Glossary Of Key Words

This is a strip of fabric or tape e.g. herringbone tape, which is placed over the seam that connects the neckband to the back panel of a garment. Back neck tapes are often used in t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies to give a better quality finish.
The direction in fabric 45 degrees from the grain. Depending on the fabric, bias cut panels tend to have more stretch and better drape. Collars are often cut on the bias to help the panel curve around the neck and sit correctly.
Commonly used on necklines, binding is a folded fabric tape which encases a seam or raw edge as a method of finishing. Types of binding include single/double binding and double/double binding, and it can be attached manually or by using a feeder attachment.
A ready made unbranded garment for further development, such as printing or finishing. This is generally a cost effective option for small businesses when looking at simple garments such as t-shirts, polo shirts, and sweatshirts which do not have any specific design details on them.
These are commonly printed or woven qualities, and are normally found in either the back neck or waistband of a garment.
A legal requirement, care labels provide washing instructions, fabric composition and origin for each garment. For childrenswear and nightwear it is a legal requirement to state the flammability of the garment. If there is no fire protection, the label must clearly state ‘KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE’ in red capital text. Placement of care labels is usually found in the side seam of waistbands. These are most commonly printed satin labels and minimums are 500 pieces per design.
The centre point at the back of a garment. This abbreviation is usually found on specification sheets and patterns.
The centre point at the front of a garment. This abbreviation is usually found on specification sheets and patterns.
Refers to the manufacturing process in which all fabric, trims, patterns, and fabrics are supplied to the factory, who then simply cut the panels and sew the garment together. This is the most commonly used method of manufacture in the UK, particularly for small to medium sized production runs.
A secondary artwork sheet showing all colourway options within the range, including pantone references wherever possible.
Combination of colours in a given garment.
Colourway refers to one or several colour options, and style refers to each garment design. We express quantities per style, per colourway. For example, 100 units per style, per colourway across 2 colour options would be a total of 200 units.
A classic rounded neck, commonly found on a t-shirt.
Refers to a garment that is made right from the beginning, so the pattern has to be produced, cut out of the desired fabric, then sewn together. A custom garment will be produced if the style has specific design details or fit and cannot be sourced as a blank garment.
The final stage before production, fabric is rolled out in layers (referred to as a lay) and usually cut manually with a hand-held electric cutter. Individual panels can be cut by hand, but this is time consuming and expensive and normally only used when sampling. Large lays can be cut using an automatic CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine.
When calculating the unit quantities per style, per size we always advise working within a given ratio to optimise fabric use and minimise wastage.
A sewn fabric fold usually found around the bust and waist of women’s clothing which help to provide shaping round the natural curvature of the body.
Process in which a fabric containing various different fibres is printed with a substance that destroys one or more of these fibres. This resulting pattern has sheer sections where the original fabric was printed. This method is commonly used with velvet fabrics.
The method of printing from a digital-based image directly onto a fabric. It has high meterage costs and the fabric has to be treated with a special coating to ‘take’ the ink. Useful when producing high definition photographic prints, prints with many colours, small runs, and all-over or repeat prints.
Similar to a water based print, but with the addition of a discharge agent which removes manufacturer dye using a formaldehyde agent before depositing the desired colour in the print area. This method tends to be used on darker fabrics where water based printing may be unsuitable. As the ink is also absorbed within the fabric, it is again more suitable for stretch fabrics. Washing off is recommended for garments with discharge prints.
The process of printing full colour images directly onto garments using a specialised printer. This method can be used on most fabrics and both light and dark colours, and incurs no set-up fees. It is a cheaper method of printing and the quality reflects this. We have however noticed that the quality is continuously improving so this method should not be discounted and we can discuss whether this method may be suitable for your products.
When a garment component is dyed to match a specific colour, for example thread to match fabric colour. This abbreviation is usually found on specification sheets.
Decorative additional elements of the garment other than fabric . This includes lace or braiding, rubber tabs, diamantes, prints, embroidery etc.
A construction method which involves butting together two raw edges and covering the seam with stitching. The seam lies flat to the garment rather than hanging loose from it, creating a smooth finish which does not irritate the skin making it perfect for sportswear.
This process involves the factory providing all components themselves, including patterns, fabrics, printing, and in-house manufacture so therefore giving an all-inclusive price per unit. They do not necessarily produce the fabrics etc on site however they will source these for you. This method is suitable for large scale production where there tends to be an MOQ of 1000 pieces. Alternatively, this route is fairly common for companies producing specialist products such as sports teamwear where the factory stock suitable fabrics and trims. A garment itself can also be referred to as fully factored, such as knitwear, where the whole garment is knitted in one piece and therefore eliminates any seams where panels would require being sewn together. All fabric is often supplied by the knitwear factory as they prefer to use their own suppliers of yarn.
