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Hello there!
I was thinking, it could be very, very, very useful if there was a vocabulary list available to help non-english speaking members…
Because sewing terms are quite specialized, and it is a bit hard to find a good translation, and when following instructions, it sometimes is very difficult!

I would imagine that as a “vocabulary” button next to “projects” “patterns” “learning”… “store”
With a translation in some languages (I would suggest spanish, german, french, italian?), why not with a picture of the word we are talking about.

I’m sure everyone could help, at least I’d love to help for the vocabulary I know in french.

(Sample of words I’m not sure I fully understand : notches, garment, quilting, all the names of fabrics, awl …)

I hope this topic hasn’t been discuss yet, and I apologize if it’s the case).



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    Apr 10, 2010, 03.00 PMby mlssfshn

    Great idea!

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    Apr 12, 2010, 09.22 AMby bekaem

    That’s a good idea, I’m sure lots of members would help. – Also, there used to be a dictionary of sewing terms on the old website, it would be so usefull to have that back, could be combined with the translations.

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    Apr 12, 2010, 09.34 AMby katexxxxxx

    1 Reply
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      Apr 13, 2010, 11.25 AMby mixtlii


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    Apr 14, 2010, 01.10 AMby sew4my3

    Your idea was sent in to the team sometime ago and I hope they plan on utilizing it. Thanks for the idea!

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    Feb 15, 2012, 04.16 AMby lookingsewgood

    Here is a post from threads magazine website, of vintage sewing terms

    by Alexandra Reynolds from Threads #132, pp. 47-51

    Vintage speak: a glossary of terms Vintage patterns come with vintage terminology, not all of which may be familiar. Here are some of the terms you might encounter.

    Continuous lap: A strip of fabric cut on the straight grain and used to face edges of an opening or slit in a garment.

    Jabot: A ruffle or cravat-like accent attached to the front of a dress or blouse.

    Lapped seam: A seam in which one seam allowance edge is lapped over the seam allowance of its joining piece and stitched.

    Pintuck: Very small tucks stitched just a pin’s width from the fold to slightly shape a garment piece. In the late 1920s, a series of pin tucks were often applied across the natural waistline of a frock for shaping and detail.

    Plaits: An array of narrow (known today as “knife”) pleats often applied at the hem of a dress, the ends of sleeves, or around the neck opening.

    Shirring: Three or more rows of gathers made by small running stitches in parallel lines. The rows are spaced as desired.

    Slide fastener: The original term for zippers.

    True bias: Fabric that is cut at a precise 45-degree angle to the fabric grainline.

    Toile: The French term for fabric pattern. Originally pertained to the muslin test garment.

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    Feb 15, 2012, 04.22 AMby lookingsewgood

