There are thousands of textiles in production, with the definition for each being based both on the weave structure, and the type of fiber used. Once you add color and print on top of this number, the range of separate fabrics climbs quite likely into the millions. This is not even considering such textiles as are no longer in production for one reason and another.
There are a simple easy to grasp set of factors to look at when talking textile. Weight, hand, color, texture, and pattern or print are the determiners for defining fabrics as different from each other. Of these only hand bears a bit of further definition itself. For those unfamiliar with fabric terms, Hand refers to how the fabric moves and feels. Is it rigid, supple, stretchy, firmly or loosely woven?
But apart from these factors are the inescapable emotional and psychological reactions we have the instant we see and even more importantly, touch a fabric. The sleek sheen of silk satin evokes feelings both of luxe and of sex.
So, the next time you shop for clothing, or go to a fabric store, take some time to just feel the fabrics in your hand. Close your eyes and let yourself go inward a moment. You might be surprised at the depth of feeling you experience, or the things you remember. All of that adds to the complexity of the language of Attire.