Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fabric term of the week: Crepe

It is a little pet peeve of mine that people describe a fabric as crepe, not indicating the fiber or any other aspect of it. Crepe—the word alone—is not actually a fabric, but a texture which is made in a number of ways. The name is applied to many fabrics, as you can see.

As always, this comes from the VFG Fabric Resource:
Crepe is a texture, which is probably best described as grainy, puckered or crinkled. The texture can be achieved by the type of fiber (especially hard or crepe twist yarns, textured yarns), chemical treatment, textured weave, or embossing. It may be made of any fiber and may be woven or knit. The name comes from the French word for crimped, crêpe. 
A wide range of fabrics are crepes.
See also:
Crepe de chine
Crepe-back satin

Rayon crepe
Worsted wool crepe 
Woven nylon with embossed crepe texture
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photos by Hoyt Carter
This 1940s rayon crepe dress is currently in my Etsy store. Those who have experience with it really appreciate the natural give and drape of the fabric. Just be sure not to wash (it shrinks) or iron (it shines) rayon crepe. 


Beetique said...

do you have to dry clean it? I saw a rayon crepe at a thrift store the other day and just about bought it lol.
I didn't know crepe was a texture and thanks for this post

denisebrain said...

You do have to dry clean it, yes. Spoken from experience...

Charlie said...

Great tip to know, I dry clean all my clothing.