The tailor’s dictionnary (A to B)

Parisian Gentleman

The tailor’s dictionnary (A to B)

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 intense satisfaction derived from the final fitting of a custom-made, made-to-measure or even bespoke  suit, is the fruit of close co-operation between the tailor and his customer. At the heart of this teamwork : dialogue

For this reason, Bespoken (Scabal customer’s magazine) and Alan Cannon Jones offer this very useful tool : a dictionary of specialist terms that will help experienced customers as well as bespoke new-comers to better communicate their needs, wishes and dreams to their tailors.

A very nice initiative from Scabal that Parisian Gentleman is proud to publish for its thousands of new readers in UK and USA as well as for its english speaking french and worldwide readers.

Enjoy !

A

ARMHOLE

The armhole of the garment into which the sleeve is sewn. The armhole is often refered to as the “seye” by tailors. Its exact depth and shape are crucial to the fit and movement of the garment during wear.

B

BACK STITCH

A hand stitch used to join garments parts. So called because the needle, during the operation, goes back to be inserted at the end of the previous stitch.

BACK STRAP

A strap across the back of a garment, usually on a waistcoat.

BACK TACKING

The reverse sewing at the beginning and end of each seam for strengthening.

BALANCE

Garment balance is the adjustment of the relation of one section of a garment to another in harmony with the natural figuration of the customer. Usually referring to the front and back of the garment.

BALANCE MARKS

Notches, nips or threads in the garment parts which help to preserve the balance of the garment during assembly.

BAR TACK

A reinforcement by means of repeated stiching. Used at the end of buttonholes, pocket corners and belt loops.

BEARER

A section of cloth inside the trouser waistband, at the top of the fly, to take the weight of the trousers when fastened.

BASTE

The temporary stitches that keep the garment together during construction stage and also described as hand-sewn lines of white stiching. These are visible during the fitting stage; all external stitches are removed on completion of the garment.

BIAS

An oblique direction to the warp and weft of the cloth. True bias is at 45 degrees and is often used when cutting the under-collar of a jacket.

BLIND STITCH

A stitch, either by hand or machine, which does not penetrate right through the cloth.

BLOCK PATTERN

A template made in paper or card used for marking out the parts of a garment on to the fabric.

BLUFFING

The process of stitching down the front facings onto the canvas inside the front of a jacket.

BLUFF EDGES

The garment edges being finished without any outside stitching showing.

BOARD (TAILOR’S)

The place where the tailor works, usually in the form of a table, on which he may sit when hand sewing. The cutter would work at a cutting board.

BODKIN

A pointed implement for piercing holes in the cloth and removing baste stitches.

BOUND SEAM

A seam having its fabrics edges bound to prevent fraying.

BREAK

The point where the bridle ends at the centre front of a jacket, usually at the top buttonhole.

BRIDLE

A narrow strip of material, usually cotton, which is padded onto the canvas along the roll of the lapel to hold and control it.

BUGGY

A lining from the neck down across the back of an unlined jacket or coat.

BUTTON

A disc which is attached to the front of a garment as a mean of fastening or decoration.

BUTTON STAND

The distance from the finished edge of the garment to the centre of the button.

BUTTONHOLE

The hole through which a button is passed to fasten the garment.

BUTTONHOLE TWIST

The tightly twisted thread used in hand sewn buttonholes.