42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (2023)

There are so many types of fabric to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start! Our handy glossary of fabrics will help you decide the best fabric for your sewing project and all the making possibilities with your stash of materials.



Textiles labelled as being made from bamboo are usually synthetic rayon, made from cellulose extracted from bamboo and are often soft and smooth. You can also get bamboo fabric made from the pulp of bamboo - this tends to be much stiffer with more of a linen-like texture and is used less often. You’ll likely see bamboo fabric being used for home textiles including bedsheets and pillow covers as well as socks, tees and more.


Often seen as drapes in period dramas, brocade is a richly decorative, heavy, woven fabric usually made from coloured silks so that it has a lovely lustre. To create eye-catching suit jackets, trousers and dresses, brocade fabric comes in fabulous floral designs, tartan and metallic designs for you to choose from.

42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (1)



In any keen dressmakers’ collection, you’re sure to find some calico. At an affordable price, it’s ideal for drafting out your designs and fixing any mistakes in your patterns before transferring to your preferred fabric. Calico is an unbleached woven fabric that can also be used for accessories like tote bags, upholstery and quilting projects.


Canvas is a really durable, plain, woven fabric used for making sturdy things like sails, tents and backpacks. It’s usually made from natural fabrics like linen, cotton or hemp.


Chambray looks a little like denim, but is usually lighter. It’s a plain, woven fabric where the warp yarn is coloured, and the weft yarn is white.


For a decorative addition to your makes, chiffon will bring some sparkle! For the technically minded, this sheet material is woven of twisted crepe yarns to create the lightweight, transparent fabric.


Corduroy is basically a ridged form of velvet. It has a distinct, striped pattern made of channels between stripes of tufted cords. Stitch on-trend cord jackets, and how about a pair of trousers to match?


The cotton plant is used to create so many wonderful things we use every day, including cotton fabric! The material is woven from, lightweight, breathable and easy to work with, which makes it fantastic for a whole host of projects.

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Cotton poplin

A crisp fabric with a silky smooth texture, cotton poplin is perfect for both craft and clothing projects. Sew up lightweight shirts and dresses with this versatile and durable material!

Cotton lawn

Similar to cotton poplin with its smooth surface, cotton lawn is a super lightweight cotton fabric. It’s ideal for your handmade summer wardrobe, filled with floaty dresses, and tailored trousers.


Crepe has a pebbly appearance, and is most commonly made from polyester or wool, but you can also find it in silk, rayon, and cotton. It doesn’t wrinkle or crease and hangs really well on the body.



Who could live without denim in their lives? It’s what your jeans are made from and has a coloured yarn for the warp (usually blue), and a white yarn for the weft. Quite heavy and extremely durable; it’s why it became such a popular material.

Dress lining

Dress lining is used to reduce wear and strain on a garment, it’s basically just an inner layer of fabric.

42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (2)42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (3)


Faux fur

Faux fur is a synthetic material made to look just like real animal fur, so that you don’t need to harm any living creatures for your fashion!


Felt is what you get when you accidentally shrink your favourite woollen jumper. It’s made of condensed and matted fibres that doesn’t fray when you cut it, and can be made of wool, natural or synthetic fibres.



Hemp is being heralded as an environmental super-fibre as it grows quickly, just about anywhere, is easy to process and makes a strong, soft, durable fabric. It’s also hypo-allergenic and non-irritating, so is an excellent cotton alternative.

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Hessian is a very tough material made from the fibres of the jute or sisal plant. It’s also called burlap or crocus and is commonly used to make sacks, rope and nets.



Jersey was originally made from wool, but is now manufactured from wool, cotton and synthetic fibres. It’s a knitted material, with the right side showing the knit stitch, and the back the purl stitch. This fabric is super stretchy, making it great for t-shirts. It can be one of the more difficult fabrics to sew with, but it’s worth it!

42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (4)42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (5)



Lace is a very decorative, delicate, open fabric made of yarn or thread - think bridal gowns and frilly edging. Add a lace detail to your tops and nightwear for a sophisticated edge!


Lame, forever to be associated with gold 1970s catsuits, is a material woven with thin strips of ribbons made from metallic fibre. It can be a tricky customer to work with, but is super shiny and totally disco!


Leatherette is a synthetic substitute for leather, with a soft PVC layer and containing no animal bi-products. This is a great for leather-look chair covers and other upholstery projects.


Linen is a textile made from the fibres of the flax plant. It’s really strong, highly breathable, and ideal for wearing in hot weather. It’s also quite laborious to make so is often a bit more expensive than cotton, and is also notorious for creasing as soon as you put it on, but that is part of its luxury charm!


Lycra revolutionised tights and leggings and stopped ‘saggy knee’ syndrome. This elastic, polyurethane fabric, is also responsible for the birth of cycling shorts.



Netting is an open-meshed material, it’s made by knotting together twine, wire, rope or thread.

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Nylon is a man-made, silky material that can be shaped into things like stockings through a melt-process.

42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (6)42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (7)



Polyester (ready for some sciencey language?) is a category of polymers that contain the ester functional group in their main chain, most commonly referred to as a PET plastic. Sound familiar? It’s what you’ll see on most of your plastic packaging. It’s not very planet friendly, but it is highly durable.


PVC is also known as vinyl. These fabrics usually consist of a backing woven from polyester fibres with a surface coating of shiny plastic, so they can be wiped clean and are relatively waterproof.



Ribbing is the stretchy knitted bit that you’ll usually find as cuffs and waist bands. The rib knit looks a bit like stripy ridges, and it's this that allows it to stretch.

42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (8)42 Types of Fabric | A to Z & How to Use Them | LoveCrafts (9)



Satin typically has a glossy side and a dull side. It’s made from silk, polyester or nylon, and it’s the way it’s woven that gives it a shiny appearance.


Sequins are small shiny discs sewn on to clothes for decoration and sparkle.

Shirting fabric

Shirting fabric is a fine cotton fabric that is used exactly as you would imagine, for making shirts!


Silk is a natural fibre that comes from the cocoons of silkworms.It’s fine, strong, lustrous and is also known for its hypoallergenic properties.

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Suedette is basically fake suede that is usually made from cotton or rayon.

Suiting fabric

Suiting fabric is made from man-made fibres, most often polyester.Durable and easy to clean, they often have a sheen to them.

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Towelling is most commonly made from cotton (but you can get bamboo towelling too) and is a thick, absorbent cloth, woven with lots of little uncut loops.


Tweed is what you would associate with an English country gentleman, but it is also an amazing material. A rough, woollen fabric, it’s extremely durable, waterproof and still made using traditional techniques in the Outer Hebrides.


Twill is a strong, thick fabric that you’ll see every day, used for trousers and jeans. Denim and chino are both examples of twill fabric, with the tightly packed weave making this perfect for your autumn and winter staples.



Velour is a plush, knitted fabric that is similar to velvet but cheaper to make.It’s often lighter than velvet, and is made from cotton or polyester.


Velvet was traditionally made from silk which is why it has a lovely sheen to it.It’s a woven fabric that is often quite heavy, but has a lovely soft feel.


Viscose (also known as Rayon) is actually made from wood pulp, so it is a cellulose, natural fibre like wool or cotton, but it has to be manufactured like a synthetic fibre. Originally called artificial silk, it’s a breathable, durable fabric that drapes well and has a smooth finish.

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Wool commonly comes from sheep, but you can get all sorts, from llamas to goats.Once spun it can be woven into fabric like tweed, or knitted to make things like ribbing.

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How many types of fabrics and what are they? ›

In reality, there are five basic types of fabric or cloth: silk, cotton, linen, wool, and worsted. All other fabrics are derived from them.

What is fabric and types of fabric? ›

Fabrics can be broadly classified as synthetic fabrics and natural fabrics based on the type of fibres they are derived from. Common examples of natural fabrics include cotton, denim, wool, and silk. The fibres that constitute these fabrics can always be sourced from natural origins.

What are the 2 most common fabric structures used in apparel? ›

The most common fabric structures are woven, knit, or non-woven: Weaving interlaces yarns at right angles.

What are the three main fabrics? ›

In weaving, lengthwise yarns are called warp; crosswise yarns are called weft, or filling. Most woven fabrics are made with their outer edges finished in a manner that avoids raveling; these are called selvages. They run lengthwise, parallel to the warp yarns. The three basic weaves are plain, twill, and satin.

