" He that gives good advice,
builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example,
builds with both; he that gives good admonition and bad
example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other."
- Sir Francis Bacon
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A lo ancho -
to the width.
A pelo -
with the nap.
A pelo y labor -
with the nap and woven pattern.
Aglet, aiglet -
A point or tag sewn on the end of a lace, usually
of metal but sometimes of glass or other materials.
Intended to help thread the lace through the grommet
holes but eventually became decorative.
the main body/pattern piece of the garment.
See 'scye'. Arm hole of a garment.
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The neckband of a shirt, smock, or partlet. Also collar
(standing band). Bands could be 'plain' (without ornament
or lace), 'falling' or rabat (French, worn normally
turned down), or 'ruff bands' (which were pleated
and stiffened). In a 'falling' band, the 'stock' or
'strip' of the ruff was fastened to the shirt by pins
and the collar or band made fit the neck by darts
or 'clocks'. De Medici ruffs were fastened to the
shirt in the same method but were supported in an
upright position by a starched or wired support (supportasse)
and left open. Bands and ruffs were considered the
dress of the gentry and anyone who did not wear them
was considered a ruffian. Bands and ruffs were usually
white but during the latter half of the 16th Century,
colors were added to the starches. Red, blue, purple,
and goose-turd green are mentioned but yellow seemed
to be the most popular. The ties that were used to
fasten the band closed were known as 'band strings'
and were usually tasseled at the end.
Castillian unit of measure.
Baudekin, Baudkin, Bawdekyn, Bodkin -
(aka Tinsel) Apparently a silk fabric woven with metal
threads, less expensive than cloth of gold or cloth
of silver. Probably from the word "Baldacco,
Italian name for Baghdad. Possibly a damasked or brocaded
cloth of gold.
Bayes, Bays, Baies -
A napped material, half worsted, with a warp of combed
wool. Used for stiffening and lining (interlining).
Range of quality depended upon number of threads per
inch. During the 16th c. was worn chiefly by the wealthy.
Reed or willow used for stiffening gowns or corsets.
Usually used in bundles and quilted into channels
in the gown or corset.
Diagonal or across the grain of fabric. Used when
fabric needs to stretch around something. Also used
to describe something that was arranged diagonally.
Term derived from the French word béguin. It
was a close fitting child's cap and therefore denoted
A decorative band, often made of goldsmith work, that
edged the curve of a French hood. Could also be worn
separately as a hair ornament to which a veil might
Bis, Byse -
A silky linen, similar to cypress, made in colors
as well as white and sometimes interwoven with gold
hem or bottom of garment.
Most often refers to black embroidery on white fabric.
Could also refer to red embroidery on white fabric
(scarlet work) or any other color of embroidery on
white fabric that used backstitch and fill patterns.
Period term for the bodice of a woman's gown. Can
also be used to describe a corset, which was usually
quilted and stiffened with reeds or whalebone. Often
referred to as a 'pair of bodies' which described
the front and back pieces.
Cotton wool. Used to stuff rolls and pad doublets.
Bone Lace -
To trim, guard, or welt. A band, usually decorated,
placed around the edge of a garment in order to protect
the garment from wear or to finish a seam.
Bound about -
Term usually refers to braid or bias welts folded
over an edge of a skirt to protect it.
Originally fine, woolen cloths of plain weave, two
yards wide, exclusive of the selvage. The full length
of a broadcloth was twenty-four yards, but was often
exported as a 'dozen' broadcloth (a length of twelve
to thirteen yards).
A design in a woven textile produced with an extra
weft thread. Term is specific to the 17th and 18th
A firmly woven material, usually of hemp, linen, or
maybe cotton. Used for inexpensive garments, linings,
stiffening, and toiles. Stiffened buckram can be found
at most craft and fabric stores. Formerly a delicate
fabric of either linen or cotton and used exclusively
for garments. Sometimes used as a lining and could
resemble modern cotton canvas. Coarse buckram was
often starched and used for stiffening collars, gowns,
tops of sleeves, etc.
A coarse 'cotton' material (the word 'cotton' could
also mean a napped fabric). Made of both wool and
of silk. Usually worn by tradespeople.
Some type of slubbed wool.
