50 Years of Buckram – It’s much more than just a curtain heading


From shaping and moulding to adding stiffness to your creations, Buckram is a versatile fabric that has many applications from millinery and costume making to dresses and curtain making. There are many types of Buckram available but at Parkin Fabrics we’ve been setting the standard for 50 years.

Stiffened versus coated

These terms are often confused especially in the world of Buckram with a lot of people thinking they mean the same thing. Single and double stiffened are used to describe when the fabric has been stiffened using a stiffening agent. As the name implies single means that fabric is stiffened once and double means the fabric has been stiffened twice.

Single and double coated refers to the use of adhesive to coat either a single side of the material or both sides of the material. When looking to combine sheets of Buckram together or bond them to other materials you’ll want to choose a fabric that is single or double coated.

From ultra-lightweight Buckram to double stiffened heavyweight Buckram there are a range of different types of Buckram available to suit a wide range of applications. Listed below are the weights of Buckram that we sell and some example usages:

Ultra-lightweight – Available in white, ultra-lightweight Buckram is a very malleable fabric with a fine pattern. This offers some support and stiffness but won’t provide a hard wearing formed shape. It can be used for creating intricate details and like all other Buckram it becomes workable when heated by steam.

Lightweight – This double stiffened Buckram fabric is extremely popular with milliners and cosplayers due to its flexibility, it can even be used for furnishing. It helps add stiffness and shape to fabrics such as velvet, wool, fine leather, chiffon and silk.

Single stiffened Mediumweight – The industry standard Buckram which is also known as Elastic Net, Blocking Net or 321 and was developed by Parkin Fabrics in the 1980’s. For fabric covered hats and headpieces as well as adding general stiffness to cosplay outfits, this is the fabric of choice.

Our single stiffened medium-weight Buckram is available without adhesive or can be single or double coated with adhesive depending on your needs.

Double stiffened Heavyweight – For theatrical costumes and cosplay, double-stiffened heavyweight Buckram provides the perfect shaping to mould a costume. Also known as Millinery Canvas, the material is available with or without adhesive and can either be bonded or sewn to your fabric. Like all our Buckram fabric it becomes workable when steam heated using a household steam iron.

Our double-stiffened heavyweight Buckram is woven using medium-weight fibres and is stiffened twice, hence the name. The material is available without adhesive or can come with adhesive on one side or both sides which is known as single or double coated.

Paris / Dior Net – Based on the classic fabric originally manufactured in Paris, this modern alternative has been redeveloped by Parkin using a knitted cotton fabric that is then stiffened. It is ideal for French millinery applications, restoring vintage headpieces and softer millinery and cosplay creations. And because it is knitted rather than woven it’s a lot easier to block than traditional woven buckram.

Usage tips

Buckram can also be layered to produce a stiffer material and is usually as simple as just ironing together using a common household steam iron. It is also advisable to baste the layers to help keep the pieces properly aligned.

Our millinery Buckram can be dampened or lightly wet for blocking or shaping, just be careful not to over wet the material. Completely wetting Buckram should be avoided as this could remove the stiffener in the material.

You can use Buckram for providing a solid form to purses, clutch bags, tote bags and all other types of bags. For simple bags you don’t even need to line the inside of the bag.

Use Domet to create a soft lining and finish to your Buckram, perfect for lining the inside of costumes, dresses and skirts.

Buckram is perhaps one of the most versatile fabrics that you can use and can be used to add shape and stiffness to a whole host of projects. From creating pleats in curtains to adding structure to a cosplay outfit, Buckram is the ideal material to choose.

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