Chiffon is a plain-woven fabric which is light in weight with a mesh like weave that gives it a transparent appearance. The word Chiffon has originated from French, which means a cloth. It is chiefly made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibres like nylon, rayon and polyester. Chiffon is usually used to weave Sarees, Dresses and Scarves.
The fabric was made singularly with Silk until the invention of Nylon in 1938. After the introduction of Polyester fabric in 1958, the polyester chiffon blend became more popular because of its increased durability and economic practicality.
It is a plain balanced weave where similarly weighted weft and warp threads are used on the loom for manufacturing. The criss-cross pattern weave which is usually used for Chiffon, giving the fabric a checkered, mesh like effect.
It is a challenging fabric to work with, as it has a slippery texture. While cutting or sewing the fabric, weavers place a non-slippery surface above to get the stitch perfect. For this purpose, tailors layer both sides of the fabric with paper, which helps in keeping the fabric together during the sewing or stitching process. The rough surface of the paper grips the fabric in place. After the sewing process is complete, papers are carefully pulled out.
As a precaution, craftsmen work gently and gradually with this fabric. If the fabric is stretched during the sewing process, it may bunch together and spoil the whole stitch. The stitching must be extremely clean and fine to develop the finished appearance.
It is made from silk, and is the most popular variant of the fabric. The glistening texture of silk fabric makes the Chiffon look more alluring. Although it is lightweight, the fabric has substantial strength. As it is manufactured from natural silk fibre, it is more expensive than the synthetic Chiffon.
Synthetic materials like nylon and polyester are most frequently used to make this fabric. These materials can be easily dyed into different colours. The synthetic Chiffon is also cheaper and tougher than its silk variant.
In the form of Saree, the fabric adds shine and feel to the overall appearance. This fabric is also used for manufacturing Kurtis, Salwar Kameez, Scarves, Belts, and accents.
The use of this fabric in layering an attire can be seen abundantly. It grants volume to a garment and is frequently used as the base fabric for embroideries and appliques. This sheer fabric is also used to manufacture furnishing products such as aggrandised sofa covers and curtains.
The Bollywood FactorThe budding fashion in Bollywood has led to the increasing popularity of the fabric. Indian cinema has long been a fan of Chiffon. The flowing Dupattas and the attractive sarees and Salwar Kameez has been a vital part of Bollywood’s fashion for decades. It has been a favourite among the past divas like Rekha and Hema Malini to the current beauties like Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif.
Due to this increase in popularity, chiffon sarees are a popular choice of attire for weddings. Women love to flaunt those beautiful designs and flowy fabrics. These sarees come in beautiful designs and vibrant colours. Rajasthani chiffon sarees are a sight to behold. They are rich in design and reflect the true Rajputana culture of the state. It gives a royal and elegant appearance to the woman wearing it.
Preferably, Chiffon outfits should be hand-washed or slow machine washed with extra care so that the fabric does not get tattered.
It is prudent not to wash these outfits with any other clothes particularly in the first few wash cycles as it may bleed colour. Also, the duration of wash cycle should be kept short as this fabric starts loosing colour if immersed in water for a lengthier duration.