With a name meaning “padded” in French, matelassé has a distinctly blistered, wadded or quilted look with raised areas of fabric. The texture is achieved in weaving, which is done on either a jacquard or dobby loom. The crepe-twist yarns used shrink in the wet finishing process, causing other yarns to puff out from the surface.
Matelassé may be silk, manufactured fiber, wool or cotton (the latter two mainly for upholstery and other household uses).
A cheaper matelassé-look fabric is made by shrinking the backing of a layered fabric—puckering the surface which is attached to the backing at regular intervals. Embossed fabrics can also achieve similar looks.
Uses: Dresses, eveningwear, outerwear, also home decorating