Fabrics - Information Resource
Texture, colour and feel of a fabric contributes to the finishing of any garment style and stitch, so learn more about what to expect from each type of fabric that exist in the summary below. Hopefully this will encourage you to explore fabric that bears similarity to the fabric i’ve used and pictured in my creations or "How To Do" guides here on this blogger.
Acetate: is a cellulose synthetic fabric. Often blended with other fabrics in the use of clothing wear
Acrylic: Synthetic, fluffy wool like fabric. Poorly absorbs moisture. Commonly spotted in knitwear and outwear
Aida Cloth: a basket weave construction. Usually produced using untwisted polyester or cotton fibers that are laid into a weave pattern
Alpaca: soft, lustrous and lightweight material from IIama like alpaca. Known in South America. Find this material blended with wool to create high end suits
Angora: very soft hair fibers from the angora rabbit that is blended with wool to create mainly shirting’s, handkerchiefs and as fabric for lace and needlework.knit wear
Astrakhan: a rare heavy tight curl woven fabric of used in formal wear
Barathea: fine twill, pebble like fabric pattern originally formed using wool or silk but can be produced using various fibres.
Batik: is an Indonesian fabric dye method that covers fabric in wax. May refer to cloths like cotton or rayon. Often used for shirts, pillow casing and many more item wear pieces.
Batiste: this may be a sheer fine and lightweight fabric made from cotton synthetic fibes. Mainly found in upholstery or lingerie.
Bedford Cord: a long wearing fabric that resembles corduroy faintly woven longitudinal ridges. Used to create trousers, skirts or dresses
Bengaline: woven structured material that resembles the look of real silk but made with less quantities of silk than cotton. Perfect for dresses and evening wear
Blanket Cloth: traditionally made of wool because of its thickness, breathability and natural fire-retardant properties
Bombazine: originally made of silk or wool alone or a combination of the two fabrics. Now it is possible to find a mixed blend of cotton. It’s twilled or corded and regularly used for dress-material
Boucle: can be described as a novelty yarn. The yarn pattern consist of long loops of similar size, ranging from tiny circlets to large curls
Broadcloth: a dense, plain woven cloth, originally created of wool, however you’ll find that this fabric is of a cotton blend, dense, plain woven cloth, historically made of wool. Today, most broadcloth is cotton or a cotton blend
Broderie anglaise: is a white pattern needlework technique, featuring embroidery, cutwork and needle lace also known as eyelets. It grew to popularity in England during the 19th century.
Buckram: is a stiff cloth, made of cotton, and occasionally linen. Commonly used to cover and protect books or stiffen clothes using a special technique
Burlap: also called Hessian is a dense and coarse woven fabric usually made from skin of the jute plant or sisal fibres and may be combined with other vegetable fibres to make more refined products such as ropes, nets, bags, rugs and similar products
Calico: is a plain-woven textile muslin made from unbleached, and often semi-processed, cotton. The fabric is less coarse and thicker in comparison to canvas or denim, but it’s still very cheap
Cambric or batiste: is one of the finest and most dense kinds of cloth originally produced from linen and now cotton. It is a lightweight plain-weave cloth that is often used for shirting’s, handkerchiefs and as fabric for lace and needlework
Camel: is a type of cloth made from pure camel hair or a blend of camel hair and another fibre. The outer protective fur (guard hair) is coarse and inflexible and can be woven into haircloth. Guard hair can be made soft and plush by blending it, particularly with wool. The camel's pure undercoat is very soft, and often used to make coats
Casement cloth: can be made of various fabrics of plain weave. The fabric is sheer (thin or transparent) and is a lightweight. Often used for curtains
Cashmere: is a fibre obtained from Cashmere goats and other types of goats. Common usage the fibres are actually strands of hair rather than wool, giving its unique characteristics in comparison to sheep's wool. Cashmere is fine in texture, strong, light, and soft. Commonly used to create jumpers and other forms of knits