This is similar to a fully factored option though refers to a factory that owns all aspects of the production process from the mills for the cloth to printers and manufacturing units. These types of facilities are more common abroad and are set up for large scale production.
Rather than an ink, an adhesive resin is printed onto the fabric on which glitter is then passed through the silk screen. The mesh on the silk screen has to be wide enough to pass the pieces of glitter through it so this method of printing lends itself to bolder prints and we would not recommend it for intricate designs.
An additional finish which can be added to give a shiny appearance to a print.
The process of increasing or decreasing the master pattern to produce additional patterns for each size in your size range based on the measurements provided in the grading specification.
Created once the final sample has been approved, an extended list of key measurements for each size in the size range.
The direction in fabric which runs parallel to the selvedge and warp yarns. It is common for most pattern pieces to be cut ‘on the grain’.
The unit of measurement used when describing the weight of a fabric. There is a common misconception that the gsm reflects the quality of a fabric, however it relates to the weight of the fabric only and has no bearing on the quality of the fabric or end garment.
The highest point where the shoulder meets the neckline, the length of a garment is measured from this point down to the hem. This abbreviation is usually found on specification sheets.
A plastic tag for attaching swing tickets and other pricing information to garments. These are applied using a kimble gun.
A swatch of a dyed fabric provided to confirm the correct colour and shade has been achieved. The lab dip has to be approved before dye production can begin.
The process of cutting fabric using a high-power laser. This method is extremely precise and can achieve a very fine level of cutting detail. The laser is guided by computer software which creates a cutting path based on artwork, and is suitable for a wide range of materials including many fabrics. The laser melts or burns the edges of the fabric, which seals the threads and acts as a finish to eliminate fraying.
A paper guide used in cutting which is placed on the top of a fabric lay and provides the most cost effective arrangement of the pattern pieces by reducing waste and ensuring fabric usage is kept to a minimum. This is worked out manually by the cutter themselves, or by using specialised computer software.
Lycra is the branded name for Elastane. Elastane is commonly used throughout Europe however in America you are more likely to come across the term Spandex. All three words refer to the elastic within the fabric.
Provides a similar look as traditional plastisol inks although the lycra causes the print to have a slight sheen and enables it to stretch.
A list of key measurements used as a basis for creating master patterns and ensuring consistency with sizing.
The first pattern produced in the size of your choice which is used for sampling (we usually recommend the middle size). The master pattern is adjusted accordingly after each round of sampling until the desired fit is achieved and approved.
Finely ground copper and aluminium pigments are added to a binder to create metallic effects.
Refers to the minimum amount that can be ordered. This usually applies to fabric and trim quantities as well as units for production. Bridge & Stitch work with a minimum of 50 units per style, per colourway for most CMT projects, with a total minimum order of 100 units. Fabric and trim minimums vary depending if this is a stock or custom item.
Stitch used to finish raw edges of a fabric to prevent fraying, by concealing the edge within the threads. Alternatively, certain overlock stitches are used to join seams on stretch fabrics. There are different types of overlocking including 3-thread, 4-thread and baby-overlocking.
An artwork sheet providing the exact sizes, descriptions and positioning of any graphics included within a garment design, such as placement and repeat prints, embroidery, labels, swing tickets etc.
The person with the skill set to produce the patterns using the information on construction methods in the design specification and measurements provided in the manufacturing and grading specification.
The process of producing the physical pattern for each garment which is used as a template when cutting out the fabric for production. Patterns can be produced on card by hand or digitally. As standard, Bridge & Stitch produce card patterns either in-house or outsourced to one of our caarefully selected pattern cutters.
A slightly raised and plastic-like print, created by the application of an ink containing PVC particles directly onto the surface of the fabric. Tends to be the cheapest method, and can provide vibrant colours even on dark fabrics. Not recommended for stretch fabrics as the print is prone to cracking when put under pressure.
A swatch of your fabric is printed to the pantone references provided to confirm the correct printed colour and shade has been achieved. Once the pull down is approved, strike off’s are actioned.
A sleeve variation cut as one panel which extends to the neckline, creating a diagonal seam from the underarm to the collarbone.
Screens are not usually kept longer than 6 months, so if a job is not repeated within this time a charge may be incurred to reproduce these.
