What is "Cretonne" - Definition & Explanation


Cretonne is a versatile fabric widely used in the textile industry for various applications, including upholstery, drapery, and home furnishings. It is characterized by its sturdy and durable construction, often featuring vibrant printed patterns or designs. Cretonne fabric is known for its excellent strength, resilience, and decorative appeal.

Cretonne is woven using a plain weave technique, where the weft yarns pass over and under the warp yarns in a consistent pattern. This weaving method results in a balanced fabric with a strong structure. The fabric is typically made from cotton or a cotton blend, which contributes to its durability and breathability.

Types of Cretonne

There are several types of cretonne fabric, each with its unique characteristics and uses:

  1. Printed Cretonne: This is the most common type of cretonne, featuring colorful prints and patterns on a solid background. It is often used for upholstery, drapery, and decorative home furnishings.
  2. Woven Cretonne: Woven cretonne is characterized by its textured surface, created by using different colored yarns in the weaving process. It adds depth and visual interest to upholstered furniture and accessories.
  3. Embroidered Cretonne: Embroidered cretonne features intricate designs or motifs stitched onto the fabric. This type of cretonne is highly valued for its artistic and decorative appeal, often used for cushions, pillows, and curtains.
  4. Water-Repellent Cretonne: Water-repellent cretonne is treated with a special finish that makes it resistant to water and stains. It is commonly used for outdoor cushions, awnings, and other applications where protection from moisture is required.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Cretonne fabric is used and produced by various renowned international brands in the textile industry. Here are some of the top users and manufacturers:

  1. Calico Corners: Calico Corners is a leading retailer of custom fabrics and home furnishings. They offer a wide range of cretonne fabric options for upholstery and drapery, catering to the discerning tastes of their customers.
  2. Ralph Lauren Home: Known for their luxury home decor collections, Ralph Lauren Home incorporates cretonne fabric in their upholstery and bedding designs, exuding elegance and sophistication.
  3. Waverly: Waverly is a well-known brand that specializes in high-quality fabrics, including cretonne. They offer a vast selection of printed cretonne fabrics, known for their timeless and versatile designs.
  4. Cowtan & Tout: Cowtan & Tout is a distinguished fabric house that features exquisite cretonne fabrics in their collections. Their cretonne fabrics are often sought after by interior designers for their quality and luxurious aesthetic.
  5. Lee Jofa: Lee Jofa offers a range of cretonne fabrics renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship and artistic designs. Their cretonne fabric collections cater to both traditional and contemporary design preferences.
  6. Scalamandré: Scalamandré is a prestigious textile company that incorporates cretonne in their luxury fabric offerings. Their cretonne fabrics are favored by interior designers for their elegance and opulence.

Tips for Handling Cretonne

When working with cretonne fabric, consider the following tips for optimal results:

  • Pre-washing: It is advisable to pre-wash cretonne fabric to minimize shrinkage before cutting and sewing.
  • Ironing: Use a medium heat setting on your iron when pressing cretonne fabric. Avoid using a high heat setting, as it may damage the fabric.
  • Seam Finishing: To prevent fraying, consider finishing the raw edges of cretonne fabric with serging, pinking shears, or a zigzag stitch.
  • Care Instructions: Follow the care instructions provided by the fabric manufacturer to ensure the longevity of cretonne items.


Cretonne fabric is a durable and decorative textile widely used in the upholstery, drapery, and home furnishings industry. Its sturdy construction, vibrant printed patterns, and versatility make it a popular choice among international users and manufacturers. Whether it's the renowned Calico Corners offering custom fabrics, the luxury brand Ralph Lauren Home incorporating cretonne in their designs, or the distinguished fabric house Cowtan & Tout, cretonne fabric continues to be cherished for its durability, aesthetic appeal, and ability to transform spaces into inviting and stylish environments.

A plain weave fabric, usually cotton, with a neutral ground and brightly colored floral designs, similar to chintz but with a dull finish and sometimes heavier. Used for draperies and upholstery.
This is a fabric woven with plain, twill or crepe, and small fancy weaves. It is ornamented with elaborate printed designs.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

Damping cloth, also known as damping fabric or dampening cloth, is a specialized type of textile used in various industries, particularly in automotive and mechanical applications, to control...
A tightly woven plain weave ribbed fabric with a hard slightly lustered surface. The ribbed effect is created by weaving a finer silk or manufactured warp yarn with a heavier filler yarn, usually...
Knit - The most common type of knit formed by interlocking loops in the widthwise direction. Weft knit tend to have more stretch than warp knits. Examples are interlock, jerseys, double knits, rib...
Decorative trim is a type of textile embellishment that is used to add visual interest and texture to clothing, home decor items, and other types of textiles. It is typically made from a variety of...
Greige (pronounced "gray") is a term used in the textile industry to describe fabric that has not yet been finished or processed. Greige fabric is also referred to as "gray goods" or "loom-state...

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