YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FASHION TERMS

IMAGINE THAT YOU ARE NO LONGER BEING FLUMMOXED DURING A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR MANUFACTURER AND REPLY BACK WITH THE CORRECT Fashion terms?

START HERE..... 

Here is the list of Fashion Terms you will need to approach the manufacturers and understand their lingo 


AOPall-over print is a design repeated across the entire surface of a garment or fabric. All over print can be directional, a one-way print.
AW or A/W Autumn Winter Collection

BB stands for  Basic Block. It can also be called a sloper. It’s a basic pattern of a template that is used to create patterns for more complex styles. They help a brand to achieve consistency in sizing and save time during development. See Sloper.
BD button down
BFC British Fashion Council https://www.britishfashioncouncil.co.uk/
BOM is a bill of materials, read more in our blog
BS  stands for Base Size. It’s the size you develop your collection in. A fashion collection is first created to fit one body size. When the samples finish and fit are approved Base size will be graded or multiplied to a wider range of commercial sizes for bulk production. Grading can be manual or computerised and done using Specification Sheets with Grading Increments.
BSPK bespoke

CAD/CAM/CIM Each of these acronyms refers to computer-based technology used for the design and/or manufacture of apparel. Specifically, CAD stands for computer-aided-design, CAM for computer-aided manufacturing, and CIM for computer integrated manufacturing. CAD computer programs support the design phase and give the designer the ability to experiment with ideas about styles, colours, fabrics, etc. CAM programs support the tasks related to manufacture, and with CAD/CAM in combination, the design can move from design to preparation of the pattern, making the master plan for cutting the garment, grading patterns to different sizes, cutting the fabric, and sewing. CIM overcomes the problems that may occur when it is necessary to move the data from the design and manufacturing process to the next step. In computer-integrated-manufacturing, the various programs communicate directly, so that data moves smoothly along the production process in an accurate and timely fashion. 

Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-dictionary/

Care label see fabric composition label
CB stands for Centre Back measurements either on a pattern or a garment. 
CF stands for Centre Front measurement either on a pattern or a garment.
CMT stands for Cut, Make and Trim. The manufacturer cuts and makes and trims garments according to the fashion designer requirements.  The designer supplies all the raw materials and components to the manufacturer. 
CO 1. cotton 2. Cut out
COD - cash on delivery
Composition label see fabric composition label
COO is a country of origin
CP - cost price
CP 1. Critical path 2. Custom Purchase
Cutting Docket is a document, usually created internally by a factory, that carries information about order units split across colours and sizes. In contrary to PO, where the entire order is summed up together, there is a separate cutting docket created for each style. It should include fabric consumption information, batches numbers and quantity and any other information factory might require to cut out the order.

DTM stands for Dye To Match. It is the way to let your manufacturer know that trimmings (threads, buttons, braids, zips etc) have to match the main fabric colour as close as possible. 

DTM is quite a subjective term. To avoid disastrous results supply your manufacturer with a Pantone colour number and be clear on the light source.



Ease (1) n. In the design of a garment, ease refers to fullness incorporated into a design so that it will fit comfortably. (2) v. Joining a larger section of a garment to a smaller part by very gradually folding or gathering the edge where the pieces will meet until the larger piece is the same size as the smaller piece. 

Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-dictionary/

Ex-factory or ex-factory date is the date on which the shipment will be moved from the manufacturer to a freight forwarder. Also, see ex-works
Ex-works is a  term used in relation to price for exports and imports.  Ex-works price or ex-factory price means that the cost of the goods is set from the seller’s factory. All other expenses (such as shipping, customs duty etc) are charged to the buyer.

