Fabric 101: Drape

Fabric 101: Drape

Drape is one of the most important factors to consider when constructing a garment. Do you want a dress to hug every curve, or skim them? Do you want a skirt to fall in graceful folds to the floor, or to make a crisp box-pleat?

Drape could be the missing link in making a dress that matches the pattern envelope perfectly! Check the product descriptions for each fabric to see which ones fall under this classification – we will be sure to tell you what fabric has fluid drape, moderate drape, or full-bodied drape.

Fluid Drape:

Think a slinky wrap dress, or that Summer maxi skirt that makes you feel like a goddess. Fabric with fluid drape does what it sounds like – it is so silky soft that it almost moves like a liquid. Fabrics with fluid drape usually try their best to show every flaw if your pattern is figure-hugging. For a look that skims your curves, these fabrics hold a gather amazingly well. Fabrics that fall under this classification include Rayon Challis, ITY Stretch Jersey Knit, Rayon Jersey Knit and Satin Charmeuse.

Fabric 101 Drape

Moderate Drape:

Moderate drape just might be the most versatile type of drape, suitable for a variety of projects. Think of your favorite t-shirt or A-line skirt. Most jersey knits made with cotton or polyester fall into this category. These fabrics don’t fall straight down, but they don’t fall away from the body very much either. They can hold a pleat or a gather pretty well; they are neither crisp, nor flowy. Moderate drape fabrics can be used for almost anything depending on the substrate. Cotton jersey knit is perfect for maxi dresses, maxi skirts, and any knit dress-even pajamas and t-shirts. Most polyester or poly blend jerseys are perfect for t-shirts, but for dresses and skirts some require a lining or a fuller or gathered pattern depending on the sheerness. Wool or polyester suitings will using have amazing drape for the weight of the fabric – a true sign of quality!

Fabric 101 Drape

Full bodied drape

For classic looks with fun style elements, fabrics with full bodied drape are the perfect addition to your wardrobe. These fabrics hold themselves away from the body. It will hold dramatic pleats that will be a little softer than ones made in a more crisp fabric, but might have trouble with gathers. Ideal for special occasion and Fall & Winter fashions. You might find full bodied drape (also described as heavy drape) in fabrics like Scuba Knit and Pique Knit, which are perfect for circle skirts, unstructured blazers, knit jackets, and dresses, and special occasion fabrics like Duchess Satin and Dupioni Silk.

Fabric 101 Drape

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