Luxury Chiffon Fabric: Properties, Uses & More

by | May 1, 2024

We know you are smart enough to understand what today’s discussion is about. Yes, we are talking about chiffon. Not any ordinary chiffon. The luxurious silk chiffon fabric. 

In modern days where the market is full of synthetic fabric for lower price and more availability, it’s not easy to find exclusive luxury silk chiffon fabric quickly. Yet, we managed a few luxury chiffon products last week. Although it took us months of research and study. 

In this article, we will share our real life experience about true luxury chiffon. We will also share the knowledge we gained while studying chiffon fabric. 

So, grab a cup of coffee and read till the end. 

What is Chiffon Fabric?

Chiffon is mainly a luxury fabric made of silk. Designers use this fabric to make exclusive wedding dresses or comfy indoor wear. 

Chiffon means cloth. The name doesn’t tell much about the features. However, this name referred to a type of lightweight, shimmery, and thin silk fabric for women from the very beginning.

What is chiffon fabric

The plain-woven silk fabric has a puckered texture throughout the surface. You can also call this textile a transparent or semi-transparent fabric. 

From a distance, chiffon looks just like cotton gauze, but with added sheen. The yarns are twisted in a way that you can also find some amount of stretch from silk chiffon. 

Many consider chiffon a summer fabric due to its breathability. But the textile also pairs with other fabrics to create different types of dress and home decor. 

Chiffon price range varies depending on the yarn material, print, construction etc. In stores, you can find chiffon fabric at affordable prices that are not luxury. They are actually synthetic fiber replicas of the silk variation. 

Industrial NameChiffon Fabric
OriginFirst named in France around the 19th century
Other NamesNo other renowned name
ConstructionS and Z twisted yarns are woven and dyed with puckered texture
Weight20-60 GSM for luxury chiffon silk
ColorCan have any type of prints and colors
AirflowVery breathable
Moisture AbsorbanceVery fast. Absorbs moisture faster than regular clothing fabric
WeavingPlain weave only
StretchDecent range
Heat InsulationNone
Shrinkage RatioLess than 4% approximately
UsageWomen’s fashion, lingerie, accessories, home decor, etc. 

 

What is Chiffon Made of?

Both organic and synthetic fiber chiffon fabrics are available in the market. 

Silk is the main material to make chiffon. The key traits of silk yarns make chiffon in demand. 

But to make the fabric affordable, companies started to make chiffon using nylon and polyester. The use of synthetic materials started in the 20th century. But the reality is these synthetic fibers are no match for silk in terms of looks and comfort. 

You can also find cotton chiffon fabric. Fine cotton yarns are treated to look silky and shiny like luxury chiffon. 

Another latest material is rayon. Rayon fiber chiffon is cheap. However, rayon chiffon has some durability issues. 

Chiffon fabric history

Chiffon Fabric History

We don’t have to dig too deep to know the history of chiffon. 

It was between the 18th and 19th centuries when chiffon was recognized in European fashion industries. The fabric gained popularity because of being sheer and well-finished. The fabric could create both exotic and elegant wear for women from high societies. 

The name was inspired by the French word Chiffe. It meant cloth. So, you can understand that chiffon created a standard in the Western fashion market for clothing.

The production cost of this fabric was too high for mass production. This is where synthetic materials came into the act in 1938. 

Many thought of using nylon instead of silk to make chiffon products available for all. For some years, the production of nylon chiffon continued by reducing the quantity of silk chiffon. But soon after, the drawbacks of nylon reduce the craze for the textile. 

For this reason, factories went back to producing silk chiffon again. Meanwhile, it was confirmed that silk chiffon is a luxury fabric, and no other material can replace it. 

In the 21st century, The production of luxury chiffon is handled by China, India, and Bangladesh mostly. Fashion houses across the world import textiles from these countries to make exclusive wear. 

Why is Chiffon Still a Luxury Fabric?

After the Industrial Revolution, several high-class fabrics became affordable. But the revolution period didn’t help much in the case of chiffon fabric. 

Chiffon is a sensitive sheer fabric. It takes time to prepare the yarn and weave the fabric. By the time a factory can make 1 bolt of silk chiffon, making 3-5 bolts of premium cotton fabrics is easily possible. 

On the other hand, the demand for silk products keeps growing. Whereas the production of silk solely depends on natural processes like sericulture. So, it’s not possible to fasten the process. 

The gap between higher demand and limited supply remains constant. That’s why silk chiffon is labeled as one of the most expensive fabrics. Only a handful of people from a country can afford to buy this. 

Being able to use chiffon attire shows wealth and status. It became a symbol of elegance. That is why silk chiffon is a Luxury Fabric. 

