Awesome Voile Fabric: Where Breathability Meets Sheer Beauty!

by | May 5, 2024

When it comes to the most breathable and comfortable fabric in the world, voile fabric is certainly one of the top tires. Traditionally, it was less common to make clothes with voile fabric, but after the 1990s and 2000s, it fit any fashion trend seamlessly. Moreover, it also comes with a lot of functionalities.

Before diving in, let’s talk a bit about the researchers and writers of this article. We are Team Muslin Dhaka, an exciting group of people who have years of experience in fashion design, fabric construction, and marketing. With our articles, we provide a real-time experience, even if you don’t have the fabric in your hand.

To achieve that, we experimented and shared several test results with photos. We also went through every prime resource, article, book, and paper about the voile fabric, which took us weeks. 

Excited? Let’s start!

What is voile fabric?

Voile Fabric is a soft, lightweight, plain-woven fabric usually made of cotton. Most voile are made from cotton, but there are synthetic versions, too. The fabric resembles silk, but it’s cheaper than silk. It is usually around 50-100 GSM. (more on characteristics later)

There are different types of voile commonly found. After the popularity of voile, with advancing weaving techniquesmore beautiful voile fabric is being produced. 

As it has excellent breathability, voile works great for summer apparel. It’s also an excellent choice for aesthetic Window curtains. We will dig deeper into those facts in the later part of the article. Before that, let’s check out the highlighted information on voile fabric. 

Industrial NameVoile
OriginFrance
Other NamesInterchangeably called Batiste and Lawn although they have differences.
ConstructionTightly packed plain weave with thin yarning.
Weight50-100 GSM.
ColorSheer white in general.
AirflowVery breathable.
Moisture AbsorbanceToo high.
WeavingPlain-weave.
StretchNo.
Heat InsulationLow.
Shrinkage Ratio3-4%
UsageFor clothing, window, pillow cover, bedding and decorations.

History of Voile Fabric

The exact voile fabric has been around for a few hundred years. However, the history of plain-woven and sheer fabric can be traced back many thousands of years. A similar fabric was even found in the pyramids. That means we have been using light and sheer fabrics for many thousand years, but voile is relatively new.

Not surprisingly, the origin of voile fabric is in France. The word voile is a French word, which means veil. A veil is a woman’s clothing that they use to cover or conceal their face. The cloth needs to be sheer, light, and breathable. Voile is just the right fabric for that. Note that there are non-sheer and thicker voiles too

After seeing the photo, I hope you got the significance of the name Voile.

french word Veil from voile

Historical development

With the expansion of trade, many types of cotton and other textiles started to reach Europe. As a result, a variety of clothes was developed and produced at a low cost. It is believed that voile was developed in a similar era. France is one of the major inventors of the world’s core fabrics. It’s not different for the voile.

In the twentieth century, high-quality cotton voile fabric was used for women’s clothes, blouses, and lingerie. It was also very common to treat windows and use them for decoration. In the 1990s, net curtains got out of trend, and more beautiful voile fabric replaced them. 

In the 2000s, the voile became the new fashion trend because of celebrities and fashion ramp models. Nowadays, it is one of the common fabric choices for more appealing and attractive dressings.

History of Voile fabric

How is the Voile fabric made?

Voile fabric is made with twisted yarn, which contributes to its crisp feel and texture. However, it’s not very tightly twisted like crepe fabric. Here is a general overview of its production methods.

Yarn production

Higher-grade cotton is usually used to make voile. The higher the cotton fiber length, the more durable the fabric will be. Yarn is produced with freshly ginned cotton. The best types of yarns are perfectly twisted and contain a round shape. 

Weaving

This fabric is made with plain weaving. That means the weft fabrics go over and under each warp yarn all over the fabric. Usually, automated machines are used to produce voile fabrics. The machine and method can vary depending on the voile type and grade.

How Voile is made?

How Voile is made?

Finishing and Quality control

In the last step, ironing, printing, and other finishing jobs are done. Voile fabric can contain paint quite well compared to other fabrics.

