From 1905 to 1910 charmeuse fabric was a French trade name for a lightweight, drapable silk with a highly lustrous face and a dull back. The name "charmeuse" derives from the French word meaning "charmer" or "seductress."
Manufacturers today fabricate charmeuse from silk, cotton or various manmade fibres. The use of high twist yarns for the warp combined with crepe yarns for the weft or filling achieves a satiny face finish and a soft, dull back. The woven fabric can be dyed or printed. Mercerising and schreinerizing produces a soft, lustrous finish.
Its clingy quality and excellent drape make charmeuse a favourite for intimate apparel, blouses and evening gowns. Soft against the skin, charmeuse is a lightweight version of satin, the luxurious silk fabric historically favoured by royalty.
Charmeuse fabric is challenging to sew because of its tendency, like many silks, to slip while cutting and stitching. Even when the fabric is controlled by pulling firmly with the warp or weft, puckering can be a problem, especially in polyester versions of the weave.
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