Ever wondered what makes sequin so appealing? It’s because they look stylish and fashionable on almost every garment you sew them on. No matter if it's a sequin gown or sequin fringe dance dress, the addition of sequin can make any item pop. Whether it be a chic jacket, a fancy gown, or a pair of cigarette jeans, designers use sequin to add flair and sparkle to all types of outfits.
Let’s take a look at the different types of sequin so you can choose the best one that matches your style and personality.
What is sequin?
Sequin is a small, shiny ornamental disc made from either metal foil or plastic. They are sometimes referred to as diamonds, palettes, or spangles. This decorative piece is often sewn on clothing fabrics, shoes, bags, and even jewelry. In the fashion industry, sequin is used in evening wear and high-end apparel like bridals to enhance their look and make them stand out by reflecting the spotlights under which they often find themselves.
Sequins can either be stitched flat to the fabric so that they’re fixated, or they may be stitched at only one point, allowing them to dangle and sparkle in multiple directions. Some sequins are made with facets to make them shinier and more reflective.
There are many different types of sequin and each one has its own unique characteristics. Some of the classic sequin color types are:
- Hologram - Hologram sequins are by far the shiniest out of all the sequin types, thus making them a favorite for designer apparel like bags and jeans.
- Matte - Matte sequins are perfect for casual clothing since they look modest and less reflective.
- Pearl - Pearl sequins are commonly used in frocks, curtain covers, and Kurtis due to their clean and understated look.
- Coated - Coated sequins are so-called because the color coating is applied to the surface of the sequin only. This makes coated sequins susceptible to fading after repeated washes.
You can also find various shapes of sequins with the most popular shapes being standard circular sequin, large disc, 3D circular disc, diamond, and teardrop shaped sequins. Although, sequins come in many other shapes as well such as flowers, stars, spikes, butterflies, and the list goes on. These sequins are great for designing clothes that need extra pizzaz, whether it be for stage wear or just outfits that are designed to make a bright and shiny statement.
What are the different types of sequin fabric?
Sequin fabrics are basically any type of fabric with sequins sewn on them. The flashy top of sequin fabric makes the garment dazzling to look at which is why designers love using them to make outfits pop. When sewing with sequin fabric, it’s what’s underneath all that shine that really matters.
Here are the different types of sequin fabrics used to design clothes.
Knit fabric backing
Knit fabrics are those with no-fray edges and have stretchy characteristics. It is so-called because the back of the fabric is knitted for a zero-transparency look. Like other knit fabrics, this sequin fabric also has stretch and the cut edges are no-fray. These types of fabrics can be found on an array of outfits from bodysuits, to leotards to dresses and skirts. A popular type of knit fabric used in stage wear and dance wear as a backing is called Lycra fabric which is excellent as it is 4-way stretchable making it very versatile in creating fitted outfits.
Netted fabrics use mesh and tulle which have a slight stretch to them and have no-fray edges. These fabrics range in transparency from translucent to transparent depending on the density of the netting. As a result, netted backings are sometimes lined with an inner layer first before adding in the sequins to create an illusion of transparency while still keeping important parts covered; however, it is not required and is often not lined to create sexier more revealing outfits. This type of sequin is usually seen on sequin fringe dance dresses.
Some examples of woven fabrics are rayon, taffeta, and organza. These fabrics are non-stretch and the edges will fray if the seams are not sewn up. If you plan on using woven fabrics, be sure that the seams and hems are properly sewn because they can fray easily. Woven backing can be transparent or translucent as well, which gives the fabrics an interesting look. If you plan on using woven fabrics, pay close attention to the seams and hems because they can fray easily.
Lace fabrics are transparent and the weave is very delicate which means you will need to add a lining in order to stitch the sequins to ensure that the lace does not tear from the weight and/or movement of the sequins that is sewn on to the lace. Depending on the type of fabric you’re looking for, laced backing can either be stretchy or non-stretch. Make sure to check the cut edges on whether they fray or not.
Stitched vs. glued
Ideally, the sequins should be stitched to the backing using an invisible thread for the most durable application. Stitching the sequins secures them firmly in place, even if you’re using thin fabrics. You may come across sequins that are instead glued to the backing. While fabric glue does a good job of adhering the sequins to the backing, they still have a tendency to fall off after repeated washings. Glued sequins is often done as a cost cutting measure and will be found on cheaper, lower quality outfits.
Glued sequins can also affect the sewing process. While stitching, the friction from the needle warms up the glue and makes it difficult to stitch. For most applications, stitching the sequins is highly recommended.
Sequins add character and vibrance to any garment you sew it on. With so many different finishes, shapes, and colors to choose from, you can transform a simple outfit into an eye-catching design!
Knowing the different types of sequins along with the fabrics themselves will help you design the perfect outfit that not only has the unique look you want, but will also perform functionally well with the occasion or performance for which you plan to wear the outfit. Always check to see if the sequins on the fabric are stitched or glued. Sequin fabric may seem too fancy to sew but once you realize that they can easily be sewn, you’ll feel more confident in adding it to your next project!