Glossary of Industry Terms

Term

Description

1x1 Rib  A type of fabric construction commonly used for sleeve and neckbands that is highly elastic and retains its shape.
2 way zipper  A zip that can be pulled in both directions.
Absorbency The ability of fabric to take in moisture. Very important in relation to skin comfort, but other factors important too, effect on static build up, staining and removal, water repellency, shrinkage and wrinkling.
A-Line A garment with sloping sides, the widest part being at the hemline.
Allowance Extra fabric outside the seamline or within the garment to accommodate gathers, ease, tucks and pleats.
Anti-Pill The resistance of fabric to form little balls on the surface due to abrasion during wear.
Armhole The opening in a garment for the arm.
Azo dyes Potentially carcinogenic banned dyestuffs.
Back tack Where the machine is reversed at the end of a seam to prevent run back of the sewing.
Bands Strips of fabric, ribbon or bias applied to edges or set into garments to finish or decorate.
Bartack A stitch pattern put in by an automatic machine to reinforce stress points.
Binding A bias strip of material used to enclose a raw edge as a finish or trim.
Blend A mixture of different fibres in one yarn or different yams in one fabric, each lending it’s own characteristics to the fabric.
Blind stitch A form of hemming made by catching only one thread of the outer fabric.
Breathability Popular misnomer which really should be Moisture Vapour Permeable. The ability of a fabric to transpire moisture vapour reducing condensation by physical or chemical means.
Breathable Fabric A breathable fabric is one that allows air to pass through it. This function helps keep you cool, by allowing warmth from your body to dissipate or by allowing cooler air to move in.
Brushed Cotton Brushed cotton is a soft and fuzzy-textured fabric. It is made by mechanically brushing one side of 100% cotton with a fine brush to raise the fibres and create a soft and fluffy texture.
Calendaring Heat and pressure finishing process to put a lustrous, glazed or embossed finish on one or both surfaces of a fabric.
Cap The top part of a sleeve which is curved to fit the armhole.
Capsleeve Extension of the shoulder and upper armhole to cover the top of the arm.
Carding Combing process of raw fibres to clean and sort, creates thin layer of fibre prior to spinning.
Casing A hem with an opening so that ribbon or elastic may be drawn through.
Centre front The position of the pattern of garment at the exact centre of the front section of the garment.
Chambray Chambray is a cotton plain-weave fabric made with a dyed warp yarn and a white filling yarn. While it may look like denim, chambray is lighter and is woven differently
Clip A small cut in the seam allowance of a garment which allows a comer or curved area to turn and lie flat.
Closing A placket or any garment opening.
CMYK The CMYK acronym stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key: those are the colours used in the printing process. A printing press uses dots of ink to make up the image from these four colours.
Colourfastness A dyed fabric’s ability to resist fading due to light exposure and washing.
Combed Cotton Combed cotton is made by further treating the cotton after it's been picked, then spun into yarn. The combed cotton will clean out a lot of foreign substances in the process of making the fabric. Compared to regular cotton, combed cotton is smoother and less prone to pilling
Construction Basic seams that give shape to flat cloth lines.
CoolPlus® Fabric using a specifically engineered yarn creating a permanent wicking function. Absorbs moisture from the skin and transports it to the fabric’s surface, where it evaporates to keep the wearer cool and comfortable.
Co-ordinates A number of garments which match and can be worn together in different combinations.
Cord piping A cord which is encased in bias fabric and used to finish and decorate edges, waistlines, button holes and furnishings.
Cord seam A 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.
Cotton Natural fibre from Cotton plant seed pod. Typically ½ inch to 2 inches long fibres. Highest quality is Egyptian variety with fibres longer than 1 ½ inch.
Count of yarn A number indicating the mass per unit length or the length per unit mass of a yarn.
Coverseamed Two needles are used, to overlap the threads underneath, reinforcing the seams with a smooth layer of threads. This provides a look like double needle stitching.
Crocking This is when dye rubs off a fabric improperly dyed washed or finished.
Dart A fold of fabric stitched to a point at one end. Used to fit to body curves.
Denier Measurement relating to weight of continuous filament fibre, Denier equals weight in grams of 9000 metres of that fibre. The finer the fibre, the lower the number and vice versa.
Design lines Lines or seams that add design and make the garment different.
Digitising To convert artwork into a digital form that can be processed by an printer/embroidery machine.
Direct to Garment Printing (DTG) The direct to garment (DTG) process involves printing a digital image, directly onto a garment using specialised ink.
Dobby weave Raised or textured weave available in many patterns.
Drape Soft folds of fabric controlled by pleats or gathers.
