Terms and Techniques

This is just a various collection of different sewing and clothing terms that might come in handy when a Tailor encounters a mental block with a new design. I have tried to include those that are appropriate for the time setting of Age of the Throne as well as the era we are moving into and the extravagence of the Sun King, Loius XIV

Aigrette A long plume, usually of egret feathers, worn on a hat or as a head-dress
Appliqué Decoration or trimming cut from one piece of fabric and stitched to another, usually with a satin stitch around the edge, adding dimension and/or texture to the design
Aufsatz The last stitch of a design before it repeats itself
Bas de Cotte
Bas de Jupe
Bas de Robe
The lower part of the petticoat or skirt which was covered by the gown body
Basque Short tabs attached to the bodice and male doublet that extend below the waist. Women's jackets with basques were worn in combination with skirts instead of gowns
Batik A process where areas are opaqued with wax before the fabric is dyed. For two or more colors each preceding wax layer is removed and reapplied in a different patterned layer. A crinkled pattern is achieved by crumpling the fabric and cracking the wax
Batts A popular woman's shoe that resembled the heavier man's "Blackjack" shoe with latchets tied or buckled over the tongue
Bent Reed or willow used for stiffening gowns or corsets, usually used in bundles and quilted into channels in the gown or corset
Bias A diagonal cut or a cut across the grain of fabric, used when it needs to stretch around something. Also used to describe something that is arranged diagonally
An ecclesiastical cap of a square shape with stiff sides and a tassel at the top, usually black for Priests, violet for Bishops and scarlet for Cardinals
Blackjack Shoe A type of Oxford shoe, made from Jack Leather, with latchets tied or buckled over the tongue
Blackwork A type of embroidery which was extremely common and could be quite elaborate. It refers to the use of a single color of embroidery thread, although most commonly done in black, to create an ornamenting pattern on a garment, which is repetitive in design
Bodice The part of the gown that is worn on the torso. Bodices come in many styles, including the corset-style bodice (no shoulder straps), front-lacing, side-lacing and back-lacing. The term bodice refers to this portion of a dress regardless of the style or fabrics the gown is made of
(A Pair Of)
Rigid covering, for a woman's upper body, made in two halves and laced together
Bollonais Sleeves Sleeves with small puffs running from shoulder to wrist
Bone Pockets
A separate strip of material sewn over the lining or outer fabric of a corset to create a gutter into which boning is placed
Boning The support and "backbone" of a corset. Boning could be metal, whalebone, reeds or wooden. Boning is also often referred to as stays
Boot-Hose Stockings, usually without feet, worn during the first half of the 17th century in the soft fashionable boots with turned cup-shaped tops. The lace-edge of the boot-hose is turned over the boot-tops and worn over the silk stockings to protect them in the long boots
Bouillons Puffs formed by turning the edges of the over-dress outward and gathering them in clasps
Bourdalou A fine hat-ribbon used to trim around the foot of the hat's crown. Many times this trimming was finished off with a buckle
Braye The front flap of pants, fastened with very large buttons
Bucket-Top Boots Tall boots fashioned of soft leather worn with the tops turned down
Buckle A buckle is a device for fastening, consisting of a metal frame having one or more movable tongues, teeth or catches and was considered a piece of jewelry. The more extravagant buckles were worn by the nobility while simpler designs were worn by commoners
Bumbast Padding placed in garments to alter the wearer's natural shape to the fashionable one
Busk The central large stiffening piece of a corset, made of wood, animal horn, whalebone and sometimes ivory. The upper class busks were often ornately carved and ornamented while the lower class busks were simply made of wood
Buskins A woman's close-fitting calf-length boot
Full, wide ruffles/flounces attached at the bottom of breeches, especially Petticoat breeches. A sort of half-stocking, at first long and narrow, then wider and decorated with flounces and lace
Capa A wide circular cloak with a hood worn in Spain and France
