Crêpe (textile)

Crêpe, also spelt crepe or crape (from the Fr. crêpe[1]), is a silk, wool, or synthetic fiber fabric with a distinctively crisp, crimped appearance. The term crape typically refers to a form of the fabric associated specifically with mourning.[2] Crêpe is also historically called crespe or crisp.[3]


Types (A to C)

  • Aerophane:
  1. Crimped silk gauze with a crêpe texture.
  2. A historic 19th century lightweight crêpe,[4] introduced in 1820,[5] and, as crepe aerophane in 1861.[6]
  • Albert crêpe:
  1. A superior-quality black silk mourning crêpe used since 1862.[5]
  2. Plain-weave crêpe.
  3. An English-made silk and cotton blend crêpe.[7]
  • Alicienne: A furnishing fabric with alternating plain weave and crêpe stripes.[8]
  • Alpaca crêpe: Rayon and acetate blend crêpe with a woollen texture, not necessarily made of alpaca yarn.[8]
  • Altesse: A British plain-weave silk fabric with crêpe filling.[9]
  • Arabian:
  1. A British-made plain-weave cloth with figured crêpe designs
  2. Piece-dyed silk crêpe embroidered with dots.[10]
  • Armure See Georgian crêpe.
  • Balanced crêpe: Crêpe woven with alternating S and Z twist yarns in both directions.[11]
  • Balmoral crape: An 1895 English crape.[12]
  • Balzerine: An 1889 narrow-striped silk grenadine overlaid with wider crêpe stripes. An earlier 1830s cotton/worsted fabric, spelled balzarine, is probably not crêpe.[12]
  • Bark (or tree-bark) crêpe: A broad term describing rough crêpes with a bark texture.[13][14]
  • Bauté satin: Warp-woven satin with a plain crêpe reverse.[15]
  • Borada crape: A cheaper, economical version of mourning crape advertised in c.1887.[3]
  • Bologna crêpe: Silk crêpe used for mourning, also known as valle cypre.[16]
  • Canton crêpe: A soft silk crêpe with a pebbly surface originally associated with Canton in China, with bias ribs. Made in Britain, but exported to China, hence its name.[17]
  • Caustic soda crêpe: Cotton treated with chemicals to create a crêpe-like texture, often in patterns.[18]
  • Chiffon crêpe: Chiffon-weight crêpe.[19]
  • Chijimi: Japanese crêpe.[19]
  • Chirimen: Japanese raw silk crêpe widely used for kimonos.[20][21] When woven with a dot it is mon-chirimen.[22]
  • Courtauld crape: 1890s mourning crape made by Courtaulds. An 1894 variation, called Courtauld's new silk crêpe, was exceptionally thin and soft.[6] Courtaulds monopolised the export market for English crapes and crêpes, meaning that the textiles known as crape anglaise were almost always manufactured by Courtaulds up until 1940.[3]
  • Crêpe Algerian: A trade name for a printed pongee with a rough crêpe texture.[23]
  • Crêpe anglaise: A French term for English mourning crapes in black and white.[6] The only true 'crape anglais' was considered that made by Courtaulds (see Courtauld crape) which was last made in 1940.[3]
  • Crêpe Beatrice: Trade name for crêpe with a light warp stripe.[23]
  • Crêpe berber: Trade name for a piece-dyed crepe-textured pongee.[24]
  • Crêpe charmeuse: Lightweight silk satin with a grenadine warp and crêpe reverse.[24]
  • Crêpe chenette: A tradename for a strong crêpe with a pebble texture.[24]
  • Crêpe crêpe: Made with extra twists in the warp to create an extra-deep texture.[24]
  • Crêpe de chine: A fine, lightweight silk, cotton, or worsted, with a plain weave and crêpe-twist filling.[24]
  • Crêpe de chine travers: A ribbed crêpe de chine with heavier filling yarns introduced to the weave at regular intervals.[24]
  • Crêpe de dante: Crêpe with silk and wool filling.[24]
  • Crêpe de lahor: Cotton crêpe made in France.[24]
  • Crêpe de laine: A sheer wool fabric plain-woven with hard twist for a slight crêpe effect.[24]
  • Crêpe de santé: An undyed, closely woven, rough-textured wool-blend crêpe mixed with silk, linen or cotton, also called "health crepe"[24]
  • Crêpe de Suisse: 1860 dress fabric.[6]
  • Crêpe d'espagne: Open-weave fabric with a silk warp and wool filling.[24]
  • Crêpe diana: Trade name for a cotton and silk blend crêpe.[24]
  • Crêpe Elizabeth: English term for a mottled or pebbled georgette.[24]
  • Crêpe faille sublime: Silk grosgrain with a hard-twist filling.[24]
  • Crêpe flannel: Plain-woven worsted with a crêpe finish.[24]
  • Crêpe imperial Late 19th century woollen crape.[6]
  • Crêpe jacquard: Crepe with designs produced by jacquard weaving.[24]
  • Crêpe janigor: Trade name for a heavy rib textile with alternating rayon and dull acetate warp threads, cross-dyed for varied shades.[24]
  • Crêpe jersey: Vertically ribbed silk crêpe resembling the knit fabric.[24]
  • Crêpe lissé (or lease): A lightweight, lustrous, slightly stiffened open-weave silk or cotton crêpe, with fewer twists than a crêpe crêpe.[24]
  • Crêpela: French term for a crêpe effect.[24]
  • Crepeline: Very sheer plain-woven silk usually used in textile conservation.[24] Originally introduced in the 1870s as a cheap alternative to crepe de chine.[6]
  • Crêpella: Plain-woven worsted using hard-spun yarn.[24]
  • Crêpe maretz An 1862 fabric.[6]
  • Crêpe marocain: Heavy, cross-ribbed crêpe where the filling yarn is coarser than the warp, resembling a canton crêpe.[24]
  • Crêpe meteor: Soft silk crêpe, twill weave reversing to satin.[24]
  • Crêpe mohair: Silk and mohair blend crêpe.[24]
  • Crêpe morette: Trade name. Lightweight worsted crêpe with heavier, looser filling.[24]
  • Crêpe mosseux: A type of opaque voile which resists shrinkage.[24]
  • Crêpe myosotis A later mourning crêpe made in the 1930s, in crimped silk with a soft finish.[6] Courtaulds launched this textile in the early 1930s as an alternative to the increasingly unpopular traditional stiff mourning crapes.[3]
  • Crepenette: Crêpe-effect pongee.[24]
  • Crêpe ondese: Rough textured rayon-acetate blend crêpe.[24]
  • Crêpe poplin: A late 19th century silk-wool rib fabric with crêpe effect.[24]
  • Crêpe rachel: French print cotton-worsted blend crêpe.[24]
  • Crêpe radio: British raw silk crêpe with a ribbed effect, using alternate double rows of S-twist and Z-twist.[24]
  • Crêpe royal: Sheer crêpe-de-chine introduced in 1889.[6]
  • Crêpe suzette: A variation on crepon georgette.[24]
  • Crepine: Silk with crêpe dots. The name also describes a type of fringe.[24]
  • Crepoline: A class of transparent fabrics with a warp-wise crêpe effect.[24]
  • Crepon: A heavier crêpe with an exaggerated warp-directional texture produced by several weaving techniques.[24] A soft silky version was introduced in 1866, and the second, much heavier version in 1882. In the 1890s crepon also described a woollen fabric that puffed between stripes or squares, including crepon milleraye (striped) and crepon Persian (with 'Oriental patterns').[6]
  • Crystal crêpe: An English term for silk crêpe.[25]
  • Crespe: Lightweight crimped mourning gauze, late 16th century.[6]
  • Cynara: An crêpe-type fabric in rayon and acetate.[26]
  • Cyprus: Fine crêpe used for mourning hatbands in the 15th-17th centuries, made in Cyprus.[27]

