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Glossary

A
Acrylic

Light weight, washable non-allergenic fabric. Quick drying and aids in absorbing moisture from the body.

A-line

A common dress or skirt style in which the silhouette is fitted at the shoulder or waist, and gradually flares out to create a wider hemline.

 
B
Bandeau

A woman's strapless top formed from a band of fabric fitted around the bust.

Bias

The diagonal direction of a woven fabric. Unless woven from stretch yarns, fabrics stretch more in the bias direction than in the length or width.

Blazer

A type of structured outerwear, often resembling a more casual form of suit coat.

Bolero

A short jacket that does not extend beyond the waistline. Usually worn with front open over a bodice or blouse. Also known as a Shrug.

Brocade

A class of richly decorative woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads.

Bustier

A woman’s garment that is a combination of waist cinch and brassiere. Formerly worn as an undergarment.

 
C
Camisole

A close-fitting, sleeveless top for women in often very thin or sheer fabric. Generally worn as an undergarment, camisoles cut in a similar style but of opaque material can also be worn as a top of blouse.

Cap Sleeve

A type of sleeve in which the cut and seam is fitted to the shoulder. Cap sleeves are shorter than a standard short-sleeved T-shirt. Often found on women’s blouses and dresses.

Capri Pant

Pants in which the trouser leg ends at any point from below-knee to mid-calf.

Chiffon

A delicate and sheer woven fabric commonly made from cotton, silk or a synthetic fiber. It is a popular fabric used in blouses, ribbons, scarves and lingerie. Chiffon must be handwashed gently and ironed while slightly damp to reduce wrinkles.

Colorfastness

The property of a dyed or printed textile to resist color loss or fading resulting from various conditions of use such as laundering, bleach, perspiration, or sunlight.

Cowl Neck

A neckline in which material falls loosely from shoulder to shoulder to form multiple soft folds.

Crew Neck

A rounded, collarless neckline. The most common type of neckline for shirts or sweaters.

 
D
Double Breasted

A garment containing a double row of buttons down the breast and generally a portion of the front lapped over the other.

Dropped Waist

A garment of which the bodice is slightly longer, with the waist seam at anywhere from a few inches below the natural waistline to actual hip level.

 
E
Empire Waist

A garment of which the waistline is just below the bust.

 
F
Fulling

A permanent finish used on wool fabrics in which the result is a smoother, more compact texture. Fulling is a process commonly used for woolen clothes in coats, such as melton.

 
G
Gingham

A medium-weight, woven fabric made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn.

 
H
Hem

The base edge of a garment that is finished off with sewing or stitching to cover the raw edge.

Houndstooth

A checked pattern with notched corners, resembling a canine’s tooth. Typically used in jackets and suits.

 
J
Jersey

A plain-knit fabric of wool, silk, nylon, or rayon. Soft and elastic in texture.

 
K
Keyhole

A small, rounded opening below the neckline of a garment, resembling a key hole.

 
L
Lace

A delicate net-like ornamental fabric made of threads by hand or machine.

Laundering

The most common method for washing textile products, using water combined with a range of cleansers. Bleaches might also be used for additional stain removal. Only washable products can be laundered (as opposed to dry cleaning).

 
P
Piping

A narrow cord or bias fabric stitched between a seam, typically for decorative purposes. Usually made of matching or contrasting fabric color.

Placket

The opening or slit at the top of a blouse or jacket that facilitates in its wearing.

 
Q
Quilting

A padded and lined fabric typically consisting of three layers to produce a soft, puffy texture.

 
R
Ruching

The portion of a garment with large areas of fullness gathered in to form a rippled effect.

 
S
Silk

A natural protein fiber producing a shiny, soft fabric popular in a variety of day and evening wear. Silk is wrinkle-resistant, durable, and can absorb up to 30% moisture of its own weight.

Sportswear

Formerly a name referring specifically to athletic wear, common day use refers to a wide category of casual wear versatile for use at any time of day for various activities.

 
T
Top Stitching

Decorative stitching, done by machine, sewn so as to be visible on the upright side of a garment.

Twill

A common type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs. Examples of twill fabrics are chino, denim, and tweed.

 
W
Wicking

The ability for a fabric to draw moisture away from the body.

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