Types of Clothing Material – Everything You Need!

Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Research Writer
Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always read more
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Isabel Misner
Isabel Misner
Expert Consultant
A professional seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step read more
Last updated: August 30, 2023
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Clothes today are made from all sorts of materials. Even though traditional materials such as leather, linen, and cotton obtained from plants and animals are still in use, most of the clothes these days are made from chemicals and materials obtained from fuel-based crude oil. Deciding on the types of clothing material you need for making an item is crucial since there are numerous qualities ranging from synthetic and natural fibers, woven and knit.

This article, therefore, provides useful insights about some of the different fabric types and how you can identify them. Let’s keep it real- choosing the right fabric for your project can be a daunting task. You are likely to make mistakes, but you don’t have to. Going through this piece will equip you with tips about the properties of popular fabrics, and you will know the suitable ones for your future projects.

Main Kinds of Clothing Material

There are all sorts of textiles fabrics that are available in the market today. If you have issues with laundries or get caught in dilemmas, you need to know the characteristic of different fabrics. The content of a given fabric and production method of the material brings a considerable variation in spot removal and determine how the garment should be washed. To get the best results, it will be essential to know the different fabric materials for dresses. Let’s go.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!Canvas consists of a plain fabric made from cotton yarn and less linen yarn. It is popular due to its durability, sturdiness, and heavy-duty nature. Once blend with cotton fabrics, it becomes water-resistant hence making it ideal for use for outdoor fabrics.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is a kind of wool fabric that originates from cashmere goats and pashmina goats. It is a natural fiber that has a soft feeling but excellent insulation. Its fibers are delicate, smooth and it has a feeling close to that of silk fabric once touched.

Cashmere is blended from wool like that of merino to add more weight since alone it is very thin and fine.


It refers to yarn and fiber that is designed to a soft material. The threads are purposely piled to form a yarn, which appears as the outer parts of a caterpillar. Its fiber can be made from various fibers, such as rayon.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is a lightweight fabric that is manufactured from silk. It smoother compared to georgette. It can be dyed to get any color and has a wide application in making sarees, gowns, and evening wears. Chiffon features small puckers that make it a bit rough on touch. It can also be woven into various textile types, which are synthetic and natural, including silk, polyester, rayon, and nylon. From many reviews, the most common and credible material is Chiffon Fabric Ten Yards Continuous from New Star Fabric, thanks to its unique quality. It is the most reliable option out there.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is one of the oldest cloth-making materials and one of the essential non-food crops globally. It consists of about 21 percent of the fiber used globally, with about 21 million tons produced each year. However, its market demand is slowing gradually due to the availability of synthetic alternatives.  Cotton farming is one of the main economic activities for farmers in low-income countries, and the cultivation and processing involve about 350 million people globally.

The cotton fabric is natural, and it offers a soothing effect on the skin in a friendly way since they are light and soft. Although it does not dry quickly, it is available in all colors, and it still boosts as one of the most popular fabrics in the world.


It is made by twisting fiber, and it doesn’t wrinkle or crease easily. It has a rich texture and style, which makes it easy to work with. It has different weights and capacities. It is lightweight with excellent draping qualities.  It is comfortable to wear and easy to care for. It is used to make home decorations for things, including pillows, curtains, and window treatments.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It refers to a reversible, jacquard-patterned fabric with a woven pattern to form a fabric instead of printing on it. The fabric’s design is created through the weave, which comprises two varying designs- the design is made from a satin weave while the background is made using plain, twill, or sateen weave. It can be multiple or single-colored. It can be made from varying materials, including wool and other synthetic fiber like rayon.


It is a lightweight creped surface fabric with a dull appearance. Comparing it to chiffon, it is opaque and heavier. It is available in weights including 20, 40, and 60 grams, and it depends on the purpose of use. It has a lot of demand in the fashion industry since most designer clothes are georgette products.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is a cotton fabric, although, at times, it can be made by blending cotton fabrics. It can be made using a dyed yarn and weaving using a plain weave to get a checked pattern. It is commonly available in two colors, with popular combinations being red and white gingham or blue and white gingham. The checked pattern is available in varying sizes. The pattern is changeable, and it looks like on both sides.

Gingham is commonly used due to its availability and low cost. It makes dresses, shirts, and tablecloths.


It is a fabric made from wool but with some stretchy properties. It can also be obtained from cotton, synthetic fiber, and cotton varieties. One side of the fabric is smooth, while the other one feels rough due to some loops. It has an average weight, and it can be used for making many household items and clothing needs. It can be used to make sweatshirts and bedsheets.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!The lace fabric is transparent since it is made in a web-like design, and the pattern is mostly vertical or horizontal, and it requires matching. It is soft, delicate, and also decorative naturally.  It gives elegance and personality when used to make dresses. It is commonly used for making wedding dresses, baby girl dresses, and lingerie.


