The textile industry is every day trying to create more and more innovative fabrics which are eco-friendly as well as user-friendly. Our textile and fashion industry is full of skilful designers who use various fabrics to make premium outfits. As fabrics have countless qualities, selecting the right type of fabric can be a crucial decision. Let’s have a look at the different types of fabrics from natural to synthetic fibres and from knit to woven and learn how to identify them.
Cotton is readily available around the world and is one of the most popular fabrics. Approximately150 categories are manufactured globally. Generally, this textile is chemical free but higher demand makes the producers use pesticides for overproduction. These days the textile industry is going through an eco-revolution with start-ups inclining toward the production of organic cotton. The texture of the material is soft and soothing. The summer fabric is apt for baby clothing, t-shirts for men and women, traditional wear, etc. The team at Fab Couture helps you differentiate between types of cotton fabrics that are being used these days are:
- Cotton Lawn: Cotton lawn fabric has a tight weave with finer threads and it is a little sheer with a high thread count. It is this characteristic that gives it that creamy smooth surface texture making it popular for summer clothing, blouses, skirts, and other items. The warmer months call for this type of comfortable and breathable fabric.
- Cotton Jersey: As the name suggests, the fabric is used to make T-shirts as it is soft and tensile fabric. Apt to absorb moisture and sweat. The fabric is easy to maintain. The colour bleeding in on the lower side. Summer shirts to winter staples can be made with utmost ease.
- Cotton poplin: The lightweight and durable fabric is the mundane fabric that is used in making Men’s formal shirts female dresses, and raincoats as it has wrinkle-free properties. The high-strength fabric is also used in making sportswear.
- Chambray: Showcasing a softer and thinner texture as compared to denim, it is woven with a coloured yarn in the warp and a white yarn in the weft. The fabric is put to use around the globe. Due to its light blue colour, it is often mixed with denim. The thin fabric is perfect for the summer months and you can still get the look of denim in your clothing – from men’s and women’s shirting to lightweight dresses – but without being weighed down.
- Brushed Cotton: Utilizing various fabric structures, it creates a soft and smooth finish for a comfortable and itch-free experience. The fabric helps during perspiration. Due to its exceptional insulation capabilities, brushed cotton is ideal to wear when the weather is changing.
It is a lightweight fabric with a little transparent appearance. Often it is made of cotton and silk. One will also find cheaper versions of this fabric made from synthetic fibres like nylon, rayon, and polyester. During weaving, looms use similar weighted weft and warp threads for a plain balanced weave. In general, Chiffon is woven with a criss-cross pattern that creates a mesh-like appearance. The free-flowing fabric has a slippery texture which makes tailors more cautious while making chiffon outfits as even one stitch can ruin the whole attire. There are so many varieties of chiffon produced by textile manufacturers. Some of the popular ones are:
- Silk chiffon: The most shimmery and shiny variety of chiffon. It is voluminous and used to make ball gowns, dresses, costumes, and decorative pieces. The thin and opaque fabric has crisp falls making it a must-have in any collection.
- Jacquard Chiffon: The airy textile comes in a soft drapable material. The fabric is exquisitely used for making designer dresses of premium quality, scarves, stoles and so many more clothing items.
- Chameleon Chiffon: As the name says, it is a kind of fabric mostly used to make costumes for stage shows, blouses, skirts, etc.
- Pearl chiffon: It’s a rare category but comes with alluring texture and shine. This particular type is only available in pearl shades.
One of the versatile fabrics used by various fashion houses. The fabric is made with wool, silk or synthetic fabrics. It is cool in summers and a little insulated in winters. Apart from the easily wrinkled-up look, the sheen and drape of the fabric take the style quotient to another level. Elegant and stylish dresses can be carved out of this fabric as they can be draped easily over textiles. The fancy fabric is reserved for prestigious events, photoshoots, etc. A long list of types of crepe are available but only a few of them are popular widely and are produced.
- Baute Satin: Having a reversed plain crepe, Baute Satin is a complex crepe design involving warp weaving. Today, it remains one of the most popular varieties of French crepe.
- French Crepe: Also known as flat crepe, this fabric is well-suited to lingerie.
- Crepe georgette: The buttery smooth fabric is made out of silk synthetics like rayon. This fabric has better elasticity and drapes fall nicely. Best suited for evening gowns.
- Polyester crepe: Going with the name the synthetic fabric is made out of polyester. It is a lightweight and thin fabric with a semi-transparent look. Designers use it for making blouses, pants, etc.
