A Repository of Textile Articles

Apparel Terms

Glossary of common terms used by people directly or indirectly related to Apparel/Garment/Clothing Industry.

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Glossary of Terms

A-lineA garment with sloping sides, the widest part being
at the hemline
AlterTo change patterns so that it corresponds to
body measurements
AllowanceExtra fabric outside the seamline or within the
garment to accommodate gathers, ease, tucks and
AppliqueDecorative pieces of fabric applied by hand or
ArmholeThe opening in a garment for the arm
ArmscyeIt is commonly known as Armhole
BackstitchA small hand stitch that looks like machine stitching
on the right side, but with stitches overlapping on
the wrong side
BandsStrips of fabric, ribbon or bias applied to edges or
set into garments to finish or decorate.
BarA group of cross threads used to stay the ends of a
BasqueA woman’s tight-fitting dress-waist made separate
from the skirt and having the waistline finish attached
to the waist portion
BastingA long, loose temporary stitch made by hand or
Bell sleeveA straight sleeve flaring at the bottom
BiasAny direction in the fabric which does not follow
exactly the selvedge or weft yarns. A true bias makes
and angle of 450 across the lengthwise and
widthwise grain. It has maximum stretch.
BindingA bias strip of material used to enclose a raw edge
as a finish or trim
Bishop’s sleeveA long, full sleeve gathered onto a narrow cuff
BlendA mixture of different fibers in one yarn or different
yams in one fabric, each lending its own
characteristics of the fabric
Blind stitchA form of hemming made by catching only one
thread of the outer fabric
BraidA woven novelty trim, finished at both edges
BridesThe threads of warp or weft connecting parts of the
pattern in lace
BuckramA stiff fabric made by impregnating a light-weight
open cloth with adhesives and fillers
CapThe top part of a sleeve which is curved to fit the
Cap sleeveExtension of the shoulder and upper armhole to
cover the top of the arm
CasingA hem with an opening so that ribbon or elastic may
be drawn through
Center frontThe position of the pattern or garment at the exact
the center of the front section of the garment.
ClipA small cut in the seam allowance of a garment
which allows a comer or curved area to turn and lie
ClosingA placket or any garment opening.
ConstructionBasic seams that give shape to flat cloth.
Co-ordinatesA number of garments which match and can be worn
together in different combinations.
Cord pipingA cord which is encased in bias fabric and used to
finish and decorate edges, waistlines, buttonholes
and furnishings.
Cord seamA seam with a corded effect which is produced by
turning both seam edges to one side and then
stitching through the three thicknesses of material.
CostumeDress belonging to a given country, time and class.
Count of YarnA number indicating the mass per unit length or the
length per unit mass of a yam.
DartA fold of fabric stitched to a point at one end. Used
to fit body curves.
Design linesLines or seams that add design and make the
garment different.
DrapeSoft folds of fabric 7ic controlled by pleats or gathers.
DrapedA style in which the fabric is gathered or folded into
unpressed pleats to create a soft effect and provide
DressformA duplicate of the human form which is useful for
fitting or draping a garment.
Ease(a) Extra measurement allowed for comfort. It is
the difference between actual body measurement
and the size of the garment.
(b) To work in excess material that has been allowed
for comfort.
Edge stitchA line of stitching placed along an edge, usually
decorative finish.
EdgingNarrow lace having one finished edge and the other.
usually scalloped or indented. Used for trimmings.
EndAn individual strand of yarn.
ExtensionAdditional fabric jutting out beyond a seam or a center
EyeletA small hole in a garment finished by hand or a
metal ring to hold the prong of a buckle. Also for
lacing with ribbon and cord.
FacingA shaped or bias piece of self-fabric applied to a
garment edge as a finish.
FasteningsHooks and eyes, press buttons, and zippers used
to fasten garments.
FittingsAdjusting the pattern or garment-to fit the individual
FlaredA style which is much wider around the lower edge.
FlounceFlared bands of fabric, sometimes gathered and
used to decorate edges of garments or used in tiers
to make a skirt.
Fly frontA closing which conceals buttons or zippers of
FrayThe threads which come out during the handling of
GatheringOne or two rows of stitching, either by hands or
a machine, that is drawn up to form even fullness.
GinghamPlain weave fabric constructed with colored woven
