Choosing the appropriate fabric for a garment can sometimes be a daunting task. Therefore, to facilitate this process we have created a list of popularfashion fabricsalong with their finest features to help you select the most suitable ones for your projects. read more
Choosing the appropriate fabric for a garment can sometimes be a daunting task. Therefore, to facilitate this process we have created a list of popularfashion fabricsalong with their finest features to help you select the most suitable ones for your projects.
Before describing each fabric type, let us revise some of the different terms used when discussing fashion fabrics.
Drape – refers to the way the fabric hangs along the body. For example, chiffon has a very flowing drape that almost seems to stick to itself, whereas organza, which is also as thin, tends to fall away from itself.
Hand – this describes how a fabric feels. Silk has a soft hand while bouclé (thick Channel jacket) has a bumpy hand.
Nap or pile – Velvet is a good example of a fashion fabric with a soft, fuzzy pile. If you run your hand along the surface you’ll notice the pile changes direction. It’s important to keep the same pile direction when cutting your fabric pieces, as this will ensure a uniform look on your creation.
Selvage – the edge of fabric that usually won’t fray and is marked with the manufacturer’s information. The selvage also runs parallel to the grain.
Grain – patterns usually mark where to line up the grain line of the fabric. Cutting according to those instructions will allow your final garment to drape properly. Cutting fabrics on a bias (45 degrees across the grain) tends to make them stretchier. Follow pattern instructions for best results.
Types of fashion fabrics
Cotton is by far the most common sewing fabric. It’s available in a wide variety of weights and textures. There is certainly a cotton choice for almost every sewing project imaginable from shirts, skirts, and dresses to trousers, jeans and bags. All 100% cotton fashion fabrics should be pre-washed and put in the dryer. It is better to intentionally shrink it before starting your project than to have your new garment shrink once completed.
Quilting cottons can be used as fashion fabric, but it is important to remember that it is going to be stiffer both in feel and drape than apparel cotton. For this reason it is better used for structured garments such as jackets.
Shirting cotton is available in four different weaves: satin, plain, twill and oxford. It is a light-weight crisp fabric usually limited to shirts and pajamas.
Cotton jersey is a knitted fashion fabricthat is stretchy and comfortable to wear.It is most often used for t-shirts, but keep in mind it can be tricky to sew and is not recommended for a beginner level project.
Linen – a woven fabric that is easy to sew with and is available in a variety of weights. It wrinkles easily and is used mostly for summer clothing due to its lightness and breathability.
Sheer fashion fabrics – there are many fabrics to choose from within the sheer category. Voile, chiffon, organza, and batiste are just a few examples. Essentially a sheer fabric is transparent and gauzy-like, very pretty and very feminine, but they are also fragile and more difficult to work with. The very nature of these sheer fabrics makes them more delicate to cut and work with as compared to other fabrics. They tend to bunch at the seams and can be tricky when creating straight hemlines. With some practice and experience sheer fabrics can create beautiful dresses, and lingerie. Simple designs best display a sheer fabric’s beautiful qualities.
Sewing with Fashion Fabrics
When working with woven fabrics and knitted fabrics you’ll findeach have pros and cons. It is therefore important to choose wisely. All patterns will indicate what type of fashion fabric is appropriate for that project. But it is also important to take in to account your sewing ability and experience. A woven fabric such as cotton or cotton-blend will not slip or stretch as you sew, making this fabric a good choice if you are at a beginner level. Beginners should also avoid heavy-weight fabrics such as denim because they are harder to manipulate. Bumpy or ridged fabrics such as bouclé or corduroy can be tricky for a beginner as well. As you practice and gain more confidence your choice of fabrics will expand according to your projects.