Caring For Chiffon

Chiffon has a graceful drape that falls into soft, languid flares and ripples.  It can be gathered or shirred into a limp fullness.  The fabric is sometimes challenging to cut and sew, as it is slippery.  Seams, facings and hems can be seen from the finished side of the garment.  Use chiffon to make special occasion dresses, scarves, and nightgowns, or for linings and underlinings.  Drycleaning is strongly recommended. 

What to expect with chiffon:
  • slippery
  • difficult to cut out
  • is reversible; both sides of fabric look the same
  • inner construction shows from the outside
  • won't hold a crease

  • fabric is durable and strong
  • wears evenly
  • subject to snags
  • resists wrinkles
  • water drops leave spots

Suggested care:
  • dryclean only
  • press dry fabric
  • dry iron
  • may shrink a small amount

Sewing rating (easy to hard): difficult
Suggested clothing fit: loose-fitting, very loose-fitting
Suggested styles: limp gathers; elasticized shirring; lined; loose and full; soft and flowing; draped; cut on bias

Silk’s Limitations:
Silk is regarded as nature's most perfect fiber, but even perfection has its limitations:
  • Soap and agitation - Silk's smooth surface does not attract dirt and is easily cleaned, but silk can be damaged by most laundry detergents - so always dry clean your silk.  Silk loses strength when wet, so do not wring or agitate.
  • Bleach - Silk is easily damaged by strong bleaches that contain sodium hypochlorite. 
  • Heat and light - Silk is sensitive to heat and begins to decompose at 330 degrees fahrenheit.  Use a warm (not hot) iron.
  • Mildew and moths - Silk will not mildew except in extreme conditions.  Moths don't care for it, but carpet beetles do.
  • Perspiration - Perspiration causes silk to deteriorate and affects the color, causing staining.  Any silk worn next to the skin should be cleaned frequently.