Sometimes known as dupion or douppioni, silk dupioni is created with the threads from two different silk worms. When two worms spin their cocoons close together, the fibers get tangled up; these naturally tangled fibers are then used together to make the silk thread. The thread is rougher than regular silk, and contains bumps and irregularities where the fibers from the two cocoons are combined. This fabric takes dye well and is usually easy to sew.
Silk dupioni has an advantage over some other types of silks, in that it tends to resist wrinkles, which helps to enhance the usability of the finished fabric. In addition, it also has a tendency to take creases very well, which can give the final product a crisp and formal appearance. As an added bonus, the fabric is totally reversible, so it is perfectly acceptable for both sides of the material to be visible.
At the same time, silk dupioni does have a couple of drawbacks. The material has almost no stretching ability, which means that using this fabric requires the need to be very exact in the measurements before cutting out any pattern. It is also naturally irregular in texture, and the edges may unravel.
Silk dupioni can be used in a number of different fabric creations. In the way of clothing, this fabric works well for flowing jackets, blouses, skirts, dresses, and bridal gowns. For home decorating, it can be utilized as drapery panels or other types of window treatments, table runners and cloths, and doilies for accent on tables and sofa backs and arms.
While dry-cleaning is generally recommended for silk dupioni, it is possible to hand wash sections of fabric before the material is cut and used in a pattern. When washed by hand, there is the chance of some shrinkage, and the fabric will most likely lose some of the crisp texture and a portion of the shimmering effect. For finished products constructed with silk dupioni, dry cleaning is definitely the best means of freshening the material.