What is sheer fabric UK?
Sheer fabrics are semi-transparent, showing the seams, hems, and facings on the outside of the fabric. There are variations in the handle, ranging from cool and crisp to warm and soft, lending themselves well to a myriad of uses. They are generally thin and delicate, however, some of our other semi-transparent fabrics are comprised of thicker yarns but in a more open construct.
Popular Sheer Fabrics
There are so many types of sheer fabrics, each with their own individual properties, but some of our most popular are:
- Paris Chiffon
- Volando Voile
- Florence Net
- Voile de Ville
- Vintage Fade
How are they manufactured?
Every sheer fabric is manufactured in its own distinct way and will depend upon the yarns used, the structure, and whether it's natural or manmade. We offer both sheer cotton fabric as well as alternative fabrics made from poly. The type of fibre determines certain qualities of the fabric, such as whether it is prone to wrinkling or shrinking.
You can get knitted or woven sheer fabrics, taut or stretchy, lustrous or matte; each one is expertly crafted to give the fabrics these characteristics. To achieve the distinct translucency, sheer fabrics have an open-set knit or weave, where there's more space between the yarns allowing light to pass through. Those made with manmade yarns, such as the Lucent Satin, will have a more slippery handle than those made with natural fibres.
Sheer fabrics tend to fall into two main types: crisp or soft. Organza and Voille de Ville, for example, have a crisp body and are easier to handle than soft, floaty fabrics like Paris Chiffon. Choosing between these two characteristics will depend upon the desired usage of your sheer fabric.
When it comes to printing on sheer fabric, how we do so will also be determined by the fabric's composition. For most of our synthetic fabrics, we use sublimation printing. For natural fabrics, we use either reactive or pigment printing. No matter which method is used, your design will be expertly printed on your chosen materials. The eco-friendly inks are designed to be highly pigmented and stay bonded to the fabric even with regular use and washing. Your design will be clear and rich, just like you created it.
Purposes of sheer cotton fabric
Sheer fabrics are often used in dressmaking, where a loose, flowing, or oversized silhouette is required. They have a beautiful, elegant drape that slips effortlessly over the skin, and the aesthetic is delicate. Another popular use is interfacing, when a garment needs stability. Organza, Voile, or Tulle are often used in this case. The stiffness and are malleability make them ideal for adding structure. Bridal wear and sheer fabrics are quite a harmony, due to the feminine qualities and elegant drape. You could make petticoats, underlining or decorative embellishments using sheer fabric.
Perhaps one of the most common purposes is to make curtains. Sheer fabrics provide coverage without totally blocking out the light, allowing the natural light to shine through. The softer sheer materials have a gorgeous drape that is well suited to the classic curtain style.
Because there are so many different choices when it comes to sheer fabric, there are also many properties associated with them. Here are just a few of our favourites:
- Paris Chiffon – Lightweight, cool and airy with a dry handle. Smooth surface texture.
- Organza – Stiff, holds shape well. Subtle glittery face and smooth, soft handle.
- Vintage Fade – Matte finish with desaturated print. Soft but with subtle starchiness.
- 100% Real Silk Georgette – Light, fluid material with gossamer appearance. Distinct crepe-like texture.
- Volando Voile – Fine open plain weave with elasticity in the bias. Shiny surface and mesh-like texture.
Advantages of sheer fabric
There are so many advantages to using sheer fabric, especially in dressmaking or curtain making. The crisp ones are somewhat easier to handle than the floaty versions, but they all produce stunning results. The delicacy of some of these fabrics allows you to add a touch of luxury to your garments, or body and structure to something without adding too much weight.
As these fabrics tend to be thinner or have an open-knit construct, they're wonderfully breathable. Air can easily flow through the fabric to keep you cool, which is a quality that will be appreciated especially in the warmer months.
When it comes to curtains, sheer fabrics are the perfect compromise for letting in the light but diffusing it so it's not as harsh. Softening the light will even help to protect your furniture and decor from direct sunlight, which can otherwise fade materials over time.
You're sure to find the right sheer fabric to design with Contrado. No matter what your next project might be, we'll have the right sheer cotton fabric for the job. If you're struggling to decide between fabrics, try ordering a swatch pack to compare all the different options. Or, before you commit to your fabric, try creating a sample using your design first.