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Plus Size Clothing for Women from Catherines
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Our FitMeasuringTopsBottomsRight FitIntimatesAccessoriesGlossaryConversion


A

A-line

A silhouette that flares gently away from the body resembling the letter A.

Acetaté

A synthetic fabric most often used for linings and lingerie.

Acrylic

A generic name for a network of synthetic fibers producing a soft, wool-like easy-care fabric that is machine washable, quick drying and wrinkle resistant. Most commonly used in sweaters, acrylic possesses excellent color and shape-retaining qualities.

Allover

An embroidered, printed, or lace fabric with a design covering most of the surface (allover the surface).

Anorak

[Chiefly British] A hooded, waterproof jacket; also parka.

Appliqué

Cutout or lace design affixed to another fabric by embroidery or stitching.

Asymmetric

Garment with a varied hemline or design feature, in which the left and right sides are purposely imbalanced.



B

Babydoll

Garment with undefined waist fitted from neckline, or with shoulder yoke. A top or dress with an empire (pronounced ahm-peer) waist is also known as a babydoll.

Bangle

A stiff usually ornamental bracelet or anklet slipped or clasped on.

Basket weave

A variation of the plain weave construction in which two or more warp and filling yarns are woven side-by-side to resemble a pleated basket.

Batik

a fabric printed by batik, namely an Indonesian method of hand-printing textiles by coating with wax the parts not to be dyed.

Bell sleeve

A sleeve that is narrow at top and flared at lower edge like a bell.

Bermuda shorts

Knee-length, relaxed fit shorts originally made fashionable on the island of Bermuda.

Besom pocket

A slit pocket finished with narrow binding on one or both sides of opening.

Bias cut

A diagonal cut across weave of fabric allowing garment to move naturally following contours of the body.

Blouson

Billowing or bloused effect at waistline or sleeve cuff.

Bodice

The fitted part of a garment that extends from shoulders to waist.

Bolero

A short jacket with rounded corners and no fastenings.

Boatneck

A shallow neckline cut in a curve from shoulder to shoulder.

Bomber Jacket

A zippered usually leather, or faux-leather, jacket with front pockets and knitted cuffs and waistband.

Bouclé

Lofty yarn with looped effect creating a curly textured surface.

Box pleats

Double pleat formed by two facing folds meeting in center underneath pleat.

Brocade

Thick, jacquard-type fabric with woven raised pattern.

Brushed

Fabric is treated or "brushed" to create a surface that is soft and comfortable

Bungee

Fabric is treated or "brushed" to create a surface that is soft and comfortable

Burnt-out print

Lacy pattern of two varying yarns produced when one of the yarns is chemically dissolved.



C

Caftan (also, Kaftan)

Usually a cotton or silk ankle-length garment with long sleeves that is common in the middle-east; loungewear.

Camisole

A light piece of women's underwear that covers the chest down to the waist and has narrow bands over the shoulders

Camp shirt

A woman's shirt having a notched collar and often patch pockets.

Canvas

Durable, plain-weave fabric made from heavy-gauge, twisted cotton yarns.

Cap sleeve

Short sleeve extending just over the edge of the shoulder.

Cardigan

A usually collarless sweater or jacket that opens the full length of the center front.

Chambray

Lightweight, plain-woven fabric, with a soft-colored, "faded" denim look.

Charmeuse

Lightweight, smooth, lustrous fabric characterized by a satiny appearance.

Chemise

Slightly shaped sleeveless dress or nightown.

Chenille

Soft, fuzzy yarns with protruding velvety cord.

Chiffon

Thin, extremely lightweight, transparent silk.

Chino

Casual trousers made from chino fabric (British), called "khakis" in America.

Chop pockets

Front pockets on bottoms that are oversized and rectangular.

Clutch

A woman's small usually strapless handbag.

Combed cotton

Cotton that has had the short fibers and impurities removed resulting in a more uniform and lustrous yarn.

Circle skirt

A full skirt made from sections of fabric that form a circle. Waist is without darts, pleats or gathers.

Corduroy

A fabric, typically cotton, defined by distinctive vertical cut-pile rows, referred to as wales. Wale widths can vary from thinnest pinwale to thickest wide wale.

