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A

Abrasion Resistance - The degree by which a fabric is able to withstand loss of appearance through surface wear, rubbing, chafing, and other frictional actions.

 

Absorbency - The ability of a fabric to take in moisture. Absorbency is a very important property, which affects many other characteristics such as skin comfort, static build-up, shrinkage, stain removal, water repellence, and wrinkle recovery.

 

acetate - A manufactured fibre formed by a compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or wood pulp, and acetic acid that has been extruded through a spinneret and then hardened

 

Acrylic - A manufactured fiber derived from polyacrylonitrile. Its major properties include a soft, wool-like hand, machine washable and dryable, excellent color retention. Solution-dyed versions have excellent resistance to sunlight and chlorine degradation.

 

Air Permeability - The porosity of a fabric as estimated by the ease with which air passes through it. Air permeability measures the warmth of blankets, the air resistance of parachute cloth, the wind resistance of sailcloth, etc. as measured on standard testing equipment.

 

Alpaca - A natural hair fiber obtained from the Alpaca sheep, a domesticated member of the llama family. The fiber is most commonly used in fabrics for dresses, suits, coats, and sweaters.

 

angora - The hair of the Angora goat, also known as Angora mohair. Angora may also apply to the fur of the Angora rabbit.

 

Anti-Bacterial (Anti-Microbial) - A fabric that has been chemically treated or a fiber that is created by incorporating the anti-bacterial chemical agent into the fiber formula, making the finished fiber or fabric resistant to, or inhibiting the growth of micro-organisms.

 

Anti-Static - Can be either a fiber or fabric that does not allow the build-up of static electricity to occur when the fiber or fabric experiences friction or rubbing.

 

appliqué - A cutout decoration fastened to a larger piece of material.

B

Back Waist Length - The dimension on a body, taken from the top of the back bone at the base of the neck to the waistline.

 

Back Length - The dimension on a garment taken from the center collar attaching seam to the bottom of the garment, or in the case of a coverall, to the top of the waistband.

 

Bartack - To reinforce a seam with a bar of stitches that provides a more durable seam end. (Commonly used at points of strain.)

 

Base Layer - The apparel in contact with your skin. The purpose of the base layer is to keep you warm/cool and dry.

 

Batiste - A medium-weight, plain weave fabric, usually made of cotton or cotton blends. End-uses include blouses and dresses.

 

Bast Fiber - Strong, soft, woody fibers, such as flax, jute, hemp, and ramie, which are obtained from the inner bark in the stems of certain plants.

 

Basket Weave - A variation of the plain weave construction, formed by treating two or more warp yarns and/or two or more filling yarns as one unit in the weaving process. Yarns in a basket weave are laid into the woven construction flat, and maintain a parallel relationship. Both balanced and unbalanced basket weave fabrics can be produced. Examples of basket weave construction includes monk cloth and oxford cloth.

 

Bedford Cord - A cord cotton-like fabric with raised ridges in the lengthwise direction. Since the fabric has a high strength and a high durability, it is often used for upholstery and work clothes.

 

Besom - An edging or reinforcement around a pocket opening.


bias- The direction diagonally across a piece of fabric at 45 degrees to the warp and fill.

 

beaded - This refers to any style of fabric that has beads embroidered into the design. Beading can be done at the time the lace is made or can be re-embroidered after the lace is made.

 

Beaver cloth is a heavy woollen overcoating, napped and pressed down to resemble beaver fur. This fabric is also a plush fabric that is used for hats.

bengaline - A fabric with a crosswise rib made from textile fibers (as rayon, nylon, cotton, or wool) often in combination.

 

Bleaching - A process of whitening fibers, yarns, or fabrics by removing the natural and artificial impurities to obtain clear whites for finished fabric, or in preparation for dyeing and finishing. The materials may be treated with chemicals or exposed to sun, air, and moisture.

 

Blend - A term applied to a yarn or a fabric that is made up of more than one fiber. In blended yarns, two or more different types of staple fibers are twisted or spun together to form the yarn. Examples of a typical blended yarn or fabric is polyester/cotton.

 

Bonding - A process for adhesive laminating of two or more fabrics or fabric and a layer of plastic by means of a bonding agent (adhesives, plastics or cohesion).

 

Bonding - The technique of permanently joining together two fabrics or layers of fabrics together by a bonding agent into one package. The bonding of fibers in a single layer of material is called a web. Special adhesives, binders, or thin slices of foam may be used as the marrying agent.

 

Botany/Merino wool is fine wool made from worsted wool yarn.

 

boucle - A knit or woven fabric made from a rough, curly, knotted boucle yarn.

The fabric has a looped, knotted surface and is often used in sportswear and coats.

 

Break - Point on the front edge of the garment at which the roll of the lapel begins. Usually at the same point as the lower end of the bridle.

 

Breathability - The movement of water or water vapor from one side of the fabric to the other, caused by capillary action, wicking, chemical, or electrostatic action. Also known as moisture transport.

 

Broadcloth is an all woollen or worsted fabric with a velvety feel.

 

brocade - A heavy, exquisite, jacquard-type fabric with an all-over raised pattern or floral design.

 

Brocade is a jacquard weave with an embossed effect and contrasting surfaces. It can also be woven with synthetic or man-made fibres.

Brushing - A finishing process for knit or woven fabrics in which brushes or other abrading devices are used on a loosely constructed fabric to permit the fibers in the yarns to be raised to create a nap on fabrics or create a novelty surface texture

Butchers Linen was originally a heavy, sturdy linen fabric used for French butchers aprons. This type of heavy fabric was also used for interfacing.

 

Buttonhole (eyelet) - Formed by a contoured patch of zig-zag stitching, followed by a cut---a portion of which is circular. Eyelet buttonholes are usually used on heavy fabrics and/or with large buttons. A gimp or cord is usually contained within the stitches to provide a reinforcement along the edge of the hole.

