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Colthes Guide 4

 

 

Discover Your Clothes 4/4

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RING OPTICS

Technological development that gives open-end yarn the visual characteristics of traditional ring-spun yarn through an irregular (thick and thin) spinning process.

RING-RING

Or double ring. Refers to denim in which both warp and weft are made of ring-spun yarn. The hand is even softer than in ring denim. It's the "Ferrari" of denim fabrics.

RING-SPUN

Yarn that is produced by using a "ring" for spinning. The process is slower and more labor-intensive than the more technologically advanced open-end spinning, and because it uses a longer fiber, results in a yarn that has a characteristic, natural unevenness. This has come to be desirable because of its association with traditional denim. Irregularities are enhanced by stonewashing. The hand is softer than open-end denim.

RIVETS

Copper or metal studs used to reinforce pocket comers on jeans. Jacob Davis, a Nevada tailor, first tried riveting when miners explained that the weight of gold nuggets caused their pockets to rip. Davis wrote to Levi Strauss & Co., and together they patented the innovation in 1873 (U.S. Patent No. 1391121). Starting in 1937, rivets on the back pockets of the Levi's 501 were covered with denim after customers complained they scratched saddles and school chairs. In the mid-'60s, the back rivets were removed and replaced with bar tacking.

ROPE DYEING

A yarn-dyeing process for indigo fabrics in which the yarns are twisted into rope before being dipped into the indigo dye. All good ring indigo denim is rope-dyed. (4Sheet Range Dyeing)

SADDLE STITCH

Looks like cobbler's stitching. Used to give jeans a kind of old-time sophisticated authenticity.

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SAFETY STITCH

Additional row of stitching in certain areas of stress.

SALT & PEPPER

A form of extreme abrasion contrast for black and blue indigo, achieved through the use of mercerized yarns.

SALTWATER DENIM

A denim fabric that has been washed with a high-sodium content finish to, increase abrasion levels, used by Quiksilver, a West Coast surf resource, among others.

SANDING

Method of abrading fabric with sandpaper for a peach-skin hand.

SANDBLASTING

Jeanswear treatment that removes color from certain areas, either allover or placed, and gives the garment additional softness. Sand is actually shot at the garment with a powerful spray gun. Recent technology has introduced "automatic" sandblasting, in which the jeans hang and rotate continuously.

SELVAGE

The white edges of the denim fabric, usually stitched with a colored thread. Normal denim width is 150 cm, which means the selvage is left out when the garment is cut. Because of the simpler, narrower looms, original denim fabric was only 75 cm wide, and the selvage was visible inside the trousers along the inner leg. American jeans giants had their own distinctive selvage thread color-red for Levi's, green for Lee and yellow for Wrangler. Exposed selvage is a key to recognizing period originals.

SHADING

Term referring to color co-production.

SHEET RANGE DYEING

A yarn-dyeing process for indigo fabrics in which the yarns are dipped parallel into the indigo dye baths.

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SHOTGUN DENIM

Denim that has been shot with a gun, or in some cases simply washed to the extreme, resulting in small holes in a very worn and tattered fabric. Bullethole denim is a variation that produces less of an overall effect, with the holes being less concentrated on the fabric.

SHRINK-TO-FIT

Before sanforizing and stonewashing, jeans came "nature": stiff as cod, dark and extra long. They were unwearable. After the first wash at home they shrank to fit and eventually became the right size (and colour). In the early '90s, some jeans’ manufacturers began to offer them to old-time aficionados.

SILK

The protein fibre forming the cocoons produced by sikworms.

SKYING

Process in which the indigo dye is oxidated, or exposed to the air, a step that is necessary to develop and fix the color.

SLASHING

The last step in preparing dyed yarn for weaving. Threads from several section beams are combined, a wax and starch solution is added, and the threads are dried and wound onto a loom beam. The wax acts as a lubricant and the starch prevents loss of fibers and adds strength needed in the weaving process.

SNOW WASH DENIM

Denim treated with a variation of acid wash that imparts bright white highlights.

STITCHING

Sewing with thread. A characteristic detail of jeanswear, in which much of the stitching is visible-at seams, pockets, waistband and fly. Traditionally done in yellow or orange thread. Mainly functional, but also used as decoration by some jeanswear brands.

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STONEWASHING

Technique used to accelerate the fading and softening of jeans through the washing of garments with pumice stones. The stones can be natural or synthetic, in different sizes or shapes, producing various effects. An average stonewash for 130 pairs of jeans uses 150 kilos of pumice stones and 682 liters of water and lasts one hour. Super stonewashing can last as long as six hours. Changes in water temperature, the size of the washing machine, the number of stones, etc. can all change the final result, and the "science" of stonewashing has kept many a jeans manufacturer busy in the search for new, exclusive effects. The actual origins of stonewashing are difficult to ascertain. Japanese Edwin claims to have been the first to stonewash jeans commercially in 1975, a "secret" it kept from the world until its announcement of the process in 1979. Meanwhile, Marithi and Frangois Girbaud, who may or may not have heard about it from the Japanese, patented the technique in 1978. Others who are generally considered among the pioneers of stonewashing are Big John, French designer Pierre Morrisset and Kurt Ulmer of Jet Set.

