(03/02/2017) | Categories:
Wedding Dresses |
is nothing more luxurious than a silk fabric. It was the
leading luxury fabric for thousands and years and, while
man-made fibres have, to a large extent, replaced silk
for everyday wear, is still the go-to choice for
beautiful wedding gowns, upmarket men's ties, and luxury
special event wear.
What is silk?
Silk is the product of the silk worm. As such it is the
only natural filament fibre. What can be confusing is
that it is a very versatile fibre which lends itself to
being spun and woven into a wide range of fabrics of
- Chiffon. Usually made of man-made fibres,
but also available in silk. It is a sheer,
lightweight, plain weave
- China silk. A lightweight and inexpensive
silk fabric used primarily for linings. Might also
be referred to as Jap silk.
- Crepe de Chine. Traditionally a very
sheer silk fabric, but today usually made of
man-made fibres. It has aa nubby, crinkly surface
achieved by weaving with yarns that are given an
especially tight twist, creating a less even surface
- Dupion/Douppion/Douppioni. Silk fabric
woven from yarns made from fibres of silk worm
cocoons in which two worms have nested together,
thereby creating a double fibre. The resulting yarns
and the fabrics into which they re made are thicker,
more uneven and irregular in size and texture than
- Faille. Has a very narrow crosswise rib.
Usually used for evening clothes, handbags, and
- Foulard. A lightweight fabric generally
printed with small patterns on solid colour
backgrounds. Used for men's ties, and for scarves,
dresses, and dressing gowns.
- Georgette. While usually made of
amn-made fibres, it is available in silk. A sheer
fabric made of a crepe yarn, giving it a crepe
appearance, it is very similar to chiffon.
- Macclesfield silk. As the name implies,
tis type of silk was originally woven in
Macclesfield. Nowadays this type of silk (small,
yarn-dyed dobby designs) is used in men's ties.
- Ottoman silk. Similar to Faille, but has
a wider rib.
- Peau de soie. This French term means
"skin of silk". It refers to satin-weave silk dress
fabrics with a closely woven face, soft handle, and
a mellow lustre. It can be double-faced and
- Pongee. A fairly lightweight plain weave
silk with a slight slub to the yarns. The term Hunan
silk is used interchangeably with Pongee when
referring to fabrics with this texture made from
man-made yarns. At one time Pongee was only produced
in its natural colours of light through dark tan,
but today may be made in a variety of colours.
- Shantung. Similar to Pongee in that it is
also made with slubbed yarns, but in Shantung the
uneveness of the yarns is even greater. Shantung is
extensively imitated in man-made fibres.
- Surah. A fine twill weave with a sheen,
Surah is popular for both more structured dresses
and men's ties.
- Taffeta. While most commonly made of
man-made fibres, silk taffeta is still available (it
was used for Princess Diana's wedding dress).
Taffeta is a plain weave fabric with a crisp,
somewhat shiny surface. It rustles!
- Thai silk. Silk made in Thailand. It is
fairly heavyweight, often slubbed, and made in vivid
colours which are usually iridescent or changeable.
- Tie silk. Any silk used for men's ties.
Small colourful patterns are often featured in this
type of silk.
- Tussah/Tussore. Silk fabric woven from
silk made by wild, uncultivated silkworms. Tussah is
naturally tan in colour, cannot be bleached, and has
a rougher texture than cultivated silk. Wild
silkworms eat leaves other than the mulberry leaves
on which cultivated silkworms are fed. This
difference in diet accounts for the different fibre
and fabric characteristics.
- Wild silk. Also (incorrectly) called Raw
silk. Wild silk is the silk from uncultivated
silkworms. It is less smooth and more uneven than
cultivated silk. The resulting fabric is usually
duller in finish and rougher in texture than other
types of silk. Strictly speaking Raw silk is the
silk fibre before it has been processed in any way