Cotton

A natural fiber that grows in the seed pods of the cotton plant used for making fabric.

Cover-up

A loose outer garment, usually worn over a swimsuit.

Cowlneck

The neck on a piece of clothing that falls in folds at the front.

Crewneck

High, round collarless neckline.

Crepe

Used to describe fabrics with a grained, slightly pebbly texture.

Crepon

A heavyweight crepe fabric.

Crochet

Loose, open knit made by looping thread with a hooked needle.

Cutwork

Embroidery made by cutting design out of fabric and embroidering cut edges.



D

D-ring

A metal loop with a distinctive D shape most often paired as a closure for belts.

Dart

Sewing term for V-shaped tuck used to make garment conform to body. Commonly used for bust darts.

Dip dye

To color the ends of a fabric or garment by partially immersing it in a solution for a gradated effect.

Dobby shirt

A woven shirt characterized by small, usually geometric patterns that are decoratively woven into the fabric.

Doeskin

A cotton or synthetic fabric that is double brushed on the surface to produce a suede-like effect.

Dolman sleeve

Sleeve style that is very wide at the armhole and narrow at the wrist.

Drawstring

Threaded ribbon or cord that adjusts openings.

Dropped shoulders

Shoulder of garment extended over upper arm making a lowered sleeve seam.

Dropwaist

Waistline seam placed below natural waist.



E

Embossing

Process by which a texture is added to a flat surface, most commonly used on leathers.

Embroidery

Technique in which colored threads are fancifully sewn into fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.

Empire waist

(Pronounced ahm-peer) High-waisted effect with seam placed just below the bust.

Eyelet

Airy fabric finished with a series of patterned cutouts or perforations.



F

Fagoting

A type of embroidery that creates a delicate ladder effect.

Felt

A cloth made of wool and fur often mixed with natural or synthetic fibers through the action of heat, moisture, chemicals, and pressure.

Flannel

A tightly woven fabric, usually cotton or wool, double brushed to achieve a soft surface and additional warmth.

Fleece

Generic name for extremely soft, deep-piled, synthetic fabric.

Flocked

A design made by applying adhesive to fabric and dusting with fibers simulating a jacquard pattern.

Flounce

A strip of gathered fabric attached to the edge of a garment creating a ruffled, feminine effect.

French terry

Features loops of pile on one side and a smooth brushed finish on the other.

Frog closure

Ornamental fastener or fabric cording that fits over corded ball for closure.



G

Gabardine

Closely woven, sturdy fabric with slight diagonal ridges. A staple for tailored suiting and outerwear.

Gauze

Thin, lightweight fabric with a loose weave.

Georgette

Sheer, lightweight fabric with pebbly surface, often made of silk or silk-like fabrics.

Gingham

A midweight, checked or plaid fabric with a plain weave made of cotton. Checked or plaid gingham uses two or more colors.

Glen plaid

A fabric woven in a twill pattern of broken checks. [Also called glen check].

Godet

A fabric inset usually set into hem of skirt for added fullness.

Gored

Fabric that is cut into tapered triangle to create fullness.

Gossamer

Delicate, sheer weblike fabric.

Grommet

A small metal or plastic ring used to reinforce a hole or eyelet.

Grosgrain

Woven fabric with close together rounded horizontal ribbing used primarily for ribbons or as trimming.



H

Halter

Top held in place by a strap around the neck, leaving back exposed.

Handkerchief hem

Alternately referred to as hankie hem, falls in graceful points at hemline.

Heather

Differently colored fibers blended together to give a soft, muted look.

Hem

The edge of a piece of cloth, such as the bottom edge of a skirt or dress, which is folded over and sewn so that it does not develop loose threads.

Henley

Collarless knit shirt with rounded neck that has placket opening that stops midway down.

Herringbone

Twill weave with a distinctive V pattern.

Honeycomb weave

See waffle weave, forms a series of recessed squares similar in appearance to a waffle or honeycomb.

Hook-and-eye

Garment fastener consisting of a small metal hook that is inserted into a corresponding metal loop on opposite side.

Houndstooth

Pattern of distinctive broken checks.

