peau de soie

Hi there! Today's post is about the the fabric properties for peau de soie. Why you might ask? To gain more expertise in textiles, and more importantly to help me pick the fabric to use for my new vintage dress pattern Advance 9441.  My first task was to research peau de soie. So here goes...
100% Silk Peau de Soie, Valentine Red
Peau de Soie
The name is French for “skin of silk” and denotes a soft, good-quality silk satin cloth which has a rather dull, grainy appearance. 

McCall’s Sewing Book, Sixth Printing copyright 1963 by McCall Corporation. Published by Random House, Inc.

The use of "dull" in that definition was curious to me. I found out that actually the dull luster of peau de soie is more flattering to most body shapes and sizes than high luster satins.   
If you go searching for this fabric, you will likely find it under these names:

double face satin
polyester delustered satin
duchesse satin

Originally peau de soie was always made of pure silk, however some say polyester delustered satin is more forgiving than silk satins. Polyester delustered satin doesn't water spot as easily, and seamstress often find it easier to sew. The biggest consideration between polyester and silk is of course the price. I found the silk for $65-$80/yard, and the polyester for $6.99. Check out my Pinterest board for a few shops offering this fabric.
I'm pretty sure my wedding gown was made of duchesse satin, not silk because of the price tag. It was beautiful, but I could not afford the high price tag of the silk... oh but how good that silk would have felt. But we're only in the dress for  a few hours anyways right? Then it hangs in our closets hoping to one day be worn by our daughters.... dreaming here...

A few more properties to note:

Weight: medium weight, and has a moderately stiff drape. 
Ease of Use: Sews easily, but pins and needles leave marks. Not much stretch, may be difficult to ease seams
Uses: Evening gowns, bridal
Care: Dry Clean
Price: $65-$80/yard for 100% silk and $6.99-$14.95/yard for 100% polyester

Next up shantung...

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