Sunday, September 28, 2008

Decorating with fabric: Organza

You often don't see organza fabric outside of formal events, whether its used on the formally-dressed attendees or on the formally decorated facility. Either way, organza is luxurious, shiny and eye-catching -- and comes in dozens of colors. My mom had great foresight when she invested in dozens of colors (including at least three shades of pink) and at least a few hundred bolts of organza. It's a great fabric to use for decorating, but try not to giggle when you spot someone wearing the same fabric you're using to decorate a table. It's happened to me before, believe me.

The photo to the left, by the way, was lifted from

I used at least half a dozen pieces of organza on my friend Cathy's wedding, to great effect. But with her sweetheart table and backdrop, I only used two. Why? Because less can be more, and with the white English netting, that bubble-gum pink has no choice but to pop. Organza, however, can be difficult to decorate with because its fabric. Let's face it -- your clothes wouldn't lay flat if it weren't cut in a particular way, and the same goes for yards of fabric used for decorating. Except, you don't cut fabric you use for decorating. So what do you do? You pin it and you bunch it and you gather it, hopefully in a symmetrical manner. That's my philosophy in decorating setups like these. :)

Here are two colors of organza used together. I actually prefer to use different types of fabric on my tables -- like English netting with organza -- but that tends to limit my color choices. Most of my English netting is white, so for this gorgeous champagne color, out came the organza. This happens to be a long head table on the floor, with two shorter tables on a riser flanking a sweetheart table, plus that backdrop. And in case you were wondering, I don't draw my tables in advance -- I just seem to see them in my head when I get there and see blank tables.

Since I love the champagne organza so much, here's another example from a job in Whittier. But besides that, I want to point out how easy it is to fluff organza. This sweetheart table here is decorated with just one long piece of organza, even though I decorated it a bit like a baker decorates a cake. I twisted and fluffed the organza along the edge of the table, as well as draping it along the table skirt. With a color like champagne, its not too overpowering. I wouldn't recommend this technique with a stronger color like pink or purple.

And here's a close up of how organza hangs. This photo, not previously posted before, was taken at a gazebo ceremony at the Almansor Court in Alhambra. Go to the post to see the finished set up, but this photo was taken from in front of the gazebo -- basically the groom's view as his bride walks down the aisle. The organza has a luminescent quality, really shining in the sun -- and it doesn't hurt that the skies were gorgeous that day. But organza should be used outdoors sparingly, since its relatively thick and wind can make it look and feel like a sail.

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