Tulle – a fine, netting-like material – is something of a sensation right now. Typically associated with ballerina dresses and bridal wear, tulle is gaining acolytes from all over the world, including Kylie Jenner, who recently wore a pink gown for H&M made of the material.
Tulle has all kinds of properties that get people excited. It’s sheer, lightweight, bubbly, and audacious. It’s the kind of material that stands out, owing to the bright colours in which it comes, its volume, and the fact that its texture is unlike practically anything else you can buy.
While tulle might be one of the most romanticised fabrics, showing off the wearer’s femininity, it’s by no means in the past. Fashion houses, like Moschino and Saint Laurent, have all garbed their models in the stuff, hoping that their designs will pop on the catwalk.
But why is tulle making such a comeback?
The first undoubtedly has to do with the rediscovery of femininity. People want something that is both pure and sexy, and tulle fits the bill. Its association with matrimony and dancing makes it something of unique fabric. But it’s hot too, thanks to its netting structure and semi-transparency.
The second has to do with the rebellion against sports trends of recent years. The dominance of athletic wear is stifling for some people, and they’re looking for something that’s a bit more fun. It’s not all about working up a sweat.
Where Does Tulle Come From?
Tulle is a modern fabric in the sense that it first emerged in the modern era, but it still has a long history. Historians think that it originated in the 1700s when weavers were experimenting with how to make lace. Early tulles, though, weren’t recognisable by today’s standards. Making the stuff is incredibly difficult because of its delicate structure.
It was only in 1809 when industrial inventors came up with a sophisticated tulle-making machine that the material hit the mainstream. Manufacturers could churn the stuff out in bulk, using semi-automated factory equipment, allowing the market to expand. Before long, people were incorporating tulle in everything from lingerie to evening gowns.
It’s important to point out that tulle isn’t just one thing like, say, cotton, which comes from the cotton plant. Rather, manufacturers make tulle from a variety of natural and synthetic fibres, including, nylon, rayon, cotton and silk. Tulle, therefore, is a composite fabric, with the essence of the material being its net-like feel and semi-rough texture.
Tulle’s Modern Applications
Designers have included tulle in some of the most iconic items of clothing for as long as many people care to remember. But it’s not just clothing where the fabric makes an appearance: it’s also famous for crafting and curtain-making too.
Tulle lingeries is one of the more fun and sexy applications of the fabric. The reason it’s popular in this domain has to do with its ability to generate volume. Lingerie-makers can add all kinds of embellishments to their underwear, like bows and frills, giving items more of the three-dimensional look than regular undergarments.
Even today, many dresses make use of tulle, particularly for the veil. Designers usually layer up tulle to create dress designs with more volume. Even if tulle isn’t used on the outer layer, you’ll almost always find it somewhere on a modern gown.
While tutus might be the main thing that people make out of tulle, there are numerous crafting opportunities. You can make tulle crowns, wedding chair decorations, fairy costumes, pillows and cushions, curtains and wreaths.
Tulle is surprisingly easy to work with. What’s more, you can often create powerful effects without the hassle that you get with a lot of fabrics. Tulle has an uncanny ability to do what you want it to, and look good, even if you’re not an expert at working with it.
Tablecloths are one of the easiest and most fun ways to craft with tulle. It’s dead simple. All you do is buy a large piece of tulle material, measure the table, and then cut it to shape so that you leave a long overhang. Tulle immediately creates a party feel, providing the perfect backdrop for parties, weddings and other special occasions, even Halloween.
A Final Word On Tulle
We love tulle. Not only does it offer a host of traditional applications, but people can still experiment with it today. It’s made appearances on catwalks all over the world, and even at high-profile events, like the Cannes Film Festival. Is it time you started crafting with this wonder material?