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  • A pattern in a knit garment in which cables twist around each another. Cable knits are often used to add bulk to a garment, which increases its warmth and density. Cable-knit stitches can be found in garments and accessories such as sweaters, scarves and handbags. Cabl- knit stitches create visual interest with intricate braids and designs.
  • A term used to describe the slight upward curve or arc that is visible when looking at the profile of a ski or snowboard. Skis and snowboards with traditional camber are well-suited for carving on groomed snow and icy hardpack conditions.
  • A tough, synthetic liner used in boots and shoes, with a high rate of absorption and breathability. Cambrelle® resists odor, abrasion and pilling. It features bi-component fibers that allow the lining to adapt to the motion of the foot. Cambrelle® produces microscopic air pockets that allow air to circulate and cushion the foot.
  • The fine, soft undercoat of the Bactrian camel, obtained from shedding or shearing. Characterized by its luxurious soft quality, excellent draping ability and insulating properties, camel hair is categorized as wool. It is a favorite in sport coats and dress coats. Camel hair garments are usually not dyed, but come in the natural colors of the camel’s hair, which ranges from golden brown and reddish-brown to black.
  • In tents, the canopy is the inner wall of a double-wall construction. In higher-quality tents, the canopy is breathable, while the outer wall (also known as the fly) is waterproof. Modern tents often feature canopies made from polyester or other man-made materials. Some types of outerwear such as waterproof coats also feature a canopy in their construction.
  • A durable, closely woven fabric in a firm, heavier weight. Canvas is used in sporting materials and work clothing. It can be made from cotton, linen, jute, hemp or synthetic fibers. Canvas is used to make tents, awnings, upholstery and shoes. Also known as duck, canvas fabric is well-suited to work garments such as jackets and pants.
  • The inner material of a tailored garment that gives it shape or body. There are two methods of attaching interlining in suits and sport coats. The first is fusing, which means bonding the fabric and canvas at the seams using glue, heat and pressure. Fusing adds body but inhibits the interlining from moving freely, resulting in a stiffer drape. The second construction method is when the canvas is sewn in at the seams, either by hand or by machine. This allows the interlining to move freely, resulting in a more supple, better-fitting garment. The most expensive and desirable is a hand-stitched interlining. Some garments can have partially fused and machine-stitched canvas construction.
  • A polyester fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin, developed by Patagonia. It is bonded to the surface of each fiber and will not wash or wear out. Capilene® remains soft and supple as it ages and will not shrink, melt or mildew, and pilling is minimal. Capiline® is often blended with Lycra® and contains a hydrophilic surface finish.
  • A lightweight, high-strength material manufactured from carbon filaments. Carbon fiber is frequently used to create composite materials, such as carbon fiber reinforced polymers and carbon fiber reinforced plastics. These carbon-reinforced materials are much stronger than their unreinforced counterparts, but still very light. Carbon fiber composites are used to create a wide range of products, from bike frames to auto parts.
  • A metal alloy created by combining iron and carbon. Carbon steel is ideal for making knife blades that hold a very keen edge. Carbon steel is prone to corrosion (rusting), so it should always be kept clean and dry. Adding a light coating of honing oil after cleaning can also protect against corrosion.
  • In footwear, Carbonlite Ionet Suspension or CIS is a support-based platform that integrates the insole and outsole, providing durable comfort and a positive ground feel. On shoes featuring CIS, the insole’s anatomically neutral foot platform works together with the four independent response zones built into the outsole—all of which complement the gait cycle.
  • An optical coating system used in most Carl Zeiss binoculars, telescopes and camera lenses. Carl Zeiss T® lenses provide maximum light transmission and contrast and feature a superior antireflective coating that helps create detailed images in poor light conditions. Carl Zeiss lenses receive a T® coating of up to six layers that are about 1/10,000 mm thick.
  • A warm knit fabric made of 50 percent cotton and 50 percent polyester. Carlux features a soft, flocked nylon lining and is made exclusively by Carhartt. It is used in men’s outerwear and work jackets. Carlux is found most commonly in hooded sweatshirts and soft shell jackets made for layering.
