Crepe fabric

If you’re in the market for different kinds of fabric, it might be challenging to find which one’s best for your project: cotton, silk, satin… The list seems endless! In that vein, you might be wondering, “what is crepe fabric?”

Well, crepe fabric actually isn’t a specific kind of fabric but a way of weaving it. Although traditionally made with silk, it can also be made with other kinds of fabric like cotton; what makes crepe, crepe, is the almost wrinkled look and feel it has. This look is achieved by tightly twisting the fibers before making them into cloth.

History of crepe fabric

There’s no clear point of origin for crepe: most cultures have made a form of it at one point or another. Examples of this are the Orthodox Greek mourning dress and traditional Indian garments.

Crepe fabric started gaining popularity in Europe and the United States in the 19th century. Courtaulds, a textile company, had a monopoly on the crepe market early on: it spread like wildfire throughout the fashion world.

Properties of crepe fabric

So what can you actually do with crepe fabric? Is crepe fabric stretchy? The exact properties of crepe differ depending on which material is used to make it, but generally crepe drapes very well and is breathable. It feels light on the skin and is moisture-wicking and heat-resistant, making it a nice fabric to wear during those hot summer days.

Advantages and disadvantages of crepe fabric

There are, of course, also downsides to using crepe. It tends to be fragile, and as such, usually can’t be machine-washed. Dry cleaning or hand washing it in cold water are your best bets.

Still, its breathability and airiness outweigh these disadvantages for a lot of people.

Types of crepe fabric

Because crepe is a kind of weaving and not a material, it can be made using various fibers. The most common variants of crepe are silk crepe fabric and polyester crepe fabric. These types of fabric do have different properties based on the material they’re made of.

  1. Silk crepe tends to be cooler on the skin and has a soft feel: perfect if you want to make summer clothes!
  2. Polyester crepe is more of a stretch crepe fabric, which can be great depending on what you want to make with it, but it does sacrifice some breathability and comfort.

What is crepe fabric used for?

Traditionally, crepe is used to make evening wear, like a crepe fabric dress. Other crepe fabric clothes include items like blouses, pants, and scarves. But you could also use crepe to make pillowcases and other furnishings!

Buy crepe fabric online at House of U

Does this sound interesting to you? House of U carries an assortment of crepe fabrics, like crepe de chine fabric, silk crepe de chine, and polyester crepe marocain. If you’re looking to print crepe fabric, House of U can help: just upload your design, select a fabric, and we’ll print crepe fabric by the yard, using your very own design.

Check out our fabric book, if you’re interested in more custom fabric printing. Plus, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us! We’re always happy to help.