Sunday, December 10, 2006

What is this "Bengaline", eh?

Addressing some of the comments in my last post — I hope Belinda will jump in and correct me if I'm wrong or just add whatever I've left out, but as far as I can tell …

It's a Nylon (or Poly), Rayon (Viscose), Lycra (Elastane) blend. But a woven, not a knit. And the stretch runs lengthwise on the fabric, parallel to the selvege. It's got a sheen on one side and is more matte on the other. I used the matte side as the right side for my pants.

Yes, Touran, it does feel a bit rubbery but not in a bad way. Kind of like "control" pants but without being constricting or "girdle-y" in any way. The fabric does "swish" as you walk, so that is different (noice, diffrent, unewesual for my Aussie friends) but in a good way. Belinda says there are different qualities of this fabric, and what I have is the "good stuff." Yay for the good stuff!

Susan, no, it's not Ottoman or anything like it. CJ's Ottoman is a knit and this stretch bengaline is most definitely a woven.

It's used in some RTW pants and skirts here in the U.S., but if you Google "stretch bengaline" you'll get mostly maternity garments (ugh. that hurt). It's far more common in Aussie and Kiwi RTW (non-maternity). I've never, ever seen it in any online or brick/mortar fabric store. I don't think it's the same thing as the "RPL" (rayon/poly/Lyra) that EmmaOneSock sells from time to time because (1) I've got some of that and while it's nice too, it's not this. And (2) the stretch in RPL runs widthwise as we'd expect.

I wish I could buy it here (or online) because I'd have pants in every color!


  1. Filling in some of the gaps. :)

    Bengaline is a woven fabric with fine 'ribs'. Stretch bengaline, is the same but with elastene, so a stretch woven fabric.

    The 'good' stretch bengaline is nylon/viscose/elastene, while the icky, cling to every lump and bump variety is poly/viscose/elastene. Debbie has the nylon variety as you can tell from her flattering photos. :)

  2. Hi Debbie, I'm dragging a very old entry back out into the light - and my apologies if you've already found this out... but I've been told that the lovely fabric we are both fans of known as bengaline is also known as faille.
    Perhaps you'll be able to find that more easily than asking for bengaline...?
    All the best from un-sunny Australia!

  3. can you suggest a good place to find the "good stuff" at? im looking for a quality kind to have my wedding dress made of.

  4. Very old post, but, an update, I found that you can buy it online here: .

  5. An.update. Hancock Fabrics stores in the USA now sells the nylon/rayon/spandex Bengaline fabric in their stores. They have an online site, but I haven't checked to see if it is offered there. Found this site when searching for us us for the fabric.


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