100 ESSENTIAL TERMS
NATURAL FIBERS
Fibers that are of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin, as opposed to man-made chemicals used to make yarn.
OMBRE (OM-BRAY)
Closely related tones of color with monochromatic shading from light to dark of single color, or in several colors like a rainbow. Term derived from French: "Shaded"
OPAQUE
Term applied to gems and fabrics through which no light passes. Term also refers to heavy, thick hosiery.
ORGANZA
Lightweight, thin, transparent fabric which is stiff and wiry. Made in the plain weave of rayon or silk yarns, given an organzine twist. Has a tendency to crush, but easy to press. Used for dresses, millinery, trimmings, neckwear and blouses.
PAILLETTE
Spangle made of metal or plastic, usually a round disk larger than a sequin. Used as trimming on evening clothes and handbags. Term derived from French: "speck or spangle."
PANACHE
Plume or erect bunch of feathers worn on hat- originally used on military helmets.
PEPLUM
Extension of bodice of dress that comes below waistline, sometimes pleated, sometimes flared. Can be made in one piece with bodice, cut separately and joined to bodice by a seam, or attached to a belt. Style first became popular in mid 1860's, 1890's and 1930's. Style Revived in mid 1980's and is currently quite popular in designs (2012).
PIMA COTTON
Fine quality long-staple cotton raised in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and California, a development of American- Egyptian cotton. Term is derived from Pima County, Arizona.
POPLIN
Medium-weight durable fabric with crosswise rib effect made with cotton yarns, or blends of cotton and polyester, which are heavier in the filling. Originally poplin had a silk warp and wool filling. Better qualities use combed yarns in both directions and are finished by piece-dyeing or printing. Used for sportswear, pants, shorts, blouses, dresses, and men's shirts.
PRÊT-À-PORTER
French term for ready-to-wear clothes. Derived from French: "ready to be carried."
RIB KNIT
Knitted fabric which shows alternate lengthwise rows of ribs and wales on both side. More elastic, heavier, and durable than plain knitting. Used frequently on cuffs and necklines of sweaters and sport jackets.
SAFFRON
Bright orange-yellow color with the dye obtained from dried pistils and stamens of the flower of the Autumn crocus.
SATEEN
Smooth glossy cotton fabric made in the sateen weave with floating fillings on the right side, given a lustrous finish, and used mainly for linings. Formerly spelled "Satine."
SHANTUNG
Medium-weight fabric woven with irregular, elongated slubs in the filling caused by yarns of uneven diameter throughout. Also refers to fabric texture which has been imitated with yarn of rayon and cotton. Frequently dyed various colors or discharge printed in polka dots. Used for dresses and sportswear.
TAFFETA
Term used for a classification of crisp fabrics with a fine, smooth surface usually made in the plain weave, sometimes with a small crosswise rib. Originally made in silk, now mad ein man-made fibers. Term is derived from Persian: "tuftah" meaning: "fine, plain woven silk fabric."
TROMPE L'OEIL
Term generally applied to embroidery and painting which fool the eye; also applied to dress and clothing. Derived from French: "to fool the eye."
TWEED
Term applied to rough textured fabrics made of coarser wool in yarn-dyed effects. Made in plain, twill, or herringbone weave in various weights fro coats, jackets and suits.
YARN-DYED
Describing fabric that is woven or knitted from yarns already dyed rather than gray goods which are dyed after weaving.