Housedress

A dress with simple lines that is suitable for housework and is made usually of a washable fabric.



I

Ikat

A fabric in which the yarns have been tie-dyed before weaving.

Inset

A piece of material set into a garment as decoration or trim.

Inseam

Pant seam that runs from crotch to hem. Inseam is measured based on leg length.

Interlock

Knit fabric characterized by the interconnection of the knit stitches.

Inverted pleat

Reversed box pleat with facing folds meeting on top.



J

Jacquard

Fabric characterized by intricate motif woven by a Jacquard loom.

Jersey

Generic term for smooth fabric with a flat face made by the consistent interlocking of yarns, most often used for T-shirts.

Jewel neckline

A high, round neckline without binding.

Johnny collar

An open V-neck with pointed collar.



K

Kabuki sleeves

Wide loose-fitting sleeves modeled after the garments worn in traditional Japanese theater.

Kangaroo pocket

Interchangeably referred to as a pouch pocket in imitation of a kangaroo's pouch.

Keyhole neckline

Refers to neckline with round or tear-shaped cut out at front or back.

Kick pleat

A single flat pleat at front or back of skirt, added to make walking easier.

Knife pleats

A series of narrow flat pleats going in the same direction.

Knit

A process of making fabric with interlocking looped stitches running in the same direction.



L

Lace

Delicate decorative fabric with pattern worked in a ground of mesh or net.

Lambskin

The skin or hide of young lamb or sheep, also known as napa leather. It is smooth, supple and more luxurious than other leathers.

Lambswool

Soft, fine wool from a young sheep.

Lapel

The part of a garment, such as a coat or jacket, that is an extension of the collar and folds back against the breast.

Layered look

A garment that has pieces sewn together to appear as if multiple layers without the weight of separate pieces.

Legging

A tight, form-fitting type of trousers that extend from the waist to the ankles.

Linen

The strong, cool, absorbent fibers woven from the flax plant. A warm-weather favorite.

Lingerie

Women's intimate apparel; undergarments.

Lounger

An article of clothing designed for comfort and leisure use.

Loungewear

Informal clothing usually designed to be worn at home.

Lurex

(trademark) used for metallic yarn or thread.

Lycra

(trademark) used for a spandex synthetic fiber.



M

Madras

Plain-weave lightweight cotton fabric most commonly known for its colorful plaid pattern, and is most often imported from India.

Malliot

A woman's one-piece bathing suit.

Mandarin collar

A collar consisting of a standing band that wraps about the neck and is slightly open in front, adding an Asian look to a garment.

Marled

Yarn made from strands of different color yarns twisted together for mottled effect.

Matte

A term used to describe a surface with a smooth finish that lacks luster and shine.

Matte jersey

Comfortable lightweight blend of polyester and spandex that's both elegant and easy to wear with a soft, fluid drape. Ideal for travel, it's packable, wrinkle resistant and dries quickly.

Merino

A fine quality wool yarn made from the fleece of Merino sheep.

Mesh

Knitted or woven fabric with an open weave producing a characteristic netting effect.

Metallic

A fabric made with metallic fiber, namely a fiber or yarn made of or coated with metal.

Microfiber

Generic term for any extremely fine, silk-like synthetic fiber. Fabrics made with microfibers are soft, breathable and durable.

Mock turtleneck (also Mockneck)

A pullover finished at the neckline with a short, fitted knit band that does not fold over.

Moiré

Distinctive wavelike pattern, which is melted onto the surface of a faille fabric.

Moleskin

A heavy durable cotton fabric with a short thick velvety nap on one side.



N

Nap

A term used to describe the soft, brushed surface of a fabric.

Napa leather

See lambskin.

Nightshirt

A nightgown resembling a shirt.

Nubuck

The top side of leather slightly sanded to make it more resistant to scuffs, yielding a suede-like appearance.

Nylon

A silky synthetic fiber that is strong, resistant to creases and stains and washable.



O

Ombré

A fabric dyed in a gradation of a single color, from light to dark.

Organza

Lightweight, stiff, sheer fabric.


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P

Paisley

A fabric made typically of soft wool and woven or printed with colorful curved abstract figures.

