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What's that Fabric: Awards Season

January 22, 2014

Awards season is upon us (insert squeal here) and the dresses are breath-taking, chic and inspiring. Bu,t before you start sifting through your pattern collection let's take a look at one very popular award show dress fabric: satin. Satin has a high sheen due to its weave. The warp yarns (finely spun threads that are tight) are floated over the weft. Floats create a more uniform surface unlike a typical weave which is over-under, over-under. This uniform surface can reflect more light than tradtional weaving. Think of the smooth surface of water without wind (satin) and with wind (tradtional weaving). Unfortunatly, the floats are also the reason this fabric is prone to snags. There are many types of satin; some with oodles of drape and plenty of body. Let's discuss. 

Satin Charmeuse: This is the satin that comes to mind most readily when you think of satin. It is light with a lot of drape and can be shaped easily but it is also tricky to sew because it is so slick. It is very important to choose a pattern that includes alot of drape with this fabric. Charmeuse cannot hold a shape very well, it depends on the body to give it shape but it can be manuipulated with gathers, ruching, swags to highlight body assets. 

Duchess Satin: This satin has a great deal of body making it very unlike Charmuese. It shares the sheen but must be approached differently in terms of shaping. Your best bet is to create shape with creative seam lines instead of gathers. Duchess is a very dramatic fabric which makes is a favorite during award season.

Satin Chiffon: This is a lighter fabric than Charmeuse with an tranlusent quality. Typically chiffon is matte but with some stretch and satin has a sheen and no stretch but together, satin chiffon, has some stretch with more shine. Notice how the green gown above has less of a sheen than the previous two dress but it still has the sexy drape similar to charmeuse but it is not as clingy. It is lighter than charmeuse which allows it to drape the body but also float around it. This is my favorite of the three satins. 

 

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This page contains a single entry by Tara Miller published on January 22, 2014 9:40 AM.

Knitting: Slipped Stitches was the previous entry in this blog.

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