Happy New Year! If your party dress sparkled recently, it might have been thanks to lamé, the fabric term of the week.
A general term for a metallic effect, lamé is usually created using yarns made of aluminum laminated between layers of film. Lurex, which became a household name in the 1980s, is the name trademarked by The Lurex Company for plastic-coated aluminum yarn. Lamé is most often gold or silver in color (with the color added to the film or adhesive) but can be any color.
A more traditional method of adding the gleam of metal to a fiber is by winding flattened metal wire around a thread. The metal may be gold (as in the expensive Indian jari thread), silver or aluminum. Actual gold and silver fiber, made of fine wire or flattened ribbons of metal, has been used in weaving the finest and costliest cloth since ancient times.
Uses: Lamé threads may be used in any type of fabric, woven or knit. It is often light and can be used for anything from a sweater to evening wear. Heavier fabrics can be used for interior decorating. Metallic fibers are also used for their conductivity and ability to insulate.
| ©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain, photos by Hoyt Carter|