Georgette

By | May 7, 2016
Silk georgette. Source: BandJFabrics.com

Silk georgette. Source: BandJFabrics.com

This is another one that gets included in the sheer confusion that is, um, sheers. It’s often confused with chiffon.

Georgette has more body than chiffon – it’s bouncier – and although it might look the same as chiffon, it feels rougher under hand. Because of that rougher surface, it has a duller surface than chiffon does. It’s sometimes called crepe georgette, again because of that rougher surface. To oversimplify it, both the bounciness and the rougher texture are because the yarns in georgette are more tightly twisted – and twisted in a slightly different direction- than they are when making a chiffon.

You’ll see it used a lot in silver screen gowns, and in more modern terms, you’ll see it in saris and evening dresses. Georgette’s bit of spring can make it better choice than chiffon for some projects as chiffon can look a bit limp and lifeless – and that might not be what you want.

Georgette sari.

Georgette sari.

When georgettte was first created about a hundred years ago, it had to be made from silk to be called georgette but these days, it’s most often made from polyester.

Georgette is available in a wide range of solid colors and printed patterns. Polyester georgette usually costs between five and nine dollars a yard. Silk georgette is $10 to $20 a yard, depending on the weight.

Polyester georgette can be washed in the machine on the delicate cycle, and lay it flat to dry. Silk georgette, I’d take to a dry cleaner but you can hand wash it in cold water if you’ve no alternative.

Iron it? You’re joking, I hope. Ironing can cause cheaper georgettes to lose what crispness they have. You should test a scrap before committing it to the iron. If it gets crumpled, hang it up and use a garment steamer.

Georgette offers the same sewing challenges as chiffon – in other words: a bunch. Be prepared to use seam stabilizers, to finish your seams in one fashion or another and consider investing in a straight stitch foot and needle plate for your sewing machine, which will reduce the chance of the fabric being pulled down inside the guts of your machine. Use a “Microtex” or sharp type needle and silk or cotton thread – not polyester – when sewing georgette. Polyester thread can make georgette pucker and that’s not pretty to look at.

If you can find it, use embroidery thread – NOT FLOSS – as it’s lighter weight than regular all-purpose thread and will show less in the sames. Don’t backstitch at the beginning and ending of your seam, as that will also lead to puckering and pulling. Just tie your threads off.

Silk georgette.

Silk georgette.

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