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Uniform Fabrics Glossary


The terms in this Glossary define the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors (NAUMD)'s cooperative effort with its members to focus on a variety of components, processes, and construction techniques associated with the production of uniforms and career apparel. The Glossary contains terms relating to Fibers & Yarns, Fabrics (knits, wovens, and nonwovens), Dyeing & Finishing, and Garment Construction.

A "Glossary of Care Instruction Terms" in FabricLink's Fabric Care Center is available to assist in reading the labels and properly caring for Career Apparel and Uniforms in order to maximize the life of the garment.

Click on a letter to jump to your alpha choice.

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.
  Acetate - A manufactured fiber formed by a compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or the wood pulp of the mulberry trees. This material is then combined with acedic acid and is extruded through a spinneret and then hardened.
  Acid Washed - A process that alters the color of indigo denim fabrics by treating them with chemicals.
  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.
  Alpaca Cloth - Very soft and very light fabric with a silky hand. The fiber is obtained from the Alpaca goat. Alpaca resembles mohair and is often imitated in cheaper versions using wool and rayon blends. It is used mainly for women's spring or fall coats, suits and sportswear.
  Animal Fibers - The term used to distinguish natural fibers obtained from animals. It includes alpaca, angora, goat hair, camel hair, cashmere, cow hair, fur, guanaco, hog hair, huarizo, llama, mohair, misti, Persian cashmere, rabbit hair, silk, sun, vicuna, worsted, worsted lop.
  Appearance Rating - The term that applies to the smoothness of fabrics - usually wash and wear or durable press after washing and tumble drying. Industry has adopted standard test methods for rating appearance.
  Aramid - A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long chain of synthetic polyamide in which at least 85% of the amide linkages are attached directly to two aromatic rings. Aramid fabrics are very strong and are resistant to high temperatures and extreme external forces. Aramid fabrics are used in thermally protective clothing; (i.e. coveralls, jackets, gloves, shirts, pants). U.S. FTC Definition: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long-chain synthetic polyamide in that is at least 85% of the amide linkages are attached directly to two aromatic rings.
 
