Silk Organza, Prince of Fabrics

by Ramona on May 4, 2012

Red Organza, stenciled leaves in black/gold. Vogue (Adri) pattern

If silk organza was a person, it would be Prince of Fabricland, or a President of the United States of Fabrics (since this is America and its election year 🙂 ).   What language is “organza” anyway – Italian? It’s one of the few fabrics which has the potential to be all things to all sewers. I mean, what’s not to like about a fabric which:

1. Ends up as exquisite clothing, whatever the style – a sporty camp shirt can become party wear when made in silk organza; it can, of course, be made up as a gossamer evening gown.

2. Can take embellishment on the surface – paint, embroidery (hand & machine), applique (organza-on-organza applique is gorgeous) and just about any other lightweight embellishment.

3. Can be manipulated AS surface embellishment. Have you ever made fabric flowers with silk organza? And ruffles?  Perfection!

4. Looks great in clothing with a raw edge aesthetic when cut on the bias, and if it’s a look you’re going for.

Silk dupioni pants underlined with silk organza!

5. Can go underground in the form of underlining to support an outer fabric. See picture, left.

6. Can go behind another transparent fashion fabric to be used as interfacing to maintain the sheer factor and support at the same time.

7. Stabilizes corners of inset seams (as in godets and gussets) – a small square should do the job.

8. Can become a sewing notion — as a press cloth!

9. Is used successfully as a stabilizer for machine embroidery under another fabric

10. Can be used as a home décor item. Organza curtains? Sheer bliss!

11. Is manufactured in many colors.

12. Takes well to a dye job.

13. Organza fashion accessories are to die for: scarves, and get this — necklaces!

14. Can be used in lieu of pattern paper! In Kenneth King’s online class of copying RTW, we used silk organza instead of paper to create the first round of the pattern. Worked beautifully! Highly recommend this class whenever & wherever offered.

Downside:

a) Can be relatively expensive

b) Goes limp after repeated machine washing & drying, unless that’s the look you’re going for.

c) It’s a dry clean budget-buster.

Read this fabulous post about using silk organza as facing:  From the Sew Daily blog, written by Amber Eden: Add (Almost) Invisible Support to Your Blouse

Readers, you definitely know of more uses of this beautiful, versatile fabric.  Please comment here and let us know!

Samina, American Sewing guild, follow us on Twitter @SewingGuild

{ 1 comment }

Joli February 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm

My future daughter-in-law bought a vintage 1950’s wedding dress that has an organza skirt and it looks limp. How do we get the crispness back?

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