Devoré or Burnout Fabric in Clothing

This is the first post in a new category – fast fashion facts. My aim is to give brief and easily digestible technical info or other interesting facts about fashion. So much work can go into garments and accessories and knowing something about the construction behind clothes can make you appreciate the craftsmanship and help you to understand the criteria that defines a well constructed fashion item.

A key trend for the Spring/Summer 2008 fashion season is texture. A technique to create texture in fabric is called burnout (burn-out) or devoré.

Devoré is from the French devorer which means to devour. An acid is used to etch a pattern on cellulose/synthetic  or cellulose/protein blends.

If a pure cellulose fabric is used for this technique, part of the fabric is burned away to achieve a cut-work pattern.

The cellulose component is burned out leaving the rest of the fabric. Cellulose is any plant material such as cotton, hemp (rayon is in this category since it is derived from wood)

With added design, fabric painting or mono-color fabric, a beautiful textured effect can be achieved. Immediately below are examples with silk (protein component of the fabric) and rayon (cellulose component) fabric. The rayon threads in the weave of the cloth are burned away in the desired pattern by the devoré acid leaving a fine mesh of silk and where the acid was not applied, the  rayon/silk threads are left intact.

devore burnout texture         devore burnout texture in fabric

devoré burnout fanric cloth         devore burnout fanric cloth

Above: Silk/Rayon satin devoré fabric (Click on thumbs for bigger pictures to see detail)

More examples in velvet (silk/rayon) after the jump…

devore burnout texture velvet          devore burnout paisley velvet

Silk, Rayon Velvet in which the color is added in the original fabric or applied after the burnout etching

devore burnout velvet          devore burnout texture velvet

Left: Fabric paints are used to further add detail after the burn-out process.

Right: Burn-out process on single-color cloth  in white.

pictures: fabrics.net, dharmatrading.com, kevinobrienstudio.com

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