Our wine stretch bengaline fabric is an example (for us at least) of a fabric that we recognised – but didn’t know the name of until a few years ago. Now we do – we make sure we never pass it by. It’s an insanely versatile, practical yet elegant fabric that’s surprisingly difficult to come by so worth snapping up whenever we can.
Bengaline fabrics (first made in Bengal, hence the name) have a distinctive finely-ribbed weave pattern. This gives a fabric such as our wine stretch bengaline fabric a slightly formal texture. Some bengaline fabrics are extremely draping in their movement; this one is much less so. Although it’s beautifully pliable and not at all stiff, it has a certain crispness and an ability to hold a shape as you can see in this video.
The closely-ribbed weave also gives these fabrics excellent opacity for their weight. Our wine stretch bengaline fabric lies towards the lighter-weight end of the medium-weight suiting catagory – or you could regard it as a slightly heavier-weight dress fabric. The stretch in our navy blue stretch bengaline fabric arises from the spandex in its composition and provides about 25% stretch. It amounts to ease, rather than a full-on stretch – and because the ribs in the weave run from selvedge to selvedge, the stretch is lengthwise down the fabric. You’ll probably want the ribs to run lengthwise down your garment – in which case cut your pieces across this (wide) fabric. This will mean that your stretch becomes a widthwise ease – which is just what you want.
Our wine stretch bengaline fabric is a good, solid, burgundy. If it leans anywhere, it’s towards a very slightly brown, rather than pink or blue shade of burgundy. If a match is important for your outfit then just ask us for a free sample as ever.
Dresses, jackets, skirts and trousers are all options for this fabric (we did say it was versatile!). It leans more towards the ‘classic’ end of the wardrobe than the casual – and so this ‘Claudia’ Stretch Woven Pant from Style Arc might be one to consider.
We get consistently good feedback from our makers of Style Arc trouser patterns – although we’ve yet to take the plunge ourselves. They recommend a stretch bengaline for this style – so away you go!
Wash at 30 or 40 degrees – see our Fabric care pages for more information.