B
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.
  Bamboo Fabric - A natural textile made from the pulp of bamboo grass, it is considered sustainable, because the bamboo plant grows quickly and does not require the use of herbicides and pesticides to thrive. However, bamboo fiber is produced through the cellulosic process. Bamboo fabric retains many of the same qualities it has as a plant, including excellent wicking ability that pulls moisture away from the skin. It also retains antibacterial qualities, reducing bacteria that often thrives on clothing, which causes unpleasant odors.
  Band (Continuous/Grown-on) - Pant panels that extend to the top of the pant and are folded over without an outside band. A separate inside band lining is sewn through the pant and has an interlining.
  Band (Pasted-on/Folder-set) - A separate band sewn on the pant with stitching that shows on the outside at the top and bottom.
  Band (Rocap) - A separate band of body fabric sewn on and turned down so the attaching seam is not visible. Inside the band is a separate lining---made from pcketing fabric---and interlining.
  Barathea - Closely woven fabric with characteristic pebbly weave. Usually silk or rayon or blends with other fibers. Used for neckwear, dress goods, lightweight suitings.
  Barré - An imperfection, characterized by a ridge or mark running in the crosswise or lengthwise directions of the fabric. Barrés can be caused by tension variations in the knitting process, poor quality yarns, problems during the finishing process.
  Bartack - To reinforce a seam with a bar of stitches that provides a more durable seam end. (Commonly used at points of strain.)
  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.
  Bast fiber - A natural fiber collected from the inner bark surrounding the stem of certain dicotyledonic plants. Most bast fibers are obtained from herbs cultivated in agriculture, including flax, Jute, hemp and ramie, but can include wild plants as well. Fibers typically have higher tensil strength than others kinds and are therefore used for textiles like ropes, yarn, paper, composite materials and burlap. While labor intensive, its production is considered more eco-friendly than the production of artificial fibers which are petroleum based.
  Batch Cure - A method of post curing durable press garments in which one group of garments at a time is placed in the curing ovens.
  Battenberg - Coarse form of renaissance lace either hand or machine made - from linen braid or tape and linen thread, assembled together to form various designs.
  Beading - Variety of insertion laces or embroideries having rows of holes through which ribbon is laced.
  Bedford Cord - Strong ribbed weave fabric with raised lines or cords produced by warp stuffing threads. May be wool, silk, cotton, rayon or combination fibers. Warp pique is a lighter weight. Bedford cord fabric used for dress goods, upholstery and work clothes. First made in America in New Bedford, Massachusetts, hence its name.
  Beetling - A mechanical treatment that uses beetlers or fallers to give fabric surfaces a flattened appearance. The spaces between warp and filling are covered up and tend to produce a high gloss to the material.
  Beeze - Piping or cording formed at lower and inside pocket welts.
  Bengaline - A sturdy warp-faced fabric with pronounced crosswise ribs formed by bulky, coarse, plied yarns or rubber thread. Filling is not discernible on back or face of goods. Originating in Bengal, India, it is used mainly in coatings, mourning ensembles, and women's headwear. When cut to ribbon widths, it is called grosgrain.
  Besom - An edging or reinforcement around a pocket opening.
  Billard Cloth - The highest grade of material made from the best of stock - Saxony, Silesia, or Australia merino wool. Two up and one down twill weave is used. Cloth must be even and smooth for its use as covering for billiard tables.
  Birdseye - Cotton or linen cloth woven on a dobby loom, characterized with a small geometric pattern that has a center dot resembling a bird's eye. Also, a cotton diaper cloth made in a birdseye weave.
  Bleach - A chemical substance which whitens fabrics. Common bleaches include chlorine, peroxide, and reducing agents such as sulphites. Bleaching is used to remove natural and other types of impurities and blemishes from fabrics prior to dyeing and finishing.
  Bleeding - The running of color from wet dyed material onto a material next to it, or the running of colors together. Sometimes the property of bleeding is considered an asset as in bleeding Indian madras.
  Blends - Combining of two or more types of staple fibers in one yarn to achieve color mixtures such as heather, unusual dyeing variations, or better performance characteristics. Blends of natural and man-made fibers are more important today than ever before and their number is virtually limitless.
  Bonding - The technique of permanently joining together two fabrics - usually a face fabric and a lining fabric of tricot - into one package. Special adhesives, binders, or thin slices of foam may be used as the marrying agent. Fabrics can also be bonded to ultra-thin slices of foam or other materials on the cutting tables, and make possible easier handling of fragile cloths such as delicate laces, sheer materials, or lightweight knits
  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), or ultrasonic procedure. Bonded fabrics are commonly used in outerwear.
  Boucle - Knitted or woven fabric with characteristic looped or knitted surface that often resembles a spongy effect. The term also applies to a variety of looped, curled or slubbed yarns. In French, boucle means "buckled" or "ringed".
  Braid - Sometimes called passementerie or spaghetti by dress manufacturers who use it for trimming or binding. Usually refers to woven or plaited flat, round, or tubular narrow fabrics.
  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.
  Broadcloth - Originally a silk shirting fabric so named because it was woven in widths exceeding the usual 29". Today, broadcloth refers to a tightly woven, lustrous cotton or polyester/cotton blend fabric in a plain weave with a crosswise rib. It resembles poplin, but the rib is finer, and broadcloth always has more crosswise yarns (picks) than poplin.
  Brocade - A heavy, exquisite jacquard type fabric with an all-over raised pattern or floral design. Common end-uses include such formal applications as upholstery, draperies, and eveningwear.
  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.
  Buckram - Ply yarn scrim fabric with a stiff finish for use as apparel interlining or interfacing. Also used in millinery because it can be easily shaped by moistening.
  Bulking - A technique of altering yarns to make them fluff, curl or crimp up to give them a bulked appearance.
  Burlap - Coarse, canvas-like fabric usually made of jute, but can be made of hemp or cotton. Sometimes called gunny. Used primarily for bale coverings, sacks and bags. Also used in furniture, drapery, wall coverings, and clothing.
  Butcher Linen - Coarse homespun linen once used for aprons for French butchers. Often imitated today in many man-made fiber fabrics that simulate real linen.
  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
Cable Twist - A cord, rope, or twine construction in which each successive twist is in the opposite direction to the preceding twist. This type of twist is defined as S-Z-S or Z-S-Z.
  Calendering - A process of passing cloths between one or more rollers (or calenders), usually under carefully controlled heat and pressure, to produce a variety of surface effects or textures in a fabric such as high luster, glazing, embossing, and moiré.
  Calico - One of the oldest basic cotton fabrics on the market that traces its origin to Calcutta, India. Usually a plain, closely woven inexpensive cloth made in solid colors on a white or contrasting background. Often one, two, or three colors are seen on the face of the goods which are usually discharge or resist printed, frequently in a small floral pattern. Used mainly for aprons, dresses, crazy quilts, sportswear. Often interchangeable with percale - which is 80-square cotton.
  Calvary Twill - A rugged 63 degree twill weave usually made from wool or wool blend yarns, and characterized by a pronounced raised cord. Also called elastique weave.
  Cambric - Soft, white, closely woven cotton fabric calendered to achieve a high glaze. Used mainly for pocket linings, underwear, aprons, shirts, and handkerchiefs. Originally made in Cambrai, France, of linen and used for church embroidery and table linen.
  Camel Hair - Wool-like underhair of the Bactrian camel, a two-humped pack-carrying species that is lustrous and extremely soft. Because it is expensive, often used in blends with wool for coats, suits, sweaters, blankets, and oriental rugs. Natural colors range from light tan to brownish black. Classified as wool under the Wool Products Labeling Act.
  Candlewick Fabric - Unbleached muslin bed sheeting, sometimes called Kraft muslin, used as a base fabric on which a chenille effect is formed by application of candlewick (heavy-plied yarns) loops which are then cut to give the fuzzy effect and cut-yarn appearance of the true chenille yarn.
  Canton Flannel - Heavy, warm cotton material that is strong and absorbent, with a twilled surface and long soft nap on the back. Named for Canton, China, where it was first produced. Used mainly for interlinings, and sleeping garments where warmth is so desirable.
  Canvas - 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.
  Cardigan - 1. A form of rib knitting stitch modified for tucking on one or both sets of needles. 2. A sweater style usually referring to a three-button coat sweater with either a "V" or a round neck.
  Carding - A process of opening and cleaning textile fibers - usually cotton - which separates fibers from each other, lays them parallel, forms them into a thin web, and then condenses them into a single continuous untwisted strand or bundle of fibers called a "sliver".
  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 white naturally occurring carbohydrate polymer found in organic woody substances of most vegetation. It is the basic raw material needed for production of rayon and acetate fibers. About 96 percent of cotton is cellulose. Man-made fibers based on petrochemical raw materials - such as nylon, polyester, acrylics, etc. - are called non-cellulosics.
  Challis - One of the softest fabrics made. Named from the American Indian term "shalee", meaning soft. A lightweight, soft plain weave fabric with a slightly brushed surface. The fabric is often printed, usually in a floral pattern. Challis is most often seen in fabrics made of cotton, wool, or rayon.
  Chambray - Popular variety of cotton fabric in relatively square count 80 by 76 that combines colored warp and white filling yarns in plain weave. Name derived from Cambrai, France, where it was first made.
  Chantilly Lace - Bobbin lace with fine six-sided mesh grounds with pattern outlined in heavy thread.
  Cheesecloth - Plain woven, soft, fragile, low-count cotton fabric similar to tobacco cloth and also known as gauze.
  Chenille - 1. A specialty yarn, characterized by a pile protruding on all sides, resembling a caterpillar. The yarn is produced by first weaving a fabric with a cotton or linen warp and a silk, wool, rayon, or cotton filling. The warp yarns are taped in groups of tightly woven filling yarns, which have been beaten in very closely. After weaving, the fabric is cut into strips between the yarn groups. Each cutting produces a continuous chenille yarn, which is then twisted, creating the chenille yarn, and giving the pile appearance on all sides of the yarn. The chenille yarn is used mainly for decorative fabrics, embroidery, tassels, and rugs. 2. A fabric woven from the chenille yarn.
  Chevron - Term applies to herringbone weaves or prints in zigzag stripes.
  Chiffon - A plain woven lightweight, extremely sheer, airy, and soft silk fabric, containing highly twisted filament yarns. The term "chiffon" implies thinness, diaphanous, or gauze-like structure and softness. Originally made of silk, but today may be found in a wide variety of other manufactured fibers. The fabric, used mainly in evening dresses and scarves.
  Chinchilla Cloth - A heavy conventional twill-weave coating with a spongy napped surface that is rolled into little tufts or nubs to resenble chinchilla fur. Usually made from wool or wool/cotton blends in coating weights.
  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 tioghtly 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.
  Chlorinated Wool - Wool in the fiber, yarn, or fabric form which are treated chemically to decrease felting shrinkage and increase ability to take dyes.
  Chlorine Retention - Some resin treatments or finishes given cotton, rayon, nylon, or blended fabrics, may cause goods to retain varying amounts of chlorine when laundered or bleached with chlorine.
  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. See Knitting (Circular).
  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 - Two or more thicknesses of fabric attached to the neckhole opening to provide a firm and neat-appearing finish.
  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 (convertible) - The panel or visible portion of the collar and the neckband portion are cut as one piece, but folded once along the length to produce the appearance of a banded collar.
  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.
  Color Abrasion - Color 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. Color abrasion is often called "frosting".
  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.
  Commercial Standards - "Recorded voluntary standards of the trade." The U.S. Bureau of Standards issues Commercial Standards which are not laws, but are important as accepted voluntary benchmarks of performance and quality by the industry. These standards are usually referred to by number, and spell out test procedures and minimum performance guidelines.
  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.
  Converter - A person or a company which buys grey goods and sells them as finished fabrics. A converter organizes and manages the process of finishing the fabric to a buyers' specifications, particularly the bleaching, dyeing, printing, etc.
  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 of Cloth - The number of ends and picks per inch in a woven fabric. If a cloth is 64 X 60, it means there are 64 ends and 60 picks per inch in a woven fabric. A cloth that has the same number of ends and picks per inch in woven goods is called a square cloth. 80-square percale, for example, has 80 ends and 80 picks per inch. Pick count is the term that is synonymous with texture or number of filling picks per inch.
  Course - The rows of loops or stitches running across a knitted fabric. Corresponds to the weft or filling in woven goods.
  Crabbing - A treatment used to set the cloth and yarn twists permanently in woolens and worsted goods.
  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.
  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.
  Crepe - A variety of lightweight fabrics characterized by a crinkly surface, obtained either via use of hard twist yarns, chemical treatments, weave, construction, or some form of embossing or surface treatment. Crepes are available today in an unlimited variety of fibers and blends, and in may different constructions.
  Crinoline - A lightweight, plain weave, stiffened fabric with a low yarn count (few yarns to the inch in each direction). Used as a foundation to support the edge of a hem or puffed sleeve.
  Crocheting - A fabric, trimming, or lace made by interlocking successive loops or stitches with a hook or needle.
  Crocking - The tendency of excess dyes to rub off. Napped and pile fabrics in deep colors are most likely to crock. Industry has set standards and tests to measure and prevent crocking.
  Crotch Seam - The short seam from the back of the pants fly to the inseam.
  Cuff (lined) - A cuff with interlining placed between the two pieces of body fabric.
  Cuff (one-piece) - A two-ply cuff formed by folding over a single piece of fabric, usually with a lining in between.
  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.
  Curing - A baking process with the use of resin finishes, applying heat under carefully controlled conditions to a fabric or the garment, which cause a reaction in the finishing agents and make them work. Crease-retention, water repellency, wrinkle resistance, and durable press are examples of finishes that are cured.
  Cut-on-cross - Fabric that is cut so that the warp runs horizontally across the garment piece.
  Cut-on-fold - Fabric that is doubled, then cut.
 
