Crêpe (textile)

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

Woman's mourning bonnet in hard crape, c. 1880

It is woven of hard-spun yarn, originally silk "in the gum" (silk from which the sericin had not been removed). There traditionally have been two distinct varieties of the crêpe: soft, Canton or Oriental crêpe, and hard or crisped crêpe.[4]



Detail of an aerophane dress, c. 1827
1.  A crimped silk gauze with a crêpe texture.
2.  A historic 19th century lightweight crêpe,[5]: 6  introduced in 1820,[6] and, as "crepe aerophane" in 1861.[7]
Albert crêpe
1.  A fine black silk mourning crêpe introduced in 1862.[6]
2.  Plain-weave crêpe.
3.  An English-made silk and cotton blend crêpe.[5]: 10 
A furnishing fabric with alternating plain weave and crêpe stripes.[5]: 14 
Alpaca crêpe
Rayon and acetate blend crêpe with a woollen texture, not necessarily made of alpaca yarn.[5]: 14 
A British plain-weave silk fabric with crêpe filling.[5]: 14 
1.  A British-made plain-weave cloth with figured crêpe designs.
2.  Piece-dyed silk crêpe embroidered with dots.[5]: 23 
(See Georgian crêpe)


Balanced crêpe
Crêpe woven with alternating S and Z twist yarns in both directions.[5]: 39 
Balmoral crape
An 1895 English crape.[8]
An 1889 narrow-striped silk grenadine overlaid with wider crêpe stripes. An earlier 1830s cotton/worsted fabric, spelled balzarine, was probably not crêpe.[8]
Bark (or tree-bark) crêpe
A broad term describing rough crêpes with a bark texture.[9][10]
Bauté satin
Warp-woven satin with a plain crêpe reverse.[11]
Borada crape
A cheaper, economical version of mourning crape advertised in 1887.[3]
Bologna crêpe
Silk crêpe used for mourning, also known as valle cypre.[12]


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.[13]
Caustic soda crêpe
Cotton treated with chemicals to create a crêpe-like texture, often in patterns.[14]
Chiffon crêpe
Chiffon-weight crêpe.[15]
Japanese crêpe.[15]
Japanese raw silk crêpe widely used to make kimono.[16][17] When woven with a dot it is mon-chirimen.[18]
Courtauld crape
1890s mourning crape made by Courtaulds. An 1894 variation, called 'Courtauld's new silk crêpe', was exceptionally thin and soft.[7] 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.[19]
Crêpe anglaise
A French term for English mourning crapes in black and white.[7] 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.[19]
Crêpe berber
Trade name for a piece-dyed crepe-textured pongee.[20]
Crêpe charmeuse
Lightweight silk satin with a grenadine warp and crêpe reverse.[20]
Crêpe chenette
A tradename for a strong crêpe with a pebble texture.[20]
Crêpe crêpe
Made with extra twists in the warp to create an extra-deep texture.[20]
Crepe de chine
Crêpe de chine
A fine, lightweight silk, cotton, or worsted, with a plain weave and crêpe-twist filling.[20]
Crêpe de chine travers
A ribbed crêpe de chine with heavier filling yarns introduced to the weave at regular intervals.[20]
Crêpe de dante
Crêpe with silk and wool filling.[20]
Crêpe de lahor
Cotton crêpe made in France.[20]
Crêpe de laine
A sheer wool fabric plain-woven with hard twist for a slight crêpe effect.[20]
Crêpe de santé
An undyed, closely woven, rough-textured wool-blend crêpe mixed with silk, linen or cotton, also called "health crepe".[20]
Crêpe de Suisse
1860 dress fabric.[7]
Crêpe d'espagne
Open-weave fabric with a silk warp and wool filling.[20]
Crêpe diana
Trade name for a cotton and silk blend crêpe.[20]
Crêpe Elizabeth
English term for a mottled or pebbled georgette.[20]
Crêpe faille sublime
Silk grosgrain with a hard-twist filling.[20]
Crêpe flannel
Plain-woven worsted with a crêpe finish.[20]
Crêpe imperial
Late 19th century woollen crape.[7]
Crêpe jacquard
Crepe with designs produced by jacquard weaving.[20]
Crêpe janigor
Trade name for a heavy rib textile with alternating rayon and dull acetate warp threads, cross-dyed for varied shades.[20]
Crêpe jersey
Vertically ribbed silk crêpe resembling the knit fabric.[20]
Crêpe lissé (or lease)
A lightweight, lustrous, slightly stiffened open-weave silk or cotton crêpe, with fewer twists than a crêpe crêpe.[20]
French term for a crêpe effect.[20]
Very sheer plain-woven silk usually used in textile conservation.[20] Originally introduced in the 1870s as a cheap alternative to crepe de chine.[7]
Plain-woven worsted using hard-spun yarn.[20]
Crêpe maretz
An 1862 fabric.[7]
Crêpe marocain
Heavy, cross-ribbed crêpe where the filling yarn is coarser than the warp, resembling a canton crêpe.[20]
Crêpe meteor
Soft silk crêpe, twill weave reversing to satin.[20]
Crêpe mohair
Silk and mohair blend crêpe.[20]
Crêpe morette
Trade name. Lightweight worsted crêpe with heavier, looser filling.[20]
Crêpe mosseux
A type of opaque voile which resists shrinkage.[20]
Crêpe myosotis
A later mourning crêpe made in the 1930s, in crimped silk with a soft finish.[7] Courtaulds launched this textile in the early 1930s as an alternative to the increasingly unpopular traditional stiff mourning crapes.[3]
Crêpe-effect pongee.[20]
Crêpe ondese
Rough textured rayon-acetate blend crêpe.[20]
Crêpe poplin
A late 19th century silk-wool rib fabric with crêpe effect.[20]
Crêpe rachel
French print cotton-worsted blend crêpe.[20]
Crêpe radio
British raw silk crêpe with a ribbed effect, using alternate double rows of S-twist and Z-twist.[20]
Crêpe royal
Sheer crêpe-de-chine introduced in 1889.[7]
Crêpe suzette
A variation on crepon georgette.[20]
Silk with crêpe dots. The name also describes a type of fringe.[20]
A class of transparent fabrics with a warp-wise crêpe effect.[20]
A heavier crêpe with an exaggerated warp-directional texture produced by several weaving techniques.[20] 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').[7]
Crystal crêpe
An English term for silk crêpe.[21]
Lightweight crimped mourning gauze, late 16th century.[7]
An crêpe-type fabric in rayon and acetate.[22]
Fine crêpe used for mourning hatbands in the 15th-17th centuries, made in Cyprus.[23]


