A Beginner’s Guide To Different Kinds of Fabrics

People often choose items like bedsheets, curtains, or clothes based on their appearance. The design is what catches the eye first.

However, the type of fabric is equally important but often ignored. Each fabric has unique textures and uses, so picking the right one matters.

Fabrics are part of our daily lives, from what we wear to our home decor. When buying clothing or bedding, considering the fabric is crucial. This is particularly important for those who sew at home since the wrong fabric can ruin both the sewing machine and the project.

This guide introduces some common fabrics. Understanding these helps in making informed choices, ensuring successful sewing projects and well-kept machines.

Importance of Knowing Fabrics

Beginners might find it hard to choose from so many fabric types. Not all fabrics are easy to work with. Different sewing machines suit different fabrics; some are made for leather, while others handle a variety. By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to select the right fabrics and machines.

List of Most Popular Fabrics Used In Sewing & Quilting

Fabric NamePrice Range

What Are Different Types of Fabrics – Beginner’s Guide

1. Cotton

Cotton is probably one of the most common and highly-used fabrics around the world. Before some time there was only organic cotton available and that was obtained directly from the plant. These days a variety of cotton fabrics available out there and some of them are Supima Cotton, Pima Cotton, Cotton Fleece, and many more.

The best thing about cotton is that it is highly durable and it can soak the sweat very easily. Though you can’t wear clothes made from cotton when you are looking for something more professional. The original cotton is highly-priced but you can get some hybrid material of cotton to do sewing and quilting practice.

2. Rayon

Rayon fabric is very similar to silk but it different than all other fabrics. This is not an organic fabric and it is very cheap too. You can find this fabric is almost all types of things like scarfs, t-shirts, bedsheets, and many more. Just because it is very similar to silk, you can expect softness from it.

The best thing about Rayon fabric is that you can combine it with a variety of other fabrics to create anything as per your need. Also, this fabric is very easy to handle so if you are thinking of making a quilt out of Rayon then you can easily do it. Remember that Rayon can be warm so it might suit your needs in the summer.

3. Silk

Silk is the only natural fabric that is available out there. Any fabric product that is luxurious or expensive is made from Silk. This fabric is actually very delicate and must be used and kept properly in order to make it last longer. This fabric must be washed from hands and only with the cold water as the hot water can damage it.

If you are buying clothes made with Silk then you can wear them on special occasions as most of the time they look fashionable. Also, if you are a beginner to sewing then we will not recommend you try doing anything with this fabric. Only expert sewers and professionals can handle Silk fabric clothing and other products.

4. Linen

Linen is basically a natural fiber fabric that is obtained from the stalk of the flax plant. This fabric is mostly found in Belgium. Well, this fabric is said to be heavier than cotton and it is about 30% stronger than the cotton fabric. Though this fabric is very breathable so air can easily pass through it.

For summers, this fabric is perfect and you might have seen many bedsheets and curtains made of this fabric. If you are a beginner to sewing machines then you can try your hands on this fabric without any issues. This fabric also comes handy when you are doing quilting but you might need a quilting sewing machine for that.

5. Cashmere

Cashmere is also wool but this fabric is obtained from different types of goats. For hundreds of years, this fabric is being used to make scarfs and sweaters. Just because this fabric is very delicate it can only be washed with hands or by dry cleaning. Using an iron on this fabric may ruin the fabric and its quality.

For beginners, this fabric can be hard to handle and it changes it shape as you push it. It is always recommended to fold the clothes and other things made from this fabric and not hang them. Hanging them can destroy its actual design and shape. This fabric is not too costly but if you are from a region where the goats from which this fabric is obtained are not found then you might have to pay hefty money for it.

6. Wool

Wool is said to be the oldest fabric that is known to mankind. This is also the first fabric that has be woven to make something out of it. The natural wool is obtained from animal fur and mainly from a sheep. Though there are some species of goats available out there from which Wool can be obtained, we have mentioned one above.

Even after being stretched, Wool returns to its original shape because it is wrinkle resistant. This fabric is mostly used with sweaters and winter wear because it keeps everything warm. If you are a beginner then you can try your hands on this either with a sewing machine or by hands. Both of them are suitable for beginners with Wool.

7. Jersey

Originally the Jersey fabric was made out of wool but not it can come with a combination of wool, synthetic fibers, and cotton. This is basically a knit fabric which is very light-weight and durable. This fabric is being used most commonly in clothing and specially in the manufacturing of t-shirts. This fabric was first produced in Jersey, Channel Islands.

If you are a beginner then you can try your hands on this fabric without thinking twice. As we said above that this fabric can be used for creating t-shirts so you can take one of them and try your hands on it. There are different types of Jersey fabric variants available out there so you might need to get the original one.