D
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 system of measuring the weight of a continuous filament fiber. In the United States, this measurement is used to number all manufactured fibers (both filament and staple), and silk, but excluding glass fiber. The lower the number, the finer the fiber; the higher the number, the heavier the fiber. Numerically, a denier is the equivalent to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of continuous filament fiber.
  Denier Per Filament - The size of an individual filament, or an individual staple fiber if it were continuous, The dpf is determined by dividing the yarn denier per filament by the number of filaments in the yarn.
  Denim - A firm 2X1 or 3X1 twill weave fabric often having a whitish tinge obtained by using white filling yarns with colored warp yarns. Heavier weight denims, usually blue, are used for dungarees, work clothes, and men's and women's sportswear. Lighter weight denims have a softer finish and come in a variety of colors and patterns for sportswear.
  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.
  Down - The soft, fluffy fiber or underfeathers of ducks, geese, or other water fowl. Used primarily for insulation in outerwear garments.
  Dry Cleaning - A cleansing method or process applied to garments in which organic solvents such as carbon tetrachloride, perchloroethylene, or certain hydrocarbon compounds are used to remove dirt, soil, and most spots and stains. Unaffected stains have to be removed by other special agents.
  Duck - The name duck covers a wide range of fabrics. A tightly woven, heavy, plain-weave, bottom-weight fabric with a hard, durable finish. The fabric is usually made of cotton, and is widely used in men's and women's slacks, and children's play clothes. The most important fabrics in this group are known as number duck, army duck, and flat or ounce duck.
  Durability - The ability of a fabric to resist wear through continual use.
  Durable Press - More or less interchangeable with the term permanent press, but actually more precise. Durable press implies that the shape retention properties of a garment are excellent and durable for the life of the garment.
 
E
Eco - Of or relating to habitat or household, mostly used as a prefix related to ecology. Eco comes from the ancient Greek word "oikos" (house). e.g. eco-label, eco-friendly, eco-shopping. Within the textile industry, "eco" refers to fibers/fabrics that are sustainable or friendly to the environment.
  Eco-friendly - A term used to describe services and goods that cause very little, if any, harm to the environment.
  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.
  End-And-End - Broadcloth, chambray, madras, or other fabric having alternating warp yarns, usually one in a color and one in white.
  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. Often worked around with a buttonhole stitch.
 
