Apparel Construction from A to Z: Embellishments

In fashion, you may see garments that have a lot of intricate details on them. Some details are very subtle. Some are over-the-top. Whether grandiose or barely seen these design details add interest to the garment. That design interest helps to set fashion designs apart from each other.

In fashion, these little details that add interest to a garment are called embellishments. There are various kinds of embellishments you can add to a garment. Some embellishments can be a design marker letting everyone know the garment or accessory come from specific designer or design house. Some embellishments have become signatures of certain styles of clothing; such as, piped seams in knit fabrics are found most often in active wear. Other embellishments are hallmarks for event specific apparel like pearl beading on wedding dresses or jeweled details on formal evening wear.

Examples of embellishments include:

  • Appliqué
  • Embroidery
  • Piping
  • Fringe
  • Beading
  • Sequins
  • Batik

Even functional design details or accessories can be used as embellishments such as:

  • Zippers
  • Lace overlays
  • Buttons
  • Buckles
  • Grommets
  • Jewelry 

All of these things can make a plain design like a pair of blue jeans look interesting and unique if strategically placed on the garment.

Which type(s) of design embellishments are you fond of?

Main Image Credit: Frazer Harrison; 2015 Getty Images

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