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aba  a fabric woven from the hair of camels or goats.   A loose sleeveless outer garment worn as traditional dress by men in the Middle East.  If you are not sure where the Middle East is located, you may wish to find a map from our World section.

abaca  a naturally occurring fiber found in the stem of the abaca plant. A member of the banana family, Musa Textilis.  The fiber is also called Manila Hemp, and is used extensively in the manufacture of marine cordage, abrasive backing papers, tea bags, and other products requiring high tensile strength.

accent / novelty yarns   these yarns are very very fine and are not intended to be used by themselves; they are intended to be knit with another yarn and will provide additional color and texture to a finished fabric. They do possibly change the gauge of your fabric, so a swatch is recommended whenever you are going to use an accent yarn to make the necessary adjustment to your needle size. (this definition was kindly provided by Karen at Red Meadow Fiber Arts)

acetate synthetic material with high-sheen and non-cling properties. Frequently used as a inner garment lining and in womens undergarments.

acetate/spandex stretchy, high sheen knit frequently used in womens outer garments. Extremely durable and washable, more so than some plain acetate fabrics.

acrilan (trademark) used for an acrylic fiber.

acrylic fiber a quick-drying synthetic textile fiber made by polymerization of acrylonitrile usually with other monomers.

adhesives are an essential part of the manufacturing process for a variety of apparel applications ranging from applying labels, decorative trim and waterproofing tapes to innovative solutions like stitchless garment construction.

afghan  a blanket or shawl of colored wool knitted or crocheted in strips or squares.

aglet or aiglet is the little plastic or metal cladding on the end of shoelaces that keeps the twine from unraveling. The word comes from the latin word acus which means needle. In times past, aglets were usually made of metal though some were glass or stone.

aiguillette  aglet; specifically, a shoulder cord worn by designated military aides.

amice amice a liturgical vestment made of an oblong piece of cloth usually of white linen and worn about the neck and shoulders and partly under the alb.  (By the way, if you do not know what an "alb" is, you can find it in this glossary...)

A-line: a dress or skirt that is formed into the shape of an A, tight fitting at the waist and open at the bottom. This flattering silhouette is easy and comfortable to wear. It flares gently away from the body creating a soft, A-line shape. Fit for any body. 

alb  a full-length white linen ecclesiastical vestment with long sleeves that is gathered at the waist with a cincture

alencon  a delicate needlepoint lace.

allover  an embroidered, printed, or lace fabric with a design covering most of the surface (allover the surface).

aloha shirt  Hawaiian shirt

alpaca  true alpaca is a hair fibre form the Alpaca animal, a member of the Ilama family of the South American Andes Mountains.  Also imitated in wool, wool and alpaca, rayon, mohair and rayon or cotton and a cotton warp and alpaca filling also synthetics - e.g. orlon.  Fine, silk-like, soft, light weight and warm.   Has much lustre and aresembles mohair.  If guard hairs are used it is inclined to be boardy.  It is strong and durable.  True alpaca is expensive so often combined with other fibers or imitated by other fibres - e.g. orlon. 

amaranthine  the color of amaranth, i.e., red.

amber a variable color averaging a dark orange yellow.

American Upland Cotton  currently representing the bulk of the world crop, American Upland fiber runs between 3/4" and 1 1/4" .  If you want to learn more about cotton, you can visit our Cotton section.

amethyst a variable color averaging a mod purple.  Yes, it is also the birth stone for the month of February (I think the entire month, but don't quote me on that...)

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The Apparel Search glossary has been compiled from numerous resources over the past several years.   In addition to receiving definitions from our viewers and friends, we have also compiled information from various newsletters, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, lectures, brochures etc.   The glossary is also supplemented with words and definitions from Merriam Webster's Dictionary (Tenth Collegiate Edition) and Webster's New World Dictionary.   In addition, we have also created words & definitions entirely from our own imagination (we tried to make them as accurate as possible). In some cases, we have created single definitions by combining information from various locations. This has been done to create a broader & more detailed definition. Due to the fact that this resource is a compilation from literally hundreds of resources, we can not guarantee the accuracy, spelling , definitions etc., of any of the items listed on these pages. Please utilize this resource at your own risk. Do not rely on our definitions for accuracy. If you have any additional definitions or have suggestions for updating current definitions, please continue to submit your comments for review; Add or Modify Definitions .  Thanks to viewers like you, this glossary has become a helpful tool for the apparel industry.  Please continue to send your new definitions and definition revisions.
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