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The Ultimate Fabric Dictionary

The Ultimate Fabric Dictionary

  • Shae Khreish

Here's our intensive fabric guide, designed to help you learn the different types of fabrics, their construction, what they are good for and plenty more. 


Bengaline

Bengaline is a versatile, stretchy fabric with a crosswise rib, it usually consists of rayon and cotton, often in combination with polyester and lycra. It feels sturdy and it’s fantastic for flattering, form fitting pants, skirts and dresses.

Brushed Cotton 

Brushed Cotton is a soft, smooth and comfortable fabric. It generally features a combination of polyester and cotton fibres. The polyester adds strength and the cotton adds comfort. The fabric is constructed by knitting, looping and brushing back the cotton and polyester. This fabric is generally cooler than most cottons, but still provides plenty of warmth. It is commonly used for tees, tops, dresses, baby blankets, toys and children’s clothing. You can use it the same way you would use flannelette.

Shop Brushed Cotton 

Chiffon

Chiffon is a feather-sheer, almost weightless fabric. It has an ethereal look and feel. It has a little ‘give’ and a dry touch. It resembles a very, very fine mesh which appears slightly transparent. Chiffon is perfect for evening wear, lingerie and has a beautiful floating appearance.

 Shop Chiffon

Cotton

Cotton is one of the most practical and versatile of all the natural fibres. It is breathable, naturally absorbent and comfortable. Plain cotton can also be known as Cotton Duck. It features a tight, straight weave construction and retains colour beautifully. It is commonly used for t-shirts, structured shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts and childrens clothing.

 Shop Cotton

Cotton Broderie Anglaise

Broderie Anglaise is often seen as a delicate and romantic fabric. It is perfect for warmer weather and features decorative embroidery and cut work. The needlework is composed of round or oval holes cut out and decoratively overstitched. The patterns often depict flowers, leaves and vines. It is commonly used for dresses, skirts, tops, kaftans, blouses and children's clothing. It can also be used on collars, sleeves and lingerie. 

Shop Broderie Anglaise

Cotton Drill 

Cotton Drill is a breathable, strong and durable fabric that is not too rigid. It’s a versatile fabric that features an interesting diagonal weave and is perfect for pants, skirts, workwear, uniforms, jackets, pants, shirts, aprons, bags and home furnishings. 

Shop Cotton Drill

Cotton Lycra 

Cotton Lycra is a lightweight cotton interlock fabric that has extra body-hugging ability. It holds its original shape really well and is ideal for t-shirts, dresses, underwear and leggings.

Shop Cotton Lycra

Cotton Sateen

Cotton Sateen has a surface sheen and is soft, dense and pliable to touch. It is ideal for garments that require an element of structure or any lightweight tailoring such as dresses, tops and pants.

 Shop Cotton Sateen 

Cotton Voile

Cotton Voile is a lightweight, semi-sheer, plain weave fabric. It is constructed using tightly twisted yarns, with a slightly crisp feel and a net-like quality. It drapes well, does not stretch and any creases iron out well. It is commonly used for blouses, night gowns, dresses, lingerie and curtains. 

Shop Cotton Voile

Crepe De Chine

Crepe De Chine is a silky soft, graceful fabric made with highly twisted yarns. It’s lightweight, breathable and an ideal choice for evening dresses, airy summer blouses, bridal dresses and scarves.

Shop Crepe De Chine

Denim

Denim is a very popular versatile, strong and durable fabric. It features a twill weave which produces the familiar diagonal rib effect. It is commonly used for jeans, jackets, shorts and overalls. Lightweight denim is also a popular choice for dresses and shirts.

Shop Denim

Garbadine

Garbardine is a silky yet tough, tightly woven fabric that is a favourite for creating suits, pants, jackets, overcoats, uniforms and windbreakers. It features a smooth twill style weave and will keep you relatively dry if you catch a little rain.

Shop Garbadine

Interlock Knit 

Interlock is a smooth, breathable, double knit fabric made with two layers. It features two rows of stitches, one directly behind the other. Interlock is thicker and more stable than jersey. It doesn’t stretch out of shape too easily and won’t curl at the edges. It’s commonly used for hoodies, t-shirts, polos, dresses, sportswear and pajamas.

Shop Interlock Knit

ITY KNIT

ITY Stands for Interlock Twist Yarn, the way the yarn is twisted means that there is more elasticity and a soft feel. It’s an easy fabric to sew, washes well, has a beautiful drape and is commonly used for dresses, tops, skirts and flowy pants.

Shop ITY Knit

Linen

Linen features a plain weave, it’s a strong and firm fabric that becomes considerably softer with wash and wear. It provides comfort in hot climate and is perfect for shirts, tops and dresses.