Cavalry twill: is a patterned textile weave consisting of diagonal parallel ribs (in contrast with a satin and plain weave). The structure of the twills generally makes it drape well
Challis: is a soft, thin and lightweight woven fabric. Its original form was as a silk-and-wool blend but can also be made from a single fibre, such as cotton, silk or wool or synthetic fabrics such as rayon. Challis can also have a glossy finish to it. Challis can be spotted in floral, paisley, or geometric prints
Chambray: is a lightweight plain weave fabric, made from cotton. Generally used for spring and summer tops and skirts. However thicker grades are produced with other blends of fabrics for fall/winter
Chamois: cloth is an imitation of wash-leather. Commonly found and used as polishing cloths for jewels, glasses or shoes
Chenille: is a process to create a type of coloured yarn or fabric. Chenille is commonly manufactured from cotton, but can also be made using acrylic, rayon and other form of synthetics and used to create bedspreads, rugs and many more items
Cheviot: is known as tweed (see tweed for further details)
Chiffon: is made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibres. Chiffon is woven together by alternate high S- and Z-twist crepe yarns. The twist technique gives the fabric its stretch and slightly rough feel. Under a magnifying glass it resembles a fine net or mesh which gives chiffon its lightweight plain and sheer fabric feature
China silk: is lightweight and less expensive form of silk and tends to be used for linings and scarves
Chino: is a pure cotton twill weave fabric mainly used for trousers, commonly used in military and now used in mainstream fashion to create a form of trousers called “Chinos”
Chintz was originally glazed calico and mainly imported from India. Typicallyfeaturing floral prints and other patterns available in various colours
Cloque: is a raised woven patterned cloth that has a quilted and raised irregular feature.
Corduroy is a form of durable velvet textile that has a distinct feature of multiple cords/cable like pattern, positioned parallel to each other
Cotton: is a soft almost pure cellulose fibre, often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. Today it is used to create clothing and soft home furnishings.
Crash is a rugged fabric made from irregular, firm, strong and smooth or sometimes raw and unprocessed. Common colours are white, natural shades or in dyed colours. It is used for toweling, draperies and other decorative cloths and more
Crepe: is a silk, wool, or polyester fabric with a dull, having a peculiar crisp or crimpy surface. Satin-backed crepe has a satin finish on one side. Used to create dresses and blouses.
Crepe de Chine: is a lightweight plain wave silk or mixed blended with polyester. Used to create blouses and evening wear
Crepon: is similar to Crepe but thicker and firmer in texture and sometimes patterned with Jacquard designs. Used to make women’s wear
Cretonne: is a medium weight unglazed fabric. Its available in a variety of weave finishes and produced using cotton. It’s also common to find this fabric in bright floral p\ atterns
Damask: is a reversible fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibres. Damask is patterned and formed by weaving
Denim: is a strong medium to heavy-weight cotton fabric. Usually coloured in indigo or other shades of blue
Doeskin: is a soft leather fabric. It is hardwearing due to its compact weave and made from goat, deer or Doe. It’s used to make coats, trousers, and sportswear to suits or jackets
Dotted swiss: is a sheer cotton fabric that is embellished with small dots. Used for baby clothes, wedding dresses and curtains
Double knit: is knitted fabric. Both sides of this fabric are identical. Used to create a wide range of clothing, including sportswear
Dupioni: is also called Dupion. A lustrous silk. Fibres are spun from double cocoons and sometimes may consist of mixed synthetic blends of fibre. Common use for bridal wear
Drill: is a strong heavy fabric made from cotton. It can be used unbleached but often it is found bleached or dyed
Eyelet: is a pretty, light to medium weight yet durable lace. It is popular in both clothing and home decor, from curtains to wedding gowns. Available in a wide range of colours, textures and materials
Faille: is a soft and slightly ribbed, woven fabric of silk, cotton, rayon and taffeta
Fake fur or Fun fur: is any material made of synthetic fibres produced to resemble fur, normally as part of a piece of clothing.