The central large stiffening piece of a corset. Usually
made of whale bone but sometimes ivory. Lower classes
used wood. Often ornately carved and ornamented. Inserted
in the central casing of the 'bodies' and tied in
place by 'busk points' or laces. Busk points were
often given to lovers, who wore them around their
Used as decoration as well as fastening. According
Edward I established the use of the button and button
hole in England. Buttons could be made of jewels,
gold, thread and silks, embroidered, and adorned in
every possible method. The button holes themselves
were often in a contrasting color to the ground material.
The number of buttons for a garment was enormous.
Unknown type of material used for gowns.
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A type of woven tape. Also a coarse, thick woolen
Caffa, Capha -
A type of coarse silk taffeta. A heavier taffeta might
be a good modern substitute.
Designated a class of cotton and cotton-linen fabrics
of plain weave, in various textures and colors. Could
be made coarse or fine. Worn only by nobility and
quite expensive. Often desired for handkerchiefs,
inner sleeves, and outer garments.
The name of a weave of irregular design, made in both
wool and silk. Also called 'wrought silk'.
pieces for completing pattern shapes, specific to
ferreruelos, faldas or other round shaped pattern
A type of very fine, plain woven white linen. Takes
its name from Chambray, Flanders where it was manufactured.
A fine woven coarse cotton (like modern chambray)
would be a good substitute. Often used for shirts,
ruffs, or bands, handkerchiefs, and household linens.
Camlet, Chamlet, Chamelot, Chamelote (B.) -
A ribbed weave 'repp' fabric usually made from silk,
camels hair, wool, or a combination. Very similar
to Tabine. The modern equivalent is the heavier 'Bengaline'
fabric found in the bridal section of most fabric
stores. A sumptuary law, passed in 1532 allowed only
noblemen to wear it. By 1525, chamlet was made with
a 'watered' or moiré appearance which was referred
to as a 'cold water chamblet'.
The Catalonian unit of measurement. Equal to two Aragon
Breeches, which contained the entire thigh and were
usually, form fitting. The word canon refers to the
thighbone. Canons were often paned and made of contrasting
material with the hose.
Cloth usually made of hemp. Used for hard wearing
items such as work shirts, household towels, etc.
This is not like the modern cotton canvas. This is
the coarser woven natural colored cloth usually found
in the interior dec. part of most fabric stores. Canvas
could be made in several qualities and was sometimes
trimmed with lace and silk, made into doublets, although
its main use was for household linens, shirts, and
aprons for workmen.
short cape with hood.
Cartridge Pleat -
Deep, even 'accordion' gatherings accomplished by
shirring (pleating like an accordion), usually in
three rows. Tacked on by single or double stitches
to the edge of the bodice, doublet or waist band.
A frock or coat. The term usually refers to a masculine
coat. A loose, wide sleeved coat which was usually
knee to thigh length. Women's cassocks were also made.
They fell out of fashion in the late part of the 16th
century and were then only worn while on travel or
during campaigns. Also known as Gabardines.
A closely fitted hair net.
A silk taffeta in which the warp threads were of one
color and the weft threads were of another. The modern
equivalent of this fabric can be found in the bridal
section of most fabric stores.
The smock or basic under garment worn next to the
skin, under everything else, to keep perspiration
away from the outer garments.
Arranged in a 'zig-zag' pattern.
Most often hooded and usually short although full-length
cloaks were used. Could either be circular or 'compass'
or semi-circular or 'half compass'. Made of various
types of materials. A sleeved version, called the
'Dutch' cloak was also used.
Cloth of Gold, Cloth of Silver -
The method of making such fabric, in the Sixteenth
century, was to use a warp of colored silk thread
and a weft of gold thread or wire. The process of
twining silk or hemp threads with gold wire and using
the resultant thread was also used in making cloth
as well as lace. The appearance of such threads could
either show the foundation thread or look unbroken.
The term usually refers to either a man's cassock
or a woman's frock. Sometimes indistinguishable from
gowns. Usually lined and with sleeves, with skirts
reaching to the knees and fitted at the waist (although
female versions were longer).
A head covering, shaped to the head and tied under
the neck. Used primarily to keep the hair clean. Usually
highly decorated and made of linen. Also known as
The term refers to either the neck band of a shirt,
smock, or partlet or to the standing ruff or Medici
collar. Narrow, square shirt collars were worn by
children and men during the 1580's through the 1590's.
