Saturday, August 27

Denim Glossary

Jeans are getting more complicated by the season~ and they will remain a staple in our wardrobes for at least another decade so it's time to brush up on your denim vocabulary. :)

Courtesy of

abraded (adj.): Describes the battering jeans go through to achieve a vintage look.

baking (v.): Treating jeans with a resin, then putting them in an oven so chemicals can merge with fibers to add color, stiffness, and make creases permanent.

broken twill (n.): combines the left- and right-hand twill fabric weaving processes (see definitions for both, below) to create more texture and help the fabric retain its shape (read: wear them 20 times and they won't bag in the knees).

fit block (n.): The pattern each designer uses to create his or her signature silhouette.

global sanding (v.): Using hand or power sanding tools to abrade (see above) an individual pair of jeans.

hand (n.): The feel of the denim, from soft to coarse.

hand tacking (v.): Hand sewing tucks and flaps so certain areas fade less during laundering (stitches are removed before sale).

left-hand twill (n.): Fabric woven to the left, a more intricate process that produces a suppler product than right-hand twill (see below).

right-hand twill (n.): Fabric woven to the right. More common and easier to manufacture, but often not as soft as left-hand twill (see above).

ring spinning (v.): An older method of machine spinning cotton into yarn with an emphasis on twisting, not just stretching the fibers; slower and more expensive, but produces stronger cotton.

rinse denim (n.): Raw fabric that has no washing procedure and is simply rinsed before arriving at the store; produces the toughest jeans.

rise (n.): The length of fabric from the crotch seam to the top (or, depending on the maker, sometimes the bottom) of the waistband; one label's seven-inch rise may be slightly higher or lower than the other's, so always try them on.

selvedge (n.): The reinforced edge of a bolt of denim fabric, which is woven so that it won't unravel; this super-durable edging is now highly desirable when making couture jeans.

slubby (adj.): A term applied to cotton yarn that is less smooth, more textured with nubs and character.

stitch count (n.): The number of stitches per inch on the jean's seams; 12 stitches per inch takes longer to sew and uses more thread than, say, 8 stitches per inch, but makes the seam stronger.

stone wash (v.): Stones (usually pumice stones) put in the wash to soften the fabric.

sundries (n., pl.): Extras like metal rivets, Swarovski crystals and decorative stitching on the back pocket.

tear-and-repair (v.): An aging technique that involves taking a screwdriver or other tool and tearing small holes in the jeans then sewing them closed.

wash (n.): The color and texture produced by the finishing process of washing the jean; creates varying results, such as an aged appearance or enhanced softness and can include applying colored dye and resin.

weight (n.): The lightness or heaviness of the denim. Approximately 8 ounces is a breezy, cotton-y fabric; 14 ounces is on the hefty side.

whiskers (n.): The flattering wrinkles around the crotch of the jeans. Sometimes behind the knees, too; called a "moustache" in Europe.

Study hard! There will be a pop quiz in September!!! for details.