STRETCH DENIM

Denim fabric made with a percentage of elastan fiber in the weft, giving it a body-fitting stretch quality. (-+Lycra) The first mill to produce this special denim in Europe was Legler, in the late '70s, though initially without great success. One of the earliest stretch jeans lines was produced in Hong Kong by Peter Golding, using Japanese stretch denim. In 1980 Levi's launched in the UK the first complete wornenswear program of stretch jeans with the help of Lauffenmiihle's Elastenim. This initiative met with very good response in Great Britain and other brands soon followed suit. Marks & Spencer (UK) was the next to bring stretch denim to the consumer, this time using a Legler range. And the following years in Europe saw a boom in the stretch phenomenon, notably with France's Buffalo and, around 1983/84, Germany's Mustang.

SUNWASHING

A very light shade arrived at by bleaching and stoning, which looks as if the sun faded the fabric.

SUPER DARK STONE

Commercial term for an extra dark indigo color, resulting from a double-dyeing technique.

SUPER STONEWASH

Prolonged stonewashing, up to six hours or more.

TAFFETA

A plain-weave, closely woven, smooth and crisp fabric with a faint weft-way rib, produced from filament yarns.

TAPERED

Term that describes a jeans leg that loses width on the way to the ankle.

THERMO-DENIM

Or double denim, in which a lightweight fabric (either plain, fancy or colored) is glued to the denim. After washing, the glue comes off and the trousers look like they've been lined.

TIE-DYE

A bleaching or dyeing technique in which the fabric or garment is tightly folded and tied at intervals with rubber bands. When submerged in bleach or dye, only the exposed sections are affected, creating a distinctive pattern. The process is usually associated with the happy era in the late '60s and early '70s, when denim jeans and cotton T-shirts were personalized by tie-dyeing. The look reappeared in the early '90s as part of the '60s revival in fashion.

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TWO OR THREE NEEDLE JOB

Two or three rows of parallel stitches.

UNEVEN

Ring-spun yarn has an uneven quality, defined as either natural (light) or antique (pronounced).

USED WASH

Term referring to a type of placed abrasive effect or sandblasting, made individually on each garment in special areas like the knees, pockets, thighs, bottom, etc., combined with stonewashing.

VELVET

A cut warp-pile fabric, originally of silk, in which the cut ends of the fibers from the surface of the fabric.

VINTAGE

A denim treatment that applies heavy stonewashing or a cellulose enzyme wash, with or without bleach, for an old and worn look.

WARP

Set of yarn found in every fabric woven on the loom, running lengthwise parallel to the selvage and interwoven with the weft or filling, the two forming various weaves according to the method of intersection.

WEAVES

Various patterns of interlacing yarns for fabrics woven on a loom. Denim weaves can be coarse (3/1), broken twill (3/1, staggered), fine (2/1) or chambray (1/1). Denim is always a diagonal weave, rising to the right (most often) or to the left. Other weaves have been used for jeanswear, notably the canvas weave.

WEAVING

Step in denim making in which dyed warp threads are interlaced with natural filling thread. Warp threads from the loom beam are fed through a series of harnesses. Each harness controls a group of warp threads. As this harness moves up, its threads are separated from the others, creating an opening called a "shed." A filling thread is inserted into this shed. As the harness moves back down and other harnesses move up, the filling thread is locked into place by the crossing motion. A metal comb called a "reed" comes forward and packs the filling thread into its proper position.

WEFT

In woven fabrics, the set of yarn that runs from selvage to selvage at right angles to the warp. Also known as the filling or woof.

WEIGHTS

Fabric weight is measured in ounces per square yard. The heaviest denim is 15 1/2 oz. or more, regular is 13 3/4 to 14 3/4 oz. Midweights are from 10 to 13 oz., and lightweights or shirtings are from 4 to 9 oz.

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WET PROCESSING

A generic term used to describe a variety of finishing techniques, all of which use water or another liquid, and some mechanical processing, to treat the fabric or garment.

WICK

A woven or braided fabric, or a yarn or a group of yearns, having outstanding capillary properties.

WIDTH

Commercial denim's width is 150 cm. Excessive width is 160 cm. Denim's former width was 75 cm.

WOOL

The fibrous covering of a sheep.

WORSTED

Descriptive of yarns spun wholly from combed wool in which the fibers are parallel, and fabrics or garments made from such yarns.

WORSTED FABRIC

A fabric manufactured wholly from worsted yarns, except that decration threads of other fibers may be present.

X DYES

Cross-dyed fabrics present a two-color weave obtained by using different yarns for warp and weft (e.g., cotton and polyester), which respond differently to the same dyestuff.

X-POCKETS

Unique front pocket cut invented by Closed in its pedal pusher model, in which the two pockets meet at the fly in the shape of an "X."

YARN

The spun fibers from which fabrics are made by a process of weaving. The fmer the yarn, the lighter and the fabric weight. A product of substantial length and relatively small cross-section consisting of fibers and/or filaments with or without a twist.

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YARN COUNT

Indicates the yarn size. The denim industry works with English counts.

YARN-DYED

Term referring to any fabric in which the yarn is dyed before weaving. Denim is a yarn-dyed fabric.

ZED TWIST

Traditional direction of the spinning twist been used only in limited production of denim fabrics.

ZEPHYR

A fine fabric of plain weave used for dresses, blouses and shirtings and made in various qualities.

ZIP FLY

The zipper alternative to the button fly, first used for jeans by H.D. Lee in 1926. Wrangler was the first to do a center zip fly for women, in its Jeanie line, which debuted in 1950. The innovation was considered hazardous at first, but eventually became a booming success.

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ZIPPER

A popular jeans closure. Also sometimes used as a design detail on back pockets or on tapered pants legs. The zipper was invented in 1893 by American W. Litcomb Judson as a system of small hooks and eyelets; it was improved by Swedish Gideon Sundback in 1913, when it became a system of small metallic teeth intertwined through a movable clasp.

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