Copatain, Copintank, Sugar Loaf hat -
This is a sugar loaf shaped (hence the name) hat with
a small brim that was very popular during Elizabeth's
reign. Usually trimmed with a band and a large ornament.
See Passamaine. Often couched onto a garment as embellishment.
Known and used in period as a fabric. Imported from
the Levant and listed in 1586 for use in lining doublets.
In use for stockings in 1574 (cotton kersey). In use
for various bags in 1576 (yellow cotton). In use as
stuffing in 1597 (cotton wool). In use as lining for
a coat in 1587. Probably not as finely woven as modern
cottons. A heavier, coarser spun cotton cloth would
be a good substitute.
To apply cord or other embellishments on to the surface
of a fabric by stitching. The stitching could either
be hidden or could show and give additional decorative
Cuchillos grandes -
Probably 'curled' cypress; a fine silk with a crepe
weave. Similar to our modern crepe but with more body.
A light, transparent material made of a silk warp
and a linen weft. Made in both plain and crepe weaves
and used for partlets, foresleeves, and neckwear.
It could be found in white, black, and various colors.
Black was used for mourning. Often used to veil other
materials especially embroidered work.
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|Damask, damasco (B.) -
1. (noun) A figured silk fabric. 2. (noun) A patterned
textile with one warp and one weft in which the design
is produced by contrasting the weaving systems. Damask
is still available in the table cloth section of most
fabric stores but most of these fabrics are polyester
or a polyester blend. There are a number of Damasks
also available in bridal sections of fabric stores but
most of these are also polyester blends or acetates.
curved cut-offs from rounded pattern pieces.
Thought to be a coarse lindsey-woolsey type of cloth.
Dornex, Dornix -
Apparently a fabric with a linen warp and wool weft.
From the Flemish town by the same name.
Also known as a jubon (Sp.), and jupon (Fr.). Item of
clothing which was used by either sex. It consisted
of a close fitted jacket with a short, upright collar
and a 'short skirt' of either pickadills or a peplum
type. Detachable sleeves were usual and the doublet
could be made of the same material as the pants/hose
or of a contrasting material. It was not unusual for
a gentleman to 'have more doublets than hose'. Women's
doublets, during the reign of Elizabeth, were very much
like those of men. 'Peascod' doublets had an exaggerated
stomach and were fashionable during the last twenty
years of the 16th Century.
A coarse linen, used for cloak bags and cases as well
as for neckwear and clothing by the lower classes.
Down sleeves -
Any long sleeve that reached to the wrist.
Down right -
fabric term meaning to 'run the length of the body'.
A class of closely woven, worsted wool fabrics of 'lasting
quality' and patterned in various ways. It was often
used in aprons, 'bodies', and in petticoats.
A short, round cloak, either male or female, with sleeves.
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Flemish term of measure.
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| Falda -
From the Spanish 'verdue' (sapling) and 'garde' (guards
or bands). A cone or bell shaped underskirt stiffened
with hoops or rope, bents, or whalebone. First made
from ossia (willow saplings, stripped of bark) and worn
in Spain from 1470 to the 1700's. Their primary function
was to hold out the skirts of gowns. Introduced to England
by Catherine of Aragon. The first mention of farthingales
in the accounts of the royal wardrobe comes from 1545.
Farthingales could be of two types; the Spanish or 'round'
(which was a circular skirt stiffened by hoops) and
the French (a roll, stiffened with wire and placed about
the hips). Accounts of French farthingales appear in
Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe in 1561. By 1580, a variation
of the French type was used which consisted of a half
roll, usually stuffed was worn. It allowed the front
of the gown to fall straight. Wheel farthingales were
also worn. These were literally a wheel like apparatus,
fastened about the waist and extending at a straight
line from there, giving a very abrupt edge to the skirt.
Used in period for quilting, embroidery, stiffening,
and sometimes interlining. Made of wool. Good modern
equivalents would include some of the finer made felts
available at most craft stores and fabric stores.
Felt hats -
Faced or lined with velvet or silk. Felt was the usual
material for the Copatain or Sugar Loaf.
A type of silk with a very loose weave.
Flanders Gown -
Probably a loose type of gown with decorative guards.
