What is Panne Fabric?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

When the occasion calls for fabric that has a high sheen, panne fabric is the ideal choice. From formal occasions to home decorating, panne is an excellent choice when the intent is to add a touch of elegance to the ambiance.

Woman shopping
Woman shopping

Using either silk velvet or rayon velvet as the foundation for the process produces panne fabric. Achieving the effect of brushed velvet is possible by employing the use both combing equipment and rollers. The first step is to make sure that the pile of the material is going in the same direction. Using the combs makes this possible. After the material has been combed properly, the reams of material are run between two flat rollers. The rollers further compress the pile in one direction. The end result is that as the fabric moves, some of the fibers will shift and provide a shimmering quality to the look of the material.

Panne fabric has a number of uses in the fashion world. One of the more classic uses for the material is in the manufacture of capes for both men and women. Formal black capes that fit well with tuxedos and evening dresses are often lined with subdued hues of panne fabric, or in some instances bright red is used, as a contrast with the black outer shell. The material is heavy enough to provide some protection on a cool evening, but light enough to move easily while walking.

Along with formal wear, panne fabric also finds its way into more casual garments as well. As a way to dress up a pair of jeans, overshirts made of panne fabric combine a sense of the elegant with the easy going attitude that denim conveys. Skirts made from panne fabric exude a fun retro look and feel, and can be perfect for a shopping trip or lunch with friends. Chokers made using sections of panne fabric and glass beads were popular recently, and small purses that are covered with panne fabric in different colors continue to attract a lot of attention.

Around the home, panne fabric can be used to add some texture to the space. Throw pillows covered with panne material are a great way to introduce some depth and color into the area. Drapery arrangements can also be created with the use of panne fabric, from flowing panels to covered cornice boards. For an inexpensive and elegant way to divide a larger room into sections, panne fabric stretched across panels will make an excellent backdrop for a small conversation area or even as a place to display art.

Being an affordable choice when it comes to fabrics for the home or the wardrobe, panne fabric is a popular option with many decorators and designers. With the ability to add texture and style just about anywhere, panne fabric will continue to be a popular option for many years to come.

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


Cloth4less has some really cheap pannes. Lots of colors. Most are by the roll only, but some are by the yard.


One of the weirdest combinations I've seen is a panne fabric shirt worn over corduroy fabric pants. Definitely one of the worst fashion disasters I've ever seen!


@yournamehere -- I agree with you about panne. It always reminds me of little girls princess costumes, because so many of them are made out of cheap pannes.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the fabric -- I think it looks cheap, and there are so many other places to buy high quality wholesale fabrics cheaply that there's no reason to choose a panne over a velvet fabric.


I like panne fabric, but sometimes I think it can be over the top, especially if it is in really bright colors.

To me, it's best to stick with a nice, but fun Jacquard fabric, and leave the panne for little kids' costumes.

If you must use a panne though, I think that the best is a crushed panne fabric in a not-too-outre color. That keeps it in the realm of grown ups, but is certainly still visually interesting.

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