  • Famous for its extra-fine softness and silky hand, cashmere is the downy wool growing beneath the outer hair of the Cashmere goat; only a few ounces can be gathered per year. It takes about four years for one goat to produce enough wool to make a cashmere sweater. Cashmere’s high moisture content allows its insulating properties to change with the relative humidity in the air. Cashmere is used in luxury sweaters, jackets and outerwear.
  • Cavalry twill is a sturdy fabric with a steep, pronounced double twill effect. Originally used in army fabric, cavalry twill is now commonly found in men’s sport clothing such as jackets and pants. Cavalry twill is often made of wool or cotton but can be made from most any fiber.
  • In shoes, a method of attaching the upper to the insole with hot adhesive instead of tacks. Common in fashion shoes, a major advantage of cement-lasted shoes is a lower cost to the customer. Cement-lasted construction can be found in a variety of shoes including dress shoes and some athletic shoes.
  • A center vent is traditionally a vent at the center rear of the suit jacket or sport coat. Center vents are a classic in men’s tailored clothing and are also known as single vents. Single vents are becoming less prevalent in American suits, as many consumers are tending to prefer double-vented suits with vents near the sides.
  • A classic stripe pattern used in clothing and suits. Chalk stripe patterns are usually a light or white color on a gray or blue background and are slightly faded or broken like a chalk line. Chalk stripes are similar to pinstripes but are usually wider and generally more muted than pinstripes.
  • Chambray is a fine lightweight fabric usually woven with white or light blue threads across a colored warp. Chambray can be a durable plain woven fabric made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers, but is most commonly cotton. Chambray fabric is named after Cambrai, a city in Southern France.
  • A soft, warm cotton or synthetic fabric that has been napped, sheared and dyed to imitate a type of sueded leather from the European goat of the same name. The chamois shirt is a favorite among men who wear it during cooler months. Chamois cloth is porous, non-abrasive and very absorbent.
  • A Chatham weave is a relaxed weave, often of linen and rayon, that resists wrinkles, is very comfortable and retains its color well. Because of its softness and comfort, delicate items that come in frequent contact with skin such as dresses, blankets, rugs and baskets are made using a Chatham weave.
  • A soft tufted and often velvety cord of silk or cotton used in embroidery or for fringing. Chenille cord is often made into a fabric that is commonly used for bedspreads or rugs. The word chenille comes from the French word for caterpillar, and chenille fabric features soft, fuzzy yarns that stand out from the cord. It is most commonly made of cotton, but rayon, acrylic and olefin fibers can be used to make chenille.
  • A piece of fabric sewn or fused into the garment. The chest piece provides a smooth silhouette between the shoulders and allows the garment to move with the wearer. Chest pieces are commonly found in men’s jackets and can come in ½ canvas, ¾ canvas or full canvas construction, each of which provides increasing levels of coverage.
  • Cheviot is a very rough, textured tweed that is classically English and made from the wool of the Cheviot sheep, which is native to the hills of Scotland. Cheviot tweed often features warp and fillings that are dyed the same color. Cheviot comes in a wide variety of colors, and the quality of the fabric varies based on the wool of the sheep.
  • An up-and-down zigzag effect formed by the reversal of the direction of the twill at regular intervals. Chevron is usually found in topcoats and suits. The chevron resembles an inverted V and is often used on military or police uniforms to signify rank. Chevrons as an insignia were used quite early in heraldry, especially in Normandy.
  • Chinos are made of a twilled cotton fabric originally used for uniforms, work and sports clothes. The term chino is now used to loosely describe any cotton twill pant and is usually synonymous with the term khakis. The word comes from the Spanish word for China. After the Spanish American War, American troops were stationed in the Philippines where many natives spoke Spanish and used the word chinos to describe pants imported from China. The pants’ popularity rose when soldiers returned home and wore them in college classrooms.
