by Shannon Gifford
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  • Voile

    Voile is a semi-sheer, soft fabric, perfect for beautiful garments. The fabric is generally made from natural fibers such as linen, silk, cotton, or a combination of these fibers. The resulting fabric is soft and delicate. You'll love the elegance of this fiber combination, as well as the beautiful colors and prints.


    Hand-wash in cool water, lay flat to dry.

    Needles and Thread:

    Use a fine needle and fine thread for this fabric. If your eyes can see to thread a size 9 sharp needle, it is the best choice; otherwise, use a size 11 sharp or universal point needle. Cotton embroidery thread, which is available in many colors, is excellent for use with such fine fabric. If you cannot locate this thread, use an all cotton or cotton-covered polyester thread for construction.

    Seams, Seam Finishes, and Hems:

    French seams are traditional for semi-sheer fabrics such as this one. A serged finish is possible as well; use a three-thread balanced stitch. Hems can be topstitched by machine or hand-rolled.


    If you prefer to use a fusible interfacing, use the thinnest fusible available. I like to use the interfacings marketed for use with silk fabrics for this type of application. However, the best interfacing for this fabric is a coordinating solid colored silk organza. The organza can be doubled for more crispness in areas such as collars and cuffs, and will not interfere with the drape of the fabric.

    Pattern Suggestions:

    ouses, full skirts, dresses, tops, softly draped items, heirloom garments

    Creative Possibilities:

    All traditional heirloom techniques are perfect for this fabric. Experiment with using laces, lace beading, entredeux, smocking (yes, even on adult garments!), and small embroidery motifs.

    Additional Tips:

    This fabric gathers beautifully. Finish the end of a ruffle or gathered area with a small rolled hem (by hand or machine) then gather the fabric very tightly for the most luxurious results.

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