Warp & Weft

Warp & Weft

Very recently I went to my sister place; who was sitting home designing that dreamy ‘evening gown’ she would adorn for her wedding reception. I found her shuffling through swatches of colour and fabrics. I asked her what exactly was she trying to do? She responded by stating that she was looking for that perfect fabric that would hold the outfit exactly the way she had desired it. That is when I realized that fashion designing was no child’s play. It is about actuating your creative genius and bringing it to life just the way you’ve imagined it.  

Today, fashion is not only about embroidery and colour. Designers lay a lot of emphasis on the cut and fit of the garment. If a plain fabric is cut and fit right the wearer will look stunning. This is precisely why a lot of designers dabble with fabrics and fabric blends. Fabric add charisma to the design and play a pivotal role in holding the cuts in place. In a nutshell, the correct fabric blends, colour, cut and embroidery incorporates drama to the outfit.
Velvet Fabric Structured Fabric Indian Fashion India
Image Credit: India Mart

Blending fabrics is an age-old phenomenon. Olden day seamsters and modern day designers were found toying around with threads to create that stunning outfit. When the Indian Fashion industry began staging its creations on the international platform, designers realized the potential of experimenting with fabric blends (famously known as structured fabric) to make the garments come alive; especially when we have a bandwidth of cultural elements to experiment with.

So what are the most important factors one needs to bear in mind while choosing the fabric?

  1. The fabric weight should be kept in mind, especially in terms of design. Lightweight fabrics do have a tendency to sag, if the fabric isn’t accorded to the design.
  2. The drape of the fabric cannot be overlooked. Heaver fabrics have a lesser drape while lighter fabrics drape a lot better.
  3. Maintenance of the fabric is another very important factor. People prefer fabrics that are easy to clean. Wrinkle free could be the added perk for all those who find little time to steam-press or iron their clothes. With maintenance one will also look into the longevity of the fabric.
  4. Last but not the least, for what garment are you using the fabric. The designer must bear the season in mind while fashioning as outfit. There are some fabrics that can be used comfortably in the summer as well as in the winter months.
The big question is what is structured fabric, and how is it used? Well! Structured fabrics are fabrics that are manufactured on looms and have a dense reed and pick count. They are woven on high density that lends the quality of stiffness and dense texture, which become inherent part of the fabric. Typically it doesn’t only depend on the fabric used but also on the basis of the type of warp and weft that is carried out on the loom to hold the fabric together.

Denim Fabric Structured Fabric Indian Fashion IndiaImage Credit: IndiaTimes.com

Since structured fabric is often produced on mechanized looms, they are manufactured in large quantities, and are often sold at reasonable rates in the market.

Nivedita Saboo of Nivedita Saboo Couture fame, often uses structured fabrics in her creation. “Structured fabrics are ideally used to create heavy bridal wear creations and traditional menswear”. While structured fabric is often used to create stunning winter wear, some elements like lace and net are liberally used in summer attiring to make it stand out more effectively. Structured fabric is armed with the ability to handle stress on the seams, rendering more to the drape of the fabric.  

Lycra is the most common example of woven fabric. It might interest one to know that Lycra is often used even in traditional Indian attiring to give the garment the desired elasticity.

Fabric Structured Fabric Indian Fashion India
Image Credit: Fabric Inc

The traditional denim too has undergone revolutionary changes. Today denims are not only about the traditional cotton jean, but it also includes blended variations like Twills (Japanese Twill), which are extremely soft to wear and easy on maintenance, and there is also the Sateen. As compared to the twill the Sateen is less elastic, but has that natural sheen.

Some of the commonly used structured fabrics include corduroy, brocade (a stiff decorative fabric), velvet, crepe, chiffon, flannel, the new age denim, cambric, and many more.

Chiffon Fabric Structured Fabric Indian Fashion India
Image Credit: India Mart

The woven fabric comprise of a harmonious blend of natural and synthetic fibres. However one could also find biodegradable compositions in the market.

As we wind up, we at Kyra and Vir, will keep updating you on the latest innovations in the world of fabrics.

Written by Heer Kothari 

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