Describes weaves in which the warp and weft are in two or more different colours, creating a fabric that appears to change colour with each new angle and extent of light. Even as you scrunch a piece of shot fabric in your hand and turn it, one colour after another will show itself.

The colours of shot materials, especially silk, are stunningly beautiful, subtle and nuanced, translucent, ambiguous and layered as every shade and tone between the two colours is revealed. It’s always fascinating to tease out some edge threads to see the exact tones of colour that make up the fabric composition. Any of these, often extreme, colours can be used in the room to some degree, however unlikely and bright they might seem at first.

Most shot fabrics are silk, the weave and the fibre made for each other, as silk’s natural sheen and reflective quality creates a myriad of tones from just two base colours. Shot taffeta, the ball gown favourite, looks especially good when frilled, gathered, ruched or tied into bows. The plain weave allows the colours to sing.

Shot silk substitutes and silk mixes are also effective, but without the subtlety that only a natural fibre can bring.

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