Fabric drape refers to the fabric shape or profile when held at the edge, such as used for curtains, or the way a fabric covers an object when used as a tablecloth or a skirt, often referred to in the latter cases as the fabric formability, and is resulted from fabric’s response towards gravity due to its own weight.
The importance of fabric drape is almost self-evident, but there is still no effective ways to measure this fabric attribute. The Cusick Drapemeter suffers from its low repeatability and low sensitivity, and is hence not widely or frequently used.
The fabric extraction test used by PhabrOmeter is in fact a forced drape so it should be able to describe the fabric dynamic drape behavior. The test results can be used for drape test and comparison.
A client provided 6 fabrics for drape test as specified below:
- #617 Chiffon Silk – is 100% silk, a lightweight and balanced plain-woven sheer fabric.
- #75D Chiffon Polyester - 100% polyester, is nearly as light as the silk chiffon #617.
- #7 Silk Crepe Satin – a 100% silk and smooth satin.
- #2 Georgette Silk –a 100% silk, a plain weave and lightweight crêpe fabric.
- #447 Organdy - a stiff fabric of nylon filaments.
The ranking in drape for all 6 fabrics is shown below based on the drape coefficient (DC) tested by PhabrOmeter – a smaller DC value means a more drapeable fabric.
The smaller the value, the well draped fabric.
The drape value ranking is exactly the same as in the real world. #2 Georgette Silk drapes very fluidly, and falls into soft ripples; #617 Chiffon Silk drapes
similar as the Georgette Silk with a beautiful drape; the #75D Chiffon Polyester, though it is nearly as light as silk chiffon but tends to be more stiff
to the movements of your finger on it; #7 Silk Crepe Satin with a distinctively crisp, so listed as the fourth; for #447 Organdy, because of its stiffness, its drape is really bad.
Here we also listed the other attributes of these 5 fabric types:
A larger value - a stiffer fabric; A smaller value - a softer fabric; A larger value - a smoother fabric. So #617 Chiffon Silk is the softest fabric, #7 Silk Crepe Satin is the most smooth fabric and #447 Organdy is the stiffest fabric.
The overall performance -
we select the worst fabric - #447 Organdy - the stiffest and roughest one as our reference to calculate the overall fabric performance in this group. Please see the following table: