Fabric

What is Chiffon? Bridesmaid Dress Fabric Dictionary

/ Post by Emma Johnson in

Chiffon is a silk fabric with high transparency and wrinkles on the surface. It is lightweight and sparsely constructed, so it has good breathability. Chiffon can be made from natural or synthetic materials and is perfect for bridesmaid dresses.

What Is Chiffon?

Chiffon is a lightweight plain weave fabric. It has a slight sheen. The warp and weft of chiffon are made of two kinds of twisting silk threads. The S-twisted and the Z-twisted crepe threads are arranged alternately during weaving. So there are small wrinkles on the surface of the chiffon.

The Origin of Chiffon

Chiffon is a French word. In French, chiffon is called chiffe, which originally meant cloth or rag. It sounds like chiffon is a cheap fabric, right? On the contrary, chiffon is actually an expensive fabric.

In the 18th century, chiffon was manufactured in France. But at that time the raw material for chiffon was only natural silk, so only nobles had the opportunity to wear chiffon clothes.

The History of Chiffon as Bridesmaid Dress Fabric

Image Source: Wikipedia

Chiffon did not remain exclusive to the aristocracy for long. In the 19th century, in order to find alternatives to natural fibers, scientists conducted a series of groundbreaking experiments and successfully produced synthetic fibers. For example, today's common chiffon is mostly made of polyester fibers, which are more elastic than silk chiffon.

Due to its lightness and feminine characteristics, chiffon is widely used to make women's clothing and dresses. More and more people choose to wear chiffon dresses to attend formal occasions. In the mid-20th century, chiffon attracted the attention of people in the fashion industry. Designers used multi-layered chiffon fabrics to design fantastic dresses. The popularity of chiffon bridesmaid dresses reached its climax.

Today, chiffon is still the most popular fabric for spring and summer clothing in the fashion industry, and chiffon bridesmaid dresses are also the most popular dresses for spring and summer weddings.

What Is Chiffon Made Of?

Before the 19th century, the raw material of chiffon was only from natural plants and animals, such as silk and cotton. The cost of raw materials made it impossible for ordinary people to afford chiffon dresses. Only upper-class nobles or wealthy people had the opportunity to wear chiffon dresses.

With the development of industry, the emergence of synthetic fibers changed this situation. Today chiffon is mostly made from polyester, rayon or nylon. These materials reduce the cost of chiffon production, giving everyone the chance to wear chiffon clothes.

In terms of the production of chiffon fabrics, although France is the country of origin of chiffon, China is now the largest chiffon exporter in the world.

What Does Chiffon Feel Like?

Chiffon is very easy to identify. You can observe most of the light passing through it due to its high transparency. The lightweight makes chiffon very easy to be blown by the wind. People wearing chiffon dresses always look light and elegant.

In addition, the special weaving method of chiffon forms many wrinkles on the surface, which makes it feel a bit rough to touch. But this also makes the chiffon dress less likely to slip off.

What Are the Types of Chiffon?

Due to the continuous changes and advancements in materials and technology, chiffon fabrics have also been endowed with many different characteristics, thus differentiating into many types.

The advancements in technology bring chiffon many special features, thus people have multiple choices of chiffon fabric today:

Silk Crepe Chiffon: It is made of natural silk. This kind of chiffon is the most expensive among all the chiffon types and is usually used for luxurious dresses.

Jacquard chiffon: The surface of jacquard chiffon is covered with delicate patterns. The chiffon obtains an exquisite appearance due to those designs.

Double-Faced Chiffon: This chiffon applies the same weaving style on both sides. It can be folded and hung freely. There is no need to consider which side is more fragile.

Silk Satin Chiffon: Like the silk crepe chiffon, silk satin chiffon is also made of natural silk. But the difference is that silk satin chiffon is more shiny like satin.

Chameleon Chiffon: The color of this kind of chiffon can change according to the angle of the light. It can be colorful like rainbows. Because of this feature, the chameleon chiffon is popular for making dynamic outfits.

Pearl Chiffon: The pearl chiffon is known for its pearlescent sheen. It is soft and a little cool to the touch.

What Is Chiffon Used For?

Chiffon is versatile for making many types of decorations and clothes. It adds beauty to our daily life. Here are some garments and accessories usually made of chiffon:

Sarees

Chiffon is popular in India for making traditional sarees. With bright colors and delicate patterns on the surface, sarees make the wearers look gorgeous.

Dresses

Chiffon is a common fabric for summer dresses. It is famous for adding an elegant feel to dresses. Designers often use multi-layer designs to make evening chiffon gowns.

Shirts

White chiffon shirts are popular among professionals. With simple designs, chiffon shirts make the wearer look clean and neat.

Ribbons

Chiffon can be used to make belts, gift box straps and decorative ribbons.

Curtains

The high transparency allows chiffon to transmit light while protecting privacy, so chiffon is often used to make curtains.

Why Are Bridesmaid Dresses Made of Chiffon?

As one of the mainstream clothes fabrics, chiffon is thought to be ideal for bridesmaid dresses. Its special characters add unique advantages to the dresses.

Transparency

Chiffon is a sheer fabric. The transparency can easily make the wearer look sexy. However, you can also wear some lining to be more humble.

Breathability

Chiffon is thin. The special weaving construction allows air to pass through easily, so chiffon is comfortable to wear on hot days.

Versatility

Chiffon looks fabulous in every color, especially light color. It easily reminds people of the fantastic days with the breeze in spring and summer.

Drape Well

It is amazing that chiffon drapes well though it is lightweight. The chiffon dress can show your body curves elegantly.

Durability

Chiffon is a strong fabric. The chiffon dress has good resistance to wrinkles. And chiffon is not prone to pilling. The chiffon bridesmaid dress can remain the same size for a long time with the right care method.

