A Glossary of Tailoring Terms

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Tailoring is an old and distinguished industry. Like many others of it’s kind, close to a whole language has sprung up around it.

If you’ve ever been confused by a tailoring term, this post is for you! 

Banger a wooden paddle used to smooth fabric during ironing.

Balance the way the front and back lengths of a jacket match up in order to best flatter the shape of the wearer. 

Baste a garment that’s roughly sewn together for the purposes of an initial fitting.

Basting long temporary stitches.

Bespoke garments that are made to the exact specifications of each customer.

Binding a fabric tape often stitched over the inside of seams to make them look neater and prevent fraying.

Board the workbench where a tailor cuts and stitches.

Canvas a firm fabric used for adding structure to tailored garments.

Draft an initial drawing or plan of a garment.

Flecked speckled or spotted fabric.

Gusset a triangular piece of fabric sewn into seams to add width to the garment’s fit. 

Interlining a fabric sewn in between the main fabric and the lining to add bulk, strength or warmth.

Kick tape fabric tape added to trouser hems to prolong their lifespan.

Made to measure a garment that’s made to an individual customer’s measurements to a standard design.

Pattern a paper template used for cutting out each section of a garment.

Pleat a fold of fabric that’s added to garments either for visual interest or to improve the fit. 

Scye the armhole of a garment

Skirt the part of the jacket that hangs beyond the waist.

Welt a fabric strip added as a border to pockets and seams. 

Have you come across any other tailoring terms you’re not familiar with? Tweet us at @MullenMullen and we’ll do our best to help.