Buttonhole (straight) - Formed by two pairs of straight, parallel rows of zigzag stitching, followed by a single, straight knife cut. Each end of the row of stitching is secured by a bartack.

 

Buttons - Specified by design, size, color, and type---such as brass, melamine, or pearl, buttons are either shanked (attached by passing threads through the shank's eye) or holed (attached by passing threads through the button's holes).

 

C

Calendering - A process for finishing fabrics in which such special effects as high luster, glazing, embossing, and moiré are produced.

 

Calico - A tightly-woven cotton type fabric with an all-over print, usually a small floral pattern on a contrasting background color. Common end-uses include dresses, aprons, and quilts.

 

Camel's Hair - A natural fiber obtained from the hair of the Bactrian camel, a two-humped pack-carrying species. The fiber is used primarily in coats, sweaters, and suits.

 

cambric - A fine thin white linen fabric.

 

Canton Crepe is a soft crepe woven fabric with small crosswise ribs and similar to crepe de chine but heavier.

 

canvas - A strong, durable, closely woven cotton fabric.Cotton, linen, or synthetic fabric made with a basic plain weave in heavy and firm weight yarns for industrial or heavy duty purposes. Also referred to as "duck", although the term "canvas" usually relates to the heavier, coarser constructions.

 

cashmere - A luxury fiber obtained from the soft, fleecy undergrowth of the Kashmir goat of Tibet, Mongolia, China, Iran, Iraq, and India. Most commonly used in sweaters, shawls, suits, coats, and dresses.

 

Cellulose - A material derived from the cell walls of certain plants. Cellulose is used in the production of many vegetable fibers, as well as being the major raw material component used in the production of the manufactured fibers of acetate, rayon, and triacetate.

 

Challis is light weight soft wool in plain weave, has a printed or woven design or flowers.

 

chambray - A plain woven fabric that can be made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers, but is most commonly cotton. It incorporates a colored warp (often blue) and white filling yarns.

 

Chantilly lace - This lace has a net background, and the pattern is created by embroidering with thread and ribbon to create floral designs. The pattern has areas of design that are very dense, and the pattern is often outlined with heavier cords or threads.

 

charmeuse - Trade name of silk and silk-like fabrics that are characterized by a shiny, soft, satin-like appearance

 

Charmeuse is a satin weave silk with a crepe back sometimes called crepe backed satin.

chenille - Soft, fuzzy yarns stand out around a velvety cord on this fabric, whose name comes from the French word for "caterpillar."

 

Cheviot, usually Scotch wool is soft, fine wool that is heavier than serge.

 

chiffon - A plain, woven, lightweight, extremely sheer, airy, and soft silk fabric, containing highly twisted filament yarns. The fabric, used mainly in evening

dresses and scarves, can also be made from rayon and other manufactured fibers.

Chiffon is transparent soft and light silk. It can also be woven of cotton or man-made fibres.

 

China silk is a plain weave silk of various weights. This silk is the "hand" or touch that many people identify as silk. There are various weights of China silk from light, used for linings and many "washable silks" with the wrinkled look, to heavy for shirts and dresses.

Chinchilla cloth is a heavy, spongy woollen overcoat fabric with a long nap that has been rubbed into a curly, nubby finish.

 

Chino - Classic all-cotton "Army twill" fabric made of combed two-ply yarns. Usually vat dyed, mercerized, and given a compressive shrinkage finish. Used traditionally for army uniforms, chino is now finding popularity sportswear and work clothes.

Chintz - Glazed plain weave cotton fabric with a tightly spun fine warp and a coarser slack twist filling, often printed with brightly colored flowers or stripes. Named from Hindu word meaning spotted. Several types of glazes are used in the finishing process. Some glazes wash out in laundering, but others such as resin finishes are permanent. Unglazed chintz is called cretonne. Chintz end-uses include draperies, slipcovers, skirts, and summer dresses, and shirts.

 

Chintz - A plain-weave fabric, which has been glazed to produce a polished look. Usually made of cotton, this fabric is most commonly used in blouses, dresses, draperies, and slipcovers.

chintz - A usually glazed printed cotton fabric.

 

Circular Knit - Weft knit fabric made on a circular needle-bed knitting machine, which produces fabric in tubular form. Common types include single or double knits. Seamless hosiery are also made on a circular knitting machine. Although allowances are made on the machine for knitting the welt and foot.

 

Cleaning - Hand operation in which the basting threads are removed from the garment; usually done prior to the final pressing.

 

Closures - Items used to close openings in apparel and other consumer textile products, i.e. buttons, buckles, hook and eye, snaps and zippers.

 

Coated Fabrics - Fabrics that have been coated with a lacquer, varnish, rubber, plastic resin of polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene, or other substance to make them longer lasting or impervious to water or other liquids

 

Collar (Banded) - The visible or panel portion of the collar is cut separately and attached to the neckband portion. This is normal dress shirt construction.

Collar (Lined) - A collar made by placing a piece of interlining between the two pieces of body fabric.

Collar (one piece) - A collar constructed from a single piece of fabric with the center fold forming the outer edge.

Collar (padding) - Attaching the under-collar to canvas with several rows of blindstitching.

Collar (sandwich) - A collar which has the top-collar inserted between the canvas and the under-collar.

Collar (topstitched) - A collar with an added row of stitching along the folded edges.

Collar (two-piece) - A collar formed by joining two identical pieces, inverting and sometimes topstitching along the folded edges.

 

Colour Abrasion - Colour changes in localized areas of a garment due to differential wear, such as the knees of blue jeans. Often evident in cross-dye shades of blends where durable press treatments are applied. Colour abrasion is often called "frosting".

 

Colourfastness - A term used to describe a dyed fabric's ability to resist fading due to washing, exposure to sunlight, and other environmental conditions.

 

Combing - The combing process is an additional step beyond carding. In this process the fibers are arranged in a highly parallel form, and additional short fibers are removed, producing high quality yarns with excellent strength, fineness, and uniformity.

