A Lesson In Crimplene

I've been asked numerous times over the years how to tell if a piece of fabric or clothing is crimplene and I always struggle to give an answer as I can't really explain how I can tell if something is crimplene, I just sort of know - not very helpful really (I would make a rubbish teacher). Today I thought I'd show you some close ups of vintage 1960s and 1970s crimplene that I have in my collection, in the hope that it will go someway to explaining what exactly crimplene is. 

Crimplene is a heavy, wrinkle-resistant cloth which retains its shape and colour well and dries quickly (see my post on a brief history of crimplene). Like all fabrics, crimplene comes in many different weights and textures. The examples below are of heavy weight crimplene pieces that I have in my collection.

Here are some light-weight examples that I have, some of them have a similar texture to nylon and I've seen many items online wrongly describing a nylon dress as being made from crimplene. Whilst these examples are lighter the fabric is still heavy if that makes sense, when made up these fabrics will hang well.

I've been told a few times that crimplene is back on the high street but that's not the case as sadly the fabric is no longer in production. Places like Topshop and Dorothy Perkins have been using a jersey double knit fabric recently which looks similar to crimplene but it isn't quite the same. You can't beat the original in my opinion!

Hopefully this post was of use to some of you. If you have any questions just drop me an email. 



  1. Interesting! Thank you for the close-ups of the fabric--I thought I had never seen this fabric before but now I'm thinking I may have on occasion. I'll certainly be looking for it in the future!

  2. Very helpful! I have few dorothy perkins dresses made from the jersey which is similar to crimplene, it's a good substitute but you're right that it's not quite like the original!! Where do you manage to source yours from for sewing projects? X


  3. Spot on! As a dedicated hair crimper in the 1980s it's the crimped effect that gives it away but you're right, so many people mislabel nylon and polyester when they're smooth. xxx

  4. i love your crimplene pieces. i don't seem to find very much of it down here. it may not have been called Crimplene at all because i have seen ones with a similar look that were simply described as polyester. i suppose its always been too hot down here for thick polyester fabrics anyway! i love the brightness and its ability to hold onto the prints like a cotton would


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