Fabric Dictionary: What Is Charmeuse Fabric?

Fabric Dictionary: What Is Charmeuse Fabric?

Charmeuse fabric is a soft & shiny fabric that can be found in apparel & decor. Read this fun & informative fabric blog to learn everything about Charmeuse.
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Charmeuse fabric is a soft, shiny, and lightweight fabric that is often used to make clothing and decor. Dating back to ancient China, Charmeuse is said to have been popularized in Europe by the upper class, before becoming more widely available to the rest of the world in the early 20th century. This satin-weave fabric is soft to the touch, and has two sides – a lustrous, shiny face, and a dull, matte back side. Initially made from silk, Charmeuse fabric is now made with other fibers such as rayon, polyester, and cotton. Charmeuse is a breathtaking fabric that can be used to make stylish garments and decors like bridal dresses, lingerie, draperies, and more. Join us, as we discuss everything about Charmeuse fabric.

What Is Charmeuse Satin Fabric?

Charmeuse, also known as Charmeuse Satin, is a soft, smooth, and shiny fabric, that is usually lightweight. Woven in a satin-style weave, Charmeuse is made by passing vertical warp threads over four, or more, horizontal weft threads. These fabrics differ from other Satins since Charmeuse threads are more tightly woven, and the fabric is generally thinner and lighter in weight. This weave style gives Charmeuse fabric a more reflective surface, smoother texture, and a heavier drape. These luxurious fabrics are often manufactured from silk, but more affordable fibers can be used or blended to make it. An elegant type of fabric, Charmeuse can be used to make garments and decor for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, or parties.

Where Does Charmeuse Fabric Come From?

Charmeuse fabric originated in ancient Asia before becoming widely available today. Remains of an early Charmeuse-like fabric have been traced back to the 4th millennium BC. From China, Charmeuses were traded to Europe along the silk road. The fabrics became popular among the wealthy classes during Medieval and Renaissance times. Today, Charmeuse fabric is more widely available. The fabric is produced in many countries around the world, most popularly: Italy, China, India, and France. The type of fibers used, in addition to the quality of the Charmeuse, can vary depending on where it was made. For instance, Italy is renowned for the quality of silk it uses to produce Charmeuse. It can be difficult to determine the origin of fabric by just looking at it, so it's recommended to always look at labels, or ask the supplier to confirm the origin of the fabric.

What Is Charmeuse Fabric Like?

Charmeuse is an elegant fabric that is soft, shiny, lightweight, and flowy. Due to how it’s made, Charmeuse fabric is usually lightweight, thin, and features two sides, a dull, textured back, and a shiny, smooth front; usually, only the shiny front side is seen. Furthermore, Charmeuse is tightly woven. This means that this fabric has a fluid moving drape when it’s hung, and it can resist wrinkling by snaping back to its original shape if it’s creased.

What Kind of Fabric Is Charmeuse?

Charmeuse fabric is a type of satin. Satin fabrics are called “satin,” because they are woven in a one-over-four, or similar style satin weave. Charmeuse fabrics are known for having unobstructed faces that are smooth and lustrous. This is because these fabrics are usually woven with one vertical warp thread passing over four or more horizontal threads. This makes satin fabric appear luxurious and elegant, and perfect for crafting more formal apparel or décor.

Types of Charmeuse Fabric

Since the word, “Charmeuse,” refers to how the fabric is woven, Charmeuse fabric can be made or blended with different fibers. Several types of fibers used to manufacture Charmeuse are silk, spandex, and polyester. When Charmeuse fabric is made with different fibers, the characteristics of the fabric may change slightly. Let’s move forward and discuss some of the different types of Charmeuse fabric.

  • What Is Silk Charmeuse Fabric?

    Silk Charmeuse fabric is any Charmeuse that is woven primarily with silk fibers. As a fiber, silk is known for being soft, hypoallergenic, and temperature regulating. Prior to weaving, silk fibers are painstakingly harvested from the cocoons of silkworms. A natural fiber, Silk Charmeuse causes less allergic reactions in people than other fabrics. Additionally, silk is a fibrous material that controls the temperature by wicking moisture and trapping heat, meaning that Silk Charmeuse fabric is quick drying and insulating. The qualities of Silk Charmeuse fabric make it highly sought after, and it can be slightly expensive. Silk Charmeuse will most likely be found at weddings, parties, and other formal events.