Panné velvet

Velvet that has pile crushed down in one direction, increasing its luster.

Pantset

A woman's ensemble consisting usually of a long jacket and tailored pants of the same material.

Pareo (also Sarong)

A loose garment made of a long strip of cloth wrapped around the body and worn as a skirt or dress.

Parka

A hooded fur pullover garment for arctic wear; a usually lined fabric outerwear pullover or jacket.

Patch pocket

A flat, outside pocket stitched onto garment.

Pearlized

A pearlescent surface or finish.

Peasant top

A women's top with an elasticized low neckline, usually worn off the shoulders, and long or short sleeves.

Pencil skirt

A skirt that is cut in a straight line from the hips to the hem. The name comes from its pencil-straight appearance.

Peplum

A short section joined to the waistline of a blouse, jacket or dress.

Peter Pan collar

A small collar that is flat and close-fitting. With rounded ends.

Picot

Small, rowed embroidered loops lending an ornamental edge to garments.

Pima cotton

A high-quality, soft-hand cotton.

Pintuck

Very narrow stitched fabric folds that yield a raised striped effect.

Piping

Narrow bias-cut fold of fabric stitched into a seam creating a corded outline on garment.

Placket

Refers to the reinforced opening in a garment that usually also serves as the closure.

Playwear

Informal clothing worn for leisure activities.

Pleat

Tailoring technique in which a fold of fabric is made by doubling material over on itself.

Plush

Pile fabric woven less closely than velvet. See velveteen.

Pointelle

Feminine and delicate fabric with a subtle allover pattern of openings.

Polo shirt

A close-fitting knit shirt with short or long sleeves and turnover collar or banded neck.

Polyester

A man-made fabric that has high strength, excellent resiliency, and is resistant to shrinkage, wrinkling and moths.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

A widely-used plastic that can be made softer and more flexible for use clothing, specifically faux-leather.

Poplin

Durable plain-weave fabric with slight ridge effect.

Poncho

A type of coat consisting of one large piece of cloth, with a hole in the middle for the head.

Ponte

Double-knit interlock fabric known for durability.

Pouch pocket

See kangaroo pocket.

Princess seams

Seams that follow the silhouette of the female form, from mid-shoulder through the apex of the breast to each side of waist.

Pullover

A top without buttons or closures that is adorned by pulling over the head.



R

Raglan

Smooth, rounded shoulder cut in one with sleeve and set in by diagonal seams in front and back, from under arm to neck.

Ramie

Natural fiber taken from the stalk of a plant grown in China. Ramie has great strength, luster, body and appearance.

Rayon

Versatile man-made fiber derived from wood pulp that has a lustrous appearance and offers good drapability.

Rib knit

A knitted fabric with alternating raised and lowered rows.

Rickrack

A woven trimming that has a zigzag shape.

Ripstop

A lightweight fabric, usually water resistant, that has a double thread running through it in a grid preventing small tears from spreading.

Rise

A tailoring term that refers to the distance from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband in pants.

Rosette

Colored ribbon or silk fashioned to resemble a rose as an embellishment.

Ruana

A poncho-like garment, open in front, often worn as a wrap.

Ruching

Gentle gathers of fabric in a garment that often adds a figure-enhancing touch.



S

Safari Jacket

A usually belted shirt jacket with pleated expansible pockets.

Sandwashed

Describes garments that have been treated with sand for extra softness.

Sarong (also Pareo)

A loose garment made of a long strip of cloth wrapped around the body and worn as a skirt or dress.

Sateen

A type of fabric weave that produces a smooth, glossy, lustrous surface.

Satin

Smooth, lustrous silk fabric featuring a sateen weave, possessing a glossy face.

Scarf

A broad band of cloth worn about the shoulders, around the neck, or over the head.

Schiffli

A type of embroidery characterized by vine-like floral patterns.

Screen print

Method of printing designs on fabric in which ink is forced through a fine, silk mesh and blank areas are blocked out.

Seersucker

Warm-weather fabric that has characteristic permanent puckered effects.

Shantung

Fabric with a characteristic textured surface made by use of uneven yarns causing irregular slubs and other imperfections.

Sharkbite hem

Jagged, uneven border with front and back points resembling a shark bite.