Fabric composition label a label indicating fabric content and garment care instructions. Usually, it’s placed on the inside of the garment
Fabric count determines the quality of the fabric and refers to the warp and weft yarn count. It’s usually calculated per inch and simply speaking means the amount of yarn used in one inch of fabric. Fabric count and construction are written with numbers as follows: Warp count x Weft count / EPI x PPI
Face - side or right side of the fabric is the side that meant to be seen on the outside of the garment.  The other side - wrong side - WS is hidden on the inside of the garment. On the lining, the right side is the outer side of the lining towards the wearer body. There are traditional techniques to determine which is the wrong and right side of the fabric. However, things are not that simple nowadays. Designers become more and more creative with an unorthodox approach to fashion design and raw material usage. It is common sense and good manners to let you know the manufacturer knows what you perceive as the right side of the fabric. Use stickers or a piece of paper stapled to the right of fabric with a note to avoid any miscommunication. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy you can use stickers similar to these or notes like these. 
Fit is a sample made to check the fit and measurements of the garment at the pre-production stage.
FF stands for Fully Factored - see FFP
FFP stands for Fully Factored Production is a one-stop operation when the manufacturer takes on sourcing, purchase and supply of materials before making the garments. The cost of the materials is factored into the final price of the garment. It may also include designing and development as well as the distribution of the production.
Flat - technical drawing, read more in our blog
FOB free onboard
FRC Flame resistant 
FRS Fire Retardant
FTY is short for factory
Fusing same as STFX

GL or G/L- grain-line or straight grain is a line with an arrow on a pattern that indicates the direction of the grain in fabric. It’s a direction of thread that runs parallel to the selvedge through the entire length of the fabric.
GMT is short for a garment
GPT is a garment performance test sample that is made with bulk fabrics and trims to test performance through chemical and physical tests.
Grading Most designers work on a sample size. Instead of recreating the pattern for each size they will be reproducing, they will grade the original pattern. The process increases (when sizing up) and decreases (when sizing down) a pattern. If there is a difference of two inches ( 5.1 centimetres) in the bust measurements between sizes, that amount is distributed throughout the pattern pieces in such a way that the sizes changes in proportion to the original design. Every company has its own grading standards that relate to the fit the designer is looking to achieve. One method of grading is to cut the pattern piece and spread it to increase the size or overlap it to decrease the size. Source: Form, Fit and Fashion: All the Details Fashion Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find by Jay Calderin here.

Hand Block Printing blocks of wood are etched with a pattern that is designed to interlock. The block is dipped in the desired colour and applied directly to the fabric. The next impression will line up with the last one to achieve the effect the pattern is continuous. To create more complex designs, the process will be repeated with different colours and block patterns that overlap and interlock with the previous pattern. Source: Form, Fit and Fashion: All the Details Fashion Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find by Jay Calderin. Click here for more.

Heat Transfer Heat and pressure are used to transfer ink on carrier paper onto fabric. In some instances the ink permeates the fabric, while in others the design adheres to the surface. Computer printers and copiers can now print onto carrier paper from iron-on transfers. Source: Form, Fit and Fashion: All the Details Fashion Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find by Jay Calderin. Click here for more.

HPS or HSP High Shoulder Point
Interlining is a layer of fabric between the lining and the fashion fabric. Interlining ads body and resiliency, as in the case of neckties. Thicker flannel-like layers serve as insulation in garments requiring additional warmth. An interlining chosen to provide body will make weaker fabrics more versatile is everything from delicate blouses to evening gowns. Source: Form, Fit and Fashion: All the Details Fashion Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find by Jay Calderin. Click here for more.

Just-in-time manufacturing A manufacturing system in which materials used for manufacture and/or sale are produced precisely at the time they are needed. As a result, no costly storage of inventory is required. Electronic record-keeping and communication about inventory and needs has made this system possible. 

Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-dictionary/

LHS left-hand side

Ligne is a unit to measure the size of a button. Ligne is a french word and means line. It’s usually expressed by a number followed by the letter “L”. You can download a PDF button measuring guide here (https://www.wyedean.com/button-size-conversions/) or use a linge gauge. It comes in handy when you need to get precise measurements or have to deal with the button sizes frequently. I purchased a budget one from Amazon and here is the link for you if you fancy getting one.

LHSAW left-hand side as worn. Indicate the left side of a garment as worn on a wearers body. Zip @LHSAW zip fastening has to be on the left side of the garment when it's worn.
LI linen
LPS or LSP Low Shoulder Point
Marker (can be a full scale or scaled-down) an efficient layout of pattern pieces for cutting out. It can be done manually or on the computer, for a single garment in a single size or for bulk production from graded patterns.

