Soutache (//, soo-TASH), also known as Russia braid, is a narrow flat decorative braid, a type of galloon, used in the trimming of drapery or clothing. Soutache is created by weaving a decorative thread around and between two parallel cords and completely covering the cores; this produces a piece of trim with a braided or herringbone pattern. Often woven of metallic bullion thread, silk, or a blend of silk and wool, soutache began to be made of rayon and other synthetic fibers in the 20th century.
Soutache is used in passementerie to add decorations to textiles. In clothing soutache is used to conceal seams or add embroidered decorations.
Tracing braid is narrow soutache trim used for decorating uniforms. In military uniforms, edgings or loops of soutache in different widths and colors are used to indicate rank, particularly in hats. In athletic uniforms, a contrasting soutache is sometimes used to trim the placket and outline numbers or players' names.
The term is also used in bookbinding, where a narrow soutache is applied at the top and bottom of a book back to reinforce the spine and provide a barrier to keep dust out of the binding.
- Baker 1908, p. 209.
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- Baker 1908, p. 298.
- Baker 1908, pp. 112–113.
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