Mesh vs Chiffon- What Is The Difference?

Mesh vs Chiffon- What Is The Difference?

Many manufacturers use these two fabrics to produce clothes and several other items. Their features are pretty similar, making it difficult to tell the differences between the two fabrics. However, mesh and chiffon are best for different occasions, and the varying types offer unique features. In this mesh vs chiffon comparison, we’ll look at the notable differences between the two fabrics. We’ll consider what they are, what they’re made from, and the different types. On that note, let’s begin.

Mesh vs Chiffon – What is Mesh Fabric?

Mesh is a generic term used to refer to any material that features a grid-like structure with several rows of evenly-spaced holes. The size of the mesh holes usually varies according to the purpose of the mesh. Mesh fabric can come from different materials, the most popular options being polyester and metal. The principle behind the mesh fabric has been around for over millennia. Fishers use mesh like a fishing net, and it was a popular option for generations. Most people recognize it as a net when describing a mesh fabric. However, tulle netting is used for other purposes and used for clothing like bridal wear, fairy dresses, and many more.

Most people believe the mesh fabric was created by a British Mill owner called Lewis Haslam in the late 19th century. The mesh was known as Aertex and wasn’t a part of mainstream fashion until the 1980s. It owes its rise to popularity to its use by MTV stars and pop video artists. Mesh is quite universal in its use and therefore is a common choice in creating string vests, bridal wear, tea filters, and many more. It is also common in screen doors and window fly screens. Apart from being a versatile choice, you can also utilize mesh in making a fashion statement.

What is Mesh Made Of?

Mesh and polyester are two common textiles used in the production of mesh. Mesh produced using synthetic fabric is usually durable, strong, and flexible. This fabric from either of these fabrics usually offers the same qualities to producers. Nylon mesh is typically elastic, smooth, and soft. At the same time, polyester mesh protects from UV light, and it also offers water resistance. The features of these mesh fabrics make them ideal for producing different materials. If you’re looking to create items that provide a bit of elasticity, then nylon mesh is a great choice. However, the polyester mesh is ideal for outdoor items.

You can also get mesh fabric from lightweight stainless steel. It can also come from copper or bronze. When you use metal, it provides more structure and rigidity for the mesh fabric. Mesh derived from metal is used for flyscreens and screen doors. With just a few changes to the size of the holes, you can create sieves and paper baskets.

That’s not the only materials the mesh fabric comes from; manufacturers also use wools, cotton, hemp, or silk to create the mesh fabric. To create mesh using wool material, the yarn is knotted together so it can feature patterns in the holes. This helps to create a decorative mesh fabric. Although silk mesh exists, it is pretty rare and expensive. A material that doesn’t come to mind for mesh production is cotton. 

Mesh vs Chiffon: What is Chiffon Fabric?

Chiffon refers to various types of fabrics with the same qualities. These fabrics are sheer, which means they’re usually light and semi-transparent. Chiffon fabric originally had silk as its base material. It was an expensive fabric popular amongst the upper-class women in America and Europe. Chiffon is a French term for cloth or rag, but it now refers to lustrous sheer fabric woven in a certain way. Although chiffon started in France, it expanded worldwide during the industrial age. The initial years of the 1900s saw the production of chiffon in the United States using silk. However, producers soon began to look for new materials to replace silk in the production of chiffon. 

The first non-silk chiffon was made from nylon, although that didn’t last because of several issues experienced by the manufacturers. Soon, producers switched to polyester, which worked well because polyester mirrored silk in many ways. Although it wasn’t as soft as silk, it offered many other features. That’s why most chiffon today still features polyester material. Cotton is another material used in its creation, but it isn’t as suitable for chiffon production as polyester. As a result, silk chiffon is still in production, although it is more of a luxury textile today and not mass-produced. 

The weave that most sheer fabric known as chiffon uses is an alternate s-and-z twist. 

These names come from the shape the yarns show when being used. Yarns made into the S-shapes are woven into threads with the Z shapes, and this provides a puckered fabric with more elasticity than other textiles. Chiffon also features a textured appearance and a rough feel. This material is extremely delicate because of its weaving method and therefore requires extra care. It also features a slippery texture that makes it difficult to sew on. 

Mesh vs Chiffon: How is Mesh Fabric Made?