    this is a link to a list of fabric and cloth terms,


    aba garment of camel or goat hair; camel or goat-hair fabric aerophane thin crinkled semi-transparent fabric alepine mixed wool and silk or mohair and cotton fabric alpaca fine wool made from alpaca hair angora silk-like fabric made from wool of angora goats ardass fine silk armure twilled woollen or silk fabric arrasene embroidery fabric of wool and silk atlas rich satin fabric baft cheap coarse cotton fabric bagging coarse fabric for making bags or sacks baize coarse napped cotton or wool fabric balbriggan knitted cotton fabric baldachin rich embroidered silk and gold fabric balzarine light cotton dress material barathea pebbly silk or worsted fabric with broken rib weave barege gauzy fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or worsted barracan fine silk cloth barras coarse linen fabric barrateen some kind of fabric batiste fine soft sheer fabric of plain weave bayadere fabric with horizontal stripes in strongly contrasting colours beaupers linen fabric used for flags bengaline crosswise ribbed fabric bombazine twilled silk and worsted fabric borato thin fabric bouclé fabric of uneven looped yarn brilliantine light lustrous cotton and worsted fabric broadcloth dense twilled wool or worsted fabric brocade rich silk fabric with raised patterns buckram stiff-finished cotton or linen used for linings of garments bump coarse cotton fabric bunting light loosely woven fabric used for flags burdet cotton fabric burlap coarse plain-woven jute or hemp fabric burnet dark brown; dark woollen cloth burrel coarse russet cloth calamanco satin twilled woollen fabric calico plain white cotton camaca fine silk fabric cambresine fine linen fabric cambric fine thin white cotton or linen fabric camlet strong waterproof silk or wool fabric caneva fancy woollen fabric made to resemble canvas canque Chinese cotton fabric cashmere soft twilled fabric made of fine goat’s wool cashmerette soft imitation of cashmere cassimere closely woven twilled cloth of fine wool cendal silk fabric resembling taffeta challis soft lightweight silk, wool or cotton fabric chambray lightweight fabric with coloured warp and white filling chamois cotton fabric made in imitation of chamois leather charmante silk fabric with a crepe back charmeuse soft and satiny silk fabric chenille velvety silk, wool or cotton fabric with protruding pile cheviot coarse heavy plain or twilled wool or worsted chiffon sheer silk fabric chino strong twilled cotton cloth chintz glazed printed cotton fabric cire fabric with a glazed finish cloque fabric with an embossed design coburg thin single-twilled worsted fabric with cotton or silk cordovan soft goatskin leather corduroy durable cotton piled fabric with vertical ribs crash coarse drapery and towelling fabric crepe light crinkled fabric crepon heavy crepe fabric with lengthwise crinkles cretonne heavy cotton or linen cloth crin horsehair fabric crinoline stiff flax or cotton fabric cubica fine unglazed fabric resembling shalloon cypress silk or cotton gauze fabric, usually black damask fine lustrous fabric with flat patterns and a satin weave delaine light fabric of wool or mixed wool and cotton denim firm and durable twilled cotton dimity sheer and stout white cotton domett plain cotton-wool blend dornick stout linen dowlas coarse linen drabbet coarse linen drap-de-Berry old woollen cloth dreadnought heavy woollen cloth drill durable twilled cotton droguet ribbed woollen dress fabric drugget coarse durable wool fabric ducape plain-woven stout silk fabric duck durable closely woven cotton fabric duffel fabric of thick, low-quality woolen cloth dungaree heavy coarse durable twilled cotton, usually coloured dupion coarse silk duroy coarse woollen duvetyn smooth lustrous velvety fabric ecarlate fine woollen cloth, usually dyed scarlet éolienne fine silk and wool etamine light open-mesh cotton or worsted eyelet small hole in fabric to allow passage of a cord; cotton fabric with small holes faille shiny closely woven silk, cotton or rayon fabric farandine silk and wool cloth filoselle coarse floss silk flannel light woollen fabric foulard soft lightweight plain-woven or twilled silk fabric foulé light woollen fulled cloth frieze rough heavy woollen cloth fuji plain spun silk fabric fustian coarse twilled cotton gabardine closely woven cotton or wool twill galatea striped cotton gambroon twilled worsted and cloth gazar silk organza fabric genappe smooth worsted yarn georgette thin silk gingham striped cotton cloth grenadine thin silk grogram coarse loosely woven silk fabric grosgrain heavy close-woven corded silk gulix kind of fine linen harn coarse linen herringbone twilled fabric woven in rows of parallel sloping lines hodden coarse undyed woollen cloth holland coarse plain-woven cotton or linen hopsack rough-surfaced loose fabric houndstooth fabric with an irregular checked pattern huckaback absorbent cotton or linen used for towels jaconet stout cotton cloth jacquard intricately-woven variegated fabric; loom for making jacquard jaspe cotton or rayon cloth with shaded effect jean durable twilled cotton material jersey plain weft-knitted fabric of wool, cotton, nylon or silk kalamkari fabric coloured by repeated dyeing kelt coarse fabric made of black and white wool kente hand-woven African silk fabric kersey coarse woollen cloth kerseymere twilled fine wool khaddar homespun cotton cloth kincob embroidered silk with gold and silver threads lamé fabric in which metallic threads are interwoven lasting sturdy cotton or worsted cloth lawn fine sheer plain-woven cotton or linen leno open-woven fabric linsey coarse linen and wool blend linsey-woolsey