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  Instyle Fashion Tailor Glossary

  Bespoke Tailoring Glossary of Terms
This is a quick and easy to understand guide to help you understand more about tailoring and
the terms that we use.
If there is any other term or expression that we can help you with email us at and we will be
happy to answer you and add it to our list.
  A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W |X | Y | Z
  Alteration hand : Tailor who specialises in making alterations and adjustments to
clothing in the final stages of preparation
  Baste : Garment loosely assembled for first fitting
  Balance : Adjustment of front and back lengths of a jacket to harmonise
with the posture of a particular figure. This is very difficult to
achieve in ready to wear clothing
  Beeswax : Wax produced by bees. Often used to give added strength to
thread when making bespoke clothing
  Bemberg : Somewhat strong fabric used for lining of outer garments
  Bespoke : A garment custom - made from scratch to a customers specific
measurements and requirements. Its origin dates back to the
days when a customer ordering a garment would select and
reserve a cloth that was then "bespoken" or "spoken for"
  Blazer : Casual jacket made from woollen cloth. Can be single or double
breasted, originally navy in colour it can now be brightly
coloured or striped
  Block : Heavy, dense block of wood used in pressing to set or seal the
  Body canvas : Pure wool, and sometimes linen, canvas used in the structure
inside a gentlemen's jacket, waistcoat or overcoat to give
substance and assist in shaping
  Button down collar : A shirt collar, usually narrow, that buttons over the tie.
Not suitable for formal occasions
  Button gimp : Used when making buttonholes for suits
  Button twist : Yarn used to make buttonholes
  Canvases : The inner material used in a garment to give it shape. Canvasses
include linen, horsehair, hemps, jutes, meltons and many more
  Cashmere : Luxurious fibre from the undercoat or under layer of the Asiatic
Falconeri goat
  Cavalry Twill : A firm warp faced twill, originally used for heavy weight fabrics but
now used for a range of fabrics. Used for items such as raincoats
  Chambray : A plain weave lightweight cotton fabric primarily used for shirts
  Classic collar : Most popular style of shirt collar where the wings are cut straight
and point downward
  Cloth : A general term applied to fabrics
  Coat maker : Tailor who specialises in making jackets
  Cuff : A turned up hem, as found at the bottom of the leg of trousers or
at end of shirtsleeve
  Cummerbund : A broad waist sash, usually pleated, which is often worn with
black tie
  Cut-away collar : Style of shirt collar that is more cutaway towards the shoulder- the
degree varies. Also referred to as Windsor collar
  Cutter : Person who measures and fits the customer and then makes a
pattern from the measurements and observations of the customer's
figure and posture
  Dolly : Fabric covered wooden structure used in tailoring as base for pressing
  Double cuff : See French cuff
  Drape : The way a fabric hangs in folds
  Dye : The use of a substance to add colour to fabrics or fibres
  Dyeing : The process of applying colour to a textile product by soaking it in
a coloured solution
  Fabric : Yarns or fibres coming together in long lengths
  Fibres : Fine hair like structures, which can be natural or synthetic or
regenerated, long (filament) or short (staple)
  Flannel : Derived from the Welsh name for wool, flannel is made from woollen
yarn that is slightly twisted in the spinning and of open texture
  Foreman : Tailor who is in charge of production in a tailoring workshop
  Fusing : Use of chemicals and heat to weld the interlinings to the outer fabric
of a garment, as distinct from the superior methodology of stitching
used by bespoke tailors
  French cuff : Style of cuff on a dress or formal shirt, which is folded back and then
closed with cufflinks rather than buttons. Also known as double cuffs
  Gabardine :
Name given to a woven twill fabric, originally made from wool.
Usually used for outerwear
  Gorge : The point where the collar is attached to the lapel forming the notch
  Haircloth :
Cloth made from horsehair. Used as an inner material to give shape
to the chest of jackets, waistcoats and overcoats
  Handle : The feel of textiles when handled
  Harris Tweed : Name given to a type of woven tweed fabric, woven on the Isle of
Harris in Scotland . Key characteristics are its subtle colours and hard
  Interlinings : Jacketing lining made of a variety of fibres depending on usage and
weight. Often Bemberg, pure silk, twill, satin, rayon or viscose
  Linen : Natural vegetable-based fibre
  Loom : Machine used to produce cloth by weaving
  Lustre : Term used to describe the intensity with which light shines on a
piece of fibre
  Made to measure:
Garment made from a pre-existing stock pattern that is altered,
usually by machine, to fit the customer's measurements
  Master tailor : Individual who employs tailors
  Melton : Felt like cloth used to complete the under collar on a jacket or coat
  Merino wool : Fine, silky and super soft it is the finest grade of commercial sheep's
wool available
  Mohair : Luxurious lustrous and durable fibre produced by Angora goats
  Nylon : Synthetic fibre also known as polyamide
  Off the rack (peg): Finished clothing item sold in standard sizes
  Optima : Fabric, usually cotton, used in tailoring for pocketing, banding and
inside sleeve cuffs. Also sometimes used in making of chest on jacket
together with hair cloth and body canvas
  Pattern : Template used for the cutting out of pieces of fabric for a garment.
A well-cut pattern is essential if the finished garment is to be of top
quality (also see Cutter)
  Pleat : Fold of fabric generally pressed flat to allow extra room in garment
  Pocketing: Fabric used to make pockets for suits and coats
  Puckering : Tendency of cloth to gather in runs, often apparent on the lapel and
trouser seams and most common in fused apparel (see fusing)
  Rayon : Textile fibre or fabric made from regenerated cellulose (viscose)
  Satin : Silk fabric with glossy surface on one side
  Savile Row : Street in the West End of London that is the home of bespoke
  Shirting : Fabric from which shirts are made. Can include cotton, twill, flannel,
voile, silk, chambray and linen
  Silk : Fabric spun from silk thread, which in turn is sourced from silk worms
  Single cuff : Cuff normally found on business and long sleeve casual shirts
  Sleeve pitch : Angle at which the sleeve is pitched to the sleeve head. In a bespoke
suit the sleeve is pitched to match the angle at which the arm hangs
naturally from the shoulder
  South Sea Cotton :