Used as lining and for garment construction. Usually
made of wool. Modern flannel is almost exclusively made
of cotton. As long as it is of a fairly good quality,
it should be a good substitute. A thin, fine material
made of both linen and wool. It was often used for petticoats
and, like buckram, was a material that was worn 'out
Flat cap -
Often made of wool and usually worn by middle classes
to indicate a pattern on the surface of the textile
as opposed to "a labor" which indicates a
Term referring either to the front of a piece of clothing
or to the detachable, decorated inverted V-shaped panel
worn to fill the open front of a gown from the waist
to the hem.
French Gown -
Possibly a gown with a square neckline, fitted bodice
and full skirt. The name may have originated as fashion
from France in the early 16th century.
Frieze, Frizado -
Woolen cloth made with a heavy nap, usually on one side
only. It was considered especially suited for gowns,
jackets, jerkins, and coats. Often used for military
wear although it was worn by both men and women of all
classes. Frizado was a woolen cloth of high nap that
was of better quality. It was used in garments where
warmth was needed.
1. To place decoration or braid at the very edge of
a garment. 2. Equivalent to modern fringe.
Frog, frogs -
Closures for the fronts of garments, usually made from
cording and couched on to the garment.
A piled fabric with a cotton weft and linen warp. The
highest quality resembled velvet the poorest quality
resembled a napped fabric. Very popular for linings
and gowns. Modern velveteen would make a good substitute.
It was a fashionable substitute for silk velvet.
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Gaskins hose. See slops. Also known as 'gaskins', 'gally
slops' and 'gally breeches'. Wide breeches that reached
to the knee only and were not 'bombasted' or stuffed.
The strip of material used to tie around or to stockings
just below the knee to hold them in place. Usually made
of expensive material and adorned with goldsmith wok
or rich embroidery and embellishment. Cross garters
were wrapped below the knee, crossed behind the knee
and tied above the knee, usually to the side.
Exactly as the name implies.
Silk wrapped around a cotton or linen core and often
combined with other treads in flat braids or "fly"
A belt, fastened in front, and hung about the waist.
Women's girdles were usually of goldsmith work, silk,
or ribbon. Her pomander, fan, mirror, or muff would
then depend from the girdle. Men's girdles were made
of gold, silver, embroidered silks and velvets or embossed
Symbolic of trust and honor. Often sent as a gage and
worn in the helmet or hat as a symbol by which one's
enemy could be recognized and challenged on the day
of combat. A glove was cast down by the defendant in
a quarrel and taken up by the accuser, who thus signified
his acceptance of the challenge. Gloves were also used
as memorials, favors and betrothal or wedding gifts.
The favorite materials for gloves were soft doe and
kid skins (cheverel) and silk materials such as satin
and velvet. The gauntlet (piece extending to cover the
wrist) was often very richly embroidered.
A triangular shaped piece inserted into a seam or fabric
piece to add width. Synonymous with 'gusset'.
General term referring to the outer gown.
Grosgrain Cloth -
Another name for chamlet. Very similar to modern heavy
'Bengaline'. Made of hair, silk, or worsted wool. It
was a taffeta weave with 'grow grains' or cords in the
warp. It was made into coats, jackets, breeches, doublets,
cassocks, cloaks, kirtles, and gowns, embroidered, guarded
with velvet, and trimmed with lace.
A strip of material usually used as a reinforcement
on the edges of garments to prevent wear. Eventually
Gum Arabic -
Thick, viscous liquid obtained from the gum tree and
imported from Africa. Used as size or as a way to keep
raw edges of material from fraying.
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An accessory necessary to every fashionable man and
woman of the period. Usually carried in the hand to
show them off. Made of costly materials and trimmed
with cutwork, embroidery, or other embellishment.
Attached to the man's girdle which commonly consisted
of two straps and a plate to which was buckled the scabbard
of the sword. Hangers were often gifts of ladies to
their favorites and bridegrooms offered them to their
Hanging sleeve -
Any sleeve which depended from the shoulder and was
open at some part of the front seam to allow the arm
through. Also known as 'side' sleeves.
Hem stitch -
Used to hem and worked in such a way as to be almost
invisible from the front. See Period Techniques.
cloak with hood, most often worn by soldiers.
Herringbone stitch -
Holland Cloth -
A linen cloth in varying qualities from very fine to
coarse. Used for smocks, kerchiefs and other garments.
The coarser variety was used for bed linen and linings
as well as for clothing.
