Asking the question “what is the difference between chiffon and tulle?” is pretty common since the construction and feel of these linens are almost the same.
Usually used in wedding gowns and wedding dresses, chiffon and tulle fabrics are the perfect choice by dressmakers because of their smooth and lightweight construction; making them easy to wear, especially on special occasions. But not only that, it can be used for everyday wear as well. Some clothes use this kind of fabric on normal dresses or blouses. It is also great for casual or even office wear.
Being members of the mesh family, comparing chiffon vs tulle, maybe tough competition. This is because it usually points out the preference of the dressmaker or the one who will wear these comfortable garments.
What is Chiffon?
Before comparing chiffon and tulle, let us first look at what each of them is, how they are constructed and what are the pros and cons of using these different kinds of fabric.
A clothing staple in different parts of the world such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, and India, chiffon is a fabric made of silk that has a very light and thin construction. This makes it comfortable and cool for wearers, especially those who live in countries with warmer climates.
The French word for cloth, chiffon is characterized by a semi-transparent fabric with a lightweight construction that provides elasticity and is full of texture. Throughout the years, manufacturers of this fabric have experimented with different fabric combinations to make it even sturdier and lighter, which made it what it is today.
Because of its glamorous and luxurious appearance, it is then made as a primary material for wedding dresses not only because of its comfort, but also because of its lightweight features that help the bride carry a dress full of layered fabric.
Pros of Using Chiffon
As mentioned above, one of the pros of using chiffon as a wedding dress is its lightweight construction. Because of this, it makes an entire dress or clothing drapable, meaning that layers can be added to it making it more glamorous. Aside from dress fabrics, chiffon is also perfect for decor fabrics. Chiffon table runners also work well because they are flowy and easy to decorate. Purchase wholesale table runners and easily mix and match them with the rest of your table fabrics.
The almost transparent material makes it cooler to wear even though wedding dresses or even normal clothes use a lot of layers. Lastly, it is shiny and lustrous making it luxurious to wear and stitch together.
Cons of Using Chiffon
The downside of using chiffon is that it is so thin compared to other fabrics that it can easily be snagged or torn. That is why it usually needs a lining fabric to make it more sturdy.
It is also a delicate fabric that is difficult to work with and the seams have the possibility of breaking apart when worn. Some dressmakers are given the challenge of properly stitching chiffon so that it will not be easily compromised.
What is Tulle?
Also a mesh-like product, tulle is a loosely woven fabric that is thinner than chiffon. Just like a mesh, it has visible tiny holes that make it lighter and easier to wear and carry. However, unlike chiffon, tulle mostly needs to be constructed with other materials and is more used as a design for a dress.
Used on the bridal veil of Queen Elizabeth II during her wedding with the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, it gained popularity and has been more used in luxurious dresses as a layer either on a veil, cape, or the dress itself. Apart from wedding dresses, tulle is also commonly seen on tutus, which provides an accent to the fluid movement of a ballerina.
But that’s not all with tulle. Some makers use a thicker construction for a stiffer feel, depending on the application of the fabric. It is commonly made of nylon nowadays, but the rare ones are made from silk.
Pros of Using Tulle
Tulle has a smooth and lightweight construction, but moves more fluidly than chiffon. Its smooth construction also helps it not to fray or unravel perfectly to use for dresses and be added as layers to gowns and other types of clothing.
Overall, tulle has a more elegant style that gives a romantic silhouette, which is one of the reasons why it is used on wedding clothing. Buy tulle in bulk for more discounts. This fabric is also a good investment in the long run.
Cons of Using Tulle
Because of its very thin netting construction, dressmakers find it difficult to work with tulle. Just like chiffon, it is very prone to snagging and breaking when it gets caught by a thin protruding object.
Comparing Chiffon Vs Tulle Fabric Side By Side
Comparing the difference between chiffon and tulle side by side, chiffon’s appearance may seem weightless, while tulle is more a netting or mesh type. When it comes to their durability, even though they’re almost the same, tulle is more durable than chiffon, which is a more delicate fabric.
The feel and fit of both are almost the same. They are both soft and smooth, but chiffon can feel more slippery than tulle, while tulle provides a more crisp texture. Both can be used for adding volume to a dress. However, chiffon gives a sexier silhouette, while tulle provides a more romantic and relaxed look.
While both fabrics are mainly constructed of polyester and silk, chiffon uses nylon while tulle also has a mix of cotton and wool in it.
When it comes to layering, chiffon is slightly opaque, while tulle has a see-through netting. This is also the main reason why tulle is more commonly used as an accessory, while chiffon is mixed on wedding dresses, gowns, etc.
Alternatives To Using Chiffon Or Tulle
If you’re looking for alternatives when it comes to tulle vs chiffon, organza might be the closest competitor. Organza is stiffer than chiffon or tulle and is not constructed with silk. It is also offered in various thicknesses, which can go as light as chiffon or as thick as a canvas.
That being said, it is a more flexible option to be used as an accessory or as part of a dress. The downside, however, is that the lightweight construction and comfortability will be compromised. To put it in simpler terms, chiffon is more of a fabric while tulle is more of a mesh. Because of its materials, tulle is a more expensive option than chiffon.
Picking between the two will depend on your needs. There is really no better option when choosing between the two. It boils down more to your preference and how you want your dress or gown to look. For a wedding dress, the two materials can go together as chiffon can be added to the wedding dress, while tulle can be used on the veil.