Marker -(can be a full scale or scaled-down)  an efficient layout of pattern pieces for cutting out. It can be done manually or on the computer, for a single garment in a single size or for bulk production from graded patterns.
Marketing sample see SMS
Markup or a short mark up is the sales price less the cost price of a garment.
Master Pattern Is a pattern made in Base Size. Don’t confuse with the Pattern Master
MMF Man-Made Fibre
MMM Man-Made materials
MMT means measurement
MOQ stands for Minimum Order Quantity. It’s an order size a manufacturer will accept for production. Different suppliers will have different MOQs and will handle different orders below the threshold. There might be MOQ imposed on different colours and sizes. Some manufacturers might be still willing to work with you below the threshold with a surcharge. As a start-up fashion brand, you should aim to find a garment manufacturer with as low MOQ as possible. It is always worth enquiring if they are willing to take order on below MOQ and what are the conditions.
MTM made to measure
MTO made to order

Nett edge is an edge without seam allowance
Non-wovens Fabric that is not constructed by weaving, knitting, knotting, or crocheting. Many nonwovens are webs of fibre held together by mechanical action, thermal bonding, chemical solvents, or adhesive agents... The oldest non-woven is felt. Made from wool fibres that will cling together when subjected to moisture, heat, and pressure, felt is one of the earliest textiles found in archaeological sites. Today it is manufactured from wool or other fibres. If made from fibres other than wool, it must have some additional treatment to bond fibres together. Barkcloth or tapa is another non-woven that was made by pre-industrial people from the fibrous inner bark of certain trees. This fabric is not produced commercially.

One-way print is a print with a defined direction of the print. It has the right and wrong direction of the print. For example, a print with flowers on stems or human figures might have to have be facing one way on different parts of a garment.
Open orders are orders placed with a manufacturer that do not have clearly defined shipping date, colours, sizes or styles but committed to a certain specific spending sum.
Open-to-buy is a budget available to a retailer for purchasing merchandise in a specific period of time.
OTB see Open-to-buy money and Open Orders
Pile

Loops, tufts made by cutting loops, cut extra sets of yarns, or fibers incorporated into a fabric so that they will stand up on the surface of the fabric to form the surface texture. Often the pile is brushed in one direction, and garment pieces made from such fabrics must be cut in the same direction because the reflection of light from the surface will make pieces cut in different directions appear to vary in colour. Some fabrics have an allover pile, while others have pile only in some areas in order to create a design. Velvet fabrics with pile designs in limited areas are known as cut velvets. Pile should not be confused with nap, which is fiber ends brushed up on the surface of a fabric. Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-dictionary/

Pilot run is a small quantity production run before the actual bulk production. It can have two purposes: to test the factory capability to produce bulk production according to the set standards or market research to check consumer reaction before committing to larger quantities.
PO stands for Purchase Order that is a legal contract between a buyer and seller. There is no standard template or rigid structure for how it has to lay out. If you need help with your PO we have a set of templates and a guide on how to use them within our Fashion Designer Toolkit. You can purchase it here.
POM is points of measure, read more in our blog
PPS- is made in the actual production line from the bulk fabric and bulk trims. The purpose is to check. It has to be approved by the buyer prior to proceeding with the production.
PR pair
Proto or Show sample - is a prototype of a new design.It could be produced as a part of the range development to communicate the design.
PX is an acronym for price

QC is either quality control or quality check. It can be a quality controller as well.
QTY quantity

Raw Materials - in garment production, fabrics and trims (buttons, zippers, ribbons, etc) that are used to make up a garment.
Red Tag Sample see Sealer
RHS right-hand side
RHSAW right-hand side as worn. Indicates the right side of the garment as worn on a wearer’s body.

Roller printing Fabric is passed through engraved pressure cylinders that have been inked. Contemporary machines are synchronised to be able to produce detailed prints with multiple colours. Also called cylinder and machine printing. Source: Form, Fit and Fashion: All the Details Fashion Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find by Jay Calderin. Click here for more. 

