Dutch Clothing Terms: A Glossary

A disclaimer:

I do not speak or read Dutch. This list of words was compiled from various sources, the reference list for these is at the end of the page. If you have any corrections or additions to this list of words I would really like to hear from you.

Most of the clothing terms come from a book which is predominantly about the Regents’ Period of Holland, the early 17th Century. Therefore some words may not be appropriate for clothing of the period 1500-1530 (the focus of this site). This can be determined either through knowledge of the clothes of the period, e.g corsets and hip pads are late 16th century, or through the dates I have listed against a word.

The weaving and embroidery terms come from a Dutch book about medieval textiles found in the Abbey of Sint-Truiden. The textiles are from the period 1250-1400. The list is probably a modern, technical list rather than a list of period terms.

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment on this page, specifially Henk t’Jong and Christina Lemke for their long lists of suggestions. I hope this page is helpful to you in your costume or textile research.

Clothing Terms ¦ Weaving terms ¦ Embroidery terms ¦Other terms ¦ References

Clothing Terms

  • Akertjes – acorn-like filial
  • Boershabijt – peasant or rural dress, generic term.
  • Borsa – purse
  • Bouwen – overskirts, usually including the bodice (17th C)
  • Dreumelhoetje – brimless peasant hat, in the example it was made of rough blue wool.
  • Fardegalijn – farthingale
  • Huik – Cloak or cape of heavy material thrown over head or worn around the shoulders.
  • Hooftijsertgen, oorijsertgen- ear iron. Holds a winged cap firm against the temples, from a painting completed in 1587.
  • Hovetcleet – Headcloth
  • Kapje, kapgen- small cap
  • Kasack – a loose, sleeved mantle like garment; a large coat, often worn as a cape, without sticking the arms in the sleeves, military dress
  • Kasacken – doublet/sleeveless jerkin. Plural of Kasack
  • Keurs – Kirtle
  • Kolder – Male sleeveless leather or heavy broadcloth longish jerkin, military dress
  • Kwastje – tassels
  • Kletje, collet, clet- Gollar. Van Thienen claimed that in 1951 this was still worn as part of the bridal costume of the island of Marken. Derived from collet (Fr.)
  • Lijfje, lijfgen- bodice. Later the corset itself
  • Nachttabbaert – night gown/night wear.
  • Neerstick – partlet/tucker Onderriem – chain, attached to or hanging from belt, referenced in 1608.
  • Onderzieltje, -zieltgen – A type of chemise
  • Pickadillekens – ruff
  • Ruiterrock – riding coat, male, 1625. Looks like a kolder with sleeves or a somewhat less voluminous kasack
  • Sleutelreecx/sleutelraecx – bunch of keys hanging from belt, 1608.
  • Slippen – slips, the “dovetails” on the end of the hovetcleet worn in the painting above.
  • Speer – Hairpin, a sharp and long pin. Referenced in Huygens 1625.
  • Tabbaert, tabberd, tabbert- A long, hanging-sleeved, fur-lined and -collared coat for men, typically scholar’s dress, or a female overdress, also fur-lined. In the picture below, (Maerten van Heemskerck’s “Portrait of Anna Codde”) the black over dress with the folded back sleeves was described as a tabbaert. This term was also used for men’s clothes. It was used in a contemporary mathematical problem in “The noble art of arithmetic” by Jan van Seist which can be found at Stefan’s Florilegium. The term is translated there as a tabard. The problem is from: “Two problems from Christianus van Varenbraken “Die Edel Conste Arithmetica of 1530”.a long, hanging-sleeved, fur-lined and -collared coat for men, typically scholar’s dress, or a female
  • Tripschoen – wooden soled over-shoe worn to protect leather shoes from mud, wear and tear. Known in English as a patten.  There is an extant example at the Boijmans van Beuningan museum.
  • Tuichje – belt chain appendages, literally “harness”. 1608.
  • Vlieger – Overgown, similar to the Spanish ropa.
  • Vrongge, wrong(he), beuling – hip-pads
  • Visserspij – fisherman’s smock

