Here’s some helpful hints when buying fabric.
You can select the best fabric for you by knowing the advantages and disadvantages.
Make sure you read all labels for care and fabric content.
Here’s a guide when you’re not sure about fiber:
You will be able to identify fiber absorbency by the wear of ability and durability. The more absorbent fibers are the more comfortable they are to wear. They absorb body moisture and humidity. Since they absorb moisture they are less prone to static electricity and will clean more easily.
The less absorbent fibers are the less comfortable they are to wear, but since they are less affected by body heat and moisture they wrinkle less and they hold their shape better. However, they become static-prone. Here you can determine the best fabric for you that will wear well by knowing their absorbency.
More absorbent – wool, linen, silk, cotton and natural fibers Less absorbent rayon, acetate, acrylic, nylon, polyester and synthetic fibers.
Here you can determine the best fabric for you that will wear well by knowing the lengths of fibers that will affect its performance and appearance.
Long fibers are synthetics. Silk is the only one that is a natural long fiber, but there are longer wool and cotton fibers that have some of these characteristics: Lustrous and smooth, pill resistant, more resilient.
Short fibers are natural and synthetic fibers cut. They are cut into short lengths twisted into a yarn that has a fuzzier appearance like soft and fuzzy, tend to pill and wrinkle more easily. Now wool gabardine is a long fiber and wool flannel is a short fiber.
Be sure to read the labels on ready-to-wear and on the end of the bolt for your best fabric overall guide to fiber content and care.
Manufacturers use blends for decreasing cost, increase prestige, increase wash ability, decrease wrinkling, increase comfort, or increase strength.
A pair of pants that is 65% cotton, 35% polyester will wrinkle less and wear better than all cotton. A pair of pants that is 65% polyester, 35% cotton will wrinkle less and wear better, but be less comfortable.
People today go towards comfort and easy care, so you can determine the best fabric here on the blends of fabrics.
Fabric labels. Here’s a list of fabrics that you can decide would be the best fabric for you and they they will wear:
Linen and Cotton – Has increased absorbency and comfort, less static build-up and better dye ability.
Silk is luster, luxury and comfortable.
Wool – Has added bulk and warmth, increased absorbency, increased shape retention and wrinkle recovery.
Mohair has added strength, loopy texture, added luster.
Camel and Cashmere has added warmth, luxury, improved drape ability, soft smooth texture.
Angora rabbit hair have softness and fuzziness.
Acrylic have improved softness, wool-like qualities.
Rayon is a lower cost fabric with better absorbency, lower static build-up and added luster.
Nylon has increased strength, abrasion resistance, wrinkle resistance and lower cost.
Acetate has improved drapes ability, more luster and shine and lower cost.
Polyester has wash and wear qualities, wrinkle resistance, shape retention, durability and is a lower cost fabric.
Spandex has comfort and elasticity.
Different blends can change the care instructions. If you have a wool skirt it can become washable if it has polyester added.
Look at the care instructions and care as you would for sensitive fabrics. For example, a wool becomes washable if polyester is added. If you are not sure of the care read the instructions and care as you would for the most sensitive fabric. Here you can determine the best fabric by how your clothing should look and feel.
The fabric weaves are how it affects the durability and appearance:
Plain weave – For each yarn it runs over one and under another in both directions and produces a strong firm fabric. Fabrics can be of all weights like chiffon, gingham, canvas, flannel, challis are examples of this most common weave.
Satin weave – The yarns passes over several crosswise yarns to produce very lustrous, shiny fabrics. These long yarns can easily be caught by causing snags.
Charmeuse and satin are a perfect example of this fragile weave.
Dobby and Jacquard weaves – There figurative designs are woven into the fabric. Dobby designs like birdseye and pique are usually small, geometric figures. Jacquard designs like damask, tapestry, brocade are more complicated and can be quite large. They are both expensive to make and can be fragile if there are large areas of long float threads.
Twill weave is a diagonal parallel rib that is a formed weave. It is the most durable weave of all. It is strong, resilient, wrinkle-resistant, and often soil-resistant due to the yarn density like denim, gabardine, silk surah, and calvary twill.
Knits are a series of interlocking loops instead of yarns that cross over each other at right angles. Knits are durable, comfortable. They give and are subject to snag at times. There are both single knits like tricots and sweater knits and double-knits like interlocks and traditional double knits.
Here are some shopping tips for finding the best fabric:
Wool and wool blend tweeds are very fast to sew because they hide sewing mistakes. They also mold into shape easily.
Solid colors are faster to sew than plaids, prints are faster than both as the print in the fabric doesn’t require matching. Plaids are take the most time because of the cutting concentration and planning required.
Make a note in a small notebook with the following five basic pieces and make sure you take it with you when shopping for your best fabric. Also, make sure you use the yardage conversion chart on the back of the pattern catalogue if your fabric width is different.
Jacket, Pants, Skirt, Blouse, Matching skirt, Jacket lining and Jacket interfacing.
Buy the same amount of lining as for the fabric you will need for pants and skirts. Will you be able to tell if this is the best fabric that works for you.
Do the following tests on ready-made clothing:
On wrinkle resistance fabrics crush it in your hand and release. Now, do the wrinkles fall out quickly? If they don’t the garment will look like it was not pressed. so, high natural fiber content will wrinkle more.
