Culture, fashion and costume history from Antique to the 20th century. Extensive collection of rare illustrations & images.
Costumes by Martial et Armand, Lucile Paray
Accordion Plaiting — One plait laid on another by machinery. They are steamed and dried so as to permanently retain this position.
Ajour — All open effects, sometimes produced by a veining joining two parts together by hemstitching.
Antique — A word used to designate a style, material or fashion that has been used in ancient times, usually antedating the middle ages.
Applique — Lace or embroidery patterns applied to a material. It may be a band, or separate design, as of leaves, figures, etc.
Arabesque — A flat effect or design which may be made with cords, stitchery, or applied pieces outlined, i. e. after the Arabian style of decoration.
Bag Seam — A seam stitched on the right side and then on the wrong, hiding the raw edges.
Buerre — A name given to materials or lace having a yellow color resembling butter.
Bolero — A Spanish jacket; a small sleeveless jacket worn over a loose blouse.
Border — Any trimming put on an edge or above it and used as a finish to a garment.
Bouffant — Used to express a very full or puffy effect—as bouffant sleeves.
Bouillonné — A narrow puffing used for fancy trimming, which is sometimes corded. It is often made of chiffon or soft satin.
Chameleon — A changeable effect obtained by weaving two or three colors together.
Chiné — Effects obtained by printing the warp before weaving and making the filling of a plain color.
Ghoux — A rosette of any soft material which will look like a cabbage.
Collet — A small cape or large collar.
Guirasse — A perfectly plain tight-fitting waist.
Dresden Effects — Warp-printed flowers and figures like those used on Dresden china.
Drop Skirt — A lining skirt intended for a certain dress. It is often hung or attached to the outer skirt.
Dutch Neck — A square or round neck cut about two inches below the throat.
Eton — A short jacket or coat reaching to the waist line and dipping slightly to a point at the center back. This style is copied after that worn at the Eton School, England.
Fagoting — An embroidery stitch which fills the space between two edges, holding them together. It differs from the cat or herringbone stitch in that it is worked through the edges, and not fiat on them.
Featherstitching — Very much like bias or cord stitchery used in embroidery and with very good effect in some styles in dressmaking.
Fichu — A draped scarf or cape having long ends which fall from a knot at the breast.
French Gathers — Made of one long stitch on the outside and one short stitch underneath and alternating.
French Knot — An embroidery stitch in which from four to eight or nine twists are made on the needle.
The needle is pushed back through the same opening to the wrong side while the loops are held on the right side.
Frogs — Ornaments made of braid in a fancy pattern, having a loop which fastens on the opposite button or olive. There are always a pair of these ornaments used for each fastening.
Galloon or Passementerie — Trimming made of beads, spangles, or silk, into bands and fancy designs.
Gaufré — An effect seen in silk when the material is pressed into shapes or patterns.
Glacé — A shiny surface, applied to gloves and silk materials.
Harlequin — Made of three or more separate colors.
Jabot — A trimming, usually of lace or chiffon, gathered full and allowed to fall in cascades or shells.
Jupon — A short petticoat applied to double or triple skirts. The upper skirt is the jupon.
Lancé — Shot effect, small dots—also called petite pois.
Melangé — Mixtures or color applied in weaving; also mixtures of cotton warp and wool weft.
Mercerize — A chemical process of rendering cotton threads lustrous. The thread is shortened and hardened, producing a silky effect.
Moiré — A watered effect like spreading waves over a silk, cotton or woolen material.
Motif — A portion of a design—as a leaf from a spray of flowers.
Plastron — A full or draped vest for a waist.
Panelv — A piece of material placed either in the front or sides of a skirt, sometimes outlined by rows of trimming, giving the appearance of an inlay.
Picot — A small loop used as an ornamental edging on ribbons or lace.
Piping — A bias fold or cord put on the edge of a band or garment as a finishing.
Plait — A trimming made by folding the material over on itself. Box Plait — A fold turned toward either side. Double Box Plait — Box plaits having two folds. Kilt Plaits — Large single folds turned one way.
Plaits — Narrow folds turned to one side. Triple Box Plaits — Box plaits having three folds.
Plissé — Plaited.
Polonaise — A waist and overskirt combined in one garment. It is taken from the Polish national costume.
Quilling — A narrow-plaited effect; a rose quilling is a very full triple box plaiting stitched through the center, having the effect of a row of full-blown roses.
Shirr — Two or more rows of gathers having a space between.
Smocking — Accordion plaiting caught together alternately in rows, making an elastic fabric.
Watteau Plait — A box plait down the center of the back of a Princess gown which is laid from the neck to the waist line and then hangs freely to the bottom of the skirt. Taken from Louis XV period style of dress.