  • A curved indentation in the handle or tang of a knife, just below the cutting edge. A choil is an optional feature primarily designed to enhance grip during cutting. When holding a knife, the index finger should rest comfortable inside the choil.
  • A non-woven, high-quality synthetic leather chemical that reproduces the fine structure of natural leather. Clarino® is a man-made material, so it can be washed and will still retain its softness when wet. Clarino® is commonly used in gloves, handbags and law enforcement gear, and it can be made to resemble suede or top-grain leather.
  • by Polartec®. Classic 100 is a microfleece fabric that can be worn next to the skin or as the next layer out, similar to a sweater. Of Polartec’s® Classic fabrics, Classic 100 is the lightest weight fabric in the series. Classic 100 fabrics are used as first layer clothing or lightweight sweaters and are suitable for cycling, trail running and backpacking.
  • Two-layer Clima-Dry® features a waterproof, breathable membrane laminated to a supple polyester shell for protection from moisture. Clima-Dry® is often used in footwear to prevent outside wetness from penetrating and to allow perspiration (a factor in blistering) to escape. It is used primarily in sports shoes, ski boots, trekking boots and mountain boots.
  • Offered exclusively from Adidas, ClimaCool® is a breathable, antimicrobial fabric that wicks moisture and accelerates evaporation to help keep you dry. Adidas ClimaCool® fabric may also include mesh ventilation in critical zones for additional comfort.
  • Available only from Adidas, ClimaHeat® fabrics are engineered to provide maximum warmth with excellent breathability and freedom of movement. Adidas ClimaHeat® apparel is ideal for hard-working athletes who train and compete in cold conditions.
  • Available exclusively from Adidas, ClimaLite® is a light, breathable and pill-resistant fabric that wicks moisture and speeds evaporation to help keep you dry during intense activities. Adidas ClimaLite® also has antimicrobial properties to fight odor.
  • Developed by Adidas, ClimaLite® Warm fabric has a brushed interior surface for enhanced warmth in cold conditions. Adidas ClimaLite® Warm also offers excellent moisture management and quick-drying performance.
  • Created by Adidas, ClimaProof Wind fabric offers superior protection from wind penetration compared to standard fabrics, making it ideal for chilly, blustery conditions. Adidas ClimaProof Wind fabric is also very soft and comfortable.
  • A popular blade shape for fixed-blade and folding knives, especially hunting knives. The clip-point blade has a concave notch that curves downward from mid-spine to the point. A clip-point creates a sharper, narrower knife point, which is ideal for intricate cutting tasks.
  • Closeouts are items that may be last year's model or color. While closeout items are often offered at discounted prices, the products themselves are always high quality. Closeout items can include anything from shoes, underwear and apparel, to rugs, tents and outdoor equipment. Closeouts are often a high percentage off the retail price.
  • Fabric to which a coating of synthetic substance, such as rubber, PVC, or polyurethane compound has been applied to improve weather resistance and/or wear.
  • A type of shoulder strap used on backpacks. Cobra cut straps go around the shoulders without restricting, pinching or binding at the neck and arm crease. Cobra cut straps are wide at the shoulders and taper down the back. This construction allows for better weight distribution and is very useful on frameless backpacks.
  • Cocona® is an activated carbon polyester yarn made from recycled coconut shells, a waste product of the coconut industry that would otherwise end up in landfills. Cocona® naturally wicks moisture away from the skin, speeds drying, resists UV and controls odor without the use of chemical antimicrobials found in other performance fabrics.
  • Available exclusively from UnderArmour, apparel with ColdGear® Infrared technology is crafted with a special thermo-conductive interior coating that absorbs and retains body heat. As a result, clothing with ColdGear® Infrared technology provides a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than standard apparel.
  • Combed cotton goes through processing in which all short fibers and impurities are removed from the cotton with fine brushes. During this process, about 15 percent of the volume of the original cotton is removed from combed cotton. This makes a superior yarn that is more compact and even. The finest cottons are made from combed yarns.
