Fashion Dictionary 

knowing what’s what when it comes to clothes and fashion can be confusing here is a fashion dictionary to help you understand different fabrics and cuts and terminologies 



Soft cloth made from the hair of the Alpaca that lives mainly in South America.


Fabric that’s decorated with embroidery creating figures and abstract designs.

3.Hermitage train (small)

Train as on a wedding dress that can reach up to about 50 cms long.

4.Chapel train (medium)

Train as on a wedding dress that varies between 50 cms and 200 cms approximately.

5.Cathedral train (large)

Train as on a wedding dress, large in size, from 200 cms to desired length, according to taste and possibilities.


Goat hair fabric, sometimes mixed with wool.

Very fine wool fabric made from a cashmere goat.


In French “crêpe”. Knitting wool, silk or cotton, rough surface.

Linen and cotton fabric featuring reliefs on the surface, widely used for table linen.


Lightweight fabric characterised by a wrinkled, matte surface due to the low density of warp and weft, and the high tension twist of the weft or the warp and weft together. It is made of silk, rayon, cotton and yarn and dyed in all colors, often in black for mourning.


Very soft, light textured fabric, made of silk or cotton. Rayon can also be used.
10. Cambray

Woven fabric consisting of the warp in a colour and the weft in white. Used in dresses, sleepwear, sportswear, children’s wear and shirting.

11. Ticking

Classic cotton twill, made of two-ply combed yarn, generally mercerised. (Mercerising is treating cotton yarns and fabrics with a solution of caustic soda to make them shiny).

12. Chintz

Cotton fabric with a bright finish, usually with a large floral print.

13. Tweed

Cloth made from the yarn of Scottish Lamb’s wool. Widely used in suits and winter clothing.

14. Damask

Strong wool and silk fabric with patterns formed in the fabric which stand out from the background.

15. Velour

Fabric with a soft pile similar to velvet.

16. Halter neckline

More than a neckline, this is a type of cut that exposes the arms, shoulders and back. It fastens at the back of the neck. It is very suitable for women with a good figure and helps conceal a generous bust.

17. Strapless neckline

One of the best known and most used necklines. Ideal for women with a small bust, but suits all kinds of women. It leaves shoulders bare and is either straight or sweetheart shape in front, straight across the back. It is elegant, discreet and is widely used in wedding gowns and formal dresses and looks good with a scarf or shawl.

18. Off the shoulder neckline

A type of neckline that falls over the shoulders. Can be used with any type of elastic or strip to keep in place. It’s very flattering and quite striking, ideal for women with a generous bust.

19. Illusion neckline

A round neckline type which owes its name to the mesh (usually transparent) covering the neck area. It’s ideal for slim women with long necks and also for women with narrow shoulders. The see-through fabric can be mesh, tulle, organza, lace, etc.,.

20. Sweetheart neckline

It goes from the shoulders to the bust line, ending in a heart shaped peak and can be plain or with some kind of embroidery or lace. Widely used in romantic designs. It’s very suitable for women with short necks.

21. Turtleneck

This neckline can come to the top of the chest or the top of the neck. It can be in lace or yarn. Ideal for women with long necks and looks elegant with hair tied up.

22. Box neckline – round

Simple neckline in a curve from the bust line to the shoulders. Also known as a scooped neckline. The depth depends on personal taste and figure. It’s simple, comfortable and ideal for all types of women. It is very easy to match with any kind of sleeve and cut.

23. Boat neckline

Neckline that forms a straight line from shoulder to shoulder, along the lines of the clavicle, and leaving the shoulders slightly bare. Comes close to the neck and is usually equal height on the front and back. It’s a good option for harmonising and balancing the figure, an elegant, simple, discreet neckline.

24. French neckline – square

Rectangular or square neckline, which hugs the bust and is perfect for women with wide hips and a thin waist, as it focuses emphasis on the bust. It is a widely used type of neckline in empire line dresses.

25. V neck

This neckline runs from the shoulders to the top of the bust in a V shape, leaving the shoulders a little bare. It suits wide figures and generous busts as it slims and highlights the shoulders.

26. Princess neckline

Cleavage type which is open at the front, and the back is closed with a small flap.

27. Mandarin collar

Eastern style neckline, round, closed, from Japanese culture. It suits most women.

28. Draped neckline

Soft neckline which falls in a round or V shape or round-neck, which gives it a certain volume. It can minimise features like a generous bust or a slim neck.

29. Lace

Mesh fabric with patterns of bows, flowers, figures or other images, made with bobbins, sewing needles or hooks, or by machine.

30. Chenille

Woven cord or yarn, often silk, which leaves long strands giving a pile, often used to decorate.

31. Gauze

See-through, fine, soft fabric. Used in dresses, accessories and ornaments.

32. Gauzer

Semi transparent fabric, woven uniformly on warp and weft, and full-bodied. Similar to organza, but a little stiffer.

33. Interlock

Knitted fabric, plain and double that looks the same on both sides.

34. Jacquard

Woven on looms, its movement creates elaborate designs. Used in fashion garments and is also a basic in decor in tapestry, brocades and damasks for table linen.

35. Lamé

Bright fabric, especially of gold or silver.

36. Moiré

Strong fabric that can be cotton, wool or silk and has the appearance of a watermark.

37. Muslin

Very thin fabric from cotton, silk or wool.

38. Mikado

A thick silk fabric which has a slightly grainy texture.