Exclusively women's wear in the 16th Century. The main
type of hood worn in Elizabeth's reign was known as
the French or coquille hood. Usually made of velvet,
tissue, or other silk, it was softly pleated with a
round front and worn over the back of the head as far
as the ears. The wearing of hats replaced the hood at
the very end of the Century.
Hooks & Eyes -
Fastenings made of steel wire and sewn to the inside
of bodices and doublets. Used as an 'invisible' fastener.
In the late part of the 16th Century, hooks and eyes
replaced points as fasteners for hose to garments with
the points remaining as a decoration only.
Sometimes used as a stiffener for corsets.
Tubes of fabric, usually of expensive lightweight material,
cut on the bias, and sewn to fit the foot and lower
leg. 16th Century hose consisted of two parts; upper
or 'trunk' hose; and lower, which could refer to 'canons',
long hose, or nether stocks. Upperstocks were usually
called breeches. Boot-hose were plain stockings worn
over hose inside boots to protect the hose from the
boot. See also Stockings.
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A linen tape of different qualities and widths. It was
used for apron strings, girdles, bindings, and embroidery.
A rectangular piece of fabric, usually expensive and
most often knapped, worn for court or portraits. It
was draped and fastened in the 'Irish' fashion; ends
pinned together on the left shoulder and the bulk left
to drape around the body.
Italian Fashion -
Apparently a gown with two bodices, the outer one slashed
to show the inner bodice.
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A doublet of lighter weight, usually worn underneath
a doublet but conforming to the same shape as the doublet.
Also known as sayo (Sp.). A 'short coat', usually worn
over another doublet and intended to protect from dirt
and chill. Sometimes sleeveless. The terms 'jerkin'
and 'doublet' are almost indistinguishable with one
taking the place of the other. The difference seems
to be in that the sleeves of the jerkin were sewn to
the body and doublet sleeves were usually detachable.
Burguen: doublet, jerkin.
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A coarse woolen cloth worn by the middle and lower classes.
A light weight woolen fabric. Be aware that modern wool
kersey is usually a knit. A fine, light weight wool
would be a good substitute.
A gown usually worn with an overgown, as the bodices
were often made with different materials at the back
and were not intended to be seen.
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indicating a woven pattern with a distinct direction.
Lace with, Laced (with)-
decorative braids, cords, etc., sewn on the garment.
Lacing hole -
The eylet or grommet (usually in a series) used to pass
lacing through to secure one portion of the garment
Also known as Cobweb Lawn and Tiffany. A fine, delicate
linen used for smocks, sleeves, and ruffs. Made into
frontlets, sleeves, ruffs and bands, doublets, foreparts,
Latin Mantle -
A half round piece of material, shaped like a cloak,
and worn for warmth.
Let down with -
Indicative of a hem facing.
Lettice cap, Miniver cap -
Made of grey fur (miniver refers to either the underbellies
of squirrels or the entire pelt), tri-cornered and about
three to four inches in height. Considered old fashioned
near the end of the 16th Century and do not seem to
have been worn by anyone above the rank of gentlewomen.
A fabric woven from flax fibers and available in varying
qualities. Most of the linen available in the modern
world is of the medium quality variety compared to period
A loosely woven, plain cloth of linen yarn and wool.
A type of uniform, usually in one solid color, worn
by the servants of a particular master or mistress.
A linen cloth of various weights and used for household
linens, etc. Loosely woven fabric made of hemp. Used
by the lower classes for ruffs, coifs, kerchiefs, household
linens, and lining.
Loose gown -
Overgown hanging loosely from the shoulders, not fitting
tightly to the body.
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A type of short, loose coat with hanging sleeves, worn
with one sleeve hanging over the chest and one hanging
down the back (the style of wearing thus was known as
'worne to Collie-westonward' in period).
Manga redonda -
Marble Cloth -
A fabric woven from irregularly colored wool.
Media loba -
"half wolf". A term, probably colloquial,
for a popular type of cape.
A mock velvet in which the pile was of wool and the
backing of linen. Could be plain, striped, or tufted.
Often used for gowns, fathingales, kirtles, stomachers,
breeches, and jackets, could be guarded with velvet,
embroidered with gold, and trimmed with lace. Chiefly
used by those who couldn't afford velvet but was found
in Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe.
Originally a worsted material of mixed or variegated
colors worn by the wealthy and by the clergy in vestments.
