backpack made from many varieties of fabric. However, it is typically made of a sturdy fabric to provide proper support for carrying items. Often used be students to carry books.
backwasher machine used for washing wool after carding to remove all impurities. It also dries the tops after washing by passing them over steam-heated cylinders, or perforated cylinders through which hot air is forced.
back washing removal of the oil which has been put into worsted stock in the blending, oiling and mixing operations when the mix was made up.
backwrap a wraparound garment, as a skirt, that fastens in the back
bag purse; handbag
bagging material for bags.
bagwig bagwig an 18th century wig with the back hair enclosed in a small silk bag
baize a coarse woolen or cotton fabric napped to imitate felt.
balaclava a knit cap for the head and neck [Also called, balaclava helmet]
balbriggan a knitted cotton fabric used especially for underwear or hosiery.
baldachin a rich embroidered fabric of silk and gold.
baldric an often ornamented belt worn over one shoulder to support a sword or bugle.
bale a package of wool in a standard wool pack to fit order for shipment. May be farm, dumped, or unitized. Common form is the farm bale weighing between 100 and 200 kgs.
balmacaan a loose single-breasted overcoat usually having raglan sleeves and a short turnover collar
balmoral a laced boot or shoe; [Often capitalized] a round flat cap with a top projecting all around
band a close-fitting strip that confines material at the waist, neck, or cuff of clothing
bandanna a large figured handkerchief
bandeau a fillet or band especially for the hair; brassiere.
bandolier a belt worn over the shoulder and across the breast [Also, bandoleer]
bangkok a hat woven of fine palm fiber in the Philippines
bangle a stiff usually ornamental bracelet or anklet slipped or clasped on
barathea a fabric that has a broken rib weave and a pebbly texture and that is made of silk, worsted, or synthetic fiber or a combination of these. Fabric has granular texture achieved by the short broken ribs in the filling direction. It is a rich soft-looking, fine fabric. Used in men’s dress ties, cumberbunds. English in origin and originally made as a mourning cloth.
p; a medieval cloth headdress passing over or under the chin and covering the neck
basinet a light often pointed steel helmet
basque a tight-fitting bodice for women
bast fiber a strong woody fiber obtained chiefly from the phloem of plants and used especially in cordage, matting, and fabrics.
bathing suit swimsuit
bathrobe a loose often absorbent robe worn before and after bathing or as a dressing gown
batik a fabric printed by batik, namely an Indonesian method of hand-printing textiles by coating with wax the parts not to be dyed.
batiste cotton, also rayon and wool. Named after Jean Batiste, a French linen weaver. Light weight, soft, semi-sheer fabric which resembles nainsook, but finer. It belongs to the lawn family; almost transparent. It is made of tightly twisted, combed yarns and mercerized finish. Sometimes it is printed or embroidered. In a heavier weight, it is used for foundation garments and linings in a plain, figured, striped, or flowered design. Considered similar to nainsook but finer and lighter in weight. Now usually made of 100% polyester distinguished by slubs in filling direction.
bay a garland or crown especially of laurel given as a prize for victory or excellence. Also, a reddish brown color.
bayadere has brightly coloured stripes in the filling direction. Crosswise rib (plain or twill weave). Often black warp. The colour effects are usually startling or bizarre. Mostly produced in India. Name derived from the Bajadere dancing girl of India, dedicated from birth to a dancing life. The Bayadere costume includes the striped garment, a flimsy scarf or shawl, jeweled trousers, spangles, sequins, anklets.
beachwear clothing for wear at a beach
bead [Plural] a necklace of beads or pearls
beanie a small round tight-fitting skullcap worn especially by schoolboys and college freshmen
bearskin a military hat made of the skin of a bear
beaver a hat made of beaver fur or a fabric imitation; a silk hat. a heavy fabric of felted wool or of cotton napped on both sides.
beaver cloth generally wool. Also cotton and napped on both sides; double faced. Twill and very heavily napped, and fulled. Originally English. Made to simulate beaver fur. Thick, gives excellent wear and very warm; resembles kersey. Has a luxurious look. Has the longest nap of all the napped fabrics and usually silky in appearance. Often light coloured fibres added to nap to increase shine. Mostly used for warm coats. Cotton beaver is used for caps, shoe linings, work cloths, maritime clothes and sports clothes where work is required.
bedford cord wool or worsted but worsted is more popular. Also made in cotton, silk and rayon.
