Apparel Search Glossary  W : Fashion & Textile Glossary

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Textile Glossary

wader [Plural] high waterproof boots or a one-piece waterproof garment usually consisting of pants with attached boots that are used for wading, as when fishing

wadmal a coarse rough woolen fabric formerly used in the British Isles and Scandinavia for protective coverings and warm clothing.

wafflestomper a hiking boot with a lug sole.

waist a garment or part of a garment covering the body from the neck to the waistline or just below; bodice; blouse

waistcoat an ornamental garment worn under a doublet; [Chiefly British] vest

walker a walking shoe

walnut  a moderate reddish brown.

warbonnet an American Indian ceremonial headdress with a feathered extension down the back

warm-up a suit for exercise or casual wear comprising a jacket or sweatshirt and pantsOften used in plural; Also called, warm-up suit or athletic suit or sweat suit]

warp  the yarns that run the length of the loom. The warp yarns are pulled through the loom as the weft or filling yarns are woven across the warp to make the fabric.

whiskering (regarding denim jeans) the whiskering is a subtle horizontal lines that many jeans have along the thighs or wear points for a well worn look.  To achieve this look, jean factories draw lines on the jeans with sandpaper and then proceed to stonewash them.  This is a technique often used for leading jean manufacturers such as Levi's.

warp knit a knit fabric produced by machine with the yarns running in a lengthwise direction -- compare weft knit

watch cap a knitted close-fitting usually navy-blue cap worn especially by enlisted men in the US navy in cold or stormy weather

waterproof [Chiefly British] raincoat.

weaving   is an ancient art of making fabric, with no new types of weaves having been developed since 1747. The warp yarns and weft yarns are interlaced (woven) with each other to make a fabric (vs. a knit where the yarns are looped together). There are three basic weaving constructions.

  • Plain weave: The 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.
  • Twill weave: The twill weave is similar to a satin weave in the sense that the loom is floating the warp or weft yarns over yarns of the opposite direction, but with a twill the yarn is only passing over two of the opposite yarns. A twill is distinctive by the diagonal lines that appear in the fabic. A twill weave, like a satin weave, usually results in a softer fabric than a plain weave. It is excellent for brushed or napped cotton, and is superior for a feather pillow ticking because of its strength.
  • Satin weave: the satin weave is made by "floating" the warp or weft yarns across several yarns to bring them to the surface. Bringing the yarns to the surface gives the fabric sheen because light is reflected off the yarn surface, not absorbed by the intersections of yarns such as in a plain weave.
  • Cambric: a plain weave construction, Cambric fabric is also calendered (passed between rollers under heat and pressure) to give the surface a shine. Originally made in Cambrai, France.
  • Sateen: a satin weave construction, usually made of mercerized combed cotton, where the weave and quality of cotton give the fabric a wonderful shine and softness.
  • Warp: the yarns that run the length of the loom. The warp yarns are pulled through the loom as the weft or filling yarns are woven across the warp to make the fabric.
  • Weft or Filling: The yarns that are woven across the loom, with Weft being the English term and Filling being the American term. The individual yarns are also known as Picks.

wedge a shoe having a heel extending from the back of the shoe to the front of the shank and a tread formed by an extension of the sole

wedgie a shoe having a wedge-shaped piece serving as the heel and joining the half-sole to form a continuous flat undersurface

weft or filling  the yarns that are woven across the loom, with Weft being the English term and Filling being the American term. The individual yarns are also known as Picks.

weft knit a knit fabric produced in machine or hand knitting with the yarns running crosswise or in a circle.

wellington a leather boot having a loose top with the front usually coming above the knee [Usually used in plural]

Welt pocket An inset pocket with the lower lip finished by an upstanding welt that may be from 3/8
to 1
wide. With two lips it is called a 'reece' pocket

weskit vest

wet suit a close-fitting suit made of material, as sponge rubber, that traps a thin layer of water against the body to retain body heat and that is worn, as by a skin diver, especially in cold waterSurfers generally wear wet suits when surfing.  The suit protects the body from the board as well as maintains body temperature.

wheat  a light yellow.

wheaten a pale yellowish to ruddy fawn color characteristic of the coat of some dogs.

whipcord  a cloth that is made of hard-twisted yarns and has fine diagonal cords or ribs.

whiskering  (also whisker wash) parallel horizontal distress marks on the upper thigh on the front of denim jeans; replicates the natural wear of jeans from sitting down after long periods of wear and use; actual whiskering originates from cowboys/ranchers that would sit on their horses for long periods of time, and through wearing and weathering creases on the upper thigh cause a lighter line or "whisker" to appear; name comes from parallel appearance that has resemblance to animal whiskers.

white t
he achromatic object color of greatest lightness characteristically perceived to belong to objects that reflect diffusely nearly all incident energy throughout the visible spectrum.

