Doupion… came into the English language from the French doupion, itself from the Italian doppione (in modern Italian dupioni), doppo meaning ‘two’, in reference to the double silk cocoons filaments used in weaving the fabric.

* A silk  characterised by the shorter and longer slubs that are woven into the width. These uneven weft fibres arise as silk threads are reeled from two or more cocoons that have grown together. It’s soft, lightweight and drapes well, and the best quality is resilient enough to hold its own shape, scrunching into good bows and frills, so that it is often the material of choice for wedding dresses.

* Doupion is quite a rustic textile  and relatively inexpensive. A poor quality fabric will contain a lot of impurities and have little inherent body, so buy the best you can afford and scrunch it well to see how much life it has in it.

*  It is, however  one of the very  best solutions for  a tight budget. If window curtains or bed curtains are made up well, with a soft interlining that adds body and depth, this  simple fabric can look a million dollars.

* A good trick is to mix colours-make  up two-toned stripes to bring in some tonal variations, add  a deep hem, or a contrast border surround to work wonders.

* For  bed drapes, buy the best quality and choose  the inner fabric linings either in another doupion in complementary colour or for a different effect,  a fine stripe or chintz. In any case being within the room with the light on them, any doupion will look it’s best.

* For wedding dresses  it’s worth buying the best as a good quality and well dyed doupion does make up beautifully–the slubs are fine and almost disappear into the weave, adding just enough dimension to catch and bounce the light.


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