F
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. The term also applies to more traditional fabrics such as meltons, jerseys, and overcoatings that have been finished only on the face.
  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.
  Fell - To join two pieces of material with the edges folded together using double needle stitching.
  Felt - From the Anglo-Saxon word meaning to filt or filter, the cloth is a matted, compact woolen material, of which melton might be cited as an example. A non-woven fabric made from wool, hair, or fur, and sometimes in combination with certain manufactured fibers, where the fibers are locked together in a process utilizing heat, moisture, and pressure to form a compact material.
  Fiberfill - Specially engineered manufactured fibers, which are used as filler material in pillows, mattresses, mattress pads, sleeping bags, comforters, quilts, and outerwear
  Filament Textured Yarns - Filament processed by special machinery to create bulk, stretch and greater comfort. The texturizing process works in such a way so that filament yarns do not lie parallel to one another; this increased space creates the bulk. Most of today's filament polyester is texturized.
  Filling - In a woven fabric, the yarn running from selvage to selvage at right angles to the warp. Each crosswise length is called a pick. In the weaving process, the filling yarn is carried by the shuttle or other type of yarn carrier.
  Finishing - All processes through which a fabric passes after manufacturing in preparation for the market. These include bleaching, dyeing, printing, heat setting, etc.
  Fire Retardant - Fabrics treated with special chemical agents or finishes to make them retardant or resistant to burning. Today many fabrics achieve this property by using fibers that have this property built directly into the polymer. As a rule, fire retardant fabrics should be extremely durable through many washings and dry cleanings.
  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.
  Flame Retardant - A chemical applied to a fabric, or incorporated into the fiber at the time of production, which significantly reduces a fabric's flammability.
  Flannel - A medium-weight, plain or twill weave fabric that is typically made from cotton, a cotton blend, or wool. The fabric has a very soft hand, brushed on both sides to lift the fiber ends out of the base fabric and create a soft, fuzzy surface. End-uses include shirts and pajamas.
  Fleece - The wool shorn from any sheep, or from any animal in the wool category.
  Fleece Fabric - A lightweight fabric with a thick, heavy fleece-like surface. It may be a pile or napped fabric, or either woven or knit construction. End uses include coats, jackets, blankets, etc. Fleece fabrics are available in a variety of constuctions: 1) Polarfleece® is the original fleece fabric, developed in 1979, by Malden Mills. It is typically used for non-technical garments, and it is only available at Malden Mills®; 2) Polartec®, also developed by Malden Mills, was created for today's high-performance technical garments, which provides enhanced durability warmth, wind resistance, breathability and weather protection.
  Foamback - A fabric which has been laminated to a polyurethane foam backing.
  Foulard - A lightweight twill-weave fabric, made from filament yarns like silk, acetate, polyester, with a small all-over print pattern on a solid background. The fabric is often used in men's ties.
  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. Polyester, cotton, rayon, and various blends are also used in making gabardine.
  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, in which yarns are twisted both ways in the weave. End-uses include dresses and blouses.
  Gingham - A medium weight, plain weave fabric with a dyed yarns in both warp and filling to achieve a plaid or check pattern. End-uses include dresses, shirts, and curtains.
  Gorge - The break between the collar and the lapel.
  Greige Goods - An unfinished fabric, just removed from a knitting machine or a loom, but have received no dry- or wet- finishing operations. Also called grey goods.
 
H
Hand - The way the fabric feels when it is touched. Terms like softness, crispness, dryness, silkiness are all terms that describe the hand of the fabric. A good hand refers to shape retention without stiffness.
  Handwoven (Handloomed) - Fabrics which are woven on either the hand or hand-and-foot power loom.
  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 Mixture or Blend - Combinations of colors, stock-dyed to provide a mottled or melange type of yarn in woolens such as homespun, tweed, cheviot, shetland, etc.
  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.
  Herringbone (Herringbone Twill) - A variation on the twill weave construction in which the twill is reversed, or broken, at regular intervals, producing a zig- zag effect.
  Hopsacking - Popular woolen or worsted suiting fabric made from a 2- and-2 or 3-and-3 basket weave.
  Horsehair - The long and lustrous hair taken from the mane and tail of horses. One of the most common uses is in blends with other fibers for hair canvas interfacings.
  Hot Head Press - A type of pressing machine especially designed for processing durable press garments. It generates heat between 350-460 degrees F, with a pressure to six tons at the head, and is generally equipped with precision automatic controls.
  Houndstooth Check - A variation on the twill weave construction in which a broken check effect is produced by a variation in the pattern of interlacing yarns, utilizing at least two different colored yarns. This check pattern is often used in clear-finished worsted, woolen dress goods, etc.
  Hydrophilic Fibers - Fibers that absorb water easily, take longer to dry, and require more ironing. These fibers denote a finish that improves wearing comfort.
  Hydrophobic Fibers - Fibers that lack the ability to absorb water. These fibers denote a finish normally applied to create water-repellent products.
 
I
Indigo - A dye with a distinctive blue color. The chemical compound that constitutes the indigo dye is called indigotin. Historically, indigo played an important role in many countries' economies because natural blue dyes are rare. Among other uses, it is used in the production of denim cloth for blue jeans.
  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 either 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 - 1. An insulation, padding, or stiffening fabric, either sewn to the wrong side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric for extra weight and warmth. The interlining is used primarily to provide warmth in coats, jackets, and outerwear. 2. Firm stiff linen canvas for men's coats.
  Interlock - A special type of eight-lock knit cloth. The stitch variation of the rib stitch, which generally resembles a double 1 x 1 ribbed fabric that is interknitted with crossed sinker wales. Plain (double knit) interlock stitch fabrics are thicker, heavier, and more stable than single knit constructions. The fabric has a smooth surface on both sides, and possesses good wearing qualities.
 
J
Jacquard - Woven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides intricate 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.
  Jute - A coarse, brown fiber from the stalk of a bast plant. Chiefly from India, this fiber is used primarily for gunny sacks, bags, cordage, and binding threads in carpets and rugs.
 
K
Knit Fabric - 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.
  Knitting - The art and science of constructing fabric by interlooping of yarn loops, through the use of needles and a "loop within a loop". The most essential unit in a knit fabric is the loop or stitch. A vertical row of stitches is called a WALE; the horizontal or crosswise row of stitches is known as a COURSE. The number of wales per inch, measured across the fabric depends on the count or size of the yarn used, and the number of needles per inch in the machine. The two major classes of knitting are warp and weft.
  Knitting (Circular) - A weft knitting process where the fabric is a tube,.with the threads running continuously around the fabric. Double- knit fabrics are produced on a circular knitting machine equipped with two sets of latch needles situated at right angles to each other.
  Knitting (Flat or Single) - A weft knitting process where the fabric is in flat form. The threads run back and forth across the fabric. Shape can be added in the knitting process by increasing or decreasing the loops or stitches. Full-fashioned garments are made on a flat-knitting machine. Also called plain knit, a fabric constructed with one needle bed and one set of needles.
  Knitting (Raschel) - A versatile warp knitting made in plain and jacquard patterns; the fabrics are coarser than other warp knits. Raschel knitting machines have one or two sets of latch needles and up to thirty sets of guides that enable them to create a wide range of fabrics.
  Knitting (Warp) - A type of knitting in which the yarns generally run lengthwise in the fabric. The yarns are prepared as warps on beams. Examples of this type of knitting include tricot, Milanese, and Raschel knitting.
  Knitting (Weft) - A type of knitting, in which one continuous thread runs crosswise in the fabric making all of the loops in one course. Weft knitting types are circular and flat knitting.
 
