Glossary

A

Aakad

Small woven buttons, often created using traditional hand craft techniques.


Anibra

A hand twisted decorative closure for capes, kimonos, djellabas and other garments. Closes with a hook and eye.


Anibra with Choucha

Same Anibra but closes with a cord and tassel or Choucha instead of a hook and eye..


Abaya

Female outer garment with a wide cloak with long sleeves, often worn on top of any other clothes to cover the body. In many Arab countries, women wear black abaya cloaks, but in Morocco, they can be made in different colours.


A-Line

A dress or skirt shape that is narrower at the top, flaring gently out to make an ‘A’ shape silhouette.


Applique

Applique is a method of decorating garments in which one fabric is applied to another and stitched around the edges.


Asymmetric

An asymmetric design is a garment in which one side is longer than the other. Asymmetric cuts are common in necklines, collars and hems.


B

Bangle Sleeve

A long sleeve that is full in the arm, with a wide opening that stops at the wrist allowing for bangles, bracelets and watches to be visible.


Batwing

Popularised in the 1930s and 1980s. The batwing sleeve connects the shoulder to the wrist and the wrist to the waist to create a triangle of material.


Belgha (Baboush, Balgha)

Traditional Moroccan shoes. These are leather slippers worn by men and some women. They can be made in a variety of colours and embellished with embroidery.


Bell Sleeve

A bell sleeve is a standard sleeve that flares out from the elbow or upper arm to create a bell shape.


Bishop Sleeve

A long sleeve that is full through the arm and is held closed by a cuff at the wrist.


Brocade

Originating in the 17th Century, Brocade is a rich, ornate fabric with an elaborate design - often reversible and featuring motifs such as flowers, foliage and scrollwork. Made with a jacquard loom.


Burnoose (burnous, bournous, or barnous)

Traditional Berber hooded cape or cloak. It is usually made from wool, and the colour of the fabric is light in colour.


C

Cap Sleeve

A small sleeve that sits on the top of the shoulder and reveals the upper arm.


Caftan

See Kaftan


Chemise

A loose-fitting dress that hangs straight from the shoulders without a defined waist.


Choucha

A handmade tassel.


Column Dress

A long, straight-cut dress that gently fits the body but disguises curves.


Cotton

A naturally breathable material that has been used in apparel in India, North Africa and the Middle East since 3300 BCE. Made from the cellulose from the cotton plant most Moroccan cotton is 100% organic.


Cowl

A soft draping of fabric, cut so that the fabric can hang in soft folds. Often found on necklines and backs.


D

Deraa

A loose robe, similar to gandora but open at the sides for additional ventilation typically worn by men in the Sahara desert regions. 


Djellaba

Popular Moroccan outerwear, this is a long and loose robe worn by both men and women in Morocco. Usually made from cotton or wool, this garment has long sleeves and a pointed hood.


Dolman Sleeve

Similar to a batwing; a dolman sleeve has a large armhole, extends from the bodice and narrows at the cuff.


E

Embellishments

A superfluous ornament that adds beauty, decoration or elegance. 


Embroidery

Method of decorating fabric with designs stitched in coloured threads, yarns, beads, sequins, crystals or applique. Refined and complicated embroidery designs must be created by hand with more simple designs often stitched by machines.


Empire Line

Low cut dress with a high waistline and short bodice. The waist seam often runs beneath the bust with a full skirt falling from that point to the floor.


F

Fez

Male headdress in Morocco. It is a small truncated-cone-shaped skullcap, often made from felt and adorned with a tassel on top.


Floral

The name used for a fabric printed with flower motifs.


Fluted

A long sleeve that follows the shape of the arm and then flares at the wrist.


G


Gandora (gandoura)

Similar robe to djellaba but with shorter sleeves and no hood. It can be worn by men and women.


H


Harem pants

Loose-fitting trousers tied or gathered at the ankle, popular in Turkish dress and belly dancing.


Haute Couture

Exclusive custom-fitted fashions that are the pinnacle of the fashion industry. French for high sewing or dressmaking.


Hem

The edge of a piece of cloth or garment is folded up and sewn down to enclose the cut edge so that it cannot fray or unravel.


