Friday, March 24, 2017
 

Glossary of Terms | S-Z

 S   Sanforized
A process of preshrinking fabric patented by Cluett, Peabody & Co., Inc. The "Sanforized" label means permanent fit — fabric shrinkage held to 1%.

Skivvies
Originally a trademarked term used in the men’s undergarment industry. Now in the common vernacular, used to mean any form of male underwear.

Silk
A natural filament fiber produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China.

Speed Shorts
A tight fitting garment, designed to reduce friction. Used to describe the type of shorts worn by runners or a kind of trunks or briefs worn by racing swimmers. Also used to describe a form of brief men’s underwear.

Suspender Tapes
Pieces off twill tape are sewn to the top, front of either side of a non-elastic undergarment. So as to be able to attach a special 3 piece suspender to hold drawers up.

Synthetic Fiber
Yarns created from various petrochemical technologies. Includes nylon, polyester, Dacron, orlon, lycra and the like. Used in the manufacture of men’s undergarments in the second half of the 20th century, reaching a peak in the 1960s and 1970s.

 
   
 
T   Tee-Shirt
See T-Shirt.

Tie Side
A design for men’s drawers in which the pattern calls for two small fabric ties at each side of the waist which, when tied together as a pair on each side, adjust the size and fit at the waist.

Trews
An early Celtic garment consisting of loose-fitting breeches and hose, knitted into one piece, and worn by Highlanders as they walked the moors of Scotland.

Tricot Knit
A warp knit fabric in which the fabric is formed by interlooping adjacent parallel yarns. The warp beam holds thousands of yards of yarns in a parallel arrangement, and these yarns are fed into the knitting area simultaneously. Sufficient yarns to produce the final fabric width and length are on the beam. Tricot knits are frequently used in underwear.

Trunks
A word sometimes used to refer to men’s under drawers that are cut with short legs extending only down far enough to cover the upper thigh.

T-Shirt
A knitted undershirt with short sleeves, usually with a crew neck, although sometimes produced with a V-neck. Also called a tee-shirt. Made universally popular after World War II. Became the ubiquitous undergarment-as-outerwear after it appeared as such in the movies of the 1950s.

 
   
 
U   Underclothes
See underwear.

Undergarment
A garment to be worn under another.

Underpants
A man’s undergarment that covers the bottom half of the torso. Can be made of knitted or woven fabric. Worn with some form of undershirt (A-shirt, T-shirt and so on).

Undershirt
A collarless man’s undergarment, with or without sleeves, that covers the top half of the torso. Can be made of knitted or woven fabric. Worn with some form of underpants (briefs, drawers, boxers and so on).

Undershorts
Short underpants worn by men and boys.

Underwear
Clothing or an article of clothing worn next to the skin and under other clothing. Examples of underwear include: drawers, speed shorts and union suits.

Union Suit
A male one-piece (or later, two-piece) undergarment that covers both the upper and lower torso. Originally called a union suit because the top and bottom were united as a one-piece garment. Originally made with ankle length legs and long sleeves. Later available in knee length versions with or without sleeves. Usually buttoned down the front with a drop seat in the latter 19th century. Available in many varying designs of crotch closure for convenience and hygiene in the first half of the 20th century.

Unmentionable
Term, used as a noun, to indicate an undergarment. Use arose in the Victorian era at the close of the 19th century when it was considered an impropriety to mention an undergarment by its proper name in public.

 
   
 
V
Vertical Flap Seat
A seat in a union suit that can be unbuttoned and spread apart.

V Neck
In the world of underwear, a term that applies to a T-shirt with a neckline that dips into a "V" in the front.

 
   
 
W   Wicking
Refers to the fabric's ability to pull sweat moisture away from the skin.

Wool
Usually associated with fiber or fabric made from the fleece of sheep or lamb. However, the term "wool" can also apply to all animal hair fibers, including the hair of the Cashmere or Angora goat or the specialty hair fibers of the camel, alpaca, llama, or vicuna.

Worsted Fabric
A tightly woven fabric made by using only long staple, combed wool or wool-blend yarns. The fabric has a hard, smooth surface. Gabardine is an example of a worsted fabric. A common end use is men's tailored suits.

Woven Fabric
Fabrics composed of two sets of yarns. One set of yarns, the warp, runs along the length of the fabric. The other set of yarns, the fill or weft, is perpendicular to the warp. Woven fabrics are held together by weaving the warp and the fill yarns over and under each other.

   
 
X

 
   
 
Y   Yoke Front
A design for men’s drawers in which there is a separate fitted or shaped piece of fabric in front just below the waistband. Similar to the fitted or shaped piece that can appear at the shoulder, front or back, of a man’s shirt.

 
   
 
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