Sewing Glossary

Acorn:
A decorative brass or wooden "handle" which slips onto the cords of a blind to cover the knotted ends.
Arched Valance:
A valance which is shaped at the lower edge, the sides being longer than the centre.
Austrian Blind:
A gathered blind made longer than necessary. The extra fabric forms ruching at the bottom.
Banding:
Another word for binding.
Batten:
A length of wood to attach a blind, pelmet or valance to a window frame.
Bed Valance:
A skirt covering the divan part of a bed.
Bias:
A diagonal line across the fabric.
Bias Binding:
Strips of fabric cut on the bias.
Binding:
A way of neatening a raw edge with a separate length of fabric.
Bishop's Sleeve Curtains:
Curtains that are made longer than necessary, tied tightly, pulled up and flounced over the tied section.
Blind:
A single curtain with a fixed heading which pulls up from the bottom.
Bound Edge:
A way of neatening a raw edge using bias binding.
Box Pleats:
A row of folds in alternate directions. The extra fabric in the folds can be taken either to the front or the back for the desired effect.
Braid:
A decorative trim.
Buckram:
Cotton or jute fabric for stiffening, sometimes come impregnated with glue.
Bullion:
A thick twisted fringe used for decoration.
Cafe Curtains:
A curtain made to fit the bottom half of a window only, to give privacy but to let in light.
Cased Heading:
A channel at the top of the curtain to thread a curtain rod through.
Casing:
A stitched channel between two pieces of fabric to hold either a length of dowelling or a curtain rod.
Chain Weights:
A continuous chain of small heavy beads covered in a cotton casing used for lightweight fabrics.
Cleat:
A two pronged hook which is fixed to one side of the window frame to secure the cords when a blind is pulled up.
Combination Rods:
Two or three curtain tracks sharing one set of brackets. Used for a layered look of curtains and top treatments.
Contrast Lining:
A coloured fabric used as a lining when parts of it will show from the front.
Cording:
Another word for Piping.
Cornice:
Another word for a Pelmet.
Cottage Blind:
Another word for a Cafe Curtain.
Curtains:
Usually two rectangles of fabric hung from a track or pole to decorate a window and give privacy.
Cut Width:
The width of fabric needed including seams or hems.
Double Fullness:
When each of a pair of curtains are the measured width of the window enabling curtains to drape in folds.
Double Hem:
Folding the fabric over twice in equal amounts i.e. a 2" double hem would need 4" of fabric.
Dowelling:
A circular or oval length of wood or plastic attached to the back of a blind to keep the fabric flat.
Drapes:
Another name for curtains.
Dust Skirt / Ruffles:
Another name for a bed valance.
Envelope Curtains:
Casual curtains that do not pull back. The bottom inside corners are hooked back to let light in.
Face Fabric:
The main fabric that is used for the front. Sometimes called decorator or self fabric.
Festoon Blind:
Often confused with Austrian blinds the difference being that a Festoon blind is ruched from top to bottom.
Finial:
Decorative ends of a curtain pole.
Finished Width:
The actual width after the treatment is finished and all allowances have been utilised.
Frill:
A longer length of fabric gathered or pleated onto an edge for decoration.
Fullness Ratio:
This is the ratio of fabric width to the width of the window. Curtains are usually at least twice the window width.
Header:
The extra fabric above a cased heading which forms a frill.
Heading Tape:
A wide woven tape incorporating pockets for curtains hooks and gathering cords.
Hold Backs:
Decorative brass hooks or mushrooms fixed onto the wall to hold curtains back.
Interlining:
A soft fluffy fabric placed between the face fabric and lining to help insulation.
Inverted Pleat:
A flat pleat with the extra fabric to the wrong side.
Jabot:
The tail section of Swags and Tails.
Kick Pleats:
Similar to box pleats but the folds do not butt together at the back, making the pleats further apart.
Knife Pleats:
A row of folds all in the same direction.
Lambrequin:
A pelmet which extends down the side of the window.
Leading Edges:
The central vertical edges of a pair of curtains.
Mitring:
A way of folding the excess seam allowance to achieve a less bulky, sharp corner.
Nap:
A one way direction of texture on a fabric such as velvet or corduroy. When using fabric with a nap all pieces must be cut with the nap in the same direction.
Pattern Repeat:
The amount one pattern is duplicated down the length of the fabric. Pattern repeat is one full pattern.
Pelform:
A double sided sticky card especially made for pelmets and tie backs, printed with various edge patterns.
Pelmet:
A decorative way of concealing the top of curtains and curtain tracks. Usually a flat shaped panel which can be painted or covered with fabric.
Pelmet Board:
A horizontal wooden shelf from which a pelmet or valance is hung.
Pillow Sham:
A decorative pillow covering used during the daytime.
Piping Cord:
A fabric covered cord inserted to accentuate or decorate a seam.
Puddled Curtains:
Curtains made longer than necessary to allow them to puddle onto the floor.
Railroading:
Using fabric horizontally rather than vertically. Fabric without a directional design or nap can be railroaded to avoid seams in long lengths such as bed valances.
Return:
The sides of the window treatment that project from the wall.
Ruffle:
Another name for a Frill.
Scarf:
A length of fabric which is neatened and draped across the top of a window treatment.
Seam:
A way of stitching two pieces of fabric together.
Seam Allowance:
The amount of extra fabric added to make a seam.
Selvedge:
The woven outside edge of the fabric.
Stackback:
The amount of space taken up by the curtains or draperies when they are open.
Tie Backs:
Stiffened shapes of fabric hooked onto the wall to hold curtains back.
Valance:
A gathered, and sometimes shaped, mini curtain hung from a pelmet board to conceal the top of curtains or a curtain track.
Warp:
The threads that run down the length of a woven fabric.
Weft:
The threads that run across a woven fabric.
Welt:
A strip of fabric sewn between the two sides of a cushion to give it more depth.

Best Value Package

(7 e-books plus fabric estimating software). Over 320 soft furnishing projects spread over the range of e-books.

worth £62.93
£31.47

Soft Furnishing E-Book Bundle

worth £39.95
£19.98

Fabric Estimating Software

Estimates fabric requirements instantly for blinds, bedspreads, duvet covers, swags, tails, pelmets, cushions, valances, frills and of course curta...

£14.99

Just Essentials E-book

Just Essentials e-book will help guide you in colour, design, fabric choice, glossary, hints and tips. Infact a helpful guide to all aspects of pl...

£1.99

Finishing Touches E-book

The step by step soft furnishing instructions are easy to follow and are accompanied by colour diagrams. They have even been tested on people with ...

£7.99
Solution Graphics