The tailor’s dictionary (G)

Parisian Gentleman

The tailor’s dictionary (G)

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



The shortening of the fabric length by drawing together and holding a succession of small folds of material by stitching.


A standard measure of distance, such as the distance between needles on a twin-needle sewing machine for edge stitching.


A special thread used to support and raise buttonhole stitching. Also used for embroidery.


A term describing the finish of a cloth with a smooth, high-polished surface. This is obtained by means of friction when calendaring in fabric form. Also, a shiny mark or effect of glaze obtained by excessively hot ironing or bad pressing in garment processing.


Shine on fabric after pressing, usually caused by heat and pressure in the areas of extra thickness such as pockets and seams.


An old term to describe a pressing iron that was similar to a goose in shape.


A wedge-shaped piece of fabric inserted into a garment section to obtain width at a specific place. Sometimes inserted into the interlining canvas in the shoulder area to create a specific shoulder shape.


The seam joining the neck of the jacket to the collar.


The process of producing a range of patterns of different sizes from a master pattern.


The direction of the warp of the fabric which runs up and down its length. A garment would normally be cut on the grain, cross grain is cutting a garment across the grain, off grain is cutting a garment on the bias and the Grain Line is marked on each pattern piece to ensure the correct direction of the grain.


This term is used when a seam has opened as a result of incorrect sewing thread tension. The stitches can be seen to “grin” through the fabric.


A piece of fabric inserted to strengthen or enlarge an area of the garment.