  • The term comfort-rated boots is used to describe boots worn in cold-weather activities and the temperatures for which they are best fitted. Comfort-rated boots provide a Fahrenheit (or Celsius) degree rating to indicate at what minimum temperature they will be comfortable, assuming moderate activity. The comfort rating will vary with body chemistry, general health and physiology.
  • ComforTemp® DCC uses millions of microspheres preset to a temperature appropriate for the product’s use. Before going outside in cold weather, the user warms the article featuring ComforTemp® DCC to a desired preset temperature. When the user’s body temperature drops below the preset temperature, the microspheres release stored heat. Hot weather users would cool the article before using to help keep the body comfortable.
  • Comfortrel® is a type of polyester fiber. The modification in the polymer and physical design of the fiber itself give fabrics a fresher, softer, noticeably cooler feeling with superior breathability and wickability. Comfortrel® has a soft, natural hand, superb pill resistance, excellent shape retention and a stability that insures against wrinkling, stretching and shrinking.
  • The Sierra Trading Post “compare at” price is our buying staff’s estimate of the original retail price at which a comparable item may have been offered in finer catalogs, specialty or department stores. We buy products from thousands of vendors so the item may not be offered by other retailers at the “compare at” price at any particular time or location. We encourage you to do your own comparison shopping as another way to see what great value we offer. We stand for bringing you and your family exceptional value every day – it’s the foundation of our business.
  • Conduction is the movement of heat resulting from direct contact with a surface. For example, footwear in direct contact with a hot or cold surface will warm or cool the feet faster than if it is in contact with hot or cold air. Wet clothing transmits outer temperatures to the skin faster than dry clothing. Protection from conduction, such as wearing a waterproof or water-resistant outer shell in inclement weather, is important to maintain warmth. Some materials such as metals are great conductors, while materials that are very poor conductors are insulators.
  • A lighter version of Conduit (see below), Conduit SL is the lightest and most breathable membrane offered by Mountain Hardwear. Conduit SL is used to add moisture protection, windproofness and additional warmth to sleeping bags and lightweight active shells as well as insulated garments such as coats, pants and gloves.
  • Conduit® is a waterproof membrane known for its breathability combined with lightweight and quiet characteristics. Conduit® is made up of interconnected hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules that draw moisture vapor away from the body. The process accelerates as the moisture concentration rises, so the more you perspire the more vapor the garment transpires. Conduit® maintains waterproofness under pressure. It is often employed with Coolmax® moisture-moving mesh lining.
  • Contagrip® is a footwear outsole technology that increases traction and adds walking comfort by filtering shocks from terrain. Contagrip® is made of a robust rubber formulation that is very abrasion resistant, and it provides grip and durability on all mountain surfaces. Contagrip® is manufactured by Salomon, and can be found in many pairs of their running shoes and boots.
  • Convection is the transfer of heat and/or molecules by currents of air or liquids. When clothing or footwear allows the free passage of air, it leads to more rapid heating or cooling. Windproof shells help prevent convection; conversely open mesh in footwear and clothing helps ventilation. Convection is the primary form of heat and mass transfer on Earth.
  • CoolMax® is a proprietary polyester fiber that, when used as a fabric, has superb wicking properties, moving unwanted body moisture away from the skin and speeding the cooling process by evaporation. CoolMax® polyester is used in socks, garment linings and lightweight apparel, such as T-shirts.
  • CoolMax® Alta is a development in CoolMax® technology that nearly eliminates pilling in the fabric, for a smooth, clean appearance. CoolMax® and CoolMax® Alta are known for their exceptional wicking and moisture management properties. The two technologies can be found in both performance and casual clothing items and are manufactured by INVISTA.
  • Cordlock is the small plastic attachment with a spring-loaded plunger that is used on a drawstring to lock it in place. Also called a cord fastener or a cord stopper, cordlocks are commonly found on the lacings of boots and athletic shoes and the drawstrings and bottom hem of winter jackets.