Lengthwise pronounced ribs that resembles corduroy. Sometimes the ribs are emphasized by stuffing. Both Bedford, England and New Bedford, Mass. claim the name. Very firm construction. Takes much hard wear.
beige a variable color averaging light grayish yellowish brown. cloth made of natural undyed wool.
bekishe long coat
bell-bottoms pants with wide flaring bottoms
bellyband a band around or across the belly, as a girth or a band
belt a strip of flexible material worn especially around the waist; a similar article worn as a corset or for protection or safety or as a symbol of distinction
Bemberg A trade name for a lining fabric made from a viscose (rayon) fibre which imitates silk very well. The lining is comparitively cheap for such a luxurious feel and is used generally in ‘better end’ suits and coats.
bengaline a fabric with a crosswise rib made from textile fibers (as rayon, nylon, cotton, or wool) often in combination. Crosswise rib, warp faced. First made of silk in Bengal, India. Ribs are round and raised. Often has wool or cotton dilling in the ribs which doesn’t show. Difficult to make bound buttonholes in it. Has a tendency to slip at the seams if too tightly fitted. Grosgrain and Petersham is bengaline cut to ribbon widths. The cloth is usually 40″ wide. Cotele – A French term for bengaline made from a silk or rayon warp and worsted filling which is given a hard twist.
beret a visorless usually woolen cap with a tight headband and a soft full flat top
bermuda bag a round or oval-shaped handbag with a wooden handle and removable cloth covers
bermudas Bermuda shorts
bertha a wide round collar covering the shoulders
bicorne a cocked hat
biggin a child’s cap; nightcap
bikini a woman’s scanty ( I do not know if scanty is a good way to put it. Lets put it this way, it has less material then a one piece bathing suit.). Known as a two-piece bathing suit; a man’s brief swimsuit; a man’s or woman’s low-cut briefs. Swimwear…
billycock [British] derby
binding a narrow fabric used to finish raw edges. In sewing, binding is used as both a noun and a verb to refer to finishing a seam or hem of a garment, usually by rolling or pressing then stitching on an edging or trim.
birdseye (bird’s eye) birdseye (bird’s eye) (1) very soft, light weight, and absorbent. Woven with a loosely twisted filling to increase absorbency. Launders very well. It is also called “diaper cloth” and is used for that purpose as well as very good towelling. Also “novelty” birdseye effects used as summer dress fabrics. (2) Worsted. Smooth, clear finish. Has small diamond-shaped figures with a dot in the centre of each. Pattern suggests the eye of a bird. Fine quality suiting for men and women.
biretta a square cap with three ridges on top worn by clergymen especially of the Roman Catholic Church
biscuit a light grayish yellowish brown; a grayish yellow.
bister a grayish to yellowish brown.
black the achromatic color of least lightness characteristically perceived to belong to objects that neither reflect nor transmit light. Black clothing.
black light clear printing process where specialty inks are used to design looks that are virtually colorless under normal lighting conditions but when viewed under “black light” emit a distinct glow (generally a blue glow).
black wool any wool that is not white, but not necessarily black. Stock that is grey or brown in colour is classed as black wool
blae dark blue or bluish gray (chiefly Scottish).
blanket cloth wool, worsted, cotton, blends, synthetics. Plain or twill. Soft, raised finish, “nap” obtained by passing the fabric over a series of rollers covered with fine wire or teasels. Heavily napped and fulled on both sides. Nap lose and may pill in laundering. Named in honor of Thomas Blanket (Blanquette), a Flemish weaver who lived in Bristol, England in the XIV century, and was the first to use this material for sleeping to keep warm.
blazer a sports jacket often notched collar and patched pockets
blind term used in conjunction with load or lot. Blind lots are not manifested. Usually, when buying “blind” lots/loads you will be given a general idea of contents, but it will not be a guarantee. It is common for many large retail stores to sell closeouts “blind” simply because a detailed inventory of contents takes time and ends up costing more per item when purchasing.(definition provided by Robert Cyr at RLC Trading)
blond (or blonde) of a flaxen, golden, light auburn, or pale yellowish brown color.
