Acetate - A regenerated fibre with half the absorbency of Cupro and Viscose, static builds more easily. Generally weaker than Viscose Rayon.

Amann - One of the leading producers of high quality sewing and embroidery threads.


Banrol - A stiff polyester canvas trim designed to stabilize and shape trouser or skirt waistbands.

Basting - The process of securing two or more layers of fabric or other materials together, using long stitches or pins, in preparation for stitching.  Also known as tacking. Basting thread is usually white so easy to see against the fabric and easy to change/remove when required.

Beeswax - Used to wax thread. Waxing threads makes threading a needle easier, makes thread less prone to knotting when hand stitching, and makes the thread stronger when used to sew on buttons.  This is also useful on precision work such as hand sewing buttonholes.

Bemberg - A high-quality brand of Cupro. The fabric was invented in 1918, and named after J. P. Bemberg, the German developer; it is now a trademark of the Japanese organisation Asahi Kasei Corporation who supply the Cupro yarn.

Bengal Stripe - A common pattern for striped  lining with stripes of equal width in two colors - usually white and another colour.  Named after the Bengal area of India which was a key textle hub in the 18th century.

Bespoke - A suit made on or around Savile Row, "bespoken" to the customer’s exact specifications. A bespoke suit is cut by an individual and made by highly skilled individual craftsmen. The pattern is made specifically for the customer and the finished suit will require a series of fittings. 

Bias - A fabric “cut on the bias” at a 45 degree angle. 

Bias Tape - Bias Tape is a narrow fabric folded together to meet in the centre. It  comes finished in 1/2" and 1"width.When the tape is opened the 1 inch opens to 2" and the 1/2" opens to 1". Our bias cut lining tape is used to internally reinforce the jacket edge.

Bodkin and Threader - A set of two tools used in threading cords, ribbons and elastics through casings.  They are also handy as point turners for collars.

Body Canvas - Canvas is used to construct the body of a jacket and waistcoat. Available in a variety of widths, textures and weights dependent on the type of jacket being made i.e. a tropical weight canvas would be used in light weight jackets to prevent the article of clothing from being too heavy. Made from a mixture of wool, camel or goat hair as well as cotton and viscose.

Brushed Cotton - A soft brushed texture cotton created using a mechanical brushing machine that processes raw material to achieve a soft raised nap. This makes Brushed Cotton soft to the touch and able to easily retain warmth when worn. Used as a pocketing or retro jacket lining.

Buckram - Buckram is used to make custom moulds for  hats and other objects.  Available in heavy weight and double sided.  Traditionally made from hessian/jute, it is more readily available in thick coated cotton as primarily used in interior design for curtain pelmets and tie-backs.

Button Stance - Refers to both the number of buttons on a jacket or waistcoat as well as placement on a garment.

Buttonhole gimp - Placed underneath buttonhole stitches to prevent the buttonhole from stretching out of shape. Made of viscose and used by hand to reinforce the cut buttonhole before silk buttonhole twist is finely sewn over the gimp.

Buttonhole twist - A lustrous silk sewing thread suitable for stitching handmade buttonholes.


Calico - An un-dyed, untreated natural cotton generally used for toiles.

Canvas - A material used in between a jacket’s lining and outer fabric to give it shape and longevity, often made horse hair and linen.  See "body canvas" and "chest canvas" for further information.

Chest Canvas - High quality horsehair chest canvas is springy and crafted over the body canvas to create the necessary shape in a jacket.

Corozo Buttons - Corozo is a 100% natural product which is similar in consistency to a hard resin. It is a kind of large nut that mainly comes from Ecuador. Also known as tagua, it is often referred to as "vegetable ivory."

Cotton Bump - A thick interlining material made of 100% cotton, often used as a curtain interlining.

Cotton Domette - A medium weight interlining used to soften chest fronts.  Domette has a raised or milled finish and should be densely woven so that any hairs from the canvases beneath do not poke through.

Cotton Drill - Very heavy twill fabric also available in poly cotton used as a uniform fabric for heavy wear and durability.