L
Lace - The term comes from the old French, las, by way of Latin, laquens, which means a noose, or to ensnare - rather well adapted to lace. A single yarn can produce a plaited or braided fabric or article since it will interlace, entwine, and twist in several directions to produce a porous material or lace
  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.
  Lamé - 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.. See BONDING.
  Lapel - The part of a garment that is turned back in the front. The front fold on a shirt that is a continuation of the collar.
  Lapels (padding) - Attaching the lapel to canvas with several rows of blind- stitching. Requires feed of cloth fullness in horizontal and vertical planes.
  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.
  Leno Weave (Doup) - A construction of woven fabrics in which the resulting fabric is very sheer, yet durable. In this weave, two or more warp yarns are twisted around each other as they are interlaced with the filling yarns; thus securing a firm hold on the filling yarn and preventing them from slipping out of position. The yarns work in pairs; one is the standard warp yarn, the other is the skeleton or doup yarn. Also called the gauze weave. Leno weave fabrics are frequently used for window treatments, because their structure gives good durability with almost no yarn slippage, and permits the passage of light and air.
  Linen - A fabric made from linen fibers obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant. The term, linen, cannot be used except for natural fiber flax. The fiber length ranges from a few inches to one yard, with no fuzziness, does not soil quickly, and has a natural luster and stiffness. 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. Linen is one of the oldest textile 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.
  Loom-Finished - Material sold in the same condition in which the goods came from the loom---duck, webbing, canvas, burlap, etc.
 
M
Madras - One of the oldest staples in the cotton trade, 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.
  Melton - A heavily felted, hard, plain face-finished cloth used for overcoatings, uniform fabrics, hunting cloth, and riding habits. Light melton is the fabric used asunder-collar cloth in coatings.
  Mercerization - A process of treating a cotton yarn or fabric, in which the fabric or yarn is immersed in a caustic soda solution and later neutralized in acid. The process causes a permanent swelling of the fiber, resulting in an increased luster on the surface of the fabric, an increased affinity for dyes, and increased strength.
  Merino - A type of wool that originates from pure-bred Merino sheep. The best Merino wool comes from Italy. The highest, finest and best wool obtained anywhere in the world. This fiber is used only in the best of woolen and worsted fabrics, billiard cloth, etc.
  Microdeniers - One of the most important developments in spinning man- made fibers is the technology of microdeniers where continuous filament fibers emerge from a spinnerette less than one denier per filament in weight. This makes polyester, nylon, acrylic, or rayon, thinner than a silk-worm's web, which is one denier per filament. by comparison, a human hair is generally 2 to 4 deniers per filament. These superfine fibers have made a striking impact on fashion around the world in dress, sportswear, intimate apparel and activewear fabrics.
  Minimum Care - Requiring normal home laundering methods and light ironing to produce satisfactory results.
  Mohair - The long, lustrous and strong hair fibers from the Angora goat. End-uses include sweaters, coats, suits, and scarves.
  Moiré/Watermarked - A corded fabric, usually made from silk or one of the manufactured fibers, which has a distinctive water-marked wavy pattern on the face of the fabric where bright-and-dim effects are observed.
  Mylar - A polyester film used to cover a metallic yarn.
 
N
Nanofiber - Refers to fibers that are typically manufactuered through an electrospinning process, which spins fibers in diameters ranging from 10nm (nanometers) to several hundred nanometers, but usually less than 1,000 nm. In scientific terms, nanofibers are generally considered as having a diameter of less than one micron. The name nanofiber comes from the nanometer, which is a scientific unit of measurement representing a billionth of a meter, or three to four atoms wide. Current uses for nanofiber technology is in the fields of medical products, consumer products, industrial products, and high-tech applications for aerospace, capacitors, transistors, drug delivery systems, battery separators, energy storage, filtration, fuel cells, and information technology.
  Napping - The raising of fibers on the face of the goods by means of teasels or rollers covered with card clothing (steel wires) that are about one inch in height. Action by either method raises the protruding fibers and causes the finished fabric to provide greater warmth to the wearer, makes the cloth more compact, causes the fabric to become softer in hand or smoother in feel, increases durability and covers the minute areas between the interlacings or the warp and the filling.
  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.
  Nonwoven Fabric - A textile structure held together by interlocking of fibers 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 - Produced in 1938, the first completely synthetic fiber developed. Known for its high strength and excellent resilience, nylon has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility. A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long chain synthetic polyamide.
 
O
Off-pressing - Pressing done after the garment is completely sewn.
  Olefin (polyolefin/polypropylene) - A manufactured fiber characterized by its light weight, high strength, and abrasion resistance. Olefin is also good at transporting moisture, creating a wicking action. End-uses include activewear apparel, rope, indoor-outdoor carpets, lawn furniture, and upholstery.
  Open-shoulder construction - A method used on better coats that is characterized by hand-sewn lining shoulder seams.
  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.
  Osnaburg - A tough medium to heavyweight coarsely woven plain weave fabric, usually made of a cotton or cotton/poly blend. Lower grades of the unfinished fabric are used for such industrial purposes as bags, sacks, pipe coverings. Higher grades of finished osnaburg can be found in mattress ticking, slipcovers, workwear, and apparel.
  Outseam - The distance from the bottom of the trouser leg to the top of the pant 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.
  Oven - Enclosed heating chamber used by garment manufacturers to apply heat for the purpose of applying heat to a garment to set, or cure (bake), a durable press finish on the article.
  Oxford - Soft, somewhat porous, and rather stout cotton shirting given a silk-like luster finish. Made on small repeat basket weaves, the fabric soils easily because of the soft, bulky filling used in the goods. The cloth comes in all white or may have stripes with small geometric designs between these stripes.
 
