I remember reading a word containing T-S-L that describes ornamental cords or brushes that decorate uniforms, perhaps curtains and the like. I thought it was *tassle but came up empty. Which word am I thinking of?

PS: It is tassel. I am just an idiot. Wiktionary has a picture

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  • The cords themselves aren't tassels. The flared-out threads at the end are.
    – muru
    Sep 9, 2019 at 1:58
  • Those are not (all?) military tassels. They are on end of curtain pulls.
    – Lambie
    Sep 9, 2019 at 13:27

3 Answers 3


piping (Cambridge Dictionary)

- a folded strip of cloth, often enclosing a cord, used to decorate the edges of clothes or furniture

In the context of "decorative clothing", the idea is that the strip of cloth is folded into what looks like a thin pipe or tube. Note that in a culinary context, you might decorate a cake with sugar and/or cream-based "piping" using a "piping bag" (a fabric bag containing material forced out through a pipe, a bit like a grease gun).

Tassels are tufts of loosely hanging (decorative) threads or cords, whereas piping is securely attached / stitched throughout its length on to the main bulk of the thing being decorated (clothes, chair covers, curtains, etc.).

  • I am a 100 percent certain that it started with t, and this is important because I want to compare Ger Zottel. It is tassel, I had searched tassle. Sorry, will delete.
    – vectory
    Sep 8, 2019 at 14:57
  • 2
    @vectory Don't delete your question. Questions and answers are not just here for the questioner alone.
    – Eddie Kal
    Sep 8, 2019 at 14:59
  • @vectory: You might be thinking of Tambour Embroidery, but most native speakers wouldn't know about that anyway. To be honest though, if piping isn't the answer you wanted, I'm not convinced this is a proper question for ELL in the first place. We're not here to teach non-native speakers terms that aren't even familiar to most native speakers. Sep 8, 2019 at 15:32

The generic terms is military braiding/braid.

Here is a British site full of these items. But I think the terms are the same in AmE.

Their tagline says this:

Military Uniform Braid, Lace, Cord, and Other Regalia Trimmings "What the Professionals Use"

They seem to use braid and lace interchangeably.

military heritage


An aiguillette (from Wikipedia) is the name of decorative cords with metal tips.

Similar cords are the fourragère and the Schützenschnur.

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