Duck (textile)

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Woman's oxfords
MFA# 1979.245a


Greige cotton duck
Cotton duck at 50x

A durable, plain weave, firm fabric made of Cotton or Linen. Duck fabric is woven with with plied yarns (plied yarn duck) or with double threads in the warp (flat duck). It was given the 'duck' name because of its ability to shed water. Duck is used for sails, awnings, book covers, white trousers, tents, and bags.

Several varieties of duck are marketed such as:

  • Russian duck: a fine, white linen cloth.
  • Awning duck: woven with brightly colored stripes.
  • Hose duck: lightweight duck used for rubber hose.
  • Elevator duck: a heavy, stiff duck used for conveyor belts.
  • Canvas: a heavy, more-open weave duck.

Synonyms and Related Terms

sailcloth; canvas; Russian duck; awning duck; hose duck; elevator duck; loneta (Esp.); ongekeperd linnen (zeildoek,tentdoek) (Ned)

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 282
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937
  • Website:

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