Cartridge Pleat Deep, even 'accordion' gatherings accomplished by shirring (pleating like an accordion) and recognized by its distinctive figure-eight fold, usually in three rows and tacked on by single or double stitches to the edge of the waistband of petticoats, ruffs, doublets and gown bodices
1) Three-quarter length coat cut with wide, full sleeves and wide throughout the body, ending at thigh-height or below
2) A cape cut with two fronts, two backs, and two shoulder pieces. The fronts and backs buttoned to form a coat and shoulder pieces buttoned to form sleeves left open-sided and decorated with braid and woven ornamentation
Caul A closely fitted hair net
Changeable A silk taffeta in which the warp threads were of one color and the weft threads were of another making it appear to be two different colours depending on the lighting
Chaussures a Cric
Chaussures a Pont-Levis
Shoes with heels that creaked
Chemise A light undergarment constructed of varied fabrics, depending on financial status but indispensable to both men and women. The chemise was often a nightwear, undershirt, and provided some measure of ornamentation to the wearer's costume all in one so no one would leave his or her home without a proper chemise on
Cloak A loose fitting, usually sleeveless outer garment in a wide variety of styles such as half-circle, full circle, kinsale, shoulder length, knee length, calf-length, ankle length, caped and ¾ length. In the 1630's and 1640's, the cloak was draped casually about the body, over an arm, over a shoulder or suspended around the back by its cords, these were the most elegant ways of wearing what was a full, richly ornamented and beautifully lined article
Cockade A decorative ribbon bow deriving from the tie attaching the brim of a cocked hat
Cocked Hat A hat styled with the brim turned up
Coif A close-fitting head covering, worn in the 17th century exclusively by women
Considérations Hip pads to aid in the alteration of the figure to suit the current fashions
Corps Pique
Corps a Baleine
A quilted camisole with a bust of varnished wood for stiffening
Corset Tabs Elongations of the corset past the waistline and toward the hips, made with or without boning. The tabs helped prevent the corsets from digging into the waist and helped keep the skirts in place around the waist
Couvrechef A veil or covering for the head
Cravat A wide cloth or piece of lace knotted or tied around the neck
Cravat String Ribbon used to tie a heavy lace cravat in place
Devantière Woman's riding habit split at the back
Doublet Man's close-fitting jacket or body-coat, covering the body from the neck to a little below the waist. The fabrics and trim range widely; a poor man might have a doublet made of course linen or woolen while a man of means would have silk, satin or velvet trimmed in jewels and covered in slashings showing his status
Embossing A calendaring process in which fabrics are engraved with the use of heated rollers under pressure to produce a raised design on the fabric surface
Embroidery An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design
Engagéantes Lace cuffs with two or three rows of ruffles to fall over the wrists, finishing a woman's gown sleeves
Epaulets Ornaments on the shoulders of a garment such as gold tasseled pieces worn in some military groups or a crescent shaped addition to the shoulders of a bodice or doublet
Flat, light shoes slashed on the top
Facings Edge trimmings purely for decoration such as fine fur or rich cloth
Falling Collar An unstarched turned-down collar, often lace-edged worn instead of a ruff until about 1670
Farthingale An underskirt, stretched over hoops to support the skirts. Farthingales ranged very widely depending on the fashionable silhouette currently in vogue. Fashioned from coarse linen to taffeta to silk, depending upon the wearer's economic status and preferences. The hoops, made of iron wire, whalebone, steel, cording or wood, were used to extend the petticoat outward
Findings Extra items attached to the garment such as trims, buttons, hooks, snaps or embellishments
Flounce A band of cloth or lace fluting attached by its upper edge around the garment edge
Forehead Cloth
Cross Cloth
A band covering the front of a woman's head, often triangular
Forepart 1) The front of an underskirt or kirtle
2) A totally separate piece of elaborate, expensive fabric attached to a kirtle with an overskirt draped over the kirtle and forepart. Foreparts generally matched the under sleeves of the gown
Frog Closures for the fronts of garments, usually made from cording and couched on to the garment
Gaiter A cloth or leather covering for the leg or ankle buttoned on one side and strapped under the foot
