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A Guide to Different Fabrics and Their Properties

Sewing Aug 25, 2017

Hey guys! Welcome to the second post in our fabric series.

I don’t need to repeat to you how much I love fabrics, that’s pretty obvious by now isn’t it? If you missed the last post you can read it here, which includes lots of basic advice about how to pick the best fabric for your next project. In this next post, we’re delving further into the most common fabrics and talking about their different properties… These, after all, are what creates the differences in fall, drape, wearability and your actual ability to make different things out of them. Need I remind you that fabric can make or break your project? Read on for more info!

How to choose fabrics: understanding their properties

 

We’ve created a cheatsheet for you for when you next do a fabric shopping trip – all you have to do is refer to the guide to decide whether that fabric is right for what you had in mind. Feel free to pin this pic to your sewing board for later!

Breathability is the ability of a fabric to allow air and moisture vapor to be transmitted through the material making it either more or less wearable.

Comfort is how the fabric feels on your skin when you are wearing it. This is based on both the breathability and the thickness and surface of the fabric itself.

Wrinkle Resistant is related to whether the fabric easily wrinkles or whether it can be folded or creased without wrinkles forming.

Function relates to the fabric and how it interacts with your skin. When choosing a fabric, make sure to choose one that reflects how you want to wear it – when choosing summer fabrics go for cooling ones and when choosing winter fabrics make sure they are warming.

Machine Wash relates to whether a fabric can be easily cleaned in the washing machine. If it cannot be machine washed, you can assume it either needs to be hand washed or dry cleaned.

Infographic by Natalie Ong.

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