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Sewing Vocabulary - Nap to Overlock


Nap – A design feature of fabric that requires all parts of the sewn item to be cut in the same direction. This may either be necessary because 1) the fabric has a pile that has a definite difference between “up” and “down” such as corduroy or velvet or 2) a printed directional design.

Narrow goods – Fabric woven on narrow looms with a maximum width of 27”.

Nonwoven fabric – This is fabric that is bonded together into a web rather than knitted or woven such as Ultrasuede.

Notches – Small cuts (slits or wedges) made in the edges of garment pieces to show how they should be aligned; this helps to ensure construction is done correctly. Commercial home-sewing patterns use dark triangles or diamonds for match points.

Notions – Required materials beyond the fabric and pattern necessary to producing a garment such as elastic, zippers, interfacing, buttons, thread, etc.

Nylon – Nylon was the first synthetic fiber that was manufactured. It is wrinkle-resistant and easy to wash while being stain-resistant.

Oilcloth – Fabric that is made to be waterproof by treating it with linseed oil varnish.

Opaque – When something is opaque, such as fabric, you cannot see through it.

Organdy – A lightweight, transparent cotton cloth with a stiff finish.

Overlock – A stitch that casts over the seam edge to finish the seam and prevent the fabric from raveling. There are specialized sewing machines called sergers that primarily do this stitch.

Oxidation – Air exposure which can alter dye colors and weaken some fibers.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Tamara Bostwick for details.

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