bloodred having the color of blood.
bloomer a costume for women consisting of a short skirt and long loose trousers gathered closely about the ankles; [Plural] full loose trousers gathered at the knee formerly worn by women for athletics; underpants of similar design worn chiefly by girls
blouse the word blouse is often utilized when referring to a women’s shirt. An old definition that I found is as follows: a long loose over garment that resembles a shirt or smock and is worn especially by workmen, artists, and peasants; the jacket of a uniform; a usually loose-fitting garment that covers the body from the neck to the waist and is worn especially by women
blouson a garment, as a dress, having a close waistband with blousing of material over it.
blowing the process of blowing dry steam through a cloth, to settle the fabric and take the curliness from the yarn.
blucher a shoe with a one-piece tongue and vamp and the quarters lapped over the vamp and laced together
blue a color whose hue is that of th
e clear sky or that of the portion of the color spectrum lying between green and violet. Blue clothing; [Plural] a blue costume or uniform
bluebonnet a wide flat round cap of blue wool formerly worn in Scotland
blue jeans pants usually made of blue denim
bluish somewhat blue; having a tinge of blue.
blush a red or rosy tint.
boa a long fluffy scarf of fur, feathers, or delicate fabric
boater a stiff hat usually made of braided straw with a brim, hatband, and flat crown
bobbin: 1a) a cylinder or spindle on which yarn or thread is wound (as in a sewing machine) b) any of various small round devices on which threads are wound for working handmade lace. c) a coil of insulated wire or the reel it is wound on. 2) a cotton cord formerly used by dressmakers for piping.
bobbinet a machine-made net of cotton, silk, or nylon usually with hexagonal mesh.
bobby socks girls’ socks reaching above the ankle
body shirt a close-fitting shirt or blouse; a woman’s close-fitting top made with a sewn-in or snapped crotch
bodyhose body·hose [bóddee hoz] or bod·y hose or bod·i·hose singular noun. Clothing for covering the entire body: 1: A tubular multifunction seamless garment made from hosiery material. 2: Seamless or seamed garments made from hosiery material made to cover any part of the body
body stocking a sheer close-fitting one-piece garment for the torso that often has sleeves and legs
bodysuit a close-fitting one-piece garment for the torso
bolero a loose waist-length jacket open at the front
bolivia (Elysian) wool. Sometimes contains alpaca or mohair. Twill; usually 3 up and 3 down. A pile weave (cut) with a diagonal pattern. Pile face which varies in depth. Soft and has a velvety feel. Usually piece dyed. Usually has lines or ridges in the warp or in a diagonal direction on one side. Comes in light, medium and heavy weights.
bolo tie a cord fastened around the neck with an ornamental clasp and worn as a necktie
bombazine usually has silk or rayon warp and worsted filling. Imitations are made in cotton. Plain or twill. Very fine English fabric. Name comes from Latin “bombycinum” which means a silk in texture. It is one of the oldest materials known and was originally all-silk. When dyed black it is used in the mourning cloth trade.
bomber bomber jacket
bomber jacket a zippered usually leather jacket with front pockets and knitted cuffs and waistband
bonnet [Chiefly Scottish] a man’s or boy’s cap; a brimless Scotch cap of seamless woolen fabric [Compare tam-o’-shanter]; a cloth or straw hat tied under the chin and worn by women and children
boondoggle a braided cord some times worn by Boy Scouts as a neckerchief slide, hatband, or ornament
boot a fitted covering, as of leather or rubber, for the foot and usually reaching the ankle. Often times use for work (work boots) such as building. Boots are also used for hiking (hiking boots) and simply for fashion. Boots come in many various shapes, sizes and colors.
bootee a usually ankle-length boot, slipper, or sock, especially an infant’s knitted or crocheted sock
bottom a garment worn on the lower body.
bottle green a dark green.
