Acetate: A manufactured fiber in which the fiberforming
substance is cellulous acetate.
Acrylic: A manufactured fiber that is silklike in
appearance in feel, and springs back when
crushed. The fiber-forming substance is any long
chain of synthetic polymer composed of at least
85% by weight of acrylonitrile units.
Air Jet: Technique for bulking filament yarns by
treating them with pressurized air from a miniature
spout. Most commonly used in Taslan
Allen Solley Placket: A one-piece placket that is
hidden after being sewn.
Anti-Pilling: A treatment applied to the garment
to prevent pilling, or the formation of the little
balls of fabric due to wear.
Back Pleats: Small folds in the back of a garment
to allow for greater movement.
Backed Cloth: Single textile material with additional
of an extra warp or filling added for weigh
Batiste: Amedium-weight, plain weave fabric, usually
made of cotton or cotton blends. End-uses
include blouses and dresses.
Birdseye: Cotton or linen cloth woven to produce
a small pattern that has a center dot resembling a
Bleeding: The running of color from wet dyed
material onto a material next to it or the running of
Blend: A term applied to a yarn or a fabric
that is made up of more than one fiber.
Broadcloth: Tightly woven cotton cloth
with fine imbedded crosswide ribs that
Cashmere: Fine downy undercoat hair of
the Cashmere goat from Tibet; produces
luxuriously soft garments.
Chambray: A plain woven fabric that can
be made from cotton, silk or manufactured
fibers, but is most commonly cotton. It
incorporates a colored warp (often blue) and
white filling yarns.
Chino: Classic all-cotton "Army twill" fabric
made of combed two-ply yarns. At one time
chino was traditionally for army uniforms,
but it's now finding popularity in mainstream
Collar: The upright or turned-over neckband
of a coat, jacket or shirt.
Colorfastness: A term used to describe a
dyed fabric's ability to resist fading due to
washing, exposure to sunlight, and other
Combed Cotton: Cotton that has been
combed to remove short fibers and straighten
long fibers for a smooth, finer hand.
Combing: The combing process is an additional
step beyond carding. In this, the
fibers are arranged in a highly parallel form,
and additional short fibers are removed,
producing high-quality yarns with excellent
strength, fineness, and uniformity.
Cool Knit: A pique variation with a defined
surface texture resembling a "waffle" pattern.
Cord Locks: A stopper or toggle on a draw
cord that keeps the cord from retracting
into the garment.
Corduroy: A cut filling pile cloth with narrow
to wide ribs. Once corduroy was a cotton
fabric, now it can be found in polyester,
and man-made blends.
Cotton: Soft vegetable fiber obtained from
the seedpod of the cotton plant and one of
the major fashion fibers in the textile industry.
The longer the fiber, the better the quality.
Lengths vary from less than one-half
inch to more than two inches. Cotton is currently
grown in 19 states and is a major crop
in 14 states.
Custom: Designing a specific garment to fit
the needs of a client.
Denim: A durable cotton twill traditionally
a shade of blue. Once denim was strictly
used for jeans or work pants; now it's popular
in all modes of apparel.
Dobby Weave: A decorative weave, characterized
by small figures, usually geometric,
that are woven into the fabric structure.
Dobbies may be of any weight or compactness,
with yarns ranging from very fine to
coarse and fluffy.
Double Knit: A circular knit fabric knitted
via double stitch on a double needle frame
to provide a double thickness. Most double
knits are made of polyester.
Double-Needle: Two rows of parallel stiching
at the sleeve and/or bottom hem for a
cleaner, more finished look.
Double-Stitched: A finish used on a sleeve
and/or bottom hem that uses two needles to
create parallel rows of visible stitching. It
gives the garment a cleaner, more finished
look and adds durability.
Down: The soft fluffy under feathers of
ducks, and geese, primarily used as insulation
Drop Tail: A longer back than front for the
purpose of keeping the shirt tucked in during
Duck: Aheavy, closely woven material, often
cotton, used for heavyweight shirts or outerwear.
End-on-End: A 2-ply weave of different
color yarns that run parallel each other so
that both colors are visible, creating a soft
contrast in the garment.
Extended Tail, also called Dropped Tail:
The back part of the garment is longer than
the front, making it easier to tuck in.
Face: The right side or the better-looking
side of the fabric.
Facing: A piece of fabric that is sewn to the
collar, front opening, cuffs or arms of a garment
to create a finished look.
Findings: Pockets, linings, zippers and
other sundry and supplementary items used
in the manufacture of garments.