Cotton Lawn - Very fine, lightweight 100% cotton fabric to line summer dresses or childrenswear etc.

Cotton Ticking - Traditional 100% cotton herringbone or striped ticking used as bed linen or pillowcases and by costumiers.

Crown - The top of the sleeve head.

Cuff - The part of a shirt that surrounds the wrist. Available in many styles. The style that requires cuff links is called a double cuff.  Buttons for jacket cuffs are usually 22L or 23L in size. See "ligne" for further information on button sizing.

Cuff Buttons - 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 overlapped).

Cupro - A regenerated fibre from the finest part of the cotton plant - lintel.  Abbreviated from cuprammonium, the chemical process used to create the yarn.  Very fine fibre for smoothness and a silk touch.

Cutter - A tailoring professional who takes clients’ initial measurements and then creates a paper pattern from which the cloth is cut.


Dak Tops - Named after Daks Simpson of Piccadilly.  Iridescent mock-pearl buttons used on the hip and cash trouser pockets. 

Double Breasted - A coat or jacket with wide, overlapping fabric and two parallel columns of buttons. 


Ermazine - Classic Viscose Rayon Taffeta lining still termed from its Germanic origins.


Facing - The outer silk fabric that faces or fronts tuxedo jacket lapels and pocket flaps.

Felt - A nubby wool material used in the undercollar of a jacket to give it shape.

Fusible Tape - Cut reels of the most popular cotton or non-woven fusible interlinings used to reinforce or stiffen pocket areas and sleeve cuffs.

Fusing - Fusible interlinings used in mass production of jackets that can vary widely in quality.  Temperature, pressure and time of application are the three key issues.


Grosgrain - Also known as cord, corded or ribbed - the description of fine lines woven in fabric e.g. silk facings and petershams.


Half Lined - A lining technique in which a suit jacket is only lined along the shoulder blades and down each side panel. Allows for greater ventilation and is popular on spring and summer suitings.

Handle - This refers to how a fabric feels in your hand e.g. how silky it is.

Herringbone - Fishbone pattern woven in classic wool fabrics and linings.


Interlining - Interlining is an additional layer applied to the inside of garments to add shape and structure to areas such as collars, cuffs, waistbands and pockets; and to stabilise areas such as shoulder seams or necklines. Interfacings come in two main types - fusible or sew-in,  three main weaves - non-woven, woven and knit, and in varying weights.


Jacquard - Elaborate woven patterns made on a Jacquard loom, invented in France in the early 19th century.  Jacquard woven design linings can add a very luxurious finish to an item of clothing.


Kick Tape - Tape used in trouser hems, and sometimes floor length dresses, to prevent wear.  On trousers the tape can be used all the way round the hem or just the back half which has the most wear and tear.


Laptair - Or "lapped hair" where cotton yarn is woven tightly around the horsehair creating a high quality chest canvas. A registered trademark of E. Webb & Sons, est. 1835.

Ligne - The traditional button size measurement abbreviated to 'L'; used as early as the 9th century to measure the diameter of a button.  Traditionally a 23L button is used on cuffs and a 30L or 32L button is used on the front of a single-breasted jacket. See full table of measurements here.

Linen Holland - A plain-woven or dull-finish linen made more or less opaque by a glazed or unglazed finish.  A specialised product known as Beetled Linen which is created by a process of dampening the fabric and then passing it through a machine where it is pounded between oak beams.  Used by tailors in thin strips to reinforce stitched seams. 

Linen Tape - Used to reinforce shoulder yoke and trouser hooks.  Also traditionally used by bespoke tailors to tie up a full set of cut jacket trims!


Made to Measure - 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 styles and have it customised to fit their shape. It also allows them to choose the fabrics they want to be used. 

Magi Buckle - Side strap trouser buckles in either one bar or two, the latter being most popular.  Also used as a waistcoat/vest buckle.

Melton - Traditionally made of wool and woven in a twill form; Melton is used for lining the underside of jacket collars.  It was developed in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray, from which it derives its name.


