When shopping for fabrics, you see different names for what sometimes is the same fabrics. A lot depends of the part of the world you are living in.
Let’s look at four similar, but not the same fabrics: mesh, bra tulle, stable lining and powernet. These fabrics have the same kind of properties: they stretch but not in the same way and they are fishnet-like but the holes do not have the same shape.
We’ll start with powernet and mesh. The same type of fabric but with different threads and qualities. Available in various strengths, stretch percentages and colours. It this fabric is lightweight and has a less loose weave, it’s called mesh. When it’s a tighter weave and thicker thread, it is referred too as powernet.
Usually made in polyamide and thus not so easily dyed as nylon (but that also depends on the dye you are using)
The fabric in this picture is a heavy powernet, 350 grams per square centimeter.
The holes of powernet and mesh are more hexagonal, like a honey rate. You can see that when you stretch it. One side tends to be more ‘see-through’ when you stretch is than to other side.
Bra tulle is a light but strong fabric. It is not the same stuff used for tutu’s and veils. Bra tulle is softer and more drapey.
It can be stretchy, up to 20% and it usually stretches in only one direction.
It’s a much loved fabric for bra makers because it can give your bra sheerness and strength but it’s comfortable at the same time.
Usually made out of nylon, so it is excellent for dying!
You can use tulle to line your bra cups, but don’t line the bridge with this kind of tulle, unless your main fabric is rigid.
The last fabric, is stable lining, also known as marquisette. This fabric has a completely different structure in comparison to powernet/mesh and bra tulle. Stable lining/ marquisette has no stretch, not even on the bias because of a square-holed structure.