Have you ever wondered what “voile” is? I am sure you have seen this fabric many time, but you may not have known that you were looking at voile.
Voile is a fine plain weave (no nap) lightweight sheer fabric, similar to organza. It is used for both apparel (typically women’s blouses and dresses) and drapery. The name “voile” is a French word meaning “veil,” and so the name describes the appearance of the fabric – sheer and filmy like a bridal veil. Voile may be made from a variety of fibers, including silk, cotton, rayon and polyester.
Drapery voile is typically made from polyester fibers, including Trevira ®, Avora ® and other polyesters. It is a wide fabric, typically measuring 118″ wide. Often, residential window sheers and canopy bed draping are made from voile, but voile is also used in professional applications.
One professional application of voile is as custom stage curtains in music tours, selected by production designers for its beautiful romantic feel (especially when pleated) and the way it lights so beautifully. As a matter of fact, we made voile drapes for the Rod Stewart Tour, and they were gorgeous – with the colored lighting, it is hard to believe that these drapes are actually white. Surprisingly enough, it can also be used as a projection surfac, such as in the Beyonce tour, or even as a Twinkle-Light Drape.
Due to its terrific draping qualities, voile is frequently used by event planners to line and drapes tents and otherwise decorate venues, especially for weddings. We have also seen it used for exhibit booths – a few years ago, we provided voile drapery to Heaven Hill Distilleries, for use in their exhibit booths in a major trade show event.
Voile comes in a wide variety of colors, though we find that shades of white are the most requested, as the fabric lights so well. Voile can also be digitally printed, and is particularly effective with an ethereal image such as shown in the Luna Guitars booth.