Shawl collar

An attached collar rolled back in a continuous tapering line that follows the surplice neckline of a garment.

Sheath

Straight, narrow fitted dress, usually with no marked waistline.

Shearling

Lamb or sheepskin that has been tanned with the curly wool left on.

Sheen

A textile exhibiting notable sheen.

Shell

A plain usually sleeveless blouse or sweater.

Shirring

The gathering of fabric yielding fullness and pleated effects.

Shirtdress

A tailored dress patterned after a shirt and having buttons down the front.

Shirt jacket

A jacket designed in the style of a shirt.

Shrug

A woman's small waist-length or shorter jacket.

Silk

Natural fiber created by the silkworm. Known as one of the finest textiles, silk is strong, soft and possesses a radiant sheen.

Slub

Lump or fleck appearing irregularly along a yarn.

Smocked

Decorative treatment or embellishment created by drawing (a fabric) by needlework into a honeycomb pattern with diamond-shaped recesses.

Soutache

Narrow ornamental braid similar to crochet used as trimming on garments

Space-dyed

Yarn dying process where one strand receives more than one color, producing an irregular, random design of color.

Spandex

Synthetic fabric that can be repeatedly stretched and returned to its original shape.

Suede

The soft, flesh side of leather with a napped, velvet-like texture.

Surplice

Neckline with one side lapping over the other to form a V-shaped neckline.

Sweatheart neckline

A curved neckline with a scalloped trim that is similar to the top half of a heart.

Synthetic

Materials produced by combining different artificial substances intended to simulate the look and feel of natural materials.

Swiss dot

Sheer cotton ornamented with evenly spaced, raised dots.



T

Taffeta

Lustrous, crisp fabric with a fine, smooth surface.

Tank

A sleeveless collarless shirt with usually wide shoulder straps and no front opening.

Tie-dye

A method of dyeing designs on cloth or thread by tightly tying bunches of it as with waxed thread so that the dye affects only exposed parts.

Tiered

Silhouette composed of series of flounces.

Trapeze

Unconstructed silhouette with narrow shoulders and wide swing at hem.

Trumpet skirt

Skirt that is fitted at hips and thighs then flares out from the knees.

Tricot

Soft and versatile knit fabric formed by interlocking adjacent parallel yarns.

Tulle

Fine sheer mesh fabric.

Tunic

A simple slip-on garment made with or without sleeves and usually hip-length or longer blouse or jacket.

Turtleneck

A high close-fitting turnover collar used especially for sweaters; a sweater with a turtleneck.

Tweed

Fabric with color-speckled slubbed yarns.

Twill

A basic woven fabric characterized by distinct, diagonal lines on the surface. It's very strong, yet relatively lightweight.

Twinset

A combination of a matching garments, traditionally a sweater and cardigan, worn together.



V

Velour

Soft, plush fabric with a close, dense pile.

Velvet

Richly textured fabric with short, closely woven pile brushed for lush effect.

Vent

A slit that appears at side or bottom back of jacket or skirt.

Vinyl

Man-made material that resembles leather.

Viscose

The most common type of rayon. It is soft, absorbent and drapes well. See rayon.

V-neck

A garment, as a tee, with a V-shaped neckline.

Voile

A lightweight, sheer fabric usually made in cotton that has a slightly crisp feel.



W

Waffle weave

Fabric characterized by recessed squares for surface effect. See honeycomb weave.

Welt pocket

Inset pocket with lower lip finished with binding.

Whipstitch

A stitch passing over the edge diagonally.

Windowpane

A pattern that is characterized by having vertical and horizontal lines that intersect like that of a windowpane.

Wool

The fiber or fabric made from the fleece of sheep or lamb. However the term "wool" applies to fabrics made from all animal hairs including cashmere, angora, alpaca, camel, llama or vicuna.

Woven

Woven fabric has basically three weaves. Twill Weave, plain weave and satin weave. All weaves, either simple, elaborate or complex, are derived from these three weaves.



Y

Yarn-dyed

A dying process in which the yarns are dyed and then woven or knitted prior to the fabrication of cloth.

Yoke

A cut of fabric seamed across the top of garment.