What is lamé fabric? Lamé fabric is an interesting type of woven or knitted fabric. Although the name suggests otherwise, it's a type of fabric that can be found in fashion and performance apparel. If you’ve encountered the material and wondered, what is Lamé fabric? Then you’ve come to the right place.
What is Lamé
This cloth is made with metallic fibers in thin ribbons that are gold, silver, or copper. In most cases, it is made with a unique blend of other fabrics, including silk, cotton, wool, viscose, nylon, polyester, or polyamide. Moreover, it comes with a variety of compositions, making it an ideal fabric choice for dresses, gowns, costumes, and some sports uniforms.
In this article, we will discuss what is lamé fabric, its history, how it was made, how it is used, and how to properly care for lamé fabric. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
What is Lame Fabric’s Origins?
What is lamé fabric and how did it come to be? Originally from ancient Assyria, this cloth was referenced in many cuneiform texts. People also used it for the vestments of the clergy, as well as the clothing of the elite aristocracy. Generally, this was a fabric sown and worn to highlight their high social standing because of the gold or silver designs.
Shiny clothing was created by wrapping gold and silver wires made from flattened metal around threads. Collectively, cloth of gold was the term used to describe these textiles. These days, the lame fabric may be produced with metallic fibers for high-end clothing and metal-coated plastic for more inexpensive options.
Furthermore, to make the cloth lighter in weight, synthetic fibers are added to the fabric blend. This is also a way to simplify the early production and the aftercare process.
The laminating technique is the most popular method of producing metallic fibers. A layer of aluminum is then sandwiched between two polyester and acetate film layers and cut into strips. Color is then applied to the film before the lamination process. The metal fibers are added after the lamination process.
What is Lamé Fabric’s Different Types
What is lamé fabric’s different types? Unlike typical fabrics, Lamé has two sides - one is lustrous and shiny, while the other is similar to crepe paper.
These are the three main types of lamé fabrics:
Its three main types differ in composition and sheen, but you may find it difficult to point out the distinction at first glance. Tissue lamé is similar to textured silk. On the other hand, Hologram Lame harkens its name to its holographic surface. Lastly, Pearl Lame is more translucent and mesh-like.
What is lamé fabric like? When it comes to the sheer and visual impact, lamé has similar characteristics to that of brocade, taffeta, chiffon, organza, lace, tulle, wool crepe, jacquard, and cloque, and tweed and boucle.
What is Lamé Fabric Used For?
Generally, lamé fabrics are often used to produce vibrant and brightly colored clothes. It's an excellent choice for theatrical and performance wear, dancing costumes, and formal evening attire. It also has various additional applications, including the production of non-clothing products like table mats, tablecloths, and other fabric home décor.
However, given the commercial availability of lamé fabrics in today’s time, the material is slowly being integrated into common apparel and pieces. It has now been incorporated into neckties, blouses, dresses, jeans, skirts, jackets, shoes, bags, drapes, curtains, and even costumes.
Furthermore, lamé is often used as the trim on bridesmaids' gowns and other formal garments to add a fancy touch. It may also be used to make decorations and creative items for the home. To balance the brightness of lame, it is recommended to pair it with neutral, darker, or monochromatic hues, such as blacks and ivories, to be paired with either gold or silver lame.
What is Lamé Fabric’s Characteristics
What is lamé fabric’s characteristics? Characteristically speaking, this type of fabric is not the most sustainable. It can easily be considered one of the most luxurious. It has a fabric thread count variation from 100 to 300, with low breathability, low moisture-wicking capacities, and low heat retention.
While the lamé is not generally known to be stretchable, it may still depend on the other fabrics added into the blend. China remains to be the main producer and exporter of lame fabrics.
Lamé fabric is a strong material that may cause your sewing shears to become dull and blunt over time. Unfortunately, despite its beauty, lame is prone to damage, snagging, needle holes, as well as intense heat and moisture.
Without observing utmost care, this material degrades quickly. In addition, this cloth frays quickly and is difficult to mend. Dry cleaners may be unable to handle lame fabric, therefore it is important to take excellent care of your lamé clothes or bring them to an expert on aftercare.
Moreover, the metallic cloth has the potential to chafe the skin, so it is best worn with a softer inner garment like silk or cotton. Some older lamé clothes are even made with brass or silver, so they may visibly tarnish with time. That said, it is best to double-check the precise materials that were used to construct the garment before wearing it.
What is Lamé Fabric’s Status Over the Years?
The use of Lamé re-emerged in popularity in the 1960s, thanks to the presence of movie stars and singers such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. These two singers often wore lame clothing.
During the twentieth century, lamé had a short revival of favor during the decadent lifestyles practiced with the flapper movement. This point in time has ultimately reignited interest in ostentatious or opulent clothing. That's why lamé fabric was such a huge hit. What is lame fabric if it isn't used for promoting luxury? You may have seen the material worn in films and images that harken back to such an era.
Fortunately, at this time, it had been feasible to manufacture textiles that look like gold or silver-colored lamé out of aluminum, metals, and other synthetic materials. Thus, it substantially reduced the exclusivity associated with this kind of cloth - making the aesthetic more commercially available.
Modern times had slowly taken away how lamé fabrics were established as a status symbol. What is lame fabric nowadays is different from what it was before.
The distinction between genuine and counterfeit lamé is generally simple to distinguish. As a result, lame fabric with precious metal strands continues to be regarded as a sign of social standing and financial resources.
What is Lamé Fabric’s Laundry and Aftercare Instructions
Now that you know more or less what is Lamé fabric, you should know how to keep it clean.
Any clothing produced with metallic fibers is generally not machine washable. You should have it dry cleaned. In most cases, it is more preferable to contact a cleaner or a laundry expert with previous expertise with lamé clothing since certain soaps and washing chemicals can easily damage the material.
When it comes to purses and shoes, it is preferable to wipe any dirt or stains using a soft cloth instead of washing them after every usage.
After the wash, it is not advisable to iron lamé fabrics due to the possibility of melting metallic fibers due to the high temperatures. The same may be said for a clothes dryer, as well. Given its reaction to heat, it is ideal that you keep your soiled clothing away from direct sunshine.
However, should you need to straighten it up, try using the lowest setting on your iron then pressing the lamé fabric from the wrong side of the garment?
Another way is to put a pressing cloth over the lamé to protect the material from the iron's heat. This way, you can eliminate creases without damaging your clothing.
When wearing a lamé fabric, observe caution as even a little snag may cause irreversible harm to your beautiful lame outfit. Lastly, when it comes to storage, make sure that you keep your lamé pieces in a dry environment where they will not be exposed to too much humidity.
What is lamé Fabric – In Conclusion
If you are planning to use lamé fabric, you should have a clear idea of what is lame fabric all about. It is safe for us to say that lamé is one of those types of fabrics that we don’t recommend for everyday wear.
Still, it has become a go-to for fashion, performance, and unique costume pieces that are specifically built to capture the eye. That said, given its beauty, sheen, and elegance, this kind of material requires intense care when sown, worn, and maintained.
You can’t just wear your lamé pieces to areas where they can easily run and snag. That said, when you do feel the need to invest in such a piece, make sure that you prepare for all the storage and aftercare it needs. This way, you can make sure that you’re not only getting your money’s worth but also ensuring that your lame pieces last you a long while.
With that, we hope that with this guide, you've learned what is lamé fabric and what makes it different from other fabrics. May this provide you the advice you need to keep your pieces for as long as you want.