Wondering how to identify different types of fabric? Perhaps you’re ready to learn more about the types of fabrics and how they can be used when making your own clothes?
If the above sounds like you then this epic guide on fabric types is just for you!
When you think about fabrics, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you picture something in your home? Do you see an item of clothing you’re currently wearing?
Or do you see the different aspects of fabric:
The ‘fibre’ content?
The fabric ‘structure’?
The ‘type’ of fabric?
Let’s look at what each of the above really means first!
If you need more help, I also have an article on how to choose fabric for clothing!
What Is Fibre Content?
Fibre content refers to the fibre making up the fabric. Fabrics can be created from a single fibre (cotton, linen, silk etc) or as a blend (poly cotton).
Often you’ll see lists of ‘types of fabrics’ but they’re actually lists of fibre types:
The above are just some I’ve seen that are incorrectly attributed to fabric types.
Another consideration for fibre content is whether the fibre is:
Let’s look at each of those now.
Natural fibres are grown in nature – hence the ‘natural part! – and can be both cellulose fibres (cotton) or protein fibres from animals (silk).
You can learn how cotton fabric is made here!
Manufactured fibres refer to those that are not found naturally, but instead are created by man, whether from cellulose fibres (rayon) or derived from other means like petroleum (polyester)!
The skins of animals are not ‘fibres’ but they are viewed as a type of fabric. Just like manufactured and natural fibres, the skins of animals need to be treated before they can be used.
Animal skins are:
Leather (outside grain of skin)
Suede (inside grain of skin)
Wool on skin (shearling)
I’ve separated the last two because shearling is often finished in a way that the skin side can be worn unlined, while with furs, garments are usually lined.