The very finest sheer fabric, of which the best is made in Switzerland. Plain woven cotton is subjected to an acid finish that produces a unique crispness. In some ways this seems an extraordinary contrast to the ethereal floaty quality of the sheer weave, yet this magical quality transports a simple cloth into another realm. Silk treated the same way is called organza, it’s as ethereal but less strong. ( My east facing bedroom organza sheers were in tatters are after four years of direct morning sun.)
In white, off-white and a variety of colours, organdie is a light, airy textile with many opportunities in interior design. It looks good on its own, with a plain cotton lining to add body and perhaps colour, or layered with a rougher fabric such as linen or cotton damask. Several layers in monochrome, sharp juxtaposition or subtle gradation all stitched together at the top, can be really effective in draping a bed or over a window where light block out is not an issue. And perhaps especially over a window that is constantly overlooked – remember that the light that does filter through will be coloured by the sheer that you choose.
The crisp texture of organdie allows it to be made up into Roman blinds, that remain fully or partially lowered and are primarily used either to filter light and insects, or to protect the main curtains. Here it is preferable to add a lining so that the organdie itself is protected from bright sunlight.
Organdie under curtains, bed drapes, dressing tables, lampshades and cushions is always light and pretty. As a decorative textile may be cut on the cross for a frayed edging, it looks lovely pleated, made into butterfly-frilled trimmings and highly gathered for frothy lampshades.. For weddings the traditional gilt chairs are stunning covered with organdie – either as loose fitted or simple with a square of organdie tied at the back into a big bow.
It is very washable as the structure stays intact; press damp, before creases set in.