taffeta, cloth, originally silk but now also made of synthetic fibers, supposed to have originated in Persia. The name, derived from Persian, means "twisted woven." Taffeta is in the same class and demand as satin made of silk. The cloth is made of a plain or tabby weave, and the textures vary considerably. In addition there are two types of silk taffeta. Piece-dyed taffeta is often used in linings and is quite soft. Yarn-dyed taffeta is much stiffer and is often used in evening dresses. Taffeta is also used in ribbons, umbrellas, and some electrical insulation.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.