Lame Fabric: Characteristics and Uses

What is Lame Fabric?

Lame is a fabric with metallic threads. It is usually made of natural materials like silk, viscose, cotton, wool or synthetic fibers like polyester, polyamide, nylon.

‘Lame’ in translation from French is a ‘metal plate’. This fabric came to us from antiquity, it was mentioned in ancient Assyrian cuneiform writings. Shining with gold or silver patterns, it was used for vestments of priests and clothes of the rich nobility to emphasize the high social status. Gold and silver wires from flattened metal were wrapped around threads to create shiny apparel. These fabrics were known as ‘Cloth of gold’. Today, lame fabric can be made with metallic fibers for exclusive garments and metal coated plastic for more affordable ones. Moreover, synthetic fibers make the fabric lightweight, and easier to care for and handle it when sewing.

The most common manufacturing process of metallic fibers is laminating when a layer of aluminum is placed between two layers of polyester or acetate film and then cut into strips. A color can be added both to the film (before laminating) and to the metal fibers.

Lame fabric

Types of Metallic Fabric and Uses

Lame is a material with two sides. One of them is shiny, the other resembles crepe texture. Lame fabric can come in different varieties – tissue lamé, hologram lamé and pearl lamé – as it all depends on the composition.

  1. Tissue lame is made of a lightweight mylar woven with a nylon filament. It's a good choice for costumes and decorations.
  2. Hologram lame fabric features the shining effect of a hologram. It looks stunning in different light and angles. Perfect for costumes, dancewear.
  3. Pearl lame fabric is made of 100% silk with metallic threads and has an iridescent effect, changing color in the light.

Let’s talk about a variety of fabrics with metallic fibers in general and their uses.

Table 1. Lame fabric types, properties, and uses
Type Properties Uses

Lame

Lustrous, smooth, with a fluid drape, semi-sheer/opaque

Evening gowns, skirts, tops

Brocade

Smooth and lustrous, with a soft texture

Special occasion garments, evening gowns, jackets and blazers, handbags or clutches

Taffeta

Iridescent, smooth, with a crisp drape, crease easily

Evening gowns, corsets, jackets, skirts, blouses, coats

Organza

Sheer, lightweight, with a crisp hand, stiff drape and subtle sheen

Airy skirts, full dresses, loose blouses, trimmings

Chiffon

Sheer/semi-sheer, soft or slightly rough, with a soft drape, thin, lightweight

Dresses, blouses, airy skirts, scarves, decorative finishings

Tulle

Sheer, lightweight, with great drapability

Veils, dresses, undergarments, ballerina skirts, overlays, tops, blouses

Lace

Sheer/semi-sheer, with a slightly stiff hand

Dresses, skirts, overlays, tops, blouses, decorative finishings

Tweed & boucle

Pebbly surface, pleasant textured feel, subtle glimmer and wonderful drape, a soft finish

Jackets, coats and suits

Jacquard & cloque

Opaque, soft, slightly rough to the touch, with a flexible drape

Dresses, skirts, jackets, sweatshirts

Wool crepe

Great drapability, with a crisp hand, subtle glimmer, dense to the touch

Dresses, skirts, jackets

How to Care for Metallic and Lame Clothes?

Any apparel made with metallic fibers is not washable, it is for dry-clean only. Even in this case, it is better to find a cleaner which has an experience with lamé garments because some chemicals can damage the fabric.

It is not recommended to iron lame cloth because the heat can melt metallic fibers. The same applies to a clothes dryer. Keep your lame apparel from direct heat or sunlight. If you have to remove wrinkles, use an iron at the lowest setting and press from the wrong side of the garment. Use a pressing cloth between the fabric and iron.

Moisture also may cause tarnishing of the metallic yarn, so keep it in a dry place. Lame is prone to snagging and fraying. Be careful when wearing a lame cloth, even a small snag can damage your stunning lame garment.

As for handbags and shoes, it is better to wipe them away with a soft cloth after every use.

How to Wear Lame fabric?

Fashion has firmly voted for sparkle and decoration, and where sequins, jewels, strass and chains are not enough, a rich effect can be obtained on the inside, enclosed in the material itself, lit with lame. ( Angela Puchetti) VOGUE ITALIA

You have definitely seen lame garments on the red carpets since they are among the favorites of fashion designers and Hollywood stars.

Lame fabric

Lame works well for evening gowns and wraps but what if you wear it in your everyday life? Let’s see how to mix lame apparel with casual outfits for a stunning look. Here are top-5 ideas how to wear lame in everyday life.

  1. Trousers or jeans. Choose silver lame fabric for skinny jeans or cropped pants, team them up with a sweatshirt or loose top, add high-heel shoes and a fancy bag.
  2. Skirts. Make a casual look with a pencil skirt made of lame, paired with cloth in the same color palette. Add sneakers for a more relaxed look. Another idea is to choose a perforated skirt for a stunning look.
  3. A metal jacket. Pair a metallic blazer with heels or sneakers for a street style look, add jeans or a plain T-shirt.
  4. Multilayered look. It is one of the hottest fashion trends this season and it is a good idea for flashy fabrics like lame. Mix a short lame dress with a sheer blouse with metallic threads or pair a tweed lame jacket with a metallic lace top.
  5. Accessories. Add a chic note to the whole look by choosing a pair of statement lame shoes or a sparkling bag.

Tissura Collection

Lame combines a luxury of ancient Cloth of gold and comfort of modern fabrics. Innovative technologies made this dazzling fabric affordable. Today you can choose from a variety of lame fabrics at Tissura store from lightweight lame chiffon to medium-weight tweed lame.

Tissura Online Shop offers exclusive lame fabrics from the leading European manufacturers:

  • Ruffo Coli (Italy)
  • Jakob Schlaepfer (Switzerland)
  • Carnet (Italy)
  • Sfate & Combier (France)

Silk lame chiffon fabric

Silk lame chiffon fabric, 627 US$ (510 €) per one running metre;

Silk lame brocade fabric

Silk lame brocade fabric, 645 US$ (525 €) per one running metre;

Silk lame chiffon fabric

Silk lame chiffon fabric, 292 US$ (237 €) per one running metre;

Metallic silk lame fabric

Metallic silk lame fabric, 245 US$ (199 €) per one running metre.

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