How to Determine the Right Side of Dupioni Silk Fabric

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Dupioni silk has two shimmering sides.
Dupioni silk has two shimmering sides. (Image: silk 4 image by jbattx from Fotolia.com)

Dupioni silk is an exquisite fabric with a lustrous appearance on both its front and back sides. Typically, this particular silk is made from multiple colors of fabric woven together, and the final result is a rich, iridescent material that changes depending on the light. When working with this fine fabric, it can be difficult to decide which side is right and which is wrong. Fortunately, following a few simple steps will help you immensely in deciding which is the right side of your Dupioni silk.

Look for small bumps in the fabric. These bumps are referred to as "slubs" and they originate from bonding of the fibers during weaving. Typically these bumps are more pronounced on one side, and that side is often labeled the right side.

Brush your hand over the fabric. Examine whether one side feels bumpier than the other side. This method can often yield better results than Step 1 when looking for bumps. Whichever side has more "slubs" will be the right side.

Expose your fabric to different lighting environments. See whether or not one side shimmers more than the other. Again, this would be the side most often considered the right side.

Tips & Warnings

  • There really is no "right" side of Dupioni silk. The fun part of working with this fabric is realizing that you get to pick whichever side appeals to you more. Either one will end up looking fabulous.
  • Pin the wrong side of your fabric to assist you later during the cutting and sewing process. Since the sides are so similar, it will be easy to mix them up.

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