Draped A style in which the fabric is gathered or folded into unpressed pleats to create a soft effect and provide shaping.
Drop Tail A design feature where the back of the garment is longer than the front, sometimes referred to as an elongated back.
Dyed-to-match Buttons or trims that are the same colour as the garment.
Ease Extra measurement allowed for comfort. It is the difference between actual body measurement and the size of the garment.
Easy Iron A garment that has properties which limits creasing.
Easycare A garment that requires minimal ironing and washes easy.
Edge stitch A line of stitching placed along an edge, usually decorative finish.
Edging Narrow lace having one finished edge and the other usually scalloped or indented. Used for trimmings.
Elasticity The ability of a fabric to return to it’s original size after stretching.
End An individual strand of yarn.
Enzyme Washed  Washing process that uses a cellulose-based solution to obtain garments that appear to have been stonewashed or acid washed. Gives a very soft finish.
EPS An EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is a type of vector graphic file. They are lossless, meaning that the file stores the information about the graphic in a way that makes it possible to enlarge or reduce the image without losing any quality.
Extension Additional fabric jutting out beyond a seam or a centre line.
Eyelet A 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.
Facing Finishing fabric inside garments.
Fine Knit Gauge Lightweight knitted material, ensures a smoother hand and fabric surface, allowing for better print.
Fittings Adjusting the pattern or garment-to fit the individual figure.
Flock Printing The flock printing process is similar to vinyl printing where the design is cut-out using a plotter and applied to the product using an industrial heat-press. Flock printing can be achieved by using flock vinyl which gives the design a 3D ‘furry’ finish to it.
Garment Dyed Garment dyeing is the process of dying a fabric after it has been cut and sewn into finished garments.
Garment Washed Garment washing is a technology within textile production process, which is used to modify the appearance and increase comfort ability. The main advantage of garment washing is the retention of size and shape
Gathering One or two rows of stitching, either by hands or machine, that are drawn up to form even fullness.
Gauge Normally refers to number of needles per inch in knitting machinery.
GIF A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images. Not the best format for printing. 
GLM Fabric weight in grams per linear metre, fabric width must be known.
Grain The direction of threads in a woven fabric. The lengthwise grain runs parallel to the selvedge and the cross-wise grain from selvedge to selvedge.
GSM Fabric weight in Grams per square metre.
Gusset A shaped piece of fabric inserted usually at the underarm of the garment to provide comfort.
Hand finishing The details sewn by hand to finish the garment.
Hem The finish formed by folding back the raw edge of a garment to the wrong side.
Hemline The line designating the finished length of a garment.
Herringbone Zig Zag weave effect variation of Herringbone.
High-Res High resolution images are pictures or photos where the media has higher concentrations of pixels or dots, resulting in better quality and clarity of the image, as it contains more detail. Ideal for printing.  
Hydrafort Hydrafort fabric is both waterproof and windproof, provides reliable protection from the elements whilst reducing the production of body heat. 
Hydrostatic Head Measured vertical column of water determines how waterproof a fabric is.
In Conversion Cotton It typically takes a minimum of three years of farming a field without pesticides to qualify for organic certification. There are initiatives to support farmers transitioning to organic practices by allowing them to sell their crops during this certification process. This type of cotton is referred to as transitional cotton.
Interlining Padding or stiffening included between inner and outer shells for insulation or structural purpose to maintain shape.
Interlock Variation of rib stitch where two 1x1 ribbed fabrics are interknitted. Heavy and more stable than single rib.
Isolite 5000 A waterproof and breathable light weight fabric range designed to keep you dry and comfortable outdoors. Isolite 5000 has a hydrostatic head of 5000mm.
Isotex With a waterproof hydrostatic head of 3000mm, the waterproof performance keeps the water out whilst the hydrophilic breathability system allows inner moisture vapour to escape.
Jacquard Loom attachment used in making woven fabrics to create any kind of design. Brocade and Damask are Jacquard weaves.
Jacquard Knit Jacquard knit is a specialised technique used in textile manufacturing to create intricate patterns and designs in knitted fabrics.
Jersey fabrics Smooth flat faced fabrics with textured uniform back made by interloped yarns on both flat and circular knitting machines.
JPEG or JPG JPEG files (or JPG files) are the most common format for any image files. This format can be used for both web and print but they are usually smaller in size, making them more ideal web.
Knit fabrics Fabric made from yarns running all in the same direction created by looping the yarns around each other.
Layout The arrangement of pattern pieces on the material so as to ensure economical cutting.
Lining Covering fabric in garment inside, can be printed or have woven logo included.