What are the two most common fabrics? ›

Natural Fabrics

There are two groups of natural fibres: protein (animal) and cellulose (plant) fibres. The most common protein based fibres are wool and silk, while the most common cellulose based fibres are cotton and linen.

How many natural fabrics are there? ›

Of industrial value are four animal fibers: wool, silk, camel hair, and angora as well as four plant fibers: cotton, flax, hemp, and jute. Dominant in terms of scale of production and use is cotton for textiles.

What is the most rare fabric? ›

Vicuña: The World's Rarest Fabric.

What are special fabrics? ›

Special fabrics are defined for those textile products which are used for non-clothing application. The fashion aspects of textile are ignored here. The performance properties are the main consideration.

What are 5 uses of fabric? ›

Fabric use

Clothing, bags, apparel, accessories like hats, shoes, scarves, carpets, curtains all are made up of fabric. Fabrics are also used for medical purposes as bandages and to dress up the wound. Some of the fabrics are considered luxurious materials, like silk or muslin.

What is soft fabric called? ›

Popular soft fabrics include:

Jersey. Velvet. Lycra. Silk Satin.

What is a fabric Class 7? ›

Fibres are very thin, thread-like strands from which fabrics (or cloths) are made. Some examples of fibres are cotton, wool, silk, flax, jute, nylon, polyester and polyacrylic. The fibres are spun into yarn (long continuous thread) which can then be woven on a loom to make a fabric (or cloth).

What are the 9 major types of raw materials commonly used in clothing today? ›

There are nine major types of raw materials commonly used in clothing today.
  • Synthetic materials. ...
  • Cotton. ...
  • Click here to find out about Common Objective Brand Leaders Summit 2022 on circular fashion and access the recordings.
  • Cellulosic fibres/viscose. ...
  • Wool. ...
  • Silk. ...
  • Leather. ...
  • Bast fibres.
Dec 10, 2021

Which is the oldest fabric in the world? ›

Linum usitatissimum, or common flax, is called linen when made into textiles. It has been cultivated for thousands of years. In fact, it is considered to be the oldest fabric in the world. Flax was grown and harvested extensively along the Nile in ancient Egypt.

What are the 6 categories of textiles? ›

Textiles are classified according to their component fibers into silk, wool, linen, cotton, such synthetic fibers as rayon, nylon, and polyesters, and some inorganic fibers, such as cloth of gold, glass fiber, and asbestos cloth.

What is the most beautiful fabric? ›

If you're on the hunt for fashion clothes that feel as brilliant as they look, here's a handy list:
  • Silk. You know what silk is. ...
  • Cotton. Ahh, cotton! ...
  • Spandex. Because of its great shape retention quality, spandex is widely used in fashion clothes. ...
  • Wool. ...
  • Satin. ...
  • LIVA.
Nov 24, 2017

How many different textures of fabric are there? ›

Textures may be rough or smooth, coarse or fine, crisp or clingy, soft or stiff, thin or bulky, opaque or sheer, shiny or dull, heavy or light, or any combination of these characteristics. Because textures have many characteristics, they can enhance or detract from a garment's design.

What are the most high quality fabrics? ›

Luxury fabrics are made from fabrics of the finest and highest quality. Silk, cashmere, Pima cotton and leather are first-rate fabrics that designers reach for to create elegant essentials for every wardrobe. They come from natural fibers or the latest and most innovative materials.

What is the best fabric of all time? ›

Cotton is breathable, soft, and lightweight. History has proven that cotton is the most used fabric of all time. Known for its versatility, natural comfort, and efficiency, cotton is used to make all kinds of clothing as well as used industrially for producing various types of products.

What fabrics should you stay away from? ›

The 5 Most Toxic Fabrics to Use if You Want to Kill the Planet
  • 1 | Polyester. Polyester may remind you of bad suits from the 70's but it's actually still very prevalent in many clothes sold today. ...
  • 2 | Rayon. ...
  • 3 | Acrylic. ...
  • 4 | Nylon. ...
  • 5 | Acetate.

What are the two natural fabrics? ›

Animals and plants are the two primary sources of natural fibre.
  • Natural fibres made from plants include cotton, coir, flax, jute, rami, and others.
  • Alpaca, Cashmere, silk, and wool are natural fibres derived from animals.

