Are you looking for a better understanding of a unique detail or fashion trends? Is there a fabric that you are
unfamiliar with? Use Ulla Popken's fashion guide for a better understanding of the terms involved in the fashions you are
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A style line which gradually flares out to a wider hemline, causing it to resemble the letter A. Items with a swing shape are
also often called A-line. Our Border Print Dress has a perfect A-line shape.
Ankle Pants -
Pants cut at or just above the ankle. An ankle pant is an item that can be worn by women of varying heights.
Applique - -
Cutting shapes from textile fabrics and attaching them to another fabric or garment in order to decorate the base material.
Asymmetrical - -
The principal of informal balance, rather than formal balance, with each side of the garment offering a different silhouette.
Garments may be draped to one side, have uneven hemlines, side closings, or cover only one shoulder.
Baby Doll -
This is a short top, nightgown or dress whose hem is below the hip and above the knee.
Back Yoke -
A horizontal seam at the top of a jacket or blouse, it is sewn as a separate piece into the construction of the garment.
Take a look at our Classic Big Shirt.
Our specially designed jacket and tunic are inspired by Bali's ancient batiking tradition. Each garment is taken through an
extensive and intricate process of hot wax stamping, dying, and drying yeilding gorgeous prints.
Bias Cut -
Cut diagonally across the grain of a fabric. This is used to create garments that follow the body's curves. Cutting on the
bias also causes garments to drape into soft folds. Pant waistbands are sometimes cut on the bias as well to provide more
stretch and ease.
It is the feeling of a free-spirited attitude toward fashion; with feminine details, including flounces, ties, ribbons,
ruffles and embroidery. Denim, paisley and floral prints are also associated with this trend.
Boiled Wool -
A wool fabric that has been processed to make it more dense and compact.
Fabric with an alternating solid and sheer design, often in a floral or animal print. This fabric comes usually from China
and is done in a silk or polyester blend.
A slim fit top that can be worn alone or as a layering piece. This type of item can range from 100% cotton to 100% silk. It
is an essential wardrobe piece.
Cap Sleeve -
A cap sleeve is a very short sleeve that just covers the shoulder and the top of the upper arm.
Capri Pants -
Three-quarter length pants designed to hit about two inches below the knee. Capri pants are also great for the petite or tall
customer since where they fall on the leg is not required to be in the same place on each person. This also makes them a pant
that can go from season to season. Our best selling Strech Poplin Capris are a perfect example of this.
Cardigan Jacket -
A great item that can be in variety of fabrics and styles this item can range from a sweater knit to being woven. It can be
collarless or have a collar. Lenghts vary, for our full figured customers we try to have most of our jackets in longer
lengths. The essential definition for cardigan jackets, are that they open at the front.
Cargo Style -
Pants or shorts with a patch pocket, zip pocket or bellows pocket with a flap. Cargo style pants make an excellent accent to
any wardrobe and add a touch of fun.
Cotton is soft, breathable and comfortable. It is a natural fiber that comes directly from the cotton plant. This fabric is
something we believe is essential for our plus size customer.
The chenille yarn is manufactured by placing short lengths of yarn, called the "pile", between two "core yarns" and then
twisting the yarn together. The edges of these piles then stand at right angles from the yarn's core, giving chenille both
its softness and its characteristic look. Chenille will look different in one direction compared to another, as the fibers
catch the light differently. The yarn is commonly manufactured from cotton, but can also be made using acrylic, rayon and
A lightweight, plain-weave, sheer fabric made with very fine, tightly twisted yarns. It is very strong, despite its delicate
Convertible Collar -
A rolled collar that can be worn open or closed which is sewn directly to the neckline. It can be made with buttons or a
zipper. This type of collar can keep you warmer in the fall and cooler in the spring.
Cotton Poplin -
Medium weight durable woven textured fabric made with cotton, cotton blends or cotton/spandex blends.
Cowl Neck -
A loose neckline featuring a piece of material attached to a garment at the neck, which is draped loosely from shoulder to
shoulder at the front neckline or back. This type of collar works well for plus size women since the cowl neck is kept loose
and is not tight around the neck.
