The tailor’s dictionary (F)

Parisian Gentleman

The tailor’s dictionary (F)

This series of posts is published with the courtesy of Scabal, Bespoken (Scabal’s magazine promoting a tailor-made lifestyle) and Alan Cannon Jones (Director for Menswear and Bespoke Tailoring at the London College of Fashion)

© Bespoken – Scabal



Another name for cloth. In the tailoring trade, this is usually limited to the woven fabric selected by the customer to make the garment. More generally, fabric can be knitted, woven or of a bonded nonwoven type.


The outside or ‘right side’ of the fabric that is visible when the garment is finished.


This type of cloth has a ‘pile’ or ‘nap’ and, when brushed, is smooth in one direction and rough in the other. The cloth must be cut in one direction and could be velvet, corduroy, camel hair or vicuña.


The fabric that forms the top covering of the lapel on a jacket or coat, which usually folds to the inside of the garment from the top buttonhole. The lining inside the jacket is attached to the facings. On a dinner jacket or tuxedo, the facing may be in silk.


The section of the collar between the crease and the leaf edge.


A style of trouser front associated with the navy (sailors) that’s also used on riding breeches and is the flap of cloth covering the abdomen that has vents on either side and a button fastening.


The over-sewing of a piece of fabric by its edge, either raw or turned in onto the main body of material. In a bespoke garment this type of stitch is often used to sew the lining around the armhole.


A fibre of indefinite length.


Invisible mending to repair faults in a fabric.


Cloth that has been treated after its initial manufacture to make it suitable for intended end-use. The term also refers to treatments such as bleaching, dyeing, shrinking and adding easy-care properties.


A dart cut at the waist of a garment to provide a closer fit.


A shaped piece of cloth that provides a cover for a pocket mouth or is used for decoration.


A cloth-covered opening to conceal a fastening, usually buttons or a zip. Most common as the front opening on a pair of trousers. The term also applies to a coat or jacket when the front buttons cannot be seen, as they are inside the fly.


The line of the fly fastening from the centre of the fork to the top of the waistband on a pair of trousers.


The point on a pair of trousers at which the legs join.


The name given to the fronts of a jacket or coat. This section of the garment extends from the front edge to the side seam horizontally and from the hem to the shoulder seam vertically.


A seam within a seam. Two pieces of fabric sewn together, folded over and sewn again so that the edges are concealed.


A shaped trouser pocket cut at an angle and positioned below the waistband.


The additional one ply of fabric joined to a seam that creates the desired shape in a part of the finished garment. For example, the sleeve.


An interlining that has been treated so it adheres to other fabrics via the application of heat and pressure.


The action of bonding a fusible interlining to a garment section by the action of heat and pressure.