Chiffon. Gauze. Georgette. Organza. All four of these fabrics are sheer fabrics that are traditionally made of silk and often confused for one another. Small differences in the yarn used in weaving and the weight of the fabric can help you tell them apart.
Gauze and Organza are both open-weave fabrics that differ in both weight and tightness of weave.
Silk Gauze is a very loosely-woven, lightweight fabric. It is typically 3–5mm. Because of its loose weave, gauze is floppy.
Organza is not as loosely-woven as gauze, and is slightly heavier; it is generally 4–6mm. The tight twisted yarns (though not as tight as crêpe yarns) make it extremely crisp. It’s often used in couture sewing as interfacing.
Unlike the above, chiffon and georgette are crêpe fabrics, meaning they’re woven of very tightly-twisted yarns, which gives them a dull, slightly rough texture. The main difference between chiffon and georgette is weight.
Chiffon is the lighter of the two, generally 6–8mm. It is woven using a single-ply crêpe yarn. It is a soft, somewhat limp fabric that drapes beautifully. Chiffon can be doubled, meaning two warp and two weft yarns are used at once, making it heavier (12–16mm), but retaining the same soft hand.
Georgette is heavier, usually 8–12mm. It is woven with two- or three-ply yarns, which give it weight and a slightly rougher feel than chiffon. It is also much crisper than chiffon.
All four of these fabrics are traditionally made from silk, although it is more common to find them made from synthetics at your typical chain fabric store.
Now you know the differences between chiffon, gauze, georgette and organza. Do you have a favorite? I’m rather partial to georgette, when it comes to flowing garments, but they all have their uses.