Nap - Fabrics with a particular texture as the fibres are not quite vertical but lie in a particular direction.

Needle Betweens - A shorter length needle allowing quicker stitching than an ordinary sewing needle.

Needle Sharps - Most popular needle for general sewing used by dressmakers and tailors. The needles are longer and finer than betweens.


Overlocking Thread - An overlock is a kind of stitch that sews over the edge of one or two pieces of cloth for edging, hemming, or seaming. Overlocking is also referred to as "overedging", "merrowing", or "serging".  Overlocking thread is lint-free and suitable for overlocking machines.


Pattern - A paper representation of a suit’s measurements. A pattern is laid onto a length of fabric, traced in tailor’s chalk, and cut into the various elements of a suit. There are patterns for jackets, trousers, waistcoats, etc.

Petersham - Petersham has many uses. It can be used to stop seams stretching, as braiding in millinery - particularly military caps - and to stiffen waistbands. It is woven with fine vertical lines known as grosgrain.

Polyester - A synthetic, oil-based fibre with good strength and wrinkle resistance but has poor absorbency and tends to cause static to build. Fully washable.

Poplin - A durable, plain weave fabric usually used in shirtings.

Poult - Acetate grosgrain weave used to stiffen out ballet skirts and university robe colours.

Puppytooth - A smaller-scale version of houndstooth pattern, also known as dogstooth, a duotone textile pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes, often in black and white.



Regenerated fibre - Regenerated fibre is created by dissolving the cellulose area of plant fibre (such as cotton) in a chemical solution to create a cellulosic yarn e.g. Cupro.


Sateen - A smooth, durable fabric in a satin weave with a semi-lustrous surface; usually made of cotton.  It is used as a curtain lining and by theatrical costumiers.

Satin - A glossy shiny fabric with matt reverse.

Selvedge - The self-finished edge of fabric which keeps the fabric from unravelling or fraying. On high end fabrics a woven selvedge can be created with the brand name or composition detail shown.

SELVYT - A registered trademarked name - known as an all-purpose navy polishing cloth and used by horologists and jewellers.  Our bespoke trade use is for overcoat pocketing.

Side Adjusters - A trouser fastening mechanism that uses neither belt loops nor suspender buttons. There are adjustable tabs at each hip that are used to tighten or loosen the trouser waist. 

Silesia - A quality cotton fabric named after a region in Central Europe and used as a luxurious jacket pocketing.

Single Breasted - A coat, jacket or waistcoat vest with a narrow overlap of fabric and one column of buttons.

Skeins - A length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted.

Sleeve Head Roll - Used to construct the end of the shoulder line to the top of the sleeve arm. Available with an additional canvas insert if a more defined shoulder shape is required. Sewn together with the shoulder pad edge.

Slub - 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.


Taffeta - Terminology for plain weave or basket weave that can vary in weight.

Tailors Soap - Traditional tailors soap is used along the fold of cloth to create sharp creases and on hems.

Tre Cerchi - The Coats Italian brand of mercerised cotton.  Previously known as SYLKO which in Italy is used as buttonhole twist by bespoke tailors.

Triacetate - Extremely strong triple yarn blended with Polyamide to create the VENEZIA lining brand.

Twill - A weave that shows distinct diagonal lines on the face of the fabric.



Viscose - A regenerated rayon fibre from wood pulp cellulose with similar qualities to Cupro but has thicker fibres which gives it a different texture, resulting in an extremely strong, durable and silky product.

Voile - A lightweight, sheer fabric originally made of cotton.


Warp - Vertical threads of a woven fabric running down the piece/loom.

Weave - A specific pattern in which yarns interlace.

Weft - Horizontal threads of a woven fabric, running across the piece/loom.



Yarn - A thread of fibres, the basic component of woven fabrics.


Zip Tape - Strong polyester tape that is used in zip manufacture and also used to reinforce the bottom of trousers as heel tape, similar to kick tape.