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APPAREL TERMINOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS


Abrasion Resistance

The ability of a fabric to withstand loss of appearance or surface through surface wear or rubbing.


Acrylic

(Fiber) Generic name for man made fibers derived from polyacrylonitrile. Features a soft , woolly hand ; wash and wear performance ; brilliant high shade colors ; good sunlight and wrinkle resistance.


Air Jet Spinning

During Air Jet Spinning yarn is made by wrapping fibers around a core stream of fibers with compressed air. In this process , the fibers are stretched to the appropriate size , then fed to the air jet chambers where they are twisted , first in one direction , then in the reverse direction in a second chamber. The yarn is stabilized after each operation. Yarn produced on Air Jet pills less because the spinning process creates a tighter outer wrap which holds typically loose polyester fibers (experienced in Open End Spinning) in place. Fewer loose polyester fibers means less pilling.


Argyle

A popular design for knitted fabrics, both hand and machine knit. Two or three colors generally are used in a diamond-shaped pattern.


Banded

Fabric is folded double and sewn down. Refers to tee shirt collars and staff shirt sleeves


Basketweave

A variation of a plain weave in which two or more yarns weave alike in both the warp(Vertical) and Filling (Horizontal) directions. The name probably derives from the similarity to basket work structures. The weave produces a rather LOOSE construction.


Berber

A texture very similar to Sherpa, but with a heavier, more woolen texture - used for Outerwear


Bird's-eye

A pattern that resembles a bird’s eye.


Buckram backing

Stiff fabric used to give shape and form to items like caps, belts, etc. Also used to stabilize embroidery, edges.


Burguntal Cloth

Constructed from 100% nylon. This durable base fabric has a water repellent finish applied to the face, which prevents water drops from soaking into the nylon.The back is coated with Polyurethane for added water resistance and wind protection.


Byron Collar

Collar with large points and not much of a roll; named after the English poet Lord Byron.


Cap Sleeves

Sleeve type used mainly in ladies styles but is also used in unisex styles. Standard tee sleeve length is approximately to the elbow. Cap sleeves would fall midway between the elbow and the shoulder.


Carded Cotton

Yarn that has been cleaned, aligned and formed into a continuous untwisted strand but has NOT gone through additional spinning processes like combing or ringspinning.


Carding

Preliminary process in yarn spinning. Fibers are separated and made into more parallel-untwisted strand called SLIVERS. This process also removes most of the impurities and a certain amount of short or broken fibers.


Center line/ Center Crease

Helps line up garment for screenprint or embroidery.Disadvantage - if line is not actually centered,it is more difficult to center logo.


Chevron

A zigzag stitch VERY similar to Herringbone


Colorfast

A term used to describe fabrics of sufficient color retention so that no noticeable changes in shed takes place during the “normal” life of the garment.


Constructed

Crown of a cap has Buckram to give the cap shape even when it is not being worn.


Coolmax

Certification mark of the Dupont Company, for knitted fabrics made of POLYESTER fibers that are grooved on the outside to facilitate better wicking and moisture evaporation.


Cordura®

Trademark of Dupont Company, for air-textured nylon yarn.


Core Vents

Efficiently dissipate excess body heat and perspiration vapor.


Cotton

Cotton is named for a shrubby plant (genus Gossypium) of the MALLOW family, for the fibers surrounding the seeds, and for the cloth woven from the spun fibers. Each of the seeds, which are contained in capsules, or bolls, is surrounded by white or cream-colored downy fibers that flatten and twist naturally as they dry. Cotton is tropical in origin but is now cultivated worldwide. It has been spun, woven, and dyed since prehistoric times.


Coverseaming/Coverstitching

Two needles to overlap the threads underneath, reinforcing the seams with a smooth layer of threads. (looks similar to double needle stitching)


Crocking

The tendency of excess dyes to rub off. Napped a pile fabrics in deep colors are most likely to crock. Industry has set standards and tests to measure and prevent crocking. With the PIGMENT dye process this can occur if the garment is NOT washed before worn.


CrossWinds

Lightweight wind protection. CrossWinds shells are extremely packable and compressible.


Denier

Is to polyester as Singles is to cotton, however with Denier, the SMALLER the number of denier the THINNER the strand of polyester and the LARGER the number the THICKER the strand of polyester. (This is the OPPOSITE of singles.)


Dobby

When weaving fabric - geometric shapes are woven into the weaving pattern.


DryPoint ™ Semi-Oxford

A modified basket weave of 100% Nylon coated with Ether-based Poly Urethane. Extremely durable and absolutely waterproof.


End-On-End

An alternating color or striped effect.


Enzyme Wash

A fabric softening process that gives a soft hand to fabric and wears the color VERY slightly. Does NOT have a washed out look like PIGMENT DYE.


