All posts tagged: Textiles & Costume

Terminology: What is Aerophane

Aerophane has been on my to-do list for a terminology post for ages, and then, when this Rate the Dress turned out to be Aerophane I thought “ah-hah!  I simply must do it now!” So what is aerophane? Well, there is a bit of confusion about it.  At its most basic, it is a fine, slightly crisp, silk gauze, sometimes with a slightly crinkled, crepe appearance.  In The Book of Silk Phillipa Scott describes it as: Fine thin silk crêpe, popular in the early nineteenth century for decorative appliqués, as raised motifs, or applied and re-embroidered, and for pleated and gathered dress trimmings. ‘Aerophane’ is also used to describe a type of ribbon embroidery, where wider, crisper silk strips are used to create three dimensional ornamentation (usually roses). Aerophane embroidery is probably so called because the silk that was originally used for it was aerophane silk, but it is used somewhat indiscriminately these days, making it impossible to tell if someone means that the aerophane roses on a dress are roses made of aerophane silk, …