Berlin wool is a type of wool fibre derived from Merino sheep in Saxony, Germany. In the nineteenth century, the wool was sent to the city of Gotha to be combed (worsted), spun and then taken to Berlin where it was dyed and sold. The wool was softer and separated more easily into strands than other types of wool from England and the Netherlands, which were widely used at the time.
Bouclé is the name for a yarn of varying thickness, which creates an uneven effect in the fabric. The yarn is created by plying together two or more threads of different diameters and twist. This creates a yarn that has small loops and a varying thickness. The name is also used for the resulting fabric itself. See also the bouclé stitch.
Chenille thread is a form of tufted yarn. The name derives from the French word chenille, for ‘caterpillar'. Traditionally, chenille thread is made by weaving a fabric (chenille blanket) with the warp ends (usually four) placed in groups, with a gap in between each group and a weft in a much thicker yarn (or pile). The resulting woven fabric is then cut along the length between the groups of warp ends to make very long tufted strips that are used as yarns.
Crewel thread is a fine, loosely twisted worsted (wool) thread used for crewel embroidery. Modern crewel wool is normally a fine, single or 2-plied thread. According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest written example of the word crewel dates back to AD 1494, but the exact origins of the word are unknown.
Fine d'Aubusson is a four-stranded Merino woollen thread made in France by the firm of La Route de la Laine for the retailers of Au Ver à Soie. It is basically a worsted thread rather than a springier tapestry or woollen yarn. Fine d’Aubusson can be used for a variety of crewel embroidery forms, as well as for fine work such as tambour embroidery.
Ingrain cotton is a nineteenth century English term for a coloured, usually red, cotton thread used for marking. For example, in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Needlework (1870), the author refers to coloured ingrain cotton for marking, while in Mrs Warren’s The Ladies Treasury from 1882 there are several references to “Messrs. Walter Evans & Co.'s Scarlet Ingrain Marking Cotton.”