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How to pick the right lingerie fabrics

Years ago, lingerie was made almost entirely from natural woven fabrics such as linen, silk, and cotton. Everything from nightgowns to corset covers to early brassieres used these simple fabrics, and the garments ranged from extraordinarily luxurious to plain and functional.

This began to change around World War II, women became familiar with nylon as it came to replace silk in stockings during the war, when purchasing silk from Asia became impossible. Though there were soon shortages of nylon stockings as well, women had become accustomed to the many benefits of nylon: its stretch, comfort, durability, easy care, and stain resistance were all seen as great benefits.

After the war, nylon began to appear in all sorts of undergarments along with other new manmade fibers and elastics. It was used in everything from everyday slips to sexy peignoirs. Although some higher end lingerie was still made in delicate silk, a great many of the mass produced garments were nylon.

Today, things are different. While nylon is still used in lingerie and is a fine choice for many applications, both ready to wear and home sewn lingerie garments are made in a much wider range of fabrics, including both natural and synthetic fibers. You have an array of fabrics to choose from when making your own lingerie and loungewear, some of which you may not have considered before. Your choice in fabric will largely determine the final look and feel of any lingerie garment you make, so picking the fabric and fiber that’s right for you is one of the most important creative decisions you can make.

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