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      Glossary

      • A
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      • C
      • D
      • E
      • F
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      • I
      • J
      • K
      • L
      • M
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      A

      Accordion Pleated: Fabric with narrow ⅛-in to ½-in pleats that resemble folds in an accordion.

      Acrylic: Synthetic fiber that has a soft hand and good wrinkle resistance. Can be machine-washed and machine-dried.

      Alençon Lace: Needlepoint lace with a fine net background and cord outlining design.

      A-line: Fitted at the bodice and flows out to the ground, with an unbroken line (resembling the outline of an uppercase “A”).

      Appliqué: Decorative element in which pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck onto a garment to form pictures or patterns.

      B

      Ball Gown: Fitted at the bodice and has a waistline that leads to a full skirt.

      Band: Collar with a small standing band, usually buttoned.

      Basque Waist: Waistline features a low “U” or “V” shape.

      Batik: Any fabric created by resist-dyeing using wax as a resist. After the wax is removed, fabric is colored where dye has gone through wax cracks.

      Bell Sleeve: Long sleeve fitted from the shoulder to elbow and gently flared from elbow onward.

      Bengaline: Lustrous, durable, warp-faced fabric with corded appearance most often used in millinery, ribbons and suits.

      Bertha: Cape-like collar, often of lace or sheer fabric, worn with a low neckline.

      Blouson: Dress with a close waistband that causes the blousing of material over it.

      Boat (Bateau) Neck: Neckline that runs nearly straight across the collarbone from shoulder to shoulder.

      Bolero: Short, waist-length jacket that is open in the front. Commonly worn with evening gowns.

      Box Pleat: Pleat consisting of two parallel creases facing opposite directions and forming a raised section in between.

      Broadcloth: Twilled napped woolen or worsted fabric with a smooth lustrous face and dense texture. Also refers to plain-woven cotton.

      Brocade: Rich fabric, usually silk, woven with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread.

      Burn-Out Velvet: The burn-out look is created when fiber-eating chemicals are printed on the fabric instead of color. The desired pattern is left imprinted in the velvet leaving the backing untouched.

      C

      Calais (Lace): Fine lace used commonly in wedding dresses and lingerie.

      Camisole: Undergarment for the upper body, typically held up by shoulder straps, with decorative trimming.

      Cap Sleeve: Short sleeve designed to cover the shoulder and the top of the arm, with little or no extension under the arm.

      Cape: Cloth that fits close at the neck and hangs loosely over the shoulders by itself or as part of a garment.

      Cascade (Drape): Tapered, ornamental piece of fabric that is gathered or pleated.

      Cathedral: The most formal type of veil, extends 9 feet or more from the headpiece.

      Cathedral Length: Generally extends 6 to 9 feet from the hem.

      Chantilly Lace: Delicate silk, linen or synthetic lace featuring a 6-sided mesh ground and a floral or scrolled design.

      Chapel Length: Generally extends 3 to 4 feet from the hem.

      Charmeuse: Lightweight, semi-lustrous, soft and satin-like to the touch.

      Chemise (Shift): Short, unwaisted dress, usually sleeveless.

      Chesterfield: Single-breasted or double-breasted semi-fitted overcoat with velvet collar.

      Chiffon: Delicate, sheer and transparent, with a soft finish. Often layered because of its transparency.

      Chintz: Printed and glazed cotton fabric.

      Circle Skirt: Skirt cut in sections to make one or more circles with a hole for the waist, so the skirt is very full but hangs smoothly from the waist without darts, pleats, or gathers.

      Coachman: An overcoat that fits loosely, hanging straight from the shoulders.

      Cocoon: Unstructured coat with defined sleeves and shoulders. Typically constructed from soft wool blend and falls just above or slightly below the knee.

      Court: Slightly longer than sweep, extending approximately 3 feet behind the waist.

      Cowl Neck: Features loosely draped fabric that creates a swinging, unstructured appearance, resembling a softly draped scarf worn around the neck.

      Crepe: Light, soft and thin fabric, with a crinkled surface.

      Crepe-Backed Satin: Reversible satin weave with one side dull and crepe-looking, the other shiny and smooth.