Small ribbon bows worn in the hair and attached to garments in various places
Garters Ribbons tied around the legs to hold up the stockings
Girdle A belt fastened in front and hung about the waist. A woman's girdle was usually of goldsmith work, silk or ribbon from which her pomander, fan, mirror or muff would hang. A man's girdle was made of gold, silver, embroidered silks and velvets or embossed leather
Gougandine A laced corset, partially open in the front
Habit 1) A suit of men's clothes all in the same cloth or colour
2) The Court Habit meant men's clothes and the Grand Habit women's, worn only at court and at festivities where the court was present
Hook & Eyes Fastenings made of steel wire and sewn to the inside of bodices and doublets and used as an 'invisible' fastener
Jabot A cravat of lace, often ready-made, showing through the opening of a doublet. The lace fell in a soft bunch to the upper chest and was either knotted and draped or tied in a soft bow
Jackboot Over-the-knee riding boot with square toes and low heel made from stiff leather and fitting closely to the leg before widening at the top of the knee
Jerkin An outer doublet, usually sleeveless or with sleeves made of rich cloth
Jubon Long sleeved camisole buttoning down the front and worn under a doublet
Jupe In 1672 the Dictionnaire de l'Académie Francaise define the term jupe as "Part of women's costume, from the waist to the feet." In the 17th century women wore 3 jupes one on top of the other: the modeste, a top skirt which often trailed; the friponne in the middle, which covered the secrète, the underskirt, the latter two reaching the ground
Justaucorps Male coat that is tight fitting in the shoulders, collarless and with flaring skirts and knee-length
Kirtle Petticoat or underskirt. When the kirtle is an underskirt, it often has a forepart of elaborate and expensive fabric in the front (which would show through the opening in the front of the overskirt), and the sides and back would be made of less expensive and plainer fabric
Lacet Corset lacing of twisted or woven cord of silk or other fine fabric
Latchet A strap across the tongue and upper of the shoe for buckles used for fastening in different widths to hold different sizes of buckles
Lining A fabric that is used to cover the inside of a garment to provide a finished look, usually of a smooth lustrous fabric
Lodier Padded and quilted wrap used to increase the hips
Mancheron Silk or velvet half-sleeve showing under the wide sleeves of a gown
A man's loose, hip-length tabard-shaped jacket with a standing collar and hanging sleeves, wings and open side seams, buttoned from collar to chest
Mask Protects the wearer's complexion and to preserve her incognito
Modeste The outer layer of a skirt
Motif 1) A single embroidered design
2) The element of repeating pattern
Muff Round band of fur or fur lined cloth to protect the hands from the cold
Neckcloth Term used to describe a cravat, stock or kerchief worn around the neck
Nightcap Worn in bed or informally within the house to protect the hair, often exquisitely embroidered
Osier Willow bents created from long portions of willow, cut during the winter and boiled until stiff then tied in bundles and sewn into channels in a farthingale
Paned Breeches Breeches with panels or "panes" of contrasting fabric running vertically from waist to cuff
Panes Ribbon-like strips of fabric used to ornament the surface of a garment
Pantofles Female heelless slippers or mules made from brocade and embroidered leather
Partlet Insert of lawn, linen or gauze used to fill the décolletage
Passe-Caille A ribbon worn around the waist which is used to hold a pillow-shaped muff
Passementerie Trims that were made of elaborately stitched designs in braid or cording
Periwig A wig worn in the 17th and 18th centuries, usually powdered and having the hair gathered together at the back with a ribbon
Petite Oie A set of ribbons which was used to trim men's suits and became very large when petticoat breeches were worn
Petticoat Petticoats had a wide range of uses, including giving the proper silhouette to a gown for its fashion period. Often elaborately ruffled, they consisted of many layers and fabrics ranged from muslin, cotton and linens, to silk, satin and tulle
Petticoat Breeches
Fashionable to around 1675, they were either a skirt-like construction or a divided skirt with full, wide breeches and attached canons underneath leaving the legs loose and flowing
Pinked Small cuts on the surface of a fabric giving a decorative pattern