 

Comfort Stretch - The term given to the freedom of movement experienced in the wearing of a garment that contains spandex, or has stretch engineered into a yarn through mechanical stretch construction.

Composite Fabric - An engineered fabric made from two or more components. One component is often a strong fiber such as fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon fiber that gives the material its tensile strength, while another component (often called a matrix) is often a resin, such as polyester or epoxy that binds the fibers together.

 

Compression Fabric - A high tenacity stretch fabric which, when in a close fitting garment, provides muscles with a firm compression fit that lessons vibrations, reduces fatigue, and keeps muscles energized. The fabric is usually made in a knit construction, using a series of gradient fibers with an open knit inner surface to create a moisture transfer environment.

 

Compression Stretch - The name given to the expansive stretch that is created by the spandex fibers used in the development of a compression fabric.

 

Continuous Cure - A method of curing durable press garments which uses a moving conveyor system to carry garments into and out of the curing oven. Also known as continuous oven.

 

Continuous Filament - A long continuous, unbroken strand of fiber extruded from a spinneret in the form of a monofilament. Most manufactured fibers such as nylon, polyester, rayon, and acetate are made in continuous filament form.

 

Corduroy - A fabric, usually made of cotton, utilizing a cut-pile weave construction. Extra sets of filling yarns are woven into the fabric to form ridges of yarn on the surface. The ridges are built so that clear lines can be seen when the pile is cut

 

Core Yarn - A yarn in which one type of fiber is twisted or wrapped around another fiber that serves as a core. Core yarns are often used to make stretch fabrics where the core is spandex or rubber, and the outer wrapped fiber is a textured manufactured fiber such as polyester or nylon.

 

cotton - A unicellular, natural fiber that grows in the seed pod of the cotton plant. Fibers are typically 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. The longest staple fibers, longer than 1-1/2 inch, including the Pima and Egyptian varieties, produce the highest quality cotton fabrics.

 

count- The number of fibres per inch in the warp or fill.

 

Crease Resistant Finish - Also referred to as CRF. Finishes used on fabrics that make them resistant to wrinkling and creasing, such as synthetic resin type finishes like durable press. Today some fabrics are made highly resistant to wrinkling through fiber blending and construction.

 

Crepe-back Satin - A satin fabric in which highly twisted yarns are used in the filling direction. The floating yarns are made with low twist and may be of either high or low luster. If the crepe effect is the right side of the fabric, the fabric is called satin-back crepe.

 

Crease Retention - The ability of a cloth to hold or pleat or a crease, which has been intentionally created, through the use of a heat treatment. Heat setting of thermoplastic fibers causes creases to be permanently set.


creep - Permanent, continuous elongation of a fibre under a sustained load

crepe - Used to describe all kinds of fabrics--wool, cotton, silk, rayon, synthetics and blends-that have a crinkle, crimped or grained surface.

crepe back satin - A satin fabric in which highly-twisted yarns are used in the filling direction. The floating yarns are made with low twist and may be of either high or low luster. If the crepe effect is the right side of the fabric, the fabric is called satin-back crepe.

 

crimp- The "waviness" of the fibre or yarn when it is laid over and under fibers or yarns in a fabric. Crimp can contribute to the elongation of a fabric under load as it is "pulled out" of the loaded direction and "pushed into" the less heavily loaded direction.


crinkled - Forming many short bends or ripples.

 

Crinoline - A lightweight, plain weave, stiffened fabric with a low yarn count (few yarns to the inch in each direction).

 

crocheted - Loose, open knit made by looping thread with a hooked needle. Used for light, summer sweaters.

cross-cut- A sail panel layout in which the seams run roughly parallel to one another, typically perpendicular to the leech

 

Cuff (lined) - A cuff with interlining placed between the two pieces of body fabric.

Cuff (topstitched) - A cuff with an added row of stitching along the folded edges.

Cuff (two-piece) - A cuff in which two identical pieces of fabric, usually with a lining in between, are joined by a seam along the edge, then turned and sometimes topstitched near the folded edges.

Cuff (one-piece) - A two-ply cuff formed by folding over a single piece of fabric, usually with a lining in between

 

Cut-on-fold - Fabric that is doubled, then cut.

 

Cut-on-cross - Fabric that is cut so that the warp runs horizontally across the garment piece.

 

D

Damask, a jacquard weave, is a reversible rich weave, patterned in satin or plain weave

 

Dart (cut-in) - An open dart cut in approximately 12" under the armhole.

Dart (front or double) - An additional closed dart located toward the front edge of the garment, used to get maximum waist suppression.

Dart (panel) - A panel sewn full length to the front that is used for waist suppression.

 

denier- A measure of the weight of a continuous fibre filament. It is the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of a given fibre. The lower the number, the finer the fibre. Higher denier, heavier fibres are generally more rugged and durable.


denier per inch (DPI) - A measure of the fabric's relative weight and strength, expressed as the number of fibres per inch, generally in the primary yarn direction.

 

denim - True denim is a twill-weave, cotton-like fabric made with different colored yarns in the warp and the weft. Due to the twill construction, one color predominates on the fabric surface.

 

Donegal was originally a thick and warm homespun or tweed woven by Irish peasants in Donegal, Ireland. Donegal now describes the wool tweed that has colourful thick slubs woven into the fabric.

 

Dotted Swiss - A lightweight, sheer cotton or cotton blend fabric with a small dot flock-like pattern either printed on the surface of the fabric, or woven into the fabric. End-uses for this fabric include blouses, dresses, baby clothes, and curtains.

Double Cloth - A fabric construction, in which two fabrics are woven on the loom at the same time, one on top of the other. In the weaving process, the two layers of woven fabric are held together using binder threads. The woven patterns in each layer of fabric can be similar or completely different

 

Double Knit - A fabric knitted on a circular knitting machine using interlocking loops and a double stitch on a double needle frame to form a fabric with double thickness. It is the same on both sides. Today, most double knits are made of I5O denier polyester, although many lightweight versions are now being made using finer denier yarns and blends of filament and spun yarns.