boubou a long flowing garment worn in parts of Africa
bouclé a fabric of bouclé yarn, namely an uneven yarn of three piles one of which forms loops at intervals. Wool, also in rayon, silk, cotton, linen, blends, hair fibres. Any weave, knit. From the French for “buckled” or “ringed”. A drawn out
or ringed, looped yarn is used to give it a kinky appearance at intervals. Made in a variety of weights. Boucle yarns are usually in both the filling and the warp. Fabrics are usually springy to handle on account of the highly twisted yarns used to achieve the boucle effect. Often ravels easily.
bow a fabric defect when the weft is stretched and forms a curve rather than a right angle to the warp.
bowler a derby hat
bow tie a short necktie tied in a bowknot.
box coat a heavy overcoat formerly worn for driving; a loose coat usually fitted at the shoulders
boxer [Plural] short pant
boxer shorts short pants. Underwear.
boxing glove one of a pair of leather mittens heavily padded on the back and worn in boxing
bra (brassiere) a woman’s close-fitting undergarment with cups for bust support
bracelet an ornamental band or chain worn around the wrist
bradford spinning english method of spinning wool into worsted yarn. The wool is thoroughly oiled before it is combed, producing a smooth, lustrous yarn used for worsted suitings. This is distinct from the French system which is dry spun.
bragette A codpiece, a piece of leather or stuffed material worn to accent the male groin
brassard a cloth band worn around the upper arm usually bearing an identifying mark
brassiere a woman’s close-fitting undergarment with cups for bust support
break a temporary interference with the growth of the wool, causing a marked thinning of all or a proportion of the fibre population, and producing distinct weaknesses in one part of the staple. It is caused by a sudden change of pasture, want of feed or water, sickness, bad lambing, or faulty dipping.
breastplate a vestment worn in ancient times by a Jewish high priest set with 12 gems bearing names of the tribes of Israel
breech short pants covering the hips and thighs and fitting snugly at the lower edges at or just below the knee; pants
brick red a moderate reddish brown.
brief short snug pants or underpants
brilliantine a light lustrous fabric that is similar to alpaca and is woven usually with a cotton warpand mohair or worsted filling.
britches breeches, trousers
broadcloth cotton and silk, and rayon. Plain weave and in most cotton broadcloths made with a very fine crosswise rib weave. Originally indicated a cloth woven on a wide loom. Very closely woven and in cotton, made from either carded or combed yarns. The filling is heavier and has less twist. It is finer than poplin when made with a crosswise rib and it is lustrous and soft with a good texture. Thread count ranges from high quality 144 x 60 count down to 80 x 60. Has a smooth finish. May be bleached, dyed, or printed; also is often mercerized. Wears very well. If not of a high quality or treated, it wrinkles very badly. Finest quality made from Egyptian or combed pima cotton – also sea island. Used in Shirts, dresses, particularly the tailored type in plain colours, blouses, summer wear of all kinds. (Wool Broadcloth) Usually a twill with a two up and one down construction. Some also in the plain weave. Has a napped face, closely sheared and polished, producing a silky gloss – in same group of fabrics as kersey, beaver cloth, melton. One way nap, must be handled like velvet when cutting. It comes in a variety of colours and weights. It is “dressy” fabric and must be handled with care – form fitting and drapes well.
broadfall the wide falling front flap of breeches or trousers such as those of sailors. Split falls are the narrower type of flap found on lederhosen and some jhodpurs. The plural broadfalls is sometimes used to mean trousers having a broadfall.
brocade a rich oriental silk fabric with raised patterns in gold and silver. Cotton brocade often has the ground of cotton and the pattern of rayon and silk. Pattern is in low relief. Generally weaved in Jacquard and dobby. Rich, heavy, elaborate design effect. Sometimes with coloured or metallic threads making the design usually against a satin weave background. This makes the figures stand out. The figures in brocade are rather loose, while in damask the figure threads are actually bound into the material. The pattern may be satin on a twill ground or twill on a satin ground. Often reversible. The motifs may be of flowers, foliage, scrollwork, pastoral scenes, or other designs. Generally reputed to have been developed from the latin name “brocade” which means to figure.
brogue a stout coarse shoe worn formerly in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands; a heavy shoe often with a hobnailed sole, brogan; a stout oxford shoe with perforations and usually a wing tip
broker A person who buys or sells merchandise for other individuals and earns a commission or profit based upon a percent of product. (definition provided by Robert Cyr at RLC Trading)
bronze a moderate yellowish brown.
