Most brides are well-versed in the differences between chiffon and organza since both fabrics are used predominantly as wedding dress material. While chiffon and organza look similar to the untrained eye, there are several distinct differences between them.
Appearance and Texture
Both chiffon and organza appear gauzy in nature. They are whimsical and delicate fabrics, which is part of the reason they are both popular choices for wedding attire. Chiffon flows more easily, giving it a more feminine look. Organza, on the other hand, is a stiffer fabric. It does not flow well, but it is often used in very structured dresses that are not intended to flow. Chiffon also has a hint of sheen to it. Organza is matte in appearance.
Both fabrics wear well and do not wrinkle easily. Chiffon, in particular, breathes well, making is a smart choice for summer brides who have outdoor weddings. Organza is used as a feminine top layer for wedding dresses, but it is also often used to provide structure to a bodice or underpin softer fabrics. Organza serves dual purposes in that way–appearance and function–whereas chiffon is primarily used for appearance only.
Chiffon and organza are both derived from the silk family. Generally, polyester or nylon is mixed with the silk to create chiffon or organza fabric. Chiffon or organza made exclusively of silk is the most expensive type. Polyester makes the cheapest chiffon or organza. Chiffon can be very soft or slightly rough, but usually has the same thickness. Organza, alternatively, can vary widely in thickness. Thin organza is sheer and somewhat flowy, but thick organza can be similar to burlap in terms of stiffness.
Chiffon and organza are most commonly used to make bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. Both fabrics are prime choices for brides looking for a shimmery, light look. Many women claim that chiffon and organza tend to hide body flaws. Therefore, they are popular choices for bridesmaids dresses as well, since they suit a variety of body types. The price of the fabrics is dependent upon the quality—silk chiffon and silk organza are the most luxurious and, therefore, the priciest. The main difference between chiffon and organza bridal gowns is the sway factor–chiffon is very flowy, while organza is stiff and structured.
Though brides may be the primary consumers of chiffon and organza, both fabrics have other uses as well. Seamstresses can make pants, shirts, scarves and skirts out of chiffon or organza. The fabrics can also be used to make crafts, such as Martha Stewart’s organza sachets. Many home décor projects also require organza.
References and ResourcesThe Knot: Your Gown: Wedding Dress Fabric Glossary
Martha Stewart Weddings: Lighter than Air: Crisp Silk Organza; Organza Sachets
The Wedding Co.: Buying a Destination Wedding Dress