TEXTILE DIARIES: The Ethereal Tulle Fabric and its history...
Tulle is a lightweight, ethereal fine netting textile often used in fashion. It is named after a city in France where many believe this textile was produced during the 18th century. It was originally made with silk and cotton but today it's produced in an array of materials such as nylon, silk, polyester and rayon. It can be white in color, or dyed any color of the rainbow. Originally it was mostly used in undergarments of clothing and was favored for its stiff quality. In the 1700s, it was made by hand, but with the popularity of the sewing machine, production soared. Soon, evening gowns, wedding dresses and veils became popular made out of tulle.
When Grace Kelly wore a tulle dress in the 1950s in the film,
"Rear Window" tulle was back in fashion.
Here I am wearing a tulle and lace Vera Wang dress at my wedding in 1992 on the island of Martha's Vineyard
I had an entirely tulle bottom part of my wedding dress, and I loved it! I nabbed this dress for a steal at the once infamous sample sale held in fashion designer Vera Wang's dress atelier on Madison Avenue in New York City. Tulle is commonly used to make wedding veils as well, as it conceals the bride's face while walking up the alter hence creating allure of catching glimpses of the bride. And, later it became known as the fabric the ballerinas wore on their infamous "Tutus" in bubble gum, baby pink. Today it has a wide range of uses from arts and crafts to fashion.
Back in the 90s, Carrie Bradshaw (actor Sarah Jessica Parker) from Sex and The City made Tulle in a super-chic way shown here in a white skirt. This scene was the opening segment of the cult-like television series. Since then tulle went back to a bit of a slumber, but it seems back with a vengeance this Fall. Tulle is having a fashion moment again, and mixed in a variety of color blocking, primary and bright colors it feels fresh and new. Welcome Fall 2020, and welcome back tulle.