THE TAILORING GLOSSARY
From Alfred Brown to zip flies, The Tailoring Glossary contains everything you need to know about the world of Reiss tailoring
Batise is a light plain weave crafted from fine and high-quality yarns, cotton batiste is the softest of the lightweight opaque fabrics.
Bespoke is a British term that derives from the verb to bespeak, bespoke tailoring refers to suiting that is custom-made. Although the word ‘bespoke’ can now refer to anything from modern technology to luxury cars, its heritage is within clothing.
Binding refers to tape stitched around the inside of your trouser-ends to ensure they don’t fray. This prevents the constant movement of fabric on shoe leather, whether or not you have turn-ups or hemmed trousers.
Traditionally associated with Scotland where woven dyed wool was once a principal cloth, a check is a pattern of modified stripes consisting of crossed vertical and horizontal lines forming squares.
COLUMBIA STITCH TRIM
Used to create detailing around the edge and a better finish, the Columbia stitch trim can be found inside a suit jacket. A pick stitch is ideal for formal looks, whereas a top stitch is the preferred choice for casual attire.
Originally introduced to emphasise the line of the trouser, creases have remained in fashion due to the fact they look smart. They also improve the hang of the trouser and give a clean and crisp aesthetic.
Used to protect the material from fraying, a cuff is a fold used as trimming at the bottom of the sleeve.
In Britain, a sleeve cuff traditionally has between one and four buttons which can be fully or semi functional. Cuff buttons can also be ‘kissing’ (when touching) or a ‘waterfall’ (when placed beneath one and other).
A style of shirt collar that is more spread apart towards the shoulder. Also referred to as a Windsor collar, a cutaway collar has shallow points that fall away sharply from the neck. This is a very British feature which looks great when worn with a jacket to cover the points.
Material that is speckled or spotted is referred to as flecked, with specks of colour moving through the main colour.
Used to hold the front of a pair of trousers flat and keep them looking smart, the French bearer is a special button found behind the fly. This also creates comfort, practicality and a cleaner look.
Located above the cuffs, the top and under-gauntlets produce openings at the sleeve ends for ease of wear.
Traditionally used to shape a garment to the body, a gusset is a triangular or rhomboid piece of fabric inserted into a seam. It also adds breadth and reduces stress from tighter fitting clothes.
Taking its name from the fact it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish, the herringbone pattern is a distinctive V-shaped weaving pattern which is found in suiting and jacketing.
: Also known as dogstooth, houndstooth is a duotone textile pattern identified by its broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes which are often in black and white. Puppytooth is a smaller scale version of houndstooth.
A middle ground between ready-to-wear garments and bespoke tailoring, a made-to-measure service allows the customer to choose a desired design from a selection of ready-to-wear styles and have it customised to fit their shape. It also allows them to choose the fabrics they want to be used.
Used to give shape and structure to an overcoat or jacket, as well as making a collar stand nicely against the neckline; Melton is a heavy woollen cloth with a close-cut nap.
Taken from the Angora goat, Mohair is a soft, fine hair used to make extremely light woven fabrics with sheen across the surface. Mohair is great for travelling due to its bounciness and the fact it doesn’t crease.
The most formal of all the lapels, a peaked lapel features mostly on double-breasted jackets, formal coats and dinner jackets. The top line slants up from the horizontal, reaching a point and leaving only a think space between the collar and lapel.
Often used for the fronts of dress shirts or waistcoats, piqué is a cotton fabric featuring a ribbed or corded surface.
The double layer of fabric that holds the buttons and buttonholes in a shirt is known as the placket. Although usually used for practical purposes, sometimes plackets are used as a design aesthetic. They can be button-through, French front, concealed or fly.
Found on both shirting and trousers, a pleat is the excess of folded fabric that is added to a garment for aesthetic and practical purposes.
Used to give the material of a garment its character, poplin is a fabric crafted from a fine warp yarn and a thick filling.
With its origins in the Victorian smoking jacket, the shawl lapel has a continuously curved design. It is now most commonly used on the tuxedo jacket.
A single breasted suit jacket has one column of buttons and a narrow overlap of fabric. This design is often used for occasionwear, particularly on a smoking jacket or dinner suit.
Slanting pockets on a jacket can help emphasis its silhouette.
Ideal for creating ‘texture’ in fabric, a ‘slub’ or thick area in a yarn is produced when wool has been slightly twisted in preparation for spinning.