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Crêpe

crepe

A light- to medium-weight fabric made with high-twist yarns, in natural or synthetic fibers.

Crêpe fabrics are woven from silk, rayon, wool, or blended yarns that have been twisted or crimped. The texture of the twisted yarns gives the fabric a slightly crinkled surface. The weave can be crêpe, granite, or plain weave, with crêpe yarns typically used in both the warp and the weft.

Silk crêpe is available in several weights, from the very fine georgette and crêpe de Chine, suitable for blouses and lingerie, to 4-ply weights suitable for dresses and suits. The weight of silk crêpe is indicated by the letters MM, standing for Mommies. The higher the MM number, the heavier the fabric.

Wool crêpe is available in lighter and heavier weights and is a popular choice for skirts, slacks, dresses and jackets. A pleasing characteristic of wool crêpe is its fluid drape, which causes it to shape to the body. Wool crêpe in medium or heavy weights hangs beautifully, making it ideal for slacks, skirts, and dresses.

Crêpe fabrics have a fluid drape and are elegant and comfortable to wear. Types of fabric woven with crêpe yarns include crêpe chiffon, crêpe de chine, crêpe de laine (wool crêpe), crêpe georgette, and French crêpe. Knit fabrics made with crêpe yarns can be warp- or weft-knitted.

Use crêpe fabrics for blouses, dresses, pants, skirts, and jackets.

Tips & Tricks

Use thread to mark the right side of the fabric. Silk thread is a good choice, as it leaves no mark, but cotton thread also works.

Use taut sewing or a walking foot to prevent the seams from puckering.

Because crêpe fabrics have little ease, be careful not to overfit your garments.

Choose fusible interfacing carefully and test well before fusing it to your fashion fabric. Fusing may change the hand of wool crêpe. Sew-in interfacing with a comparable drape works well with crêpe.

Stay-tape seams that bear weight or stress, such as shoulder or crotch seams.

If you plan to wash finished crêpe garments of any fiber, prewash the fabric carefully before cutting out. Crêpe can shrink considerably because of the twist in the fibers.

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