Wool of the Peruvian Alpaca, an animal similar to the Lama. Alpaca cloth is lightweight and cool, often in natural colours.

Alteration Hand
Tailor who specialises in making alterations and adjustments to
clothing in the final stages of preparation

Adjustment of front and back lengths of a jacket to harmonise
with the posture of a particular figure. This is very difficult to
achieve in ready to wear clothing

Garment loosely assembled for first fitting

Wax produced by bees. Often used to give added strength to thread when making bespoke clothing

Somewhat strong fabric used for lining of outer garments

A garment custom - made from scratch to a customers specific measurements and requirements. Its origin dates back to the days when a customer ordering a garment would select and reserve a cloth that was then "bespoken" or "spoken for"

Casual jacket made from woollen cloth. Can be single or double breasted, originally navy in colour it can now be brightly coloured or striped

Heavy, dense block of wood used in pressing to set or seal the steam

Body Canvas
Pure wool, and sometimes linen, canvas used in the structure inside a gentlemen's jacket, waistcoat or overcoat to give substance and assist in shaping

Book of fabric samples

Button Down Collar
A shirt collar, usually narrow, that buttons over the tie. Not suitable for formal occasions

Button Gimp
Used when making buttonholes for suits

Button Twist
Yarn used to make buttonholes

The inner material used in a garment to give it shape. Canvasses include linen, horsehair, hemps, jutes, meltons and many more

Carded Wool
Is the process of preparing the yarn without removing short fibres which produces a “woollen” yarn with the individual fibres in a “disorganised” manner. Carded wool is generally used for the production of woollen jackets, flannels, topcoats and heavier woollen type cloths

This rich and rare fibre is found in the undercoat, or down, of Kashmir goats from China and Tibet. It is extremely light, soft and fine, measuring 14-15 microns (thousands of a millimetre), yet it provides excellent thermal insulation against both heat and cold. It is hand-combed, not shorn. Cashmere fabrics are used to produce luxurious garments of incredible softness, lightness and warmth

Cavalry Twill
A firm warp faced twill, originally used for heavy weight fabrics but now used for a range of fabrics. Used for items such as raincoats

A plain weave lightweight cotton fabric primarily used for shirts

Classic Collar
Most popular style of shirt collar where the wings are cut straight and point downward

A general term applied to fabrics

Cloth Structure
Is the type of weave group used to construct the cloth. The three most common weave groups used are; Plain weave (one yarn over, one yarn under), Prunelle weave (2 and 1 twill), Twill weave (2 and 2 twill)

Coat Maker
Tailor who specialises in making jackets

Combed Wool
This is the process where the individual fibres are laid parallel to each other in an “organised” manner for the production of a smooth, less surface fibre, “worsted” yarn

Fabric covered wooden structure used in tailoring as base for pressing

Double Cuff
Style of cuff on a dress or formal shirt, which is folded back and then closed with cufflinks rather than buttons. Also known as french cuffs

The way a fabric hangs in folds

The use of a substance to add colour to fabrics or fibres

The process of applying colour to a textile product by soaking it in
a coloured solution

Yarns or fibres coming together in long lengths

Fancy Yarn Dyed
Is the term given to an individual yarn that is made up of more than one colour. This is used in charcoal grey cloths and fancy or iridescent cloths with fancy decorative colours and designs

Fine hair like structures, which can be natural or synthetic or regenerated, long (filament) or short (staple)

Is the term given to the final process of the cloth that sets the desired “hand” (touch to the hand) and surface appearance

Derived from the Welsh name for wool, flannel is made from woollen yarn that is slightly twisted in the spinning and of open texture

Tailor who is in charge of production in a tailoring workshop

French Cuff
Style of cuff on a dress or formal shirt, which is folded back and then closed with cufflinks rather than buttons. Also known as double cuffs

Use of chemicals and heat to weld the interlinings to the outer fabric of a garment, as distinct from the superior methodology of stitching used by bespoke tailors

Name given to a woven twill fabric, originally made from wool. Usually used for outerwear

The point where the collar is attached to the lapel forming the notch

Cloth made from horsehair. Used as an inner material to give shape to the chest of jackets, waistcoats and overcoats

The feel of textiles when handled

Harris Tweed
Name given to a type of woven tweed fabric, woven on the Isle of Harris in Scotland. Key characteristics are its subtle colours and hard handle

Jacketing lining made of a variety of fibres depending on usage and weight. Often Bemberg, pure silk, twill, satin, rayon or viscose