brown any of a group of colors between red and yellow in hue, of medium to low lightness, and of moderate to low saturation.
brunet (also brunette) of a dark-brown or black color.
brussels lace any of various fine needlepoint or bobbin laces with floral designs made originally in or near Brussels.
buck an article of clothing, as a shoe, made of buckskin. [Yes, you are correct that a buck also refers to a piece of paper money worth one dollar. Also a buck is a mature male of various mammals (especially deer and antelope)]
buckram a stiff-finished heavily sized fabric of cotton or linen used for interlinings in garments, for stiffening in millinery, and in bookbinding. Softens with heat. Can be shaped while warm. Name from Bokhara in Southern Russia, where it was first made. Also called crinoline book muslin or book binding.
buckskin [Plural] buckskin breeches.
buff a moderate orange yellow; a light to moderate yellow. A garment, as a uniform, made of buff leather
bulk classing a term used when fleece wools of different brands and descriptions, but of similar type, yield, etc., are emptied out of their containers (bales) bulked together and rebaled under another or various brands into large lines. Grading and pooling of small lots of wool from a number of owners into standard lines.
bulky-weight yarns these yarns knit to a gauge of up to 3-1/2 stitches per inch on size 10, 10-1/2, and 11 US needles, or larger. Yarns in this category can range from 500 to 1000 yards per pound. These yarns are used for heavy fabrics such as coats, blankets, and heavy bulky outdoor sweaters. (this definition was kindly provided by Karen at Red Meadow Fiber Arts)
bull denim : a 3×1 twill weave piece dyed fabric, made from coarse yarns. Weights can vary from 9 ozs/sq yard up to the standard 14 ozs/sq yard. Bull Denim is essentially a denim without indigo.
bunad : Norwegian traditional costume. The designs are typically elaborate, with embroidery, scarves and hand-made silver or gold jewellry
bunting a lightweight loosely woven fabric used chiefly for flags and festive decorations.
burgonet a helmet of either of two 16th century styles
burgundy a reddish purple color.
burlap a coarse heavy plain-woven fabric usually of jute or hemp used for bagging and wrapping and in furniture and linoleum manufacture.
burling in the dry finishing department of a woollen or worsted mill, it is the removal of as much objectionable matter as possible from the goods.
burnoose a one-piece hooded cloak worn by Arabs and Berbers [Also, burnous]
burry a term applied to wool containing certain seed pods, mainly of the Medicago species. Wool carrying a percentage of burr. Light burr in combing wools can be removed by the comb or card in manufacture. Heavy burry combing wools and any short types carrying burr or excessive vegetable matter are carbonized before carding.
busby a military full-dress fur hat with a pendant bag on one side usually of the color or regimental facings
bush jacket a long cotton jacket resembling a shirt and having four patch pockets and a belt
bush shirt a usually loose-fitting cotton shirt with patch pockets
business suit a man’s or women’s suit consisting of matching coat and trousers and sometimes a vest
buskin a laced boot reaching halfway or more to the knee
bustier a tight-fitting often strapless top worn as a brassiere or outer garment
butternut a light yellowish brown.
butterscotch a moderate yellowish brown.
button Button-makers categorized buttons by types of holes, shape, size, and color. Finishers drilled two holes, four holes, or self-shank holes, or inserted a metal shank. Names like fisheye, ring fisheye, French bevel, English rim and cup described the various styles in which holes were drilled. The basic shapes of buttons were disc (two-hole and four-hole), ball (half-sphere), geometric (diamond, prism, square, rectangle, and parallelogram), and realistic (animals, flowers). Sizing in the button trade uses the measure ligne, the traditional English and French measure that is still used today, along with inches and millimeters. One inch is equal to 40 English ligne, 11 French ligne, and 25.5 mm. 12-18 ligne buttons were sold for trim, shirts, and children’s dresses; 20-60 size for dresses, jackets and coats; shoe buttons were usually 14 ligne, and specialty buttons were usually 45-60 ligne.
button-down a shirt with a button-down collar
byssus a fine probably linen cloth of ancient times.