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Lame is a shiny metallic-looking fabric often used for clothing, and accessories such as handbags, and it may also be used in upholstery. Although it usually comes in shades such of gold and silver, this woven fabric is available in a number of colors. Numerous outfits are made with lame; a lot of evening wear includes skirts, tops or dresses made with lame, for example.

What Lame is Made of

Lame is usually a hybrid fabric, made partially of metallic fabric and partially of a filler fabric such as nylon or polyester. These fabrics are woven or knitted together to create a lightweight shiny fabric. The metallic fabric is typically not pure metal. Instead, metal coated plastic or yarn fibers are more common. These newer materials are used because they are lighter, do not usually tarnish and are easier to work with than pure metal.

What Lame is Used For

Lame is often used to create vivid clothing, making it ideal for theatrical wear, dance costumes and dressy evening wear. It also has several other uses, such as the creation of non-clothing items such as tablecloths in home decor. Lame will sometimes be used to create the trim on formal wear, and such as bridesmaid's dresses. It is also used to create decorations and craft projects. Because lame is so bright, it can be a good idea to contrast it with dark or neutral colors, such as black and white for gold or silver lame.


Lame is generally tough and may dull sewing shears over time. Unfortunately, lame damages quite easily, and needle holes, as well as heat and moisture can ruin this material. This fabric also frays easily and is not easy to repair. Dry cleaners may not be able to treat lame fabric, so it is a good idea to take good care of your lame clothing. Furthermore, the metallic fabric can chafe. It's a good idea to check the exact materials used to make the lame, as some older lame clothing made of brass or silver, may tarnish over time.

Working with Lame

If sewing lame by hand, it's best to use a needle with a size between 7 and 10. Plain and double-ply seams work well with lame, as do plain and double-stiched hems. For closures, button loops work well, but button holes are not recommended, as the fabric may tear easily around the hole. To repair damaged lame, try to use standard polyester thread. If planning to mark the fabric, standard fabric markers are acceptable.