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Read by Glossary Categories Lace Style|Fabric
  • A-line Silhouette This silhouette refers to a shape of gown that resembles the letter A. The gown can be anything from a slim to a full A-line.
  • Alencon Lace The most popular choice for wedding dresses, this lace originated in the town of Alençon, France. It usually features flowers or swirls that are outlined with a heavy silky cording on a net background. Can be used as an allover fabric or for appliqué.
  • Applique To cut out fabric pieces and sew them to a larger piece of material for decoration; also, the individual cutout fabric pieces.
  • A La Disposition The weaving of fabric in predetermined pattern shapes that will each become a specific part of a costume, thereby making the design of the fabric intrinsic to the design of the finished clothing.
  • Ball Gown Silhouette A gown with a dramatically full skirt that typically has a natural or dropped waist.
  • Bias A diagonal line cut across the grain of a fabric, particularly a line that crosses the fabric at a forty-five degree angle to the selvedge, which introduces greater elasticity to the drape of a fabric.
  • Bespoke Custom-made,made to order.
  • Ballerina-length Skirt A full skirt that falls just above the ankle.
  • Bateau Neckline A neckline that is open from shoulder to shoulder and follows the line of your collarbone, Also known as a boat or Sabrina neckline.
  • Beading The decorative application of beads, gemstones, crystals, glass, or similar materials that are sewn onto fabric.
  • Blusher A veil that is usually worn forward to cover a bride’s face and then lifted during the ceremony.
  • Bolero A waist- or rib-length, open-fronted jacket.
  • Bone A strip of sturdy material (formerly whalebone, now usually metal or plastic) used to stiffen or shape a garment such as a corset, petticoat, or strapless gown.
  • Bolero Jacket A short jacket, with or without sleeves, that falls no longer than the waistline. Of Spanish origin this type of jacket is worn open in front.
  • Bowknot A decorative knot tied in a bow.
  • Brocade May be mistaken for embroidery owing to its decorative surface, but brocade is woven on a loom bringing in an extra weft which does the figuring and illuminates the floral pattern. Traditionally woven in silk, it is now produced in synthetics. The word brocade is now used loosely to describe any jacquard-woven design.
  • Brooch A decorative piece of jewelry that is usually attached to a garment with a pin.
  • Bubble Skirt A top skirt that is gathered and then attached to the lining at the hemline to create a bubble effect.
  • Bubble Veil A veil that has all of its edges gathered together and typically attached to a comb to create a bubble.
  • Bustier A formfitting and often strapless top or undergarment. Its primary purpose is to enhance the bust by tightening around the upper midriff in order to push the breasts up and gently shape the waist.
  • Bustle A protruding support structure worn at waist level under the back of a skirt or dress in the late nineteenth century. Bustles were usually fabric-covered padded cushions or basketlike tubes of cane, wire, or whalebone attached to a waistband. Also describes the silhouette that results from the wearing of this structure.
  • Batiste An opaque, delicate, lightweight fabric, chosen for its smoothness, which makes it useful as a lining for linen garments. It is very soft, drapes beautifully and may be woven from cotton, polyester, linen, silk or a blend such as polycotton.
  • Bengaline A woven vertical rib with a raised surface effect, like a fine ripple. It is created with a silk warp and a worsted or cotton weft.
  • Bobbin Lace A lace constructed with bobbins and pillow, also called pillow lace. The bobbins, originally made from bone, and later wood or plastic, hold a series of threads that are then woven together following a pattern marked by pins on the pillow. The pillow once contained oat straw or sawdust; contemporary lacemakers use Styrofoam or Ethafoam.
  • Brussels Lace A type of bobbin lace that originated in Brussels, Belgium and is made in pieces, with flowers and other designs made separate from the ground, or reseau. Brussels lace dates back to the fifteenth century, and was first mentioned in England in a lest of presents given to the Princess Mary at New Year in 1543. The reseau has a distinctive, hexagonal pattern, and the designs have either a standard woven texture, resembling fabric, or a more open style that looks more like a netted ground. This allows for shading, an effect that is found in more recent designs.