8. Leather

Every person has heard or used Leather fabric once in a lifetime. Leather is basically a flexible material that is made by tanning the animal skins and rawhide. There are many things out there in which Leather is being used such as footwear, automobile seats/covers, bags, furniture, clothing accessories, and many more.

Well, to use Leather as a fabric you must have knowledge about the sewing machines that can handle it. Leather is a very cheap material but not everyone can handle it. If you a beginner and going to use your hands on Leather then you can consider using it but with a sewing machine, you will definitely need some assistance.

different kinds of fabrics-1

9. Spandex

Spandex is also a synthetic fiber that is well-know for its elasticity. You can stretch this fabric to 600 times and still, it will return to its original shape. This is the only reason why this fabric is being used in sportswear and other things made for the sports. This fabric is also known as Lycra and Elastane in many parts of the world.

Not only this but Spandex can be used with other fabrics like cotton to create a very different fabric out of it. For beginners, this fabric might not be suitable, and not every sewing machine is suitable for this fabric. Though if you are an expert sewer then you can use this fabric to make a quilt out of it by using other fabrics.

10. Nylon

Nylon is made from melted plastic so it is a highly durable fabric. From clothing to home decor, Nylon is being used everywhere since it is cheap. Well, you must be cautious while wearing clothes made from Nylon because it is prone to static electricity. When plastic is melted and used to create thin threads, Nylon is made.

You can do machine wash of this fabric but remember that you can’t use iron or heated elements on this. Since it is plastic it is a very strong material and we will not recommend any beginner to use this fabric. Although it is very cheap but it can be hard to handle and can’t be used to create quilts.

11. Polyester

When some textile or fabric is made out of synthetic polymer yarns then it is known as Polyester. This fabric is very cheap and can be found in almost every part of the world. Just because it is a synthetic fabric, you don’t have to cautious while using it. From formal dresses to shirts and bed lined, Polyester can be found everywhere.

In many places, Polyester is also known as Miracle Fabric because of its low cost and durability. Although Polyester is cheap and versatile, you must avoid using things made with Polyester fabric when the weather is warm. Though beginners can try their hands on this fabric as it is very easy to handle.

12. Acrylic

Acrylic is basically a cheap alternative to wool so you will find it in winter wear clothes and other fabric things made for winter. The only difference between wool and Acrylic is that Acrylic is cheaper, lighter, and softer than the Wool. Since this is an artificial fabric, make sure to read the instructions before doing anything with your Acrylic fabric.

This fabric is prone to static electricity and you must avoid clothes made from this material on warmer days. For beginners, this fabric won’t be a big deal to handle as this is just like a copy of Wool. Though if you are trying to make a quilt out of it then you might need to take the help of some accessories and presser feet.

13. Corduroy

Corduroy might not be as popular as other fabrics mentioned in this post but this fabric is being used since the 18th Century. The quality of the fabric is not as good as cotton and silk but it is being used to create trousers, jackets, and shirts. This fabric looks very different from other fabrics and you will notice it in just a look.

It looks like the line of cords is laid out parallel to each other and then woven together to create a single piece of fabric. This is a very durable cloth but it can be found only in some parts of the world. If you are from the place where this fabric is found then you can try your hands on it to create something useful for yourself.

14. Velvet

Velvet is said to be one of the most luxurious fabrics around the world. This fabric is basically a soft pile fabric that is being used since the Middle Ages. Well, only a few people out there know that the name Velvet refers to the Weave and not actually to the fabric. In this way, you can say that Velvet can be made from any fabric available out there.

Velvet was being produced from Silk as both of them possess the same softness but nowadays you can see a lot of people are making Velvet out of the cotton. If you are a beginner then you can also use Velvet as this fabric is very cheap. There are different types of Velvet fabrics available out there and almost all of them are the same.

15. Denim

The denim fabric has been there since the 19th Century and even today this is one of the most versatile and highly-used fabric all around the world. People of different age groups can use this fabric as it is very durable and can be molded into any shape or cloth. Before some time Denim was being used only in the clothing but now you can see it in almost everything.

There are different variants of Denim fabric available out there but the most popular among them is Indigo Denim. Most of the Denim product manufacturers are doing twill weaving on this fabric to create dual-toned products. Beginners might not be able to use this fabric because it is very thick and can’t be used in everything.

Final Words

So this is all about clothing fabric types and we hope now you know about different clothing materials available out there. Remember that there are many more types of clothes material available out there but we have mentioned only those which are commonly used around the world.

We will keep this post updated with more types of fabrics for clothes, so keep visiting Quilted Sewing to know about them. If you have different fabrics before or you know about some types of clothes materials then let us know about them too so we can include them to this list.


Hannah Nelson

Hi, there! I am Hannah Nelson, your host on this website. I started this blog to teach my lovely readers how to master the art of sewing effortlessly and how to turn this hobby into an income generating business.

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