Gabardine: A firm durable cloth used in
both men's and women's apparel.
Gray Goods: Cloth that has been woven
but has received no dry or wet finishing
instructions, including color.
Grommets: Found underarm or in the
back neck, grommets are small holes that
allow for air circulation and ventilation.
Hand: The way the fabric feels when it is
touched. Terms like softness, crispness, dryness
and silkiness are all terms that describe
the hand of the fabric.
Harris Tweed: A trademark for an imported
tweed made of virgin wool from the
Highlands of Scotland, spun, dyed and
hand woven by islanders in Harris and
other islands of the Hebrides.
Herringbone: A variation on the twill
weave construction in which the twill is
reversed, or broken, at regular intervals,
producing a zigzag effect.
Houndstooth: A textile design of small
broken checks woven into the fabric.
Hydrophilic Fibers: Fibers which absorb
water readily, such as cotton, linen or rayon.
Hydrophobic Fibers: Fibers which are
normally non-absorptive and repel water,
such as nylon and polyester.
Interfacing: Fabrics used to support, reinforce
and give shape to fashion fabrics in
sewn products. Often placed between the
lining and the outer fabric, it can be made
from yarns or directly from fibers, and may
be either woven, nonwoven or knitted.
Some interfacings are designed to be fused
(with heat from an iron), while others are
meant to be stitched to the fabric.
Interlining: An insulation, padding or stiffening
fabric, either sewn to the wrong side
of the lining or the inner side of the outer
shell fabric. The interlining is used primarily
to provide warmth in coats, jackets and
Interlock: The stitch variation of the rib
stitch, which resembles two separate 1 x 1
ribbed fabrics that are interknitted. Plain
(double knit) interlock stitch fabrics are
thicker, heavier and more stable than single-
Jacquard Knit: A double-knit fabric in
which a Jacquard type of mechanism is
used. This device individually controls
needles or small groups of needles, and
allows very complex and highly patterned
knits to be created, typically using two or
Jersey Fabric: The consistent interlooping
of yarns in the jersey stitch to produce a
fabric with a smooth, flat face and a more
textured, but uniform, back. Jersey fabrics
may be produced on either circular or flat
weft knitting machines. Jersey is comfortable
Jute: Also known as burlap, is a course fiber
from the bark of an Asian tree.
Lapel: Either of the two folded-back front
edges of a jacket or shirt that are continuous
with the collar.
Linen: A flax product, linen absorbs moisture
quickly and doesn't soil easily.
Locker Loop: A looped piece of fabric in
the neck of a garment for the convenience
of hanging the garment on a hook. Can also
be located at the center of the back yoke on
the inside or outside of a garment.
Locker Patch (a.k.a. Half Moon Patch):
An oval panel sewn into the inside back of a
sportshirt, under the collar seam.
Lycra: INVISTA's trademark for a synthetic
fabric material with elastic properties of
the sort known generically as "spandex."
Madras: One of the oldest materials in the
cotton family, Madras is made on a plainweave
background, which is usually white;
stripes, cords or minute checks may be used
to form the pattern.
Melton: A smooth, heavy wool cloth used
primarily in outerwear. Quality varies
depending on the type of stock used.
Mercerizing: A finishing process used
extensively on cotton yarn and cloth consisting
of treating the material with a cold,
strong sodium hydroxide (caustic soda)
solution. The treatment increases the
strength and affinity for dyes and gives the
finished fabric a soft, silklike feel.
Merino: The highest, finest grade of wool.
Mesh: Any fabric, knitted or woven, with
an open texture, fine or coarse for added
comfort and ventilation.
Microfiber: A tightly woven fabric usually
of fine poly thread. Microfiber has a soft
hand and is comfortable to wear.
Micro Fleece: Alighter microfiber weight
but still warm fleece made of knit microfibers
brushed less than a regular fleece
Mylar: A polyester film used to cover a
metallic yarn. Often used in apparel decoration.
Nap: A fuzzy, furlike feel created when
fiber ends extend from the basic fabric
structure to the fabric surface. The fabric
can be napped on either one or both sides.
Nylon: A synthetic polymer, a plastic,
durable fabric used in apparel and other
Open-End Yarn: A cost-saving process that
eliminates some manufacturing steps needed
for ring-spun yarn.
Ottoman: A tightly woven plain weave
ribbed fabric with a hard, slightly lustered
surface. The ribbed effect is created by
weaving a finer silk or manufactured warp
yarn with a heavier filler yarn, usually made
of cotton or wool.