  • Cage Veil A very short veil that typically attaches to a comb, It usually comes forward and covers half or all of the face and is generally made of wide French netting or tulle.
  • Cap Sleeve This short, fitted sleeve barely covers the shoulder and tip of the arm.
  • Changeant A changeable effect attained by using threads of different colors in the warp and weft.
  • Chemise Historically, a woman's undergarment usually made of linen or muslin; also, in the early nineteenth and twentieth century’s, a loose dress with a generally columnar silhouette.
  • Capelet A small cape that is worn over the shoulders.
  • Cathedral Train A long train that extends three or more feet on the floor.
  • Cathedral Veil A veil that measures nine feet long or that falls twelve to eighteen inches past a cathedral train.
  • Chantilly Lace A very delicate, lightweight lace that originated in Chantilly, France, and is usually made of a blend of rayon, cotton, or nylon. It has a fine mesh, and often features a floral design, It is flat, unlike re0embroidered Alençon lace which has raised cording.
  • Chapel Train A mid-length train that extends about two to three feet on the floor.
  • Chapel Veil A veil that typically measures twelve to eighteen inches past a chapel train.
  • Charmeuse A smooth, lightweight fabric that can be woven from silk, cotton, rayon and synthetics. Silk fabrics will always demand a higher price than other yarns; at he other end of spectrum, synthetic yarns should be among the cheapest.
  • Chiffon A fine, lightweight, transparent fabric, with a smoothness and drape that make it suitable for use in veils. It may be woven in silk, rayon, cotton or from a synthetic fiber such as nylon.
  • Circular Skirt A skirt that makes a complete circle at the hemline.
  • Corset A formfitting, usually strapless bodice with boning, styled in the fashion of a ladies undergarment of the same name.
  • Chiton In ancient Greece, the open-sided tunic worn by men in a knee-length form and by both men and women in a floor-length version. Constructed of two large rectangles of linen, cotton, or wool, the chiton was seamed at the sides and hung in folds from the shoulders where it was pinned together with fibulae.
  • Chlamys A short cloak, or mantle, worn by men in ancient Greece.
  • Crepe Describes a wide variety of fabrics woven of highly twisted yarns to product a crinkled or pebbled surface.
  • Crepe De Chine A very fine, lightweight silk crepe fabric.
  • Crinoline A stiff fabric originally woven of horsehair and linen and used to support a skirt or dress; also called a petticoat or a cage crinoline (hoopskirt), an underskirt frame made with whalebone, cane, or steel hoops.
  • Crown A circular headpiece that sits on the crown of the head.
  • Crushed Velvet Popular in the early 1970s, this fabric is run between rollers, sending the pile in various directions to give it an irregular, waved effect. The pile can be made from silk, cotton or synthetic yarns and can be imitated on a knitting machine.
  • Crocheted Lace A form of crochet that uses fine threads, decorative patterns and varying hole sizes to give a lacy effect. Easier and quicker to make than traditional lace, it was not originally considered a true lace.
  • Cut Work Also known as whitework, cut work involves removing threads from a woven background and then wrapping or filling the remaining holes with embroidery.
  • Decolletage Generally refers to an open neckline.
  • Damask Originally a silk fabric made in Damascus, damask is now woven in silk, cotton,linen or synthetic yarns. A floral pattern defined by a smooth and lustrous surface is created with a sateen weave, a structure that crams the weft threads together, allowing the light to bounce off the surface of the weave and enhance the pattern. Because of the dense weaving, this can be heavy.
  • Dart A tapering, stitched-down fold intended to give shape and fit to a garment.
  • Defile A procession, as of runway models in a fashion show, or defile de mode.
  • Drawnwork Decorative needlework that involves removing some threads from a fabric and stitching the remaining threads to form an openwork pattern.
  • Dropped Waistline This waistline falls below your natural waist. It can be shaped straight across, into a V-shape called a Basque waist, or as a scoop or square, or even inverted.
