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Glossary Of Fabric & Garment Terms

This is a general glossary of fabric and garment terms that may be used used in our informational videos and website articles. You can find the .

Appliqué - These are decorations or embellishments on garments where different types of fabrics are cut and applied to the surface of one type of material to create a design or pattern.

Bird's Eye - A diamond weave patterned fabric.

Bleach wash - This is a bleach wash used to soften and distress the look of fabrics.

Bolt - This refers to larger quantities of fabric on a roll. This is how the fabric comes to the manufacturer of the finished garment. A bolt of cloth may have any amount of yardage. It refers more to the uncut piece of fabric rather than the quantity.

Brushed cotton - This fabric is brushed to remove the excess lint or fibers, leaving a smoother finish.

Burn-out - A brocade-like pattern effect created on fabric through the application of a chemical, instead of color, during the burn-out printing process. When the chemical is printed in a certain pattern, it destroys the pile in those areas where the chemical comes in contact with the fabric, but leaves the ground fabric unharmed.

Canvas - Cotton, linen, or synthetic fabric made with a basic plain weave in heavy and firm weight yarns for industrial or heavy duty purposes.

Cap sleeves - A type of sleeve that hits the upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder. Most often found in ladies' garments.

Carding - This is a process of cleaning fibers used in yarn spinning.

Chintz - A printed and glazed fabric, usually cotton.

Circular Knit - Weft knit fabric made on a circular needle-bed knitting machine, which produces fabric in tubular form.

Colorfastness - This generally describes the durability in fading or running of the fabric in relation to exposure to sunlight, dry cleaning or laundering. The types of fiber, dye or treatment used for creating the color determine how "colorfast" a fabric is.

Combed cotton - This where cotton yarn is combed in order to remove small fibers and align bigger fibers in a parallel manner which gives a smoother finer yarn.

Compaction - This refers to a shrinkage control process used during manufacture.

Core Yarn - A yarn in which one type of fiber is twisted or wrapped around another fiber that serves as a core.

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.

Crochet - A loose, open knit made by looping thread with a hooked needle. Used for light, summer sweaters.

Crocking - The rubbing-off of dye from a fabric.

Decitex - The international standard for yarn weight measurement. Decitex is defined as the weight in grams of 10, 000 meters of yarn.

Denier - This is a weight measurement of filament yarns and fibers. Low numbers represent finer sizes and higher numbers the heavier yarns.

Double knit - This is a knit fabric of double weight.

Double-needle stitched - Used for sleeves or lower hems. It is a two needle process that creates parallel rows of visible stitching.

Drapability - This refers to the fabrics feel based on the body or hanging. It's how the fabric will appear hanging and draping. The more refined it looks the better the drapability.

Effect Thread - A significantly different yarn from the main yarn being used to make the garment is placed in the fabric as a highlight or effect.

Encapsulation - A process in which the fibers of a fabric are coated with a filmy substance to create certain high performance qualities, such as breathability.

End-on-end - A process using arranged warp yarns with one end of color and one end of white alternating.

Enzyme washed - This is a washing process using organic enzymes to create a washed or aged effect in the fabric pr dyes.

Face - This simply refers to the finer, more printable surface of the fabric that is used as the outside. It is the more finished side of the fabric.

Facing - An extra piece of fabric stitched into the inside of a garment for lining purposes or to add strength and structure.

Feed stripe - A knit fabric where a stripe pattern is produced by the way colored yarns are fed into the knitting machine. This is also known as yarn dyed.

Filament - This can be a very small, thin spun thread or fiber.

Finish - This generally refers to the processes used to make fabrics. Bleaching, mercerizing, steaming, singeing, and dyeing are all finishing processes.

Full Cut - This is the size scale of the brand. For instance a size large in one brand may be bigger than the same size in a different brand. The larger cut may be said to be a full cut.

Garment dyed - This means the product is dyed after being processed into a shirt as opposed to being dyed in bulk on a roll known as a bolt.

Garment washed - This is just a prewash which preshrinks and softens the finished garment.

Gusset - An added extra piece of fabric in a seam or joint such as an armpit area to provide added ability for movement.

Hand - The tactile properties of a fabric. This is the way it feels to the human hand as it is touched.

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