ʻeleʻele kanikau
Black mourning crêpe worn in Hawaii.[24]
Textile in silk, rayon or worsted with a crêpe surface.[25]
Esmeralda or étendelle
Sheer white crêpe or gauze popular in the early 19th century, often embroidered.[26]


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.[27]
French crêpe
1.  An inaccurately-applied name for flat crêpe.
2.  Plain-weave light silk or rayon cloths similar to flat crêpe.
3.  A lingerie weight fabric with ordinary yarn warp and a twisted filling yarn that is less twisted than typical crepe twist.[28]


An imitation satin-backed crêpe in twill weave rayon.[29]
1.  Sheer, lightweight fabric named after the couturiere Georgette de la Plante.[30]
2.  A crepe-surfaced plain weave silk or synthetic fabric with alternating S and Z twist yarns in both warp and weft.
3.  An English term for cotton crepe.[31]
Georgian crêpe
A chain-pebbled crêpe (called armure in France) often with diamond, shield or bird's-eye motifs.[31]


Health crêpe
See crêpe de santé.


Lingerie crêpe
See French crêpe.


Woollen crepe, very resilient and drapable.[32]
Mock crêpe
See flat crêpe.
Momie crêpe
Light cotton fabric.[18]
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][33]


Pekin crêpe
Pekin (shiny and matte striped textile) woven with a crêpe weft.[34]
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.[35]


Reverse crêpe
Woven with a crêpe yarn warp and flat filling.[36]
Rhythm crêpe
Plain-weave rayon with seersucker stripe.[37]
Heavy but transparent crêpe.[38]
Trade name for heavily ribbed satin-backed crepe.[39]
Russian crêpe
Invented in 1881. A coarse-weave crêpe.[40]


Sand crepe or moss crepe
Crêpe with a grained or frosted surface appearance, created with a small dobby weave.[41]
Sawdust crêpe
Similar to sand crêpe but with a harsher surface.[42]
Satin-back crepe
Satin-back crêpe
Reversible fabric with a satin face and a crêpe reverse.[19]
Japanese spun-silk crêpe.[43]
Spanish crêpe
See Crepe d'espagne.


Victoria crepe
British-made cotton crêpe with a high luster.[44]


Figured silk crêpe made in Yantai, Eastern China.[45]
Yeddo crêpe
Soft cotton fabric, medium weight.[46]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f Taylor, pp. 246-253
  4. ^   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Crape". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 379.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Tortora, Phyllis G.; Johnson, Ingrid (2013). The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Textiles (8th ed.). London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781609015350.
  6. ^ a b Lewandowski, p.6
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lewandowski, p.77
  8. ^ a b Lewandowski, p. 22
  9. ^ Lewandowski, p. 25
  10. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p.45
  11. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 52
  12. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 66
  13. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 96
  14. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 52
  15. ^ a b Lewandowski, p. 52
  16. ^ Ikegami, p.276
  17. ^ Panda, p.92
  18. ^ a b Lewandowski, p. 194
  19. ^ a b c Tortora & Johnson, p. 156
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj Tortora & Johnson, p. 157
  21. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 164
  22. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 168
  23. ^ Lewandowski, p. 81
  24. ^ Lewandowski, p. 96
  25. ^ Lewandowski, p. 99
  26. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 215
  27. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 236
  28. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 247
  29. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 254
  30. ^ Picken, Mary Brooks (1957). A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and Modern. Courier Corporation. pp. 88. ISBN 9780486402949.
  31. ^ a b Tortora & Johnson, p. 259
  32. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 372
  33. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 418
  34. ^ Lewandowski, p. 224
  35. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 465
  36. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 509
  37. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 510
  38. ^ Lewandowski, p. 252
  39. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 517
  40. ^ Lewandowski, p. 254
  41. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 527
  42. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 536
  43. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 555
  44. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 664
  45. ^ Tortora & Johnson, p. 693
  46. ^ 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 978-1135228439.
  • Tortora, Phyllis G.; Johnson, Ingrid (2014). The Fairchild books dictionary of textiles (8th ed.). New York: Fairchild Books. ISBN 9781609015350.