A fabric characterized by a crinkled, puckered surface or soft mossy finish. It comes in different weights and degrees of
sheerness; it is soft to the touch and drapes elegantly for true figure flattery, whether woven or knit from natural fibers
or man-made synthetics. Our Stretch Crepe Separates are a must have for the spring/summer season.
A wrinkled or puckered effect in fabric which may be obtained either by the construction or the finishing of the fabric. A
crinkled texture increases the surface interest of the clothing, while insuring care is kept to a minimum, as the wrinkles
are all a part of the charm.
The interlocking of loops from a single thread with a hooked needle, crocheting can be done either by hand or by machine. It
has a special quality that seems to hint at intricate handiwork and produces a light and airy effect.
Cropped Pants -
Pants cut to a length about 2 inches below the knee. A crop pant is a wonderful all year round item. You can wear them with
sandals in the summer and boots in the winter. These type of pants work well for petite or tall customers since the pant can
fall in a variety of places and still look great.
Designs cut out of a fabric and embroidered with a purl stitch. The cutwork detail can be done in a variety of fabrics.
Darts are often put in garments in a variety of places. Some tops have bust darts which come from the armhole and provide
shaping for the bust. Some pants have darts in the front or back to help the shape and curve of the garment. Darts
sometimes are an essential piece to an excellent fitting garment.
An all-American favorite whether in the form of your favorite jeans, skirts or jackets. When blended with spandex, it becomes
stretch denim and the added spandex helps it retain its shape even longer. Denim is a flexible, forgiving fabric the more it
is washed the softer it becomes.
Dolman Sleeve -
The dolman sleeve is designed without a socket for the shoulder, creating a deep, wide armhole it is cut as an extension of
the bodice. This design is wonderful for the full figured woman that has a large upper arm.
A style of closure usually used on a jacket in which one edge of a garment overlaps another with a double row of buttons or
other type of fasteners.
Is the hang or fall of fabric when made into a garment.
A longer length top stopping somewhere above the knee. Plus size women look beautiful in duster styles as the long line of a
duster is very slenderizing.
This is the use of needlework to embellish or ornament a fabric. A wide variety of decorative hand or machine stitches in the
same color or contrasting colors can be used.
Empire Waist -
The location of the waistline just under the bust line; it can be seen on jackets, blouses, tees, or dresses. It is
universally flattering for all figures because it visually adds length to the torso, for an instantly slimming effect.
A square throated, closed back shoe with a fabric upper and a woven hemp bottom, nowadays the term refers to any fabric shoe
with a rope bottom.
A circular, decorative edged with close zigzag stitching. Or a fabric punched with these decorative holes, typically in
an all-over design, and then similarly embroidered. Eyelet is a fabulous lightweight airy summer fabric.
French word for "fake", faux is used to describe synthetic items, like faux fur, or it indicates that something only looks
one way, like a faux wrap dress.
Fine Gauge -
A smooth sweater-knit garment that has little or no texture. The finer the gauge, the more densely the fibers are knit
and the smoother the finish. Plus size women can stay cool but still look fashionable in this type of lightweight knit.
Flat-Front Pants -
A pant in which the waistband in the front lays flat it does not have any gathers or pleats. A flat front pant provides
less bulk than an all-elastic waist. Sometimes Ulla pants are given a partial flat front in which just part of the front
waistband is flat.
In sewing and dressmaking, a ruffle or frill is a strip of fabric, lace or ribbon tightly gathered or pleated on one edge and
applied to a garment as a form of trimming. A deep (wide) ruffle is usually called a flounce.
French Terry -
This fabric has a smooth front and a looped texture on the back, for a plush feel against your skin. Sometimes French Terry
is used with the loop texture on the outside of the garment as part of a design detail.
This is a technique that creates fullness by tightening threads in a row of stitching. This is a popular trend for the spring
and summer season and always a favorite for our customers.
