Charmeuse Bridesmaid Dresses

Charmeuse has been a preferred fabric of extravagance for centuries. The old-fashioned way that charmeuse was made was completely from silk, however with improved manufacturing methods and increased demand, a less expensive variety of charmeuse was made using polyester. Although as a fabric charmeuse has a variety of uses, its greatest use comes from creating dresses for special events such as proms and weddings, because of how well the fabric drapes. [Continue reading..]

#LEVKOFF Bridesmaid Dress Style 7026

Style 7026

Bridesmaid Dress Style 1460

Style 1460

Charmeuse Characteristics

Charmeuse fabric is distinguished by its luxurious sheen, due to the fabrics lightweight and soft texture. Charmeuse is crafted either from silk or modernly as polyester thread which is woven in a satin weave. This gentle fabric has the appearance of an extravagant and expensive material while also feeling lavish to the touch.

History of Charmeuse

The history of the term charmeuse originates from France, and in French the word translates into female charmer. The derivation of the word enhances the translation to the exquisite beauty of the fabric itself as well as to the common uses of charmeuse in formal dress making for women. Historically, the discovery of charmeuse goes to the time when the Chinese had discovered silk. Although the precise date of the fabrics discovery has been argued over the years, it is said that around 2700 B.C.E., a Chinese emperor’s wife is credited with the discovery of silk. Silk has for centuries been an exclusive and protected commodity by the Chinese, and was delivered outside the county only as a finished product. Traditionally, charmeuse has been connected to affluent and noble society as a result of its opulent appearance and was a favorite fabric of the Chinese Emperors Family.

Manufacturing of Charmeuse

Crepe back satin is an interchangeable term that is often used when referring to charmeuse as a reference to the weave which is used to create the fabric. Charmeuse can be created by using polyester or silk yarn. A weave where the front of the fabric is screened with gliding warp yarns where the twill line is not visible is called a satin weave. The satin weave makes a shiny and smooth surface however this characteristic, makes it more problematic to sew. The posterior side of charmeuse takes on a crepe effect as a result of the crepe yarns, which are twisted with more intensity than regular yarn as a result of the modern manufacturing. As a benefit of the crepe yarns, the crepe back allows for better ability to work with the fabric, while also strengthening the material.

Sewing Charmeuse

Generally, charmeuse is not a recommended fabric for novices, as it is a difficult fabric to work with when compared to more commonly used fabrics. As a result of its softness and sheen character, charmeuse can get lost in the maker’s hand while slipping through his fingers and the pedal of a sewing machine. Another problem is that permanent holes can occur at areas where the fabric has been stitched and/or pinned. This can be alleviated by making smaller stitches using a thread that is finer to lessen the effect of the procedure on the dress.

Differences between Polyester and Silk Charmeuse

Although the traditional most preferred component of charmeuse has been silk, it carries with it several downsides due to its cost and difficulty to sew with. The invention of polyester provides a less expensive alternative which when used by the right designer can faithfully copy charmeuse made from silk. Charmeuse dresses made from polyester makes it more affordable and available for people who would otherwise not have even considered this expensive fabric. As an added benefit, cleaning of polyester is much easier compared to silk.

Uses of Charmeuse

Traditionally, charmeuse has been used to make formal clothing for women. Most recently charmeuse is used in bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses, prom and special event dresses due to how well the garments sheen reflects. Lingerie and nightwear is also being manufactured using charmeuse, for the fabric reflective character on the skin.

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