  • Dupioni (Douppioni) A fabric usually made of silk, which is thicker and coarser than shantung.
  • Duchesse Satin A lightweight, glossy satin with threads closely woven together to form a smooth and lustrous surface. Produced in silk or rayon.
  • Dupion A crisp silk fabric woven with irregular slubs (soft lumps) in the yarn, which creates a textured surface.
  • Elbow-length Veil A veil that ends at the elbow.
  • Embroidery Decorative needlework or stitching on fabric done with thread or yarn by hand or machine.
  • Empire Waistline A high waistline that falls above the natural waist, usually tight under the bust.
  • Eyelet A cotton or linen fabric with embroidered circles that have the centers cut away to create very small bound holes. Eyelet is often used as an edging and was very popular in the 1960s.
  • Faille A medium-weight fabric that can be slightly stuff and has a low luster, Its main characteristic is its tiny raised ribs that are similar to, but finer than, a grosgrain ribbon.
  • Fashion Plate An illustration of a fashionable clothing style; also, a person who always wears the latest fashions.
  • Fibulae In ancient Greece, brooch like pins or clasps that were used at the shoulders of the peplos and chiton to attach the back to the front and form the neckline and armholes.
  • Fingertip Veil This veil ends at or just past the fingertips.
  • Fit-to-Flare Silhouette Also known as a modified A-line, this silhouette is fitted to the upper thighs and gently flares out at the bottom of the dress.
  • Floor-length Describes a gown that falls at or just above the floor and has no train.
  • Fold-Over Veil A veil made from one piece of material, usually tulle, which is folded over. It can be any length, and the top layer can be pulled over the face and used as a blusher.
  • French Bustle A bustle that is created by lifting the train at the middle of the skirt and pulling it under the back of the skirt, where it is then attached with ribbons or buttons and loops.
  • Fichu A lightweight muslin scarf, either triangular or square and folded into a triangular shape that is draped over the shoulders and fastened at the front or tucked into the top of the bodice to fill in a low neckline.
  • Gazar A loosely wove fabric with a low luster. It looks like a thick, dense organza with a crisp finish, and is very buoyant.
  • Georgette A thin, lightweight silk crepe fabric.
  • Godet A triangular piece of fabric that is inserted into a seam of a skirt to give fullness or flare.
  • Gigot A sleeve that is puffed out along the upper arm and fitted from elbow to wrist. A style fashionable in the 1830s and 1890s, it was sometimes worn with a sleeve support (cotton-or down-filled pillows of fabric-covered ribs of whalebone, cane, or wire) for the upper arm, also called a leg-of-mutton sleeve.
  • Gore A triangular or tapering panel of cloth inserted into a skirt or other garment, to add fullness at the bottom.
  • Grosgrain A strong, closely woven ribbon with a ribbed, or corded, appearance.
  • Guipure Lace A typically heavy lace in which the elements of the pattern are connected by fine threads, or brides, rather than being supported on a net ground. Often layered with overlapping motifs to form a deep and intriguing texture, this lace is now constructed on a water-soluble or heat-resistant base material that is then removed.
  • Gros De Londre A fine silk warp creates a horizontal, flat ribbed fabric with alternate thick and thin stripes. The thickness of the weft yarn determines the stripe, which can also be created with worsted or cotton.
  • Hand The feel of a fabric.
  • Himation The wide rectangular wool or linen mantle worn by both men and women in ancient Greece.
  • Halter Neckline The neckline created by a sleeveless top that has two straps which connect at the back of the neck. It can be square, rounded, or V-shaped.
  • Hem Bustle A bustle that is created by bringing up the gem of a train and attaching it underneath a skirt using ribbons or buttons and loops. The train is set long enough to make the back of gown floor-length and bunched to create a “bubble hem” effect.
  • Honiton Lace A bobbin lace made in England at Honiton, Devonshire, from the seventeenth century onwards. Most people associate this term with the lace made in Honiton in the nineteenth century, in which strong floral motifs are joined to an often-spotted net background. Queen Victoria inserted a chemisette of Hiniton lace into her wedding dress in an attempt to support the British lace industry.