Silk chiffon holds the supremacy by all means though there are synthetic affordable options.

Properties of Luxury Chiffon Fabric

To understand chiffon better, you should go through the characteristics of chiffon fabric first. 

Construction

We got some crepe silk chiffon sarees and veils to do some tests. It is clearly visible that those clothes have plain weave constructions. 

Chiffon fabric construction

If you look closely or use a magnifying glass, you can see the S or Z twist in the yarns. These patterns offer added strength and stretch. 

Finish

The finishing looks smooth. However, puckers are visible in the chiffon fabric from every corner. 

If you stretch the fabric a bit, the puckers will disappear and the sheet will look plain. 

Texture

Even if the finish looks smooth, the fabric isn’t actually silky smooth if you touch it. 

The texture feels a little rough when you rub it over your skin. Even so, it tends to slip when you put it over your body. 

Apparently, there are no visible textured lines or patterns over the sheet. But in front of the light, the shimmery nature is revealed. 

Softness

You might think the fabric isn’t soft because of the rough texture. The chiffon veil felt 100% flexible when we touched and twisted the veil. So, it is soft enough to be an ideal dressing fabric. 

Even the fold marks also get away from the fabric quite easily. As said before, silk chiffon feels like a single gauze fabric in terms of softness and transparency. 

Comfortability

No doubt that organic materials are comfortable to wear and use. The skin feels great with the touch of chiffon. The fabric doesn’t make you feel heavy like your dress is a burden! 

Breathability

Apart from jacquard chiffon, other chiffon fabrics are completely breathable. 

To ensure, you may put your hand close to your mouth and keep a chiffon piece in between. Then, breathe normally. 4 out of 5 times, you would sense the exhaled air on your hands. It’s like the fabric didn’t even exist over your mouth! You will never feel suffocated.  

Heat Absorption

This fabric gets a big zero in the matter of heat absorption or insulation. It’s obvious that breathable fabrics won’t even trap your body heat. 

Stretch

Chiffon is stretchy. But not like jersey or spandex blends. The existing Z or S twist in the yarns can make the fabric expand or stretch a bit. The feature is handy when you wear a snug-fit evening gown or top. 

Moisture absorption

Chiffon fabric is highly moisture-absorbent. It absorbs moisture 0.5X faster than muslin and 0.2X faster than silk taffeta fabric. But the fabric also dries pretty quickly. You can wash your chiffon cloth and dry it within a couple of hours in daylight. 

Transparency

Being transparent is the key nature of this fabric. No matter how dense or heavy the sheet is, chiffon will feel somewhat revealing. 

Chiffon transparency

An exception is jacquard chiffon fabric. Apart from it, all the other variants are 40-90% see-through. That’s why it’s so popular in making bold and intimate dresses. 

Thickness

Chiffon is as thick as tissue paper. You need a millimeter scale to measure the thickness of your chiffon dress. 2 or 3 layers of luxury chiffon can match the thickness of a regular cotton fabric

Shrinkage

We’ve found the shrinkage ratio very low in this luxury item. Usually, expensive fabrics too shrink around 6-7%. But in the case of chiffon, the ratio is far below 4%. It’s another plus that makes this fabric great. 

Durability 

You can’t expect luxury fabrics to be durable like raw denim or twill. Chiffon is sensitive to sharp edges. 

Chiffon fabric durability

Also, there are recent reviews where users say this fabric can fade in excessive heat or sunlight. 

The good thing is this fabric won’t wrinkle or pile. The reason is the twisted yarns. But these yarns are also prone to snagging and fraying. 

Weight

If you put a chiffon fabric in front of a table fan, it will try to fly away with the wind. 

The base weight range of luxury chiffon is 20-30 GSM. It can increase or decrease based on the purposes. Clothing chiffon will weigh below 45 GSM in most places. 

Color Retention

You can do any type of print or dye on the chiffon fabric. But know that the print won’t last long if you continuously reveal the fabric under sunlight. 

Maintenance

Removing stains or dirt from chiffon fabric is a tricky job. We nearly spoiled a chiffon veil during the test wash. After a few attempts, we found the right way to do the job. We will discuss this process later on. 

How is Chiffon Fabric Made

There is only one universal way to make chiffon fabric. Here’s how. 

Sericulture

The first step is to cultivate silkworms. Farms need to care for worms in a positive environment. It helps to grow cocoons effectively. 

Spinning

The raw cocoons get intense treatment to convert silk fibers. The long fibers are then spun to create rich silk yarns. 

Twisting

Chiffon yarn twist

After spinning, the yarns go to the weaving factory. There, yarns are given S and Z twists (clockwise and anti-clockwise). 

