Brocade Fabrics

Brocade fabrics are a type of shuttle-woven textiles often made with metallic threads. Because of their decorative appearance, these fabrics are highly popular among fashion designers. Brocade is used to make special occasion garments and evening gowns. Originally it was made of silk, but today you can find it in all kinds of fibers.

Brocade fabrics are easily distinguished by their regal look. A supplementary weft creates an embossed or embroidered effect, though nothing is actually embossed or embroidered. The back side of the fabric usually has floating yarns, which is the reason why brocades are non-reversible. Such fabrics can be additionally decorated with sequins or beads, but even without this extra décor they are opulent.

Types of Brocade Fabric

Brocade fabrics can be made of various fibers. At first, they were woven on draw looms which were operated by hand, but with the invention of the jacquard loom the manufacturing process got much simpler.

Many fabric shops offer silk and cotton brocades: 100% natural, they are good for your skin and look gorgeous no matter what you transform them into.

  • brocade is smooth and lustrous. Great for evening wear, wedding gowns, costumes and more.
  • brocade has a great soft texture. It can be used for semi-formal and informal wear, office suits, jackets and blazers.

All brocade fabrics are divided either into:

  • Continuous brocade, where weft threads are left floating on the back, or cut away.
  • Discontinuous brocade, where extra yarns are woven into the fabric to create a fancy pattern.

No matter what brocade is made of, it is bound to enliven your wardrobe. In general, this decorative material is used to make autumn/winter pieces, but lighter versions are worn with ease in summer.

Zari brocade is a type of silk brocade with silver, golden and copper threads. Originally zari threads were made of real silver and gold, but nowadays they are often substituted for metallic yarn. Zari brocade is a very popular material for traditional Indian sarees.

What Is the Difference between Brocade and Jacquard Fabric?

Feeling confused about these fabrics? Let’s sort it out once and for all!

Brocades and jacquards are both produced on a jacquard loom (or with a jacquard head fitted on to a dobby loom). The revolutionary device invented in the 19 th century made it possible to weave elaborate patterns sparing extra effort.

It is safe to say that all brocades are jacquards. However, it doesn’t work the other way! Not all jacquard fabrics are brocades, because jacquard looms can be used to produce a number of other weaves.

See the table below to find out what can be created with the help of a jacquard device:

Table 1. The difference between brocade and jacquard fabrics



What to Sew


A non-reversible patterned fabric with a lavish embossed effect. If it is woven with golden or silver colored threads, it is called Imperial Brocade.

Evening dresses, skirts, jackets, richly looking coats, bridal gowns


A fine patterned fabric made with several weaves – one for the ground, another one for the pattern. Reversible, the pattern is like a film negative on the back side.

Evening dresses, skirts, tops, blouses, ties


A patterned jacquard fabric that imitates vintage tapestries. Thicker than brocade or damask, it is non-reversible.

Outerwear, heavy jackets


A jacquard fabric similar to brocade, but of a heavier weight and with a very raised pattern.

High fashion apparel

All these fabrics mentioned above are highly decorative and meant to take center stage. Wear one brocade piece at a time and try to keep everything else minimal. Even without metallic yarn, brocade attracts attention with its elaborate pattern.

The Best Ways to Wear Brocade

Brocade fabric has been around for centuries. Its high price was determined by two factors: it was made of silk, which is still an expensive fiber, and included gold or silver threads. The brocade garments were worn by nobility and the royal court. These days brocade material is much more affordable, partly because it is woven of cheaper fibers like cotton, rayon, viscose, etc. Noble metal threads are often replaced with metallic yarn.

While brocade is a popular choice for draperies and upholstery, modern fashion cannot be imagined without this luxury fabric. Many couturiers convert it into outerwear pieces like coats or jackets, but dresses are also a hit. All in all, brocade should be used for items that will be seen, not hidden under clothes. Let us follow in the footsteps of high fashion and ready-to-wear designers and find out the ways to wear brocade.

  • Special occasions

Opt for prominent designs with a metallic effect: floral, geometric, paisley – your choice. The sheen will draw attention, and you’ll never get lost in the crowd of beautifully dressed guests. A metallic brocade dress is definitely an eye-catcher, whether you go for a draped fit or a fitted silhouette.

A brocade jacket is also a great idea. You can wear it with any kind of dress, or combine it with a top and a skirt. In case of black brocade fabric with no metallic yarn, you can always finalize your look with a couple of accessories.

  • Weddings

Bridal brocade fabric is just perfect for a colder season, like fall or winter. It channels elegance and has this timeless feel about it. Try tone-on-tone designs, like white or ivory silk brocade, or be really bold and go for contrasting colors. A red brocade dress may seem shocking for some of us, but why not? One may also use brocade for a bridal jacket or cape.

  • Office wear and casual wear

Brocade fabric is excellent for office suits. Depending on the weight and texture of the fabric, one can make pants, skirts, jackets and formal or semi-formal dresses. Brocade is also great for casual wear, just keep the look simple and choose brocade patterns without metallic yarn.

The common advice for an hourglass shape would be to place an accent on the waist (a nipped-in jacket is just fine). For full figures, a larger pattern is always better that a smaller one, because it has a slimming effect. If you have a straight figure, skip boxy shapes and create curves – e.g., a brocade trumpet dress, a brocade blazer to add volume to the top, or a brocade skirt to counterbalance a billowy top.

  • Accessories

Make a statement with a luxurious accessory! Covering one’s handbag or clutch with patterned brocade is a surefire way to stand out in the crowd. A silk brocade scarf or shawl is also helpful: wrap it around your neck or cover your shoulders to elevate the look. Plus, one can put on brocade gloves or brocade-covered shoes – the sky is the limit!

Brocade has a say in men’s fashion, too. Think elegant ties and bow ties, shirt fronts, pocket squares, bow ties, etc. Sometimes one single accessory can really make a difference!

Buying Brocade Fabric Online

Thanks to the Internet, buying brocade fabric is an easy matter. Online fabric shops offer hundreds of cloths in multiple colors, patterns and compositions. Ordering samples is always a good idea, because it gives you a chance to touch the fabric, measure its thickness and see the color not distorted by your computer screen.

Tissura offers the most popular types of brocade fabrics: golden, silver, metallic, solid or multicolor, as well as rare lamé and tweed brocade. All these high quality materials are produced by European manufacturers, such as:

  1. Carnet (Italy)
  2. Jakob Schlaepfer (Switzerland)
  3. Luigi Verga (Italy)
  4. Ruffo Coli (Italy)
  5. Sfate & Combier (France)

Buy brocade fabric online just with one click and start preparing for your sewing session!

golden brocade fabric

Jacquard fabric, 96 € (121 US$) per one running metre

jacquard cloque fabric

Double faced jacquard cloque fabric, 183 € (230 US$) per one running metre

jacquard cloque fabric

Double faced jacquard cloque fabric, 203 € (255 US$) per one running metre

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