Types of Voile Fabric

Different factors can characterize voile fabrics. Let’s talk about that a bit.

There are two types of voile based on prints.

  • Non-printed : It comes with a plain appearance, generally sheer, and is perfect for curtains and some dressings.
  • Printed : Voiles can come in different prints and shapes. These add aesthetic appeal to the fabric, making it perfect for pretty dresses.

Depending on the material, there can be several other types of voile.

  • Pure Cotton Voile: Pure cotton voiles are the most common type of voile. It is skin-friendly and anti-allergen.
  • Mixed Cotton Voile: Voiles can also have mixed materials such as linen, polyester, and wool. Mixed voile fabrics have different characteristics depending on the material used.

Characteristics of Voile Fabric

While writing about voile, we conducted several experiments to better explain its characteristics. We used 100 percent cotton voile fabric samples for our experiments. Check out the following points.

Appearance

Voile fabric usually has a sheer appearance. Our one was no exception. It’s a shade of white, but not that bleached glowing white. It also takes the color of the thing it’s kept upon. That means clothes made of fabric will expose your body to some degree.

If you look closely, you will see the plain woven pattern of the fabric. If you scratch the fabric and the yarn moves, that’s not a good-quality voile.  

Softness

Voile is naturally very soft. It has a crispy feel because of the twisted yarn, but that does nothing to do with the softness. Not just soft, it is also very skin-friendly and suitable for those who have allergies & similar skin issues. Voile fabric is popular for making pillow covers and bedding for its extra softness and comfort.

cotton Voile yarn

Yarn quality

For the experiment purpose, we took out one yarn from the voile fabric. After looking closely with a magnifying glass, we observed nice twists in the yarns. However, we had a hard time capturing that with our camera.

Breathability

Voile is naturally very breathable. But how much? We turned on our table fan in front of the fabric and tried to feel how much air was passing through the fabric. Amazingly, about 50% of the air was passing through the fabric. No wonder why the fabric is used for mosquito nets and window treatment. 

Heat absorption

Voile fabrics do not absorb much heat. For a more practical result, we lit a lighter and kept the fabric near it. After touching the other side of the fabric, we did not feel much heat from the fabric. 

Stretch

Voile fabric is non-stretchy. If you pull the fabric, you can observe little movement. However, the movement is not for stretching; it’s natural for light fabrics. 

water absorption of voile fabric

Water absorption

Voile almost works like tissue paperit directly absorbs any moisture within a fraction of a second. This is my observation as well after sprinkling some water on the fabric. Wet voile is even more sheer and tends to attach to the body. But also keep in mind that a lighter fabric will easily dry in air.

So, what does that mean? A great water absorption ability means the fabric will easily absorb your sweat. The fabric will pass air in your body, and also protect you from the heat. It is a perfect choice for summer dresses. 

Transparency

Voile fabric is semi-transparent. If I keep it over my eye like a veil, I can see through without any problem. However, depending on the type and quality of the fabric, the transparency of the voile can vary.

Voile Fabric Transparency

Shrinkage

Like every other cotton fabric, voile also shrinks a bit. However, a high-quality voile should not shrink more than 3-4 percent. So, if you are DIY ( do it by yourself) something, keep the shrinkage in your mind. 

Durability

Voile fabric is long-lasting, but you should use it with a bit more care. As it is light and soft, it can get damaged or out of shape. We usually do a knife stroke test for other fabrics, but we were sure it would cut the voile fabric.

Color retention

Voile is generally great with color, special prints, and patterns. Those prints not only look amazing, but they also last very long on voile fabrics. The print & patterns can also cover some sheerness and create more mystery.

Voile and Sustainability

Voile fabric is made from cotton. Unfortunately, cotton is not very eco-friendly, as cotton plants need a lot of water. But we can’t do much about it; most of the fabrics produced in the world are made of cotton. However, we can minimize the impact by using clothes as long as we can. The less cloth we use, the better it is for the environment. Voiles’ longevity and durability make it a great fabric for that practice.

