History is perfectly Imperfect

Glossary: Defining vintage flaws



Just like it implies, a bite from a flea…smaller than pecking


Little pecks that look like they were made with a birds beak


Generally found in the satins from the thirties and forties, scarring occurs from the top fibers of the finely woven satin being compromised. Generally a surface mar that is only cosmetic in nature.


A snag generally occurs when the fabric gets caught on a sharp object, leaving a small pin hole.


Found in woven fabrics, such as the sheers of chiffon and organza. A pull can be one thread that has pulled from the precise weave. Pulls can even exist straight from a manufacturers production. It is the nature of any sheer fabric to be prone to “pulls.”

Punch hole:

Can be dime, nickel and quarter size. Commonly occurring from well intentioned brides wearing high heels and stepping on their own train. It happens to the best of us! Punch holes can be patched with a similar fabric or covered with applique.

Gown Closure through the decades

1920s: Over the head
1930s: Side Snaps
1940s: Side Zipper-Metal, Back Buttons
1950s: Back and Side Zipper of Metal
1960s: Nylon Zipper, Introduced in late 60s decade
1970s: Nylon Zipper industry standard

Types of Fabric

Crêpe – Used to describe all kinds of fabrics–wool, cotton, silk, rayon, synthetics and blends-that have a crinkly, crimped or grained surface. From the French word creper, which means “to crimp or frizz.”
Crêpe de chine – A fine, lightweight crepe.
Facing – A piece of fabric sewn to the inside of a garment for lining purposes or to add structure to the garment.
Faille – A dressy, flat-ribbed fabric with a light lustre that drapes and tailors well. The ribs are flatter and less pronounced than in grosgrain. Traditionally used for women’s dresses, suits and coats.
Georgette – A sheer, lightweight plain-weave fabric with a fine crepe surface. Sometimes silk, sometimes synthetic. Also called crepe georgette or georgette crepe.
Interlock – a type of cut and sew knit fabric that is characterized by the interconnecting of the knit stitches.
Jacquard – Elaborate woven or knitted pattern. The system for producing these fabrics was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in France in 1801. Some jacquard fabrics have specific names (e.g., brocade, damask and tapestry.)
Jersey – A generic term for a plain knit fabric without a distinct rib. Originally made of wool, jersey fabric was first manufactured on the island of Jersey.
Matte Jersey – A dull, flat knit fabric made of fine crepe yarns.
Schiffli – A type of embroidery characterized by vine-like floral pattern on sheer/mesh-like fabrics, named after the type of machine it is produced on (Schiffli machine.)
Shantung – Medium weight, plain weave, silk-like fabric with pronounced slub filling yarns (slub means yarns are uneven or nubby)
Voile – A lightweight, sheer fabric with a crisp, wiry hand.
Appliqué – Embellishment on a garment where decoration is made by cutting pieces of one material and applying them to the surface of another.



Serving Brides on the Web since 1997, Gulden & Brown at specializes in finding authentic vintage wedding gowns and period accessories from the 1920's to the 1990's. We love vintage and we're glad you do too!

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