Quick Drying

Chiffon is lightweight so it is quick to dry. easy to care for and machine washing is available for some kinds of chiffon. Hang it in a ventilated place without sunshine, the light weight will make it dry quickly.

Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress Trends

Green chiffon dresses are trendy. For example, emerald green bridesmaid dresses are always praised to be classical. The green color reminds people of shading leaves, so people usually feel cool when they see a green dress. The designs below will show you how cool green chiffon bridesmaid dresses are!

Spaghetti Chiffon Dress

The spaghetti chiffon bridesmaid dress is a classic style. The spaghetti straps add a glamorous charm to the wearer. This kind of dress is perfect for pastoral or seaside weddings.

Strapless Chiffon Dress

For formal occasions, strapless chiffon bridesmaid dresses are solemn to wear. With tied-up hair and large earrings, people who wear chiffon bridesmaid dresses will look stunning.

Halter Chiffon Dress

The halter chiffon bridesmaid dresses have natural pleats on the surface. And the good drape of chiffon makes it look very fit.

Off-Shoulder Chiffon Dress

The off-shoulder chiffon bridesmaid dress has been praised and recommended by many people. It is not only fashionable and sexy, but also easy to match various wedding themes.

How to Make A Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress?

Chiffon attracts people with its transparency and lightness. However, these advantages can be challenging for sewing a chiffon bridesmaid dress. The following process of making chiffon dresses could explain the reason.

Make Patterns and Samples

Based on the customer's requirements, the pattern maker makes patterns with cardboard. Customers usually provide design drawings or dress samples. When the patterns are confirmed, then the sample workers will start to make samples by using greige and mannequins.

Cut the Fabric

The tailor cuts the specified fabric according to the sample. Chiffon is a thin fabric, making it difficult to cut. To avoid damage, the chiffon fabric is usually starched to be hard or pressed with heavy objects. Make sure that the chiffon fabric is fixed, and then cut carefully with electric scissors.

Sew

The tailor sews different parts of the fabric together. It should be noted that chiffon is very easy to snag. For better sewing, the tailor usually uses thin machine needles. Sometimes a layer of paper would be placed under the fabric to assist in sewing.

Make Accessories

After the fabric parts are sewn together, the thing we need to consider is to facilitate wearing. Necessary accessories like buttons and metal zippers will be added to the dresses. An experienced tailor will make the accessories both strong and beautiful.

Iron

The finished chiffon bridesmaid dress needs to be totally ironed. In order to remove wrinkles caused during the production process, the ironing temperature should be carefully noticed. After this step, the chiffon dress will look more refined and elegant.

Tips For Making A Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress

Chiffon fabric is light, making it suitable for wearing in spring and autumn. But at the same time, it brings many difficulties to its cutting and sewing.

Check out some tips below:

  • Test the ironing temperature. Too high a temperature will damage the chiffon fabric, and too low a temperature will prevent the chiffon from forming.
  • If the starched fabric has many wrinkles or is too hard to handle, iron it before cutting.

Where to Buy Chiffon Fabric?

Chiffon is very easy to obtain today due to the increasing variety of raw materials and decreasing costs. It is no longer just for the aristocracy, everyone can easily buy clothes made of chiffon material, however, chiffon made of natural raw materials is still expensive. For example, silk chiffon, its lighter weight and better breathability make it still a luxury product.

What Fabric Is Similar to Chiffon?

Chiffon is easy to identify due to its transparent appearance. But there are also some other sheer fabrics like the chiffon. Sometimes you can use them as alternatives to chiffon.

Georgette

Georgette is named after the early 20th century French dressmaker Georgette de la Plante. It is dull-finished and slightly heavier than chiffon. But it has a soft drape similar to chiffon.

Organza

Organza is another sheer fabric similar to chiffon. But what makes them different is that organza is crisper and stiffer. It is often used for multiple-layer designs of dresses.

Tulle

Tulle is a delicate and sheer mesh fabric. It is as light and breathable as chiffon. Tulle is common to make bridal veils for its lightweight. Besides, tulle can also be used for the outer layers of a dress to make it look fluffy.

Voile

Voile also comes from France. It is a lightweight and sheer fabric made from cotton or a cotton blend. Voile is a little stiffer than chiffon.

How to Wash Chiffon Bridesmaid Dresses?

  1. Check the care label
  2. Remove the decorations and stains on the surface
  3. Soak the dress in water under 30℃ for no more than 30 minutes
  4. Gentle hand wash or bagged to machine wash
  5. Hang in a ventilated place without sunshine

Tips

  • Do not wash dresses in light and dark colors together.
  • Do not rub the dress too hard
  • Do not expose the dress to the sun

Sustainability and Ethical Considerations

The various raw materials of chiffon decide whether chiffon is sustainable. If chiffon is made of natural fibers like silk and cotton, then it will be thought to be an environment-friendly textile. That is why silk chiffon is expensive. Most chiffon today is made of synthetic fiber. Synthetic fibers are usually made from petroleum, a limited natural resource. This kind of chiffon may be a little harmful to the environment. In short, the sustainability of chiffon is built on its raw material and production process.

Conclusion

Chiffon is one of the best fabrics to make bridesmaid dresses. With lightweight and breathability, chiffon bridesmaid dresses are welcomed by summer weddings.

From the royal palace to normal wear, chiffon has changed a lot. But what has changed is its raw material and price, what remains is the same elegance and beauty. Try a chiffon bridesmaid dress to leave an unforgettable memory!

References

  1. Chiffon (fabric) - Wikipedia
  2. What is Chiffon Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where | Sewport
  3. Synthetic Fibers | Social Fabric: Land, Labor, and the World the Textile Industry Created

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