Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jargon of the Week - Gusset

Jargon of the Week
Okay, no more joking. I'll actually demysitify the term gusset today.

Elle, my sister-in-law and I were discussing a purse she made recently. She asked something about a gusset that was mentioned in the pattern she used. I had no idea what she was talking about, so I thought this would be a good term to define.

I did some research online and figured it out. I found this photo at Wendy's Knits and thought it was a good example. Do you see the small triangle above the ruler? That's a gusset.

A gusset is a small triangular insert used to improve fit or strength. Interesting, eh?

I think Wikipedia has a pretty good definition. It defines a gusset as:
In sewing, a gusset is a triangular or square piece of fabric inserted into a seam to add breadth or reduce stress. Gussets were used at the shoulders, underarms, and hems of traditional shirts and chemises made of rectangular lengths of linen to shape the garments to the body.

Gussets are used in manufacturing of modern tights or pantyhose to add breadth at the crotch seam; these gussets are often made of breathable fabrics for hygiene on wearing pantyhose without panties.

The term "don't bust a gusset" comes from this sewing term; a gusset in this context was usually a piece of fabric sewn between two others to increase mobility or increase the size of the pant waist, the latter being more common in the early 1900s.

Gusset is also an alternate spelling of gousset, a component of late Medieval armor which functions similarly. has a few other definitions for gusset.

gus·set [guhs-it]

1.a small, triangular piece of material inserted into a shirt, shoe, etc., to improve the fit or for reinforcement.Compare godet (def. 1), gore3 (def. 1).
2.Civil Engineering. a plate for uniting structural members at a joint, as in a steel frame or truss.
a.Also called voider. an area of mail backed with cloth, for defending the armpits or areas at joints.
b.a small piece of plate armor at the armhole of a cuirass; pallet.

1375–1425; late ME < OF gousset, deriv. of gousse pod, husk

1 comment:

Aunt Spicy said...

Wow! I had no idea!

ps. That tablecloth on my blog was from the Orla Kiely line at Target. So wish I had bought one!