Chiffon

FABRIC FACTS

Chiffon is a fabric that denotes high style and fashion. Chiffon is a plain-woven fabric which has a fine sheen effect created by widely spaced yarns. Chiffon may be woven from any filament fiber; contrary to a mistaken belief that chiffon is woven from silk only. Chiffon is a sheer, lightweight fabric, which is frequently found in free flowing dress styles. Chiffon is often sized to add body, luster, drape and hand. Silk chiffon has a softer hand and feel than acetate, polyester or nylon chiffon. A crepe finish chiffon is made of tightly twisted yarns giving the fabric a slightly rougher texture compared to those made of yarns with a loose twist. Chiffon is used in highly styled dresses, gowns, blouses and handkerchiefs. Chiffon dresses may be purchased at popular priced stores as well as at the most expensive designer and retail stores.

FABRIC PROBLEMS

The problems associated with chiffon may be due to fiber content, loose weave construction, sizing or the bias cut construction of the garment.

(1) Yarn Slippage and snagging are due to the fine yarns and loose weave.

(2) Distortion may result because of loose weave and loss of sizing which kept the fabric stabilized. Bias cut garments, which give it a billowy appearance are especially susceptible to distortion. Creped chiffon is likely to become distorted because the highly twisted yarns absorb moisture and cannot be held in place by the loose weave construction.

(3) Cloudy or ringed areas may appear where water-soluble sizing has been used, and moisture, perspiration or spillage during wear has partially dissolved the sizing.

(4) Color Loss that usually appears as streaking or dye crocking is characteristic of dye loss in heavily sized sheer fabrics.

INSPECTION

When receiving chiffon garments, examine them carefully. Uneven hemlines and seam puckering usually indicate stretching, shrinking or distortion. Bias cut garments are almost always distorted to some degree. Note the distortion on the sales slip. Examine the entire garment for snags and pulls. Beading or trimming applied to chiffon can damage the yarns. Examine carefully. Pay special attention to seams, arms, seat and collar. When examining seams, look for fabric unraveling due to stress. Look for rings and swales that may have been caused by perspiration or liquid spillage. Chiffon garments are best examined while hanging on a hanger.

DRYCLEANING

Place chiffon garments in a net bag. Dryclean for no more than 3 minutes. Classify chiffon with a silk load with no moisture. Mechanical action or moisture may cause distortion, yarn slippage or dye loss.

SPOTTING

Because chiffon is a sheer fabric, stains are frequently not noticeable when the fabric is placed on the spotting board. Note stains with a sticker or stain tag. Hold the steam gun at least 6 inches from the fabric to avoid yarn separation and shifting. Do not brush chiffon. Instead tamp lightly with a special padded silk brush, or a brush wrapped with cheesecloth. Keep fabric straight. Do not tamp over screen or crease areas of the fabric. Spot chiffon in small areas and dry quickly with air from a steam gun to avoid ringed areas, light areas and shrinkage due to the dissolving of water-soluble sizing. The air gun too, must be held at least 6" from the fabric. Most wet side stains respond with only the steam gun since the fine yarns and loose weave do not absorb stains.

PRE-SPOTTING

Use a leveling agent on a wet area to prevent rings. Dry before drycleaning. Chiffon will dry quickly. The use of the air gun will aid in drying.

WET CLEANING

Do not wet clean chiffon made of silk or rayon. Chiffon made of thermoplastic fibers (acetate, nylon, polyester can be soaked in cool water (under 100 degrees F) with a mild lubricant. Rinse and hang to dry.

FINISHING

Chiffon should be placed on a steam air finisher with the expansion of the bag restricted either by string, straps, special bags or placed on a steam air finisher that is functional for dresses due to its limited expansion. Most chiffon garments need only light steaming to remove wrinkles and-some touch up can be employed by the puff iron or the use of an iron while garment is hanging. If hard wrinkles prevail, the garment may be placed on the buck of the press. Avoid using head pressure on bias out chiffon since the lay of the garment may be affected. Use hand pads, or touch up with irons making sure the iron is free from rough areas. The garment is always lifted and pushed away from the operator to avoid snags, pulling, dragging and distortion.

SUMMARY

Chiffon ranges from limited serviceability to unserviceable. Distortion May result because of the loosely woven fine yarns. Distortion is especially a hazard if the fabric has been bias cut. The use of moisture in rayon and silk chiffon in any step may be hazardous because the sizing may be water-soluble. Rings, swales, light areas and shrinkage will result in loss of sizing. Be sure to inspect chiffon garments before accepting them for snags, pulled yarns, distortion, uneven hemlines and discoloration.

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