Wide-legged pants or divided skirt reaching mid-calf. This style of pant in a long version is called palazzo. Our palazzo
pants are extremely flattering on the plus size women.
A lightweight fabric with a very open weave, which is used for warm-weather shirtings and dresses.
Whether sheer or semi-sheer, this lightweight, plain weave fabric has a fine crepe surface and is characterized by its crisp
feel, substantial body and outstanding durability.
A triangular piece of fabric that is inserted into the lower edge of a skirt or sleeve in order to provide additional
A decoration usually in plastic or metal found as a detail on various garments. They can come in a variety of shapes and
A halter neckline features a strap that goes around the neck, usually leaving the upper back exposed. A halter neck can be
foundon dresses, tank tops and swimwear.
A pattern made of short, slanting parallel lines adjacent to other rows slanting in reverse direction, creating a continuous
V-shaped design like those of bones of a fish. Often used in tweeds.
Hidden Placket -
If the buttons are concealed by a separate flange or flap of the shirting fabric running the length of the placket, it is
called a hidden placket.
Hook-and-Eye Closure -
A 2-part fastening device consisting of a metal hook that catches over a bar or into a loop.
Is the method of weaving that uses a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye. The dye is applied prior to the threads being
woven to create the final fabric pattern or design.
The inside seam of a pant/short leg.
A type of fabric with a flat appearance, knit on a circular, single-knit machine; its principal distinction is that it is not
a fabric with a distinct rib. Our signature viscose spandex jersey knit fabric is loved by all our customers. Here is just
one example of our stretch viscose knits.
Jewel Neck -
A round neck that follows along the base of the neck.
Kangaroo Pocket -
A large single front pocket with side openings allowing both hands to be inserted, meeting in the middle.
A tear shaped or round cutout that usually but not always fastens at the front or back neckline.
The true definition is a long robe with wide sleeves traditionally worn with a broad sash as an outer garment by the
Japanese. Our definition is a loose fitting garment with loose flared sleeves. A kimono is an item that flatters the plus
Lettuce Edge -
A thin ruffle at neckline, cuff or hem.
Fabric that is woven from threads made from the flax plant. Linen can be blended with cotton which makes the fabric more
resistant to wrinkles.
Mandarin Collar -
A band collar that stands straight at the edge of the neck, about 1 inch high, and opens front and center.
Matte Jersey -
A plain-stitched knit that's soft and fluid with a flat finish. Lighter than interlock and perfect for sportswear. Ulla's
matte jersey collection is fabulous for travel. It is virtually wrinkle free.
Maxi Dress -
A maxi dress is a floor or ankle length informal dress. Maxi dresses are formfitting at the top and loose flowing at the
bottom, cut to flow over the body. They are usually made out of cotton or polyester and come in a variety of necklines,
colors and patterns.
A fabric made with metallic fiber, namely a fiber or yarn made of or coated with metal for the sake of embellishment. The
glint of gold or silver is woven into the fabric, creating highlights throughout the garment or drawing attention just too
special details. Our Metallic Separates glisten with details.
The finest of all man-made fibers. Tightly woven to create an ultra light, silky fabric with an incredibly smooth and
supple hand. Today's microfibers can be polyester, nylon, acrylic or a similar synthetic blend.
Mock neck -
A feature found in a variety of items. A mock neck is a neckline that is modified with a slightly looser fit without the
extra fold, or roll, of fabric that characterizes a turtleneck in the classic sense.
Notch Neck -
A notched neckline has a small triangular cutout in the front center.
Notched Collar -
A two-piece collar that can be only worn open most commonly found on blazer style jackets.
Any of a number of strong, elastic, synthetic polyamide materials that are fashioned into fabrics. Nylon's best qualities
include its ability to retain color and shape and its tendency to resist wrinkles and dry quickly.
Shading of a single color from light to dark; or the gradual blending of several colors.
Fine, sheer, lightweight, crisp fabric with a stiff feel. This fabric is often dressy and used for special occasion items.
Overlock Edge -
This is a stitch sewn over the edge of one or two pieces of fabric for edging, hemming or seaming.
