Fashion A-Z

From applique to zippers, a comprehensive dictionary with definitions and
meanings of key fashion vocabulary, written by Camilla Morton.


Fabric is the blank canvas on which fashion creates. This is the starting point where anything goes. Cloth can be woven or non-woven, knitted or felted fibres and ranges from cotton to organdie, silk to georgette, pannier to jersey, tweed, velvet and more, coming in every spectrum of colour, weight and print imaginable.

Facing Fabric

Facing fabric has two meanings and two purposes in fashion design. A ‘facing fabric’ is applied to neaten the finish on the raw edges of a garment, like at necklines and armholes. Shaped facings, which are usually made from same fabric as the garment itself, are cut to match the edge they will face, while bias facings are strips of fabric cut on the true bias or cross-grain. These are shaped rather than cut to match an edge. Facing fabric could also refer to the ‘face side’ of a fabric. This is the more presentable, upper side of the fabric — always easier to recognise when it is a printed weave.