Oxford: A fine, soft, lightweight woven cotton
or blended with manufactured fibers in
a 2 x 1 basket weave variation of the plain
weave construction. The fabric is used primarily
Pattern: An outline of a garment on paper.
It usually embodies all the pieces necessary
to cut a complete garment from material.
Percale:Asmooth, textured, closely woven
cotton or polyester fabric.
Pigment: A substance that is added to give
color to fabric.
Pill: A tangled ball of fibers that appears on
the surface of a fabric, as a result of wear or
continued friction or rubbing on the surface
of the fabric.
Pima Cotton: A high-end yarn made by plying
yarns spun from long combed staple.
One of the best grades of cotton in the
world. Pima cotton has extra long fiber
lengths making it soft, yet strong.
Pique: A closely woven ribbed fabric produced
from natural fibers, usually cotton.
Pique is very poplar in polo-style shirts.
Placket: The opening of a shirt or jacket
where the garment fastens or at a pocket. A
reverse placket is the reversed opening for
Plain Weave: A basic weave with a smooth
surface for printing.
Ply: Two or more yarns that have been twisted
Polyester: A strong, durable synthetic fabric
with low moisture absorbency. Polyester
is popular for its comfort and resistance to
Poly-filled: Awarm polyester lining used in
Polymer: The chemical solution from
which man-made fibers are spun.
Polynosic: A stable rayon fiber that has a
soft silklike hand.
Poplin: A broad term to describe several
fabrics made from various types of yarn.
Usually a plain, strong fabric with fine ribbing
creating a slight ridge effect; often
made of cotton.
Pre-Shrunk: Fabrics or garments, that
have received a pre-shrinking treatment.
Often done on cottons to remove the tendency
for cloth to shrink before cutting the
fabric for use in a garment to prevent further
Raglan: This popular style of apparel is a
loose-fitting garment with a sleeve extending
to the collar of a garment instead of ending
at the shoulder. A raglan sleeve is
attached with slanting seams running from
under the arm to the neck.
Rayon: A manufactured textile fiber composed
of regenerated cellulose.
Rib Knit: A basic stitch used in weft knitting
in which the knitting machines require
two sets of needles operating at right angles
to each other. Rib knits have a very high
degree of elasticity in the crosswise direction.
This knitted fabric is used for complete
garments and for sleeve bands, neckbands,
sweater waistbands, and special
types of trims for use with other knit or
woven fabrics. Lightweight sweaters in rib
knits provide a close, body-hugging fit.
Ring Spun:Aprocess of spinning the yarn
to make it softer and more durable.
Rip-Stop Nylon: A lightweight, wind-resistant,
and water-resistant plain weave fabric.
Large rib yarns stop tears without adding
excess weight to active sportswear apparel.
Satin: The name originated in China. Satin
cloths were originally of silk. Similar fabrics
are now made from acetate, rayon and some
of the other man-made fibers. The fabric
has a very smooth, lustrous face effect while
the back of the material is dull.
Shrinkage: The reduction in width and
length, or both, that takes place in a fabric
when it is washed or dry-cleaned. Residual
shrinkage is the term used to indicate the
percentage of shrinkage that occurs in the
fabric at the time of its first washing.
Side Vents: Fashion details allowing for
comfort and ease of movement.
Silk: The only natural fiber that comes in a
filament form. Spun from silkworms, this
fine fabric is comfortable and soft but must
be treated gently.
Single Knit: A fabric knitted on a single
needle machine. This fabric has less body,
substances and stability when compared
with double knit.
Single Yarn: One that has not been plied;
the result of drawing, twisting and winding a
mass of fibers into a coherent yarn.
Sleeve: Part of the garment that covers part
or the entire arm.
Soft Goods: Industry term sometimes
applied to textile fabrics and products.
Solution-Dyed: A type of fiber dyeing in
which colored pigments are injected into
the spinning solution prior to the extrusion
of the fiber through the spinneret. Fibers
and yarns colored in this manner are colorfast
to most destructive agents.
Stability: That property of a bonded fabric
that prevents sagging, slipping or stretching.
This is conducive to ease of handling in
manufacturing and helps to keep its shape in
wear, dry cleaning and washing.
Stretch Yarns: Continuous filament yarns
that have been textured or modified to give
them elasticity. Use of these yarns gives fabrics
a degree of elasticity and comfort.
Stone Washed: Fabric treatment to
achieve a worn and faded effect, common in
Storm Flap: Astrip of fabric that covers
the zipper or snap closure of a jacket to
protect against wind and moisture. Storm
flaps can also be sewn on the inside of the
Swatch: A small sample of material used for
inspection, comparison, construction,
color, finish and sales purpose.
