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Silk Habotai Fabric Draping

Silk Habotai is a lightweight, non-stretch, woven, soft, silky fabric that is easily manipulated into flowing silhouettes and blousy shapes. Common uses for Silk Habotai include lining, blouses, dresses, scarves, swim cover-ups, and resortwear.

Because it is lightweight, it is most commonly seen in spring and summer collections. For luxury garments, silk habotai can be used as a soft lining, replacing more commonly used fabrics such as acetate and polyester that are used for lining in less expensive garments.

Another common use for silk habotai is silk painting. It is the perfect lightweight silk for scarves. The fabric must be stretched along a wooden frame, then a number of resists and dyes can be used to paint the fabric. Afterwards, the fabric must be steamed to set the dyes.

Silk Habotai is very silky and also has a tendency to slide around while sewing. It may be beneficial to baste a seam first or use tissue paper during construction. Also, silk habotai has a tendency to fray due to the weave. For this reason, edges should not be left raw. A merrow finish or French seam would make great seam finished for a silk habotai garment.

Silk habotai is a very flowing fabric, making it ideal for blousy silhouettes and less successful in highly constructed shapes. However, this soft hand makes silk habotai a great choice for a bias gown or cowl neck. The fabric will easily collapse in on itself creating delicate folds and adding depth. Also, because of its weight, the fabric can be semi-transparent. It is always good to use multiple layers or line a garment made from silk habotai. In the pictures below, you will notice techniques like gathering and pleating to create fullness to make the fabric less transparent. Even with the soft hand, it is possible to create texture and volume by incorporating these techniques.


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