  • Illusion (Also Known As Tulle) A delicate and very sheer fine netting or mesh fabric made from nylon, silk, or rayon. It is typically used for veils.
  • Ikat (Malay) A technique in which yarns are tie-dyed before weaving, creating a blurred pattern.
  • Illusion A fine netting that gives an ethereal, gossamer effect.(See also maline and tulle.)
  • Jewel Neckline A round neckline that rests at the base of the neck.
  • Jersey A soft, stretchy knit fabric.
  • Juliet Cap A small cap that is often decorated with lace, pearls, or beads and that hugs the back of the head.
  • Jacquard A fabric woven on a Jacquard loom, which is capable of producing a sophisticated and intricate design. It can be woven with silk, cotton or a synthetic yarn.
  • Keyhole Neckline An opening at the front or back of a bodice. It can be shaped in a circle, oval, or teardrop.
  • Knotted Lace A style of knitting that incorporated holes into the design to create a lacy effect.
  • Lace An ornamental openwork patterned fabric, It generally has a floral motif.
  • La Garconne The feminine archetype of modernism as seen in the boyish silhouette that appeared in the 1920s and was most notably embodied in the "flapper" dress.
  • Lame Woven with metallic threads that catch the light to give an impression of liquid silver and gold. It drapes and folds like molten metal.
  • Les Merveilleuses The name for ultrafashionable women in the last few years of the eighteenth century; their male counterparts were called les incroyables.
  • Leno Weave A type of open weave in which two or more warp threads cross over each other, locking the weft threads in position to create a sheer yet strong fabric.
  • Linen A crisp, cool, lightweight fabric woven from fibers of the flax plant. Linen holds its shape well but will crease easily if starch is not applied. It may be mixed with synthetic yarns to increase manageability.
  • Mermaid Silhouette A fitted gown that has a seam above the knee with a skirt attached that flares out very full to the bottom hem.
  • Mantua A type of open robe dress first introduced in the late seventeenth century as an alternative to the heavily structured dress required for attendance in the court of Louis XIV. The Mantua was split in front, to be worn over an exposed petticoat, with a fitted bodice and elbow-length sleeves; latter, as it became a more formal gown, a stomacher was added.
  • Monobosom Aspect of the S-curve silhouette popular during the early twentieth century that was achieved by wearing a lightly boned bust bodice over the corset to create a pouch from the bosom to the waist; also known as" pouter pigeon".
  • Mull Soft, lightweight cotton in leno weaves.
  • Mikado A Heavier weight twill weave fabric with a medium luster.
  • Moire A rib-woven silk that is finished by being run through rollers. This process crushes the rib in different directions and gives the fabric it a watermark effect.
  • Maline A very fine net that holds its form and can be used as a veil or to stiffen petticoats.
  • Marquisette A soft, transparent net that gives an illusion of weightlessness.
  • Maching-made Lace First produced on a development of the stocking frame, invented by John Heathcoat in 1809. By reproducing basic twists and turns, Heathcoat created a diamond-shaped net on which a design could be embroidered. From this point on the handmade hexagonal reseau (ground) was only made upon request and the designs wear appliqued directly onto the machine-made net. This resulted in the designs becoming more spread out and less connected. Because the net is not cut away behind the appliqued design, it can be seen on the back of the design.
  • Natural Waistline A waistline that falls right at your natural waist.
  • New Look A term applied by the American press to the designs featuring wasp, hip pads, and full skirts that were first presented by Christian Dior in 1947. Later, the term was also applied to the fashionable Dior posture, which was slightly hunched, with the back curved, the buttocks tucked under, and the pelvis pushed forward.
  • Net See maline, tulle and illusion.