The naturally produced fabric is every woman’s choice across nations. The garments made of pure silk are treasures which are passed on in families from generation to generation. The fabric is a lightweight and highly durable product, but the maintenance is hefty. High on absorbency, the fabric is perfect for many any type of garment starting from blouses, tops, scarves, and stoles to lehengas, potlis and whatnot. The breathable and soothing fabric tends to regulate temperature and the drying speed is quick. Because of its protein structure, silk is one of the most skin-friendly fabrics. With high tensile strength and a glossy look, the fabric is a must-have in your wardrobe. India is the only country that produces all four types of commercial silk fabrics and they are:
- Tussar silk: One of the favourite varieties among Indian women. Every woman in the country will have a separate collection of tussar silk sarees. Produced in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, this type is rich in texture with a deep golden sheen.
- Muga Silk: This is one of the rarest silks produced around the globe. The popular Assamese product presents high durability and a shiny rich texture. It is considered to be one of the strongest produced fibres.
- Eri silk: Another popular type of Assamese Silk. In addition to its grained texture, matt appearance, and dull golden yellow sheen, Eri silk is characterized by its dense and coarse appearance. Because of its insulating properties, it is mainly used to make shawls, quilts, wraps, bedcovers, etc.
- Mulberry silk: Widely known for its lustrous shine and high durability, Mulberry is one of the most renowned silk types produced in India. Due to its royal texture, traditional attires, sarees, suits and even upholstery are also made from this fabric.
One of the oldest types of fabric known to humankind. It is produced from the flax plant which is much stronger and more durable in comparison to cotton. The flax strands are spun into yarn and then it is blended with other fibres. The easily creased-up fabric is generally found in light and pastel shades. The easy-to-wash fabric needs regular ironing. Linen is used primarily in drapes, tablecloths, bedsheets, napkins and towels. It can also be used in clothing such as suits, jackets, dresses, blouses and pants. Four types of linen are used regularly.
- Damask linen: The damask linen fabric is a popular option for fancy tablecloths because of its mix of strength and softness.
- Closely-woven linen: Its remarkable softness makes it an ideal fabric for apparel and bedding alike. Close-weaved linen is also called sheeting linen.
- Loose weave linen: Not the most durable one, it is highly absorbent.
- Plain weave linen: With its natural checkered pattern, plain weave linen absorbs moisture quickly, which makes it perfect for reusable napkins.
One of the important types of natural fabric is Wool. It comes from sheep, goats, alpaca or Llama. Animal fibre is one of the most durable fabrics which can be used for years. It keeps you warm in winters with its resistance to dust and wrinkles. It’s a flexible and elastic product which stretches with use. The most common types that are used around the world are:
- Lambswool: This type is derived from sheep who are less than seven months old, as they produce durable and soft strands. Some breeds produce a harder and more sturdy kind of wool which is used in making carpets and rugs.
- Merino wool: For the layman, it’s shorn from the merino sheep. This type is the finest and softest of all. The origin is from Spain but 80% comes from Australia.
- Cashmere: This type is obtained from the Cashmere goat found mostly in China and Mongolia which makes them the leading producers of Pashmina. The fine fabric is often used in making stoles, shawls, overcoats, coats, blazers, etc.
- Mohair: Obtained from the Angora goat which has much more undercoat as compared to cashmere goat. The strands are more frizzy and stiff. The final products made from Mohair wool often have a hairy appearance but it’s super warm.
- Angora: This type of wool is obtained from Angora rabbits which is one of the finest quality of wool. English, French, Giant, and Satin are the four breeds domesticated for angora production. The hair is very light with a low resilience because of which angora is often blended with stronger material.
- Alpaca: Derived from the animal living in South America. The fine quality is produced which is easy to produce wool yarns. One can say it’s superior to Cashmere wool.
All the aforementioned fabrics are used on a day-to-day basis by textile industries and fashion houses. There are so many mixed and blended fabrics available in the market but natural fabrics can’t be replaced by any of those. You can get each one from Fab Couture’s website at an affordable price.
Shruti is a fashion writer. She has written for many fashion & textile blogs including FabCouture. Fabcouture is one of the premium Online fabric stores in India and a very popular Indian Fabric Shop for all genders. It is one of the Best Online fabric stores in India, where you come across all the latest fabrics for Online Shopping. Check FabCouture now!