Lustrous taffeta is often featured in red carpet gowns worn by A-list celebrities and sometimes in tracksuits from well-known sportswear brands. 

At the same time, this versatile fabric is an excellent option for elegant and timeless home decor elements, such as curtains and blinds. Taffeta is available in plenty of colours and textures to fit the theme of your house. 

And while it is known to be a high-end fabric reserved for statement luxury pieces, you can easily find affordable poly-blends that offer the same look. But before we get into some nifty styling tips, let’s start with the basics.

What Is Taffeta?

The origins of taffeta date as far back as the 12th century, when it was first produced in the Middle East. The name of this slippery-smooth fabric was derived from the Persian word “taffeta,” meaning “twisted woven.”

As the name suggests, it is a tightly-woven fabric, originally made from expensive, organic silk. However, you can now find taffeta woven from synthetic materials, such as rayon and nylon. 

At the same time, the weaving process remains pretty similar, and the result is always a crisp and plain-woven fabric. The plain-weaving technique involves a single weft thread that creates a checkerboard pattern and a high-twist yarn that provides taffeta with its signature stiffness. 

Types Of Taffeta

Due to various factors in the manufacturing process, such as the weave or pattern and whether it is yarn-dyed or piece-dyed, taffeta can look and feel different. That said, here are three common types of taffeta fabrics you can use.

1. Paper 

Taffeta can be opaque or sheer — and paper taffeta may be the thinnest version you can find.

2. Shot-Silk 

Most taffeta fabrics boast a luxurious shimmer, and shot-silk taffeta takes it up a notch. That said, the material is woven from yarns of two or more colours to provide a mesmerising colour-change effect.

3. Stretched

Identifiable by its ribbed weave style, stretched taffeta incorporates spandex to provide flexibility to the famously stiff and crisp fabric. 

How To Use Taffeta?

1. In Home Decor

An off-white taffeta fabric with ivory embroidery or cream embroidery on a beige-coloured fabric can be the perfect accompaniment to almost any interior design. And while the subdued neutral colours provide a clean look that is easy to match, embroidered designs, such as raised leaves from a hand-cut velvet, add a unique touch. These elegant and subtle fabrics may work best as curtains and blinds. 

Consider green moss-coloured taffeta with a copper-gold diamond pintuck pattern for a more dramatic look. You can use this fabric for wall panelling in glamourous vintage-themed interior designs that feature gold-coloured decor. Alternatively, the design, colour and texture are ideal for soft cushion covers that can add a pop of colour to a room full of neutral-coloured elements.

2. In Dressmaking

Taffeta dresses were a rage in mid-century fashion designs and still regularly feature in iconic dresses worn by famous personalities. 

Perhaps what makes this fabric a timeless classic is the ability to hold its shape. On that note, you can go for a vintage-themed polka dot dress in a bright colour with dramatic puffed sleeves or a voluminous skirt that accentuates the waist. Or maybe you can use it for an elegant gown finished with a large bow or textured folds. 

Summing Up: Taffeta Fabrics

Taffeta can be opaque or sheer, lightweight or medium-weight, high-end or affordable. There is a taffeta option for all kinds of budgets and purposes. The lustrous sheen, elegant texture, and easy fabric flexibility make taffeta a tailor-made choice for fashionable pieces of clothing and fabulous home decor.