The most luxurious, tightly woven silk satin fabric. Its high sheen and intensity of colour, even in whites and neutrals, make it the most common choice for couture garments: wedding, evening dresses and jackets. Great care is needed with pinning and stitching, as the surface is easily caught and damaged by the needle point. New pins and sharp needles, a pristine environment and white gloves, or at the very least regular hand washing, are essential.

Weaving duchesse with two different coloured yarns, one showing at the back and the other at the front, creates an incredibly elegant, sumptuous fabric full of subtlety, nuance and depth. The colour on the reverse might seem pointless as it remains unseen, however, as with many subtleties in design the underlying tone has a huge effect on the depth, intensity and beauty of the colour on the face.

Duchesse curtains might be lovely, as would full room fabric walling–but for most of us the cost demands that it be used judiciously; instead use it for cushions, screens, lampshades, and with silk patchworks.


donghia …my stool, klosters cushion

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