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Madras A lightweight plain weave cotton fabric with a striped, plaid, or checked pattern. A true madras will bleed when washed. This type of fabric is usually imported from India. End-uses are men's and women's shirts and dresses.
Matelassé A medium to heavyweight luxury fabric made in a double cloth construction to create a blistered or quilted surface. Common end-uses are upholstery, draperies, and evening dresses.
Melton A heavyweight, dense, compacted, and tightly woven wool or wool blend fabric used mainly for coats.
Membrane A thin, soft material made from a polymer which is laminated to the fabric to provide properties such as strength, water-proofing or wind-proofing to enhance the fabric?s performance.
Mercerization A process of treating a cotton yarn or fabric, in which the fabric or yarn is immersed in a caustic soda solution and later neutralized in acid. The process causes a permanent swelling of the fiber, resulting in an increased luster on the surface of the fabric, an increased affinity for dyes, and increased strength.
Merino A type of wool that originates from pure-bred Merino sheep. The best Merino wool comes from Italy.
Mesh A type of fabric characterized by its net-like open appearance, and the spaces between the yarns. Mesh is available in a variety of constructions including wovens, knits, laces, or crocheted fabrics.
Metallic An inorganic fiber made from minerals and metals, blended and extruded to form fibers. The fiber is formed from a flat ribbon of metal, coated with a protective layer of plastic, which reduces tarnishing. Metal used in apparel fabric is purely decorative.
Microclimate The temperature and humidity of the space between your skin and the base layer of clothing.
Micro-encapsulation A method of enclosing polymer additive materials in microscopic capsules, which can then be released under certain conditions to enhance performance properties.
Microfibers/Microdeniers The name given to ultra-fine manufactured fibers and the name given to the technology of developing these fibers. Fibers made using microfiber technology, produce fibers which weigh less than 1.0 denier. The fabrics made from these extra-fine fibers provide a superior hand, a gentle drape, and incredible softness. Comparatively, microfibers are two times finer than silk, three times finer than cotton, eight times finer than wool, and one hundred times finer than a human hair. Currently, there are four types of microfibers being produced. These include acrylic microfibers, nylon microfibers, polyester microfibers, and rayon microfibers.
Microfleece A soft, luxorous fabric with a velvety feel.
Micron A unit of measure that describes the average staple fiber diameter in a lot of wool. Over he past 30 years, the Micron measurement has evolved to become the predominant term used commercially to describe the fineness of a wool fiber. A Micron is determined by the actual measurement when the wool lots are tested for sale during wool processing. Most wool fibers range in the area of 18-40 micron. Merino wool falls into the 18-24 micron range. The 25-32 micron, medium range wool, is usually defined by the word "Shetland", and is used in such applications as blankets and knitwear apparel. The 33-40 range Micron usually describes the wool most often used in the carpet industry.
Microporous - A coating on a fabric that breathes through microscopic pores.
Middle Weight - A weave that is tighter than lightweight, which combines warmth and wickability.
Modacrylic Fiber - A manufactured fiber similar to acrylic in characteristics and end-uses. Modacrylics have a higher resistance to chemicals and combustion than acrylic, but also have a lower safe ironing temperature and a higher specific gravity than acrylic.
Mohair Hair fibers from the Angora goat. End-uses include sweaters, coats, suits, and scarves.
Moiré/Watermarked A corded fabric, usually made from silk or one of the manufactured fibers, which has a distinctive water-marked wavy pattern on the face of the fabric.
Moisture Regain The amount of water a completely dry fiber will absorb from the air at a standard condition of 70 degrees F and a relative humidity of 65%. Expressed as a % of the dry fiber weight.
Moisture Transport The movement of water from one side of a fabric to the other, caused by capillary action, wicking, chemical or electrostatic action.
Monk's Cloth A heavy weight cotton fabric utilizing the basket weave variation of the plain weave. Used for draperies and slip covers, monk's cloth is an example of 4 x 4 basket weave. It has poor dimensional stability and tends to snag.
Monofilament Any single filament, generally a coarser manufactured fiber. Monofilaments are generally spun individually, rather than being extruded through the spinneret in groups of filaments. Cross-sections may be of various shapes.
Monofilament A single filament of a manufactured fiber, usually made in a denier higher than 14. Monofilaments are usually spun singularly, rather than extruded as a group of filaments through a spinneret and spun into a yarn. End-uses include hosiery and sewing thread.
Muslin An inexpensive, medium weight, plain weave, low count (less than 160 threads per square inch) cotton sheeting fabric. In its unfinished form, it is commonly used in fashion design to make trial garments for preliminary fit.

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