Most suitable for large quantity repeat prints due to the high set-up costs involved which need to be absorbed. The design is engraved onto the surface of a metal roller, with a separate roller being produced for each colour within the print. A print paste is then applied and held within the engraved areas, which is transferred onto the fabric surface during printing. Despite high set-up costs, meterage costs tend to be very low. This is one of the most common types of printing used within the industry.
A bespoke rubber element that can have branding or other design included and then sewn into a garment. This carries set-up charges and MOQ’s.
The process of creating a mock-up of each garment to check the fit and quality of the patterns and chosen factory. We always recommend sampling in the correct fabric as this allows you to check its suitability and ensure that it works with the garment. It is unrealistic to expect the first samples to be perfect, and we usually find that at least two rounds of sampling are required before achieving the correct fit, depending on the complexity of the style.
Involves using mesh-based screens to transfer ink directly onto the surface of a fabric by exposed sections of the screen acting as stencil to allow ink to pass through. Set-up fees are applicable, but this method is suitable for most fabrics and great for producing simple placement prints where only a few colours are required. There are restrictions in terms of print size, and it is difficult to print anything larger than a single garment. Several ink options are available depending on the fabric choice and desired end result.
This refers to a trim or embellishment made from the same fabric as the main fabric, as opposed to contrast fabric. For example, self-fabric neck tape.
The self-finished edge of a woven fabric parallel to the grain, which prevents fraying and provides sufficient strength for subsequent processing.
Classic shaped sleeve which starts at the underarm and curves across the shoulder.
Mesh based screen used as a stencil for the print. Each colour within the print will require a separate screen, with a set-up cost charged for each one.
The garment size can be included on a separate label called a size pip or size label. Other places to display the size of a garment include a care label, brand label or through prints to the inside of the garment, just below the neckline on the back panel.
The seams which run either side of the garment joining the front and back panels. This abbreviation is usually found on specification sheets and patterns.
It is becoming more popular to use vinyl printing on sportswear garments and other stretch fabrics. As vinyl prints sit on top of the fabric and usually do not allow the fabric to stretch, it is important that where stretch is required a specific stretch vinyl is used. There are various types for different applications.
A 10m sample provided to confirm the repeat print is accurate. It is also another chance to check the colour. Usually the strike off is then used for sampling your garments so that these are accurate for trade shows, photo-shoots and salesman samples. The strike off has to be approved before print production can begin.
Application of sublimation ink from paper to fabric by passing the two through heated rollers, or by using a heated press. The colour penetrates the surface and is absorbed within the fabric so the results are long lasting and resistant to cracking. Only suitable for polyester or polyester mix fabrics, but is a much cheaper alternative to digital printing. It involves no set-up costs and is also great for sportswear and stretch fabrics.
An information tag which is attached to a finished garment by either string, safety pin or a plastic kimble. These usually have the brand logo, website details, barcode stickers and pricing on them, but are fully custom including the size, shape and material, depending on the clients requirements.
A set of documents essential in production to provide clear instructions of the specific features and requirements of a garment. A tech pack is used by our factories as a basis for any quotes. Each pack can include, but is not restricted to, Design Specification, Manufacturing specification, Grading Specification, PACART sheets, and Colour Boards.
Functional additional elements of the garment other than fabric. This includes zips, poppers, elastic, etc.
Stitch commonly used to hem stretch fabrics, it gives two straight lines of stitching on the front of the fabric and a looped coverstitch on the reverse which encases the raw fabric edge, holding it flat to the underside of the fabric.
Popular with promotional wear, this method involves the direct transfer of a print from paper to the fabric surface by passing the two through heated rollers, or by using a heated press. The print is not absorbed into the fabric, but instead sits on the surface. This is often seen as a cheaper method as it involves no set-up costs and is a quick process. It does however have a plastic feel and vinyl prints can crack over time and peel off.
The yarns which run lengthways in a woven fabric.
Washing off a printed garment in water or detergent solution to remove any excess dye or chemicals used in processing to result in the fixation of ink within the yarns. Upon washing, the print will become more soft and malleable. This process is carried out by the customer after purchasing the garment.
Generally used on lighter coloured garments and considered more environmentally friendly than other methods. Water-based inks are absorbed into the fabric rather than sitting on the surface like plastisol inks, therefore making them more suitable for stretch fabrics. Washing off is recommended for garments with waterbased prints before wearing. This process must be completed by the consumer.
The yarns which run widthways in a woven fabric.

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