Types (E to L)

  • 'ele'ele kanikau: Black mourning crêpe worn in Hawaii.[28]
  • Epingline: Textile in silk, rayon or worsted with a crêpe surface.[29]
  • Esmeralda or étendelle: Sheer white crêpe or gauze popular in the early 19th century, often embroidered.[30]
  • Flat crêpe: Also called mock crepe or (inaccurately) French crepe. A smooth, flat plain-weave fabric, typically a silk blend, with hard-twisted yarns and ordinary yarn warp. Also used to describe a similar fabric made without crepe-twist yarns.[31]
  • French crêpe: Inaccurately applied to flat crêpe.
  1. Plain-weave light silk or rayon cloths similar to flat crêpe.
  2. A lingerie weight fabric with ordinary yarn warp and a twisted filling yarn that is less twisted than typical crepe twist.[32]
  • Gamsa: An imitation satin-backed crêpe in twill weave rayon.[33]
  • Georgette: Sheer, lightweight fabric named after the couturiere Georgette de la Plante.[34]
  1. A crepe-surfaced plain weave silk or synthetic fabric with alternating S and Z twist yarns in both warp and weft.
  2. An English term for cotton crepe.[35]
  • Georgian crêpe: A chain-pebbled crêpe (called armure in France) often with diamond, shield or bird's-eye motifs.[35]
  • Health crêpe: See crêpe de santé.
  • Lingerie crêpe: See French crêpe.

