Liturgical dance, in which the dancer worships religiously through music and movement, is a part of some faith practices. The dance requires costumes that move freely with the dancer, are easy to care for, have a modest cut and often have a sweeping, loose form. Several types of fabrics can be used in liturgical dance costumes, but dancers favour polyester and nylon for their easy care requirements.
Polyester and Polyester Blends
Medium-weight fabrics that come in nearly any colour imaginable, polyester and polyester blends are the most common fabrics used in liturgical dancewear. Polyester and polyester blends offer a comfortable fit with some stretch for movement and an inexpensive price tag for designs with full skirts that require larger amounts of fabric. Polyester is easy to care for, allowing for machine washing and drying.
Smooth, lightweight and strong, nylon is appropriate for full dresses, trousers and tops in liturgical dance wear, as well as accent pieces such as sheer sleeves and overskirts. The lightness of nylon allows it to move well with the dancer, and its strength allows the dancewear to hold up over a long period of use.
Used extensively in all dancewear, including liturgical dancewear, spandex or elastine fabrics are stretchable, moving with the dancer and springing back to the original shape after movement. Spandex comes in a variety of colours and finishes, including matt and foil. This fabric is also resistant to wear through washing and perspiration.
Light and sheer, chiffon is appropriate for special applications such as sheer sleeves or decorative, contrasting overlays on shirts, dresses and skirts.
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