Weaving

Then, the yarns are placed over each other to weave. Plain weave is the only method of making chiffon. 

The most luxurious chiffon is made manually. Hand-woven chiffons are more precise. But the preferred choice is always machine weave. As it saves some time and effort. 

Dyeing

The next thing after weaving is dyeing. Factories use machines to stretch the textile and imprint dye or shade. 

Types of Chiffon Fabric

There are 3 types of chiffon fabric: 

  • Silk chiffon
  • Cotton chiffon
  • Synthetic chiffon

Among them, silk chiffon also has 5 different types: 

Crepe Chiffon

Chiffon with most puckered textures is known as crepe chiffon fabric. More than half of the chiffon produced globally is crepe. Crepe chiffon can make good traditional wear, gowns, veils, evening wear, bold outfits, etc. 

Jacquard Chiffon

This type isn’t transparent at all. It is good for making elegant dresses, skirts, or blouses. This fabric also weighs more than crepe chiffon. 

Satin Chiffon

It’s not completely a satin fabric. Chiffon satin feels smoother and lighter. Fashion houses use this fabric for making appealing lingerie and indoor wear. 

Pearl Chiffon

Party dresses are made with pearl chiffon. The gloss and texture of the fabric are pretty eye-catching. You can’t use the fabric for indoor wear. 

Chameleon Chiffon

This type is not as popular as crepe or satin. You’ll rarely find this fabric. It has multiple shades or tones. 

Organic Chiffon Fabric & Sustainability

Silk is an eco-friendly fabric material. Silk contains proteins. They dissolve with soil or nature pretty quickly. Unlike polyester or nylon which don’t degrade and harm the biodiversity. 

Sericulture is a completely organic process. It doesn’t require chemicals. Besides, the whole process of making chiffon doesn’t emit gas or waste that pollutes the environment. 

Some even weave chiffon with handlooms. It is more safe and requires no non-renewable energy. So, making chiffon is safe for the environment. You will get GOT certified organic chiffon in the market. 

Why is Chiffon on Demand; Benefits & Drawbacks

Without knowing the benefits, you won’t be sure whether to buy a chiffon dress or not. Let’s know them precisely. 

Benefits

  • Appealing clothing material
  • Pairs well with other fabrics
  • Very breathable
  • Good drape
  • High-quality shimmer
  • Versatile
  • Good for grand occasions
  • Safe for skin
  • Comfortable 

Drawback

  • Sensitive to heat and sunlight
  • Hard to maintain
  • Difficulty in sewing
  • Prone to fraying

Chiffon fabric uses

Know the Different Uses of Chiffon Fabric

Chiffon fabric is used in many different ways. It can be for either clothing or decorating the bedroom. The key uses of chiffon fabric are: 

Bold Dress

The transparent fabric can make a statement of your boldness. Chiffon can show your curves in an appealing way that will make you stand out. Pairing a chiffon dress with other clothing can provide a decent fashion in some cases. 

Party Wear

Silk chiffon dresses are great to attend big occasions like weddings, birthdays, or Christmas Eve. Because chiffon is a type of bridal fabric. People prefer this fabric to make gowns for “once in a lifetime” events. 

Indoor Wear

You can ease your body and relax on the balcony wearing a chiffon nightgown. Its airy nature lets your skin hug the cold breeze directly. You might also wear it to spend quality time in the bedroom. 

Lingerie

The soft and thin construction will make good lingerie. Chiffon lingerie won’t create undergarment lines over your dress. It also keeps your sensitive parts safe and dry. 

Layering

Adding chiffon over any plain dress is very common. Layering chiffon with other fabrics makes rich and elegant garments. People who prefer not to be exposed, yet wish to wear chiffon, wear blouses or skirts with chiffon layers. 

Traditional Clothes

Chiffon has ties with several cultures and nations. For example, there are chiffon sarees, veils, and lehengas in south Asia. In these places, you’ll find handmade cultural chiffon dresses. Recently, the chiffon hijab is also on trend. 

Home Decor

Window treatments made of chiffon fabrics enhance the interior. Some even decorate furniture using this expensive fabric. 

How to Find the Authenticity of Luxury Chiffon Fabric

Chiffon shimmer

Follow this instruction to check whether the fabric you’re holding is luxury chiffon or not. 

  • Burn a swatch or thread of the fabric. Original chiffon will burn like paper and create ash that smells like burnt skin or hair. 
  • Put the chiffon in front of a bulb. If the fabric is reflective from different angles, the fabric is authentic. 
  • Silk chiffon won’t be smooth. You can touch and feel the rough texture of the weave. 
  • Luxury chiffon feels airy and flowy. 
  • Check the sheen also. The silk variant of the fabric will have a gentle and colored sheen. 

