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Crepe Fabric


Crape or crepe is a silk, wool, or polyester fabric of a gauzy texture, having a peculiar crisp or crimpy appearance.

Silk crape is woven of hard spun silk yarn in the gum or natural condition. There are two distinct varieties of the textile: soft, Canton, or Oriental crape, and hard or crisped crape. Thin crêpe is called crêpe de Chine ("Chinese crêpe").

The wavy appearance of Canton crape results from the peculiar manner in which the weft is prepared, the yarn from two bobbins being twisted together in the reverse way. The fabric when woven is smooth and even, having no crape appearance, but when the gum is subsequently extracted by boiling, it at once becomes soft, and the weft, losing its twist, gives the fabric the waved structure which constitutes its distinguishing feature. Canton crapes are used, either white or colored, for scarves and shawls, bonnet trimmings, etc.

The crisp and elastic structure of hard crape is not produced either in the spinning or in the weaving, but is due to processes through which the gauze passes after it is woven. In 1911, the details of these processes were known to only a few manufacturers, who so jealously guarded their secrets that, in some cases, the different stages in the manufacture were conducted in towns far removed from each other.

Some of the best examples of crepe are found in traditional oriental dress clothes. Their intricate designs, and shiny material are strong examples of a well produced crepe. Soft crepe can be used to make blouses, coats, dresses, and suits.

 


 


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