  • Needle Lace A lace made using a needle and thread. It is the most flexible of the lace-making arts and considered by some to be the highest form. In an early form of needle lace, developed in the fifteenth century and known as Punto in Aria (meaning stitches in the air), outline stitches wear basted onto a temporary backing comprising a parchment pattern and layer of fabric. A simple button-hole stitch was then used to cover and connect the pattern threads. The connecting stitches between the motifs were called brides as these married the motifs.
  • Ombre An effect produced by the use of colors that are graduated in tone from light to dark.
  • Open Robe Description of a dress with an overskirt that opens in front to reveal the petticoat, or underskirt.
  • Off the Shoulder Neckline The fabric sits off the shoulders and wraps around your arms. The neckline can be a V, scoop, square, or sweetheart.
  • Organdy A light, fine, white cotton fabric. It has a stiff, wiry, translucent finish and is often used for details such as cuffs and collars.
  • Organza A transparent fabric that is heavier and stiffer than organdy and holds its form well, making dramatic shapes. It is woven from rayon.
  • Ottoman Particularly suitable for the architectural shapes of the 1950s, this is a heavy warp-ribbed fabric, with broad ribs that run vertically.
  • Paillette A usually round spangle of metal or plastic, larger than a sequin, used to trim fabric.
  • Pannier An oblong cage made of cane, metal, or wood to support the sides of the skirt, creating a silhouette that was extended at the hips but flattened in front and back. Panniers first appeared in France in 1718 and persisted with minor variations until the 1780s.
  • Passementerie Corded dress trimmings of braids, fringe, tassels, etc.
  • Pelerine A short cape that emphasized the triangular silhouette of the upper body fashionable during the 1830s. Fichu-pelerines had long, tapering ends that could be tied in the front or crossed in the front and tied in the back.
  • Pentimenti The visible traces in a drawing or painting of a design that has been altered and covered over.
  • Petticoat An underskirt usually made of stiff netting or tulle that is used to reinforce the silhouette of the skirt.
  • Peplos In ancient Greece, a garment that was formed by folding a large rectangular piece of cloth in half to form a cylinder(which was usually sewn closed) and then folding down a second time along the top to form an overfold. Fibulae wear used to attach the back to the front of the garment at the shoulders, forming the neckline and armholes of the peplos.
  • Peplum A short, flared section of fabric extending from the waistline of a bodice or jacket.
  • Piecing Stitching separate pieces together to make a whole.
  • Piping Fabric-covered cord sewn into seams or along edges for added strength or decoration.
  • Plastron Decorative panel set into the front of a bodice; see stomacher.
  • Princess-Seam Dress A soft cotton fabric with a fine, subtle, horizontal stripe created in the weave structure. Because of its robust nature, it may be utilized in cuffs and collars.
  • Pique A tightly woven cotton, rayon, or silk fabric with a ribbed waffle pattern.
  • Petites Mains Artisans or artisanal workshops that specialize in handwork, such as embroidery and lace making.
  • Picot A decorative edging of small loops along the selvedge of fabric or lace; also a similar finished edge of cut fabric.
  • Point D’esprit Lace Also known as Swiss dot, this is a finely spun cotton in a plain weave with a raised circular woven spot that sits on the surface and is spaced in an irregular pattern to cover the whole fabric. Used frequently for wedding veils in the 1960s.
  • Princess Seams Vertical seams in the front or back of a garment that shape the bust and waist.
  • Paper Taffeta A very crisp silk taffeta that folds and creases like paper-hence its name. Princess Diana`s wedding dress was made from paper taffeta; the quality of the fabric was not appreciated and misjudged as having creased badly.
  • Peau De Soie A fine, soft, high-quality silk fabric with a low-luster effect.
  • Point D`Angleterre Point d`Angleterre: An intentionally misleading term used in England and France to describe Brussels lace. Following a ban in England in 1662 on the import of foreign lace, English lace merchants, unable to source lace of a high enough quality from British manufacturers, resorted to smuggling it from Brussels, calling it Point d`Angleterre, or English point, in order to deceive the authorities. France, under similar import restrictions, also sold Brussels lace using this name. To this day, all Brussels lace is called Point d`Angleterre in France.