 

Double Knit - A weft knit fabric in which two layers of loops are formed that cannot be separated. A double knit machine, which has two complete sets of needles, is required for this construction.

Double Weave - A woven fabric construction made by interlacing two or more sets of warp yarns with two or more sets of filling yarns. The most common double weave fabrics are made using a total of either four or five sets of yarns.

Doupioni is reeled from double cocoons nested together. The threads are uneven and irregular. Italian Doupioni is the finest, followed by Chinese Doupioni and Indian Doupioni. Doupioni is also seen in man-made fibres such as polyester, acetate and referred to as Doupionini. Silk Doupioni is most often found in mens and womens fine suits and also dresses in lighter weight silk Doupioni.

dupioni - Similar to shantung, this textured fabric is recognized by irregular-sized, thick fibers woven into the base fabric. Fibers that create the texture, are thicker and heavier than those used in shantung.

 

Durability - The ability of a fabric to resist wear through continual use.

 

Durable Press - A treatment applied to the fabric in the finishing process in which it maintains a smooth attractive appearance, resists wrinkling, and retains creases or pleats during laundering.

 

Durable Water Repellent (DWR) - Fabrics that retain their durability and their ability to repel water after wearing, washing, and cleaning. Typically involves a fabric with a coating

 

Dye (Piece) - Dyeing of the fabric into solid colors after weaving or knitting.

 

Dye (Yarn) - Dyeing of the yarn into solid colors before weaving or knitting.

 

E

 

Edge - The front margin of the garment that extends from front corner to front corner

 

Edge Tape - A tape sewn along the front edge of a coat from top of the lapel to bottom of the facing. On less expensive coats, this tape starts at the bottom of the lapel (called the breakline). The tape is usually sewn with an edge-knife machine.

 

Elasticity - The ability of a fiber or fabric to return to its original length, shape, or size immediately after the removal of stress.

 

elastin - A protein that is similar to collagen and is the chief constituent of elastic fibers.

 

elongation- The difference between the initial length of a fabric sample and its length after stretching, expressed in 1/100ths of an inch.

 

embroidered - An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn into the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.

 

Embroidery - An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.

 

Ergonomic Seaming - This apparel construction technology is aimed at maximizing comfort and ease of movement. The key feature of this seaming technology is that the seams are constructed ergonomically. Therefore, the seams flow according to the body's natural movements, regardless of the type of activity engaged in by the wearer. The seams are placed away from potential pressure points, in order to maximize comfort and movement.

 

Eyelet - A type of fabric which contains patterned cut-outs, around which stitching or embroidery may be applied in order to prevent the fabric from raveling.

 

F

Facing - A piece of fabric that is sewn to the collar, front opening, cuffs, or arms eye of a garment to create a finished look.

 

Face Finished Fabrics - Fabrics which have surface treatments that provide a variety of looks and effects on the fabric surface. These include brushing, sanding, sueding, etc. The warp knit industry is specially innovative with face finishing techniques

 

fagoting - an embroidery produced by pulling out horizontal threads from a fabric and tying the remaining cross threads into groups of an hourglass shape.

 

faille - A glossy, soft, finely-ribbed, silk-like woven fabric made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers.

 

Faille is soft ribbed silk with wider ribs than seen in grosgrain ribbon and slightly glossy.

 

faux fur - Artificial fur made from synthetic material.

 

Felt fabric is a compact sheet of entangled, not woven wool, fur, sometimes cotton fibers. The felt is produced by processing a mat of fibers with moisture, heat, and pressure.

fibre - The basic entity that is twisted into yarns and then used in the production of a fabric.


filament - A single fibril of natural or synthetic textile fibre. Filaments are twisted or bunched to form fibres.


fill (weft) - The yarns or fibres that run across the width of the roll of fabric, perpendicular to the warp direction.


film- An extruded sheet of plastic, most often Mylar polyester film. Film's desirable properties include low stretch, good bias stability, low porosity and good adhesion. Less desirable properties include low tear strength and relatively high physical shrinkage (due to creases and folds in the film).

 

Finished Fabric - A fabric that has gone through all the necessary finishing processes, and is ready to be used in the manufacturing of garments. These processes include bleaching, dyeing, printing, heat setting, etc.

 

Flame Resistant - Fabrics treated with special chemical agents or finishes to make them resistant to burning. Today many fabrics achieve this property by using fibers that have this property built directly into the polymer. A fabric is considered flame resistant if it passes federal specifications for specific end-uses.


flannel - A warm, soft fabric made in tightly woven twill or plain weave and finished with a light napping.

 

Flannel wool is a soft, lightweight fabric with a nap on one or both sides.

 

Flax - The plant from which cellulosic linen fiber is obtained. Linen is used in apparel, accessories, draperies, upholstery, tablecloths, and towels.

 

fleece - A soft, bulky, deep-piled knitted or woven fabric.

flex strength - The ability of a fibre to retain its strength after being folded back and forth, commonly expressed as percent loss in breaking strength after flutter or fold testing.


foil - A thin piece of material put under another material to add color or brilliance.

 

Four-way Stretch - A fabric that stretches both on the crosswise and lengthwise

grains of the fabric. It is the same as two-way stretch.

 

Front(stitched down) - A front the has a double-turned hem that is stiched down full length of the front. The term may also refer to the shell (outside) front of self-goods.

 

Full-cut - Not tapered

 

G

 

gabardine - A tightly woven, twilled, worsted fabric with a slight diagonal line on the right side. Wool gabardine is known as a year-round fabric for business suiting.

Gabardine is tightly woven wool twill with a high sheen. This fabric is excellent for tailoring and wears well.

 

Gauge - A measurement most commonly associated with knitting equipment. It can mean the number of needles per inch in a knitting machine. However, in full fashioned hosiery and sweater machines, the number of needles per 1-1/2 inches represents the gauge.

