Fashion A-Z

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


Jabots are the frilled, decorative ruffles (often lace) that hang at the front of the shirt. They were the equivalent of a 17th century gentleman’s tie, when jabots were often made of lace or cambric, and sewn to both sides of the front opening of a man’s shirt. Later, they were secured at the neck with a band or a pin. Think Pirates of the Caribbean meets the Supreme Court — jabots are still part of judges’ and barristers’ ceremonial dress.


Jacquard was an apparatus from the 19th century and is named after its inventor, Joseph-Marie Jacquard. It is attached to a loom and uses a punch-card system, which the loom reads like binary code — each card represents a line of the pattern and has holes that allow threads to pass through (or not), changing the colours and slowly creating the jacquard design. It allowed for more elaborate patterns to be produced in woven and knitted fabrics at greater quantities and speeds.