The original name relates to a weave that places the thin warp threads close together and inserts a slightly thicker weft thread. This produces a ribbed structure, which also provides the fabric with its typical shape. Today, taffeta is mainly made using a plain weave, and it receives its look and sturdiness from the fabric and its finish. Taffeta is most frequently used in elegant evening and festive fashion as well as for decorative purposes.
As an outer layer, taffeta may consist of silk (silk taffeta) as well as artificial fibres (e.g. nylon, polyester, viscose) and a mixture of these. Taffeta is available unicoloured as well as in printed and embroidered variations. Taffeta may also feature varying surface textures, e.g. with a moiré effect or crushed, which refers to bunched or folded textured taffeta. Woven jacquard patterns are more seldom.
Taffeta should be treated according to its composition.
Artificial fibres such as polyester, etc. will stand up to machine washing at 30°C with spin cycles of up to 800 rpm. If the fabric is embroidered or very fine, then the article may be washed in a machine in a large laundry bag accordingly.
Silk taffeta may be dropped off for cleaning or washed (very carefully) by hand.
Always iron inside-out at low temperature (1st setting) and spray lightly (more misting than spraying), since water spots might result otherwise. Crushed articles shouldn’t be ironed at all.
Taffeta, like silk, is one of the more ‘difficult’ fabrics, but these advice will make it easier for you to handle:
Always use a new, thin, high-quality needle with a point (thickness 60 to 70), otherwise threads will catch.
The stitch length should be normal (2 to 3.5). To be on the safe side, try out a test piece to find the right settings for your machine.
A seam should always be removed very gently, to avoid visible needle holes.
Extremely crushed taffeta may be top stitched with a simple straight stitch inside the seam, since this will make sure that the folds don’t twist up.