  • What Is Stretch Charmeuse Satin Fabric?

    Stretch Charmeuse Satin fabric is a kind of Charmeuse that can stretch since it contains spandex blended with other fibers. Spandex is a synthetic fiber that when added to Charmeuse, makes the fabric stretchy and more durable. Unlike other styles of Charmeuse, Stretch Charmeuse has a snug, comfortable feel, and can conform to any shape. Additionally, since the fabric can stretch and is made from strong, synthetic materials it can withstand normal wear and tear. Easy to sew, Stretch Charmeuse Satin fabric is popular among both novice and experienced seamstresses because it is so versatile, and can be used to make body-hugging garments, sheeting, and draperies.

  • What Is Poly Charmeuse Fabric?

    Poly Charmeuse fabric is a type of Charmeuse that is durable and affordable because it is woven with polyester fibers. Polyester is created during petroleum production, before being converted into fibers, and woven into Poly Charmeuse fabric. Essentially made from the same materials as plastic, Poly Charmeuse is durable, and able to imitate the softness and shininess of Silk Charmeuse. Also, unlike Silk, Polyester Charmeuse is available on a wider scale, is less costly to produce, and is easy to clean. That being said, Poly Charmeuse fabric isn’t as luxurious as the ones made from silk; however, the fabric can be used to make similar garments and decors at more than half of the cost.

What Is Charmeuse Fabric Used For?

Here are a few ideas on how you can craft with Charmeuse fabric:

    • Evening Gowns, Dresses, Suits, & Jackets

      Flowy and shiny, Charmeuse is commonly used to make elegant and luxurious attire. When hung, Charmeuse fabric has a fluid drape that flows. Additionally, the lustrous qualities of the fabric make it really stand out. It’s no wonder that Charmeuse fabric is used to make breathtaking apparel for weddings, balls, parties, and other functions.

    • Lingerie

      Charmeuse fabric can be used for creating seductive lingerie. In addition to feeling soft and shiny, Charmeuse is also a lighter weighted fabric. These qualities allow this fabric to be used for making elegant lingerie or under garments.

    • Casual Clothing

      The use of Charmeuse fabric is not limited to luxurious apparel. Charmeuse is generally a lightweight, smooth, and soft fabric. Craft comfortable clothing like blouses, shirts, and skirts.

    • Accessories

      SElegant and smooth, Charmeuse fabric can be used to craft accessories like headwraps, shawls, scarves, and more. The soft, smooth nature of Charmeuse fabric makes this fabric comfortable, and can protect your hair while sleeping.

    • Home Decors

      Charmeuse fabric is also used for indoor decorations. Create luxuriously soft bed sheets, pillowcases, cushions, duvet covers, and bedding sets with Charmeuse. Also, this fabric can be used for making lustrous and flowy curtains and draperies that hang on walls and windows. Additionally, use Charmeuse to make sophisticated and matching tablecloths, placemats, napkins, and table runners.

    • Event Decors

      Since Charmeuse is so elegant and luxurious, the fabric is commonly used to decorate events, parties, weddings, and other functions. Create backdrops, ceiling overhangs, and wall draperies with Charmeuse fabric. Furthermore, decorate tables, chairs, stages, and dance floors with this fabric.


Charmeuse is a soft, shiny, and lightweight fabric that can be used for a variety of elegant applications. Originating in ancient Asia, Charmeuse fabric is widely available today and is manufactured in many countries. Charmeuse can be described as shiny, soft, and lightweight because the fabric is a type of satin. That being said, these fabrics can vary depending on what fibers are used to produce them. Comfortable to the touch and pleasing to the eye, Charmeuse fabric is commonly found being used to make luxurious and comfortable apparel, accessories, and decors. Be sure to check out our Charmeuse fabric collection and consider using Charmeuse for your next sewing or crafting project.

1 comment

Royston  Brathwaite

Royston Brathwaite

Please call me about fabrics. Opulent Interiors Design LLC
I need 30 yds of the Burgandy Vinyl

Please call me about fabrics. Opulent Interiors Design LLC
I need 30 yds of the Burgandy Vinyl

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