Exceptionally fine long staple type of cotton grown in the West Indies

  Spinning : Process of making fibres into yarns
  Stretch : The extendibility of a fibre, yarn or fabric
  Tactile property : How a garment fits
  Taper : To become narrower, as in a trouser leg that is narrower at the ankle
than the knee
  Tint : Light wash of colour, usually pale or delicate
  Tuxedo : American term for a single or double-breasted jacket for formal or
semi formal evening occasions
  Trimmer : Individual who gathers and prepares various fabrics and items that
go into the making of a bespoke garment
  Trimmings : The raw materials that in addition to cloth make up the suit
  Trouser maker : Specialist tailor who makes trousers
  Tweed :
Rough twilled woollen weaves and cloths used for suits, jackets
and overcoats originally produced in Scotland
  Twill : Strong, woven fabric characterised by a diagonal weave
  Vent : Slit in the back of a jacket or coat
  Vicuna : Fibre sourced from the animal of the same name, a member of the
camelid family from the Andes Mountains of South America .
Vicuna is reputed to be the world's most expensive fabric and is finer,
softer, lighter and warmer than any other wool. Primarily used for
jackets and overcoats
  Voile : Thin semi transparent cotton, woollen or silken material used in the
making of shirts
  Warp : Vertical threads of a woven fabric
  Weft : Horizontal threads of a woven fabric
  Windsor collar : Very cut away style of shirt collar, which also known as a cut away
  Wool : Natural fibre coming from sheep, goats, alpacas, vicuna etc
  Woollen : Cloth woven from both long and short-stapled fibres. Often seen in
a flannel cloth
  Worsted : Lightweight cloth made of long staple combed woollen yarn, originally
named after the village of Worsted near Norwich in England ,
a centre for worsted weaving
  Yarn count : Term used to denote the size/weight of yarn. Yarn is measured in
terms of denier or tex


Length of fibres and/or filaments with or without twist

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