thin coarse fabric of wool and linen lockram coarse linen loden heavy waterproof woollen fabric lustring glossy silk lutestring plain glossy silk mackinaw heavy napped and felted wool cloth mackintosh lightweight rubberized waterproof cotton madapollam fine cotton cloth madras fine plain-woven cotton or silk marabout thin downy silk marcella cotton or linen in twill weave marocain ribbed crepe fabric marquisette sheer meshed cloth matelassé having a quilted ornamentation; fabric with raised pattern as if quilted melton strong and smooth heavy woollen cloth merino soft wool of the merino sheep; any soft merino-like wool or wool and cotton cloth messaline soft lightweight silk with a satin weave mockado inferior quality woollen fabric mogadore ribbed silk used in making neckties mohair fabric made from silky hair of angora goats moire watered silk moleskin heavy durable cotton moreen stout corded wool or cotton mousseline fine sheer fabric mull soft fine sheer cotton or silk fabric muslin plain-woven fine cotton musterdevillers archaic mixed grey woollen cloth nainsook fine cotton fabric nankeen buff-coloured; durable buff-coloured cotton needlecord thinly ribbed cotton ninon silk voile or other thin fabric organdie fine translucent cotton organza transparent thin silk or nylon orleans interwoven cotton and worsted osnaburg coarse linen or cotton ottoman heavy clothing fabric with crosswise ribs oxford soft durable plain-woven cotton paduasoy corded silk paisley soft wool fabric with ornamental pattern panne heavy lustrous silk or rayon with waxy feel paramatta worsted and cotton blend pashmina fine goat’s wool fabric used for making shawls pekin fine soft silk pellicule thin diaphanous fabric percale closely woven lightweight cloth percaline glossy lightweight cotton perse dark blue or bluish-grey; cloth of such a colour piqué stiff durable corded fabric of cotton, rayon or silk platilla fine white linen plissé fabric with puckered finish pongee thin soft fabric woven from raw silk poodle coarsely looped or nubby fabric poplin corded woven silk and worsted prunella strong and heavy silk or wool rabanna raffia fabric of Madagascar ramie strong lustrous fabric resembling linen or silk raploch coarse undyed woollen cloth raschel light loosely kitted cloth ratiné rough bulky plain-woven fabric rep plain-woven fabric with crosswise ribs reticella old Venetian lace-like fabric romal handkerchief or headcloth; silk or cotton fabric rumchunder fine silk russel ribbed cotton and wool russet coarse homespun cloth sagathy light blend of silk and cotton or wool samite rich and heavy silk, sometimes interwoven with gold or silver sarsenet fine and soft silk; soft or gentle satara ribbed lustred wool sateen glossy cotton or wool satin closely woven silk with lustrous face satinet thin silk satin or imitation thereof saxony fine soft woollen fabric say delicate woollen fabric scarlet fine cloth scrim durable plain-woven cotton fabric seersucker light puckered cotton or linen fabric sempiternum durable wool sendal thin silk or linen serge strong twilled worsted shalloon light twilled wool or worsted shantung plain rough silk or cotton sharkskin smooth durable wool or worsted fabric shetland lightweight loosely twisted wool fabric shoddy woollen fabric made from rags sicilienne ribbed silk silesia thin twilled cotton or linen silkaline soft light cotton fabric resembling silk sindon fine linen stammel coarse woollen fabric, usually dyed red; bright red colour stockinette soft elastic cotton fabric surah soft twilled silk or rayon swansdown heavy napped cotton flannel swanskin soft napped fabric resembling flannel tabaret striped watered silk and satin fabric tabby plain-woven silk taffeta fabric tabinet silk and wool watered fabric taffeta thin glossy silk tamin thin glazed worsted tamis thin wool tarlatan thin sheer stiff cotton terry piled fabric consisting of uncut loops ticking strong linen or cotton fabric used for mattress and pillow cases tiffany transparent silk-like gauzy fabric tiretaine wool cloth mixed with cotton or linen toile plain or simple twilled fabric tricolette silk or rayon knitted fabric tricot plain knitted silk or woollen fabric tricotine double-twilled worsted fabric tulle sheer and delicate thin silk tussah brownish silk fabric tweed rough twilled wool twill any diagonally woven fabric velour piled velvety cotton veloutine velvety corded wool velvet soft piled fabric of silk, cotton or synthetic material velvetine cotton with silk pile vicuna fabric made from wool of the vicuna, a small ruminant voile soft fine sheer fabric wadmal thick coarse wool whipcord fabric with bold twill used for making dresses wigan stiff plain-woven cotton wincey plain or twilled cotton woolsey cotton and wool blend worcester fine wool worsted fine closely-woven wool zanella mixed twilled umbrella fabric zephyr lightweight wool or worsted fabric; the west wind zibeline soft piled wool

    1 Reply
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      Feb 15, 2012, 04.24 AMby lookingsewgood

      this looks awful pasted on here, but if you go to the website it looks much better in excel spreadsheet

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    Feb 15, 2012, 04.42 AMby lookingsewgood

    link to a “sewpedia”, or encyclopedia/dictionary for sewing


    and spanish english sewing vocabulary pdf form —> website link, http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/87/do-you-speak-sewing

    translations dictionary, already set up for english to french translations —> website link, http://www.eudict.com/?word=&go=Search&lang=engfre

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