All about the tulle fabric and its uses

Tulle is a fine mesh net fabric most commonly used to make wedding veils and embellish wedding gowns. Tulle can be made from a variety of natural and synthetic fibers, including silk, nylon, rayon, or cotton. Tulle comes in every color of the rainbow to suit any fashion or decorating project, including evening gowns, costumes, hats, lingerie, window treatments, and floral arrangements.

Wedding veil made with tulle

The fabric is named for the city of Tulle, France, where it was first made. This versatile fabric first became associated with weddings when Queen Victoria used it to create her bridal gown in 1840.   If you are shopping for wedding fabric, look for discount fabrics on fabrics.ng to save money on your big day.

Create your personal style using tulle

Decorative ornaments can also be made from tulle netting. It is frequently used to wrap up party favors and gifts, especially for weddings and baby showers. Scraps of tulle netting are sometimes used in quilting and crafts as well, to add texture to a project. Multicolored tulle netting is often used for this purpose, to create tulle flowers and other ornamental accents.

Back-drop made with tulle

A chair decorated with tulle

Baloon decorated with tulle

Types of Tulle;

  1. Nylon tulle is the one you will find readily available at cheap prices.

    Nylon tulle

  2. Polyester tulle is mostly used for crafting purposes as it is slightly stiffer.

    Polyester tulle

  3. Illusion tulle –A polyester- nylon blend tulle is also known as Bridal illusion tulle.

    Dress bodice made with illusion tulle looking almost invisible

  4. Stretch illusion has some spandex/elastane blended with it. It is a great fabric for dresses, lining, etc.

    Stretch illusion

All tulle fabrics are not the same. Tulle fabrics are available in different yarn weights and hole sizes and can range from sheer to opaque, so when buying tulle it is necessary to get a feel of it in your hand to know it, you can order a swatch box to get to feel it. Some may have more open holes making it more see through. Some may have a more crisp hand due to sizing added to it.

The super soft super delicate Silk tulle is used mostly for bridal purposes, though illusion tulle is used equally. Illusion tulle holds a better shape than silk tulle, so some designers even prefer it. Illusion tulle has extremely fine, diamond-shaped holes.

Fine tulle Fabric used as a veil

Uses of Tulle

Tulle is a big thing in sewing. It is used to make bridal veils (The fabric is even called bridal veiling in some shops), tutus, bridal gowns, fine lingerie, occasion wear, couture garments, skirts, etc. It is also used for party favors, floral arrangements, craft projects, home decoration projects. In crafting tulle is used in Doll making, Hat, making pew bows, pom poms, fabric flowers, and they are also tied over balloons and made into bows and tied over chairs for parties. Tutus cannot be imagined without tulle fabric. You can add tulle to your dresses as sleeves, collars, etc as it is sheer but at the same time covering. An illusion neckline is one in which this fabric is added as a yoke above the bodice. Tulle is used a lot as lining under dresses/gowns. A medium weight tulle is used in many layers under gowns to make them stand out a bit. You can also use this material as a lining for lace and other loosely woven fabric to give a little support but at the same time remain invisible. You can use flesh-colored tulle fabric for giving the illusion of having no lining at all. It is also used under beaded/ sequin mesh fabric to give them more stability.

How to sew your Tulle Fabric

  1. Sewing with Tulle is not as horrible as it may seem despite its open weave structure. If you have problems use paper under the stitching lines when sewing seams. The problem you will encounter is in transferring patterns or marking it. The holes make it difficult to use chalk etc. You will have to use paper patterns and cut them together.
  2. Use a polyester thread to sew tulle – you need a strong thread to sew this fabric.
  3. As Tulle does not fray at the edges, you can forgo the finishing of edges but you should be aware that the seam edges will be visible through the see-through fabric. Lapped seams or even french seams work very well with tulle. Or you can cut the seam allowance very close to the seam stitching and then finish the edge with a close zig-zag stitch (2.0 length, 1.5 widths)

 

When making a garment with a transparent fabric you will want to line it – with tulle you should be using the best fabric as lining as it will be visible through the fabric. A soft and flowy good quality polyester or satin fabric is a good choice.

In caring for tulle; you cannot use tulle in the washing machine, it is strictly hand wash.

Ironing Tulle fabric is trouble as excess heat can melt tulle very fast. Remember they are made of nylon or silk or rayon fibers so be careful with the iron. If you really have to iron tulle use the lowest heat setting (nylon) to iron tulle and keep the iron moving. Stopping in one place may make that place overheat and your tulle may melt.

Ironing tulle is a no no

A professional dry cleaning service can take care of a badly wrinkled tulle. Or hang the tulle fabric in the bathroom just after the shower. The steam in the bathroom will automatically iron out all the wrinkles without any fear of burning. Just smooth over the tulle with your hands as it is hanging if you want to help.

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Until next time, stay fancy!