It is no secret that I adore fabric and linen. I’m not sure where this came from but it is a true passion and I get a little giddy when I step into a fabric store with reams and rolls of wonderful and fantastic textures and compositions.
While I peruse all types of fabrics from ones suitable for drapery, ones perfect for upholstery and others still the best for fashion, I pay special attention to fabrics that can be used for parties and events.
A fabric can change the overall look of any party and linens and fabrics are a party planners best friend. From draping whole rooms, to creating specific areas, to adding texture to a dining table, fabrics can be an interesting, and in some cases, a cost effective way of furthering a theme or creating a needed decor.
But many of the fabrics that are used are very similar in look, texture and weight that it’s easy to confuse names and purposes and to keep everything straight.
So, here in this post, I outline some of the fabrics that we use most often for parties and events. With Fall weddings in full swing, and so many holidays approaching, the following fabrics are ones that you will encounter the most during your party planning.
Burlap is a coarse, woven fabric that is usually derived from the jute plant. It is fibrous and is most commonly in neutral, earth or beige tones. It’s heavier than most fabrics so is ideal for creating looks that require more sturdy structure. Burlap is used most often for decorative features like bows or added elements around vases or planters. It is used often as table runners for weddings and parties that have a vintage, rustic theme. Burlap is a very workable fabric and I like that it’s composition allows for embellishments and accents. Painting or stamping a design or monogram works well on burlap, allowing for great customization that is relatively cost effective. You also have greater flexibility on size, creating runners that are long in length with options for varying widths.
Mesh is a very open weave fabric that is usually found in rolls. Mesh comes in a variety of colours, some with metallic or sparkle features, and is found at most craft stores. Used most often with florals and outdoor planters for added filler and colour, mesh can also be used in parties for decor items. It is a bit springy and is best used as wrap in your party decor, whether is be around pillars, florals or wreaths.
Not to be confused with organza, chiffon is a billowy fabric that has a wide variety of uses in both fashion and home decor. It is a closely woven, lightweight fabric and although it is fairly transparent when bunched and layered it can create a more dense look. I really like to use chiffon because it can be bunched together to create a full look quite easily and is wonderful for draping a wall, draping a specific area to create a “room”, used on chairs for interest and decor, and even in florals for a billowy, romantic effect. It is a fabric that is easy to maintain as once it’s steamed, it holds it shape well and doesn’t wrinkle easily. It usually comes in double width which allows for greater use.
Organza is similar to chiffon in that it is a more closely woven fabric than say a mesh, but it tends to have a bit more structure than chiffon. Organza comes is an endless array of colours and is used most often in parties as overlays for table decor or for decor items like bags. It can be woven with silk fabrics, but also woven with synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester. It also can come in double width when purchasing by the yard. Organza can sometimes have a sheen or shine to it and many times you can find ones that have a pattern sewn throughout the fabric.
Tulle is a very lightweight netting that is made from various fibres but most often is of silk, nylon or rayon composition. Because of its stiff nature, It is used most often in fashion, specifically under skirts, ballet tutus and bridal wear; veils or dress overlays are made from tulle. It is quite durable and strong despite it’s lightweight feeling. While used most often in fashion, tulle is commonly used for parties and events mostly as decorative accents or as wrapping for party favours and gifts. It too comes in a variety of colours and can have additional accents like pattern or shimmer. Tulle, like chiffon and organza can be used for draping.
So, there is it. Burlap, mesh, chiffon, organza and tulle all have a fantastic spot in party and event design and decor. While chiffon is one of my favourites, I love to work with all of these fabrics to create interesting, dimensional looks.