What is Fabric Drape? A guide to understanding for making clothes.

What Is Fabric Drape?

The drape of the fabric refers to the way the fabric hangs. Drape is important when selecting a fabric for a project as it affects your garment's fit and style. Fabric can range from soft and fluid to rigid and stiff. 

Generally, heavier fabrics are stiff, while lighter fabrics lean towards flowy and fluid. You may come across some exceptions to this rule, so it's always best to look at both the drape and weight to determine what's right for your project.

Is The Drape High, Mid or Low?

High Drape

high drape fabric
A high drape fabric is one that is soft and fluid with many small folds in the fabric as it hangs. A garment made from this type of fabric will stay close to the body, hugging your curves. High drape holds gathers very well. These fabrics work well for less structured garments where the wearer gives the garment shape (wrap dresses, flowy dresses).

Types of Fabric: Rayon, silk, bamboo knit, tencel (shop high drape fabric).

Project Recommendations: Wrap dresses, maxi skirts, flowy dresses, sweater dresses, and blouses. Try the Rae Skirt, Nikko Top & Dress, or Hughes Dress. 

High-Mid Drape

high mid drape fabricA high-mid drape fabric is one that is slightly less fluid and flowy than a high drape fabric. It will still hang close to your body in folds, and will make gathers well, but often is slightly crisp.

Types of Fabrics: Cotton voile, viscose blends, rayon blend (shop high-mid drape fabric)

Project Recommendations: Blouses, flowy dresses and skirts. Try the Shirt No. 1, Mave Skirt or the Lichen Duster.

Mid Drape 

Mid Drape FabricMid drape is in between flowy and crisp, making it versatile and suitable for many projects. This type of fabric will hang straight down, falling neither towards or away from the body. Mid drape fabric will hold it's shape making it ideal for structured garments.

Types of Fabrics: Cotton jersey knits, cotton lawn, fleece, wool blends, linen, cotton (shop mid drape fabric)

Project Recommendations: Pajamas, A-line skirts, dresses and coats, t-shirts, dresses/skirts with pleats. Try the Scout Tee, Free Range Slacks, or Gallery Tunic.

Mid-Low Drape

mid low drape fabric

Mid-Low drape fabrics hang away from the body in small folds. This type of fabric will hold it's shape well making it ideal for structured garments.

Types of Fabric: Linen, twill (shop mid-low drape fabric)

Project Recommendations: Structured dresses, tops and pants. Try the Tea House Dress, Ilford Jacket or Emerson Pant.

Low Drape

Low Drape Fabric
Low drape fabric falls away from the body, hanging out wide with big folds. When gathering, the gathers will not lay flat or hold very well. These types of fabrics work well for more structured garments, where the pattern design gives shape to the garment instead of the wearer. 

Types of Fabrics: Canvas, denim, twill (shop low drape fabric)

Project Recommendations: Winter coats and jackets, circle skirts, blazers, jeans, pillow covers, bags. Try the Toaster Sweater, Lander Pant and Short, or Cordova Jacket.

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