Pinner A type of apron without strings but pinned to the front of a petticoat. Aprons were used to protect the front of a petticoat as well as being functional to commoners, if worn by nobility and not meant to be use were elaborately embroidered
Placard Stomacher A shaped piece that covered the corset front lacing
Planchette French word for a boned and stiffened corset
Plume A feather or cluster of feathers worn as an ornament
Polonaise An overdress popular in the late 17th through early 18th centuries, which would have overskirts drawn back over an underskirt to create a draping effect at the sides
Pretintailles Coloured, cut-out materials appliquéd to women's gowns
Quatre-Foil Spur Leathers Large leather pieces worn by Cavaliers intending to hide their spur fastenings bearing a resemblance to a flattened four leaf clover
Revers The lapels on a gentleman's coat, the turned back edges of sleeves or skirts
Ribband A ribbon or sash worn across the chest
Robe de Chambre
Robe Volante
A gown differing from the court gown that was admitted to the chambers of the royal apartments outside receptions and ceremonies
Ruff Stiffened frill of lace or pleated linen, the forerunner to the cravat
Sash A broad, loosely knotted sash often worn around the hips, over the coat by men and usually made of silk with the edges decorated with tasseled fringes
Scallop Stitch Decorative edge stitching that forms a series of curves from which the fabric is then cut away from the stitching to form a finished edge
Secrète The under layer of a skirt
Shoe Roses Rosettes that decorated fronts of shoes
Small openings made in a garment to show the lining. Slashings were made in garments, shoes and gloves and then finished, often edged with trims or needlework
Spagnole A gown with narrow sleeves with lead in them to keep them down
Stockings A covering for the foot and leg to or slightly above the knee. Long stockings or 'tall' stockings went from foot to thigh and were used with trunk hose. Made of silk, wool and knitted and could be of any colour
Stomacher A triangular-shaped section at the front of a boned, stiffened under bodice of a woman's garment. The stomacher filled in the upper part of the gown as a panel of contrasting, often elaborately trimmed or jeweled fabric. They were often detachable and there is some evidence that they were often used to conceal the front lacings on a bodice
Straight Last Shoes Shoes that were made on a straight last making the left and right indistinguishable from one another. The shoes could be worn on either foot making them last longer with less wear on one particular spot, however, if worn continually on the same feet the leather or fabric usually molded themselves to the shape of the foot, essentially making them left and rights. Shoes were made on straight lasts from about 1590-1830's, mostly because it was too difficult to do a mirror last to make a pair of left/right shoes
Tabard A long, rectangular piece of cloth with a hole for the head. They are the outer layer worn by Musketeers and Knights Templar and can be decorated extravagantly
Tippet 1) A short shoulder cape
2) A woman's small cape or collar made of fur or silk usually with two ends hanging down in front
Trousses The upper hose which did not hang down, but fitted the thighs tightly
Tunic Shaped like long T's with long sleeves, tunics are versatile pieces that can be worn over the undergarments and with a simple belt for day wear
Underskirt A petticoat worn directly under the outmost layer and usually meant to show through and tends to be more ornate and colorful than underlying petticoats
Roll about the waist to substitute for the farthingale
Vest A man's garment worn under the justaucorps, generally in rich material. Originally it was almost as long as the coat until it was gradually shortened and simplified until, in the middle of the reign of Louis XV, it became the waistcoat
Virago Sleeves Sleeves on female gowns and jackets that were paned and tied into a series of puffs
Weepers White bands which were worn on the sleeve facings of coats and jerkins as a sign of deep mourning
Wigs Wigs have been used since ancient times but became a fashion in 1624 when King Louis XIII went prematurely bald and disguised his malady with a wig. They were very expensive and were made from horse hair, yak hair and human hair (the most expensive). A man could outfit himself with a hat, coat, breeches, shirt, hose and shoes for about what a wig would cost him. It also required constant care from a hairdresser for cleaning, curling and powdering

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