top of page


Welcome to the Glossary section of the Fashion Upcycling Academy! As you embark on your journey of learning and exploring the world of upcycling and sustainable fashion, you might come across various terms and concepts that are new to you. We've got you covered!

This comprehensive glossary is your go-to resource for understanding the terminology used throughout our academy's modules. From sewing techniques and design elements to fabric types and sustainability concepts, we've compiled an extensive list of definitions to help you navigate the exciting world of fashion upcycling with ease.

No more confusion or head-scratching—just dive in, expand your vocabulary, and deepen your understanding of the ins and outs of upcycling. So go ahead, explore our handy glossary, and let it be your trusty companion as you unleash your creativity and develop your signature style in the realm of sustainable fashion!


A technique where fabric pieces are sewn onto a larger fabric as decoration or to create a pattern.


Temporary, large stitches used to hold fabric layers together before final sewing.


The diagonal direction of a woven fabric, usually at a 45-degree angle to the warp and weft threads.


The process of reshaping a garment or fabric piece by wetting and stretching it to the desired shape or measurements.


A folded and stitched wedge of fabric used to shape a garment to fit the body's curves.


The process of positioning and pinning fabric on a dress form to develop the structure of a garment design.


The art of decorating fabric using needle and thread to create intricate designs and patterns.

Feed dog

The mechanism on a sewing machine that moves the fabric through the machine as it is sewn.

French seam

A type of seam used to create a clean, finished edge on the inside of a garment.


A method of attaching a stabilizing material to fabric using heat and pressure.


The direction of threads in a woven fabric, either warp (lengthwise) or weft (crosswise).


The edge of a piece of fabric that is folded under and stitched to prevent fraying.


A supportive material used to add structure, stability, or reinforcement to fabric.


A layer of fabric sewn to the inside of a garment to provide a clean finish and improve comfort.


A plain, woven cotton fabric often used to create mock-ups of garment designs.


Small, specialized tools and accessories used in sewing, such as buttons, zippers, or thread.


A type of stitch that sews over the edge of fabric to prevent fraying and provide a clean finish.


A technique of sewing small fabric pieces together to create a larger, patterned design.

Pinking shears

Special scissors with serrated blades used to cut fabric edges in a zigzag pattern, reducing fraying.


A fold in fabric that is stitched down to create fullness, texture, or shaping in a garment.

Raw edge

The unfinished edge of fabric that may fray or unravel.

Seam allowance

The distance between the fabric edge and the stitch line in a seam.


The finished edge of a fabric that runs parallel to the warp threads.


A sewing machine that trims and finishes raw fabric edges using an overlock stitch.


A row of stitching used to stabilize curved or bias-cut fabric edges, preventing them from stretching or distorting during construction

Sustainable fashion

An approach to clothing design and production that prioritizes environmental and social responsibility.


A visible row of stitching on the right side of the fabric, often used for decorative purposes or to reinforce a seam.


A row of stitching on the inside of a garment, used to keep facings or linings in place and prevent them from rolling to the outside.


The lengthwise threads in a woven fabric, held taut on a loom during weaving.


The crosswise threads in a woven fabric, woven over and under the warp threads.


The amount of fabric required to complete a sewing project, usually measured in yards or meters

bottom of page