Tartan: Wool, worsted or cotton cloth made
in plain weave or in a twill weave. Tartan is
popular in caps cloth, dresses, neckwear,
shirts, sport coats and trousers.
Taslan: A registered trademark. Atextured
yarn that is made on a bulking process
developed by DuPont. Its hand, loftiness,
covering power and yarn texture are such
that these properties are permanent and do
not require special handling or care.
Terry Cloth: This cloth has uncut loops on
both sides of the fabric. Woven on a dobby
loom with a Terry arrangement, various
sizes of yarns are used in the construction.
Terry is very popular in robes and towels.
Textile: Traditionally a textile is defined as a
woven fabric made by interlacing yarns.
Tencel:Afabric made from the fiber found
in wood pulp which is processed into a silklike,
Thread Count: The actual number of warp
ends and filling picks per inch in a woven
cloth. In knitted fabric, thread count
implies the number of wales or ribs.
Tricot: A type of warp knitted fabric that
has a thin texture made from very fine yarn.
Tubular Knit: A golf shirt with no side
seams; a cost advantage because there is
less cutting and sewing. Tubular products
are at greater risk for body torquing
Twill: A type of fabric woven with a pattern
of diagonal parallel ribs. It is made by passing
the weft threads over one warp thread
and then under two or more warp threads.
Examples of twill fabric are gabardine,
tweed and serge.
Ultra Suede: Registered trademark of
Spring Mills Inc. for a fabric marketed
under its Skinner brand. Fabric is not woven
or knitted and has tiny polyester fibers
embedded in its soft lush surface.
Velour: A term loosely applied to cut pile
cloths in general; also to fabrics with a fine
raised finish. Velour has a soft, comfortable
Virgin Wool: New wool that has never been
used before, or reclaimed from any spun,
woven, knitted, felted, manufactured or
Water-Repellent: Ability of a fabric to resist
penetration by water under certain conditions.
Various types of tests are used, and
these are conducted on sample before and
after subjection to standard washing and dry
Water-Resistant: Fabric treated chemically
to resist water. Not to be confused with
Welt: A stripe of material seamed to a pocket
opening as a finishing as well as a strengthening
device, or a covered cord or ornamental
strip sewed on a border or along a seam.
Wickability: The ability of a fiber or a fabric
to disperse moisture and allow it to pass
through to the surface of the fabric, so that
evaporation can take place.
Wool: Fibers that grow on the sheep fleece.
Wool products may also include fibers from
lamb, angora or Cashmere goat.
Worsted: Smooth, uniform, well-twisted
yarns. Little finishing is necessary in these
clear surface materials. Plain or fancy
weaves are used and the cloth is usually
yarn-dyed, but piece-dyed fabrics are also
Yoke Back: A piece of fabric that connects
the back of a garment to the shoulders. This
allows the garment to lay flat.
Something to think about
We all love the look and feel of natural, organic fabric. But when it rains, or it's 92 degrees
on the golf course, we tend to appreciate the benefits of the man-made fabrics. Here's the
lowdown on some popular types:
• The most popular and the one that gets a bad rap is polyester. Polyester doesn't wrinkle
or fade, and it seems to last forever. Polyester is often blended with cotton to produce a
longer, lasting garment that wrinkles less.
• Nylon is the second most popular of the man-made fibers. It was invented by DuPont
Corporation in 1939 presumably because Lammot DuPont himself got caught on the
golf course wearing cotton when it started to rain. Since 1939 nylon has become the
biggest moneymaker for the DuPont Company. Today it's used in many apparel items
and is popular for its resistance to moisture and wrinkles, and unending durability.
• Microfiber is one of those terms we see in supplier catalogs that seem to mean really
small fibers, but how does that translate into benefits of a garment? Micro fiber garments
can be made of many fibers, including polyester, nylon, or acrylic. The true definition of
Microfiber is that the fiber has less than one denier per filament. In English that means
the fibers are very small and very strong, and the garment will have a softer hand.
• Spandex is another popular man-made fiber. Its ability to stretch and snap back to its
original form makes spandex ideal for a blend used in garments designed to hold their
shape. Spandex was developed in 1959, but made famous in 1999 when Brandi Chastain
whipped off her shirt to revel her spandex sports bra at the 1999 Women's World
Cup Championship. We'll never look at spandex the same way again.
