Chiffon Fabric

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Chiffon is the term used to refer to different types of fabric that all share similar qualities. This fabric is noted for its sheerness — in other words, it features a simple weave, making it light and semi-transparent. 

What is chiffon fabric?

Chiffon was initially produced in France, and the fiber of choice was silk. At the time, silk was rare and expensive, so chiffon and other silk-based fabrics were reserved for upper-class women in Europe and the United States. During the dawn of the industrial age, the production of chiffon expanded worldwide, and eventually, manufacturers started using other fibers for this type of fabric other than silk. 

What are the different types of chiffon fabric?

As a fabric, chiffon has undergone several changes throughout the years. Once, it was exclusively made from silk, but now there are different types, and all of them vary on the materials used. These non-silk materials can be organic, semi-synthetic, or fully synthetic (e.g., polyester and rayon).

The following are some of the most common types of chiffon fabric that you can find on the market today.

  • Silk crepe chiffon. This is the most popular type of chiffon fabric — in fact, this is what people visualize when you mention chiffon. Silk crepe has a slightly puckered texture. This slight roughness is what makes this type of fabric famous among many designers and producers.
  • Silk satin chiffon. Unlike silk crepe, silk satin chiffon features a smoother texture. It’s also more transparent and lightweight.
  • Pearl chiffon. As the name suggests, pearl chiffon features a pearlescent shade and glossy texture. With these characteristics, this type of chiffon stands out from other kinds. 
  • Jacquard chiffon fabric. This type of chiffon is both quite thin and hefty, which is why it’s popular for kurta dresses and scarves. 
  • Chameleon chiffon fabric. This fabric is named as such because it features a multi-toned appearance. This characteristic is why the chameleon fabric is one of the rarest varieties available on the market today. 

What is chiffon fabric used for?

Because of its sheerness, delicate texture, and feathery weight, chiffon fabric is primarily used to make clothes for women. But it’s not for daily apparel — instead, it’s used to make nightgowns, evening wear, or blouses meant for special occasions. 

Additionally, since chiffon is semi-transparent, it’s common to use it to make overlays — a type of garment that goes over opaque types of apparel to give off a texture or delicate appearance.