Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shear or Sheer the Textile Spelling Test

What is the difference between Shear and Sheer in regard to textiles?

Shear has two definitions.  First, as shearing machine which does mechanical cutting or trimming of projecting fibers from the surface of cloth.  Fabrics can be sheared to the one thirty second part of an inch as to height of the nap on the goods.  Second, is an operation in the finishing plant of a mill to shear or cut-off long floats of warp or filling from a fabric as in the case of clipspots, warp floats, lappets and comparable materials.

Sheer is any group of very thin cloths such as chiffon, batiste, net, organdy, voile, etc. “Heavy Sheer” and “semi-sheer” are used to describe the more compact goods in this family of fabrics made from the same fine yarns employed but with higher textures than in ordinary sheers.  Sheer fabric is used for dress goods, evening wear, bridal wear, etc.

By the way, just to toss in another similar word, let’s not forget about shearing.  Shearing is the cutting of the fleece from a sheep with hand shears or by machine power shears.  All wool throughout the world, except California and Texas wools which are shorn twice a year, is clipped annually.  Have any of you heard differently?

If you have additional information about shearing, shear, or sheer, please share your thoughts in the discussion area below.

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