 

gauze - A thin, sheer plain-weave fabric made from cotton, wool, silk, rayon, or other manufactured fibers. End-uses include curtains, apparel, trimmings, and surgical dressings.

 

georgette - A sheer lightweight fabric, often made of silk or from such manufactured fibers as polyester, with a crepe surface. End-uses include dresses and blouses.

Georgette is sheer crepe silk, heavier than chiffon and with a crinkle surface.

 

gingham - A medium-weight, plain-weave fabric with a plaid or check pattern.

 

Glass Fiber - An inorganic fiber which is very strong, but has poor flexibility and poor abrasion resistance. Glass will not burn and will not conduct electricity. It is impervious to insects, mildew, and sunlight. Today, the primary use of glass fiber is in such industrial applications as insulation or reinforcement of composite structures.

 

Gorge - The break between the collar and the lapel.

Glen checks are usually seen in menswear and originated in Scotland. It is characterized by a variety of small, even check designs.

H

 

hand - A subjective term for the way the fabric feels when touched. Terms like softness, crispness, dryness and silkiness all describe the hand of the fabric.

Harris tweed is a hand woven fabric from Scotland with a soft feel.

 

Heat Set Finish (Heat Sealing) - A process of heat finishing that will stabilize many manufactured fiber fabrics in order that there will not be any subsequent change in shape or size. Heat setting is used to permanently impart a crease, a pleat, or durability into a fabric or garment---a finish that will remain through repeated washings and dry cleanings.

 

heather - A yarn that is spun using pre-dyed fibers. These fibers are blended together to give a particular look. (For example, black and white may be blended together to create a gray heathered yarn.) The term, heather, may also be used to describe the fabric made from heathered yarns.

 

Heather Mixture describes tweeds and homespuns that have colors of heather and sand of the Scottish heather fields.

 

Heavy Weight - Also called expedition weight. Most often use din base layers. Thick and warm, it is usually brushed on the inside for warmth and wicking, and smooth on the outside to protect

 

Hem (clean) - The double fold of fabric secured with a row of stitching with the raw edge of the fabric buried within the fold.

 

Hem (raw) - A single fold of fabric secured with a row of stitching, leaving the raw edge of the fabric exposed.

 

Hemp - A coarse, durable bast fibre obtained from the inner bark of the hemp plant. Used primarily in twines and cordages, and most recently apparel.

 

Herringbone wool is woven in twill that is reversed at regular spacing, creating a sawtooth line.

 

High Visability Fabrics - Fabrics that contain fluorescent materials in order to make the wearer visible in dim and dark lights. These fabrics have the ability to reflect on-coming lights, which cause them to glow in the dark.

 

Homespun is a loose, strong, durable woolen woven either by hand or machine with a coarse feel.

Houndstooth check has a four pointed star check in a broken twill weave.

 

Hollow Fiber - Manufactured fiber made with a hollow center.

 

Hydrophilic Fibers - Fibres that absorb water easily, take longer to dry, and require more ironing.

 

Hydrophobic Fibers - Fibres that lack the ability to absorb water.

 

I

 

initial modulus- A measure of a material's ability to resist stretch. Initial modulus is usually expressed as grams of load per unit stretch for a certain fibre denier. The higher the initial modulus, the less the fibre will stretch.


insert - A yarn or fibre laid directly into a fabric without first being woven or put into a scrim.

 

Inseam - The distance from the bottom of a trouser leg to the crotch. The measurement is taken along the inside leg seam that joins the front and the back leg panels.

 

Insulation - With respect to a fabric, a material that protects from the loss of warmth or the penetration of cold.


intarsia - A coloured design knitted on both sides of a fabric

 

Interfacing - Fabrics used to support, reinforce and give shape to fashion fabrics in sewn products. Often placed between the lining and the outer fabric, it can be made from yarns or directly from fibers, and may be woven, nonwoven, or knitted. Some interfacings are designed to be fused (adhered with heat from an iron), while others are meant to be stitched to the fashion fabric.

 

Interlining - An insulation, padding, or stiffening fabric, either sewn to the wrong side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric. The interlining is used primarily to provide warmth in coats, jackets, and outerwear.

 

Interlock - The stitch variation of the rib stitch, which resembles two separate 1 x 1 ribbed fabrics that are interknitted. Plain (double knit) interlock stitch fabrics are thicker, heavier, and more stable than single knit constructions.

J

jacquard - Woven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides versatility in designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns. Thus, fabrics of almost any type or complexity can be made. Brocade and damask are types of jacquard woven fabrics.

jersey - The consistent interlooping of yarns in the jersey stitch to produce a fabric with a smooth, flat face, and a more textured, but uniform back. Jersey fabrics may be produced on either circular or flat weft knitting machines.

Jersey is a knit fabric that is usually knit in fine wool but can also be found in silk and man-made fibres.

 

Jersey Stitch - A basic stitch used in weft knitting, in which each loop formed in the knit is identical. The jersey stitch is also called the plain, felt, or stockinet stitch.

 

Jute - A bast fibre, chiefly from India, used primarily for gunny sacks, bags, cordage, and binding threads in carpets and rugs.

 

K

 

knit - Fabrics made from only one set of yarns, all running in the same direction. Some knits have their yarns running along the length of the fabric, while others have their yarns running across the width of the fabric. Knit fabrics are held together by looping the yarns around each other. Knitting creates ridges in the resulting fabric. Wales are the ridges that run lengthwise in the fabric; courses run crosswise.

 

knitted - Formed by interlacing yarn or thread in a series of connected loops with needles.

 

L

 

lace - An ornamental braid for trimming.

 

Lambsdown is a heavy knit fabric that has a spongy fleeced nap on one side.

 

Lamb's Wool - The first clip of wool sheered from lambs up to eight months old. The wool is soft, slippery and resilient. It is used in fine grade woolen fabrics.