  • A cordovan is a kind of shoe leather made from split-horse hind. Named for Cordoba, Spain, where it was first made, cordovan is rare and expensive since one hide will only make 2-3 pairs of quality dress shoes. Cordovan leather is separated into the front and shell of the hide, and both leathers are used primarily in shoes. However, shell cordovan is sometimes used to make finger protection tabs for recreational archery.
  • Cordura® is a nylon fabric that is extremely resistant to abrasion and punctures, relatively lightweight and very durable. It was originally developed in 1929 but evolved during World War II. It is available in 160-denier, 330-denier, 500-denier and 100-denier versions. Uses of Cordura® include lightweight performance apparel; backpacks, bags and luggage; hiking, hunting and work boots; workwear and uniforms.
  • Corduroy is a durable cut-pile fabric distinguished by vertical ridges or cords, which are called wales. Usually made from cotton or a cotton blend, corduroy’s wales come in fine-wale fabric (high count per inch) or a wide-wale fabric (low count per inch). The word corduroy comes from the French word for “cord of the king.”
  • Corduroy print imitates the wales of genuine corduroy by printing narrow shadowed stripes directly onto the fabric. The resulting fabric has a visual corded texture without the bulkiness that comes from fabric made of real corduroy. Printed corduroy can be seen in many styles of clothing, from jackets and vests to shirts and skirts.
  • Core Ventilation System is a patented system that ventilates the body’s core, treating the cause of the problem — excess heat in your body’s core — rather than the symptom, underarm sweat. Adequate ventilation is considered more critical for men than women because men have more active sweat glands. The Core Ventilation System uses large, strategically placed, adjustable zippered vents to cool the torso, where most body heat is generated. As a person moves, vents pull cool air in and push warm air out; this is important during periods of high exertion.
  • Cosmetic blems or irregulars are items with minor cosmetic blemishes or slight irregularities that do not affect the fit, performance or longevity. The label of cosmetic blems and irregulars is usually clipped or marked by the manufacturer, and they are often offered at discounted prices. Also see the glossary entry for 2nds.
  • Covert twill is a midweight twill fabric, usually wool, constructed from two yarns of different colors. This produces a slightly mottled look. Covert twill was originally used by French sportsmen but is most commonly found in topcoats and pants. The term covert is derived from the French word couvert, which means cover or shelter.
  • A stainless steel produced by Crucible Industries. CPM-S30V steel contains 14% chromium, 1.45% carbon, 4% vanadium and 2% molybdenum. CPM-S30V steel has a high hardness, high chip resistance and excellent edge retention.
  • Not to be confused with the French-style pancakes, crepe, or crape, is a fabric made from high-twist yarn that is characterized by a dull, crinkling and sometimes dry surface. It is usually found in a summer weight fabric. The word crepe is derived from the Latin word crispus, meaning “curled.”
  • Crested buttons are metal buttons with crests or other detail etched into the surface. Crested buttons are often used in traditional blazers. Crested buttons gained popularity in military uniforms and later crossed over to the Ivy League, where the etching in the buttons sometimes captures a university’s symbol or crest.
  • Cross-dyeing is the dyeing of a yarn or fabric composed of two or more different fibers that take up the dye in a different manner. Cross-dyeing produces a multicolored, iridescent, striped or checkered effect. Cross-dyeing is often used to create soft, misty colorings, but strong patterns can also be created using this method, depending on the fibers used.
  • Crosstech® is a fabric technology used in clothing worn by EMS, law enforcement and fire-fighting personnel. It provides liquid penetration resistance against blood and body fluids, as well as superior performance unmatched by any other waterproof and breathable barrier fabric. Crosstech® fabrics also provide protection based on two ratings: Total Heat Loss, which is the measure of how much heat a fabric allows to pass through it, and Thermal Protection Performance, which measures a garment’s thermal insulation in the presence of direct flame and radiant heat.
  • Cyamlume® is a solid ester that can be synthesized using phenol and oxalic acid. Its oxidation products are used to create chemiluminescent materials used in light sticks for outdoor safety, camping, hunting and other situations where no other light source is available. The scientific name for Cyalume® is diphenyl oxalate.