A versatile fabric that is used in a variety of applications from curtains to bridal wear, you may end up wondering “what is voile?” How can one textile be used for both a delicate, wear-once-and-never-again outfit and an everyday-in-almost-every-home piece of home decor? Well, don’t fret. We’re here to answer your voile-related-questions.
What is Voile?
This fabric is both soft and sheer. It’s often made from 100% cotton or from a blend of poly-cotton or cotton-linen. Voile is a woven fabric, made using a plain weave. Despite the natural origins, it is now made with a variety of fibers that are both natural and synthetic, however, cotton remains the most popular.
How is it made?
It is constructed with voile yarns which are high twist. These yarns are twisted more than they would be in normal yarns, but less so than they are for crepe yarns. Once twisted, we produce rounded single yarns, which are made into two-fold yarns. To make this two-fold yarn, two singles yarns are plied together in the same twist direction, producing a hard, strong yarn which is then woven in an open-sett weave to create the fabric.
What is it used for?
Voile gets its name from the French term “veil” as this is where the fabric was originally used. Popular in dressmaking, it still tends to be used in a number of bridal applications, as well as in lingerie (due to the sheerness) nightwear, blouses, and scarves.
In tropical climates, it is used as a mosquito or pest barrier, and we often use it for curtains as it gives a similar effect as net curtains. Voile is also used in millinery, which is making hats and headwear.
Advantages of Voile
- Light drape
- Stiff – no stretch
Disadvantages of Voile
- Tricky to sew
- Becomes uncomfortable when wet
Printing on Voile Fabric
Bear in mind the semi-transparent, sheer nature of this material when creating your design. Bolder, brighter colors tend to produce a better end result, although you will find these are somewhat muted with a desaturated effect. Intricate details are easily reproduced and there is around 50% show-through to the reverse as well.