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A curved border of soutache trim in drapery found in the Senate Chamber of the Vermont State House.
A beaded mask decorated with soutache.

Soutache (/sˈtæʃ/, soo-TASH), also known as Russia braid,[1] 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.[2] Often woven of metallic bullion thread, silk, or a blend of silk and wool,[3] soutache began to be made of rayon and other synthetic fibers in the 20th century.[citation needed]

Soutache is used in passementerie to add decorations to textiles.[4] In clothing soutache is used to conceal seams or add embroidered decorations.

Tracing braid is narrow soutache trim used for decorating uniforms.[5] In military uniforms, edgings or loops of soutache in different widths and colors are used to indicate rank, particularly in hats.[6][7] In athletic uniforms, a contrasting soutache is sometimes used to trim the placket and outline numbers or players' names.[8]

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.[citation needed]

Soutache is incorporated into standalone accessories like jewelry, typically with beads.[2]



  1. ^ Baker 1908, p. 209.
  2. ^ a b Sweet-McNamara, Amee (2013). Soutache & Bead Embroidery. Kalmbach Books. p. 6. ISBN 0871167506.
  3. ^ Baker 1908, p. 239.
  4. ^ Bednar, Nancy; Pugh-Gannon, Joann (2001). "Passementerie". Encyclopedia of Sewing Machine Techniques. New York: Sterling Publishing Co. pp. 172–175. ISBN 0806963654.
  5. ^ Baker 1908, p. 298.
  6. ^ Baker 1908, pp. 112–113.
  7. ^ "Fashions in Braids". Textile America's Weekly Bulletin of Wool, Woolens, Dress Goods and Cloakings. Vol. 1 no. 20. 28 August 1897. p. 47. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  8. ^ SD Hat Guy (1 May 2018). "Fort Wayne TinCaps Debut New Unis". Gaslamp Ball. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved 8 February 2019.


  • Baker, William Henry (1908). A Dictionary of Men's Wear. Cleveland: Press of the Britton Printing Co.

Continue reading[edit]

  • Pegler, Martin M. (1983). The Dictionary of Interior Design. New York: Fairchild Publications. ISBN 0870054473.