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Jewelry Glossary

100 Essential terms

Caftan North African or Middle- Eastern garment consisting of a long, full robe with slit neckline, decorated with embroidery, and long, full, bell-shaped sleeves. Worn in U.S. since 1960's as at home and evening attire by women.
Camel hair Fibers from the crossbred Bactrian camel of Asia, which produces soft luxurious yarn that is resistant to heat and cold; cloth made of these fibers.
Canvas Classification of heavy durable cotton fabric made from coarse, hard twisted yarns.
Caraco Fitted hip-length suit jacket with peplum made by French designer Yves Saint Laurent in 1969, said to be derived from jackets depicted in Toulouse-Lautrec paintings.
Cashmere An extremely soft luxurious fabric made from the hair of the cashmere goat- native to Kashmir in northwestern India, Tibet,Turkestan, and China. The wool is obtained from combing rather than clipping the animal. This yarn is used for sweaters, suits and overcoats.
Chambray Term given to a variety of yarn-dyed fabrics made of cotton or man-made fabrics. One type is iridescent, or frosty-looking, caused by weaving with warps of one color and fillings of another. Some fabrics are woven with cotton stripes made with heavier yarn. Some are lightweight high-count fabrics made of carded mercerized yarns giving a fine silky hand.
Charmeuse Lightweight, smooth, semi-lustrous, soft fabric with a crepe back. Made of cotton, silk, or man-made fibers and may be dyed or printed. Mostly utilized in dresses.
Chevron Motif consisting of two straight lines meeting to form an inverted "V" shape.
Chiffon Thin transparent fabric made in a plain weave. It drapes well and is made from tightly twisted or creped yarns. Originally made in silk; now also made in man-made fibers. Usually dyed solid colors or often printed in floral designs. Used for sheer dresses, blouses, and scarves.
Color Blocking Use of large geometrical areas of contrasting color in dresses, blouses, jackets. Originally intorduced in the early 1980's to give a striking modern look.
Cowl Cape or Mantle with hood hanging over back and shoulders, or neck like a collar worn by monastic orders.
Cross-dyed Used to identify fabrics woven of two or more different fibers, such as acetate and rayon, immersed in one dyeing solution which dyes fabric into a pattern by affecting the two fibers differently. Frequently used for striped or checked fabrics.
Damask Fabric made in the jacquard weave in white or colored floral or geometric effects. Pattern may be large or small and reverses on the opposite side. Frequently made in a satin or twill weave while the background is in a plain, rib or sateen weave. Term is originally derived from a rich silk fabric from Damascus.
d'Orsay Pump Pump with closed heel and toe, cut down to the sole at the sides leaving shank bare. Often made with high heel. Originated in popularity in the 1940's as an evening or at home shoe.
Down Material used to pad winter jackets and coats to increase warmth. Genuine down comes from fluffy soft fibers under the feathers of water fowl, such as geese and ducks.
Dropped Skirt Skirt set on a low waistline; also called a torso skirt.
Duster Woman's long summer coat, sometimes belted and caped, often made of alpaca or silk. Originated in popularity in the 1880's. Also called an automobile coat because of its use to protect clothing from dust while riding in an automobile.
Elasticized Used to describe fabric made with natural or synthetic rubber yarns for stretchability. For Example: Elastain, Lycra
Embossing A process which uses metal plates to impress a pattern on leather or plastic to imitate genuine alligator, lizard, snakeskin or turtle. Can also refer to the use of metal rollers to imprint a texture on fabrics, which gives a permanent finish on man-made fibers when heat-set.
Fleur-De-Lis Lily motif used in heraldry and part of the coat-of arms of France's royal family. Often used in prints, adornments and jewelry.
Flounce Piece of material either circular and bias-cut or straight-cut and gathered. Used on skirt of dress, usually at hem, either singly or in series. This style was first introduced into dressing in the 16th Century.
Fluting Tiny pleats in sheer fabrics that give a corrugated effect. Those set in man-made fabrics may be permanently heat-set. First became popular in the late 19th Century, and revived in the 1960's
Fringe Ornamental trim used since medieval times, consisting of loose strands of thread, yarn, or beads, fastened to a band. Also refers to fabric or leather which is slashed into narrow strands, used for trim.
Frog Ornamental fastener made of braid or cording used for closing garments, especially military uniforms and some Chinese clothes. When introduced in the West from China in the last quarter of the 18th Century they were called Brandenburgs