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Silk Shantung Fabric Draping

Silk Shantung is a lustrous stiff fabric most commonly used in eveningwear. Other common uses include skirts, bridal gowns, jackets, and cocktail dresses. The fabric is a lighter and smoother alternative to silk Dupioni. Although it still has a slightly striated surface due to the raw silk it is woven with, it is very subtle, and hardly noticeable.

Included are some quick 15 minute drapes to show the luster, body, crispness, and flexibility of this fabric. Although no netting or boning was used, the fabric still holds the extreme shapes. Challenge yourself to create new silhouettes and push the typical boundaries of this fabrication.

This fabric is most known for the crispness it provides, allowing more structured looks to be created. It can be tailored to create a polished look while retaining the luster and sheen typical for eveningwear pieces. The extreme luster provides drama when fullness is created with tucks or gathers. The harsh shadows contrast against the bright highlights creating depth.

This fabric pleats beautifully, however the pleats will need to be tacked, as silk will not permanently pleat. The stiffness and body of this fabric allow endless ways to use and manipulate the fabric. Masses and volumes that seem to defy gravity will hold their shape adding excitement and complexity to your garment.

Silk Shantung garments are most commonly lined with China silk. All seams should be finished, as the fabric will fray. Common seam finishes for Silk Shantung include French seams and overlocked seams. Use a silk needle when sewing Silk Shantung, to prevent snagging the fabric. Although it is a plain weave fabrication, it is still subject to snags and care should be taken to avoid sharp points or objects. Netting is commonly used with Silk Shantung to keep the fabric from collapsing. Petticoats can help to create volume and intensify the shapes created when draping.


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