RRP - recommended retail price
RS is Right Side, see Face
RSU stands for right side up. You can often see this abbreviation on patterns and it means that this pattern piece has to be laid over the fabric with the face side up. It provides important instructions to the fabric cutter on how to mark fabric or cut out if the piece is asymmetrical.
RTW ready to wear

SA or S/a - seam allowance
SE silk
Sealer or sealed sample is a final PPS that is sealed as a standard for bulk production. It might carry a golden or red tag attached by the buyer when sent back to the supplier. It can carry different adjectives depending on the colour of the tag: golden, red, silver, green. I worked for a few high street suppliers and in every company, a sealer sample had different tags on. As far as I know, there are no certain rules about naming them.
Self fabric or material is the same material as that of the garment. See self. Also, can be used to describe the main outer fabric of a garment.
Self - of the same material as the rest of the piece of apparel; as, self-covered buttons, self belts, self-fabric etc. Source: The Language of Fashion - Dictionary and Digest of Fabric, Sewing and Dress by Mary Brooks Picken
Show sample see proto
Showroom sample see SMS
Size pip or size tab a label indicating the size of a garment.
Size sets (samples) are created to check the fit of the size range.
SKU is a stock keeping unit which is a unique identifying code and can be either a scannable barcode or a numbers and letters sequence. There can be internal and external SKUs to track the movement of your inventory. In garment manufacturing, there might be separate SKU codes 
Sloper The term sloper is commonly misused to describe a fit pattern. As it relates to apparel, a sloper is a pattern blank for a garment that does not include seem allowances or style lines. A sloper has no seam allowances so that it can be used for generating new patterns based on specific dress-form/client/model measurements, or for modifying patterns that are based on a successful model. Creating a sloper for a pair of pants that has been proven to have a great fit at the waist, hips and rise eliminates the need to return to the drawing board to recreate the assurance of the same great fit. Adding seem allowances at this point makes it a pattern that can be used for the production of the garment. The removal of seam allowance is also an option when generating patterns digitally - as handy a function as the one that reapplies seam allowance to the pattern when modifications are complete. Source: Form, Fit and Fashion: All the Details Fashion Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find by Jay Calderin here.
Slub yarn. Yarn with irregular texture due to unevenness in the woof threads. Source: The Language of Fashion - Dictionary and Digest of Fabric, Sewing and Dress by Mary Brooks Picken. Click here for more.
SMS salesman samples are produced for sales purposes and set the standards for production. It’s what presented to the potential buyers during sales meetings or at the showroom. It can be called a showroom or marketing sample.
SP - sale price
Spec - Specification see tech pack
Specification Sheet see tech pack
SPI stitches per inch - number of stitches per inch when sewing a garment
SS or S/S is 1. Spring Summer Collection. 2. Side Seam 3. Shoulder Seam 4 Short Sleeve
Stencil Cutouts provide the boundaries for painting repeat of a pattern. New stencil patterns and more colours can be overlaid on the first pattern. Source: Form, Fit and Fashion: All the Details Fashion Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find by Jay Calderin. Click here for more.
STFX or stayflex is iron-on interfacing that gives structure, stability and body to the fabric. Used inside of the garment and cover as the entire piece or a part of it.
SZ size

Tech pack is a document that tells a factory using drawings and terminology how the garment needs to be made and how it should look from inside out. It's a manufacturing blueprint for your design. We’ve written a blog post about a tech pack. Follow this link if you would like to explore this further.
TGT is a target date, quantity, price, etc. TGT CP PX means target cost price. TGT ex-factory is a target date for order shipment.
Toile ( pronounced “twahl”) is a french word 1. For cloth; specifically, sheer linen fabric. 2.Fine cretonne with scenic designs printed in one colour. See Toile De Jouy 3. Muslin copy of a design, often purchased by firms who wish to copy but not to import original models. Sometimes made by dressmakers to show customers lines in garments that they are prepared to copy. Source:
The Language of Fashion - Dictionary and Digest of Fabric, Sewing and Dress by Mary Brooks Picken
TOP is a top of production sample is taken from the actual production run in the middle of the production to check whether the factory is following the standards.
TTL total

UKFT -UK Fashion and textile association. https://www.ukft.org/
UOM - a unit of measure

WC stands for week commencing. It’s the week that commences on the date mentioned.
WE stands for the week ending. It’s the week that ends on the date mentioned.
WN stands for the week number. Here is a link to a useful calendar to work out week numbers since 1950. 
WOW - week on week - sales comparisons
WS cashmere
WSU stands for wrong side up. You can often see this abbreviation on patterns and it means that this pattern piece has to be laid over the fabric with the wrong side of the fabric out. It provides important instructions to the fabric cutter on how to mark fabric or cut out if the piece is asymmetrical.

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