Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fabric of the week: Organdy

Beautiful, sheer, crisp and innocent, organdy makes an item with elegant body. The first vintage item of organdy that comes to mind for me is one of Delores del Rio’s gowns (by Irene) in Flying Down to Rio. Just look at the loft in her sleeve!


Very sheer, thin, crisp fabric usually (and historically) made of cotton, but also sometimes in a blend with polyester. Organdy is given its crisp finish by various means, some very costly and permanent, while others are likely to wash out eventually. In the most expensive treatment (known as Swiss finish), the fibers are allowed to partially melt in acid and then harden again to a crisp and transparent finish that is permanent. Less lasting finishes may be achieved with resin or starch. Organdy is a balanced plain weave fabric. 
Uses: Blouses, bridal wear, evening wear (particular when a sheer, dramatically full look is wanted, such as puffed sleeves), interfacing, trim such as collar and cuffs, girl’s party frocks, fancy aprons, curtains 
See also:
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photo by Hoyt Carter
Organdies from the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s (
Currently in my Etsy shop: A 1950s white cotton organdy dress with eyelet embroidery