Silk chiffon, from the French word for cloth, is an elegant, sheer fabric with a soft, beautiful drape, slight stretch, and crepe-like texture, due to pronounced twisting of the silk yarns during the manufacturing process. The shimmering appearance, for which silk is prized, comes from the individual fiber's triangular prism-like structure, which allows silk cloth to reflect incoming light at different angles. Silk chiffon fabric's fine absorbency makes it supremely comfortable in warm weather and while active, and its low conductivity keeps warm air close to your skin when the temperatures drop.
The fabric has a slight see-through quality, and is piece-dyed or piece-printed and may be given either a soft or stiff finish. The material wears well and is surprisingly durable despite its light weight. Chiffon can often be found in elegant evening dresses and formal wear, often as an overlay, and also works well in scarves, blouses and accessories. The delicate nature of chiffon does require some extra garment-making care. Cutting, for instance, is best done by first laying out the fabric on tissue paper and then pinning it to the paper, to allow layers to be cut as one. The fabric is susceptible to fraying as well, and should be hand washed when able.