check pattern.
GodetsA shaped or pleated section of material inserted
into garments.
GoreA skirt section that is shaping up to the hip level and
then flared out to the hemline.
GrainThe direction of threads in a woven fabric. The
lengthwise grain runs parallel to the selvedge and
the cross-wise grain from selvedge to selvedge.
Grey goodsWoven fabrics as they leave the loom before being
bleached dyed or finished.
GussetA shaped piece of fabric inserted usually at the
underarm of the garment to provide comfort.
Hand-finishingThe details sewn by hand to finish the garment.
HemThe finish formed by folding back the raw edge of a
garment to the wrong side.
HemlineThe line designating the finished length of a garment.
Knife pleatsSeries of-pleats that turn in the same direction. They
are usually equal in width and are pressed straight
down to the hem.
LayoutThe arrangement of pattern pieces on the material
so as to ensure economical cutting.
LiningA fabric used inside garments. Its edges may be
attached to the garment at the seams with slip stitch
or it may hang loosely from the neck or from the waist
in the case of skirts.
LoopA fastening which extends beyond the finished edge,
used for closings with no overlap. Can be made
of thread, cord or fabric.
Machine bastingA temporary machine stitching using the longest
machine stitch.
MarkingTransferring all necessary pattern lines or markings
to the wrong side of the fabric.
NapThe word means “pile” Pile fabrics should always
be cut in one direction only.
NotchA small V-shaped mark or cut, on seam allowance
of the pattern pieces.
OpeningTerm used interchangeably with closing.
PileWeave of a fabric with upright surface yams such
as velvet or velveteen.
PintucksTucks as fine as the width of a pin.
PinkingJagged cut finish for a raw edge.
PlacketA closing or opening in a garment.
PleatsFolds of fabric used to control fullness.
Princess lineSeam lines running from shoulder or armhole to the
hem with no waist seam.
PuckerTo draw up into folds and wrinkles.
Puff sleevesShort sleeves having fullness gathered into the
armhole, and into a band or binding at the lower
RaglanA style in which the armhole seams run up to the
neckline giving a loose and comfortable fit.
RavelYans drew out along the edge of the fabric.
RibbonAn attractive woven fabric with a lustrous
appearance, used for trimming and adornment.
RicracA flat, woven braid made in the zigzag form
RipTo open a seam by pulling out or cutting the stitching
Rolled hemA kind of hem used on sheer fabrics. The edge is
rolled tightly between the thumb and forefingers of the
left hand and hemming is done to hold the roll in
RuffleA band of fabric that is gathered or pleated and
applied to an edge as a trimming
SagThe stretch that occurs in the bias grain of a garment
after hanging or as the effect of strain on any part
of a garment
ScallopAn edge finish made up of a series of semicircles
SmockA straight garment with a gathered or smocked yoke
StayA reinforcement of fabric or tape, to hold a part of a
garment securely in position
Stay bindingA narrow, woven fabric generally used for the
covering of seams and the strengthening of
Stay stitchingA row of stitching worked just inside, the seam
allowance and close to the stitching line in order to
prevent areas of the bias or curve from stretching
Straight of goodsA term used to designate the length-wise in a fabric
TackTo fasten two fabric surfaces together loosely by
running stitches
Tailor’s tackA stitch used to transfer pattern markings to the
TaperTo decrease width gradually and bring to a point
Thread countThe number of threads in a square inch of fabric
Top StitchingA line of stitching along the seam line on the right
side of a garment, to add strength or design
TrimTo cut off ragged edges or a part of a seam allowance
to prevent it from being bulky and to give the seam
a neat edge
TrimmingAn ornamental addition used on garments
TubingA hollow cylinder of fabric used for button loops and
decorative trim
TucksStraight folds of fullness, evenly stitched
UnderlapA part of a garment that extends or laps under
another part
UnderlayAn additional piece of fabric placed under a section
for the purpose of joining, as in a pleat or slot seam
WeaveThe pattern of interlacing of warp and weft yams in
a wove fabric
WrapThe upper part of an opening which overlaps the
YardageThe amount of fabric needed to make a particular
YokeSeparately made shoulder piece of bodice or the
top of a skirt
1 Comment
  1. Bhat Somika Bhat says

    nice way to explain how garment industry runs

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