Apparel Glossary

A list of the words used in manufacturing custom pieces of apparel.  The definitions of these words will better help you understand the textile lingo used by custom apparel manufacturers.

Appliqué – A separate, pre-cut piece of fabric that is applied to a garment for decoration.

Back Locker Loop – An additional piece of material that is sewn on the back of a shirt beneath the collar. It is semi-circular in shape and is designed to add strength to the area of the shirt that will experience stress from being hung from its locker loop.

Blind hem – A hem where only very thin tack stitches can be seen on the fabric face. Typically used on pants.

Breathable – The amount of air that is allowed to pass through a given fabric.

Brushed Cotton – Cotton fabric that is brushed to remove all excess lint and fibers from the fabric, leaving an ultra soft smooth finish.

Buckram – A stiff backing material that is used to stiffen and add structure to cap fronts.

Chambray – A lightweight plain woven fabric used for shirts and linens, typically cotton.

    Crewneck – a cuff-like rounded finish, typically on tee shirts
    Johnny – Typically a fashion collar sewn into a V-neck collar
    Shawl – A turned over, continuous collar that drapes down slightly in the front.
    V-neck – A collar that is in the shape of the letter V.
    Turtleneck – A tubular close fitting collar that covers the neck.

Mock-turtle – Like the turtleneck but this collar sits lower and is typically not tubular.

Colorfast – The permanence of the dye color used in the fabric.

Combed Cotton – Cotton yarn that has gone through the additional process beyond carding to remove the short fibers and straighten the longer fibers to produce a stronger and more desirable yarn that is more expensive.

Cover-stitch – Double-needle stitch that is used to secure seams. Often found around armholes and cuffs on knit shirts.

Digitize – To convert a graphic design to a digital stitch file for use in an embroidery machine.

Double knit – fabric knitted on a machine by interlocking loops with a double stitch.

Double-needle hem – Similar to a cover stitch in which two rows of stitching are sewn parallel to each other.

Drop tail – Where the back panel is longer than the front panel, designed to keep the garment tucked in.

End-on-End – A knit process using two yarns of different color to create a micro-stripe pattern.

Face – The front or outside side of the fabric.

Fleece – Natural or synthetic fibers that can be knitted or woven. It typically has a thick napped or pile inner surface and is used in jackets, blankets and sweatshirts.

Garment dyed – Is when a garment is dyed after it has been constructed or manufactured. This process produces variation throughout an individual garment and from garment to garment even within the same dye lot.

Hand – Quality or characteristic of fabrics perceived by the sense of touch, for example, softness, firmness, drape and fineness.

Herringbone – This pattern is a variation of the twill weave, creating a repetitive zigzag pattern on the face of the fabric.

Houndstooth – This pattern is another variation of twill weave, this one produces a broken check pattern when woven with two different colors of yarn.

Interfacing – A stiff material that is placed between two pieces of fabric to add shape to specific areas of the garment. Used in collars, cuffs a front plackets of woven shirts.

Interlock knit – A fabric created when two single faced knits (i.e. jersey knit) are knitted together, or interlocked, to form one piece of fabric

Jacquard – Can be a knit or woven fabric. Woven fabrics are produced by using the jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides a wide variety of designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns.

Jersey knit – A single knit construction, which has rows of vertical loops (knit stitches) on the face (outside) of the fabric, and rows or horizontal half loops (purl stitches) on the back. Jersey can be any fiber content and can be knit flat or circular (tubular). Most notable as the basic tee shirt knit.

Lyocell – A fabric made from wood pulp. Tencel is a well-known brand name of this type of fabric.

Mercerized – To process yarn or fabric to give it luster and added strength.

Microfiber – A woven fabric that is made of synthetic yarn that is thinner than a standard strand of silk yarn.

Oversized – When a garment is intentionally cut larger than the standard size.

Oxford Cloth – A lightweight woven fabric that is most commonly used for shirts.

PFD (Prepared for Dyeing) – Refers to a garment that is specifically made to be dyed after finishing.

Piece-dyed – Dyeing that occurs after a fabric is made (knitted or woven), but before it is assembled into a garment.

Pique Knit – A single knit construction also known as honeycomb or mesh. An open knit surface with a coarser hand than jersey or interlock knit and used primarily in polo shirts (also called golf, sport or placket) shirts.

Placket – The part of the shirt or jacket where the garment fastens together.

Rack Stitch – A knit pattern produced by a shift in the needle bed that creates a herringbone effect.

Rib knit – A knitted fabric produced with two sets of needles (double knit) in which the vertical rows of loops (Wales) can be seen alternately on the face and back.

Ring Spun Yarn – Yarn made by continuously twisting and thinning a rope of cotton fibers. The twisting makes the short hairs of cotton stand out, resulting in a stronger yarn with a significantly softer hand.

Singles – A term used to indicate the diameter of the yarn, the smaller the number, the thicker the yarn.

Twill – A type of weave that is characterized by diagonal patterns throughout the fabric.

Weight – Expressed in terms of ounces per square yard or grams per square meter of fabric.

Yarn-dyed – Dyeing that occurs at the yarn stage, before it is made into fabric.