Faux leather or Pleather: is artificial leather (mixed blends of synthetic fibres) and cheaper compared to real leather. It may have a shiny or non-sheen appearance and often medium to heavy weight. Popular in upholstery and clothing
Feathers: are distinctive outer covering on birds and some non-avian theropod dinosaurs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates and in clothing used as embellishments
Flannel: is a soft woven fabric, of various grades of fineness. Flannel often made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fibre. Flannel may be brushed using a mechanical process to create extra softness or remain unbrushed. Flannel is commonly used to make tartan clothing, blankets, bed sheets, and sleepwear
Fleece knit: is made of polyester and part of the stretch knit fabric. This fabric can come in varying textures, thin to thick. Commonly used for clothing or soft home furnishings
Foulard: is a lightweight fabric, either twill or plain-woven. Foulard can be made of silk or a mix of silk and cotton. Foulards are available in various small printed designs and colours. Commonly used for scarves and other small accessories
Gabardine: is produced originally from worsted wool, but may also be cotton, texturized polyester, or a blend. Gabardine is woven with a dominant diagonal rib on the face and smooth surface on the back. It is used to make suits, trousers, uniforms and other garments
Georgette: is similar but heavier than chiffon with a matte texture made from crepe yarns. Used to create blouses and dresses
Gingham: is is a plain weave fabric produced from cotton but may also be of mixed blends. If dyed its common to see this material in checked or striped patterns. Used to make uniform, children’s clothing, dresses and blouses
Grosgrain: is a heavy ribbed ribbon produced from silk or rayon witirm cotton cords. It’s used as trimming and for waistbands
Habutai: is another name used for China Silk. It’s a lightweight glossy fabric
Hair cloth: is a plain weave fabric. Made from synthetic and animal fibres such as goats or horse hair
Homespun: is a coarse and uneven surface of fabric made from linen, jute or cotton
Honan: is a plain weave of wild silk that is crispy and fine that is slub in both directions. Used for blouses and dresses
Hopsacking: is the sack used for hop-gathering. It’s a heavyweight coarse fabric. Colors are often neutral
Houndstooth: check is twill weave that consist of small block patterns. Used for suits, trousers, skirts and casual jackets
Ikat: is when warp threads of fabric are n dyed or printed, then woven to produce a shadow effect
Interlock is a plain fine weft knit. Used for underwear and outerwear
Jacquard: is a heavy weave material with a raised surface because of its complex and detailed patterning.Jersey is a plain weft-knitted fabrics. Produced from cotton, synthetics or blends.
Kersey is a close knit woven fabric with a diagonal twilled or ribbed. And is seen in uniforms/work clothes
Lace: is a fabric or trim, usually with a floral or geometric lightly woven design. Produced from various fibres and available in a wide range of colours. Some laces are machine washable and others require special care treatment. Used for soft home furnishings and clothing
Lambswool: is very soft and heavy wool obtained from sheep that are as old as 7 months. Generally used to create sweaters
Lame: is woven or knitted fabric with metallic yarn. The purpose is to give a shiny/glittery design effect. Used in casual to evening garments
Lawn: is a lightweight, sheer and crisp fabric, similar than voile and organdy. Lawn is known for its semi-transparency. It can have a gauzy, sheer opaque effect, Although lawn has a crispy feel it is not stiff and can be considered to have a soft touch feel. It may be found as a plain colour or dyed to various colours
Leather: is a heavyweight fabric that’s durable, flexible and can be finished with a shiny or matte effect. Used for a wide range of items such as clothing, bookbinding, wallpapering and soft furnishing. It is produced in a wide variety of types, styles and colours
Leno weave: (also called Gauze Weave or Cross Weave]) is a strong and durable sheer fabric. Used for window treatments, sheer layers for fine clothing and as material for engineering construction
Linen: is produced from flax plant fibers. It is a lightweight durable fabric that is generally produced to create garments. It is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather
