Essential Terminology

9.27.2011

By Out.com Editors

Mercerization
Mercerization is the process that puts shine and shimmer into specialized denim by concentrating dye on the surface.

Selvedge
Selvedge is, as the word suggests, the very edge of the denim fabric itself. Once called "self-edge," it was originally used to stop the fabric from unraveling and was topped off with different colors. More modern machines use fringe selvedge with no color strip, though original selvedge is as in style as ever.

Whiskering
The creasing and fading found on the crotch or back of the knees is called whiskering. It can either be produced after years of wear or by designers through a process of sand papering and appears darker on faded denim and lighter on dark denim.

Rope Dyeing
Rope dyeing is widely recognized as the most desirable way to dye yarns. In the process, cotton threads are twisted to form rope and are then briefly submerged into a pool of dye. Color richness increases with each dip!

Overdye
Overdyeing is the secret to creating a variety of uniquely tinted and shaded denim. The process allows a second coat of dye to be added in specific locations and is often used to achieve a dirty denim effect.

Garment dyed
Sometimes designers prefer to color garments directly rather than coloring the individual fibers beforehand. This method is called garment dyeing and can be more economically (and environmentally) friendly with less dye used.

Crock
Crock is no friend of white T-shirts or other light fabrics. It is a word that describes dye from a pair of jeans rubbing off onto your clothes and sometimes even your skin.

Indigo
Also called the "living color," indigo is a blue dye that never fully bonds to fibers, causing it to continually fade. It's found naturally in China and India and has been used for over 4,000 years, but has been made from mostly synthetic materials since the late 1800s.

Caste
Ever notice that your blue jeans sometimes contain hints of other colors? The caste is the effect produced by the underlying fabric in denim that can give jeans a black, brown, gray, green, yellow, or red shade.

Right Hand Twill
The right hand twill (also called the "Z" twill after the shape of the twill on the inside of the jean) is the most common weave used for denim and produces a sturdy, flat, and smooth surface.

Left Hand Twill
The left hand twill (also called the "S" twill) is a less popular alternative to RHT, woven in the opposite direction to produce a softer pre-washed fabric.

Tags: Deluxe Denim
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