Locker Patch A panel sewn into the inside back portion of a garment (such as a jacket or sweatshirt) to reinforce it and minimize stretching when hung on a hook
Loop A fastening which extends beyond the finished edge, used on closings with no overlap. Can be made with thread, cord or fabric.
Low Profile A type of cap that has a shorter crown, making it feel less bulky and fit closer to the head.
Low-Res Low resolution is used to describe something such as a screen or photograph that does not show an image clearly.
Mandarin Collar  A small, close-fitting upright collar. Does not meet at the front and has no button closure.
Marking Transferring all necessary pattern lines or markings to the wrong side of the fabric.
Melange Melange yarn is produced by weaving a mixture of raw and dyed fibers together to create a unique two-tone color effect and an abstract textured pattern.
Mercerised Mercerisation is a textile finishing treatment for which improves dye uptake and tear strength, reduces fabric shrinkage, and creates a smooth feel.
Microfibre Microfibre is a synthetic fibre that is incredibly fine. Typically, it is made from a combination of polyester and polyamide (nylon). It is naturally water-repellent due to how its made and when treated, can also be waterproof.
Microfleece Microfleece is a type of fabric that is soft, lightweight, and known for its insulating properties. It is a type of fleece fabric that is made using synthetic fibers such as polyester or polypropylene. Key benefits include its breathability and durability.
Notch A small V-shaped mark or cut, on seam allowance of the pattern pieces.
Nylon Strong synthetic fibre with great resilience, the first ever developed.
Organic Organic textiles are grown without toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilisers and genetic modification.
Organic Cotton Organic cotton refers to naturally cultivated cotton without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides or transgenic technology.
Ottoman weave A raised rib often self coloured fabric.
Oxford fabric Originally made from pure cotton, but increasingly blended with other additional materials such as polyester and rayon for stretch or wrinkle free characteristics. Machine washable, retains shape, naturally resists wrinkles so requires little ironing.
PDF A PDF (Portable Document Format)  is a file format for capturing and sending electronic documents in exactly the intended format.
Pigment Dyed Pigment dyeing involves applying the dye directly to the fabric's surface, creating a textured appearance. As a result, pigment-dyed t-shirts often have a slightly rougher texture.
Pile Weave of a fabric with upright surface yams such as velvet .
Pilling Unsightly balling of fibres on fabric surface due to friction worse on inferior fabrics.
Pique Knit or woven medium weight fabric with raised dobby designs.
Placket A closing or opening in a garment.
Pleats Folds of fabric used to control fullness.
PNG A PNG (Portable Network Graphic) is a type of image file. It's a popular file type with web designers because it can handle graphics with transparent or semi-transparent backgrounds.
Polyester Weaker than nylon but very resilient with lower water absorbency. Only cotton is more used.
Poplin A plain weave cotton fabric with very fine horizontal ribs that results in a strong, crisp fabric.
Pre Shrunk Pre-shrunk refers to a process in which cotton garments, such as t-shirts, have been treated or undergone a shrinking process before being made into the final product. This process helps minimize or prevent further shrinkage of the cotton fabric when the garment is washed or dried.
Proof A proof is a preliminary version of a printed piece, intended to show how the final piece will appear.
Puff sleeves Short sleeves having fullness gathered into the armhole, and into a band or binding at the lower edge.
Quilting A fabric constructed by layering and stitching together probably in a regular pattern. May include insulation material in the construction.
Raglan A style in which the armhole seams run up to the neckline giving a loose and comfortable fit.
Reactive Dye Most permanent of dye types.
Recycled Polyester Recycled polyester or 'rPET' is created either mechanically or chemically by collecting PET, usually in the form of used plastic bottles, and sorting, washing and breaking the material down to be spun into yarn.
Regenerated Cotton Regenerated cotton is cotton made from existing materials. Most regenerated cotton nowadays comes from pre-consumer materials, i.e. garment scraps and fabric by-products. They are sorted into similar colours before undergoing a mechanical recycling process, which produces recycled fibre that are spun back into yarns.
Resolution Resolution is the level of detail contained in an image. It refers to the number of pixels that exist within that image. The higher the resolution, and the richer the pixel count, the more detail and definition you will see.
Reverse Placket When the buttons on a placket are on the opposite side from a man’s garment. Commonly done on ladies styles.
RGB RGB (which stands for red, green and blue) is a colour model in which the colours red, green and blue are combined in various ways to reproduce a wide array of colours.
Rib knit Highly elastic knit, used for special trims, sleeve, neck and waistbands and for close fitting knitwear.
Rib weave Plain weave fabric variations with raised ribs.