      Crinkled: Puckered or wrinkled effects created in the fabric construction or in the finishing; used to create texture in an ensemble.

      Crushed Velvet: Velvet that’s been processed to have an irregular surface

      Crystal Pleat: Fabric featuring a series of narrow sharply pressed pleats all turned in one direction.

      Cummerbund: A broad sash, especially one that is pleated lengthwise and worn as an article of formal dress, as with a dinner jacket.

      Cut Velvet: Patterned velvet figures on a sheer background fabric of chiffon, georgette or voile.

      Cutouts: Holes cut into a garment for decoration.

       

      D

      Darts: Tapered tucks stitched into a garment in order to shape it.

      Dolman Sleeve: Loose sleeve cut in one piece with the body of a garment.

      Double Knit: Knitted fabric, like wool, made with a double set of needles to produce a double thickness of fabric with each thickness joined by interlocking stitches.

      Dropped Waist: Features a waistline, below the natural waist, at the mid-hip.

      Duchesse Satin: Highly lustrous, smooth, very finely woven silk fabric. Used in bridal or evening wear where volume without bulk is desired.

      Dupioni: A finish similar to shantung, but with thicker, coarser fibers and a slight sheen.

      E

      Elbow: Extends 25 to-36 inches in length to the bride’s elbows.

      Empire Waist: Raised waistline that sits just below the bust, from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem.

      Epaulet: Piece of ornamental material on the shoulder of a garment

      Eyelet: Cutouts with stitching outlining them on a base fabric of batiste, lawn, broadcloth, organdy or pique. Used in summer blouses.

      F

      Faille: Flat ribbed fabric with a light luster. Fabric has body but drapes and tailors well.

      Fingertip: Extends 366 to-45 inches in length to the bride’s fingertips.

      Flannel: Soft twilled wool or worsted fabric with a loose texture and a slightly napped surface.

      Flared Skirt: Fitted at the waist and then flares out into a tulip shape at the hem.

      Floor Length: Extends 60 to-72 inches to the floor.

      Flounce: Strip of decorative, usually gathered or pleated, material attached by one edge

      Foil Print: Process in which metallic foil patterns are transferred to fabric using a hot steel roller or stamped onto the fabric using foil paper.

      Fringe: Border made of hanging threads used to decorate the edge of a garment.

      Fuji Silk: Lightweight, plain-weave silk used in blouses.

      G

      Gabardine: Firm hard-finish durable fabric, such as wool or rayon, twilled with diagonal ribs on the right side. Used commonly in suits.

      Gathers / Gathering: Draw and hold together fabric by running thread through it.

      Gauze: Fine, transparent, plain-weave fabric with open texture.

      Gazar: Lightweight silk organza with a plain weave.

      Georgette: Sheer, lightweight fabric with a crepe surface.

      Godet Skirt: Features extra, circular pieces of fabric set in the seams halfway down or below the knee. The result is a clean, straight look at the top and double the flounce at the bottom.

      Gore Skirt: Consists of several triangular pieces of fabric sewn together, known as “gores,” which are smaller at the waist and wider toward the bottom. 

      Grosgrain: Closely woven ribbed ribbon made with rayon warp.

      Guipure Lace: A coarse large-patterned lace, held together with mesh or connecting threads.

      H

      Habutai: Soft, lightweight plain-weave silk usually referred to as China silk.

      Halter: Features straps that wrap around the back of the neck.

      Handkerchief Skirt: Features an asymmetric hem, created from fabric panels of different lengths sewn together, to create a hem with several corners that hang down as points.

      I

      Illusion (Sheer) Neckline: Features two necklines; a strapless neckline and a sheer panel of fabric (typically made of lace, tulle, organza or other mesh fabric), which attaches to the bodice, usually at the waistline, and extends upward to form the second, higher neckline.

      J

      Jacquard: Weaving system that can produce woven designs of a large size.

      Jersey: Plain, weft-knotted fabric made of wool, cotton, nylon, rayon or silk.

      Juliet Sleeve: A long, tight sleeve with a puff at the top.