Like other natural fibers, cotton voile is biodegradable! It is really good for nature as wellCertified organic voile fabric is also available in the market. They are best for Mother Nature.

Voile fabric Uses & Sustainability

Uses of Voile Fabric

Voile fabrics are quite versatile, but traditionally, there are some specific uses of these fabrics. Let’s divide the uses into two categories.

  1. Clothing uses

Voile fabric is great for summer clothes. Women’s and children’s clothes are more common, but men’s shirts are also quite trendy. Lingerie, blouses, tunics, skirts, and chemises are made with voile fabric. Due to its soft and non-toxic character, it is also often used as a kidswear. You can also make bedding and pillow covers with voile.

     2. Household Uses

Curtains are the best item you can make with voile fabric for your house. Light drape and sheer quality make it an awesome pick for curtains. As it’s very breathable, some people also use voile seal on their windows to make them mosquito and insect-proof. This fabric also works amazingly for decoration purposes.

The advantages and disadvantages of Voile fabric

Based on our discussions, let’s recap the advantages and disadvantages of Voile fabric.

Advantages

  • Soft and breathable.
  • Non-allergic.
  • Sensitive skin friendly.
  • Sheer and beautiful.
  • Absorbs sweat very fast.
  • Dries fast.
  • Easy to sew, cut, and DIY.
  • Lasts longer with little care.
  • Suites with different styles and clothing.

Disadvantages

  • Delicate, prone to tears.
  • Becomes almost transparent when wet.
  • Less color choices, usually white.
  • It may not be suitable for making some clothes.

Voile vs Batiste vs Lawn

Batiste and Lawn can be called variations of voile fabric. Their construction and other attributes are quite similar, but there are some key differences.

The lawn is less sheer than voile fabric. It’s also a bit thicker than voile fabric. On the other hand, batiste fabrics are more sheer and delicate than voile. 

Regardless of their major differences, they are sometimes called Voile!

How to care for Voile fabric?

Taking care of the voile is generally similar to any other cotton fabric. But as it’s a delicate one, you should be a bit careful with it’s use. Such as, you can wear it at parties but maybe not while playing or tracking. 

It’s machine washable, but washing by hand is the best way to keep its quality intact. If you are using the machine, set it in a gentle wash. Use natural washing powder & cool water temperature. Air dry voile fabric in the shade instead of using the dryer.

Most Voile producer

Voile Fabric by the Yard

You can buy voile fabric by the yard for your DIY craft or sewing project. It’s easy to find pretty standard voile fabric by the yard for around $7. However, there are premium voile for fancy clothing, which can cost a lot more.

Buying Voile fabric by the bolt will give some extra discount. 

Where can you buy voile fabric?

You can find this awesome fabric both online and offline. While buying from a store is generally the safest option as you always know what you are getting. But there are some trusted online shops that will never disappoint you.

Amazon, Joann, and Mood Fabric are some of the reputed places for great products. But buying the best product from Amazon is a bit tricky as there are a lot of options to choose from. NICETOWN, and Sedona Designz, Inc. have some of the best voile on Amazon. For DIY projects, don’t forget to search Etsy!

FAQ

Is tulle the same as voile?

No tulle and voile are different fabrics, while both are often used for decoration. Tulle is cheaper and a bit stiff.

Does voile fabric need ironing?

Voile fabric is prone to wrinkle, so you will have to iron it after a wash. Use a low heat to press it as too much heat can damage the fabric. 

Is voile fabric woven or knitted?

Voile is a plain woven fabric with lightweight and sheer characteristics, Most of the fabrics we use today are woven.

What is Swiss voile? 

Swiss voile is a high quality fabric made of long staple cotton fiber. It contains 100% organic cotton. Swiss voile is silky soft and has a smoother texture.

Conclusion

Among the decorative sheer fabrics, voile is one of the best options. It’s aesthetic, soft, smooth, and cheaper than other similar ones. We tried to cover everything about voile fabric. So you can find all the necessary information in one place. Hope this article satisfies your needs about Voile.

We have covered other great cotton fabrics like Denim and poplin. Why not take a look?   

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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