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|Night cap -
Exclusively men's wear and similar to the coif.
Night gown -
Long over-gown, worn for warmth both indoors and out.
Night rail -
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Willow bents. Long portions of willow, cut during the
winter, and boiled until stiff. Tied in bundles and
sewn into channels in a farthingale.
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|Painted material -
Fabric that has been painted, stained, etc.
Long strips of material, usually made into sleeves,
and caught together at intervals so that the under garment
or lining shows through.
A small yoke piece to cover a low neckline, often richly
decorated. In Tudor period often of the same material
as the gown. When made of lawn, worn to fill the neckline
as a chemisette or habit-shirt. In the reign of Henry
VIII, partlets were worn by both men and women. Detachable
sleeves usually matched the partlet. Partlets could
be white, black or of various other colors. During the
last half of the 16th Century, they were made with standing
collars to which ruffs were attached.
Passement, passamaine, passementerie, passamanos (B.)
Type of braid made 'in the hand' (passe - passed or
made, maine - hand). French term for a wide range of
trims. Known in England in the 18th century as 'parchmentery'
or 'narrow wares'.
Pelo abaxo -
Pelo arriba -
Pendant sleeve -
See hanging sleeve.
A napped woolen fabric. A fine frieze or napped cloth.
Often used for lining.
"little ones". Small pieces used to piece
up larger pieces.
A woolen material, resembling serge, lighter in weight
than broadcloth, and long lasting. Used for drapery
and screens as well as for clothing of all classes.
Skirt which forms part of an outer garment or underskirt,
usually decorated at the hem and intended to be seen.
Might be with or without a bodice. Often lined and two
or three worn together under the gown. In the 19th century,
the term came to refer solely to underclothes.
Pickadils, picadillos (B.) -
Tabs or small squares of material. Usually put around
the base of a doublet, bodice, or around the armhole
to disguise the lacing strips. Used on corsets to help
distribute weight off of the shoulders. Used on collars
and wired to support ruffs.
term for pattern pieces.
Small cuts on the surface of a fabric, giving a decorative
Used to pin garments and things on garments in place.
Largely replace by hooks and eyes by 1600.
Not to be confused with a 'placard' or stomacher. The
treatment of the opening or vent at the top of a skirt
to allow the garment to be put on.
A type of man's breeches, either slashed or made in
panes, to show the inner lining.
An expensive silk fabric with a nap which was longer
and softer than velvet.
Originally the metal tags on thongs of leather. By the
15th Century, the metal tags called aiguillettes and
the thongs 'points'. Used on a garment by placing a
corresponding row of eyelet holes in the garment and
the garment to which it was to be attached, threading
the points through the holes and tying the ends together.
Polish Fashion -
Refers to the use of 'frog' closures on the front of
bodices, doublets, and skirts.
Usually refers to a fabric (silk, satin, or velvet)
which has been touched with hot irons to form a pattern.
side of fabric.
Puffed, puft -
Small areas of ruched up fabric.
pointed, specific type of hood.
pieces, tips, corners.
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Fr. Piqué. Refers to a 'sandwich' of material
surrounding a stuffing which is then tacked together
at various intervals to prevent the stuffing from moving.
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There are three types; a square, which was worn over
the neck and shoulders, a veil worn over the head and
wired, and a hood with small cape usually worn with
a nightgown. Could be made of linen, lawn, cypress,
cambric, network, or other fine material.
Rash Cloth -
A twilled material, similar to saye, made of either
silk or wool. China twill (made of cotton) or a woolen
twill would make a good substitute.
To ravel or untwist the edge.
To scratch satin with a sharp knife into patterns.
The wire frame, sometimes covered with linen, that supported
the open ruff. It was pinned to the shirt or gown and
then the ruff was pinned to it.
term for finishing pieces cut from the medios. Not shown
to make up cuchillos.
Revers, reves (B.) -
A distinctly French garment treatment. The term refers
to the front of the bodice which was turned back (reversed)
to show a fancy lining and was then held in place by
means of lacing holes and ties fastened to the corset.
The fashion was most popular from the 1580's through
Riding cloak -
Probably a short cloak, without sleeves, worn when riding.
Term refers to both masculine and feminine attire.
Riding coat -
Term probably refers to a cassock or loose fitting jacket
worn when riding.
The term could refer to any one of the following: 1.