What is the strongest natural cloth? ›

The strongest natural fabric in the world is silk, which is obtained from the cocoons of silk worms. Silk is luxurious, beautiful and keeps you warm in the cold or cool in the heat. Silk is used in clothing, medical textiles and home furnishings. Another very durable yet soft fabric is wool.

What is the strongest natural fabric? ›

Of the synthetic fabrics, denim was the strongest, and flannel was the least strong. Between the natural fabrics, silk had the highest tensile strength, while wool had the least amount of strength.

What is the coolest natural fabric? ›

Cotton. Cotton is one of the best fabrics for summer and hot weather. Not only is it cheap and hugely available, but it is also great for the heat. Cotton is soft, lightweight, breathable, and soaks up sweat, allowing heat to escape the body and for you to stay cool.

What is the softest fabric on earth? ›

More extraordinary than cashmere, the softest wool in the world comes from Vicuna, the national animal of Peru. A Vicuna is a more elegant relative of Llama, a 1.8 metre tall domesticated animal of South America.

What fabrics make you look rich? ›

Natural fabrics — cashmere, silk, leather, suede, cotton and linen — are the holy grail when it comes to clothing, and have a price tag to match. Translation: Don't expect to find them in your fast-fashion pieces (at least not in their purest form), where polyester, rayon, acrylic and nylon reign supreme.

Which fabric is very expensive? ›

Mulberry silk, is known to be the most expensive of them all. It's pure white in colour, odourless and 100% natural.

What is the most gentle fabric? ›

Some of the most common skin-friendly fabrics are “cotton, linen, cashmere, silk, hemp and those made with wood pulp,” mentioned Sarkar. "Any fiber that has good conductive and wicking properties are good for people who have different skin conditions.” Another fiber worth investing in is bamboo.

What is shiny fabric called? ›

Satin is a weave known for its luxurious, shiny, smooth finish. It is constructed using four or more warp threads overlapping a weft thread or visa versa. It is called Sateen if made with the cotton fibre. Satinised chiffon is a woven fabric with a satin finish.

How are fabrics used in our daily life at least 25? ›

Answer: The clothes which we wear in our daily lives are not the only basic use of the fabric. Other prominent uses of fabric in our daily life is the bed linen, upholstery, curtains, cushion covers, dusters, mops, covers and many more. The quality of fabric is generally depends upon the fibre with which it is made.

What is a fabric Class 8? ›

Fabrics are a woven material, such as textile or other materials. These woven materials resemble woven cloth. There are two different types of fibres, natural fibres and synthetic fibres. Cotto, wool, silk and denim are natural fibres and nylon, rayon, velvet etc., are synthetic fibres.

What is cuddle fabric? ›

Cuddle fabric is a micro-fiber plush fabric, perfect for your ultra-soft and cuddly quilt, blanket, or cozy toy. With heavier weight, stability, less stretch, and durability, cuddle fabric is the most superior minky fabric in the world!

What fabric begins with F? ›

Flannel – A medium-weight, plain or twill weave fabric that is typically made from cotton, a cotton blend, or wool.

What fabric starts with D? ›

D. Damask refers to the type of weave used to create jacquard-woven florals or geometric designs. The fabric can be made from cotton, linen, polyester, or blended fibers.

What is cotton Class 8? ›

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose, and can contain minor percentages of waxes, fats, pectins, and water.

What is cotton fibre Class 8? ›

Cotton: It is one of the plant fibres that are used to make clothes. It is a soft staple fibre that is found as a balls around the seeds in a cotton plant. Cotton is used to make soft, breathable, and durable textile.

Why do we wear Class 6 clothes? ›

We wear clothes to protect ourselves against the weather such as strong sunlight, extreme cold, heat or rain.

What are 10 raw materials? ›

Examples of raw materials include steel, oil, corn, grain, gasoline, lumber, forest resources, plastic, natural gas, coal, and minerals.

What is the best fabric for clothes? ›

Natural woven or knitted cotton fabric is super comfortable and one of the best fabric to make clothes with. It is a breathable fabric and can make you feel cool even when the temperature is hot.

What are the four types of fabric? ›

They are produced from the natural source of raw materials. Different kinds of fabric include types of cotton fabric, types of wool fabric, types of linen fabric, and types of silk fabric.


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