Four-needle stitching

Used to reinforce the waistband in shorts and sweatpants.


French Placket

Is to woven shirts as a set-on placket is to staff shirts.


Glen Plaid

Popular Scottish pattern for sportswear characterized by checks of two different sizes with similar color patterns. Made in many grades of fabric.


Graded Collar

The size of the collar changes proportionally with the size of the shirt.


Greige (Gray) Goods

Knitted or woven fabrics of all fibers in an unfinished state, after they have been woven and before dyeing or finishing.


Grommet

An eyelet of firm material (ex: Metal) to strengthen or protect an opening.


Gusset

Insert (as in the sleeve seam or side panel - Crossgrain crew) to widen and strengthen.


Hand

The “feel” of a fabric or print.


Heather

Blended fibers combined to create a vari-colored effect; e.g. heather gray. Heathered fabric typically contains 3 fibers: cotton, polyester or rayon. In any of the garments that ALPHA carries an ASH or BIRCH or Heather Grey, Steel Grey, Light Steel, etc. (The name may vary per mill) these colors are NEVER 100% Cotton. Another fiber MUST be added with the cotton in order to achieve the necessary color. PLEASE NOTE: If a fabric contains 95% cotton it can be LEGALLY labeled 100% cotton, however, the mills that ALPHA carries will state the proper content on the garment label for these colors.


HyventMicro Failleweave

A 100% coated Nylon flat ribbed fabric that is waterproof, windproof and very breathable with excellent abrasion and durability characteristic. Treated with a Durable Water Repellant finish to shed water.


Interlock

Double knit construction makes this the heaviest of the 3 knits.Similar to a Jersey knit except both front and back of the fabric look identical.Interlock is the tightest weave, gives the smoothest surface and the finest hand.


Jacquard

A design or pattern in the fabric and/or collar


Kangaroo Pocket

A large front single pocket, with side openings allowing both hands to be inserted, meeting in the Middle.(See Also muff pocket)


Kasha lining

A lining principally for jackets featuring cotton flannel, napped face and imitation chambray back


Knapping

Refers to the inside of a fleece garment. Garment fabric brushed with a wire brush to give a very soft hand.


Kodel

Polyester fiber created and trademarked by Eastman Kodak Co.


Lisle (Yarn)

Refers to type of yarn. This type of yarn has a soft hand is a very fine count (singles) and is 2 ply.


Low Profile

Any crown of a cap that is LESS than 4” in height. Not to be confused with UNSTRUCTURED.We DO have low profile caps that are STRUCTURED.


Lyocell

Generic name for TENCEL®


Marled Yarn

Twisting a solid color yarn with a yarn of various colors to create a varied color effect.


Medium Weight

Classification for fabric of 22 to 24 single yarn, where the number of yarn denotes the overall fabric weight.


Melton Wool

A heavily felted non-lustrous fabric. The heaviest type is used in outerwear.


Mercerization

Treatment for fabric (cotton yarn or cloth) that swells the fiber and gives it LUSTER or shine. Slightly preshrinks yarn and makes it stronger. This also helps with dye acceptance and improves fabric absorbency.


Moleskin

Supposed to simulate fur of a mole. Carded cotton is knapped or brushed and then sheared for smoothness to provide a suede fur effect.


MTR Fleece™

(Maximum Thermal Retention) A non-pilling, 100% polyester fleece that provides a soft, warm insulating layer. Weighing about half as much as wool, MTR Fleece™ is quick drying and remains warm even when wet.


Muff pocket

A large front single pocket, with side openings allowing both hands to be inserted, meeting in the middle. (See also kangaroo pocket)


Nailhead

A woven in or engineered design.


Neoprene

A generic name for a type of synthetic rubber.


Nu-Blend (Jerzees)

Trademark process of spinning yarn that virtually eliminates pilling.


Omni-Dry™

Process keeps you dry and warm whatever the activity by drawing moisture to the fabric face where it wicks across the surface and evaporates. The rate of evaporation increases with the amount of moisture.


Open End Spinning

A system of spinning based on the concept of introducing twist to the yarn by rotating the yarn end at a gap in the flow of fibers between the delivery system and the yarn package; a much faster operation than ring spinning. Open-end yarn has a coarser hand than ring spun cotton.


Oxford

A modified plain or weave. Can be striped or checked by using groups of various colored yarn.


Piece Dyed

This term is used when the knitted cloth is dyed, prior to being assembled into a finished product.


Pilling

Accumulation of fibers on the surface of a fabric, caused by wear and washing. In 50/50 fabric, cotton fibers tear and become tangled with the stronger fibers on the surface of the garment.A higher cotton content results in less pilling.


Pima (Cotton)

Refers to type of cotton. Originally grown by the Pima Indians in the South West part of the United States. It’s natural color is yellow as opposed to white for other cotton. It’s a very fine, long staple (refers to the length of the individual fibers) cotton. It is a very soft and strong fiber that accepts dye well.


