• Jon Mitchell

Fashion Acronyms, Fashion Abbreviations, Fashion Terminology

Updated: Mar 26

I recently posted on Linkedin some fashion acronyms, abbreviations, and the fashion terms that they relate to. I thought it might be useful for young fashion designers to learn some of the fashion terminologies that pop up regularly in the fashion industry. Little did I know that it would prove so popular and I would be the one ending up getting schooled!


I thought it would be good to try and compile all these fashion terms into one easy guide for future reference, with the abbreviation and a brief description of what it means.


Before I do this I just want to quickly explain what a fashion acronym and a fashion abbreviation are and how they are used.


There will be many times when you are receiving emails as a fashion designer or within other areas of the fashion industry where you will come across shortened words that you don't understand for terms that you don't know the meaning of. If you are like me you will be able to go a long time, possibly years, blagging that you know the meanings of some of these fashion acronyms and fashion ternimologies.


What is a fashion abbreviation and a fashion acronym?


Firstly an abbreviation encompasses all ways you can shorten a word, so an acronym is actually an abbreviation. Examples of this are App = Application, Fty = Factory or CF= Centre front.


An acronym is a certain type of abbreviation where the first letters of a group of words are joined together to save time ie. BOM = Bill Of Materials or CAD = Computer-Aided Design.


With that out the way here's your:

Handy Guide to Fashion Acronyms, Abbreviations and Fashion Terminology


Written in UK English (US and global spellings of certain words may vary). Please note that some abbreviations can have more than one meaning.

AOP - All Over Print. A print that covers an entire panel or entire garment. Normally the print repeats and often the entire length of fabric will be printed.


ASAP - As soon as possible. Not really a fashion term but you are gonna see it regularly.


AWB - Airwaybill. A receipt issued by an international airline for goods.


BND - Back neck drop. The measurement from the HSP to the lowest point at the edge of the back neckline.


BNL - Back neck label. A label sewn inside the back neck.


BNT - Back neck tape. A tape sewn inside the back neck at the collar.


BOM - Bill of materials. A document itemising everything needed to create the finished garment.


BULK - Not an acronym. When sampling's finished and approved and you are ready to start producing the main order, 'start the bulk production'.


CAD - Computer-aided design. A term for a garment drawing made on the computer.


C&S - Cut and Sew. Pieces of fabric sewn together to make a garment. Normally as a designer, it involves adding some paneling to a simple garment.


CB - Centre back. The vertical measurement dissecting the back left and right side in the middle of the two


CC - Colour card or colour chart.


CF - Centre front. The vertical measurement dissecting the front left and right side in the middle of the two.


CIF - Cost, insurance, and freight. This means the seller will deliver the goods on board the vessel. Once on board they are now the buyer's liability.


CMT - Cut, make, trim. This is what happens once the factory receives the pattern and fabric.


CNY - Chinese New Year. A major holiday in China which may affect any dealings you have with China. During that period factories are generally closed and manufacturing grinds to a halt.


CW - Cuttable width. The width of a fabric minus the selvedge.


DL - Deskloom. A sample length of fabric used for checking colours and patterns.


DTM - Dyed To Match. Often seen on tech packs. Zipper tape to be DTM, meaning the tape on the zip needs to match in colour to the body fabric.


EOD - End of day.


ETA - Estimated time of arrival.


ETD - Estimated time of departure.


FBA - Fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon's gonna sort it.


FDS - Fabric Detail Sheet. A detailed description of the merchandise.


FND - Front neck drop. The measurement from the HSP to the lowest point at the edge of the front neckline.


FOB - Free on board. This means the seller covers the expense of shipping to a certain point, so for example the factory may say FOB Hong Kong Port meaning they will load the goods and get them to the port and you responsible for all other costs and liabilities from then on.


FPT - Fabric performance test. A mandatory test report on fabrics that can be requested for approval.


FTD - Fabric technical data. The breakdown of a fabrics makeup/composition/technicalities.


FTY - A lazy way of writing factory.


FW - Full width. The entire unfolded width of a piece of fabric.


GG - Gague. Often used in knitwear, it refers to the number of stitches in a row and how tightly they are knitted.


