What is Organza? – Fabric Guide and Explanation

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What is organza? Organza is a type of fabric that is commonly characterized by its somewhat shiny appearance and relatively light weight. It’s a very versatile fabric, and you can see it being used in many wedding gowns, evening gowns, home decorations, and many other decorative purposes. Despite its versatility, organza is best known for evening wear and wedding gowns which oftentimes result in head-turning outfits.

What is OrganzaPinWhat is Organza

Contents

What is OrganzaWhat is Organza – History and OriginWhat is Organza – How Organza is MadeUsing PolyesterUsing SilkWeavingWhat is Organza – How Organza is UsedWhat is Organza – PriceWhat is Organza – In Conclusion

What is Organza

Let’s find out more about what is organza, its origin, its uses, and pricing. Organza is a type of fabric that was originally made from silk. It is a sheer, lightweight, and plain weave type of fabric.

Apart from silk, synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester can also be used to make organza. Compared to the original silk, synthetic fabrics are a bit more durable. However, the fabric itself is extremely delicate and is easily prone to tears and frays. 

Since organza is a plain weave fabric, it can also be characterized by the very tiny holes that you can see in the fabric. These tiny holes are created by the spaces between the weft and warp threads in the pattern of the plain weave.

What is Organza - Plain WeaveWhat is Organza - Plain WeavePinWhat is Organza – Plain Weave

As organza is is a lightweight fabric, its quality is determined by the number of holes per inch instead of by thread count. The holes of the organza can be used to determine its quality. More holes per inch mean that the organza is of high quality.

The process of making organza involves weaving two opposing threads, the warp and weft thread, and they must have the same size and the same number of ends per inch and picks per inch. 

Traditionally, organza fabric was only be made by using silk. However, you can now make organza by using fully synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester. Although synthetic fabrics offer more durability, the nature of this fabric is extremely delicate, regardless if it’s fully synthetic or silk.

It is for this reason that you can’t use a washing machine to wash organza. To wash organza, you should manually wash it using your hands. Other people prefer dry cleaning the fabric to ensure that its quality is not ruined. For you to understand what is organza, it is important to delve into its unique qualities.

Organza has a somewhat translucent and shimmering, shiny appearance that helps create decadent silhouettes. Due to this, organza is commonly used in wedding gowns or evening wear. In addition, it can be commonly seen in dresses for formal events. Because of its high breathability and transparent qualities, organza is usually not used alone but rather as an overlay for thicker fabric types. Occasionally, you can see the fabric being used in home decor. 

What is Organza – History and Origin

The name organza is derived from the word “organzine.” In old times, the word “organzine” was what you call any type of silk made by a method of simple twist spinning. Most of today`s silk garments originated around the Silk Road area, a network of several trading routes that stretched from Europe to China.

Interestingly, both of the terms “organza” and “organzine” are not derivative of any Chinese word. These two terms were derived from a Turkmenistan region called “Urgang” which, in ancient times, is a popular region for silk markets. 

It was during the middle ages that the Westerners started to adapt the word “Urgang” into the term “Organza.” Meanwhile, the term “organzine” was used to call the process of making the threads that are used in making organza. 

For several centuries, the organza fabric was used by many westerners as a material for making wedding dresses, evening wear, and other such things that needed a lightweight and semi-transparent fabric.

The downside to this fabric is that since it is very lightweight, it is also prone to damage such as tears and frays. When in storage, make sure to wrap it in any type of protective substance like muslin to avoid damage.

What is OrganzaWhat is OrganzaPinWhat is Organza

What is Organza – How Organza is Made

What is organza, and how is it made? There are two types of organza, namely fully synthetic and silk, and there are also different ways in which you can make organza. For example, if you wish to make organza from a fully synthetic material such as polyester, you will need to synthesize it in a lab using purely non-organic elements.

Using Polyester

The production process of organza using polyester requires making a textile yarn by refining petroleum oil. After that, it then has to undergo several other processes using different machines and chemicals before you have organza as a finished product.

Using Silk

Using silk to produce organza, on the other hand, is a completely different process as it only uses organic materials and does not use any synthetic chemicals during the process. Silk is a material that you can harvest from silkworms. These silkworms naturally produce silk cocoons which are then immersed with hot water and are then unraveled so that they turn into fiber strings. Read more about how is silk made.

Weaving

Regardless of whether you are using synthetic materials or silk to produce organza, the production process only differs until the textile yarn is made. After that, it is pretty much the same. It does not matter whether you used silk or synthetic material as your base.

The next step in making organza is by twisting two fibers into different directions. As such, when these two fibers are connected, they naturally cling to each other because of the opposing kinetic forces. Before the yarn is then spun to fabric, it must first undergo combing and then treated with acid to increase its stiffness.

It is the stiffness of this fabric that differentiates organza from other fabrics. This acid treatment process is only necessary for organza that uses silk as its base material. Organza that is made from fully synthetic materials is relatively stiff already.

For silk or a piece of fabric to be classified as organza, it must be woven in a specific way. Several factors can affect determining whether a fabric can be considered organza or not. These factors include seam stiffness, seam appearance, and seam pucker, among many others.

It is because of these factors that most organza fabrics are still woven by hand. Although you can create organza by using a machine, the resulting fabric is always of a low quality, which is why manual weaving is always preferred.

What is Organza – How Organza is Used

What is organza, and what are its applications? There are two main applications to organza. First is for apparel and second is for decorative purposes. The most common type is in apparel.

In fact, you can see organza in many wedding gowns and evening dresses. Due to its lightweight, semi-transparent, and somewhat shiny properties, dresses made of organza are a sight to behold. Dresses wherein organza is used usually have several folds or fluffy sections that are made with sheer fabrics. In almost all cases, wedding dresses that use organza are usually bright white.

However, it is important to take note that organza is not exclusive to the color white only and can be dyed in several other colors. For evening gowns, since organza is a very light fabric, it is often used as an overlay too much thicker fabric. Overlays often have very complex patterns and are usually brightly colored. 

Stage costumes and other decorations are another application of organza. You can commonly see organza being used in many skirts and tutus. Apart from apparel, organza can also be used in several other decorative things such as curtains, lampshades, and other interior decor items.

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What is Organza – Price

Many factors affect the price of organza. One major factor that affects its price is the type of textile used to create the fabric. While the global supply of this fabric is considered relatively stable, many people view organza as a niche textile which only greatly affects its price. 

Furthermore, organza that is made from silk is significantly more expensive compared to organza that is made from synthetic materials. This is because the production process of making organza from silk is much more complex and requires more effort. Additionally, silk products are always more expensive regardless of what type of fabric it is.

What is Organza – In Conclusion

Organza is a type of lightweight fabric that is commonly used in bridal gowns, evening gowns, and other formal dresses. You can also see it in many interior decorations such as curtains.

Since organza is a very light type of fabric, it is prone to damage and must be handled with care. You should always keep in mind not to wash organza with a machine. Rather, you should hand wash it or dry clean it. 

You can make organza from two types of base materials. You can either use pure silk or fully synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon. Organza made from silk undergoes a purely organic process while organza made from synthetic materials undergo a different process. Hopefully, this article has given you an insight as to what is organza and its applications, and types.

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