What is voile and how do you sew with it?

Questions we get asked a lot in the office is what is voile? How do you pronounce it? And what can I sew with it? Here we want to tell you all about voile and why it is such a great fabric.

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Let’s start with the pronunciation of voile. Is it vwal (rhyming with the American pronunciation of mall) or voil (rhyming with toil)? Unfortunately there is no firm answer. Most fabric experts will say vwal, but chances are, if you go into a fabric shop and say it either way, they will know what you are talking about.

Voile comes from the French word meaning Viel. It is a light-weight, semi-sheer, woven fabric that is usually 100% cotton, however some voile produced today can be a blend of cotton and polyester. It can feel quite silky to touch, this is because it has a tight weave and a high thread count. Because of this, it is very breathable and has a light drape. It is perfect material for making Summer dresses and tops.

So what is so great about voile? Well, it is a perfect fabric for beginners because it doesn’t stretch which is a huge help. It is so stable that creases will iron out with a steam iron and it can be washed in the washing machine. Whilst it is not as slippery as silk, it is more slippy than most other fabrics, so we recommend pinning often when sewing with it.

The best garments to sew with voile are lightweight summer dresses and tops. However it isn’t limited to your summer wardrobe. You can use it to sew up woven tops with layering as well. Because of the sheer nature of the fabric, you may find that you need to line the fabric in some cases.

Voile Kimono


Our very own Ame Verso has created this gorgeous one-size Kimono. With no pattern needed and just straight lines to sew, it can be whipped up in no time for a satisfying project that you can actually wear! This Kimono was created using Amy Butler Glow Voile Jolie-Breeze, however it can be created with 1.75m of any voile fabric.

You can get your hands on this beautiful Kimono kit on our website. Alternatively, you can buy the sewing instructions and take your pick from our selection of voile fabric to put your own spin on it!


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About Nadine

Nadine dabbles in a wide range crafts. If it's pretty and she wants to make it, she'll learn the technique to do so. She is also never without a cup of tea in her hands.