Daily Swatch: Seersucker

The Daily Swatch features a piece of vintage fabric (almost) every day. Themes change periodically. Please add your own examples of the theme to the True Up and/or Vintage Fabric Flickr pools.

Seersucker gets its characteristic puckered texture from a special weaving process. Some warp yarns are put on the loom with regular tension, while others are put on loosely. It’s the loose columns that become puckered once the fabric is removed from the loom. Though the terms “seersucker” and “plissé” are often used interchangably, plissé gets its texture chemically from an application of caustic soda.

This fabric is synonymous with summer. Though it can be made in practically any weight from a variety of fibers, it’s usually lightweight cotton. The wrinkles create air pockets that help cool the skin. And, added bonus, since the wrinkles are part of the charm, it usually doesn’t need ironing.

Above: 1960s star print seersucker in cream, orange, turquoise, brown, and yellow, from acafterglow on Etsy. $14/yard; six yards available.

One Comment

  1. Seersucker is one of those fabrics that transport me right back to the summers of my childhood. When I finally had my own children I kind of went overboard on the seersucker outfits for them. Now that they are grown all those outfits did not end up in Goodwill, instead they are lovingly folded in & amongst my fabric stashes awaiting their turn to play their part in one of my projects.