Hijab

Muslim female headpiece. It is a headscarf worn around the head and neck. It is often worn together with an abaya cloak by Muslim women.


Hounds-tooth

A duotone textile pattern of checks and four-pointed shapes, used particularly for outerwear, jackets, and skirts.


I

Inseam

The seam in a trouser/pants or shorts that runs from the crotch to the hem. Leg length is measured based on the inseam.


J

Jabador

A comfortable tunic and pants of the same colour made from cotton or linen. The Tunic can vary in length from the ankle to the waist and depending on the decoration, the jabador can be suitable for important occasions.


Jersey

Stretchy fine knitted fabric, used in t-shirts and sportswear and figure-hugging garments; especially good for draping


K

Kaftan (caftan)

Female flowing robe, usually, richly decorated. It is a festive garment worn for special occasions. It can be made from cotton, wool, silk, or velvet. A Moroccan kaftan is the main dress rather than outerwear, and it is often belted with a matching decorative belt.


Kimono

Japanese-influenced coat-like garment with long wide rectangular sleeves and a belted waist. Fabrics used are often luxurious and highly decorated.


Kitane

A braided  trimming that can be added as a decoration to North African clothing or added to the seam to aid with structure. Can be woven by hand or made by machine.


L

Lamé

A shiny fabric made with either gold or silver metallic threads.


M

Maxi

The name given to a long, full-length skirt or dress.


Melhfa

A type of clothing worn by southern Moroccan women. About four metres long, it wraps around the body to keep the wind out and keep the body cool.


Mejdoule

An elaborate woven rope with decorative knots often used for belts or tassels in traditional Moroccan apparels.


Mlifa (M’lifa)

Soft to the touch high-end fabrics used for making djellaba and kaftans.


Monochromatic

The use of a single colour used throughout an article of apparel.


N

Niqab

Muslim female headpiece. It is a black veil that covers the women’s head and face leaving only the eyes uncovered. It is worn with other traditional Muslim clothes.


O

Opaque

Non-transparent or sheer.


Oversized

Enlarged garments, where proportions are played with to alter the natural silhouette of the wearer.


P

Pattern

A repeated decorative design that can be printed onto (or stitched and woven into) a fabric.


Print

An inked design applied to fabrics such as cotton, silk or polyester.


R

Ruche/Ruched

Fabric gathered and sewn into a seam shorter than the length of the fabric. Often used for trim but also used to create draping and texture within the body of the garment


S

Satin

A cloth, usually woven from silk with a lustrous top surface and a dull back.


Selham

A cape with a hood and tassel closure worn as outerwear designed to keep out the wind. Length can vary.


Sfifa

An intricate woven ribbon that is appliqued directly onto the fabric, Often placed around the centre opening of a djellaba and accompanied by Kitane and Aakads to create a decorative closure.


Sheer

A semi-transparent fabric with a very fine knit, often used to produce tights, leggings and stockings, lingerie and blouses.


Silhouette

The outline or contour that a garment creates when worn.


T

Tapered Leg

Pant legs that become progressively narrower toward the ankle. The tapered leg has a relaxed fit through the thigh and knee and tapers from the knee to the ankle.


Tulle

A very fine mesh-like net fabric, used in evening wear and bridal gowns.


Tunic

A long or short, usually sleeveless, straight, garment worn over the body.


Twin Set

A matching set of apparel often includes pants and a matching top or tunic, but can also include a sweater and matching cardigan.


Q

Qandrissi

Moroccan men’s baggy trousers. Perfect for warmer climates.


V

Velvet

Developed in the far east around the 13th century, this is a rich material with a closely woven short pile. It is soft to the touch and is usually reserved for luxury clothing or furnishings.


Vent

An opening in the fabric that allows for greater movement and ventilation.


W

Wide Leg

Refers to a type or style usually associated with jeans where the entire leg portion is extra wide. Wide Leg pants are designed with a wider fit around the hip, thigh, knee and hem, which helps to balance out curvy hips.


Y

Yoke

A part of a garment that typically fits over the shoulders, to which the main part of the garment is attached. The yoke is usually observed as a seam running horizontally over the upper back.