Shop Linen 

Microfiber

Microfibre fibres are finer than any natural fibre. Commonly constructed with polyester, microfibre fabrics are durable, soft to touch, have good absorption and wicking characteristics. They wash well and dry quickly and can be ideal for dresses, skirts, sports and leisure clothing as well as outdoor performance clothing.

Shop Plain Microfiber
Shop Printed Microfiber

Nylon Lycra 

Nylon Lycra is a knitted fabric with nylon and elastane, it has a glossy surface and high stretch factor, making it ideal for styles that require a skin tight fit such as leggings and dancewear. 

Shop Nylon Lycra

Organza

Organza is a sheer, smooth, crisp, lightweight fabric with an incredible drape and sheen. It features a plain weave and is often used to create dresses and skirts with volume.  Organza has a stiff and wiry finish and is surprisingly strong. It does crease, but you can restore it with some steaming or ironing. If you want to give structure to your look, this is the perfect choice. If you’re looking to create something more flowy, try Chiffon.

Shop Organza

Polycotton

Polyester Cotton offers the best of both worlds, it is hard-wearing, practical, versatile and more customisable. This fabric provides comfort, breathability and dries quickly. It is less prone to piling and static. It is commonly used for shirts, blouses, tablecloths, cushions, pillows and bag linings. 

Shop Polycotton

Polyester

Polyester is the most widely used man-made synthetic material. It offers benefits such as strength and stability. Polyester does not absorb moisture which means it can be treated with waterproofing finishes. Polyester is low absorbency which means it is resistant to staining, fades less and it will not stretch out of shape.

Shop Polyester

Poplin

Classic Cotton Poplin is a blend of Polyester and Cotton, it’s an easy-care, durable fabric that retains the appearance of cotton. It’s a great alternative to pure cotton and is often used for workwear or uniforms where a crisp appearance is required.

Shop Poplin

Ponte

Ponte is a durable knit fabric, it’s soft to touch and has a great amount of stretch. The fabric moulds to your body shape and hugs it in all the right places. It’s commonly used for tops, dresses, leggings and pants.

Shop Ponte

Ramie Cotton

Ramie cotton fabric is an incredibly strong natural fibre that is easy to care for. It holds its shape well and shares similar characteristics to linen. It does tend to wrinkle and can be slightly stiff, however, it becomes softer with each wash and wear. It is perfect for dresses, pants, shirts, tops, handkerchiefs, tablecloths and cushion covers. 

Shop Ramie Cotton

Rayon

Rayon has a straight weave, lightweight fabric with good draping qualities. It is a great choice for flowy and breathable garments. It’s a natural fabric and suitable for a wide range of uses including blouses, tops, dresses, skirts, lining, sheets, curtains. It can also be great for fabric printing projects.

Shop Rayon

Rayon Lycra

Rayon Lycra is a lightweight fabric that has a straight weave and good draping qualities. It is soft to touch and stretches well. It’s great for t-shirts, tops, flowy garments, dresses and loose fitting pants.

Shop Rayon Lycra

Rib Knit 

Rib Fabric is a double-knit fabric that has a vertical ridged pattern. It features lots of crosswise stretch and has little lengthwise stretch. It is commonly used for tshirts, waist and cuff bands to hold the garment in place. It also gives a fitted ‘skinny’ look to dresses, tops and leggings. 

Shop Rib Knit

Satin

Satin is characterised by it’s smooth surface sheen. It has a soft, smooth, dry and crisp touch and is ideal for linings and evening wear. 

Shop Satin

Satin Crepe Back 

Satin Crepe Back is a sturdy polyester satin that mimics the aesthetic appeal of the silk satin. When compared to the Silk Satin, it has improved wrinkle resistance, is less expensive and tends to have a less natural feel. 

Shop Satin Crepe Back

Stretch Mesh 

Stretch mesh is soft, durable and semi-sheer knit which is loosely woven and features thousands of tiny little holes. It is highly breathable so it’s great for workout apparel, lingerie, slips, layered skirts, bindings and sheer t-shirts.

Shop Stretch Mesh

Tulle Netting

Tulle netting is a lightweight, stiff and very fine netting. Tulle gives a delicate, sheer appearance. It is smooth and soft and features tiny hexagonal holes. It can be used to create layers and a full or puffed effect. Tulle is often used for romantic garments, bridal veils, skirts, tutus and special occasions. It is also commonly used for decorative projects.

Shop Tulle Netting

 

Viscose Lycra

Viscose Lycra has a silky feel and appearance with very good draping qualities. It’s perfect for evening wear, casual dresses, tops, skirts.

Shop Viscose Lycra

 

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