Voile vs. Lawn

Is it a lawn or a voile? Have you ever wondered about the difference between these two wonderful cotton weaves?   Here are a few tips to help you discern what you are buying.

Lawn is generally softer to the hand and not as tightly woven. Batiste, by the way.  is woven with finer yarns. Lawn is commonly used for blouses or full skirts.  A tight fitting bodice would need a lining as would a straight dress. Solid colored lawn makes a wonderful lining for linen or other fabrics where you want to maintain the natural breathing qualities.


Lawn as well as voile takes dye nicely so it works well for prints.  This is one in a series of paisley prints that will be posted to the web store mid-month. Another example of high quality printed lawn can be found in our Cotton Section. Tristana

Voile is considered a semi-sheer and has a crisper and drier hand than lawn. Uses are similar, but the drape of the fabric will have a slightly more sculptured fall.


This pretty two color print is part of our second summer mailer coming in mid-June.  You can see from the photo that it is slightly more transparent than the lawn and the folds stand up just a bit more. The reason for this is the twisted filling yarn that is used in the voile weaving process.  We tried to get a good closeup to show you the difference in the yarns.  The inset is the voile weft yarn where you can see the higher twist (more turns per inch).  Another example of fine cotton voile can be found in The Back Room.  Copley

A few tidbits of interest.

Lawn was originally named for Laon, France where linen lawn was manufactured and used often in garbs for clergy or royalty.

Voile comes from the Old French meaning veil.  Although in French it is pronounced “vwal”, we opt for the anglisized pronounciation which sounds like coil.

About Barb

Owner, Sawyer Brook Fabrics
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  • http://www.ciscosewingsuppliesandnotions.com felyneluvr

    Fabric has to be one of the most difficult things to photograph well for the web. You have many excellent photographs of the beautiful fabrics you write about! Well done!

  • http://www.ciscosewingsuppliesandnotions.com felyneluvr

    Fabric has to be one of the most difficult things to photograph well for the web. You have many excellent photographs of the beautiful fabrics you write about! Well done!