Shopping for your next masterpiece from multiple shelves of different types of clothing fabrics is fun, but are you going about it the right way? The famous Italian stylist Nino Cerruti once said, “Only an excellent fabric can originate an excellent fashion.” If the shoe fits, you will be able to bring your ingenious designs from plain paper into hardcore reality in its most pristine form. So make sure to pick the right shoe, or in this case, the right fabric. But how will you know that you’ve chosen the right fabric?
Stick around and get acquainted with the different types of fabrics used for producing your all-time favorite garments.
15 Types Of Clothing Fabrics To Add to Your Repertoire
The types of clothing fabrics are plenty, but let me share with you the more popular and common ones. You see, getting the right fabric is just as important as sewing in the right stitches. Imagine walking around wearing a sweater made of silk, or donning a chiffon-made suit? It would be a misfit! The qualities that we look for in choosing fabrics are not limited to the color or print of the fabric. We need to dig deeper when choosing which types of clothing fabrics could best serve the intended purpose of your sewing project. So let’s get digging and continue learning. 🙂 Read on!
Here’s a quick wrap up of the types of clothing fabrics every sewing enthusiast should know.
This type of clothing fabric is a mix of natural and synthetic fibers, the cellulose of a tree being its original source. But later on, cheaper synthetic sources such as polyester and nylon became more popular. Its characteristics include being crisp, smooth to the touch, and having similar properties with silk. The acetate fabric is not keen on absorbing water, which makes it great to use when making party dresses, as drapes, and for house furnishings. This textile allows handwashing but dry cleaning is the best one to go.[amazon box=”B012FU0OB2″]
Acrylic-fibered fabrics are synthetically made by-products of natural gas and petroleum. This is usually used for knitting upholstery and even sweaters! There is also a stretchy, soft kind of acrylic fibers that is used for making sport socks. The best things about this kind of fabric are that it’s warm, lightweight, plus it resists stains and wrinkles. I think us moms just found our newest fabric best friend right here! 🙂
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This type of clothing fabric is widely used in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific because its raw material is native to these regions. This fabric comes from the bark of a tree. To make it, the bark is cut into strips, soaked, and then beaten into sheets. This is best used as furniture coverings, curtains, tablecloths, and even for accessories like purses and bags. Barkcloth’s rough texture and reputation as a heavy-duty fabric means that it is hardly used for dresses, but there are still designers who use it because of the fabric’s attractive prints. How about getting adventurous and sewing a barkcloth dress this weekend?[amazon box=”B00VITLT7U”]
Blends are a type of clothing fabric that is a combination of two or more fabrics. The offspring of this fusion is a more comfortable and efficient fabric that contains the outstanding qualities of the two combined fabrics. You may think that if it’s this great, then it must cost a fortune. Not at all! Blended fabric is actually one of the cheaper types of clothing fabrics because it’s more economical to produce.[amazon box=”B00YALYMA4″]
Cheesecloth’s name is derived from what it is known fo, making cheese! This type of clothing fabric can be extra-fine or open weaves. Its other names include buckram, crinoline, bunting, butter muslin, and scrim. You can usually find this fabric used in a lot of things you’d see in a kitchen. The carded cotton yarn it’s made from is turned into a thread that is dyed into different colors and sewn into lovely embroidery projects.[amazon box=”B000YQIUG6″]
he composition of chiffon fabric is cotton, silk or nylon, and synthetic fibers. The twist in the fibers gives it a somewhat rough feel, and the mesh-like weave contributes to its sheer properties. Chiffon’s light and slippery attributes make it difficult to cut, so you have to turn up your TLC to full blast when sewing with it. Keep in mind to iron this fabric in the lightest heat level because it expands when it gets too hot. Garments that come out from this attractive and sexy fabric are evening wear, lingerie, and underwear.
The textile corduroy is the ridged form of velvet fabric. The twisted fibers form a “cord” pattern when woven together, thereby giving it its name. These types of clothing fabrics are smooth, thick, and durable. These make them the best materials to use when creating jackets and other sweater weather apparel. Some friendly advice when doing your laundry? Keep dyed corduroy away from whites! The color of dyed corduroy softens easily with every wash resulting into a kind of mess that will be hard to remove. (Note to self!)
Most people are no stranger to cotton. To state a short history, the practice of creating cotton fabric extracted from around the seeds of the cotton plant originated from India a thousand years ago. The comfort, absorbency, and softness of cotton make it the preferred fabric in making wearable garments up to this day.
If you were to name 5 clothing pieces that you can’t live without, a pair of denim will surely make that list. Denim is a strong type of clothing fabric that is traditionally tightly weaved out of twilled white and indigo yarns. Nowadays denim is blended to adopt new properties. Polyester blended with denim makes a shrinkage-free and wrinkle-free denim, while blended lycra fiber gives us an elastic denim.
Another textile that is derived from plants is linen. It comes from flax. Once widely used for making paper in the medieval period, linen is a light fabric that evolved into fabric used for making bedroom and bathroom garments, tote bags, and even foot wear. Take a look and you’ll see a lot of linen lying around your house, your bedsheets and dish towels, to name a few.
Mohair fabric? It’s more like more hair! Believe it or not, mohair comes from the actual hair of Angora goats found in Turkey. It is composed of smooth fiber, making it lustrous and shiny, feeling like silk to the touch. Mohair is a great substitute to fur when making fur-inspired clothes without the expense of any of our animal friends.
Polyester fabric is one of the more durable and shrink-resistant types of clothing fabrics from this list. It is efficient because it dries fast and is very strong. Aside from swimsuits and other clothes, this textile is also used in making ropes and PET bottles, only proving its durability. Polyester cleans up nicely either by hand washing or machine. It’s a worry-free fabric that you can choose not to iron.
Silk is usually thought to be of royal origin and it most likely is. Its lustrous appearance, lightness, and resilience are the unique qualities of silk that drove the royals of China to keep the silkworm-larvae-to-silk process secret for years. Luckily, silk is now widely used by people from different walks of life. I can’t really blame them! Silk is indeed, in its own right, a very precious fabric. Its uses include parachutes, robes, and expensive upholstery.
Velvet is a silk-like fiber that is achieved by weaving two layered fibers. Fibers, usually weaved into velvet fabric are linen, mohair, and wool. It is quite thick, hence dry cleaning is the only option to get this type of clothing fabric clean. Its smoothness makes it a nice material for dresses, hats, and trousers.
One quick trivia: Wool does not come from sheep hair alone. Hair from camels, llamas, goats and rabbits are also spun into wool fabric. Wool fibers can sometimes be skin irritants (depending on your skin sensitivity) but they are really useful for four-seasoned countries. Why? Because wool fabric easily warms up during the colder seasons and cools down during warmer days. Isn’t that neat? No wonder we’re such a fan of wool!
Work these notes on the types of clothing fabrics to good use. Maximize their strengths and use their weaknesses to your sewing projects’ advantage. We may lack experience, but knowing tidbits about these fabrics is quite a head start in this craft. When shopping for fabric, always ask for the fabric shopowner’s opinion before you buy. They should know fabric more than anybody else. Have you decided as to what shoe type, I mean fabric you’re going to use next? How about trying to make an outdoor-purposed sewing project? Let us know your thoughts by typing in the comment box below. What fabrics have you tried so far? Did they live up to your expectations? Don’t hesitate and pour your sewing heart out to sewing.com. We’re all ears! 🙂
Would you like to know the secret to cutting fabric perfectly? Make the cut with the secret here!