Guide to Dance Fabrics
Looking to make your own dance costume? Here is a guide to the many materials OFS has to offer that are perfect for dance and recital outfits.
Lamé is a lightweight metallic fabric that’s great if you are looking for a material that will pick up and reflect light. It doesn’t stretch so it shouldn’t be used in areas that need to be flexible. It would be best used with a lining fabric like broadcloth or muslin. There are several varieties so see our Lamé Fabric Product Guide for more information.
Velvet is a soft, plush fabric that works well in dance costumes when stretch is needed. Panne velvet, stretch velvet, and crushed stretch velvet all have two way stretch. These velvets are lightweight but thick enough to not need a lining fabric lining in many applications. It drapes beautifully and looks very soft under light. See our Velvet Fabric Product Guide to find out more about the styles of velvet we offer.
Eyelash is a lightweight metallic fabric that is covered in tinsel like strands that pick up light beautifully. It would work with or without a lining fabric. It does not stretch in either direction and it drapes beautifully.
Stretch satin is a shiny but not sparkly fabric that stretches slightly. It is thick enough to not need a lining fabric in most applications. It is incredibly soft and comfortable to wear. It drapes beautifully and would be great for the main fabric on a project. We offer many other varieties of satin which you can learn more about in our Satin Fabric Product Guide.
Stretch charmeuse is similar to satin and can also be used for dance costumes.
Netting, mesh, and tulle are sheer fabrics that are great to layer over the base of your dance outfit and can also be used to create volume under skirts. Each fabric adds a different dimension to your outfit weather it be glitter or a sheer colored fabric and can even be layered on top of each other. Tulle is commonly used to make tutus and skirts. Russian netting has much larger holes than tulle and is often used on hats and headpieces. Power mesh is a sheer material with tiny holes. It has four way stretch, making it perfect for dance costumes. It’s popular for cutouts and also drapes nicely.
Crinoline is a sheer fabric, like mesh, but it is not stretchy and is a little stiffer. It is typically used to add volume to skirts.
Sequin fabric is an eye-catching netted fabric that is adorned with sequins which sparkle and reflect light as they move. It typically has at least a two way stretch. See our Sequin Fabric Product Guide for more information about the different styles of sequin fabric we offer.
Spandex fabric is perfect for dance costumes that need to be flexible because it has fantastic four way stretch. It can be used for the base of the garment and comes in several styles including metallic spandex and hologram spandex which changes colors as it moves.
There are many other fabrics that can be used for dance costumes or flags including chiffon, organza, lace, and other fashion and dress fabrics.
Ribbon and chainette fringe trim can be used as trim to add a little extra dimension to your outfit.
Boning can be used on the inner layers of any outfit to add structure so the material does not roll, bend or fold when it is not supposed to. It offers structure and support without being too stiff so that the dancer may move freely.
There are also a variety of elastic strips and threads so that the garment can be extra flexible.