Fabric is rich with swirling prints either woven in or screened. It is often in a droplet-shaped vegetable motif of Persian
and Indian origin, similar to half of the Yin Yang symbol. Paisley type prints are always on the top of our customers to buy
Patchwork Pattern -
Woven fabric that combines together pieces of different prints and designs with stitching sometimes quilted. This is often
seen in romantic or country looks.
Pea Coat/Pea Jacket -
Heavy, warm hip-length woolen jacket with double-breasted front and a wide notched collar; originally worn by sailors in
the color known as navy blue. This style is now done in a variety of exciting colors and styles.
Peasant Top -
Romantic style often characterized with a low neckline, ruffles, lace details, loose sleeves, or free flowing material.
In sewing, a tuck is a fold or pleat in fabric that is sewn in place. Similar to pleats, but tucks are smaller, generally
being an inch or less in width.
A placket is an opening that allows room for the garment to be put on. Closures such as buttons, snaps, hooks, zippers, or
Velcro® are often incorporated into a placket.
Polo Dress -
A long or knee-length sheath designed as an extension of the classic, cotton knit polo shirt.
This is the original "miracle" fiber. A synthetic that comes in a wide range of weaves, often blended with other
fibers. With polyester added to a garment, wrinkle resistance is built right in, shape and color retention are a given,
as is durability.
This is a straight piece of fabric with an opening in the center for the head. Originally a Latin American garment in
colorful woven fabrics that is used as outerwear now used in sweaters, and blouses as well.
Double-knit interlock fabric with stand-out stability and firmness that's perfect for suiting. Ponte fabric has a subtle
sheen and incredible durability.
Princess Seams -
Seams that can be found in the front or the back of a garment, that create a figure-flattering, form-fitting shape. Princess
seams are always flattering on full figured women as they provide a slenderizing appearance along the waist.
Raglan Sleeve -
A raglan sleeve is a type of sleeve whose distinguishing characteristic is to extend in one piece fully to the collar,
leaving a diagonal seam from underarm to collarbone. These sleeves are often shorter, usually half or three quarter-length.
A lustrous, man-made fabric that drapes beautifully, resist wrinkles and is easy to care for. In addition, it takes and
holds color exceptionally well. This fabric is often blended with other fibers. This fabric has excellent breathability.
Ulla Popken uses this fabric as often as they can in their designs.
A strip of pleated material used as a decoration or a trim at the edge of a garment that creates a rippled effect.
Safari Style -
Safari Style Garments adapted from bush jackets worn by hunters on African safaris; including such features as bellows
pockets, belting and epaulettes. Also included in this style are a wide variety of animal and tribal prints.
Is a fabric with a high luster, smooth front and slightly textured back. It glides over the curves for true figure
flattery. It can be woven from fibers as luxurious as silk or as practical as rayon or polyester.
This is a light, woven fabric with a puckered effect usually in a yarn-dyed pattern. It is made from cotton, rayon and
synthetic fibers in varying weights. The woven crinkle is produced by alternating slack and tight yarns in the warp.
The part of the boot that covers the ankle or the leg.
Shawl Collar -
This is a one-piece collar that is turned down to form a continuous line around the back of the neck to the front of a
A straight narrow dress fitted to the body with vertical darts or a set-in waist.
Shelf Bra -
It's a bra that is built into a garment and offers very light support. It has a smooth, seamless appearance.
Shirring is two or more rows of gathers used to decorate arts of garments, usually the sleeves, bodice and yoke.
Shirt Dress -
A dress cut similar to a man's shirt with buttons down the front. Shirtdresses can be seen in fabrics from poplin to satin.
Shirttail Hem -
The curved bottom hem of a shirt, higher on the side hip area (for ease of movement) dipping low in the front and back (so
that the shirt will stay tucked into pants).
A fine, strong, continuous filament produced by the silkworm when constructing its cocoon. Silk is noted for both its
strength and resiliency, along with its elegant appeal.
A flat shoe with a small heel.
