Apparel Terminology 101 – Construction – everything you wanted to understand and know

Welcome to Apparel Terminology 101.  

This will consist of 3 sections starting with Construction in section 1. 

Fabrics in section 2 and Fits in section 3.


Singles: This indicates the diameter and weight of a year; the smaller the number, the thicker the yarn. It is usually expressed as 16/1 or 18/1. Higher singles are more popular now, such as 30 singles or 40 singles, because it is a finer thread with a tighter weave, which results in a softer and lighter T-shirt.

Should-to shoulder taping: Shoulder seams as well as the neck seam are covered by tape or binding. This helps reinforce the shoulder and neck seams to help strengthen these often weaker points and reduces separation.

Weight per ounce: This measures a fabric’s weight per square yard. For instance, a 6.1 oz shirt means the weight of the fabric is 6.1 oz per square yard of the fabric. In terms of current trends, the lighter the weight the better.

Knit/stitch density: The density of a shirt is measured by the number of courses-the fibers that run across-multiplied by the number of wales-the fibers that run lengthwise-in a square inch. This describes  how fine the fabric is, which affects weight, strength, and printability.

Preshrunk: Contrary to common belief, preshrunk fabric is not washed and dried to shrink it. Instead it is the machine compaction of the fabric to remove space between stitches, condensing the fibers. This process does not guarantee that a shirt will not shrink but rather that most of the room for shrinkage  has been removed.

I hope you have a better understanding of the construction of apparel now. Stay tuned for the continuation of  Apparel Terminology 101 Fabrics.


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