Textile Tuesdays Present: Organza

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Organza is traditionally made of 100% silk, but is also created with synthetic filament yarns like polyester, nylon, acetate, and viscose. These filament fibers also give organza a slight resilience and resistance to being bent or folded making it perfect for billowy or structural garment/upholstery designs. Because of its looser weave, the fabric is light weight and has a transparent appearance. You can find them in any color, some with metallic threads, some embroidered, or some embossed.

Organza is created in the mills of China, India, France, Italy and the United States. Each mill boasts a specific type of organza. Chinese organza is mostly created with 100% silk. Indian and American organzas generally use synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon.  However, organza from France and Italy is a bit more sturdy with a blend of nylon and silk yarns.

Silk organza is commonly used in bridal wear and evening wear. Whereas synthetic organzas are used for everyday interior purposes like curtains and accent pillows. Synthetic organza, especially the embroidered, embossed, or metallic designs, has even made its way onto table settings as a layering cloth to bring drama, color, and life to receptions and dinner parties.

Speaking of dinner parties, I remember my grandmother wearing an organza pin-apron while preparing for a summer seafood dinner.  It was so beautiful and the use of organza made a common/functional item into something beautiful, beyond the confines of everyday duties like cooking and cleaning. She got quite a few compliments that night if I can remember correctly.

So don't be afraid to try new fabrics, it will not only challenge you as a sewer, but will also challenge your creativity and increase your inspiration as you work with a new medium.

Happy Sewing!


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