      K

      Keyhole Neckline: Features a central hole, usually just below the collarbone.

      Kimono Sleeve: Sleeve cut in one with the bodice in a wide sloping shape.

      L

      Lace: Fine open fabric, typically made of cotton or silk, made by looping, twisting, or knitting thread in patterns and used especially for trimming garments.

      Leg of Mutton Sleeve: Sleeve that is full and loose on the upper arm but close-fitting on the forearm and wrist.

      Lyon (Lace): Large-patterned lace that incorporates multiple types of net.

      M

      Mandarin: Small standing collar, open at the front, based on traditional Asian garments.

      Matelassé: Fabric with crepe and ordinary yarn interfaced in the warp. When the crepe yarn shrinks, it causes the ordinary yarn to pucker, creating raised patterns. Can be made in cotton, silk or wool.

      Mermaid: Fits closely to the body from the chest to the knee then flares out to the hem.

      Mesh: Woven, knitted, crocheted, lace or knotted with open spaces between yarns. Fabric is supple and elastic. Very lightweight mesh is used in eveningwear.

      Mikado: A brand of blended fibers, usually heavier than 100% silk.

      Mock Neck: High neckline style, featuring a collar that extends approximately halfway up the neck.

      Moiré: Wavy, water-like pattern produced onto a fabric surface by engraved rollers during the finishing process.

      Mushroom Pleat: Many, tight, vertical and thin pleats, mimicking the underside of a mushroom top. In skirts, adds fullness to the waist and hip area.

      N

      Natural Waist: Waistline that hits at the natural waist (the indentation between the hips and the rib-cage).

      Neoprene: Synthetic rubber material that is waterproof and flexible, used commonly in wetsuits.

      Net: Open-meshed fabric twisted, knotted or woven together at regular intervals.

      Notched: Wing-shaped collar with a triangular notch in it. Often seen in blazers and business suits.

      O

      Obi: Wide sash fastened in the back with a large flat bow, worn by women in Japan as a part of the traditional dress.

      Off-the-Shoulder: Neckline with fabric resting on the shoulders to showcase the collarbone and shoulders.

      One-Shoulder: Asymmetrical design element featuring a strap on only one side of the gown.

      Organdy: Very fine, sheer cotton with a crisp hand.

      Organza: Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar to tulle, but more flowing.

      P

      Paillettes: Pieces of glittering material used to ornament clothing.

      Panné Satin: High-gloss satin fabric.

      Panné Velvet: Often with a knitted base, pile on this velvet is pressed down in one direction, resulting in a shiny appearance.

      Patent Leather: Shiny, hard, smooth leather created by applying a solution that hardens to the surface of the leather.

      Peau de Soie: Heavy, soft silk with a satin finish.

      Peplum: Short flared, gathered or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a jacket, dress or blouse to create a hanging frill or flounce.

      Peter Pan Collar: Small, soft collar cut to fit around the neckline, characterized by its rounded corners.

      Pintucks: Very narrow, ornamental tucks.

      Piping: Narrow tube of fabric, sometimes enclosing a cord, used for trimming seams and edges.

      Point d’Esprit: Netting with a rectangular dot in a regular, allover pattern.

      Pongee: Plain-weave, medium-weight silk with a finer warp than weft, that feels like a starched China silk. Suitable for tailored blouses.

      Portrait Collar: Wide neckline style that frames the collarbone with straps or sleeves resting on the tips of the shoulder blades.

      Princess Seam: A-line silhouette with vertical seams down the front.

      Q

      Queen Anne Neckline: Features a short collar in the back that curves down, forming the shape of a sweetheart neckline in the front above the bust.

      Queen Elizabeth Neckline: Features a high collar in the back, forming the curves of a sweetheart neckline above the bust in the front.

      Quilting: Two layers of cloth filled with padding held in place by lines of stitching.

      R

      Raglan Sleeve: Sleeve that extends in one piece to the neckline of a coat or sweater with seams from the armhole to the neck

      Redingote: Long coat with a cutaway or contrasting front.

      Ruffle: Ornamental gathered frill of lace or other cloth on a garment.