To check for shape and wearing qualities stretch it with both hands and hold for 5 seconds. If it slips apart easily then strain on the seams could lead to a problem at stress points, but, if it springs back, it will hold its shape.
Tighter knits the heavier it is the less absorbent the fiber and the better it holds its shape.
Take a look at the fiber content for comfort by checking the absorbency and compare it to your fiber. These are lightweight and higher in natural fiber content are more comfortable to wear.
Synthetics are warm and feel clammy because they don’t breathe or absorb as well as natural fibers and may not be the best fabric for you.
If you are buying fabric or ready-made clothing you should wisely invest your money into the best fabric quality you can afford for your five basic long wearing pieces. These coordinates need to be durable and make you look great! Here are some advantages and disadvantages. You can determine which would be the best fabric for you:
Here’s some advantages and disadvantages on different fabrics:
Advantages: It wears very well, comfortable and holds their shape well. Wrinkles hang out.
Disadvantages: Dry clean only. It shows press marks very easy. Cleaners can over press too. You can request careful pressing, but it’s very expensive.
Advantages: It is wrinkle-resistant. It is also very durable and washable. It’s a year around fabric except in the hottest and coldest climates. It always looks crisp and fresh.
Disadvantages: May snag and is less comfortable to wear than wool, as polyester is cold in winter and warm in summer.
Advantages: It is very comfortable as fiber is extremely absorbent. Dark colors or neutrals are season less fabrics.
Disadvantages: It loses body after many cleanings. You can spray fabric finish to restore crisp feel. Dark colors show more wear than light color due to the dyes used.
Advantages: Choose the heavier weights for better wear and wrinkle resistance. It wrinkles less than real linen. The blends are rayon, polyester, cotton. Can be worn year round in dark or neutral colors. Washable.
Disadvantages: It loses its body after washing or dry cleaning. It is not as durable as real linen or as rich in appearance.
Advantages: This fabric drapes very nicely. You can have fullness without bulk. It is wrinkle resistant, very durable, machine washable. Loosely woven fabrics will be more comfortable.
Disadvantages: Pretreat oily stain before washing. Remove from dryer immediately to prevent heat setting wrinkles and puckered seams. Feels clammy with tightly woven types which are not absorbent.
Advantages: This fabric drapes like no other fabric, it feels wonderful and comfortable in all climates. Recommends dry cleaning, but can be washed.
Disadvantages: Very expensive. Must hand wash or dry-clean. Perspiration can damage fibers and stain.
Advantages: A sportier fabric that wears better than crepe. Available in shirting stripes, plaids, gingham, also solid colors. Hand washes nicely. Less expensive than crepe de chine.
Disadvantage: Doesn’t drape as well as crepe. Wrinkles, perspiration can damage fibers and stain.
Cotton or Blended Broadcloths:
Advantages: More casual than the fabric above. Washable, usually inexpensive. More comfortable than polyester; wrinkles less than silk. Blends include cotton, polyester, rayon.
Disadvantages: Doesn’t drape as well as crepe. Those with higher cotton content will wrinkle more, higher polyester content will make less comfortable.
Wool or Wool Blends:
Advantages: It’s soft, lightweight, drape able. Those with wool should be dry-cleaned, some blends (cotton, rayon, polyester) may be washed. Usually has a soft, warm, brushed surface.
Disadvantages: Wool is more expensive to buy and to care for, but most durable. Generally a cool weather fabric.
Wool Tweed, Flannel,Wool Blends:
Advantages: This fabric is easy to sew. Flannel is a good wintertime fabric and comes in medium and light weights for all climates. Blends (wool, polyester, nylon, acrylic) are usually lighter weight, lower in price and some are washable.
Disadvantages: This fabric is for winter season only. Can be expensive. Flannel wrinkles more than wool gabardine. Blends won’t wear as well as 100% wools. Can be scratchy. Dry clean 100% wools.
Wool Knit, Jersey:
Advantages: All weights are comfortable to wear. Warm in winter. Drapes well in lighter weights, tailors well in heavier weights. Knits are the easiest fabrics to sew.
Disadvantages: Very expensive. Can snag more easily than a woven fabric. Will stretch out of shape during wear, but can be pressed back to shape. Dry Clean only.
Advantages: All weights are wrinkle-resistant, travel well. Machine washable. Hold their shape. Inexpensive.
Disadvantages: Like all polyesters, can be warm in summer and cold in winter because fiber does not breathe. Pretreat oily stains before laundering, remove from dryer immediately.
Corduroy, Velvet, Velveteen:
Advantages: Can be sporty or dressy, depending on type. Some are washable others should be professionally cleaned and pressed. Inexpensive.
Disadvantages: Can show press marks and wear lines easily, not very durable. Require special sewing techniques. Wrinkle easily, will stretch out of shape during wear, but will recover shape during washing or dry-cleaning.
Ultrasuede brand fabric:
Advantages: Elegant and extremely durable. It is versatile and comes in two different weights for many types of garments. Machine washable, easy care. Holds shape during wear, can be season less, depending on color. Sews easily.
Disadvantages: Very expensive. Requires special, but easy to learn, sewing techniques. Because it is partially polyester, it will be warm in summer but not as warm as 100% polyester.
After reading about the different types of fabrics you can decide which is the best fabric for you.