Bespoke Shirts Glossary Of Terms

This is a quick and easy to understand guide to help you learn more about shirts and terms that you may have
heard before but not fully understood. If there is any thing else that you “always wanted to know but were
afraid to ask” click here to email us and we will be happy to answer you, and where relevant, add them to our list.

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Bespoke A garment custom – made from scratch to a customers specific measurements and requirements. Its origin dates back to the days when a customer ordering a garment would select and reserve a cloth that was then “bespoken” or “spoken for”
Broadcloth A tightly woven lustrous cotton with a fine rib effect
Button Down Collar A shirt collar, usually narrow, that buttons over the tie. Not suitable for formal occasions
Chambray A plain weave lightweight cotton fabric primarily used for shirts
Classic Collar Most popular style of shirt collar where the wings are cut straight and point downward
Cloth A general term applied to fabrics
Collar Bones Also known as collar stays or collar stiffeners, they are made of bone or plastic and inserted in a slit under the collar to keep it firm and in shape
Contrasting Collar A shirt collar that is a different colour or pattern than the rest of the shirt
Cuff A turned up hem, as found at the at end of shirt sleeve
Cufflinks Ornamental accessory device of two parts joined by a shank, bar or chain for passing through buttonholes to fasten shirt cuffs. Usually made in gold, silver or platinum they can be decorated with hand engraving or embellished with diamonds or other precious and semi precious gemstones
Cut-away Collar Style of shirt collar that is more cut away towards the shoulder- the degree varies. Also referred to as Windsor collar
Cutter Person who measures and fits the customer and then makes a pattern from the measurements and observations of the customer’s figure and posture
Double Cuff See French cuff
Drape The way a fabric hangs in folds
Dye The use of a substance to add colour to fabrics or fibres
Dyeing The process of applying colour to a textile product by soaking it in a coloured solution
Egyptian Cotton A long-staple fine cotton grown chiefly in North Africa
Fabric Yarns or fibres coming together in long lengths
Fabric Count The number of threads per square inch. The higher the thread count the finer the cotton will be. The numbers range from 80s to 200s count
Fibres Fine hair like structures, which can be natural or synthetic or regenerated, long (filament) or short (staple)
Flannel Derived from the Welsh name for wool, flannel is made from woollen yarn that is slightly twisted in the spinning and of open texture
Fly Front Shirt style where the buttons on the front of the shirt are hidden beneath a neat cover made from the shirting material
Fusing Use of chemicals and heat to weld the interlinings to the outer fabric of a garment, as distinct from the superior methodology of stitching used by bespoke shirt makers such as J. H. Cutler
French Cuff Style of cuff on a dress or formal shirt, which is folded back and then closed with cufflinks rather than buttons. Also known as double cuff
Gingham A cotton fabric with a chequered pattern, typically white and one other colour
Herringbone Fabric style characterised by a balanced zigzag effect. It was named after the skeleton of the herring, as this is what the fibre pattern resembles
Jacquard A fabric with an intricate design incorporated in the weave
Linen Natural vegetable-based fibre
Loom Machine used to produce cloth by weaving
Lustre Term used to describe the intensity with which light shines on a piece of fibre
Made to Measure Garment made from a pre-existing stock pattern that is merely altered to fit the customer’s measurements
Madras Fabric A lightweight cotton fabric, sometimes used for making shirts, that is typically associated with summer clothing
Mandarin Collar Also known as a band collar, the shirt collar stands up against the neck and is usually worn with a formal jacket
Mandarin Stand-up shirt collar without downward points
Mother of Pearl Made from natural pearl, we use only mother of pearl buttons on all our bespoke shirts. In comparison plastic buttons look dull and yellowy
Nylon Synthetic fibre also known as polyamide
Off the Rack (Peg) Finished clothing item sold in standard sizes
Oxford A shirting fabric made of soft-combed cotton yarns in a modified plain or basket weave
Pinpoint Oxford This fabric combines the weaving techniques of poplin and oxford. The result is a fine, yet durable fabric that is perfect for dress shirts
Pique Is the name of a very formal fabric used for the bosom of a formal shirt. It has a special designed curve and displays an exquisite sharp look. The collar and cuff usually match the pique fabric as well
Placket The strengthening strip of cloth running from the collar to the hem of the shirt that includes the buttonholes
Pleat Fold of fabric generally pressed flat to allow extra room in garment
Poplin A soft fabric with a fine rib effect on the surface due to a finer warp yarn
Rayon Textile fibre or fabric made from regenerated cellulose (viscose)
Royal Oxford Shirting fabric, which originated in the UK in the late 19 th century. Known for its exceptional texture, softness and lustre
Sea Island Cotton A cotton with unusually long silky fibres grown in the Caribbean
Satin Silk fabric with glossy surface on one side
Savile Row Street in the West End of London that is the original home of bespoke tailoring and shirt making.
Shirting Fabric from which shirts are made. Can include cotton, twill, flannel, voile, silk, chambray and linen amongst others
Silk Fabric spun from silk thread, which in turn is sourced from silk worms
Single Cuff Cuff normally found on business and long sleeve casual shirts
South Sea Cotton Exceptionally fine long staple type of cotton grown in the West Indies
Spinning Process of making fibres into yarns
Spread Collar Similar to a standard shirt collar but the points in front are wider apart
Stretch The extendibility of a fibre, yarn or fabric
Tactile Property How a garment fits
Tint Light wash of colour, usually pale or delicate
Twill A popular weave pattern identified by diagonal lines on the face of the fabric
Two-Fold Two cotton threads twisted together into a yarn to make a dense, luxurious shirting
Voile Thin semi transparent cotton, woollen or silken material used in the making of shirts
Viyella A soft fabric made from a blend of wool and cotton woven in a twill weave. It was first developed in England in the late 1800s and is recognised as being the first branded fabric in the world
Warp Vertical threads of a woven fabric
Weft Horizontal threads of a woven fabric
Windsor Collar Very cut away style of shirt collar, which is also known as a cut-away collar
Wingtip Stand-up shirt collar with downward points. A popular and most formal choice
Wing Collar A stand up shirt collar with downward pointing edges. The most formal choice of collar style to wear with a formal jacket
Wool Natural fibre coming from sheep, goats, alpacas, vicuna etc
Woollen Cloth woven from both long and short-stapled fibres. Often seen in a flannel cloth
Yarn Count Term used to denote the size/weight of yarn. Yarn is measured in terms of denier or tex
Yarns Length of fibres and/or filaments with or without twist
Yoke A section of fabric in a shirt that enhances the fit. The yoke is usually on the back across the top shoulder area, but can also be on the front shoulder to chest area

To enquire about our shirt making services or to make an appointment to meet with Sam Hazelton who manages our growing shirt business, call 02 9232 7122 or email We look forward to welcoming you to our private rooms on Level 6, O’Connell Street in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.