A skort is a pair of women's shorts with a flap of fabric in front to make it look like a skirt.
A shoe featuring an open toe and open back with a band across the toe. Can be flat, mid-heel or high-heeled.
A shoe held on the foot with a strap at the back of the heel. The strap is typically elasticized or buckled for adjustment.
An embroidered thread sewn on top of gathered folds of fabric. Most frequently smocking is used on the bodice to enhance the
fit by visually whittling the waist.
Sock Lining -
A piece of leather or other material that is inserted over the insole on the inside of the shoe to cover stitches, staples
and the like.
A man-made fiber that adds stretch. Always blended with other fibers as a little goes a long way, spandex improves fit and
flexibility while enhancing durability and comfort.
Split Neck -
A round neckline that looks like it has been cut in the center to form a small V.
Square Neck -
This is a open-yoke neckline shaped in the form of a square.
Straight Legs -
Pant legs that are cut an equal width from the waist to ankles.
A descriptive term for a shape or cut that becomes progressively narrower or thinner at one end. Tapered pants, for
example, draw the eye away from the waistline and down to the narrower part of the leg and the ankle, for a slimming
It is 100% natural fibers made from wood pulp. It has ten times the strength of cotton and is extremely breathable and
comfortable with an exceptionally soft hand.
An absorbent fabric with loops forming the plush pile; also called terry cloth.
Machine stitching showing on the right side of a garment for decorative effect.
A trapeze top is a top that's fitted at the bust and gradually flares out into an A-line shape as it extends toward the
hemline. Whether in the form of a tunic top or a dress, this simple shape balances most women's proportions beautifully.
Although "tunic" has been used to describe many items of clothing throughout history, the term currently refers to a shirt
that is longer than average, usually about hip-length or a little longer.
A coarse wool or synthetic fabric used chiefly for casual suits and coats.
Durable and tightly woven on the diagonal, the twill weave is most often seen in khakis, chinos and denim. Twill is
typically made of cotton, but with the addition of spandex, it becomes stretch twill, a fabric that gently hugs the curves
while maintaining its shape through many of washes.
Twin set -
A cardigan over a matching sleeveless or short-sleeve top.
Two-Way Stretch -
The quality of woven or knit garments made with spandex that enables them to stretch vertically and horizontally.
A silky densely piled fabric with a plain back. This fabric is cut and brushed to form a soft, luxurious pile. A silk velvet
blend is soft and supple.
Women's vests have become an important clothing piece for women all over the world. They are sleeveless, usually with
pockets, a variety of hems and either a button or zipper closure.
This is one popular type of rayon. In addition to a supple feel and luster characteristic of rayon fabrics in general,
viscose is soft yet strong, resists wrinkles and drapes well. Many of our tunics and blouse are made in 100% viscose rayon.
This fabric is lightweight, airy and drapes beautifully.
Sheer or semi-sheer spun cloth that is lightweight and soft, though with a crisp hand. It is typically made from cotton,
rayon or acetate.
Waffle Stitch -
A textured knit. Knit tops made using the waffle weave are a favorite for layering because they add textural interest and
warmth without bulk.
Wedge Heel -
A heel which extends from the back of the shoe to the ball of the shoe, following its controur.
A pocket that has a folded strip of material sewn into the front portion of the pocket. The welt extends upward from the
Wide Leg -
A flattering fit for pants or jeans. Cut extra full all through the leg, with a wider leg opening, so they're comfortable
A bodice created by the cross-wrapping of fabric; may be in front or back, and associated with a high or low neckline. An
item that has a wrap design can close in a variety of ways from a small ribbon on the inside to a small button. In some cases
it can even be a faux wrap or surplice styling as the items we have listed below.
Wrinkle Resistant -
That property of a fabric that enables it to resist the formation of wrinkles through their weave or their chemical
make-up. Certainly a desirable attribute, as it means easier care and a more polished look with no fuss.
Yarn that has been dyed prior to the weaving or knitting of the garment.
The fitted top of a garment across the shoulders in front or back, usually a separate piece seamed across the front and back;