Step Up Your Style Game with Crepe Fabric: A Beginner's Guide

Crepe fabric has a long history, dating back to the 19th century when it was first developed in Europe. The word "crepe" is derived from the French word "crêpe" which means "crinkled" or "wrinkled".

The crepe was a famous female fashion fabric during the Art Nouveau period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Designers such as Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet used it in their creations. The early versions of crepe fabric were made from silk and were famous for making elegant evening gowns and formalwear.

In the 1920s, crepe fabric became even more popular as the flapper style became popular.

Crepe fabric is still widely used in the fashion industry and continues evolving with new materials and manufacturing techniques. It is now available in various colours, patterns, and textures, making it versatile for clothing and accessories.

Let's have a look at the usage of crepe fabric and its varieties. This article will provide a detailed overview of everything related to versatile material.

What is crepe fabric & how is it made?

Crepe fabric is a lightweight, flowy fabric known for its unique crinkled or pebbled texture. It can be made from silk, cotton, wool, rayon, or polyester.

The crepe texture is achieved using twisted yarns and tight weaving or chemical treatment, resulting in a fabric with a bumpy or puckered surface. This texture gives crepe a unique drape and a soft, fluid feel.

Crepe fabrics are commonly used for making dresses, blouses, skirts, and other garments that require a lightweight and flowing fabric. It is also used for home decor items like curtains and bedding. Depending on the type of fibre used and the weaving process, crepe fabrics can be versatile and range from delicate and sheer to more structured and durable. Crepe was perfect for the loose, free-spirited fashions of the era, and it was used for everything from dresses to scarves to lingerie.

Crepe fabric is a popular choice for fashion designers and home decor makers today, and it is available in a wide range of styles and fibres. From luxurious silk to affordable polyester crepe, this versatile fabric has stood the test of time and remains a staple in the fashion industry.

Types of crepe fabric

There are many different types of crepe fabric, each with its unique characteristics and uses. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Silk crepe: The original fabric is 100% silk fibres. It has a luxurious feel and drapes beautifully, making it a popular choice for high-end clothing.
  1. Cotton crepe: This lightweight, breathable fabric is 100% cotton. It has a slightly rougher texture than silk crepe but is still soft and comfortable.
  1. Rayon crepe: This is a lightweight, flowy fabric that is made from rayon fibres. It has a soft, slightly crinkled texture that makes it a popular choice for summer dresses and blouses.
  1. Polyester crepe: This synthetic fabric is made from polyester fibres. It is affordable and durable and is often used for making everyday clothing.
  1. Wool crepe: This slightly heavier crepe fabric is made from wool fibres. It has a more structured feel than other types of crepe and is often used for making suits and other tailored garments.
  1. Georgette crepe: This is a lightweight, sheer fabric made from silk, polyester, or a blend of fibres. It has a similar texture to chiffon but is slightly heavier and more opaque.
  1. Crepe de chine: This lightweight, glossy fabric is made from silk fibres. It has a subtle crepe texture and is often used for making blouses and dresses.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of a crepe fabric that are available. Each crepe type has its unique characteristics, making it suitable for different uses and styles of clothing.

Benefits of Crepe Fabric

  • Crepe fabric has many benefits, making it a popular choice for clothing and home decor. Here are some of the key benefits of crepe fabric:
  • Crepe fabric has a unique, crinkled texture that gives it a distinctive look and feel. This texture also helps to hide wrinkles and makes the fabric more forgiving in terms of fit.
  • Crepe fabric is lightweight and flowy, making it a great choice for creating garments with a flattering drape. It moves beautifully when you walk, creating a soft and elegant look.
  • Many types of crepe fabric, such as cotton and silk, are breathable and help to regulate your body temperature. This makes them a great choice for warmer weather or clothing you'll be wearing for long periods.
  • Crepe fabric is available in a wide range of fibres, weights, and textures, making it a versatile choice for many garments and home decor items.
  • Crepe fabric is often machine-washable and easy to care for, making it a practical choice for everyday wear.
  • Crepe fabric is often made from durable fibres like polyester, rayon, or wool, making it a long-lasting choice for clothing and home decor items.
  • Crepe fabric offers a unique combination of texture, drape, breathability, and durability, making it a popular choice for various applications.

Care & Maintenance of crepe fabric

The care instructions for crepe fabric will depend on the specific type of crepe and the fibre content. Always check the care label before washing or caring for your crepe garments or home decor items. Here are some general tips for caring for crepe fabric:

  1. Hand-washing is usually the safest way to clean crepe fabric, especially if it is made from silk or has delicate trimmings.
  1. If machine-washing is recommended, use a gentle cycle and a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as these can damage the fibres.
  1. Avoid wringing or twisting it when washing or rinsing to prevent crepe fabric from stretching out of shape.
  1. Hang or lay flat to dry, as high heat from a dryer can damage the fibres and cause the fabric to shrink or lose its texture.
  1. Iron on a low heat setting, or use a steamer to remove wrinkles. Avoid using a high heat setting or pressing too hard, damaging the fibres and texture.
  1. Store crepe fabric garments or home decor items in a cool, dry place to prevent mildew or insect damage.

By following these care instructions, you can help to prolong the life of your crepe fabric items and keep them looking their best.

Not only this but removing stains from crepe fabric can also be challenging, especially if the stain is deep or has been set into the fibres. Here are some general tips for removing stains from crepe fabric:

  1. Act quickly: The longer a stain is left on crepe fabric, the more difficult it will be to remove. Try to address the stain as soon as possible after it occurs.
  1. Blot, don't rub: Use a clean, white cloth to blot the stain, working from the outside in. Rubbing can cause the stain to spread or damage the fabric's fibres.
  1. Use a stain remover: Apply a small amount of a gentle, fabric-safe stain remover to the stain, following the instructions on the product label. Be sure to test the stain remover on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn't cause any damage.
  1. Try a home remedy: For some types of stains, you may be able to use a home remedy such as vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice. Again, test the remedy on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first.
  1. Seek professional help: If the stain is particularly stubborn or you're worried about damaging the fabric, consider taking the item to a professional cleaner with crepe fabric experience.

