While silk taffeta, charmeuse, shantung, and silk linen are considered “heavy” weight silks, on the other end of the spectrum we have silk chiffon, organza, and georgette which are sheer and considered “light” weight fabrics. These lightweight sheer fabrics are made using thin threads and a loose knit which result in a semi-transparent effect, allowing light to pass through. Sheer silk fabrics were traditionally used to layer other garments to add a soft touch, for example in winter wear, but now sheer silk can be made into light garments and lingerie. Some sheer silk fabrics can even be used for upholstery.
Sheer silk fabric is dyed after the weave and is therefore available in almost any color imaginable. White, cream, ivory and eggshell are the most popular colors in the sheer silk category. Silk georgette is used almost exclusively in fashion while silk chiffon and organza are used in interior as well as fashion applications. Traditionally, sheer silks have been used to layer other garments in order to add a soft touch and/or a design variation.
Sheer silk chiffon used on a curtain.
A common use for silk organza and silk chiffon is in drapes and curtains that allow sunlight to pass through during the day while maintaining a certain level of privacy. Sheer silk fabrics are also often used in bridal wear where their lightness if a big plus for brides where wearing a heavy wedding gown can become cumbersome. High-end fashion designers often use sheer silks in their designs.
Since sheer silks are delicate they require care against damages and blemishes. Also, due to the fabric’s delicate nature its best to hand wash it with cold water and use a low power detergent that is suitable to soft cloths.