 

lame like glotique - A woven fabric using flat silver or gold metal threads to create either the design or the background in the fabric.

laminate- Fabric constructed from layers of film, scrim and/or taffeta glued together under high pressure and/or heat to form a composite sail material.

 

Lame' - A woven fabric using flat silver or gold metal threads to create either the design or the background in the fabric.

 

Laminated Fabric - A term used to describe fabrics which have been joined together through the use of a high-strength reinforcing scrim or base fabrics between two plies of flexible thermoplastic film.. It can a bonded utilizing either foam itself, or some other material, such as adhesives, heat, or chemical bonding agents.

 

Lapels (padding) - Attaching the lapel to canvas with several rows of blindstitching.

 

lawn - A light, fine cloth made using carded or combed, linen or cotton yarns. The fabric has a crease-resistant, crisp finish.

 

leather - Animal skin dressed for use in clothing.

 

leatherette - Simulated leather.

 

Left-hand twill - Any twill weave which runs from the left. The twill or diagonal line on the face of the fabric will run from the upper left-hand corner to the lower right-hand corner of the fabric.

 

Light Weight - Having an airy weave. Used as a light weight base layer in apparel for aerobic activities and cool weather.

 

linen - A fabric made from linen fibers obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant. Linen fibers are much stronger and more lustrous than cotton. Linen fabrics are very cool and absorbent, but wrinkle very easily, unless blended with manufactured fibers.

 

Lining - A fabric that is used to cover the inside of a garment to provide a finished look. Generally, the lining is made of a smooth lustrous fabric.

 

Linsey-woolsey is a coarse fabric first made in Lindsey, England, of wool combined with flax or cotton.

 

Loden fabric is a thick, soft, waterproof, windproof, wool used in outerwear that has a characteristic green colour.

 

lycra - A DuPont trademark for its spandex fibre. Any time you see this fiber listed on a label, expect comfort, movement, and shape retention that won't wash away.

M

Mackinaw fabric is a heavy double fabric in striking coloured patterns.

 

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.

 

marabou - A thrown silk usually dyed in the gum or a fabric made of this silk.

 

Matelasse has raised woven designs, usually jacquard, with the appearance of puckered or quilted.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.

 

matte - Lacks luster or gloss and has a usually smooth even surface free from shine or highlights.

 

Melton is a heavy, tick, short napped fabric without a finish press or gloss.

 

Merino wool is soft and luxurious, resembling cashmere. This term is also used to describe the finest wools.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.

 

micro fiber - Generic term for any synthetic fibre finer than silk. Fabrics made with micro fibres are soft, lightweight, breathable and durable.

Microfibers/Microdeniers - The name given to ultra-fine manufactured fibres and the name given to the technology of developing these fibres. Fibers made using microfibre technology, produce fibres which weigh less than 1.0 denier. The fabrics made from these extra-fine fibres 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 microfibres, nylon microfibres, polyester microfibres, and rayon microfibres

 

Mohair - Hair fibres from the Angora goat. End-uses include sweaters, coats, suits, and scarves.

 

Moisture Transport - The movement of water from one side of a fabric to the other, caused by capillary action, wicking, chemical or electrostatic action.

 

Monofilament - Any single filament, generally a coarser manufactured fibre. Monofilaments are generally spun individually, rather than being extruded through the spinneret in groups of filaments. Cross-sections may be of various shapes.

 

Muslin is a sheer to coarse plain woven cotton fabric. Muslin comes in "natural" colour or is dyed.

N

Nap - A fuzzy, fur-like feel created when fibre ends extend from the basic fabric structure to the fabric surface. The fabric can be napped on either one or both sides.

 

net - An open fabric, which is created by connecting the intersections in a woven, knitted, or crocheted construction to form a mesh-like appearance that won't ravel.

Net - An open mesh fabric of rayon, nylon, cotton, or silk; made in a variety of geometric-shaped meshes of different sizes and weights, matched to various end-uses. The net is made by knotting the intersections of thread or cord to form the mesh.

Net - An open fabric, which is created by connecting the intersections in a woven, knitted, or crocheted construction to form a mesh-like appearance that won't ravel. End-uses include veils, curtains, and fish nets.

 

Noil -is sportier in appearance and created by short fibres, often from the innermost part of the cocoon. Has the look of hopsack but much softer.

 

Nonwoven Fabric - A textile structure held together by interlocking of fibres in a random web, accomplished by mechanical, chemical, thermal or solvent means. Generally, crimped fibers that range in length from 0.75 to 4.5 inches are used.

 

nylon - The first completely synthetic fibre developed. Known for its high strength and excellent resilience, nylon has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility.

Nytril - A manufactured fibre, most often used in sweaters or pile fabrics, where little or no pressing is recommended, as the fibre has a low softening or melting point. However, it has also been successfully used in blends with wool for the purpose of minimizing shrinkage and improving the shape retention in garments.

 

O

 

Oatmeal Cloth is durable, soft wool with a pebbled face.

 

Off-pressing - Pressing done after the garment is completely sewn.

Open-shoulder construction - A method used on better coats that is characterized by hand-sewn lining shoulder seams.

 

Organdie is very thin, transparent cotton with a crisp finish.

 

organza - A crisp, sheer, lightweight plain-weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count, made of silk, rayon, nylon, or polyester. The fabric is used primarily in evening and wedding apparel for women.

Organza is similar to cotton organdie except it is made with silk and is transparent.

 

ottoman - 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 made of cotton, wool, or waste yarn. In the construction, the heavier filler yarn is completely covered by the warp yarn, thus creating the ribbed effect.

 

Outing flannel is a soft, twill or plain weave fabric napped on both sides. Used for baby clothes, diapers, and sleepwear.

 

Outseam - The distance from the bottom of the trouser leg to the top of the pants at the waist. The measurement is taken along the outside leg seam that joins the front and back leg panels, and includes the width of the waistband.

