The versatility of Chiffon and Tulle was brought to the fore again at the just concluded 2019 GTBank Fashion `weekend where designers like Odio Mimonet, Mantsho, Thula Sindi, Nkwo among others showcased many edgy designs using the fabric.
Chiffon, lightweight plain-woven fabric with a mesh-like weave that gives it transparent appearance has become a resourceful fabric in the hands of designers across the world to creatively wrought designs that have graced many fashion runways.
Historically, the word Chiffon has a French origin which means a cloth. It is primarily made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibres like nylon, rayon, and polyester. Chiffon is most commonly used to weave sarees, dresses, and scarves.
The fabric was made exclusively with Silk until Nylon was invented in 1938. After the introduction of Polyester fabric in 1958, the polyester chiffon blend became more popular because of its durability and economic viability.
It is a plain balanced weave where similar weighted weft and warp threads are used on the loom for manufacturing. The criss-cross pattern weave, which is generally used for Chiffon gives the fabric a checkered, mesh-like effect
It is a delicate fabric to work with, as it has a slippery texture. While cutting or sewing the cloth, weavers place the non-slippery surface above to get the stitch perfect. For this purpose, tailors lay the paper on both sides of the fabric. The paper helps in keeping the material together during the sewing or stitching process.
The rough surface of the paper holds the fabric in place. After the completion of the sewing process, papers are carefully ripped out. As a precaution, artisans work slowly and steadily with this fabric. If the material is stretched during the sewing process, it may bunch together and ruin the whole stitch. The stitching must be immaculate and beautiful to improve the finished appearance.
At the GTBank Fashion Weekend, designers like Nkwo combined Chiffon with an equally versatile fabric, Denim to create exciting pieces. Some of her designs involve the use of Chiffon as the base fabric while Denim is sewn on it to make invigorating stripes. In some others, patterned white Chiffon is used for flowing dresses and tops.
On her part, Nigerian Odio Mimonet brings the lovely texture of the Tulle to light with her designs. The shimmering texture of silk fabric makes the Chiffon look more appealing in her pieces.
One could see that the lightweight of the fabric has considerable strength that makes her designs sit well on the model as they strutted the runway.
The Tulle fabric is lightweight, excellent, stiff netting that makes Odio Mimonet designs stand out. Her striking design is the full length flowing white dress with carefully arranged frills at the bottom. The design is eclectic as it is elegant. The model did justice to it as she carried it with grace.