Swiss voile is a favourite material here at Empire Textiles; with our exclusive ranges selling out extremely quickly. It’s versatile and popular with men and women alike. But what makes voile different to other materials, and how did it become such an important part of African fashion?


Origins of the Viole Name


main_11279_9EThe term ‘voile’ is derived from the French ‘veil’, which is believed to come from the Latin ‘vela’ meaning ‘covering’. Voile is sheer and lightweight, historically woven in loose squares, from cotton or wool. It looks delicate and beautiful but is sturdy and easy to utilise and customise. Voile has been manufactured for centuries; when not used to make clothing, it is a staple material for home decoration. It’s light enough to layer together, for example in net curtains, drapes or bed canopies, but won’t rip or tear. Its sheer, lightweight properties also make it a favourite material for mosquito nets!


More Than Just Clothing


When it comes to clothing, voile is similar to lace, organza or muslin. It is very easy to dye (hence why Empire Textiles offers such a wide variety of patterns and colours!), and its softness makes it ideal for use in underskirts and lingerie, scarves, summer clothing and of course veils. As it’s semi-transparent, voile is often added to an opaque material to provide decoration for a dress or skirt, but multiple voile fabrics can also be stitched together for a pure-voile piece.



With modern machinery and production processes, voile is frequently made with a cotton blend, such as polyester or linen, but Empire Textiles still offers 100% cotton voile with our Empire Jacquard range. Voile is inexpensive and easy to customise by hand, so those of you with creative leanings can use it to customise or refresh pre-existing clothes, or even come up with something completely new!

It’s no surprise that voile has become a firm favourite with African fashionistas, as it’s the perfect addition to any African wardrobe; it’s light, bright and adds delicacy and style to any outfit – what more is there to want?

For our entire range, simply browse through the ‘Swiss voile’ tab on our site.


Swiss Viole Tab