Loden cloth: is a heavy supple water resistant woollen fabric produced from coarse and oily mountain sheep skin. It’s generally used to create capes or coats
Lurex: is produced with synthetic yarn with a metallic effect. Used to produce fashion clothing
Madras: is a lightweight cotton fabric that’s typically patterned/plaid designed. Primarily used to create summer apparel such as pants, shorts, dresses, and jackets
Matelasse: is a weaving or stitching technique that forms a quilted or padded effect. It is a heavy and thick textile. The technique can be achieved by hand or more commonly used today a quilting machine. It is meant to resemble traditional hand-stitched quilts. This textile appears to be padded without the actual padding/stuffing used in some types of quilts
Melton: is a thick, tight and heavy fabric. Usually composes of less than 10% nylon and at least 90-95% of wool for added durability and strength. Its available in various colors. Used for coat insulation
Milanese: is a knit warp that comprises of at leastntwo sets of knitted threads interlocked to form a series of crossed diagonal patterns
Mohair: is usually a silk-like durable, resilient and high sheen fabric or yarn produced from the hair of the Angora goat durable and resilient; mohair is notable for its high luster and sheen. It’s available in various colours as it is highly receptive to dyes. It is used as an insulating material for clothing
Moleskin: is a dense, durable woven-sheared cotton fabric. One side of the fabric surface is short and soft. Generally used to make clothing
Moss crepe (most often polyester) is made in a plain or dobby weave incorporating rayon yarns that create the moss-like effect. Used to create clothing
Mousseline de soie: is silk produced with man-made fibres. It is lightweight, sheer and a plain weave fabric. Bares similarity to chiffon in looks but crisper in texture. Can be used for clothing or soft home furnishing
Muslin: is a cotton fabric of plain weave and produced in a wide range of weights from delicate sheers to coarser textures. Used for clothing and sheetings.
Nainsook: is a lightweight, fairly sheer, fine, plain-weave cotton or linen muslin fabric. It can be given a soft or crisp finish. Similar to Lawn
Net: is a geometrically shaped holes (commonly hexagonal). Available in different weights and thickness. Likely found to be produced of nylon. Used for curtains, mosquito nets and costumes.
Nylon: is a strong synthetic fiber that is durable and non-absorbent. Often its blended with other fibres to increase absorbent
Organdy/Organza: is sheer, crisp silk or polyester organdy with a sheen finish. Used for bridal, evening wear, decorations, curtains, blouses
Ottoman: is a heavy fabric with crosswise ribs of varying widths. Produced from silk warp and wool weft. Used for evening wear, coats, suits, upholstery and academic gowns
Oxford cloth: is produced from cotton or cotton blend. Common in menswear
Peau de soie: is a heavy, smooth satin weave fabric with a soft sheen. Commonly produced using polyester for wedding/bridal gowns and evening wear.
Pique: is cotton or cotton blend woven fabric with small raised geometric patterns on loom with a dobby attachment. Available in prints or plain. Common used in sportswear.
Plush: is a dense fabric produced from a combination of fabrics: silk, wool, mohair or rayon. Used to create rugs, coats or upholstery
Polished cotton:is cotton fabric with a sheen applied at finishing. Used in clothing.
Polyester: is a strong and longwearing fabric. The most popular synthetic fiber produced from petroleum products that can be produced to replicate silk. May sometimes be blended with other materials for use in clothing, soft furnishings
Pongee: is a lightweight plain weave silk fabric with a slub in both directions. Used for clothing.
Poodle cloth: is wool or heavy fabric produced to resemble coat of a poodle (dog). Used for coats.
Poplin: is a durable and tightly woven fabric with horizontal ribbing. Available as cotton or mixed blends. Used for summer clothing
Quilted fabric: is 2 or more layers of padded surface fabric usually stitched together in a diamond pattern used for clothing, bedcovers/duvet and, outerwear/vests and upholstery
Ratine: is a loosely woven fibre made from various fibres. Used for clothing due to its softness.