Always follow the care instructions for your crepe fabric, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools that could damage the fibres. With the right approach and patience, you can often remove stains from crepe fabric and restore it to its original beauty.

Crepe fabric in Fashion & Design

Crepe fabric is important in fashion and design due to its unique texture, drape, and versatility. Here are some of the ways crepe fabric is used in clothing, accessories, and home decor:

  1. Clothing: Crepe fabric is a popular choice for dresses, blouses, skirts, and pants due to its flowy drape and forgiving texture. It's often used for formal wear, such as evening gowns, and wedding dresses, and more casual styles, like sundresses and jumpsuits. Crepe fabric is also used for lightweight jackets and coats.
  1. Accessories: Crepe fabric is popular for scarves and shawls due to its soft and lightweight feel. It's also used for handbags, especially for more structured designs.
  1. Home decor: Crepe fabric is used for curtains, upholstery, and bedding due to its durability and texture. It's also used for decorative pillows and other accent pieces. 

Crepe fabric has been popular in fashion and design for many years and is a staple due to its unique texture and versatility. Its popularity is partly due to the fact that it can be made from various fibres, including silk, cotton, rayon, and polyester, making it suitable for a wide range of styles and budgets.

Additionally, its texture helps hide wrinkles and makes it more forgiving in terms of fit, making it a popular choice for various body types. Crepe fabric is a versatile and timeless choice for clothing, accessories, and home decor.

Many fashion designers have used crepe fabric in their work, both past and present. Here are a few examples:

  1. Christian Dior: The iconic designer used crepe fabric in many designs, including his famous "New Look" silhouette, which often featured full skirts made from lightweight crepe.
  1. Coco Chanel: Another legendary designer, Coco Chanel, was known for using crepe fabric in many of her designs, including her signature Chanel suits.
  1. Diane von Furstenberg: The popular designer is known for using crepe fabric in her iconic wrap dresses, a staple of her collection for decades.
  1. Alexander McQueen: The late designer often used crepe fabric, including dramatic and intricate gowns and evening wear.
  1. Halston: The American designer, popular in the 1970s, used crepe fabric in many iconic designs, including his signature bias-cut dresses.

These are just a few examples of the many designers who have used crepe fabric in their work. Crepe's unique texture and versatility make it popular for designers of all styles and eras.

Is crepe fabric good for summer?

Yes, crepe fabric can be a good choice for summer clothing due to its properties. Crepe fabric is often made from lightweight materials like silk, cotton, rayon, or polyester, which can help keep you cool and comfortable in hot weather. The fabric's texture also helps to create a light, flowy feel, which is ideal for summer clothing.

Crepe fabric can make various summer clothing, such as dresses, skirts, tops, and pants. Due to its texture, it's also an excellent choice for layering, which is perfect for summer when the temperature can fluctuate throughout the day.

However, it's worth noting that not all crepe fabrics are created equal. Some types of crepe, such as wool crepe, maybe too heavy for summer wear. It's best to look for crepe fabrics specifically designed for warm weather or lightweight materials like silk or rayon.


In summary, if you choose the right type of crepe fabric, it can be an excellent choice for summer clothing due to its lightweight, breathable, and comfortable properties. 

Crepe fabric can be used to create clothing that has an awe-inspiring appearance. Its versatility, texture, softness, and beautiful drape make it a preferred fabric for high-end or experimental fashion. Its rippling texture adds a striking feature to the garment, making it an excellent outfit for any occasion. If you're interested in using crepe fabric, here are a few recommendations to help you get started:

  1. Choose the right type of crepe: There are many different types of crepe fabric available, each with unique properties.
  1. Test the fabric before cutting: Crepe fabric can be prone to shrinking or stretching, so it's a good idea to test it by washing and drying a small swatch of fabric according to the care instructions and then measuring it.
  1. Use sharp scissors: Crepe fabric can be delicate, so it's important to use sharp scissors when cutting it.
  1. Handle the fabric gently: Crepe fabric can be prone to wrinkles and creases, so it's important to handle it gently to avoid damaging the texture.
  1. Consider the drape and texture: Crepe fabric is known for its unique drape and texture, so it's important to consider these qualities when designing your project.

By considering these recommendations, you can successfully work with crepe fabric and create beautiful, unique pieces.


What is crepe fabric?

Crepe fabric is known for its crinkled or pebbled texture, achieved through a unique weaving process. The fabric is lightweight and breathable, making it a popular choice for dresses, blouses, and skirts. Crepe fabric also makes it a popular choice for formal wear, as it adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to garments.

How is crepe fabric made?

Crepe fabric is made by twisting the fibres of the yarns during weaving, creating a rippled, crinkled surface. It can be made from various materials, including silk, cotton, wool, and synthetic fibres.

What are the different types of crepe fabric?

The different types of crepe fabric are silk crepe, cotton crepe, wool crepe, georgette crepe, crepe de chine, and satin-back crepe. Each fabric type has its unique properties and is suited for different garments and uses.

Where can I buy crepe fabric?

Now that you know what crepe fabric is, you might be interested in sourcing crepe fabric. Sahni Fabs can help you buy the perfect crepe fabric! You can buy crepe fabric from various places, including fabric stores, online retailers, and specialty fabric shops.