Common Types Of Fabrics

Common Types of Fabric

Denim

  • Natural / synthetic fiber
  • Function: Warming
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Machine-washable
  • Breathability: 2/5
  • Comfort: 3/5

Technically, denim is not raw material but a type of weave. Denim is traditionally woven with 100%-cotton yarn; however, today, it’s blended with polyester to control shrinkage and wrinkles and Spandex to add stretch. Indigo and white yarns are interwoven in a twill weave to get that typical denim look. Many varieties of heavy fabric are available – from light to dark blue and in different washes.

Where to wear it:

Denim is an all-year-round staple, especially in the form of jeans. However, it is not the best choice for hot summer days because it is a heavy fabric.

Advantages:
  • Strong & durable
  • High resiliency
  • Absorbent & dries quickly
  • Resistant to shrinkage
  • Dyes & print well
Disadvantages:
  • Susceptible to stretching
  • Not colorfast
  • Requires chemicals to be produced
  • Not environmentally friendly

Flannel

  • Natural / synthetic fiber
  • Function: Warming
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Machine wash
  • Breathability: 3/5
  • Comfort: 4/5

Flannel is a dull, woven fabric with a slightly fuzzy and soft appearance.

Originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, flannel is often from wool, cotton, or polyester.

Where to wear it:

Since flannel easily retains heat and has excellent insulation properties, it is perfect for autumn and winter clothing. Shirts, hoodies, jackets, trousers, and even skirts use this fabrics.

Advantages:
  • Lightweight
  • Soft & comfortable
  • Drapes well
  • Strong & durable
  • Resistant to wrinkles & creases
  • Absorbent & dries quickly
  • Resistant to stains
Disadvantages:
  • Static & pilling
  • Wears down easily

Jersey

  • Natural / synthetic fiber
  • Function: Warming & Cooling
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Machine wash
  • Breathability: 3/5
  • Comfort: 5/5

Jersey is not a material by itself but a knit that produces a smooth, flat face on fabric and a textured back to the fabric. Although it was originally made from wool, it is also made from cotton and various synthetic fibers.

Where to wear it:

Often a cotton/wool blend that makes a rugged yet lightweight material, the jersey is an excellent choice for summer clothing as it is light and flexible. This means it can be worked into most designs while being highly comfortable. Typically, it is used for T-shirts, polo shirts, and other knitted tops.

Advantages:
  • Lightweight
  • Soft & comfortable
  • Drapes well
  • Strong & durable
  • Resistant to wrinkles & creases
Disadvantages:

Satin

  • Natural / synthetic fiber
  • Function: Warming
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Machine Wash
  • Breathability: 3/5
  • Comfort: 5/5

Technically, satin is not a material but a type of weave. It can be made of silk, nylon, or polyester. It’s a shimmery and shiny fabric, and depending on what it is made of, it can range from light- to heavyweight.

Where to wear it:

Satin is commonly used in delicate garments – such as women’s lingerie, nightgowns, blouses, evening gowns, in boxer shorts, shirts, and neckties. When made out of silk, it is a warming material and not recommended for hot summer months since it traps air between the body and fabric.

Advantages
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth & silky
  • Drapes well
  • Resistant to creases
Disadvantages:
  • Requires dry cleaning
  • Water stains remain visible
  • Overly clingy
  • Slightly rough feel
  • Wrinkles & creases
  • Weakened by perspiration

Chiffon

  • Natural / synthetic fiber
  • Function: Cooling
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Machine wash
  • Breathability: 3/5
  • Comfort: 5/5

Chiffon is a lightweight, balanced plain-woven sheer fabric. The twist in the crepe yarns puckers the fabric slightly in both directions, giving it some stretch and a little rough feel. Chiffon is made from cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers – such as nylon and polyester.

Where to wear it:

Chiffon can be used in many different ways to add a touch of elegance while ensuring the summer heat is not overwhelming. Ideal for dresses, particularly bridal wear, it is also perfect for use in creating nightgowns and other evening wear for hot summer nights.

Advantages:
  • Lightweight
  • Strong & durable
  • Dyes & print well
  • Resistant to creases
Disadvantages:
  • Static
  • Overly clingy
  • Slightly rough feel
  • Requires dry cleaning
  • Wrinkles & creases
  • Weakened by perspiration

Velvet

  • Natural / synthetic fiber
  • Function: Warming
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Machine wash
  • Breathability: 1/5
  • Comfort: 3/5

Velvet is a woven, tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed, with a short, dense pile, giving it a distinctive soft, fuzzy feel. It can be made of silk, cotton, nylon, or rayon. Pure silk velvet is rare and extremely expensive.

Where to wear it:

Velvet has a luxurious feel and has been used for centuries to create some of the most splendid evening wear. Even accessories, such as bags and scarves, have been made from velvet.

Advantages:
Disadvantages:
  • Tends to shed
  • It tends to crush and flatten over time
  • Weak fabric & easily impaired
  • Attracts hair & fluff
  • May require dry cleaning

Faux Leather

  • Synthetic fiber
  • Function: Warming
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Machine wash
  • Breathability: 1/5
  • Comfort: 3/5

Faux, artificial, or synthetic leather is made from PVC and aims at imitating real leather.

Where to wear it:

Any real leather garment is also available as a faux option, such as leather jackets or trousers. However, while real leather is breathable, one disadvantage of artificial leather is that it is not porous and does not allow air to pass through. Thus, sweat can accumulate easily, and faux leather can be overwhelming in hot weather. It is also worth mentioning that PVC requires fossil fuels in its production, and carcinogenic substances are released, meaning this type of fabric is particularly environmentally unfriendly. Nevertheless, it does away with the animal welfare issues surrounding real leather.

Advantages:
  • Very strong & durable
  • Low maintenance
Disadvantages:
  • Does not age well
  • Requires hand wash
  • Releases toxic chemicals during production

Faux Fur

  • Synthetic fiber
  • Function: Warming
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Machine wash
  • Breathability: 1/5
  • Comfort: 3/5

Fake or faux fur is a pile fabric engineered to have the appearance and warmth of animal fur.

Where to wear it:

Faux fur is supposed to replicate real fur and is thus used for winter garments to keep you warm. While faux fur does not harm animals, it is also not environmentally friendly. It is often made of polyester (a type of plastic), and harmful chemicals are released during its production.

Advantages:
  • Strong & durable
  • Low maintenance
Disadvantages:
  • Releases toxic chemicals during production

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