      S

      Sandwashed: Fabric on which sand or other abrasive have been used to give a worn or faded appearance with a soft hand.

      Sateen: Fabric made of long staple cotton or filament yarns to produce a strong, lustrous surface.

      Satin: Heavy and smooth, with a high sheen on one side.

      Scalloped: Series of decorative curves on the edge of a fabric.

      Schiffli (Lace): Machine-made lace that is produced by embroidering a pattern on fabric that has been chemically treated, so as to disintegrate after the pattern has been created.

      Scoop Neck: U-shaped neckline with varying depth.

      Seam: Line along which two pieces of fabric are sewn together in a garment.

      Sequins: Small, shiny disks sewn onto clothing for decoration.

      Shantung: Similar to raw silk, characterized by its rough, nubby texture.

      Shawl Collar: Round collar for a V-neckline that is extended to form lapels. Often used in cardigans, dinner jackets and women’s blouses.

      Shawl: Square, triangular or oblong piece of material worn over the shoulders.

      Sheath: Fits very closely to the contours of the body, has a straight skirt with no waist.

      Shirring: Gather an area of fabric using drawn or elasticized threads in parallel rows.

      Shirtwaist: A dress borrowing details from the style of men’s shirts, often including a collar and front buttons.

      Shoulder: Extends 15 to -25 inches in length.

      Silk Broadcloth: Fine, closely woven silk with a fine rib.

      Smocking: Decoration created by gathering a section of the material into tight pleats and holding them together with parallel stitches in an ornamental pattern.

      Square Neck: Neckline that is shaped like a square, formed by straight lines crossing the body horizontally below the neck and vertically along the edge of the sleeves or straps.

      Stadium Coat: Insulate, parka-like jacket that reaches to the mid-thigh or knees and often has a drawstring around the bottom edge. Worn outdoors in cold weather.

      Stole: long scarf or shawl, typically fur or similar material, worn loosely over the shoulders.

      Strapless Neckline: Straight across neckline with no curves or straps.

      Stroller: Extends 54 inches in length.

      Surah: Soft, lightweight lustrous silk characterized by fine twill lines. Best used in ties and vest fronts.

      Sweep (Brush): The shortest type of train, usually the back hem is only a few inches lower than the front hem (up to 1 foot)

      Sweetheart Neckline: Type of strapless neckline featuring two curves accentuating the bust, which plunge and meet in the center. The design resembles the top of a heart.

      T

      Taffeta: Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib

      Trapeze / Tent: Features side seams that are cut straight, narrow under the armhole and widens to the hem.

      Trapunto: Decorative quilted design in high relief worked through at least two layers of cloth by outlining the design in running stitch and padding it from the underside.

      Trench Coat: Classic long coat with military styling. Typically made of durable materials, such as wool, gabardine, cotton drill, leather or poplin.

      Tricot: Warp knit fabric with a horizontal rib used often in women’s lingerie.

      Trumpet: Fits closely to the body until the mid-hip and then widens gradually to the hem (resembling the mouth of a trumpet). 

      Tucks: Flattened, stitched fold in a fabric, typically one of several parallel folds, put in a garment for shortening, tightening or decoration.

      Tulle: Thin, fine, machine-made net of acetate, nylon, rayon or silk. Commonly used in ballet tutus.

      Tunic: Long, loose-fitting blouse, usually falls around the knees.

      U

      V

      Velour: Woven or knitted pile fabric that lies in one direction.

      Velvet: Soft fabric with short raised fibers on one side.

      Venise (Lace): Needle lace characterized by scrolling floral patterns and motifs.

      Viscose: Synthetic fiber that has a silken, smooth feel. The fabric drapes well and is often used for linings and bridal garments.

      V-Neck: Neckline that dips down from the shoulders, forming a “V” in the front.

      W

      Wrap Belt: Wide, flat belt, usually made of cloth, which has the appearance of being tied around the waist.

      Wrap Coat: Features a front closure formed by wrapping one side across another, typically has a wide lapel collar.

      X

      Y

      Yoke: Part of a garment that fits over the shoulders, to which the main section of the garment is attached, typically in gathers or pleats.

      Z