Some Good Fabric Finishing

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What are good Fabric Finish ?

Good Fabric Finish refers to manner or approach applied to the fabric, after it is made, to change its appearance, hand or performance. From the grey cloth from the manufacturing unit to the smooth fabric you cut up is a long list of many fabric finishes.

Some Good Fabric Finishing

Satin finish

This is a lustrous glossy finish given to many fabrics.

Slack mercerisation

Treatment of cotton fabric with sodium hydroxide to increase absorbency. This is done as a preliminary step to dyeing

Slubs effects fabric Finishing

Slubs refer to soft, thick, uneven nubs you can see on the fabric surface. It is a defect in weaving but nowadays because of their desirability in fashion. slubs are engineered for their decorative textured effect – slub knit cotton is a very popular dressmaking fabric. Small tufts of fibers are brought to the surface of the fabric that looks like true slubs made during weaving, randomly or in a pattern

Solution dyeing fabric Finishing

This refers to dyeing the fibers so that it gets a higher degree of colorfastness

Stabilizing fabric Finishing

This refers to all processes that prevent fabrics from shrinking or stretching

Stone washing fabric Finishing

A process of washing the fabric (especially heavy fabric like denim, canvas) with stones so that they look worn and to fade colours ; stone washing can give softness and flexibility to these fabrics


This is the process of burning the fiber ends from the fabric to produce a smooth surface. This is a pretreatment fabric finishing process that uses a special oxidizing flame that does not leave any soot or residue and burns away the protruding fibers on the fabric surface.

Shrinkage control fabric Finishing

Finishes that minimize fabric tension during finishing to reduce shrinkage during washing/laundering.

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Soil release finish

A chemical coating made on fabrics to improve soil removal during cleaning.

Stain resistant finishes

As the name suggests this one resists any stains. There are many branded finishes like Green shield, Scotchguard, Teflon, Zepel, NanoTex, Crypton Green.

Subtractive finish

A finish that will remove a portion of the fabric (through a Chemical process or a Mechanical process);this is done to enhance the looks of the fabric.

Sunlight resistance

Aso called ultraviolet absorbent finish/ sun protective finish. Finish done to minimize the degradative effects of sunlight on the fabric fibers or the colour.


Finishing done on leather – this prevents rotting of the hide/skin.


This is a step in the finishing process in which the fabric is stretched out to full width to prevent wrinkles, folds.


This finish is applied as a stain resistant coating – it is a registered brand name


Tufting is a finish created by sewing additional yarns to the surface of the fabric


This dyeing process is supposed to prevent fading resulting from washing and exposure to sunlight.


Abrasive wash, chemical wash, enzyme wash to change the texture of the fabric and  create irregularities and result in a worn look

Wash n wear

This is a finish applied on cotton fabrics to prevent its wrinkling with the use of chemicals like resins.

Waterproof finish

This finish makes the fabric completely resistant to water penetration. The different types of waterproof coatings given to fabric that makes it water-resistant include Microporous Coatings (This gives a coating of microporous polyurethane, followed by a second coat of solid polyurethane used to finish the microporous layer and then fluorocarbon for water repellency); these fabrics are used to make rainwear, cycling apparel, etc. This coating is given to the inside of the fabric; Microporous Laminates ( this process involves laminating the surface after applying a coating of polyurethane coating).

Water-repellent finish

This includes finishes applied to the fabric which makes it repel water, without making it impervious to it. The process is supposed to produce a fabric that will resist water but at the same time breathe that is does not entirely prevent the absorption of water.


This is a treatment of silk with metallic salts to increase the fabric’s weight, hand and dye affinity.

Wrinkle resistance finish

A finish applied to fabric that keeps wrinkling to a minimum

These fabric finishes can be permanent, durable, semi-durable or temporary; the names being indications as to their effect.

I wish I could do all of these finishes at home. Some of them can be, I guess but most of these are chemical or mechanical processes better left to the professionals. Maybe not, when you think of the environmental impact of some of these finishes and treatment processes.

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