P
Parachute Fabric - A compactly woven, lightweight fabric comparable with airplane cloth. It is made of silk, nylon, rayon, cotton, or polyester.
  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 are the more accepted terms, and are the ones approved by the Federal Trade Commission.
  Perspiration Resistant - Said of fabrics or garments that resist acid or alkaline perspiration. Laboratory test results should be consulted prior to selling any fabric or garment as perspiration- resistant.
  Pick - A filling yarn that runs crosswise between selveges in woven goods. The pick intersects with the warp (or lengthwise yarn) to form a woven cloth.
  Pile Fabric - A fabric in which certain yarns project from a foundation texture and form a pile on the surface. Pile yarns may be cut or uncut in the fabric. Corduroy and velveteen are examples of cut filling pile fabrics.
  Pile Weave - A type of decorative weave in which a pile is formed by additional warp or filling yarns interlaced in such a way that loops are formed on the surface or face of the fabric. The loops may be left uncut, or they may be cut to expose yarn ends and produce cut pile fabric.
  Pilling - A tangled ball of fibers that appears on the surface of a fabric, as a result of wear, abrasion, or continued friction or rubbing on the surface of the fabric.
  Piping - A narrow tape used to bind seams, or used for decoration.
  Piqué - Medium weight or heavy fabric with raised cords that run in warp direction.
  Plaid - A pattern consisting of colored bars or stripes which cross each other at right angles, comparable with a Scottish tartan. Plaid infers a multi-colored motif of rather large pattern repeat; the word "check" refers to similar motifs on a small scale and with fewer colors.
  Plain Edge (Bluff Edge) - A construction in which the edges of the garment are not stitched.
  Plain Weave - A basic weave, utilizing a simple alternate interlacing of warp and filling yarns. Each filling yarn passes successfully over and under each warp yarn, alternating each row. Any type of yarn made from any type of fiber can be manufactured into a plain weave fabric.
  Pleats - A portion of the fabric folded over, and secured by stitching or pressing.
  Plied Yarn - A twisting together of two or more single yarns in one operation.
  Plissé - A lightweight, plain weave, fabric, made from cotton, rayon, or acetate, and characterized by a puckered striped effect, usually in the warp direction. The crinkled effect is created through the application of a caustic soda solution, which shrinks the fabric in the areas of the fabric where it is applied. Plissé is similar in appearance to seersucker. End- uses include dresses, shirtings, pajamas, and bedspreads.
  Ply - Two or more yarns that have been twisted together. An automobile tire fabric yarn may be 9, 10, or 11 ply.
  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, turned, 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.
  Polyester - A manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950s, and is the most commonly used manufactured fiber worldwide. The fiber-forming substance in polyester is any longchain, synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of an ester of dihydric alcohol and terephthalic acid. Polyester has high strength (although somewhat lower than nylon), excellent resiliency, has high abrasion resistance, and resists shrinking, stretching and wrinkles. Polyester's low absorbency allows the fiber to dry quickly. Polyester fabrics are used in apparel and home furnishings (i.e. bedspreads, bedsheets, draperies and curtains). Industrial polyesters are used in ropes, tire reinforcements, safety belts, and plastics. Polyester fiberfill is used as stuffing in cushions, comforters, and pillows.
  Polypropylene (Olefin or Polyolefin) - A manufactured fiber characterized by its light weight, high strength, and abrasion resistance. Polypropylene is also good at transporting moisture, creating a wicking action. End-uses include thermal underwear, activewear apparel, rope, indoor-outdoor carpets, lawn furniture, and upholstery.
  Pongee - The most common form is a naturally colored lightweight, plain weave, silk-like fabric with a slubbed effect. End-uses include blouses, dresses, etc. Originally made of wild Chinese silk with a knotty rough weave.
  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 used to be associated with casual clothing, but as the "world of work" has become more relaxed, this fabric has developed into a staple of men's wardrobes, being used frequently in casual trousers.
  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.
  Pucker - The uneven surface caused by differential shrinkage in the two layers of a bonded fabric during processing, dry cleaning, or washing.
 
R
Rayon - A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from cotton linters or the wood pulp of pine, spruce, or hemlock trees. Today, various names for rayon fibers are taken from different manufacturing processes. The two most commonly used production methods for rayon are the cuprammonium process and the viscose process. Rayon is soft and absorbent. End-uses for rayon include shirts, dresses, and slacks.
  Reprocessed Wool - Fibers reclaimed from scraps of fabric never previously used.
  Resin - The name commonly applied to synthetic chemical compounds polymerized on the fabric or yarn to give wash- and-wear and durable press properties, crush resistance, dimentional stability, and hand to fabrics.
  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.
  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.
  Rickrack - Flat braid in a zig-zag formation. Made from several types if fibers, it is used for many kinds of trimming on apparel.
  Ring Spinning - A system of spinning, using a ring spinning frame that drafts the roving, twists the yarn, and winds it on the bobbin continuously and simultaneously on one operation. Modern ring frames are suitable for spinning all counts up to 150s.
  Rip-stop Nylon - A lightweight, wind resistant, and water resistant plain weave fabric. Large rib yarns stop tears without adding excess weight to active sportswear apparel and outdoor equipment such as sleeping bags and tents. Cloth used originally for parachutes and sails, now finding favor in fashion and accessories.
  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 - Any heavy, plain-weave canvas fabric, usually made of cotton, linen, polyester, jute, nylon, etc. that is used for sails and apparel (i.e. bottomweight sportswear).
  Sanforized® - Registered trademark of The Sanforize Company, which is the most widely recognized method of shrinkage control used by major textile mills worldwide. The process maintains residual shrinkage to not exceed 1% in either direction (according to the U.S. standard wash test CCC-T- 191a), despite repeated washings.
  Sateen Fabric - This cloth is made with a 5-end or an 8-shaft satin weave in warp-face or filling-face effects 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.
  Sateen Weave - A variation of the satin weave, produced by floating fill yarns over warp yarns. The cloth is made with a 5-end or an 8- shaft satin weave in warp-face or filling-face effects.
  Satin Weave - A basic weave, characterized by long floats of yarn on the face of the fabric. The yarns are interlaced in such a manner that there is no definite, visible pattern of interlacing and, in this manner, a smooth and somewhat shiny surface effect is achieved. The shiny surface effect is further increased through the use of high luster filament fibers in yarns which also have a low amount of twist. A true satin weave fabric always has the warp yarns floating over filling yarns. The name satin originated in Zaytun, China. Satin cloths were originally of silk and simulations are now made from acetate, rayon, and some of the other man-made fibers.
  Saxony - Originally a high grade coating fabric made from Saxony merino wool raised in Germany.
  Schiffli Embroidery - Originated in Switzerland, the word, Schiffli, means "boat", identifiable with the boat-shaped shuttle used in the frame. The lace effect is made by embroidering the motifs on a net ground.
  Scotchgard® - Registered trademark of the 3M Company for fabric protector finish that repels against staining from water and spills.
  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.
  Seat - The circumference of a pant, measured perpendicular to the fly opening and from the base of the fly.
  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 traditionally made into summer sportswear such as shirts, trousers, and informal suits.
  Self-goods - When the same material is used as a pocket lining, or in a waistband, collar and fly construction. Also called shell.
  Selvage or Selvedge - The thin compressed edge of a woven fabric which runs parallel to the warp yarns and prevents raveling. It is usually woven, utilizing tougher yarns and a tighter construction than the rest of the fabric. Other names for it are listing, self-edge, raw edge.
  Serge - One of the oldest basic terms in textiles, it now implies any smooth face cloth made with a two-up and two-down twill weave, especially pertinent to worsted serge.
  Serging - An overcasting technique done on the cut edge of a fabric to prevent raveling.
  Shantung - A silk fabric very similar to but heavier than pongee. 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.
  Shell - A outer fabric from which the garment is made.
  Shuttle - The boat-like devise on weaving machines, which carries the filling yarn wound on the bobbin. The shuttle moves from the shuttle box on one side of the loom, through the shed, and onto the shuttle box at the other side of the loom.
  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 - The only natural fiber that comes in a filament form; from 300 to 1,600 yards in length as reeled from the cocoon produced by the silkworm. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China.
  Singeing - Process of burning off protruding fibers from fabrics to give the fabric a smooth surface.
  Sizing - The application of a size mixture to warp yarn. The purpose of this is to make the yarn smoother and stronger to withstand the strain of weaving, to provide an acceptable hand in the woven gray goods, and to increase fabric weight.
  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 Finish - 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.
  Spinning - This final operation in the production of a natural yarn, consists of of the drawing, twisting, and the winding of the newly spun yarn onto a device such as a bobbin, spindle, cop, tube, cheese, etc. In manufactured fibers, the spinning process is the extrusion of a spinning solution into a coagulation bath, a heated air chamber, or a cooling area in order to form a continuous filament or tow.
  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.
  Spun Yarn - A yarn made by taking a group of short staple fibers, which have been cut from the longer continuous filament fibers, and then twisting these short staple fibers together to form a single yarn, which is then used for weaving or knitting fabrics.
  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 specific length from the continuous filament fiber. Usually the staple fiber is cut in lengths ranging from 1-1/2 inches to 8 inches long. A group of staple fibers are twisted together to form a yarn, which is then woven or knit into fabrics.
  Stay - A piece of fabric used to hold another piece of fabric in place, or to add strength to a seam or tack.
  Stitch (Backstitch) - Used at the beginning and end of stitching to reinforce and prevent raveling. Also called backtack or stay-stitch.
  Stitch (Baste) - A stitching which holds the fabric in place until permanent stitching has been completed.
  Stitch (Blind) - A stich that is not visible on one side of the fabric.
  Stitch (Chain/Class 100) - A stitch formed with one or more needle threads, the look=ps of which are passed through the material and through the loops of the preceding threads.
  Stitch (Contrasting) - When the stitching thread contrasts the garment color.
  Stitch (Dbl. Lock or Chain/Class 400 - A stitch formed with two or more groups of threads that interlace each other. The loops of needle thread are passed through the material where they are secured by looper threads; no bobbins used. This stitching ravels in one direction.
  Stitch (Flat Seam/Class 600) - Multi-needle stitches that provide the elasticity necessary for knits.
  Stitch (Hand/Class 200) - A stitch formed by hand with one or more needles---one thread per needle passing in and out of the material.
  Stitch (Lock/Class 300) - A stitch formed with two or more groups of threads that interface each other. The loops of needle threads are passed through the material where they are secured by bobbin threads.
  Stitch (Overedge/Class 500) - A stitch formed with one or more groups of threads at least one of which passes around the edge of the material.
  Stitch (Safety) - A combination chain-stitch and overedge stitch made simultaneously on the same sewing machine.
  Stitch (Top) - A second row of stitching close to the edge of a seam, after two or more pieces of fabric have been sewed together and turned to bury the raw seam margin side.
  Stitch (Zig-Zag) - A stitch made on a sewing machine in which the needle bar comes down alternately on the right and left side of an imaginary center line. Also refers to the type of machine producing this stitch.
  Stretch Yarns - Continuous filament synthetic yarns that have been altered through special treatments or modification to give them elasticity. Techniques include: twisting and untwisting, use of air jets, stuffer boxes, knife blades, crimping, heat setting, curling, steaming, or looping. Use of these yarns gives fabrics a degree of elasticity and comfort.
 
