A Primer on Fashion Fabrics

Posted by QUANTUMFACTORY on 8/20/2014 to General

Whether you are just someone looking to make a couple pieces of clothing for family members or whether you are looking to create a new line of clothing, part of your education in doing a good job with the work is understanding fabric.

Every fabric is a little different and has different characteristics. It's hard to have a design that can work with any and every fabric, and there is no fabric that works with every season or every person, male or female.

So to help you figure out the best fabric for you to work with based on your designs and objectives for your clothes, here are some quick pros and cons about each of the major fabrics in clothing:

  • Cotton: Good - cheap, cleans easily, comfy and casual. Bad - not very interesting, and it wears out and stretches.
  • Linen: Good - natural, upscale look and feel, light in weight. Bad - gets wrinkled easily.
  • Nylon: Good - durable, cheap, can be used for lots of items. Bad - synthetic, could be tacky if not worked with well.
  • Polyester: Good - cheap, strong, easy to clean, doesn't stretch easily. Bad - can be itchy, not natural, can be hot.
  • Rayon - Good: comfortable, flexible in that it can be made to copy linen, wool or silk in feel. Absorbent and does not retain heat.
  • Silk: Good - soft, natural, beautiful look and feel. Bad - pricey and very difficult to clean.
  • Spandex/Lycra: Good - comfortable, not restrictive with motion. Bad - elastic wears out, and it is not a good look on some body types.
Wool: Good - natural, flame-resistant, hypo-allergenic, keeps warm in the winter, even when wet. Bad - can be itchy.