You make mesh fabric through a knitting process. You can create the mesh fabric by loosely knitting fibres or yarns into a grid effect. The loose knitting process is what makes the hole in the material—the looser the knits, the larger the space in the fabric. Depending on the type of mesh created, the real structure of the knit usually differs. Tulle netting, for instance, features a hexagonal pattern, while power mesh features square-shaped holes. On the other hand, the metal mesh looks slightly different from the two; it comes with intersecting wires that manufacturers weld together in a grid pattern. The size of the mesh holes present in the grip can be changed by simply moving the wires before you weld them together. 

The size variation is crucial for both the metal mesh and the mesh fabric. You can usually tell by the size of the open space what you will use the material for. Additionally, there’s usually a difference in the thickness and weight of each variation. When the result is a lightweight and transparent tulle, it makes for a perfect addition to the girl’s fairy dress. However, if the resulting mesh fabric is a closely-knit power net, it works best for support wear.

Mesh vs Chiffon: How is Chiffon Fabric Made?

There are different ways of making chiffon, and it usually depends on the base material used in weaving this distinctive textile. For example, when using silk, chiffon is made through the breeding of silkworms, the softening of the worm’s cocoons, and finally, the reeling of the filaments. On the other hand, no organic components are necessary to produce polyester chiffon. Instead, it entirely comes from synthetic chemicals in the lab. 

No matter the base material involved in the production of chiffon, once you produce the textile yarn, it follows a uniform weaving pattern. Next, you have to arrange the yarn used in a unique design that shows opposing S and Z-shaped curves to make chiffon. Afterwards, it is woven together in an industrial weaving machine. Chiffon is quite delicate despite being woven by hand. The production process is always relatively slow because of its delicate nature. When made with a machine, they have to work at slow paces to avoid causing damage to the textile. 

Mesh vs Chiffon: Types of Mesh Fabrics

Mesh is quite universal, and it comes in different types; each type of mesh fabric serves a particular purpose. Below are some of the famous types of mesh fabric you should know.

Cotton Pique

This type of mesh is popular in sportswear and is known as the original fabric used in the production of polo shirts. However, cotton pique has been the go-to fabric for sporting wear and inspiration. It has a waffle kind of pattern that is reminiscent of mesh fabric. However, the fabric features a relatively tiny waffle pattern. Due to this, cotton pique isn’t a true mesh.


Netting is a term that covers different types of mesh fabrics; this includes tulle, fishing nets, and many more. The net type usually determines its function, but they all share the same quality. Netting is generally transparent and offers an open space; fabrics are available in different weights and thicknesses depending on their purposes. However, the finer the net, the more delicate and sheer the material will look. 


Tulle is another type of mesh fabric to note in this mesh vs chiffon comparison. It comes in hexagon patterns and is a fine net used in party dresses, bridal gowns, and veils. It is pretty stiff and doesn’t offer the same level of elasticity as other mesh fabrics. However, tulle’s rigidity makes it a great choice if you’re looking for a material to add shape to a garment. 

Nylon Mesh

This mesh offers a high level of elasticity when mixed with spandex. This blend of spandex and nylon gives the nylon mesh an excellent recovery feature. It is common in the production of clothing and several more items. 

Mesh vs Chiffon: Different Types of Chiffon

Chiffon is a fabric popular for its see-through feature. Below are the common types of chiffon you should note.

Silk Chiffon

This chiffon is quite luxurious and is the oldest type of chiffon. Because it is organic fabric, it is more expensive than other types of chiffon. However, it feels great against the skin and is quite sleek. Silk chiffon comes with a level of stretch and is common in creating accessories like flowers, bows, ruffles, and many more. 

Polyester Chiffon

This type of chiffon is affordable and offers more durability than silk chiffon. In addition, it doesn’t wrinkle easily and is a common option for dresses, skirts, lingerie, pants, etc. Polyester chiffon is available in various colours and is ideal for daytime and evening wear. Although it is not as soft as sleek, it is an affordable option.

Cotton Chiffon

Another natural fabric used in the creation of chiffon is cotton. It offers the material a matte finish which is excellent for daytime wear. Cotton chiffon is breathable and exceptionally soft to the touch. It is common in the production of loungewear and lightweight summer clothing. 

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Final Thoughts

Mesh and chiffon fabric are similar because of their sheer quality. However, they are also generic terms for materials with a unique weaving pattern. These fabrics are common in the production of blouses, dresses, scarves, and many forms of clothing. There are different chiffon and mesh fabrics available, and the base material determines the best use of the fabric. As explained in this mesh vs chiffon comparison, their unique features will help you choose the best option for you.

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Mesh vs Chiffon- What Is The Difference? Mesh and chiffon are popular fabrics in the textile industry; learn the main differences between the two materials in this mesh vs chiffon comparison.
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