Pinwale

A very narrow ridge or rib in a fabric (from 16 to 23 wales to the inch) EX: Pinwale corduroy.


Pique (Pee-kay)

A knit sometimes called LaCoste because that company popularized its use.Has a distinct right and wrong side.The right side resembles a Honey Comb or a waffle and the wrong side is flat and smooth.Has a course firm hand an generally uses fine yarns.


Placket

A slit extending down the front of a shirt from the neck. The slit is usually secured with buttons


Poly Nosic

Type of fabric that has a TWILL texture with a VERY soft “silk like” feel. This fabric will also protect against 95% of the UV rays from the sun.


Quarter Turning

Eliminates the center line by rotating the shirt at 900 so that the fold line is then under the arms. Currently, imprinters like this feature because it eliminates the center line.


Quilted (jacket)

Jacket featuring a lining with two or more layers and a padded filling.


Raglan

A type of sleeve sewn in with seams slanting outward from the neck to the underarm.


Reinforced Placket (X-Box)

A square or rectangular sewn area used to strengthen and reinforce the bottom of a placket.


Rib knit

A form of knit fabric with vertical rows of knitting loops visible on both sides of the cloth.This fabric features more elasticity than jersey knit.


Ring Spun Cotton

Yarn produced on ring frame equipment; typically, this is a finer yarn, producing a softer hand.


Ringer

T-shirt, with solid body featuring ribbed crew neck (and sleeve bands) in a contrasting color.


Ripstop

Very fine woven fabric, often NYLON, with coarse, strong yarns spaced at intervals so that tears will not spread.


Saddle Shoulder

Variation of a raglan sleeve, where the shoulder portion forms a straight band cut in the same piece with the sleeve. It is seamed front and back parallel to the shoulder instead of at an angle as in raglan style.


Seamless Tubular Collar

Increases durability of collar and prevents splitting of collar seams.


Self collar

Collar comprised of the same type of piece goods used in the shirt body. The collar is made by sewing the two collar parts together with a lining in the center for support.(As in tanks tops and ladies items)


Set-in Sleeves

Style of sleeve, which is sewn into the shoulder seam. The seam is straight up and down from the shoulder seam to the underarm. (as opposed to the neck in RAGLAN sleeves).


Sherpa

As garment is woven, the outside of the fabric is brushed with a wire brush to give the garment a very soft “fuzzy” feel.


Shoulder-to-Shoulder Taping

Shoulder seams, as well as neck seam are covered by tape or binding. This reinforces shoulder and neck seams, and reduces separation of the seams.


Shrinkage Rate

Approximately 4 - 5 % on most 100 % garments after pre-shrinking or compacting


Sitka

A long-lasting, super-waterproof coating made perfect for wet weather


Structured

Crown of a cap has Buckram to give the cap shape even when it is not being worn.


Tactel®

Trademark of the Dupont Company, for filament nylon fiber.


Talkeetna

Design for all-season active outdoor sports, Talkeetna shells use Core Vents and our new Hyvent waterproof/breathable coating to help keep your body cool and dry.


Tencel®

Trademark of Courtlands. The first new fiber to be introduced in over 50 years. Made from the natural cellulose found in trees especially grown for this purpose. When one tree is harvested another is planted. Characteristics:
* Very strong fiber
* Soft, smooth hand
* Excellent DRAPE when worn
* Machine washable & Dryable
* Low shrinkage
* Wrinkle resistance


Undervisor

The colored material on the bottom side of the visor. Years ago, the undervisor was always green because this color was considered easiest on the eyes. Today, however, we do have silver underbills, however, in most circumstances, the color of the undervisor matches the color of the cap.


Unstructured/Unconstructed

When there is no buckram in the crown of a cap. The cap only has shape when placed on the head.


Visor (Peak)

The front of the hat or cap that extends out from the front panel and acts as a sunshade. Also, a type of headwear that consists of the peak or sunshade only so that the top of the head is exposed. When referring to a full cap, visor is interchangeable with peak.


V-notch

Triangular 2-ply patch of material sewn to the front of the neck for decorative purposes.


Waffle

Stitch used in KNIT goods to produce a series of square waffle-like designs.


Wales

The individual loops of a course (vertical rows of loops) also, when referring to corduroy, the amount of ridges per inch in the fabric.


Water-Repellant

The characteristic of a fiber to resist wetting. Most water repellent garments have a COATING to achieve water repellence.


Welted Sleeve Cuffs

ONE piece of rib knit material sewn on the cuff, collar or placket of a shirt.


Yarn dyeing

Yarn, which has been dyed prior to the weaving of the goods; follows the spinning of the yarn.


Yoke

A part of a garment fitted closely to the shoulders.





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