Leather is mostly used to keep the body warm during winter. It has a soft and comfortable feeling when touched and not forgetting the classy looks and feel. It is used for making jackets, belts, and shoes.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is a strong and durable fiber that offers a smooth and cool touch. It requires frequent ironing since it absorbs water quickly. It is commonly used for making towels, bedsheets, and napkins but can also be used to make household items.

It can also be used for making parts of jackets. It is breathable in nature, which makes it suitable for making summer clothing. Its lightweight features small airspaces to maintaining ideal body temperature.

Merino wool

It is a kind of wool that is obtained from merino sheep. Unlike the traditional wool that was itchy, merino wool is now soft wool that does cause itching on the skin due to the fine merino fibers’ small diameter, which makes it pliable hence no itching effect. Merino wool is luxurious and has a wide application in the making of socks and other sorts of outdoor clothing Trusted Source New Zealand's wool industry knits itself a fresh image, one pair of undies at a time | New Zealand | The Guardian Baggy jumpers are out and merino underwear is in as the industry seeks to fashion a way to stave off a crisis www.theguardian.com . It is popular since it is odor resistant, breathable, and moisture-wicking.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is a synthetic fiber made from beech pulp, and it has a wide application in making underwear, pajamas, towels, and bedsheets. It is a kind of rayon but from another textile that is plant-based but is more flexible and durable than rayon. It is blended with other sorts of fibers, including cotton and spandex, to add to its strength. It is a luxurious textile with a soft feel but a high cost since it is more expensive than cotton and viscose.


It is a cotton fabric that is loosely woven. It is made using a plain wave technique such that one weft yarn changes over and under a single warp yarn. It is the material used to make fashion prototypes and do tests for patterns while making cuts to start stitching the final product. It is a suitable material for testing patterns since it is lightweight and gauzy. Thus, it can mimic the drape and fit well, and it is simple to sew with the best sewing machine for hemming.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is a plain-woven fabric that is light in weight and sheer fabric that is made from silk. The material can also be made from synthetic fabrics, with nylon and polyester being the main fabrics. The fabric is durable, although the fabrics are more delicate and prone to tears and frays. Organza features small holes in the entire fabric due to the spaces between the warp and weft.

The quality of organza is determined by the number of holes per inch; the more holes, the better the quality. It is commonly used to make wedding gowns and nightwear since it shimmery and translucent quality, which perfectly makes decent items.


It is a synthetic fiber that is made up of polymers like coal and petroleum. It is strong; soft yet wrinkles-free when used for clothing. Polyester fabric is not breathable; thus, it can’t absorb liquids such as sweat properly. It blends well with other popular fibers and gives more strength to other fabrics while the other fabric enhances the breathable features.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is on one of the main textile’s weaves along plain and weave and twill. It is elastic, shiny as well as the soft fabric that gives a beautiful drape. Satin fabric is soft and lustrous on one side, while the other side is a duller surface. From the satin weaving technique, there are some variations on what would be used to define a satin weave. It has its origin in silk. Satin is popular due to its smooth, lustrous, and elegant look. It is commonly used to make lingerie, gowns, and athletic.


It is popularly known due to its luxurious, soft, and smooth nature. It has shimmering looks and boosts as one of the strongest natural fabrics. It is mostly used in sarees. The fiber is natural and is normally produced by insects as material for making their nests or cocoons. It is popularly known since it is soft and shiny in nature. It is an extremely durable material that features a beautiful drape as well as a sheen. It is used for making formal attire, accessories, and beddings.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is also called lycra or elastane. It is a fiber that has high elasticity. It can be blended with other kinds of fiber to add stretch, and that can be used for a variety of clothing, including jeans.


It is a leather type that is made from animal skin, giving it a soft surface. Sued is normally dye from lambskin, but it can also be obtained from other animals, including deer, calves, pigs, and goats. Sued usually is softer but not as strong as traditional leather. Sued is durable. Due to its thin nature, it can be molded easily. It has wide use in footwear, jackets, accessories, and the making of bags and belts.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!Taffeta is a crisp, plain-woven fabric made from silk, although it can also be woven with polyester, acetate, polyester, nylon, or other synthetic fibers. It usually is lustrous and shiny. It has an average weight and the level of sheerness depending on the kind of fiber used to tighten the weave. It is popularly used for lining fabric as a decorative material, home décor, and evening wear.