A generic term for clothes in general, 2. An ensemble
of garments for a special use such as 'riding robes',
3. The gown and accessories worn as official insignia,
i.e., emperor's robes.
French farthingale, bum roll or shoulder rolls used
to make garments stand away from the body.
Round (Dutch) Gown -
A gown without a train.
According to Linthicum,
the first accounts of ruffs in the royal wardrobes is
from 1548. Ruffs could be made from lawn, cambric, holland,
and lace. They could be plain or elaborately decorated
with needlework, lace, cutwork, blackwork, etc. Matching
hand ruffs were usually made and the entire set was
called a 'suit' of ruffs. Hand ruffs alone were called
a 'pair'. The pleats of ruffs were maintained by lining
with pasteboard or starching the fabric. Ruffs, especially
large ones, were pinned to supports (supportasse) to
keep them in place. To keep ruffs nice, 'band boxes'
were made for them.
Ruffed, ruft -
Evenly spaced gathers (cartridge pleats).
A hairy or shagged frieze. Especially suited for nightgowns
and mantles. It was also used for linings and could
be found in the wardrobes of all classes.
Originally a homespun, coarse woolen cloth undyed and
left the natural color of the wool it was produced from.
Set in rows, striped, ribbed, etc.
back to the top
Similar to canvas.
Outer skirt or petticoat to protect the gown from dirt
and use. Could be as elaborate or plain as the owner
A thin type of silk taffeta frequently used for linings.
Could also be made in a thick weave.
A fabric constructed by a simple float weave which gave
a smooth surface. Not as shiny as the modern satin.
Most polyester satins make good substitutes. Made in
all colors, and could be plain, figured, or branched.
It is a frequent item in Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe
A soft, light, finely twilled fabric made in both silk
and wool and used for clothing as well as hangings and
1. (noun) An expensive, very fine worsted cloth. From
the French escarlette, which could be made in many colors:
vermeille, rouge, verte, peonace (peacock blue), white
and black. In the reign of Henry VIII, crimson scarlet
was forbidden to servants. 2. (noun) Name of a bright
Abbreviation for armseye or arm hole.
Seda lisa -
Used for outer garments as well as for linings and facings.
A material with a long pile. Usually of worsted or silk
and used mainly for lining. Silk shag was made into
gloves, gowns, and waistcoats, and other garments where
warmth was required.
A garment with a high neck and long sleeves usually
made of linen, cambric or holland. Most often, the neckband
and wristbands were elaborately embroidered and/or trimmed.
Size, sized with gum -
See Gum Arabic.
1. Term used to denote panels attached below the waistline
of a coat or doublet, most often called 'small skirts'.
2. Generic term for the lower portion of a dress.
Sometimes called trunk, round or French breeches. Usually
mid thigh length, shaped like pumpkins and stuffed with
hair, flocks, or bombast. They could be made in panes
or in pleats. Later in the 16th Century, they were left
unstuffed and allowed to fall naturally. The word could
also distinguish the Venetian breeches and Galligaskins.
Sometimes the straight, close fitting varieties were
also referred to as trousers.
Period term for chemise. See chemise. A shirt like garment
worn as underwear and as sleep wear. Usually trimmed
in lace or embroidery at the neck and wrists and made
with front opening at the neck. Could be made from linen,
lawn, cambric or other fine materials.
extra pieces used to make up a collar.
to complete cama pieces.
Spanish round sleeve -
Also known as 'Manga redonda'. Style of sleeve, apparently
originating in Spain, with an outer seam curving in
to a narrow sleeve. The front seam was left open so
that it could be worn as a hanging sleeve.
Spanish Taffeta -
A type of taffeta from Spain.
Also known as 'bastard scarlet'. A fine woolen cloth.
Sometimes guarded with velvet and trimmed with lace.
Usually a mixture of starch and water and used to stiffen
various materials and ruffs.
Stay, pl. stays -
Term denoting whale bone stiffeners used in corsets
A covering for the foot and leg to, or slightly above
the knee. Long stockings or 'tall' stockings went from
foot to thigh and were used with trunk hose. Also called
netherstocks in contrast to the trunks or breeches.
Made of silk, wool, and knitted. Could be of any color.
See also Hose.
The decorated V-shaped section of a woman's bodice.