whites white clothing

wholesale   Wholesale establishments, on the other hand, are primarily engaged in selling or arranging the purchase or sale of: (a) goods for resale, (b) capital or durable nonconsumer goods, and (c) raw and intermediate materials and supplies used in production. Wholesalers normally operate from a warehouse or office and are characterized by having little or no display of merchandise. In addition, neither the design nor the location of the premises is intended to solicit walk-in traffic. Wholesalers also do not normally use advertising directed to the general public.

wholesale price cost for goods before retail markup.

wig a manufactured covering of natural or synthetic hair for the head

wife-beater a cotton-ribbed sleeveless undershirts (this is a slang expression sometimes used in the USA)

wigan  a stiff plain-weave cotton fabric used for interlining.  A converted cotton cloth, dyed black, brown or gray, and given a firm starched, plain calender finish and used for interlinings in men's and boy's clothing to give body to the garment.

wiglet a small wig used especially to enhance a hairstyle

wimple a cloth covering worn over the head and around the neck and chin especially by women in the late medieval period and by some nuns.

windbreaker an outer jacket made of wind-resistant material

windsor tie a broad necktie usually tied in a loose bow

wine  a dark red.

wing tip a shoe having a wing tip, namely a toe cap having a point that extends back toward the throat of the shoe and curving sides that extend toward the shank

whipcord  cotton, rayon, worsted or woolen.  Twill weave.  Very much like gabardine, but the yarn is bulkier and much more pronounced. The twill is steep 63 degrees and goes from left to right (except for cotton). It is very durable, rugged and stands hard usage and wear. In time, it shines a bit with wear. Some times back is napped for warmth. So named because it stimulates the lash of a whip.

wire cloth a fabric of woven metallic wire (as for strainers).

wool  a woven fabric of wool, namely the soft wavy or curly hypertrophied undercoat of various hairy mammals and especially the sheep made of a matrix of keratin fibers and covered with minute scales.  A garment made of wool.  The term 'wool' refers to the fibers from the fleece of lambs, sheep, Cashmere goats, Angora goats, camels, llamas, alpacas, and vicunas. Wool from sheep is the most common, lamb's wool is shorn from sheep less than eight months old, and Merino wool is from a specific breed that yields the finest and softest sheep wool.  Mohair is the wool of the Angora goat.  Sheep say baa goats say maa. Seriously, their voices are different. (Voices provided by 4H club)

woolen  a fabric made of wool and especially of woolen yarns having a fuzzy or napped face (as for use in clothing or blankets) -- compare worsted.  Garments of woolen fabric, namely a fabric made of wool

woolly a garment made from wool, especially underclothing of knitted wool [usually used in plural]

wool top also referred to as worsted top, it is a continuous sliver from long, choice woolen fibers which are to be manufactured ultimately into worsted yarn The combing operation takes out the short fibers from the desired, choice stock.

worsted a fabric made from worsted yarn, namely a smooth compact yarn from long wool fibers used especially for firm nap-less fabrics.

worsted-weight yarns  these yarns knit to a gauge of 4-1/2 to 5 stitches per inch on size 7, 8, or 9 US needles. These yarns have approximately 850-1100 yards per pound. This category of yarns is the main weight of yarns used to make sweaters, and contains some of the yarns which are very fluffy like mohairs and angoras.  (this definition was kindly provided by Karen at Red Meadow fiber Arts)

woven Woven fabric has basically three weaves.  Twill Weave, plain weave and satin weave.  All weaves, either simple, elaborate or complex, are derived from these three weaves.

woven label  the primary use of a woven label is to identify the brand name of a garment.  It is generally placed on the inside neckline of a shirt or the inner waistband of a pant.  The label is occasionally referred to as a main label or garment label.  Fore example, the Apparel Search web site categorizes these items as main labels.  Woven labels are sometimes confused with direct embroidery.  This misconception could not be further from the truth.  Woven labels of any kind are constructed from yarn in the same manner as any woven fabric.  The background fabric is produced by combining either white or black warp yarns running in the length of the label with white, black or colored weft yarns running back and forth across the label's width.  The label's design is simultaneously woven into the ground fabric by selectively inserting a colored design yarn across the warp in place of the weft yarn used to construct the ground.

wrap an outer garment, as a coat or shawl

wraparound a garment, as a dress, made with a full-length opening and adjusted to the figure by wrapping around

wrapper an article of clothing worn wrapped around the body

wreath something intertwined into a circular shape, especially a garland or a chaplet

wristband a band encircling the wrist.  Generally use by athletes for wiping sweat from the forehead.

wristlet a band encircling the wrist, especially one that is close-fitting, knitted, and attached to the top of a glove or end of a sleeve

wyliecoat [Chiefly Scottish] a warm undergarment; [Chiefly Scottish] petticoat
The Apparel Search Company does not want you to confuse "wyliecoat" with Wile E. Coyote from the Warner Brothers cartoon.  If there is any confusion, you can contact us at

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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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