In most cases, the photographer wants an image well exposed, well composed, and it tack sharp focus. But what if you want to be creative?
There are many creative techniques available, and shooting through sheer material is a relatively easy technique. Sheer material that is translucent is readily available at most fabric supply stores or even a local department store. When selecting your material, look through the material and hold your hand up on the opposite side of the material. You should be able to see your hand with a slightly fuzzy outline with normal store lighting even from 12 inches away from the fabric. You will want to see both the shape and color of your hand with relative ease(The goal here is not to create a silhouette). An alternative to sheer fabric is a light weight translucent white shower curtain.
Once in your studio, position your subject and direct a light source such as a large softbox so that it evenly illuminates your subject. You will need to position your light on the same side of your subject, slightly higher than your subject. Your camera will shoot through the fabric and your subject will have a diffuse outline. The light the softbox will likely create a single highlight on the fabric. Re-position the light as necessary to get your desired results. Start with your subject about 2 feet from the fabric, and then move further away or closer depending upon your creative needs. The diagram below shows a starting point for this setup.