  • Point Duchesse The term for a type of Belgian lace that does not have a ground, or reseau. It is named after the Duchess of Brabant, Marie-Henriette of Austria. Made entirely on the pilow, the pattern is constructed so that the leaves and flowers naturally join, and there is rarely a bar thrown across to connect them. As there is no reseau, the designs are more continuous.
  • Point Plat Appluque The term for a type of Brussels lace in which the design is applique onto a machine-made net, instead of using a handmade reseau (ground).
  • Robe a Langlaise An open robe of the eighteenth century that consisted of a fitted bodice cut in one piece with a rounded overskirt that was parted in front to reveal a matching petticoat.
  • Robe à la Française An eighteenth-century robe with a fitted bodice open at the front to reveal a stomacher and an overskirt parted in the front to reveal matching petticoat. The back of the robe typically had two double box pleats sewn in at the center of the neckline and falling to the hem. The skirts of most formal robes were supported by panniers that eventually reached widths of several feet.
  • Robe De Style Credited to Jeanne Lanvin, this 1920s style featured a chemise like bodice, dropped waist, and a wide, pannier-supported, ankle-length skirt.
  • Robe a La Polonaise A late eighteenth-century robe with a close-fitting bodice and a skirt. The back of the skirt would be gathered up into three puffed sections by the use of ribbon ties or cords, which could be adjusted to achieve different looks.
  • Robe Volante An early eighteenth-century robe, worn without an underskirt, with elbow-length sleeves ending in wing cuffs and in the back, two double box pleats that spread out in a widening flow from neckline to hem.
  • Rouleau A roll made by looping a long, narrow strip of fabric around itself or around cording or another tubular shape.
  • Sack Dress An unfitted dress that hangs straight from shoulders to hem, or more generally, a loose-fitting dress or gown.
  • Sabrina Neckline Also called a bateau or boat neckline. The name was coined from the movie Sabrina that starred Audrey Hepburn.
  • Satin A fabric that is densely woven and typically lustrous on one side and dull on the other. It can be made of acetate, polyester, or silk. It comes in different weights, with duchesse satin being the heaviest.
  • Satin Organza A medium- to lightweight fabric with a sheen on the front and matte finish on the back.
  • Seaming To join together by sewing.
  • Serge A sturdy wool twill suiting fabric.
  • Selvedge Either of the lengthwise loom-finished woven edges of a fabric.
  • Schiffli Lace A type of machine-made lace created by embroidering a pattern on a fabric that has been chemically treated to disintegrate after the pattern has been created.
  • Scoop Neckline A rounded, low, U-shaped front or back neckline that dips from the shoulders.
  • Sequins Shiny sometimes iridescent, highly reflective or matte plastic discs sewn onto fabric to add sparkle or ornamentation.
  • Shantung Plain woven silk that creates a crisp fabric. The tussah silk thread has an irregular quality to it, created in the spinning process and forming slubs (soft lumps) in the fabric as it is woven. The character of the fabric is so highly prized that some mills try to emulate the shantung effect using rayon or synthetics. However, high-end designers prefer the authentic tussah silk.
  • Shawl A rectangular or oblong garment or piece of fabric, used as a covering for the shoulders or carried on the arm.
  • Sheath A slim gown that hugs the body and has a straight shape. A close-fitting dress.
  • Shrug A small jacket that falls above the waistline, usually shorter than a bolero.
  • Shirr To gather fabric into tight parallel rows, secured by parallel stitching.
  • Side Drape A length of fabric gathered and draped at one side of a garment.
  • Silhouette The shape of a garment or dress.
  • Soutache A narrow, generally flat, decorative braid.
  • Stays Historically, a corset; also the boning used to stiffen a corset.
  • Silk A soft and fine fiber that comes from the cocoons of the larvae of silkworms and is woven into fabrics.
  • Stole A wide scarf sometimes made of an expensive fabric or fur that is worn about the shoulders.
  • Stomacher A decorative, triangular bodice insert that covered the corset.