 

Oxford is shirting fabric with a lustrous, soft finish. It is characterized with narrow stripes and can be woven in plain or basket weave. Also a term used for wool fabric that has black and white fibres.

 

P

Paisley - A tear-drop shaped, fancy printed pattern, used in dresses, blouses, and men's ties.

 

Panama Cloth is plain woven worsted wool, sometimes resembling the texture of Panama hat.

 

Panné Velvet - A type of lustrous, lightweight velvet fabric usually made of silk or a manufactured fiber, in which the pile has been flattened in one direction.

 

Parachute Fabric - A compactly woven, lightweight fabric comparable with airplane cloth. It is made of silk, nylon, rayon, cotton, or polyester.

 

pearlized - Given a pearlescent surface or finish.

 

Peau de Soie is a stout, soft silk with fine cross ribs and looks slightly corded. It is also called paduasoy.

peau satin - A heavy twill weave drapable satin fabric, made of silk or a manufactured fibre, and used for bridal gowns and evening wear.

 

Percale is a light weight, closely woven, sturdy fabric that can be found printed in dark colours.

 

Performance Fabrics - Fabrics made for a variety of end-use applications, which provide functional qualities, such as moisture management, UV protection, anti-microbial, thermo-regulation, and wind/water resistance.

Permanent Press (Durable Press) - Terms used to describe a garment which has been treated to retain its fresh appearance, crease, and shape throughout the life of the garment, Permanent press can be a misleading description, because no finish is completely permanent. Durable press or crease resistant is the more accepted terms.

 

Permeability - A textile characteristic which allows air, water, and water vapor to penetrate and pass through it.

 

Perspiration Resistant - A treatment on a fabric which allows a fabric or a dye to resist perspiration.

 

Petersham, a very thick, waterproof woollen coating, usually dark blue, is used for mens trousers or heavy coats.

picot - A row of woven loops along the selvage of fabric or lace.

 

Pilot Cloth is a coarse, heavy, stout twilled woollen that is heavily napped and navy blue. Used by seamen.

 

Pima Cotton, from Egyptian cotton, is an excellent quality cotton fabric.

 

Piping - A narrow tape used to bind seams, or used for decoration.

 

Plain Edge (Bluff Edge) - A construction in which the edges of the garment are not stitched.

 

Pleats - A portion of the fabric folded over, and secured by stitching or pressing.

 

Pocket (patch) - A pocket attached to the outside of the garment and constructed of self-fabric.

Pocket (quarter) - The angle from the side seam.

Pocket (rule) - A patch pocket attached on the outseam, halfway betweeen the hip and the knee of the garment; usually found on coveralls.

Pocket (serged) - A pocket formed by joining two pieces of fabric and joining the edges with safety-stitching.

Pocket (slash) - A pocket that must be entered through a slash on the garment. The pocket pouch is suspended from and attached to the slash.

Pocket (stitch and turn) - Formed when two pieces of fabric are joined along the edges and turned so that the raw seam margin is inside of the finished pocket.

Pocket (stitched/topstitched) - The same as stitch and turn pocket, except with an added row of stitching along the folded edges.

Pocket (swing) - The pocket pouch is suspended from and attached to the pocket opening.

Pocket Facing - A piece of shell (outer) material super-imposed on the top of the pocket material at its opening to conceal the lining.

 

pointelle - Very feminine, delicate-looking, rib-knit fabric made with a pattern of openings.

 

Polished Cotton is either satin weave cotton or a plain weave cotton that is finished chemically to appear shiny.

 

polyester - A manufactured fiber which has high strength, excellent resiliency, and high abrasion resistance. Low absorbency allows the fibre to dry quickly.

 

Pongee is a plain woven, thin, naturally tan fabric that has a rough weave effect.

 

Poodle Cloth is made with a boucle yarn and resembles the Poodle dog.

 

poplin - A fabric made using a rib variation of the plain weave. The construction is characterized by having a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling.

Poplin is a plain weave fabric with a cross-wise rib.

 

Post-Cure - A type of durable press finish in which the finish is applied to the fabric by the mill, but the garment manufacturer completes the cure of the finish by applying heat, using an oven, or press, or both to the completed garment.

 

Pre-Cure - A finishing treatment in which the durable press finish is applied to the fabric and set, or cured, through the use of heat at the mill, prior to shipment of the fabric to the garment manufacturer.

 

Pre-Shrunk - Fabrics which have received a treatment, which causes shrinking. Often done on cottons before cutting the fabric in order to remove the tendency for shrinkage in the finished garment. The percent of residual shrinkage must be indicated on the label of the treated goods or garments.

 

Press - 1. A device that uses heat and pressure to remove wrinkles and creases and smooth fabrics during garment construction. 2. A device used to press or compress raw materials. 3. To iron in the home or commercial laundry. 4. To squeeze liquid out of a fabric through the use of roller presses.

 

primary yarn direction - The direction that is most resistant to stretch, typically due to a higher yarn count or a higher modulus fibre.

 

Purl Stitch - A basic stitch used in weft knitting, which produces knit fabrics that have the same appearance on both sides. The purl stitch is frequently used in combination with the jersey and rib stitches to produce a knitted fabric design. Sweaters, knitted fabrics for infants and children's wear, knitted fabrics for specialized sportswear, and bulky knit fabrics are commonly made using the purl stitch.

 

R


Rabbit Hair is used in woven wools as a substitute for vicuna to give a soft effect in the fabric.

 

radial - A panel layout where the seams and panels radiate from the corners of the sail in the direction of the highest load.


ramie - A bast fibre, similar to flax, taken from the stalk of a plant grown in China.

 

rayon - A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from

wood pulp, cotton linters, or other vegetable matter.

 

re-embroidered - To outline a design (as on lace) with embroidery stitching.

 

repellency - The ability of a fabric to resist such things as wetting and staining by water, stains, soil, etc.

 

Resiliency - The ability of a fabric to spring back to its original shape after being twisted, crushed, wrinkled, or distorted in any way.

