The Fabric Factor: Chiffon X Georgette

Sarees are an integral part of a woman's wardrobe. Being the great Indian Fabric, sarees are an essence to India's timeless traditions, heritage, culture and craftsmanship. In this blog series, we explore the peculiarities of such lightweight, sheer and strong fabrics of Chiffon and Georgette.

Sarees are an integral part of a woman’s wardrobe. Being the great Indian Fabric, sarees are an essence to India’s timeless traditions, heritage, culture and disparate craftsmanship. Delving into the foundation lies an astounding array of threads in its warp and weft that gives each fabric its peculiar identity and property.

It is the only fair to the much-adored drapes that we take due time and effort to understand their variety and characteristics, to be able to wear and care for them in the best probable way. On that note, let’s start a blog series – ‘The Fabric Factor’. In this, we will deeply explore the peculiarity of such lightweight, sheer and strong fabrics of Chiffon and Georgette, and what makes each of them so exceptional.

Chiffon is an opulent and trifling fabric esteemed for its luster and gleam through centuries. In French, the word ‘Chiffe’ means cloth or scrap, from which the term was fabricated. When it was popularized to the Fashion World, Chiffon was just exclusively finished in silk and was extremely overpriced, making it accessible only to the aristocratic circles. Over the years, it led to bringing synthetic fibers along its folds, making this translucent and tissue-like fabric more reachable to the world.

Technically, Chiffon refers to a weaving technique where the yarns are twisted strongly in a vacillating counter-clockwise and clockwise motion and brought together using a plain weave pattern. This technique when dichotomized with both natural and synthetic materials such as silk, nylon, rayon and polyester gives Chiffon its characteristic net finish, coarse feel, and clear appearance. Exceptionally durable, strong and pliable, it holds the structure well making it a highly preferred choice of drape. To add to it, it is also available in a continuum of prints and color palette.

On the contrary, Crystalline, woven silk fabric from the crepe tribe, Georgette originated at the beginning of the 20th Century in the Fashion Capital, France when it was introduced by the preeminent Designer or Dressmaker Georgette De La Plante, after whom it was titled. Traditionally it was made from real silk yarns which grant it the desired feather touch, svelte feel and a dull finish. Over the years, it has incorporated synthetic fibers like rayon, viscose and polyester in its blend. It is woven with yarns that are tightly twisted in the opposite direction which gives it an undulating textured surface. This lightweight and long-lasting fabric is known to hold dyes well, leading to the popularity of solid colored Georgette Fabrics along with colorful floral prints. Its flexible and breathable nature with the right amount of bounce makes it a fascinating drape for women in India. Based on the complexities of the weaving technique, Georgette can be marked into 5 types- Silk Double Georgette, Stretch Georgette, Satin Georgette, Jacquard Georgette and Polyester Georgette.

While both of these may sound quite similar on first hearing, there are certain attributes that set them apart. Firstly, Georgette has a compact weave than Chiffon causing it to be a little muted. This dearth in Georgette makes it a perfect canvas for infusing tricky colors and pastel shades to come through. Georgette is slightly heavier, making it tad murkier and a lot more lasting than Chiffon. As a result, a lot more care needs to be taken to ensure that the ends of Chiffon, which are softer and fragile, do not fray.

Chiffon is sheerer compared to Georgette and drapes better in terms of layers and volume. Georgette, on the other hand, is sturdier and thicker and would be a great pick to sew blouses for the edifice it provides.

In an equatorial and stifling land like ours, both Chiffon and Georgette are must-haves in a woman’s wardrobe. They do not clasp to one’s body, are sweat absorptive, keep you cool and are available in a surfeit of prints and colors. As you gain an understanding into these alluring drapes, you can browse through the specially-crafted collections either on your own or with the help of experts who would help you to pick through the right amalgam of classic or contemporary styles.

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