Ribbon An attractive woven fabric with a lustrous appearance, used for trimming and adornment.
Ring spun A spinning process which results in smoother yarns.
Rip To open a seam by pulling out or cutting the stitching.
Rip stop Weave variation with multiple yarns creating various types of grid pattern which can stop tears, sometimes cosmetic only.
Ruffle A band of fabric that is gathered or pleated and applied to an edge as a trimming.
Scallop An edge finish made up of a series of semicircles.
Screen Printing The technique of creating a picture or pattern by forcing ink or metal on to a surface through a screen of fine material.
Self Fabric Collar/Cuffs Constructed from the same material as the body of the garment.
Selvedge Created in construction of woven fabrics along warp edges to stabilise and prevent unravelling.
Shape Retention Garment retains its shape after wear.
Shoulder to Shoulder Taping Reinforced or fashion taping that runs the length of the shoulders. Covers up the seam and allows for a sturdier garment.
Side Vents Slits in the bottom side seams of a shirt.
Spandex Fibre Elastomeric synthetic fibre which will recover original size even after repeated stretching. Used in small percentages within fabrics to make close fitting garments. Lycra from DuPont is probably the best known brand.
SpotSheild  A garment with a SpotSheild finish repels both oil and water spills. The liquid will bead up and roll off of the garment.
Spun Dyed Spun Dyed refers to the method of coloring polyester. In this process, the color dye is directly incorporated into the polyester chips before they undergo a heating process to melt and extrude them into yarns. These dyed yarns are then woven to create clothing. Using spun dyeing, along with recycled polyester, helps minimize the water and chemical usage typically associated with fabric dyeing. This method has a lower environmental impact compared to traditional dyeing methods that involve large vats of water and chemical treatments for dyeing fabric.
Stand Up Collar Type of collar that stands upright at the neck, rather than folding over.
Stay A reinforcement in fabric or tape, to hold a part of a garment securely in position.
Stay binding A narrow, woven fabric generally used for the covering of seams and the strengthening of garments.
Stay stitching A row of stitching worked just inside, the seam allowance and close to the stitching line in order to prevent areas on the bias or curve from stretching.
Storm Flap The storm flap is a protective layer to ensure water does not slip into the coat as it runs off the flap.
Sublimation Printing  Sublimation printing is a digital printing process that uses heat and pressure to transfer dye onto different materials.
Taffeta Taffeta is a crisp, lightweight fabric. This plain woven fabric is smooth to the touch, and it can be made from a variety of different materials.
Taped Seams Taped seams are where tape is applied to a garments seam from the inside. It stops the water from penetrating through the stitched holes in the material
Taper To decrease width gradually and bring to a point.
Teflon™ Materials treated with Teflon™ repel water and oil to successfully resist unpredictable spills, stains, and splashes.
Thermoguard Made up of synthetic fibres which trap the air keeping you warm in cold conditions, Thermoguard products also have quick drying properties and are easy to care for.
Thread Count The number of threads in a square inch of fabric.
Top Stitching A line of stitching along the seam line on the right side of a garment, to add strength or design.
Trim To 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.
Trimming An ornamental addition used on garments.
Tubing A hollow cylinder of fabric used for button loops and decorative trim.
Tubular Collar Collar in tube form with no seams.
Tucks Straight folds of fullness, evenly stitched.
Twill A fabric woven to have a surface of diagonal parallel ridges.
Twin Needle Stitching A twin needle (sometimes called a double needle) is composed of two needles connected by one shank at the top. The twin needle creates two parallel lines of straight stitches on the top side, with a small zigzag stitch connecting them on the underside.
Underlap A part of a garment that extends or laps under another part.
Underlay An additional piece of fabric placed under a section for the purpose of joining as in a pleat or slot seam.
Vents A vent is a vertical slit rising from the bottom hem of a jacket or a skirt, generally to allow for ease of movement and breathability. 
Warp Lengthwise yarns in woven fabrics.
Weave The pattern of interlacing of warp and weft yams in a wove fabric.
Weft Crosswire Filler yarns in woven fabrics, perpendicular to warp.
Welt Collar/Cuffs A single ply fabric with a finished edge that is used for collars and cuffs on sport shirts and short sleeve garments.
Wickability The ability of fibres or fabrics to disperse and allow moisture to pass through to the surface where it can be evaporated. Normally used in base and mid layers.
Wrap The upper part of an opening which overlaps the under layer.
Wrinkle Resist Treatment applied to fabric to make easier to care for and require minimal ironing.
Yoke Separately made shoulder piece of bodice or the top of a skirt.