Silk taffeta, from the Persian word for “twisted woven”, originated in Persia some time in the 16th Century. The fabric is an unmistakably premium silk: wonderfully soft, with a muted lustrous finish and horizontal ribbing. Silk taffeta is a flat fabric and has a distinctive silken rustle. Taffeta has been hand woven for centuries in Italy and France, but recent production has mostly shifted to the Bangalore region of India due to economies of scale and sophisticated automated production capabilities. Piece dyed taffeta tends to be softer, and is typically used as lining or in home décor, while yarn dyed taffeta has a fuller body and is more suitable for evening wear. Silk taffeta can be woven with a dual weave of contrasting colors, providing a striking contrast of reflective hues. The material can be found in a wide array of evening finery, including wedding gowns and ball gowns, as well as heirloom pieces and a host of accessories. Silk taffeta, like most silks, should be dry cleaned only.