Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dupioni Silk

Sometimes known as dupion or douppioni, silk dupioni is a shimmering silk that is created by weaving silk threads of two different colors into a weave that seems to change colors as the silk is moved around in different lights. Constructed with threads made from rough silk fibers that are harvested from double cocoons or single cocoons that are spun side by side and interlocked, silk dupioni generally employs a set of vibrant colors in the weave. Along with creating the shimmering effect, the choice of two different colors of rough silk fiber help to create a crisp drape quality to the finished fabric.

Silk dupioni has an advantage over some other types of silks, in that dupioni tends to resist wrinkles, which helps to enhance the usability of the finished fabric. In addition, silk dupioni also has a tendency to take creases very well, which can give the final product a crisp and formal appearance. As an added bonus, silk dupioni is totally reversible, so it is perfectly acceptable for both sides of the material to be visible.

At the same time, silk dupioni does have a couple of drawbacks. The material has almost no stretching ability, which means that using silk dupioni requires the need to be very exact in the measurements before cutting out any pattern. Also, silk dupioni does not work well with pins, as the pins tend to leave permanent marks in the material. This attribute can be frustrating for some persons attempting to utilize silk dupioni in home sewing projects.

Silk dupioni can be used in a number of different fabric creations. In the way of clothing, silk dupioni works well for flowing jackets, blouses, skirts, dresses, and bridal gowns. For home decorating, silk dupioni can be utilized as drapery panels or other types of window treatments, table runners and cloths, and doilies for accent on tables and sofa backs and arms.

While dry-cleaning is generally recommended for silk dupioni, it is possible to hand wash sections of silk dupioni fabric before the material is cut and used in a pattern. When washed by hand, there is the chance of some shrinkage, and the fabric will most likely lose some of the crisp texture and a portion of the shimmering effect. For finished products constructed with silk dupioni, dry cleaning is definitely the best means of freshening the material.

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