100 ESSENTIAL TERMS
ACETATE (FABRIC)
Fiber which is man-made from cellulose acetate. Acetate drapes well, has a silklike appearance, resists wrinkles and fading. Used for dress and coat linings, blouses, lingerie, shoe linings and backing on bonded fabric.
ACTION BACK
Used to describe the extra fullness worked into the back of a jacket, coat or dress from shoulder blades to waist usually in the form of pleats, to permit freedom of movement.
A-LINE
Term introduced in 1955 by Paris couturier Christian Dior to describe apparel styled close and narrow at the shoulders and flaring gently away from the body from under arms to hem-resembling letter A. One of the most popular silhouettes used for coats and dresses.
ANGORA
Soft fuzzy yarn made from underhair of angora rabbit; popular for sweaters and knits
ANTIQUE FINISH
Finish applied to leather giving a shaded effect by dyeing, buffing, wrinkling, waxing and oiling the surface to resemble old leather.
APPLIQUE
Surface pattern made by cutting out fabric or lace designs and attaching them to another fabric or lace by means of embroidery or stitching. Also refers to applied leather designs on shoes and handbags
ARGYLE
Diamond-shaped plaid pattern with narrow overplaid superimposed in several colors.Popular for hand or machine knitted socks and sweaters. Derived from Tartan of Duke of Argyle and Clan Campbell of Argyll, a county in West Scotland.
ART DECO
Geometric non-representational style of jewelry and fabric design popular in late 1920's. Inspired by Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris,1925.
ASYMMETRIC
Principle of informal balance, rather than formal balance, with each side of the garment offering a different silhouette. Garments may be draped to one side, have uneven hemlines, side closings, or cover only one shoulder.
AVANT-GARDE
Forward thinking or advanced. When referring to art or costume, sometimes implies erotic or startling. Derived from French: "advance guard"
AVIATOR
Adjective used for clothing and accessories used by pilots and adopted for general use. Stylings found in glasses, helmets and jackets.
BALLERINA-LENGTH SKIRT
Calf-length full skirt in gored, gathered, or flared style, used mainly for evening dresses. Adapted from skirts worn by ballet dancers.
BAROQUE
Art and decorative style in the 17th and first half of 18th Centuires, characterized by heavy ornate curves and excessive ornamentation. Term is mainly applied to jewelry and embroidery designs.
BASQUE
Early 20th Century term which refers to a women's waist-length jacket or dress that fits tightly through the waist and rib cage.
BATIK
Method of dyeing fabric by drawing the design on silk or cotton, then covering with hot wax all areas which are to remain white, dyeing, and removing wax- resulting in a pattern with a crackled effect; this process originated in Indonesia.
BELLOWS SLEEVE
Full Sleeve, gathered into cuff at wrist, with vertical slit from upper arm to below elbow.
BIAS CUT
Manner of cutting diagonally across grain of fabric, resulting in a garment that clings and follows body curves closely.
BI-SWING
Suit or sport jacket with set- in belt in back and deep pleats extending upward to each shoulder to give freedom of movement. Has single- breasted closing and conventional notched collar with lapels.
BLENDING
Fur-industry term for lightly applying dye to tips of hairs of furs, such as mink and sable, to improve the coloring.
BOARDED FINISH
Leather finish that makes the grain of the leather more pronounced. Hand-processed by folding the leather with grain sides together and rolling it back and forth while pressing it with a cork board.
BOLERO
Waist or rib-length jacket, open in front, with or without sleeves, often embroidered; first became popular at end of 19th Century.
BOUCLE
Fabric characterized by a looped or nubbed surface caused by using boucle yarn in the filling. Yarn may be a different color, texture, or fiber from the warp making an interesting two-toned effect. Made in wool, cotton, or combinations of fibers, either knitted or woven.
BROCADE
Classification of fabric woven on the Jacquard loom giving design a raised appearance. Design is usually satin weave with background in satin, rib, or plain weave. Made with all types of yarns including gold, silver, silk, rayon, cotton, acetate, or man-made fibers.
BRUSHED WOOL
Extremely soft knitted or woven fabric. Made of loosely twisted yarns brushed to form the nap. Also, used to describe wool which has been brushed or cleaned while still attached to the pelt.
BURNT-OUT FABRIC
Fabric of lace made on the Jacquard loom with two different yarns-one forming the pattern and part of the ground- the other the ground. When printed with chemicals, one of the sets of yarns is dissolved, leaving a lacy pattern on a sheer ground. Brocaded effects on velvet can be made by destroying part of the pile and permitting the rest to remain. Also called etched-out fabric or burnt-out print.
BUSTIER
Dress or top made in strapless style which is held in place by boning, elastic, or stretch knit fabrics.