Portrait of Anna Codde

Textile related terms

Weaving Terms
Dutch French German English
S-twist torsion S S-Drehung S twist
Z-twist torsion Z Z-Drehung Z twist
afzetboord bordure terminale Endkante finishing border
betrappeling (trapvolgorde) marchure Trittfolge treadling order
binden lier binden bind
bindfout defaut de liage Bindungsfehler weave error
binding armure (croisure) Bindung weave
bindingspunt point de liage Bindungspunkt point of binding
brocheren brocher broschieren brocade
effenbinding (lijnwaadbinding armure toile Leinwandbindung tabby weave
garenboom (ketting-) ensouple Kettbaum warpbeam
getert (trapper) marche Tritt treadle
hevel maille Litze heddle, leash
inkorting (inweving) embuvage Einarbeitung take up
inslag trame Eintrag, Schuss weft
inslagdichtheid réduction trame Schussdichte weft count
inslageenheid passée Passee weft unit
inslagstap découpure trame Schussstufung weft decoupure
inslagtelsel lat Schusssystem set of weft elements
kaartweven tissage aux cartons Brettchenweberei tablet weaving
kam remisse Geschirr healds
katoen coton Baumwolle cotton
keperbinding armure sergé Köperbindung twill weave
ketting chaine Kette warp
kettingdichtheid réduction chaine Kettdichte warp count
kettingeenheid unité chaine Ketteinheit warp unit
kettingstap découpure chaine Kettstufung warp decoupure
kettingstelsel chaine Kettsystem set of warp elements
kettingvlotter flotté chaine Kettflottierung warp float
legwerktechniek tapisserie Wirkerei tapestry
lets lac Latze, Latzenschnur lash
linnen weefsel tissu de lin Leinen linen
matjesbinding natté Panamabindung extended tabby
ophaler baguette-lisses Schlingenstab, Litzenstab heddle rod
opzetboord bordure de départ du tiss. Anfangskante starting border
patroonkam remisse de dessin Mustergeschirr pattern harness
patroonophaler baguette-lisses de décor Muster-schlingenstab pattern heddle rod
patroonroede baguette de dessin Musterungsstab pattern rod
pellen (blokkendamast damassé Blöckchendamast damask diapered weave
rapport rapport Rapport repeat
rijging remettage Einzug threading, entering
roller baguette-foule Trennstab shed rod
roller-ophaler weeftoestel métier a baguette-foule Webgerat mit Trenn- und Schlingenstab heddle and shed rod loom
ruitenkeper losange Rautenköper diamond twill
satijnbinding armure satin Atlasbindung Satin weave
schacht lisse Schaft shaft
scheren ourdir schären warp
scheut coup Schuss pick
schrank (kruis) envergeure Fadenkreuz cross
sempel échantillon Zampel (as part of pattern loom)Muster (small piece of fabric to give idea of whole, e.g sampler) sample
sempelkoord corde d’échantillon, fil d’échantillon Zampelschnur sample cord
sempeltrekker (-jongen) tireur de lacs Zugjunge drawboy
spoel canette Spule reel, spool
sprong (gaap) foule Fach shed
spronglat latte Klarhalter shed stick
tegensprong contre-foule Gegenbindungsfach countershed
trapweefstoel métier a marche Trittwebstuhl treadle loom
trek (weef) stoel métier a la tire Zugwebstuhl drawloom
trekinrichting la tire Zugvorrichtung drawsystem
trekkoord fil de trame Rahmen-, Zugschnur pulley cord, tail cord
vertikale gewichtenweefstoel métier vertical a poids Gewichtswebstuhl warpweighted loom
vlas lin Flachs flax
voorkam remisse Vorgeschirr binding harness
weefstoel métier a tisser webstuhl loom
weven tisser weben weave
wol laine Wolle wool
zelfkant lisiere Webkante selvedge
zidje soie Seide silk

Embroidery Terms
Dutch French English Other Languages
applicatiewerk appliqué applique
Arabisch borduren point d’Orient laidwork
culte courtepointe quilt, twilt colcha (Spanish and Portuguese)kulter (German)culcita (Latin)
festonsteek point de feston blanket stitch
flanelsteek point d’épine ou de zig-zag herringbone stitch
heraldisch borduurwerk broderie héraldique heraldry embroidery
ingrijpsteek passé empietant long and short stitch
kettingsteek point de chainette chain stitch
koordjes borduren broderie de cordonnets
oosters vlechtwerk entrelacs maltais
parelborduurwerk broderie de perles
platsteek point plat flat stitch
schuine platsteek point plat disposé de biais
splijtsteek point fendu split stitch
versprongen platte steek of vlakvullingssteek point de remplissage
vlak gelegde draad technique au couché couching
vlak gelegde gouddraad or au couché couching to couch with metal (gold) threads
fil métalisé ou fil d’or(if it is gold) metal threads
vlak gelegde gouddraad op grond van koordjes or au couché sur fond de cordes couching metal threads on background of cord

Other Related Terms

  • antiek textiel – antique textile
  • De kleermaker – tailor
  • De naaister – seamstress
  • deskundige – historian
  • eeuw – century
  • 16e eeuw – 16th century
  • dickedinnen – a type of woollen broadcloth fabric produced in Ghent
  • Rooslaken – a type of woollen broadcloth fabric produced in Mechelen
  • gesmoutte draperie – broadcloth woollens industry
  • droge draperie – worsted wool cloth industry


The Great Age of Holland 1600-60, Van Thienen Frithjof., 1951.

Stof Uit de Kist: De middeleeuwse textielschat uit de abdij van st.-Truiden (The medieval textiles of the Abbey of Sint-Truiden) Author unknown, published by the Provinciaal Museum voor Religieuze Kunst, Begijnhof 59 B- 3800 Sint-Truiden Printers, uitgeverij Peeters, Leuven, 1991

Portrait of Anna Codde, Maerten van Heemskerck, 1520. Picture downloaded from the Webgallery of Art, 20 Dec 2004. Pp 395-397. The Rijkmuseum dates this picture to 1529, entitled “Portrait of a Woman”, and claims that she is the wife of Pieter Bicker, a prosperous merchant.

An Moonen’s Antique textile site. http://www.antiquetextile.info/

John Munro, Three centuries of luxury textile consumption in the Low Countries and England,  1330-1570: trends and comparisons of real values of woollen broadcloth (then and now). Available from http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/01_MunroLuxuryCloth.pdf

2 responses to “Dutch Clothing Terms: A Glossary

  1. Pingback: Lucas van Leyden’s The Chessplayers – hats and trade « Clothing the Low Countries

  2. Pingback: Lizapalooza: Historic Costume Research, Recreation and Ruminations

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