Eventually became detachable. Sometimes called a placard
and always very stiff. Usually made over a foundation
of pasteboard, stiffened with busks, and attached directly
to the corset by means of ties or hooks.
Straw hats -
Usually worn by the lower classes.
1. Term used in referring to male garb in which the
entire ensemble harmonized or matched and consisted
of the following: doublet, hose, coat, jerkin, mandilion,
or cloak. 2. Term used to refer to the 'suit' of ruffs
which included the neck ruff and matching wrist ruffs.
A loose fitted long coat with a yoke worn by both men
and woman. Sometimes referred to as a Spanish surcoat
or loose gown.
Rigid support for a collar or ruff. Could be made of
pasteboard, buckram or other rigid material and covered
with silk. Could also be made from wire, either wrapped
or unwrapped. Also known as 'rebato'.
Syett, Siet -
An undefined type of material.
back to the top
A thick silk of taffeta weave with a slight nap and
given an moiré effect. Sometimes enriched with
gold or silk thread.
Stitching to keep something in place.
Taffeta Hats -
The taffeta of Elizabeth's time was much favored for
hats because it was lighter than velvet but still had
sufficient body to hold its shape.
Taffeta, Tapheta -
A finely woven silk fabric mainly used for linings.
Most modern polyester taffetas will make a good substitute.
Could also be woven with raised stripes which could
then be cut and left like the pile of velvet. Often
times the tufts were of a different color than the ground.
This was known as 'tuft taffeta'.Tamine -
Presumed to be the same as Estamine. A thin, fine silk
or wool cloth.
Thrummed hats -
Thrums were the unwoven threads at the ends of cloth
or silk. A hat made so as to leave threads on the surface
to form a pile were thus named. Once velvet, silk and
beaver became more fashionable during Elizabeth's reign,
thrummed hats became the wear of lower classes.
Light weight silk or linen cloth which was almost see
through. Usually used to cover embroidery to protect
it and for veils. It could be white or black and made
in fancy weaves. It was used for neckwear and for the
lining of slashed garments (the puffs).
A fabric made from silk interwoven with either gold
or silver thread. Probably a satin weave.
A type of cloth of which both warp and weft were twisted
gold thread. Much used for altar clothes and church
A pattern, usually made out of a medium weight material,
which is then sewn together and fit onto the person.
Fittings to the person are then taken. The toile is
then taken apart and used to make an actual pattern
Term refers to the back edge of a skirt, which has been
extended to trail behind the gown on to the ground.
switch the fabric around in order to match pattern or
Trunk sleeve -
A type of large, cannon shaped sleeve (tapering from
shoulder to wrist). Sometimes supported by undersleeves
or farthingale sleeves, which were boned or wired.
Tuft Taffeta -
(aka Velouté, Velveted) Taffeta woven with tufts
of velvet. See taffeta.
A type of buckram.
Term referring to twisted cords.
back to the top
|Unshorn Velvet -
A velvet in which the looped pile had not been cut.
Upper bodies -
Period term for the bodice of a gown. Also known as
a 'paire of bodies'.
back to the top
child's garment, usually with a fitted body and attached
petticoat. A type of underskirt meant to be seen.
baize or baise. a type of cloth.
A silk fabric with a short pile. Excellent quality modern
velvets will make O.K. substitutes. It could be woven
in a variety of patterns such as checkered, changeable,
figured, motley, and a type known as 'velvet upon velvet'
which was a double pile, one higher than the other and
usually of the same shade. Velvet was also made in two
piles upon a ground of satin. Sometimes the pile loops
were left uncut and this was known as 'unshorn' velvet.
A type of breeches which were fuller and longer and
gathered at the knee. When ungathered at the knees were
known as Spanish breeches.
back to the top
A waist length under-garment, with or without sleeves.
A doublet was always worn over a waistcoat unless the
wearer was 'in dishabille'. A woman did not appear in
public in her waistcoat unless she was a 'strumpet'.
The garment was made loose enough to pull on over the
Welted, welt -
Whale bone -
Made from the balene of whales. Method of stiffening
garments which completely replaced the use of bents,
reeds, and willow in the 1580's.
Flat tabs of material, either straight or cut in a curved
shape, usually stiffened and set over the top of the
sleeve side by side.
Wrist ruffles -
Term usually referring to the wrist edge of the smock.
Wrought Velvet -
Decorated, possibly woven with a pattern, possibly embroidered.