Sewing: Common terms

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Research Team Lead
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Here we have our newest threadsters, needlers, and well, let's learn how to make cloth stuff.

So you have decided to start your first bit of cloth costume. Be it an undersuit, or a full costume, welcome to the exciting world of sewing. But now, what do you do? What in the world do all of these crazy terms mean?

Well you are in luck. You have found the list of all the most common terms, and such.

I am going to break these down into several catagories.




Tailoring tools

Cutting tools


All fabric is one of two methods of being made. These are WOVEN and KNIT.
A WOVEN fabric is made of warp (The threads that run the length of the fabric) and weft threads (the threads that go across the fabric). When looked at closely the threads form a cross over pattern. One thread going top to bottom, and the other from left to right.

A KNIT fabric is fabric that has been made by knotting the threads or yarn in some fashion.

Woven fabrics can be non stretch, 2 way stretch, or 4 way stretch depending on the materials used in them. Woven fabric will always have some stretch on the bias.
All knit fabrics are stretch fabrics of varying degrees.

What is stretch?

Stretch or give is how the fabric actually stretches when pulled. A non stretch woven fabric will no increase in size when pulled directly along the warp or weft threads. If you pull at a diagonal this is called the bias, and it will have some give and stretch.

A 2 way stretch fabric will increase a significant amount along one direction of the fabric threads, and not the other.

A 4 way stretch will stretch on both directions.

Fabric content

What is this stuff made of? The content of fabric is either organic, such as Cotton, silk, Linen, or it is synthetic such as Rayon, Polyester, and such. You can also have blended fabrics.

When you go to the store to purchase fabric it will state on the package, or bolt the fabric content. This will always be in a percentage format.

Different types of Fabric

Bamboo made from the fiber of the bamboo plant this is a light fabric. It has moisture wicking, and insulating properties as well as mild antimicrobial.

Carbon-infused is a high tech fabric made from a blend of synthetic fabric and burned bamboo fibers. It is strong, lightweight, antimicrobial, moisture wicking

A lightweight silk or silk -like fabric. Normally very sheer

Chiffon A super sheer and lightweight and soft fabric

Chino is a plain or twill woven fabric. very sturdy, Typically is dyed khacki, navy, or black.

Combed Cotton a sturdier cotton fabric. The combing removes all the shorter fibers.

Corduroy durable pile fabric with lengthwise ridges cut into the pile called wales

Cotton natural fiber that grows in the seedpod of the cotton plant

Denim strong, sturdy material traditionally made from cotton warp yarn and a white cotton filling yarn creating a dense twill weave

Fiberfill A lightweight, synthetic fiber that can be used to line coats, vests, and padded garments. YOu will often find it in bags as either loose fill or in sheets.

Gaberdine Sturdy fabric with a twill weave

Jacquard Any fabric that has a pattern woven into the fabric rather than printed on the surface is jacquard

Jacquard Knit double-knit fabric in which a Jacquard type of mechanism is used

Jersey generic term for a plain knit fabric without a distinct rib

Lace netlike ornamental fabric made by looping, twisting, or knitting thread in patterns by hand or machine

Linen made from the flax plant. It is typically stronger, and more luxurious than cotton but is more wrinkle prone.

Lining material sewn into the inside of a garment to make it more opaque or more comfortable against the skin

((Will continue with adding to this soon))


Research Team Lead
Division Staff
Member DIN

Now you know more about fabric. How do you hold all of these process of fabric together? What ever is a pin tuck or a box pleat? Slow down little spartan. Here we will get making things stay where you want.

Your stitches can hold things together. They can give shape and support. They can even give detail and interest.

The two most basic stitches in both machine and in hand stitching are the straight stitch, and the zig zag stitch. All other stitches are in essence based off of these two.

A straight stitch can also go by the name of a running stitch and a basting stitch. It is a stitch that follows it's name. It is where you take a small amount of fabric onto your needle and pull your needle straight through. The needle then comes back up through the fabric in a straight line. When looking at a straight stitch it will resemble
- - - - - - - - - - .

A straight stitch is not a stretch stitch. This means it will not give any increase in size if pulled. The thread will break instead if enough force is applied.

A zig zag stitch is considered a stretch stitch. It is a stitch that your needle will move side to side with each stitch. When looked at closely it resembles
A zig zag stitch will only stretch length wise. It will not stretch width wise. The more parrille each stitch is to the other, the more stretch is possible in the seam.

Zig z
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Research Team Lead
Division Staff
Member DIN
If you all have questions please ask them I will gladly answer and add to the above threads as needed
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