What are the Alternatives of Chiffon Fabric

When you don’t get your hands on chiffon fabric, you can try these out:

Georgette

This is another silk fabric. Georgette and chiffon have some common features. The difference is Georgette has a denser weave construction. The use of georgette is almost the same as chiffon. 

Organza

Organza fabric offers more transparency than chiffon. The fabric might be less soft. But good enough for making designer dresses. 

Batiste

Cotton batiste might not be a type of cotton fabric for luxury. But it is very soft with a sheer appearance. You can use organic cotton batiste instead of chiffon for a budget. 

How to Sew Chiffon Fabric: Pro Tips

Cutting or sewing slippery fabrics like chiffon is a tricky job. To make things easier, we are sharing some tips from our past experience. 

  • Carefully prewash the fabric. It makes the sheet ready for sewing
  • Don’t use dull needles or scissors in making chiffon dress
  • Cover the fabric with thin paper on the bottom or both sides while sewing; after sewing you can tear apart the paper sheets
  • You can use thin pins to lock the sheet and cut it precisely
  • For more professional work, spread a large newspaper on the table and do the cutting or ironing part. 
  • The stitches should be tighter than regular ones

Chiffon cut

Caring Chiffon Fabric: Dos and Don’ts

Finding the authentic chiffon fabric doesn’t finish your job. You need to know the right way to handle a chiffon silk cloth.

Washing

  • Wash using hands only
  • Avoid warm water and hard detergents
  • Don’t think of using bleach 
  • Keep the cloth soaked in cold water for half an hour to clean
  • Don’t rub, twist, or squeeze

Drying

  • Don’t leave the fabric under direct sunlight
  • Place it over a rope or bar
  • Avoid clips
  • Let the fabric dry under a shade

Ironing

  • Pick a stiff flat surface
  • Spread a plain cloth over the chiffon
  • Check the iron heat elsewhere
  • Start ironing at low heat
  • Don’t press too much

Removing stains

  • If the stain layer is thick, rub ice on it first; then gently use your nails to put it off
  • Take a napkin and soak it with detergent water; rub the stained area with the tissue then clean with cold water
  • Only use stain removers that are certified to treat silk fabrics

Chiffon fabric by the yard

Chiffon Fabric by the Yard

Our personal opinion is to buy expensive fabrics by visiting the store. It lets you check the quality with touch and feel! 

The price of pure silk chiffon isn’t the same everywhere. Luxury silk chiffon fabric can cost between 20-45$ depending on the quality, finish, and print. 

Buying chiffon online is also possible. Only if you know where to buy it. We’ve listed 5 brands and stores that sell genuine chiffon fabrics. The list is based on past-users’ recommendations, product quality, and seller reputation. 

  1. New Tess
  2. Joel & Sons
  3. Bridal Fabrics
  4. Silk China from Etsy
  5. NY Designer Fabrics

Where to Buy Luxury Chiffon

The best places to buy Luxury chiffon garments are Nordstrom & Net e porter. Their collections are exclusive and on demand. 

You can also look for chiffon silk in Etsy. They have varieties for all occasions and purposes. 

However, we suggest to visit Amazon for better deals and offers. 

FAQ

What is the best type of chiffon? 

The best type of chiffon is obviously silk chiffon. But if you don’t have that much budget, go for cotton chiffon instead. 

Which country is famous for chiffon? 

China, India, and Bangladesh are famous for producing chiffon fabrics and chiffon dresses. But Chinese mulberry silk chiffon is considered one of the top exclusive items. 

Which is better, georgette or chiffon? 

Both georgette and chiffon are luxury fabrics and each of them have their own types of benefits. In terms of outlook, transparency, and breathability, chiffon is the better choice. Whereas georgette is good for durability and matte finish. 

What is French Chiffon?

Silk chiffon that is produced in France is known as French chiffon. It has no difference like other chiffons produced in China or India. However, some people still believe the French chiffon to be the best choice.

Summary

Right now, you are one of those few people who knows all the true facts about chiffon fabric. We left no stone unturned on this topic. 

It’s not only chiffon. We always try to bring out the unknown and amazing facts about popular fabrics. Because that’s what we love to do most! 

Want to know more about luxury fabrics? Then click here!

Shariful Alam

Shariful Alam

Shariful Alam Pavel, A fashion lover, passionate marketer. Love to share wisdom based on real life experience to enrich knowledge.
Founder of Muslin Dhaka, a brand, speaks the truth about royal muslin and fashion. Explore the digital fashion universe with organic cotton muslin and much more!

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