Humphries Weaving Moiré Fabrics
The word moiré is French and taken from moirer, meaning to water/make shimmer and was originally used to describe an effect applied to silk. Despite this description water is not actually used during the moiré process. To the untrained eye one could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps it is a weave structure or a Jacquard pattern that is used to create the effect across the surface, but this is not the case. In fact, it is applied onto the surface under huge pressure, using steam filled rollers.
The shimmering surface of moiré is most appreciated on silk, because of the rippling patterns created in the process. The fabric must have a sound and compact rib weave structure and the best fabrics to moiré are warp faced with a compact and firm weft yarn. The rib is best produced using a linen or cotton, linen creates not only the best rib and therefore the best water mark, but due to its nature, holds the effect the longest. The moiré pattern will remain in the fabric as long as it is kept dry.
Many modern moirés on the market are produced using a pattern embossed roller, which gives a repeating pattern. Humphries Weaving produce an uncontrolled version and the pattern can vary both across the repeat and up the fabric. The beauty is that no piece is ever the same, giving a truly unique and special finish which creates an organic, non-repeating pattern.
Although most moirés are created on plain fabric, by introducing another element such as satin weave which is unaffected by the process. The most common of these is a Taboret Stripe but can also be utilised for figured floral designs. Moirés are popular for walling such as our previous project at The Charterhouse, London, but can equally be used for curtains and upholstery as seen at Apsley House, also in London.