T
Taffeta - A lustrous, medium weight, plain weave fabric with a slight ribbed appearance in the filling (crosswise) direction, and usually with a sheen on its surface. For formal wear, taffeta is a favorite choice. It provides a crisp hand, with lots of body. Silk taffeta gives the ultimate rustle, but other fibers are also good choices.
  Tape - Fabric sewn to a garment at the front edges, armholes, shoulder, neck, sideseams, vents, bottoms, gorge seams, etc. It is usually designed to prevent distortion of a fabric edge or seam.
  Tear Strength - The force necessary to tear a fabric, measured by the force necessary to start or continue a tear in a fabric. Expressed in pounds or in grams, the most commonly used method for determining the tear strength is the Elmendorf tear test procedure.
  Tensile Strength (Breaking Stregth) - The strength shown by a fiber, yarn, or fabric to resist breaking under pressure. It is the actual number of pounds of resistance that a fabric will give before the material is broken on the testing machine.
  Terry Cloth - A typical uncut pile weave fabric. This fabric is formed by using two sets of warp yarns. One set of warp yarns is under very little tension; when the filling yarns are packed into place, these loose yarns are pushed backward along with the filling yarns, and loops are formed. The cloth has uncut loops on both sides of the fabric. Typical uses include towels, robes, and apparel.
  Thread Count - The number of ends and picks per inch in a woven cloth; the number of wales and courses per inch in a knit fabric. See "Count of Cloth".
  Ticking - A tightly woven, very durable fabric, usually made of cotton, and used for covering mattresses, box springs, pillows, and work clothes. The fabric can be made by using a plain, satin, or twill weave construction.
  Ticking - Compactly woven cotton cloth used for containers, covers for mattresses and pillows, sportswear (hickory stripes), institution fabric, and work clothes. It is striped cloth, usually white background with blue or brown stripes in the motif.
  Tow - A large bundle of continuous manufactured filament fibers, such as polyester, as they are extruded from the spinerette, and before they have been cut into staple fibers.
  Tricot Knit - A warp knit fabric in which the fabric is formed by interlooping adjacent parallel yarns. The warp beam holds thousands of yards of yarns in a parallel arrangement, and these yarns are fed into the knitting area simultaneously. Sufficient yarns to produce the final fabric width and length are on the beam. Tricot knits are frequently used in women's lingerie items such as slips, bras, panties, and nightgowns.
  Trim-cut - Tapered and tailored, or a form-fitting garment.
  Trunk - Double the length of a coverall, from the center of the neckhole at the back to the point of the leg separation on the seat seam.
  Turning - The reversing of two or more pieces of material that are seamed together for pressing or topstitching.
  Twill Weave - A fundamental weave characterized by diagonal lines, usually at a 45 degree angle. In a warp-faced twill, the warp yarns produce the diagonal effect. It is one of the three basic weaves, the others being plain and satin. All weaves, either simple, elaborate or complex, are derived from these three weaves. Twill is the most common weave for bottom-weight uniform fabrics.
 
U
Under-press - To press the underside of a garment section during manufacturing to open the seams and give it shape.
 
