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pith helmet topee or a lightweight helmet-shaped hat made of pith or cork

placket  multiple layers of fabric that are used to attach buttons to button holes, which in turn creates the opening & closer for shirts.

plaid a twilled woolen fabric with a tartan pattern; a fabric with a pattern of tartan or an imitation of tartan.  A rectangular length of tartan worn over the left shoulder as part of the Scottish national costume

plain weave  is made by weaving one weft yarn over and under each warp yarn, alternating each row. It is the most common type of weave.

plastisol / plastisols  plastisols come in a variety of colors and styles; process colors, low-fusion, highly elastic, color concentrates, color-matching systems, puff, fluorescent, glier, metallic, high density... Plastisols print on lights and darks and every color shade in between. They are generally easy to fuse in most commercial heaters and dryers, whether convection hot air or infrared emission is the source of heat. Plastisol is time and temperature reacting and generally has a wide window of thermal exposure latitude. Therefore, they are easy to gel under most flash units. There are two primary ingredients in a plastisol ink (resin and plasticizer). The resin is a solid particle of vinyl and the plasticizer is a syrupy liquid. When the two are mixed, the plasticizer begins to solvate the surface of the vinyl particles

plastron a metal breastplate formerly worn under the hauberk

platform a shoe having a platform sole, namely a usually thick layer between the inner sole and outer sole of a shoe

platinum  a moderate gray.

playsuit a sports and play outfit for women and children that consists usually of a blouse and shorts

playwear informal clothing worn for leisure activities.  Generally thought of when referring to children's clothing.  The only adults that wear playwear are generally members of the Apparel Search Company.  After all, we are very childish.

pleat a fold in cloth made by doubling the material upon itself and then pressing or stitching it into place.  

plimsolls [British] lightweight canvas shoes with rubber soles; sneakers

could be made from any fine material, e.g. organdy, lawn, etc.  Treated with a caustic soda solution or sodium hydroxide solution which shrinks parts of the goods either all over or in stripes giving a blistered effect.  Similar to seersucker in appearance.  This crinkle may or may not be removed after washing.  This depends on the quality of the fabric.   It does not need to be ironed, but if a double thickness, such as a hem, needs a little, it should be done after the fabric is thoroughly dry.  Often it is called wrinkle crepe and may be made with a wax/shrink process (the waxed parts remain free of shrinkage and cause the ripples)

plm is an acronym for Product Lifecycle Management.  A business strategy that helps fashion companies share product data, apply common processes, and leverage corporate knowledge for the development of clothing, textiles or trimming from conception to retirement, across the extended enterprise.  By including all company departments, business partners, suppliers, OEM, and customers, PLM enables the entire team to operate as a single entity to conceptualize, design, build, and support products.

plug hat a man's stiff hat, as a bowler or top hat

plum  a dark reddish purple (the color of the fruit; plum....)

plummy  having a plum color.

plush  a fabric with an even pile longer and less dense than velvet pile.

pocketbook purse, handbag

pocket-handkerchief a handkerchief carried in the pocket

poet sleeve  full sleeve which is gathered in at the wrist

pointelle  a fabric with a pointelle design, namely an openwork design (as in knitted fabric) typically in the shape of chevrons.

point d'esprit   first made in France in 1834.  Dull surfaced net with various sized holes.  Has white or colored dots individually spaced or in groups. Used for curtains, bassinettes, evening gowns. Weave: Leno, gauze, knotted, or mesh.

polishing (bio-polishing) - helps remove loose fibers (pilling).  Works on blends, not well on 100% polyester.  Bio-polishing is a finishing process that enhances fabric quality by decreasing the pilling tendency and fuzziness of cellulose knitted fabrics. Cellulose fibers & fabric can be obtained from the bark, wood or leaves of plants, or from other plant-based material.  Enzymes are used in the process.

polo coat a tailored overcoat made especially of tan camel's hair often having stitched edges and a half-belt on the back

polonaise an elaborate overdress with a short-sleeved fitted waist and a draped cutaway overskirt

polo shirt a close-fitting knit shirt with short or long sleeves and turnover collar or banded neck

polymer the chemical solution from which man-made fibers are spun

polypropylene fiber a textile fiber developed by Professor Guilio Natt, consultant to the largest chemical producer in Italy (largest at the time), Montecatini Societa Generale per I
Inustria Mineraria e Chimica Anonima. It is obtained from propylene gas, a by product of oil refining. The fiber may be used for satiny silk-like fabrics or for heavy wool-like yarns with strengths comparable with nylon. The fiber melts at 348 degrees Fahrenheit and cloth made from it can not be ironed.

polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a widely-used plastic. In terms of revenue generated, it is one of the most valuable products of the chemical industry. Globally, over 50% of PVC manufactured is used in construction. As a building material PVC is cheap, and easy to assemble.

poodle  a fabric with a nubby or coarsely looped surface that resembles a poodle's coat, also called poodle cloth.

poplin  cotton, wool, and other textile fibres.  Crosswise rib.  The filling is cylindrical.  Two or three times as many warp as weft per inch.  Has a more pronounced filling effect than broadcloth.   It is mercerized and has quite a high lustre.  It may be bleached, or dyed (usually vat dyes are used) or printed.  Heavy poplin is given a water-repellent finish for outdoor use.  Originally made with silk warp and a heavier wool filling.   Some also mildew-proof, fire-retardant, and some given a suede finish.   American cotton broadcloth shirting is known as poplin in Great Britain.

poppy  a strong reddish orange.

poncho a blanket with a slit in the middle so that it can be slipped over the head and worn as a sleeveless garment; a waterproof garment resembling a poncho and having an integral hood

pongee  thin soft fabric woven from raw silk or an imitation in cotton, polyester, or rayon.  Originally from China and originally woven on hand looms in the home.  Light or medium weight.  Tan or ecru in color.  Woven "in the gum".  Some is dyed, but color is not quite uniform.  Some printed.  Warp is finer and more even than filling.   Nubs or irregular cross ribs produced by uneven yarns.  It is woven from wild tussah silk and it is a "raw silk".  Pongee cotton is made of combed yarns and given a variety of finishes

porkpie hat a hat with a low telescoped crown, flat top, and brim turned up all around or up in back and down in front

postiche wig, especially toupee

pot hat a hat with a stiff crown, especially a derby

pourpoint  a padded and quilted doublet

powder blue  a pale blue.

POY Partially oriented yarn is produced from the melting and extrusion (melt spinning) of the polyester chip or flake. During the spinning process the filaments are stretched or drawn as much as five times their original size to orient the polymer to meet the desired evenness, strength, shrinkage, and elongation properties. So the term partially oriented yarn refers to multi-filament that is only partially stretched. POY is generally lower tenacity and less uniform than fully oriented yarn (FOY).  POY is mainly used in texturizing to make textured yarn and can also be used in draw warping for weaving and warp knitting of fabrics.

PPE is an abbreviation for Personal Protective Equipment which includes items such as respirator face masks, surgical gowns, Hasmat suits and more.

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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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