A tradename given to a composite material used as an artificial substitute for suede leather.
Alpaca - al-pak-a - Cloth made from the long silken wool of the Peruvian llama. Its texture is fluffy, almost teddy bear like. Normally used to make coats.
Angora - an-gora - Hair of the Angora rabbit. It is extremely soft and warm. Your mum probably had a jumper made from this in the eighties with cats or something just as tacky or grotesque on the front.
Aran - A style of jumper that takes its name from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. It is has prominent cable patterns on the chest and is often cream-coloured. The sweaters are distinguished by their use of complex textured stitch patterns, several of which are combined in the creation of a single garment. It was primarily the wives of island fishermen who knitted the jumpers. Some stitch patterns have a traditional interpretation, often of religious significance. The honeycomb is a symbol of the hard-working bee. The cable, an integral part of the fisherman's daily life, is said to be a wish for safety and good luck when fishing. The diamond is a wish of success, wealth and treasure. The basket stitch represents the fisherman's basket, a hope for a plentiful catch.
A looser fitting, single-breasted coat which has a raglan sleeve. Usually a raincoat. Designed in Scotland, the idea being fewer seams would lower the risk of water creeping in.
Batik - The art of decorating cloth using wax and dye. It has been practised for centuries. In Java, Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik and means to dot.
Beaver-Lamb Fur - Lambskin sheared to look like beaver.
Beret - ber-ray - A round, flat cap usually made of wool and traditionally associated with French peasants or elite military units.
Bespoke - Ber-spoke - Bespoke derives from the word ‘bespeak’, meaning \'to ask for\' some thing. The term comes from Savile Row, where a customer would bespeak a measure of cloth. The bespoke bolt of cloth was not available to any other client until the entire suit had been cut, assembled, and sewn. Bespoke is often confused with made to measure but is not simply a process of tailoring measurements, it allows the wearer to choose materials, colours and any details they specifically request and it is also entirely hand sewn. This is the ultimate in male dressing; the haute couture of menswear.
Binding - This is the tape sewn into the inside of the bottom of your trousers without which the constant rubbing on your shoes might cause unsightly fraying.
Bird’s Eye - A fabric woven with a pattern of small diamonds each having a dot in the centre.
Black Tie - This term has changed somewhat, there was once a time when we were afraid to be under dressed; the reverse is now true. Generally ‘Black tie’ means a dinner jacket. Anything else you team with the jacket is up to your personality and individuality, but never trainers, please.