ORGANZA: The Subtle Luxury Cloth

Organza is a type of very transparent, low-density lightweight plain weave fabric. Due to the
special nature of its structure and traits of transparency and lightweight, it is usually overlayed
over thicker garments. Due to its unique structural formation, the measurement of organza
making is not performed based on threads per square inch rather Holes per Square Inch (HPI).
The higher the rating of HPI, the better the quality of the fabric.
Organza, like many other forms of fabric, originated in the area that followed the Silk Route.
This road specifically was an old trading route that stretched all the way from China in the east to
Europe in the west. The word organza takes its origin from the word “Urgang,” which is the
name of the village in Turkestan, famous all over the ancient world for having the most popular
Silk markets in the world. In contemporary times, the word organza closely relates with the word
organzine, meaning “Silk of any type made with the simple twist spinning technique. The
western world utilized the term urging into practice and introduced its variation of organza with
the passage. They also employed the use of the term organzine to refer to the spinning method
used for the making of threads consequently that is used in the fabric.

As in the past, the availability of silk was easy and convenient and the sole raw material. Hence
organza well was made completely from silk. However, with the advent of newer mixtures,
synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester have provided the possibility to change the base
materials to craft this textile. Since the density is extremely low, inevitably making the fabric
extremely lightweight and delicate with higher HPI, it is suggested to either dry clean or hand
wash the cloth for protection. As a result of its delicacy and royalty nature, it is often used for
elegant bridal dresses and other household textile items.

The making of organza fabric itself is an art and seems like a dance between the process and the
outcome. Each step has its unique purpose for fulfillment towards the creation of something
eloquently luxurious. The obvious starts with selecting base material for the creation of organza,
i.e., it can be polyester, nylon, or pure silk. In the case of synthetic fabric, it needs to be treated in
labs due to its composition of different chemicals and the use of machines, whereas pure silk is
created using complete organic processes. The silk is extracted from silkworms that produce
silky cocoons, which are boiled and immersed in water (hot water). Furthermore, these are then
reeled to render them into strings of fiber.

Once the string is produced and hence a good yarn is formed at the end of the process. These
fibers are then twisted in opposite directions and stretched, which ultimately cling together
tightly. Before being made into fabric, this tight, thick yarn is treated with acid and combed
simultaneously to increase and instill stiffness in the fabric. The treatment with acid is unique to
the making of organza, and other than organza, the synthetic fibers are not treated since their
structural form makes them stiff.

Predominantly organza fabric has been a product and specialty of east Asia and originated from
Turkestan. The importance of Silk in the previous era was enough that an entire route was
dedicated for its trading purpose, i.e., Silk Road. Even now, predominantly, most organza being
produced in the world comes from China and India. Raw organza fabric is exported to factories
in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China to be made into garments and then sold to its immense
consumers worldwide. To a layman, this particular fabric may hold no importance, but the
importance is held within its making and the story it shares with the craft form itself, i.e., Silk.

What may look simply can be molded into the most beautiful dress and turn out to be the luxury
it is supposed to be.