Raw silk: is silk fibre after reeling and before its processing
Rayon: is produced from cellulose (wood pulp). Rayon is inexpensive, soft and dyes easily. Used for clothing. There are few types of rayon: Cuprammonium, Polynosic and Viscose
Sateen: is a variation of satin weave with a more subtle sheen. Produced from cotton or mixed blends. Used for drapery lining or apparel. Satin is a weave used for silk, cotton and synthetic fibres. Used for apparel
Seersucker: is a lightweight material of cotton or synthetic blends used to create clothing.
Serge: is a smooth twill weave fabric produced from wool or wool blends. Used for clothing.
Shantung: is a plain weave silk with a slightly rough surface. Used for clothing and soft home furnishings.
Sharkskin: is produced with rayon, acetate or a blend of the two. Sharkskin is a two-toned woven appearance. The texture is semi-crisp with a hard finish texture. Used for suiting
Shetland: is a fabric yarn from wool of sheep skin. Common use in jackets and knitwear
Shot silk: (other names changeant, changeable silk and changeable taffeta) is a fabric which is made up of silk woven from warp and weft yarns of two or more colours producing an iridescent appearance (two-tone)
Silk: is a natural protein fibre, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. Silks are strong with a delicate appearance and soft sheen. It can be blended with other fibres to reduce its price or create a different effect
Spandex: is also lycra. It is a high stretch synthetic but delicate. Used to a vast range of clothing: sports, swimwear, lingerie and more
Suede cloth: is a woven or knitted fabric produced from cotton, wool or synthetic fibres. Usually resembles suede. Used for clothing and furniture
Surah: is a soft silk twill with a sheen. Used for clothing and accessories
Sweater knit is a knit fabric just like hand knit fabric. Available is various colours and used for clothing
Taffeta: is a crisp silky, plain, shiny and sometimes two toned fabric. Can be produced in polyester, silk or acetate. Available in various colours and weights
Tartan: is a twill weave wool fabric, patterned with varying lines to create squares and a mix of colors. Used for clothing and soft furnishings
Tencel: is a strong, absorbent fabric with peach skin finish. Used for sportswear and also called lycell fiber
Terry cloth is an absorbent fabric made from cotton. Often used for baby and lounge wear.
Toile de Jouy is produced from cotton or cotton blends with pictorial designs on a white background with a soft sheen finish. Often used for soft furnishings and some clothing wear
Tweed is a hardwearing fabric with a hairy coloured tracks of yarn on its surface. May be produced with pure wool or of mixed blends. Used to create coats, suits and other forms of clothing
Tulle: a fine net produced of silk or commonly nylon. Used for bridal wear, dancewear, trimmings and accessories
Tussah or Wild silk: is a raw or wild silk and slightly coarse and rough on surface.
Ultrasuede is a luxurious washable fabric resembling suede. Made of synthetic fibres. Used for home furnishing and apparel
Velour: is a woven knitted and thick fabric resembling velvet or velveteen. It can be dyed to vibrantly rich colours. Used for clothing
Velvet: is produced from silk or synthetic silk fibres. It has a soft, lustrous and luxurious look including feel. Its available in a wide range of colours from deep to pale. Commonly used for soft home furnishings to clothing
Velveteen: is produced from cotton fibres in short cut pile covering its full surface. Used to create skirts, dresses and other types of clothing
Viyella: is a light plain weave fabric consisting of about 45% cotton and 55% wool. Used for clothing
Voile: is a lightweight, sheer, crisp and plain weave fabric. Used for clothing and curtains
Whipcord: is a heavyweight and strong cotton or wool
Wool: is 100% fibre produced from sheep’s fur. Wools are strong, warm and longwearing. Used for knitted clothing, jackets or coats
Woolen: is fabric from the wool family and is very soft and warm. Common use for jackets and sweaters
Worsted: is a durable and expensive wool yarn and fabric with a smooth surface. Used for Tailored garments