What is Organza?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

While there are some great ways to infuse the home and wardrobe with a sense of luxury, few of them can equal the use of organza. As a sheer fabric that provides a look and feel that is similar to silk, many forms are actually made with silk filaments. Here is some background on its production, as well as some of the ways that it is commonly used.

Light pink organza.
Light pink organza.

Originally a lightweight silk fabric, organza is a plain weave that is created using nylon, polyester, and silk or a blend of any of the three. The loose weave of the filaments allows the production to result in sections of cloth that are translucent in nature. A slightly looser variation on the weave will result in sheer looking fabric.

Silk cocoons. Organza fabric can be made from silk filaments.
Silk cocoons. Organza fabric can be made from silk filaments.

Chinese organza is still often made completely from silk filaments. Italian and French versions are generally sturdier and often includes nylon filaments as a blend with the silk. Fabric produced in India and the United States often uses a mixture of nylon and polyester to create usable organza that is both cost effective and smooth to the touch.

Organza has a number of uses around the house. One of the more common applications is fabric that has been left either a natural white or given a tea rinse and used as sheer curtains for windows. The window treatment can either be simple flowing panels or include ruffles with a valance and tiebacks to add a frilly touch to the space. Another application has to do with creating painted screens that can add enhance a corner or be used as an airy way to divide the space in a larger room. The fabric holds paints well and can result in some beautifully appointed designs for the screen panels.

Along with window treatments and screens, organza can also add a romantic touch to the bedroom. Suspended as netting over the bed, silk panels will soften the lines of just about any style of furniture, and create a romantic getaway. Organza scarves can also be draped over lampshades to diffuse the light. Just make sure the bulbs in the lamps are low heat types.

When it comes to attire, organza is a staple of formal dresses and other feminine wardrobe items. As a way to create full skirts on evening gowns, nothing beats this fabric for a graceful fall that produces attractive lines. Wraps that are overlaid with organza can produce a sophisticated look that will draw many admiring eyes. One of its main uses is in the creation of wedding dresses that help to make the big day all the more special. Between wedding attire and uptown evening fashions, this fabric has a secure future in the world of fashion.

Organza is often used in wedding dresses.
Organza is often used in wedding dresses.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

anon975456

Silk organza is made of silk filament that has not had the outer coating, called seracin, removed. It has an extremely fine texture but is stronger and stiffer than silk with the seracin removed. Also, it has a glittery surface instead of a shiny surface.

I make silk organza filament for luxury doll hair. I start with completely raw silk, soak it in an enzyme solution to remove a small amount of seracin to prevent the silk from being too stiff, then dry it and brush it vigorously to make it softer and more glittery. It is incredibly beautiful.

anon253081

That is the same question for me, what's the difference between organza and tulle?

anon128279

Could you also discuss tulle netting, etc, to better differentiate organza from its look-a-likes? Thank you!

anon99440

Thank you for this information, looking for exactly what you wrote.

Could you add whether it is recyclable or not? Thank you.

anon77859

wow anon 35308, why don't you stop complaining about someone else's description?

anon38730

anon35308, you just spoke of silk more than you discussed organza, which was the material in question. I didn't come here to read about silk, I came to read about organza, so I have to say, I'm glad Mr. Tatum wrote it and you didn't.

anon35308

This is the weakest description of organza I have read to date. You neglected to mention that silk organza is sheer and has a crisp hand and that this stiff feel is used to give interest and structure to garments. Many types of silk have a soft slinky feel depending on the weave, like satin or velvet. Silk is also loved for its luminous qualities but it can also have a matte appearance as in silk noil.

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