V
Velcro® - Nylon material made with both a surface of tiny hooks and a complementary surface of an adhesive pile, used in matching strips that can be pressed together or pulled apart for easy fastening and unfastening.
  Velour - A medium weight, closely woven fabric with a thick pile. It can be made using either a plain weave or a satin weave construction. It resembles velvet, but has a lower cut pile. End uses include apparel, upholstery, and drapes.
  Velvet - A medium weight short cut-pile constructed fabric in which the cut pile stands up very straight in a succession of rows that stand so close together as to give an even, uniform surface. It is woven using two sets of warp yarns; the extra set creates the pile. Velvet, a luxurious fabric, is commonly made with a filament fiber for high luster and a smooth, soft hand.
  Velveteen - A filling pile cloth in which the pile is made by cutting an extra set of filling yarns which weave in a float formation. These yarns are woven or bound into the back of the material at intervals by weaving over and under one or more warp ends.
  Virgin Wool - New wool that has never been used before, or reclaimed from any spun, woven, knitted, felted, manufactured or used products.
  Voile - A crisp, lightweight, plain weave cotton-like fabric, made with high twist yarns in a high yarn count construction. Similar in appearance to organdy and organza. Used in blouses dresses and curtains.
 
W
Waist - The circumference of a garment normally taken at the top of the waistband with the garment closed.
  Waistband (one-piece) - A single thickness of fabric that is doubled and stitched to the top of a pant.
  Waistband (Two-piece) - When two identical pieces of fabric are placed back-to-back at the top of a pant, raw edges turned inside, and joined with two widely spaced rows of stitching. the pant body is inserted betweeen and along one edge.
  Warp - In all woven fabrics, this is the set of yarn running lengthwise - machine direction - parallel to the selvage and interwoven with the filling. It is the set of yarns wound together on a beam for the purpose of weaving or warp knitting.
  Warp Knitting - A type of knitted fabric construction in which the yarns are formed into stitches in a lengthwise manner. There are two basic types: weft knits and warp knits. Warp knits are knitted with intermeshing loops disposed in a lengthwise or warp direction, while weft knits have their loops intermeshed in a width-wise or weft direction. Warp knits are generally less elastic than weft knits. Common examples of warp knits are tricot knits and raschel knits.
  Wash-and-Wear - Ability of a garment to be washed by hand or in a washing machine and require little or no ironing. Also referred to as "easy care".
  Washable - Materials that will not fade or shrink during washing or laundering. Labels should be read by the consumer to assure proper results. Do not confuse with "wash-and- wear".
  Watch Pocket - A small pocket in the garment, typically located just below the front waistband of men's trousers and used to accomodate change or a pocket watch.
  Water Repellent - Ability of a fabric to resist penetration by water, under certain conditions
  Water Resistant - Fabric treated chemically to resist water or given a "wax- coating treatment" to make it repellent. A degree by which water is able to penetrate a fabric. Not to be confused with water-repellent. However, the terms are often used interchangeably.
  Waterproof - A term applied to fabrics whose pores have been closed, and therefore, will not allow water or air to pass through them.
  Weaving - The process of forming a fabric on a loom by interlacing the warp (lengthwise yarns) and the filling (crosswise yarns) perpendicular to each other. Filling is fed into the goods from cones, filling bobbins or quills, which carry the filling yarns through the shed of the loom. Filling may also be inserted into the material without the use of a shuttle, as in the case of a shuttleless loom. The three basic weaves are Plain, Twill, and Satin. All other weaves, no matter how intricate, employ one or more of these basic weaves in their composition. Variations on the basic weaves make a variety of different fabric surfaces and fabric strengths.
  Weight of Cloth - There are three ways by which fabric is sold. 1. Ounces per linear yard: a 14-ounce covert topcoating, a 22-ounce melton overcoating. 2. Yards to the pound: a 3.60 airplane cloth, a 4.00 filling sateen. 3. Ounces per square yard: a 3.75 acetate satin, a 6.00 nylon organdy.
  Welt - 1. A strip of material seamed to a pocket opening as a finishing, as well as a strengthening device. 2. A raised or swelled lap or seam. 3. A covered cord or ornamental strip sewed on a border or along a seam. 4. In knitting, it is flat- knitted separately and then joined to the fabric by looping or hand knitting, as the heel to the stocking. 5. A ribbed piece of knit goods used in forming the end of a sleeve or sock to prevent rolling or raveling.
  Welt Lining - Interlining for pocket welts.
  Whipcord - A woven fabric with a very steep and compacted twill appearance on the face of the goods. End-uses for the fabric include dress woolens, worsteds, or wool blends, and many types of uniforms.
  White Goods - A very broad term which implies any goods bleached and finished in the white condition. Some of the cotton white goods are muslin, cambric, dimity, lawn, longcloth, organdy, voile, etc.
  White-on-White - Some fabrics, such as men's shirtings or broadcloth, poplin, madras, etc., are made on a dobby or jacquard loom so the white motifs will appear on a white background.
  Wigwan - A converted cotton cloth, dyed black, brown or gray, and given a firm starched, plain calender finish, and used for interlinings in men's and boys's clothing to give body to the garment.
  Woof - Comes from the Anglo-Saxon "owef". It is another name for the warp or warp yarn. Sometimes in advertising textiles, the word has been used to imply filling yarn, and made to interchange with the other term, weft.
  Wool - Usually associated with fiber or fabric made from the fleece of sheep or lamb. However, the term "wool" can also apply to all animal hair fibers, including the hair of the Cashmere or Angora goat or the specialty hair fibers of the camel, alpaca, llama, or vicuna. Commonly used in slacks and outerwear.
  Worsted Fabric - A tightly woven fabric made by using only long staple, combed wool or wool-blend yarns. Worsted yarn is smooth- surfaced and spun from evenly combed, long staple fibers. The fabric has a hard, smooth surface. Gabardine and surge are examples of worsted fabrics. A common end use is men's tailored suits.
  Worsted System - The textile process of manufacturing spun yarns from staple fibers usually over 3 inches in length. The main operations are carding, combing, drafting, and spinning.
  Wrinkle Free - A resistant to wrinkling created through the use of a variety of finishes and treatments.
  Wrinkle Recovery - Similar to resiliency. It is the ability of a fabric to bounce back after it has been twisted, wrinkled, or distorted in any way. Some fabrics are able to eliminate wrinkles because of their own resilience. Wool is among those, as are thermo- plastic manufactured fibers and chemically-treated cottons. Laboratory tests are made to determine the amount or degree a fabric will recover from wrinkling.
 
Y
Yarn - A continuous strand of textile fibers created when a cluster of individual fibers are twisted together. These long yarns are used to create fabrics, either by knitting, plaiting, or weaving.
  Yoke (self) - The entire back of a garment is one piece and has a single yoke superimposed on the outside.
  Yoke (Two-pierce) - Two identical pieces of fabric are joined to a shortened back piece to produce the total back.
  Yokeless Shirt - The front and backs of a shirt are joined without a yoke facing.
 
Z
Zipper - The physical parts of the zipper are: scoop teeth, chain, lock, pull tape, and slider. Zippers used in industrial clothing are metal or brass. Plastic zippers are used typical apparel garments. Zippers are used as a closure in pants, skirts, and dresses.
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