Gauze -and double gauze- is very pleasant to wear because extremely soft, breathable, without being transparent or fragile or easy to distort. But there are genuine and false ones; good ones and less good ones. How to identify the genuine quality gauze?
The gauze is a very lightweight, soft, airy, but with a unique specificity: a weaving that makes it stable, and avoid distorsion.
What is a false gauze? It’s simple a fabric with gaps; you can get it with a lose plain weave (eg like on drawing below, with increased space between threads). Somehow, make a kind of mesh. But in that case, like for the gauze we use on wounds, if you pull on a thread, the fabric gets distorted, since nothing really holds the threads together.
The genuine gauze is made with a specific weave called Leno. To make it simple, the threads are a bit more spread, but they are interwined with twists, what enables to generate an airy but stable fabric. And there are different ways to do those twists (French way, English way, and different Japanese ways, like the 3 below).
The Japanese equivalent -called Karamiori- is used since the end of the 8th century. Here is an article to know more about it. And if the gauze is of so old and common use in Japan, it’s simply because of the climate, which can be really hot and wet.
Now, what is the difference between the good and less good gauze?
Very simple: the gauze is woven with a thin and solid cotton thread -meaning of high quality- will be more resistant, softer, lighter, more breathable than the one woven with a less thin thread, more fluffy, and more visible gaps (see this post about cotton quality).
Last, the double gauze: that’s simply that 2 gauzes that are regularly linked by invisible stitch.
- extremely soft, almost voluptuous touch feel (with top quality cotton materials);
- breathable, and then nice to wear when it’s hot:
- more opaque than mesh.
And why prefer Japanese gauzes? Simply because it’s 12 centuries of know-how, and for me, very “delicious” to wear.
Personally, I love to use it to make scarves and headbands, where their qualities of breathability and softness are strongs assets.