Crêpe is a luxurious weaving type that uses three major types of fabrics silk, wool, and synthetic. It falls under medium to light-weighted fabrics. It has a crumpled and bumpy appearance and is majorly known for its beautiful draping abilities. It is used to make evening dresses, gowns, home décor, etc.
Crepe has been found to have no particular origin time basis. The weaving and fabric treatment swept itself into various cultures and traditions as a part of development. In many Western cultures, Crepe was worn by women at the time of mourning. After the 19th century crepe gained sudden popularity in Western countries and was used as a more diverse fabric. A brand named ‘Courtaulds’ took over the crepe industry and experimented with the weaving pattern in different ways which gave crepe more status. Certain conventional Greek women still use crepe for mourning and in Indian cultures, it is known to be a fabric used to make ethnic garments.
The usage of crepe fabric has expanded beyond its traditional functions. Crepe has a special light, textured profile that makes it particularly helpful in flowing, airy clothes. It is frequently combined with various fabric types and weaves. The term “crepe” has become so ambiguous in the twenty-first century that it can be used to describe a wide variety of textured fabrics almost losing their originality and roots.
Characteristics of crepe:
- Breathability: Organic fabrics offer high breathability than synthetic fabrics.
- Heat retention: low
- Moisture-wicking abilities: high
- Stretchability: high
- Fabric configuration: wool, silk, synthetic
- Prone to bubbling: low
Types of Crepe
The basic materials used to create crepe fabric can be created using a wide range of various techniques. Designers and textile manufacturers have come up with a wide range of different ways to produce an effect that can be recognized as “crepe,” regardless of whether they are using natural or synthetic fibers because the only distinguishing aspect of this type of cloth is its weave. There are various kinds of crepe fabric some of which are listed below:
- Crepe de Chine: This textile originated in China and is seen in Asian garments. The underlying fabric used is silk which makes it lightweight and gives it a smooth matte finish. In a plain weave design, tightly twisted yarns are used as the weft strands to create this effect.
- Wool crepe: This fabric is mostly used to make dresses, pants, and suits as it has wrinkling-resistant qualities. The underlying fabric used is wool and sometimes cotton or synthetic may be used too. It is rough in texture and is medium to lightweight.
- Crepe georgette: It usually uses silk or rayon fabric as its basic fabric. It has a smooth and soft appearance. Silk georgette is known for its high elastic and draping qualities and is a famous fabric to make dresses.
- Polyester crepe: Any crepe that uses synthetic fiber polyester is termed polyester crepe. It is thin and lightweight with good draping qualities and is used to make blouses, dresses, skirts, etc. When the fabric requires more stretch elastane can be added.
- Canton crepe: It has silk as its major fabric and originated in Canton, China. It looks similar to Crepe de Chine but is slightly heavier.
- Crepe back-satin: it is weaved using satin. It is a double-sided fabric since one side is smooth and shiny resembling satin and the other side is creased giving a crepe feel.
- Crepe charmeuse: Crepe twist yarns are used to create the silk fabric known as crepe charmeuse, which is woven using the satin weave method. Silk charmeuse has a dull back and is smooth and reflective like satin. The fabric’s distinctive crepe definition is provided by the crepe yarns.
- Plissé crepe: A folded pleat is produced in plissé crepe by chemically modifying the fabric to give it a puckered and crinkled appearance. To make the pattern, a piece of cloth is either covered with a wax pattern and immersed in an alkaline solution, or is pressed using hot rollers. The fabric will purposely wrinkle when the wax is removed because the portions exposed by the wax will shrink.
How to take care of crepe fabric:
- Use warm water to wash the crepe fabric.
- Before washing, soak the material for 5-7 minutes.
- Avoid tumble drying.
- Turn the fabric upside down before directly ironing it.
- Use a cool iron and a piece of cloth between the fabric and the iron when ironing silk crepe.
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Crepe is weaving or a fabric treatment done on different fabrics. The fabric has made its way through conventional mourning rituals to modern home décor, dresses, blouses, suits, etc. It is performed on different fabrics example silk, wool, and synthetic. It has low heat retention and high stretchability which makes it perfect for dresses, blouses, etc. It has various types with different underlying fabrics such as crepe de Chine, wool crepe, canton crepe, etc.