Natural vegetable-based fibre

Machine used to produce cloth by weaving

Term used to describe the intensity with which light shines on a piece of fibre

Made To Measure
Garment made from a pre-existing stock pattern that is altered, usually by machine, to fit the customer's measurements

Master Tailor
Individual who employs tailors

Felt like cloth used to complete the under collar on a jacket or coat

Merino Wool
Fine, silky and super soft it is the finest grade of commercial sheep's wool available

Luxurious lustrous and durable fibre produced by Angora goats

Synthetic fibre also known as polyamide

Off The Peg
Finished clothing item sold in standard sizes

Fabric, usually cotton, used in tailoring for pocketing, banding and inside sleeve cuffs. Also sometimes used in making of chest on jacket together with hair cloth and body canvas

Template used for the cutting out of pieces of fabric for a garment. A well-cut pattern is essential if the finished garment is to be of top quality (also see Cutter)

Piece Dye
Is the term given when the entire piece is dyed after it has been woven. This process is used to create a solid coloured design.

Fold of fabric generally pressed flat to allow extra room in garment

Fabric used to make pockets for suits and coats

Tendency of cloth to gather in runs, often apparent on the lapel and trouser seams and most common in fused apparel (see fusing)

Textile fibre or fabric made from regenerated cellulose (viscose)

Silk fabric with glossy surface on one side

Savile Row
Street in the West End of London that is the home of bespoke tailoring

Is the edge of the woven fabric that is specifically designed to avoid the cloth fraying and unravelling. A narrow tape can be woven into the Selvedge with lettering identifying the cloth. This can also be referred to as the “list”

Fabric from which shirts are made. Can include cotton, twill, flannel, voile, silk, chambray and linen

A naturally shiny, lightweight fibre; silk offers great resistant and elasticity. It is very soft to the touch and comfortable to wear. Silk is obtained from the secretion of the Bombyx moth larva. Wild silk comes from the larvae of other types of caterpillars

Single Cuff
Cuff normally found on business and long sleeve casual shirts

Sleeve Pitch
Angle at which the sleeve is pitched to the sleeve head. In a bespoke suit the sleeve is pitched to match the angle at which the arm hangs naturally from the shoulder

South Sea Cotton
Exceptionally fine long staple type of cotton grown in the West Indies

Process of making fibres into yarns

The extendibility of a fibre, yarn or fabric

Super 100's
Super 100's, Super 110’s, Super 120’s……….. etc. – Is the industry standard for recognising the quality of yarn used. Super 100’s denotes that the cloth is made from a wool fibre that is 18.5 microns in diameter. A Super 120’s cloth is made from a wool fibre that is 17.5 microns in diameter. Below is a list of standards as set out by The International Wool Textile Organisation (, the organisation that represents the world’s wool-textiles industry

Tactile Property
How a garment fits

To become narrower, as in a trouser leg that is narrower at the ankle than the knee

Light wash of colour, usually pale or delicate

Individual who gathers and prepares various fabrics and items that go into the making of a bespoke garment

The raw materials that in addition to cloth make up the suit

Trouser Maker
Specialist tailor who makes trousers

American term for a single or double-breasted jacket for formal or semi formal evening occasions

Rough twilled woollen weaves and cloths used for suits, jackets and overcoats originally produced in Scotland

Strong, woven fabric characterised by a diagonal weave

Slit in the back of a jacket or coat

The finest, rarest and most luxurious of natural fibres; this extraordinary product is obtained from the protected vicuna lama which lives in the Peruvian Andes. The extremely fine fibre (10-13 microns) is prized for its extreme lightness, softness and resistance

Thin semi transparent cotton, woollen or silken material used in the making of shirts

Vertical threads of a woven fabric

Is the mechanical process of interlacing the warp (vertical yarns) and weft (horizontal) yarns by a weaving loom to produce unfinished cloth

Horizontal threads of a woven fabric

Windsor Collar
Very cut away style of shirt collar, which also known as a cut away collar

Natural fibre coming from sheep, goats, alpacas, vicuna etc

Cloth woven from both long and short-stapled fibres. Often seen in a flannel cloth

Lightweight cloth made of long staple combed woollen yarn, originally named after the village of Worsted near Norwich in England, a centre for worsted weaving

Yarn Count
Term used to denote the size/weight of yarn. Yarn is measured in terms of denier or tex

Yarn Dye
Is the term given when the individual yard are dyed to the required colour before the fabric is woven. This process is used to create different colours in the design of a cloth. Stripes, Prince of Wales checks, windowpanes, birdseyes and any cloth with a design are made from Yarn Dyed yarns

Length of fibres and/or filaments with or without twist