It is the linen of a kind with both romantic and pastoral patterns in one color and is usually black, red, or blue on a fabric that is not bleached. The name toile means the fabric in French, but it has changed to mean a main design aesthetic of the fabric, and it has been gaining popularity in France since the 1700s.

It is commonly used to make non-fabric items such as wallpaper. It is also used for upholstery, clothing, bedding, and window treatments.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is a fabric that is rough, although it is made from wool. Its fibers can be woven using a plain weave or twill weaves. Even though it is very warm, it is hard to wear fabric that is thick and stiff. It is woven using varying-colored threads to get different patterns of colors and mostly with small vertical lines and small squares.  It is commonly used for suiting and jackets.


It is the main type of textile weaves along with satin and plain weaves, but it differs from them due to its diagonal rib pattern. It usually is dark-colored on the front side but with a light back. It features a huge thread count, which makes the fabric opaque, thick, and also durable. Since the twill fabric is durable and has a beautiful drape, it is widely used for making denim, chinos, bed linens, and upholstery.


Types of Clothing Material - Everything You Need!It is a smooth yet soft fabric that is luxurious and shiny. It comes in varying quantities and textures for varying prices, from low to high prices. Since it is a thin material, it is used for making blouses, shawls during winter. Cotton, mohair, wool, and linen can make velvet, making it less expansive, and thus it gets incorporated into daily wear easily. It can also be used to fix home decor for pillows, curtains, and upholstery fabric.


It is manufactured from cellulose. It is similar to rayon in terms of softness and smoothness. It is widely used to make jackets and gown lining, blouses, dresses, and home carpets. It is similar to silk, but it is more appealing since it is cheaper to produce.

How to Choose the Best Fabric for Your Project?

There are several ways to start a new project. You might get inspiration from the current trends or the designers. Once you decide on the new project to undertake, you will, and the first step will be deciding on the fabric to use. However, that can be a daunting task as you decide on the material to use. How will you eventually make that choice? It is not as easy as just choosing your favorite fabric. Thus, you will need to put a few factors into account to help you decide on the fabric to use.

  1. Choose the project you want to work on

There are many ways to conclude the project to undertake before starting to make your simple design. You can find an idea in a shop, and you like it, or you probably already have an idea of what you want.

  1. Carry out your research

Before you move to the fabric shop, it will be necessary to research to know about the garment you want to make. You can do window shopping and look at fabrics that are being used. Touching, feeling, and understanding fabrics are vital to learning the trending fabric, thus enabling you to undertake a project that feels contemporary.

  1. Look at the drape

While buying the fabric, it would be necessary to roll it a few yards and see how far it hangs. The drape of the fabric is vital in determining how the garment will appear. Silk tends to hang softly while linens are heavier, and thus they tend to stick when pleated. A good drape is suitable to ensure the fabric looks good and suits the project.

  1. Consider the width

Fabrics are available in varying widths, including 60 inches, but 45 inches is the most common. The width of the fabric you choose determines how much you will need to buy.

  1. Verify the color

At times, the color might appear different due to the nature of the lighting in the room. It would be suitable to look at the fabric in natural light before you buy it. You can also hold the fabric to your skin and see how it looks if you are making something for yourself.

  1. Confirm the stretch

You can do it by pulling the fabric between two fingers to know about its stretch. If it is a fabric with no much stretch, it can be suitable for natural wear, but that will depend on what you are making. Also, it will be important to look if it one of the best sewing threads to work with.

  1. Figure out your project

Think about how the project will look like in a given fabric. Visualize the color and the drape- is the dress lily to look good in a silk fabric, or would you need to find heavier linen? Figure out what works best for your project.

  1. Make the purchase

It is now time to pick your fabric from the stores. Buy enough of the item to complete your project, although it would also be essential to consider the cost. That way, you will only need to have the best sewing machine and enjoy working on your project.

Final thoughts

There are numerous sorts of fabrics you can work with for your project. There are also many fabrics available, and the choice depends on what you want- it could be what is trending or the ease to use it. Also, you can choose a given fabric depending on how comfortable and luxurious it feels. A light cotton is a suitable option for starters since it is easy to sew with it and has a light fall for tops and dresses. You can also check on the light cotton to ensure it is not stiff. Heavy cotton is suitable for items that need more shape, and it is also easy to sew. Once you settle for heavy cotton, know it is quite stiff and ensure that it would work for your project. Otherwise, you will find it sticking in some places you may not have wanted it to stick. The choices of the types of clothing material are numerous, and it is upon you to decide what works for you.


New Zealand
Baggy jumpers are out and merino underwear is in as the industry seeks to fashion a way to stave off a crisis
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