woven – weaved by hand
Knitted – made with wool


Silhouette – outline
A-symmetrical – not the same on both sides, not portioned or equal
Symmetrical – equal, proportioned
Coarse – rough
Obtuse – blunt, not sharp
Linear – even, continuous
Blocked – cubed
Repetitive – in a pattern
Geometrical – mathematical, numbers
Overlapping – lie over something else
Elongated – made longer
Distorted – crooked, changed, deformed
Contorted – bended, curved, disfigured
Contrasting – different, dissimilar
Spherical – round, like a globe
Orb like – spherical
Metamorphic – altered, changed


Textured – the way it is put together
Malleable – able to change
Sturdy – strong
Flat – not raised
Interlocking – connected, linked
Metallic – like metal
Veneered – cover, overlay
Wiry – like wire
Sculpted – made from clay
Pleated – platted
Biodegradable – will break down, rot
Embroidered – fancy stitching

Examples of natural materials – wood, slate, chalk, lead, graphite, coal, sandstone, limestone, quartz, coral, peat, resin, oil, clay, wool, cotton, silk, linen, suede, leather, cashmere

Example of man made materials – PVC, laminate, acrylic, nylon, viscose, lycra, polyester, elastane, neoprene,