What Is Crepe Fabric? Everything You Need To Know
Crepe derives from the French word ‘crêpe,’ which means ‘pancakes.’ With pancakes in mind, you most likely have an idea of what crepe fabric looks or feels like.
Crepe fabric is a thin fabric with a crinkly texture. It’s also referred to as ‘crespe’ or ‘crisp.’ You can mostly see people wearing crepe clothing for formal wear. These include wedding dresses, suits, blouses, and skirts.
While crepe is derived from a French word, that doesn’t mean it originated in France. In fact, it doesn’t even have a clear origin because of how simple crepe fabric is.
What Is Crepe Fabric?
Crepe material can be defined as any type of fabric with a rippling, 3D texture. It has a lightweight and elegant drape, making it good for flowy and airy formal wear.
Crepe textile was originally only made from natural fibers. But now, you’ll see crepe fabric made from both natural and synthetic fibers. This includes crepe fabric made from silk, cotton, wool, rayon, and polyester.
Characteristics of Crepe Fabric
Crepe cloth can be made from different types of fibers. Thus, its characteristics may also depend on the base fiber. Here’s how ‘crepe’ is often defined, no matter what fiber it’s made of.
Pebbled Or Crinkled Surface
Crepe uses a hard-twisting process to create the fabric. Crepe yarn is woven tighter than other fabrics and does ‘S’ and ‘Z’ twist alternately to have that crinkled surface.
Garments made with crepe drapes nicely. That’s because it clings well to the body, following your shape. Other than that, it also adapts well to other textiles.
Breathable And Lightweight
Crepe fabrics are known to be thin and delicate, making this textile very breathable. However, modern crepe fabrics can now be made in different thicknesses. So, this may not be true for other crepe fabrics.
Types Of Crepe Fabrics
Because of modern-day technology, there are now many types of crepe fabric. Here are the most famous types:
Crepe De Chine
This type of crepe is typically made from silk. It doesn’t have a strong puckered surface like other crepes. Instead, crepe de chine has a smooth finish with a little pebbling.
Another variation of this is polyester crepe de chine, which is the cheaper, synthetic alternative.
Like crepe de chine, this is also made from silk. Crepe georgette has a little bit of elasticity and drapes well. Crepe georgette is often used for dresses.
The crepe-back satin is crepe with two different textures on either side. One side is soft and smooth, like satin. The other side has a crepe-like texture with crinkles.
Crepon is a type of crepe fabric that’s heavier in weight. Heavyweight crepe fabrics only became popular in the late 19th century.
Crepe charmeuse is a satin-weave fabric using crepe yarns. It has a smooth and reflective front, and its back is dull. This is also known as silk charmeuse.
This type of crepe is chemically treated to create a 3D texture. It uses hot rollers, wax, and an alkaline solution to make the pliss crepe.
This crepe is made from wool with a rough and wiry texture. It’s heavier than the usual crepe fabrics. So, it’s often used in suits and pants.
Originating from the Chinese province of Canton, the canton crepe is almost similar to the crepe de chine. Canton crepe, however, is heavier in weight because of the heavier crepe yarns used.
What Are Crepe Fabrics Used For?
Crepe fabrics are mostly used for clothing. They’re often associated with luxurious clothing. Some of crepe fabric’s common clothing applications include:
- Dresses And Skirts
- Blouses And Tops
- Scarves And Shawls
- Lingerie And Sleepwear
Advantages Of Crepe Textiles
Crepe textiles are very popular for a reason. That’s because it can be used for a lot of different purposes.
Crepe fabrics are very breathable. That’s why it’s not only used in formal wear but in casual wear as well. Crepe fabrics also don’t need to be ironed, making them good and comfortable daily clothing.
Crepe fabrics nowadays are versatile because of the numerous ways you can make them. It can vary in weight, from lightweight to heavyweight. This makes it good for both the summer and winter seasons.
Disadvantages Of Crepe Fabrics
Crepe is a very delicate fabric. Usually, it has high-care maintenance requirements. Some of these include:
- You may need to dry-clean your crepe clothing depending on the base fabric.
- Silk crepe cannot be machine-washed because of shrinking.
- You can only handwash more delicate crepe fabric with cold water.
- Laying it flat to dry may be the only option for your crepe fabric.
To be sure, always double-check your crepe garment care instructions. That’s so that you can avoid ruining your garment.
Other than that, crepe fabrics can be also more expensive than other textiles. That’s especially true for silk crepe fabrics.
Is Crepe Fabric Good Or Bad?
Crepe fabric made from natural fibers is often more environmentally friendly. On the other hand, synthetic crepe fabric is bad for the environment.
Crepe fabrics are one of the more luxurious and versatile fabrics available on the market today. That’s because crepe can be made from different fiber types.
Aside from that, due to how ‘generic’ crepe is, crepe fabrics may refer to any type of textured fabric.
While you can say that this loses the fabric’s essence, it still works in a good way. Innovation has made crepe material better– evolving into different kinds of crepe textiles.
No matter what crepe cloth you have, it will always look elegant, which is the main association with this fabric.