ALook At Man-Made Fabrics
When you think of the term Performance Fabric, does it conjure up images of fabric that
wicks away moisture? Or fabric that protects you from the sun's harmful UV rays? Or is it
a super-fabric that does all that and more?
Most apparel suppliers offer some form of performance fabric. But how to navigate
the vast array of products to come up with the best performance fabrics suited to your
Sales representative Mark Kreger, with Creative Promotional Products (asi/170669),
works with several apparel suppliers and is also an avid golfer. "When I looked into performance
apparel, I was really hoping for something that would improve my golf game,:
Kreger jokes. "But realistically, my clients are willing to spend the money on a better garment
that is more comfortable and has better features, especially if it's being given to their
better customers," he says.
• Golfers in particular want that fabric that keeps you dry and protects you from the
sun, and they recognize that the price may be a bit higher,� he adds. Here's a rundown of
features to consider when looking at performance fabrics:
• Moisture management: Any kind of fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin.
• UV protection: Helps block out harmful rays from the sun.
• Breathability: A garment that is woven or sewn to allow air to pass through.
• Anti-bacterial: A fabric treated to control odor.
Performance Fabric: What Does It Really Mean?
Mother nature's contribution to the apparel industry comes in many different options.
Combed, ring spun, single and double ply or pique, the options available in simple cotton
are endless and can be confusing for clients.
Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting cotton apparel:
• Prices of cotton shirts vary from an inexpensive cotton T-shirt to a more costly mercerized
cotton that's been processed to produce a soft, silklike product used in higher end
• Distributors who once turned up their collective noses at jersey fabric because of its long
association with everyday T-shirts are now giving jersey another look. The newer jersey
garments are well made and the fabric is soft and durable, which makes it popular with
• Looking to reduce shrinkage? Carded cotton is commonly used in most pique fabric; it
has been cleaned, separated, straightened and formed into a long untwisted strand.
• Got your eye on quality? Consider combed cotton — a process of combing the fibers to
make them parallel. The short, less desirable fibers are removed in this process. Many
garments, particularly polo-style shirts, use combed cotton to produce a better shirt and
(like carded) cotton help reduce shrinkage.
• Most clients recognize Pima cotton as a higher end, better cotton. Retail stores tout Pima
cotton as the finest available. The longer cotton strands produce fabric that has a soft
hand but is durable, making Pima a popular choice with better brands.
• If you're looking for a long-wearing garment, take a look at ring spun cotton — it is
processed using a continuous system of staple fibers. Ring spun cotton tends to wear
better and shrinks less.
The Cotton Confusion
When your best client comes to you and needs a waterproof garment for the next company
golf outing, do you drop everything and look for a windshirt suitable for scuba diving
or do you look for a water-resistant piece that would work just as well?
Many customers may ask for waterproof items when actually they mean water resistant
Waterproof means the garment is seam-sealed and able to withstand a specific
amount of water pressure. It will keep the wearer completely dry by completely blocking
water from coming in. But because waterproof garments must be completely sealed, you
must find an embroiderer who can work with waterproof garments and seal the embroidery
when it's finished. Waterproof apparel also means a bigger budget..
Often a water-resistant garment will do just fine. Water-resistant means the fabric has
been chemically treated to resist water and is usually perfect for a rain storm or bad
weather. It isn't seam-sealed and embroidery won't be a problem.
Water-repellent fabrics are made from material that naturally resists water. Remember
your yellow raincoat you wore as a kid? That was water-repellent.
Does It Really Need To Be Waterproof?
Most mid- to high-end industry suppliers offer some form of a mercerized garment. Everyone
knows that such fabrics are soft and silky. But how do we translate those features to
benefits for the end user and justify the additional cost?
Michael Stein, vice president of merchandising for the Greg Norman Collection, gives
seminars all over the U.S. on the technical aspects of mercerized apparel.
Stein describes mercerization as the process of burning off the short fibers or fuzz
that make the fabric rough to the touch. "The fabric is run through an oven then through a
caustic soda bath," Stein says. "This process takes the shrinkage out of the yarn and
leaves a smoother shinier fabric."
According to Stein, the mercerization process started in Italy as an alternative to silk,
which is much less durable. But Stein says offering mercerized products alone may not
clinch the deal.
"It isn't enough to offer a well-designed mercerized shirt," says Stein. "Consumers are
demanding mercerized products that offer moisture-wicking, UV and anti-bacterial protection.
So distributors would be wise to show clients a product that not only looks and feels
better, but also performs better."
Mercerization: Worth the Extra Money?