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FORMAL DRESSES FABRIC BASICS: CHIFFON

Monday 30th May, 2016

Formal, prom and ball dresses come in a range of different designs and fabrics with some styles being more suited to certain materials. With the variety of fabrics it can make prom and ball dress shopping confusing. Perhaps you want to have your formal dress custom made and you will certainly be asked by your dressmaker what fabrics you want.

Read on with our mini part series guide below as we help you understand the different fabric types of prom and ball dresses. First up, we share some information and tips with the most popular material for formal dresses, chiffon.

Chiffon is a popular fabric type widely used for evening dresses, formal gowns, bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses for it's delicate look and feel, giving off an elegant, soft, floaty and feminine look to the dress. Chiffon evening dresses are very elegant, delicate and beautiful for any formal occasion, making it a real formal wear gem.

Chiffon formal evening dresses aren't cheap so take good care of it to get your money's worth either for future wear or if you plan to resell your dress.

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Types of chiffon:

Chiffon is a light and sheer fabric so often used as an overlay on top of a satin or sateen material for formal dresses. There are 2 types of chiffon material (1) nylon (polyester) chiffon and (2) silk chiffon.

(1) Nylon chiffon is the cheaper of the two chiffon materials and is made from a synthetic material such as polyester.

(2) Silk chiffon is the premium chiffon type and obviously, costs more due to the overall higher quality and durability of the fabric.

Regardless of chiffon material, you can opt to handwash at home or have it professional dry cleaned or cared for. To help preserve the life of chiffon formal dresses, it is best to prolong the wear of the chiffon dress to as many times as possible before washing.

How to hand wash chiffon formal dresses:

Be extra careful if your chiffon formal dress has moderate to heavy embellishments such as beads, sequins, rhinestones, appliques or other delicate detailings.

  • Fill a large laundry basis/sink or bathtub with cold water. NB: Ensure that the water is cold and not warm as warm water can damage the delicate chiffon fibers. Also, the sink or basin should be large enough to fit your evening dress comfortably.
  • Add a small amount of mild laundry detergent and stir to mix in with the water until well combined.
  • Submerge the chiffon formal dress in the water and soap and gently stir to dampen the entire dress to loosen any dirt.
  • Let the chiffon dress sit and soak for 20-30 minutes.
  • If you have any stains remaining after this time, add a small amount of mild liquid detergent to the stain and rub very gently over the area with your finger or a soft sponge. Then allow to sit for a further 15 minutes.
  • Drain the soapy water and then refill with cold clean water. Gently stir the chiffon evening dress to remove any residual soap and repeat process until water is clear and dress is clear of any soap residue.

Remember:

  • Don't be alarmed if your chiffon dress bleeds dye the first time you wash your dress.
  • Embellishments can get caught and tangled with the delicate chiffon material during handwash so it is best to not stir the dress around too vigorously or too much.
  • Long or chipped fingernails can get caught on the chiffon material and snag, so take extra care when washing. You can wear gloves to prevent this from happening.
  • Chiffon is very sheer, light and delicate so take care with the material to avoid any tears, shrinkage to the dress. Do not scrub or wring the chiffon dress.

Drying chiffon formal dresses:

The best way to dry chiffon formal dresses is to let it air dry naturally. Some tips with drying your chiffon dress;

  • Do not dry chiffon dresses with a hair dryer as the harsh heat will damage the delicate fibers of the material.
  • Do not wring your chiffon dress! This will deform the chiffon fibers and the embellishments may get tangled and catch on the material.
  • Ensure all the zips are zipped up so it doesn't get caught on the dress or on any embellishments.
  • Air dry the dress in a shaded area out of direct sunlight to prevent fabric colour fading.
  • If possible, allow your chiffon dress to lay flat to dry to prevent the water weight stretch and pull the dress.

We hope these tips for caring for your formal chiffon dresses will be helpful to preserving your formal dress.

Check out our range of beautiful chiffon formal dresses that is perfect for any formal occasion such as school balls, prom or even for bridesmaids.

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If you have any questions, drop us a line via email.

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