It is so common for the designers as well as the consumers to look out for fabrics that are rich in texture and give a garment awe-inspiring appearance. The simple reason for this fabric preference is that while the brands provide the style quotient, the fabrics define class. Silk, original leather, fur etc. are the vintage fabrics and crepe, blended silk, linen are among some contemporary fabrics that are being preferred by the fashion world. Among the contemporary fabrics crepe is well-liked by customers and designers. Crepe has a creased or grain surface which has small folds or ridges and can be made from several different materials.

The tight weaving, twisting of the fibres prior to weaving are responsible for the characteristic surface of the crepe fabric, which is puckered or pebbly. The twisting of fibres can be attained either through irregular patterns during the weaving process or by creating permanent patterns with rollers engraved with a crepe design on the surface of a finished fabric through the application of heat and pressure. Fibres ranging from silk, wool, polyester or cotton can be used to produce crepe fabrics. Crepe fabric that uses polyester fibres is one of the most extensively used fabrics in the garment industry, as the resultant garments are wrinkle free and comfortable. The varieties of crepe include crepe de chine, wool crepe, Moroccan crepe, plisse crepe and crepe georgette.

Among these varieties Crepe de chine, which is made from silk, is the most luxurious and demanded fabric. It is light weight and is made with highly twisted yarns in the weft and silk yarns in the warp. The flipside of the crepe de chine fabric can be severely damaged when exposed to excessive sweat or sunlight.

The second most popular variety is crepe georgette is made from either matter silk or fabric similar to silk that is flexible and stretchable. This fabric is also known as chiffon. It is mostly used to make women's garments like traditional skirts, blouses, evening wear and gowns. The wiry crepe fabric which is a blend of silk and cotton fibres is known as wool crepe and it is also used by the designing houses all over the globe to produce dresses. During the weaving process the yarn is specially treated to give it crepe like look. Left-right hand twists or providing varied degrees of stiffness to twists or slackness in the warp yarns gives a crepe effect to the fabric. Wool crepe is used to created lingerie and dresses.

Asian countries including Thailand, China, Korea, and India are the chief exporters of crepe de chine. The textile industries from European Union, Middle East and the U.S.A. import crepe fabrics from these countries. The designers of luxury clothing lines in the western countries including the lingerie makers and wedding dress designers often use rich quality crepe fabric imported from the Asian countries. The cost of the fabric varies, as the import duties differ. For e.g. in China the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) duty is 10 percent and sales tax is 15 percent with no additional duties and in India MFN duty is 10 percent, with no sales tax and additional duties involving landing charges 1 percent Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF), countervailing duty 12 percent (CIF duty + Landing charges), Cess 3 percent (Duty + Countervailing duty) and additional countervailing duty 4 percent.


The market for crepe fabrics is also gaining momentum in Canada and Europe. Although the first choice of several designing houses is silk, as it includes the luxury end of the market, but there are designers who are now more inclined to use alternative man-made fabrics including crepe with comparable characteristics. The polyester-based chiffon crepe fabric's drape and fall are much better and the designers look out for this fabric, as it is much easier to care for than natural fibres. France and Germany have shifted their focus on crepe georgette and polyester based crepe and manufacturers from Italy have already started tapping the growing market of crepe in these countries. Another reason for the boost in sale of crepe in developed countries is that more women are joining the workforce, and business suits made from crepe are easier to maintain in comparison to the silk suits. Alternative use of crepe fabric is that it is being largely used as lining in garments. It is as rich as silk and also less expensive, more sustainable and light weight, which makes it an ideal choice for lining the garments including coats, dresses, gowns, etc.

In addition to the fashion designers, interior decorators also are focusing on embracing crepe fabrics as part of home furnishings. The more modern and fashion conscious cities like New York, Paris, Milan, etc. are ensuring that the interior decorating houses include lots of crepe in the furniture designs. The crepe fabric is easy to sew and that makes it a favoured pick for furnishings and apparel.

The sheen, drape and opulence of the crepe fabric have made the fabric remarkably popular in textile and fashion world. Today the colours, varieties and designs of crepe are unlimited and the fine texture of the fabric is suitable for making apparels and also home furnishing products.








Image Courtesy: