If you've dived into the world of fabric you've probably heard of the term 'drape'. You may think that weight and drape are interchangeable. But weight and drape do have their differences. Weight would be referring to the actual heaviness of a fabric and sometimes even referring to the thickness of a fabric.
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So what is drape? Drape is the fluidity or rigidity of a fabric. It determines how a fabric hangs and folds. The more drape a fabric has the smaller the folds and the more the fabric will hang straight down. The less drape a fabric has the more stiffly it will hang and the larger the folds will appear. So...what does that really mean practically? If you're like me you may do better with a visual. I decided the best way to visualize that would be to make the same shirt, same size, in 9 different fabrics. I chose the Sahara top/dress from Bella Sunshine. As a top it has a nice peplum to show the drape of all these fabrics. Also if you want to dive more into the properties of these different fabrics, you can check out our blog post all about different kinds of knits, Let's Talk About Knits.
French terry has more of a moderate drape to it. Not too structured, but not as drapey as some. Depending on the content of your french terry, it also will play a part in your drape. Anything with cotton in it will have a little more body to it. This french terry I chose is some of our poly rayon spandex french terry.
Cotton, like we said before, has a little more body to it. Cotton modal and cotton spandex even though having different fabric contents to it, will lay very similarly to each other.
Double brushed has more of a fluid drape. It will lay in smaller folds along the body. This is also a great example of how something can have a similar drape, but not the same weight as another fabric. DBP may land in the same fluid drape category as rayon spandex, but it definitely isn't the same weight as RS.
There isn't such a thing as "bad" drape. Drape is all in the eyes of the beholder. Each fabric is better suited for certain projects and less ideal for others. Understanding the different properties of each fabric will help you better choose the best material for the results you want.