GPT - FGarment performance test. A mandatory test report on garments that can be requested for approval.


GSM - Grams per Square Metre. A term used in textiles to measure the weight of a fabric.


GTM - Go to market.


HKG - Hong Kong. An important destination on trips to the far east, as it can be the gateway to manufacturing in China.


HSP - High shoulder point. The point at the top of your shoulder where it meets the neck.


LD - Lab dip. A sample of the fabric that has been dyed to your requirements.


LHSAW - Left-hand side as worn.


LS. Long sleeve.


MCQ - Minimum colour quantities. Similar to MOQ this splits down the minimum quantity you need to place with a factory per colourway.


MMENT - Short for measurement.


MOQ - Minimum order quantity. A factory term for the least amount of an item they will produce.


NSA - No seam allowance. This measurement doesn't include allowance for stitching.


OOO - Out of office. Give the person a break. They've had enough of your BS :)


OOS - Out of stock.


OPD - Order placement date. The date orders need to be placed if you are going to hit your expected delivery date.


OTB - Open to buy. A financial budget for merchandise buyers.


PO - Purchase Order. A commercial document and first official offer issued by a Buyer to a Vendor indicating types, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services. Often these need to be "raised" or created.


POM - Point of measure. A point of measure is the place where a measurement starts and finishes. This is broken down into a whole world of POM abbreviations that you will find in this list.


PP or PPS - A pre-production sample is made with actual fabric and trims and is essentially what the final garment should look like.


PPI - Picks Per Inch. The number of weft threads per inch of woven fabric.


QTY - A quick way of writing quantity.


RAS - Risk appetite statements. Produced for key levels within an enterprise; commencing at the Board and cascading down the enterprise.


RFD - Rady for dyeing.


RHSAW - Right-hand side as worn.


RPT - Repeat. Usually referring to a graphic print that repeats.


SKU - Stock keeping unit. This is used to sort out the inventory of a fashion collection. Each piece of a collection is recorded, usually broken down into each piece and each colourway for that piece.


SMS - Salesman sample. Scaled-down versions of real products used to demonstrate features to retailers or potential customers.


SO - Sample order. A sample ordered from the factory. Or it can also mean...


SO - Strike off. A strike-off is a sample of a print or a fabric provided by the factory for you to check before they proceed. Designers often request a strike-off to check that their idea works in reality how they imagined.


SPEC - Technical specification document or spec sheet. Displaying all the measurements and other technical information to give a detailed overview of a garment.


SPI - Stitches per inch. The number of stitches per inch used on a sewing machine.


SPM. Stitches per minute. The number of stitches a sewing machine can achieve.


SS - Side seam. The vertical measurement running down the side from the underarm to the hem in between the front and the back of the garment.


SS - Size set. A complete set of samples in all the different sizes.


SS. Short sleeve.


TBA - To be advised. Often written on tech packs when details are yet to be defined.


TNA - Time and action. A calendar for recording and following up on important milestones of a collection from conception to delivery.


TOD - Time of Delivery


TP - Tech Pack. A technical pack that breaks down all the design details of a garment.


WC - Week Commencing


WH - Warehouse


XFD - Ex-Factory Date. The date on which the supplier needs to have the shipment ready to move from the factory to the shipment forwarder.


YTD - Yarn technical data. The breakdown of yarns specifications.


I hope this helps someone. If you have a fashion acronym or fashion terminology I've missed add them in the comments section and I will include them in the main list. Alternatively, if I've made a mistake, please let me know.


For more information on the fashion services that I offer visit my website.


JMitchellDesign is a Freelance Fashion Design Agency in Huddersfield, England.

Specialist areas include menswear, boys wear, eco/sustainable design, performance, active, sportswear, lifestyle, outerwear, jersey, technical and denim design.


Clothing design services offered are CADs, tech packs, sample fitting and development, trend analysis, fashion illustration, mood boards, prints, graphic design and logo design.


Available for short or long-term projects for established international brands and start-ups.



Fashion Acronyms, Fashion Abbreviations, Fashion Terminology
J Mitchell Design Sudio





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