 

Resin-Treated - A finishing process associated with the application of synthetic chemical compounds to the fabric to provide wrinkle-resistance, wash-and-wear characteristics, or an improved hand.

 

rhinestoned - To attach a colorless imitation stone of high luster made of glass, paste, or gem quartz.

 

rib knit - A basic stitch used in weft knitting in which the knitting machines require two sets of needles operating at right angles to each other. Rib knits have a very high degree of elasticity in the crosswise direction. This knitted fabric is used for complete garments and for such specialized uses as sleeve bands, neck bands, sweater waistbands, and special types of trims for use with other knit or woven fabrics. Lightweight sweaters in rib knits provide a close, body-hugging fit.

ribbed - To form vertical ridges in knitting.

 

Ribbon - A fillet or narrow woven fabric of varying widths, commonly one-quarter to three inches, having selvage edges, chiefly or rayon, silk, or velvet, and used for braiding, decoration, trimmings, etc.

 

ribboned - Ribbon lace is made by stitching ribbon onto mesh or net fabrics. The design is usually a random pattern rather than floral.

Rise - The length of trouser from the top of the waistband at the fly opening, around the crotch, to the top of the back waistband at the center.

S

 

Sailcloth is a very strong, heavy canvas or duck made in plain weave.

 

Sateen is a satin weave cotton fabric.Sateen Fabric - A fabric made from yarns with low luster, such as cotton or other staple length fibers. The fabric has a soft, smooth hand and a gentle, subtle luster. Sateen fabrics are often used for draperies and upholstery.

 

satin - A traditional fabric utilizing a satin weave construction to achieve a lustrous fabric surface. Satin is a traditional fabric for evening and wedding garments. Typical examples of satin weave fabrics include: slipper satin, crepe-back satin, faille satin, bridal satin, moleskin, and royal satin.Satin Fabric - A traditional fabric utilizing a satin weave construction to achieve a lustrous fabric surface. Satin is a traditional fabric for evening and wedding garments. Typical examples of satin weave fabrics include: slipper satin, crepe-back satin, faille satin, bridal satin, moleskin, and antique satin.

 

scrim - A base fabric component created by laying out fibres in a grid pattern with the fibres joined at their intersection. A scrim can be constructed by passing fill and warp yarns over and under one another; by knitting, in which the fibres and "tied" at each intersection; or by laying the fibres straight across one another and connecting them at the intersections with glue.

Seam (book/booking) - The raw edge hem done on a blindstitch machine, usually sewn in the side ans back seam outlets, and on the bottom turn-up.

Seam (french) - A closure between two pieces of material, made by stitching,turning, and restitching, so as to conceal all raw edges.

Seam (open gorge) - Both the collar and the facing are turned under, basted, and then the seam is felled (edges folded together) from the outside.

Seam (raised) - A seam resulting after two pieces of fabric have been joined; one piece is folded back, and a second row of stitching is placed adjacent to the folded edge.


seersucker - A woven fabric which incorporates modification of tension control. In the production of seersucker, some of the warp yarns are held under controlled tension at all times during the weaving, while other warp yarns are in a relaxed state and tend to pucker when the filling yarns are placed. The result produces a puckered stripe effect in the fabric.

Seersucker is a lightweight cotton fabric crinkled into lengthwise stripes.

 

sequined - Ornamented with a small plate of shining metal or plastic.

 

shantung - A medium-weight, plain-weave fabric, characterized by a ribbed effect, resulting from slubbed yarns used in the warp or filling direction. End-uses include dresses and suits.

 

Sharkskin is woven with warp and filling yarns of alternating white with black, brown or blue.

Shell - A fabric from which the garment is made.

 

sheer - Any very light-weight fabric (e.g., chiffon, georgette, voile, sheer crepe). Usually has an open weave. Sheers mostly feel cool.

 

Side Opening - An opening created by the facing tacked onto the swing pockets. It allows the wearer access to his trouser pockets. Typically found on coveralls.

 

silk - It is obtained from cocoons of certain species of caterpillars. It is soft and has a brilliant sheen. It is one of the finest textiles. It is also very strong and absorbent.

 

Silk Broadcloth is a plain weave silk in various weights; crisper than china silk. It is often used in shirting.

Silk is also available in other weaves such as velvet and corduroy.

Silk linen has a nubby yarn in a plain weave. Weights range from light to heavy. It is different from Dupion in that the nubby runs both lengthwise and crosswise.

Silk satin is a satin weave with a plain back.

Silk Shantung is a dupionni type of silk that comes from the Shantung Prov. of China.

 

Sleeve Length - The sleeves measured from the center of the neckline in the back to the end of the sleeve or cuff.

Sleeve Tacking - Stitches which attach the sleeve to the lining along the sleeve inseams and elbow seams.

Sleeve Vent - A finished slit or opening in the sleeve. Vents are usually secured by snaps or buttons at the base of the cuff.

 

Soil Release - A finish that has the purpose of increasing the absorbency of a fabric. on durable press blends. The finish allows the stain to leave the fabric faster, increases the wicking action for improved comfort, and therefore imparts greater ease in cleaning. Some soil release finishes also provide resistance to soiling as well as ease of soil removal.

 

spandex - A manufactured elastomeric fiber that can be repeatedly stretched over 500% without breaking, and will still recover to its original length.

 

Sponging - A pre-shrinkage process which involves the dampening with a sponge to woolen and worsted fabrics. The process is accomplished by rolling in moist muslin, or by steaming. This procedure is performed at the fabric mill prior to cutting to insure against a contraction of the material in the garment.

 

Stain Repellent - The ability of a fabric to resist wetting and staining by water.

 

Stain Resistance - A fiber or fabric property of resisting spots and stains

 

Staple Fibers - Short fibers, typically ranging from 1/2 inch up to 18 inches long. Wool, cotton, and flax exist only as staple fibers. Manufactured staple fibers are cut to a

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