39. Mohair

Cloth made of the hair of the Angora goat, widely used in the manufacture of jackets and sweaters. Its main feature is that it is very soft and shiny.

40. Wadding

Cotton fabric that mimics the padding which is used for making clothes.

41. Nainsoock

Muslin type fabric, made of cotton fibre, fine and can be striped or smooth. It is of Indian origin.

42. Organdie

White cotton fabric, very thin and transparent with a slightly shiny finish.

43. Ottoman 

Corded, woven fabric that is used primarily for dresses.

Silk fabric, cotton or yarn, forming a small ridge horizontally.

44. Organza 

Lightweight fabric of silk or cotton, semi transparent, finer than muslin, but stiffer and used especially for women’s clothing.

45. Oxford

Ideal for shirting fabric, this is a soft and porous taffeta fabric, usually made of combed cotton yarns.

46. Piqué

Cotton fabric with different uses. Used in clothing and other things. It can have a grain or other raised effect.

47. Panne velvet

Grooved, pile fabric that comes in various weights and fabrics. Thick velvet-like fabric, which can be generally smooth or have vertical slits. Although widely used for garments, it is also used for decoration.

48. Percale

Low priced cotton canvas, painted white. Soft, finely combed linen fabric with a minimum of 180 threads per inch.

49. Plisé

Cloth that has been treated with caustic soda to shrink part of the cloth, which is smooth in contrast to the rest, creating folds.

50. Poplin

Fabric with a high thread count which has a fine rib on the surface due to a thinner thread in the warp than the weft.

51. Satin

Glossy silk fabric which has more body than taffeta and less than velvet.

52. Rayon

Cloth made from rayon fibre a little similar to silk, often called artificial silk. Made from natural cellulose fibre.

53. Radium

Smooth, thin silk fabric with some shine. It has more body than a lightweight crepe, but is softer than taffeta.

54. Sateen

Silky fabric much like satin.

55. Shangtung

Silk fabric, full-bodied, thick texture and a shine, similar to other fabrics such as eastern pongee, habutai, the honan or corah.

56. Serge

Woven fabric that is identified by the diagonal lines on the face of the fabric, ideal for trousers.

57. Seersucker

Light cotton fabric with crinkled stripes and flat strips, obtained by alternating tension and release in the warp yarns.

58. Suit jacket

Tailored jacket with matching skirt or trousers.

59. Taffeta

Thin, dense silk fabric.

60. Tulle

Thin transparent fabric of silk, cotton or linen, which is mesh, usually in octagons.

61. Velvet

Silk fabric with a soft pile, formed with two warp to one weft, or a similar weave.

62. Tufted

Thread loops as applied to a woven fabric, rubber or other substrate. The machines used for this process have multiple needles. Mainly used for rugs and carpets.

63. Tartan

Wool fabric that has crisscrossed frames of different colours, generally used by the Scots.

64. Tuxedo

The average male costume dress – black jacket and lapels, usually silk, a black waistcoat and black bow tie.

65. Twill

Fabric that forms a diagonal line, visible on the right side of fabric.

66. Twist

It is the name given to fabrics made with twisted yarns that give it a lot of resistance. Because of this it’s often used in quality garments and in making men’s suits.

67. Tricotine

A fabric much like gabardine, double woven twill and yarn, a fabric of great strength and durability.

68. Vicuña

Fabric made from the wool of this animal and also some imitations made of fine wool and cotton.

69. Velveteen

Fabric with a corduroy-like surface covered by dense, short hair.

70. Piping

A ribbon, cord or braid sitting on the edges or seams of clothing.

71. Mink

Short, close, fur with different shades of brown, very popular in the making of fur coats.

72. Viscose

Synthetic fabric made of a kind of rayon from cellulose raw material, widely used in fabrics for home or industry.

73. Velour

A type of short hair velvet, very soft and tactile like peach skin.

74. Whipcord

Thick, woollen cloth, very dense fabric with a defined finish, characterised by a strong diagonal line. Usually used to make suits, coats and trimmings.

75. Waffle cloth

A woollen cloth, whose main characteristic is that its fabric composition forms a honeycomb shape.

These are some of the most common terms in terms of fabrics and shapes, there are many more that you’ll pick up as you learn more about fashion.

Fashion Terms

ARTY: Trademark of intense colours.

BIB: Bib necklace with round beads and full colour.

BIKER JACKET: Iconic leather jacket of the style worn by motorcycle riders.
COZY: Wide, cotton knit sweater.

CLUTCH: Handbag type purse.

CRUISE: It is the coolest way of referring to collections between seasons.

DIY: Do it yourself. People who create their own style.
GEEK CHIC: Schoolgirl look. Most popular in London.
GLITTER: Bright finishes on fabrics or accessories.

ICON T-SHIRT: T shirt of the true protagonists of your wardrobe.
IT GIRL: Fashion icon that often has a large media following and fans imitating their outfits.

KITTEN HEELS: Heels of around 5cm. They’re from the 50s, but we must confess that they don’t do anything for us!
LWD: Little white dress, a must have this summer.
NEUTRAL COLOUR BLOCK: Black + white + gray in the same outfit.

OUTFIT: The complete top-to-toe look.
PEPLUM: Frill from the waist to the hips on dresses and tops.

CROPPED PANTS: Trousers with a turn-up on the bottom, showing the ankles.

SOFT: Fashion style in soft colours.

STATEMENT OUTFIT: The look of the most influential women in the fashion world.
VINTAGE: In fashion this term is used to refer to garments and / or accessories that are more than 20 years old.

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