There’s little doubt that printed fabrics for fashion designers will be the buzzword in local fashion circles following this year’s annual Durban Fashion Fair (DFF). This year, some 55 fashion designers showcased their creations on the catwalk at the 8th edition of the extravaganza.
The DFF, which has become a fixture on the national fashion calendar, has not only helped to grow the fashion industry in Durban but has become so important for creating employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for exhibitors, models and designers alike.
As they were brainstorming their creations and looking for inspiration, the young fashionistas would have been talking about printed textiles and printed fabrics for fashion designers. And we reckon cotton would have been close to the top of the list, especially given the warm conditions that we are accustomed to in sunny South Africa. Linen, viscose and silk would also have been likely contenders.
Cotton is a great textile for dressmakers and fashion designers alike. It available in so many different weights, and is affordable and comfortable to wear. It absorbs moisture well and dries relatively quickly, which helps to keep the skin cool. It’s more durable than linen and can be machine-washed without any problem.
Let’s take a closer look at our selection of printed fabrics for fashion designers. We’ll start by looking at cotton, and these three cotton textiles in particular: cotton sateen, cotton silk and cotton poplin – all of which make for perfect hot weather garments. After that, we’ll look at poly satin poly georgette.
In addition to draping well and not being too prone to creasing, cotton sateen is great to sew. Most striking, though, is the amazing texture of the textile.
Besides the wonderful texture, cotton sateen has a distinctive sheen which gives it a luxurious look.
This lustrous appearance and the softness of the end-product textile is achieved through a process called mercerisation, named after the Englishman John Mercer. Mercerisation also makes the textile more receptive to dye.
Cotton and silk can be combined to make a hybrid textile. The textile we supply is a 30% cotton and 70% silk blend. The elasticity and feel depend on the percentages used of each.
Overall, this textile is lightweight, absorbent and soft, though not as smooth as silk. The wonderful characteristic of cotton silk is its versatility. It can be used to make a variety of different items of clothing.
100% Cotton Poplin
Poplin has been termed the “solid, all-rounder fabric that really can’t do any wrong.” Poplin is characterised by its distinctive ribbed texture and has a very tight weave. It is soft to the touch, durable, smooth and drapes well.
Previously made by weaving silk and wool yarn, most poplin in use today is the 100% real cotton variety, which makes it lightweight and strong. It is these attributes which make it suitable textile for many different types of clothing, from shirts and skirts to trousers and jackets.
100% Poly Sateen
Polyester satin is a perfect textile for creating gowns, cinched dresses and blazers. The textile, which has a very distinctive weave, has a floating, glossy appearance which is durable and wrinkle resistant.
It is notoriously difficult to work. However, some of the most beautiful ball gowns, wedding dresses and lingerie are created from this fabric.
100% Poly Georgette
Georgette is a wonderful textile to use when making blouses, dresses, evening gowns, saris and trimmings. Manufactured of highly twisted yarns, this sheer, lightweight, dull fabric is characterised by it crinkly appearance.
Polyester georgette is made from synthetic fibres (unlike the natural fibres used in cotton). The beauty of poly georgette is that it has the qualities of a silk georgette but is more durable. This means it is great for dressmakers and designers alike.
While the five fabrics outlined above are different in many ways, they all have one thing in common.
They are the perfect printed fabrics for fashion designers, dressmakers and even tailors looking to create that something extra special. Whether they are creatives showing their work on the catwalk or talented seamstresses working for themselves.