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Understanding Voile Fabric

Voile is one of my favorite fabrics to sew with, especially for summer. If you have never tried this fabric, here is a little background and a video to explain a little bit more about this wonderful fabric. Traditionally voile is a sheer soft fabric, usually made from cotton but it may be blended with linen, polyester or wool. The name comes from the French meaning veil. Often it has a higher thread count that gives it a soft hand and sheen that mimics silk. It can be confused with lawn or batiste. Lawns are usually less sheer than a voile and a high quality batiste is usually more sheer. A voile is also smoother and softer than a lawn. Having said that, these are generalizations and there are no set rules. A manufacturer can label their fabric anything they wish. I have worked with voiles that are more sheer than batistes and stiffer than a lawn. Telio is now making a fabric that they call voile that is a cotton rayon blend and Stof of France is making a fabric that they call voile that is 100% polyester.

Now that I have thoroughly confused you, I am going to focus on 100% cotton voile. With the resurgence of home sewing in the 2000s and specifically garment sewing, several of the quilting companies started manufacturing different substrates including knits, lawns and voiles. The first instance I could find of this was Free Spirit Fabrics who at the time was owned by Westminster Fabrics. The fabric had a wonderful drape, and a soft silky hand. It was sheer but not that sheer and came in wonderful prints and solids. Free Spirit no longer manufactures the voile fabric. Art Gallery Fabrics began following suit and manufacturing beautiful voiles. These voiles are still available and we carry some here at Pink Hollybush. Again, they have that wonderful drape and silky hand. Unfortunately I have not seen Art Gallery manufacturing any in the past year or two and the product line is no longer separately listed on their site so I am concerned that there may not be any more coming!

Here is a video that will give you a few more details and show you the wonderful voiles carried by Pink Hollybush:

I hope that you will give these wonderful cotton voile fabrics a try. Happy Sewing.


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