Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Don't you say 'rustle'!

Readers, it's time for linguistics! Ok, couture-related linguistics, no worries, I am staying on track!

Here is the proof - a beautiful couture taffeta gown:

Here - "England's Italian football manager Fabio Capello claims he can manage his players with just 100 words," BBC's Peter Jackson writes. This is extreme, right? But, honestly, sometimes, when I hear some people talk on the street, or while commuting, I am surprised how they can manage to communicate complex situations with about 15 (?) words!!!!

We don't want to be so far down the food chain, readers, right? So, let's believe that we all actively use more than 1,500 words suggested for an intermediate level, shall we? And today I am plugging in a new word I discovered while at Camp Couture! Guess who enlightened us? - S.K. 

Ta-da... the word of the day is SCROOP! No, not the alien spider/crab-like creature from Disney's Treasure Planet! - What? You know the word?  - Well, I didn't - I am not a native speaker, you know. And I feel pretty smart, readers, for I could not find 'scroop' in my Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary! And, if you are smarter than me, read on anyway, I got some good tips on how to get rid of the scroop, or how to restore the scroop! 

So, what's a 'scroop'? Encyclopedia Britannica defined it as an 'occurrence in taffetta' (with misspelled 'taffetta'). Now, guess what an 'occurence' is!  If you ever held silk taffeta, or similar silks, you will remember its characteristic rustle. Well, this rustle is called 'scroop' and don't you ever say 'rustle'! It's scroop! 

The scroop is an indication of the quality for taffeta: scrunch the fabric in your hand and listen! Go to your favorite fabric store and scrunch taffetas and silks there, and don't get distracted by baffled shop assistants. I am serious - this is how I choose tomatoes at a farmers' market! I don't scrunch them, of course - I smell them! The smell of a ripe tomato is engraved in my brain - it's so wonderful. No wonder Austrians call it a 'Paradeiser', which literally means a 'paradise thing'.

But let's rewind back to the scroop. If your silk is too 'scroopy' (not sure about the use as an adjective, I admit), you can give it a warm soapy bath. And, a solution of 5% white vinegar and water will restore the 'scroopiness'. (The tip is, by the way, from my favorite fabric book 'All About Silk')

By the way, Mr. Frabjous told me the other day that my blog is becoming 'obscure' - bias-stay-tapes alikes, and, now, 'the scroop'...  I will give it a thought some day...

And if you thought it was over with the scroop - nope! There is another word for it - 'froufrou', which is en français, chères lectrices et chers lecteursWhich one do you like more? I will vote for 'froufrou' - Your turn now! And do share some rare or obscure words! 


  1. Christine MicheelApril 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    What a great post!  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I loved learning the new word scroop.  I was even more pleased to learn about the origin of the word froufrou, however.  I am going to go read more about it! 

  2. Thanks for the scoop on scroop! Is there any way to tell what's the right amount of scroop-i-ness? 

  3. Perhaps you know the "froufrou" song? A all-women French talk show used a modern version for it's theme song and title. Here's the original: the talk show's opening credits:

  4. Ooh I hadn't heard of the scroop word - I am naughty and use rustle!  I always warned brides about the noise taffeta makes and it usually put them off it, but some loved the idea.

  5. naughty Sherry :-) Are you still making bridal gowns?

  6. I enjoyed this post too!    I always learn something new when I read your posts - thank you!!

  7. Desolée, mais Monsieur Frabjous a tort.  :-) Blogs are more interesting when their authors use the space to discuss things that interest them that would not be featured elsewhere.

    This is a self-styled couture blog, so it's already relatively rarefied; nothing wrong with that.

    Scroop away!

  8. Carmen Bouchard SalvanApril 5, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    I like froufrou best because is has a lot more meaning. It implies something about feminity and clothing and couture embellisments  that scroop does not have. 
    Tell Mr Frabjous that it might be obscure for him, but not for us!

  9. Louise DahlstromApril 5, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    I love your post too.... Quite amusing and informative at the same time...:) don't worry about Mr Fabjous.... Lol ... Tell him we are all a little obscure....
    Personally I don't like the scroop in any fabric.... I worry about the sound especially as I am not thin... I don't want anything that will accentuate my build.... So I try and avoid fabrics with scroop...
    But the Frou Frous gets my vote.... At least it sounds more elegant... Lol....
    That silk book looks most interesting and think it needs to make it's way to my bookcase....:) and the wool one too..... :)
    Do you think this photo is the inspiration behind Angelina's Oscar Pose?? That is the first thing I thought of when I saw Eat your heart out Angelina.. It has been done before.... :)
    I look forward to many more "obscurities " on Couture here on your blog... :)
    Lou x

  10. Well you learn something new everyday haha!! That's quite interesting that there is a term to describe the noise of taffeta, I think i prefer froufrou than scroop though!! Thanks for the insight!



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