Types (M to Y)

  • Marana: Woollen crepe, very resilient and drapable.[36]
  • Mock crêpe: See flat crêpe
  • Momie crêpe: Light cotton fabric.[22]
  • Moss crepe: See sand crepe
  • Norwich crêpe or crape:
  1. 19th century silk warp and worsted, resembling a non-twill bombazine but not considered true crêpe.
  2. 17th century black-dyed worsted crêpe made in England.
  3. A georgette-like silk and cotton blend fabric in a crêpe weave.[3][37]
  • Pekin crêpe: Pekin (shiny and matte striped textile) woven with a crêpe weft.[38]
  • Plissé: Mainly cotton fabric with a crêpe effect created by chemically treating the fabric to pucker and crinkle, typically in stripes. Plissé satin is made using crêpe yarns.[39]
  • Reverse crêpe: Woven with a crêpe yarn warp and flat filling.[40]
  • Rhythm crêpe: Plain-weave rayon with seersucker stripe.[41]
  • Romaine: Heavy but transparent crêpe.[42]
  • Roshanara: Trade name for heavily ribbed satin-backed crepe.[43]
  • Russian crêpe: Invented in 1881. A coarse-weave crêpe.[44]
  • Sand crepe or moss crepe: Crêpe with a grained or frosted surface appearance, created with a small dobby weave.[45]
  • Sawdust crêpe: Similar to sand crêpe but with a harsher surface.[46]
  • Satin-back crêpe: Reversible fabric with a satin face and a crêpe reverse.[23]
  • Shioze: Japanese spun-silk crêpe.[47]
  • Spanish crêpe: See d'espagne.
  • Victoria crepe: British-made cotton crêpe with a high lustre.[48]
  • Yantsou: Figured silk crêpe made in Yantai, Eastern China.[49]
  • Yeddo crêpe: Soft cotton fabric, medium weight.[50]

See also


  1. Online Etymology Dictionary
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Taylor, pp. 246-253
  4. Tortora & Johnson, p. 6
  5. 1 2 Lewandowski, p.6
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Lewandowski, p.77
  7. Tortora & Johnson, p.10
  8. 1 2 Tortora & Johnson, p. 14
  9. Tortora & Johnson, p.14
  10. Tortora & Johnson, p. 23
  11. Tortora & Johnson, p.39
  12. 1 2 Lewandowski, p. 22
  13. Lewandowski, p. 25
  14. Tortora & Johnson, p.45
  15. Tortora & Johnson, p. 52
  16. Tortora & Johnson, p. 66
  17. Tortora & Johnson, p. 96
  18. Tortora & Johnson, p. 52
  19. 1 2 Lewandowski, p. 52
  20. Ikegami, p.276
  21. Panda, p.92
  22. 1 2 Lewandowski, p. 194
  23. 1 2 3 Tortora & Johnson, p. 156
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Tortora & Johnson, p. 157
  25. Tortora & Johnson, p. 164
  26. Tortora & Johnson, p. 168
  27. Lewandowski, p. 81
  28. Lewandowski, p. 96
  29. Lewandowski, p. 99
  30. Tortora & Johnson, p. 215
  31. Tortora & Johnson, p. 236
  32. Tortora & Johnson, p. 247
  33. Tortora & Johnson, p. 254
  34. Picken, Mary Brooks (1957). A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and Modern. Courier Corporation. p. 88. ISBN 9780486402949.
  35. 1 2 Tortora & Johnson, p. 259
  36. Tortora & Johnson, p. 372
  37. Tortora & Johnson, p. 418
  38. Lewandowski, p. 224
  39. Tortora & Johnson, p. 465
  40. Tortora & Johnson, p. 509
  41. Tortora & Johnson, p. 510
  42. Lewandowski, p. 252
  43. Tortora & Johnson, p. 517
  44. Lewandowski, p. 254
  45. Tortora & Johnson, p. 527
  46. Tortora & Johnson, p. 536
  47. Tortora & Johnson, p. 555
  48. Tortora & Johnson, p. 664
  49. Tortora & Johnson, p. 693
  50. Tortora & Johnson, p. 695


  • Ikegami, Eiko (2005). Bonds of civility : aesthetic networks and political origins of Japanese culture (Reprinted ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521601153. 
  • Lewandowski, Elizabeth J. (2011). The complete costume dictionary. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 9780810877856. 
  • Panda, H. (2010). The complete book on textile processing and silk reeling technology (First ed.). Delhi: Asia Pacific Business Press, Inc. ISBN 9788178331355. 
  • Taylor, Lou (2009) [1983]. "Appendix 1: A Selection of Popular Mourning Fabrics". Mourning Dress: A Costume and Social History (2009 ed.). Routledge Revivals. pp. 246–253. ISBN 1135228434. 
  • Tortora, Phyllis G.; Johnson, Ingrid (2014). The Fairchild books dictionary of textiles (8th ed.). New York: Fairchild Books. ISBN 9781609015350. 
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