  • Strapless Neckline Refers to the neckline created by a bodice that has no sleeves. It can be shaped straight across, dipped, sweetheart, or even raised.
  • Sweep Train The shortest train, a sweep train extends a foot or less from where the hem hits the floor.
  • Sweetheart Front Neckline This open neckline is shaped like the top of a heart across the bust.
  • Silk-Faced Satin See duchesse satin.
  • Tend Dress A loose-fitting dress that hangs from the shoulders and gradually widens towards the hem.
  • Taffeta A thin, crisp, lightweight fabric with a very fine rib. It is tightly woven and looks the same on both sides.
  • Tea Length A skirt with a hemline that falls several inches above the ankles.
  • Toile A muslin mock-up of a garment that is used to test fit and create a pattern.
  • Tiara An ornamental half-crown that sits on the head, often made of crystals, pearls, rhinestones, or diamonds.
  • Trapeze A dress that continuously widens from narrow shoulders to hem, resulting in a conelike silhouette.
  • Tuck A small stitched fold that is used to shape or decorate fabric.
  • Trapunto Decorative quilting that creates a raised effect.
  • Tip of the Shoulder Neckline A neckline created when the top of the bodice rests at the tip of your shoulders. It can have different shapes, such as V, scoop, square, or sweetheart.
  • Traditional Bustle A bustle that is created when the fabric from a train is pulled up and over the skirt and attached with buttons and loops or hooks and eyes.
  • Train The longer fabric that extends from the back of a skirt to trail on the floor.
  • Trumpet Silhouette A fitted gown that is similar to a mermaid. But flare out more gently to the bottom hem. Its gentle flare is usually made with princess seams instead of a seam above the knee.
  • Tulle A delicate and very sheer fine netting or mesh fabric made from nylon, silk, or rayon. It is typically used for veils and can also be used for skirts. It’s often referred to as illusion.
  • Tunic A columnar over-the-hip, slip-on overblouse, dress, or jacket.
  • Tussah A coarse, irregular silk fabric made from wild silkworm; also refers to the yarn itself.
  • Tissue Taffeta A thin, almost transparent taffeta created by using very finely spun silk or synthetic threads.
  • V-Neckline A front or back neckline shaped like the letter V. It can be a shallow or very deep V.
  • Velvet A thick fabric with a short-cut pile. With its raised surface of soft-cut fibers, velvet is a warm, plush fabric, soft to the touch and suitable for winter weddings. Silk velvet is the most expensive, but velvets made of cotton, rayon or synthetic fibers are cheaper.
  • Velveteen A raised fabric similar to velvet made from cotton or rayon in which the pile is created via the weft rather than the warp - a technical differentiation that is only of concern in terms of aesthetic choice and cost.
  • Waltz Length Veil A veil that stops at the floor and is usually worn with a floor length gown.
  • Wrap Any garment or fabric that wraps around the shoulders or body.
  • Warp The threads that make up the lengthwise grain in a woven fabric.
  • Warp Printing The process of printing a pattern onto the warp threads prior to weaving.
  • Watteau Back The center box pleats, such as those in a robe a la Française, that flow unbroken down the back of a dress from the neckline to the hem, as seen in certain paintings by Jean Antoine Watteau(French, 1684-1721).
  • Wet Drapery A term used to describe cloth that appears to cling to body in animated folds while revealing the contours of the form beneath, particularly evident in Greek sculpture from the Hellenistic period (ca. 323-31 BC).
  • Wing Cuffs Cuffs folded back with points pressed to stick out so the cuffs resemble "wing".
  • Weft The threads that are set at a 90-degree angle to the warp threads in a woven fabric and run from selvedge to selvedge.
  • Waistcoat Contemporarily referred to as a vest, the waistcoat first appeared toward the end of the 1660s. In England, King Charles II exploited the waistcoat for its decorative possibilities, and the garment soon became a focus of men's dress, often richly embellished and made from the finest materials.
  • Zibeline A heavy silk with a twill weave.