Silk, satin, brocade, and chiffon...cotton, homespun, and
wool...there are so many fabric types that itís hard to know exactly
what distinguishes one from the next. This article discusses how is
fabric made, what are the different types of fabric, and what are
various fabrics can be used for. Understanding fabric types will
prove to be useful not only for garment construction, but purchases
clothing as well. Knowing what fabric drapes well, is of good
quality, and works in certain weather will help you to be a more
choosey, fashion savvy buyer.
simplicityís sake, I have covered only widely used fabrics and
divided fabric types into three different categories based on the
materials they are made from. This week will cover plant-based
fabrics, followed by animal-based fabrics and synthetic fabrics in
our upcoming issues.
Cotton is a fluffy fiber grown from a seed in warm regions that is
cultivated then picked to make any types of fabric. These textiles
include corduroy (cotton woven in a cord like pattern), flannel,
terrycloth (used for towels and robes), denim (to make jeans),
seersucker (lightweight striped or checked cotton), and muslin. Most
cotton is great for warmer weather and is the fabric most used for
quilting. Recently there has been cotton shortages all over the
world which has caused an increase in price per yard.
Flax is again a seed based plant, which must
first be threshed, which means to remove the seed from the fiber.
Flax is used to make delicate, and often expensive fabrics, such
lace, cambric, damask, and linen. I live in the north east coast of
the United States, and flax is easy to grow in this climate. Check
out upcoming articles on Love to Sewís greater website to learn how
to grow your own flax and turn it into fabric.
Bamboo is becoming an increasingly popular fiber for clothing in the
Western world, as a new version of bamboo fabric created at Beijing
University is lauded for itís breathability, hypoallergenic
qualities, antibacterial properties due to a substance known as kun,
eco-friendliness, and versatility. Its softness has been compared to
that of cashmere. However, bamboo can be used to make rayon--a
partially synthetic fabric that uses many chemicals in the
production process--and this is not eco-friendly. Beware promising
labels and check the small print for fabric types. If the product
lists rayon and other synthetic fabrics, youíre not getting the
eco-friendly, higher quality product that the label claims.