The Essential Fabric Recommendation Guide You Need To Know For Starting Your Clothing Brand

Fabric

When embarking on your design journey of creating products for your own clothing line, the type of fabric you choose truly matters.

An important role and component of making great clothing, the right fabric not only determines the overall style and aesthetic of your finished garment, but also its functionality, quality and performance. With a plethora of fabrics, textiles and materials available, narrowing down on your final option can sure be a daunting task.

You’ve probably heard about various fabrics (such as the ever-popular cotton), but do you know that there are different types of cotton, silk, satin, polyester, wool, linen, or even leather fabrics? What’s more, cotton can also be used to create knit and woven fabrics or even yarns to be used for knitted items such as cardigans, sweaters, and gloves.

Sounds kinda confusing, huh? That’s why we’ve pieced together this introductory guide on an overview of fabrics, and a couple of personal fabric recommendations for each clothing style and garment type.

We’ve designed it to be broken down into various clothing styles and collections so that it’ll be relevant to whatever type of apparel you are looking to create. This way, we hope that you’ll better know how to choose your fabrics for your own collection, or even when you shop for the latest threads. But first, to get a better overview and introduction of the various materials, let’s take a look at how fabrics are made.

Fiber To Fabric

The beginning of fabrics starts with fibersraw materials that are first made into textile yarns, and then into fabrics.

Fibre To Fabric

Fibers can be mainly broken down into three main types: natural, regenerated and synthetic.

Types Of Fiber

Natural Fibers

Animal Fibers

  • Alpaca
  • Angora
  • Cashmere
  • Camel hair
  • Horsehair
  • Llama
  • Mohair
  • Qiviut
  • Silk
  • Vicuña
  • Wool
  • Yak

Plant Fibers

  • Abaca
  • Bamboo
  • Cotton
  • Coir
  • Flax
  • Hemp
  • Jute
  • Ramie
  • Sisal
  • Kapok

Regenerated (semi-synthetic) Fibers

Protein Fibers

  • Soybean Protein
  • Milk Casein

Manmade Fibers

  • Rayon
  • Acetate

Synthetic Fibers

Most polymers are similar to compounds that make up plastic, rubber and coatings. These synthetic Fibers and are developed through a chemical process combining small molecules into polymers-polymerization.

Synthetic Fibers:

  • Acrylic
  • Aramis
  • Nylon
  • Olefin
  • PVC
  • Polyester
  • Spandex

Common fabrics made from synthetic fibres are jacquard, denim, damask, velvet, lace, crepe, canvas fabrics which can be used for fashion, upholstery, home decor, or swimwear.

Other commonly used fabric types to note are also knit fabric, woven fabric and hides:

Knit

Knit Fabric

  • Single yarn, looped continuously to create a textile with a braided look
  • Produces common fabrics such as jerseys knits, rib knits, velour and interlock

Hides

Hides

The terms hide or skin refers to animal skins that are tanned or dried for human use. Hide includes all leathers, with and without animal hair present on the surface. Hides also sometimes include furs, which are harvested from animals with soft hair.

Leather:

Skins of animals with the hair removed, treated for human use

Skins:

  • From smaller animals such as sheep or goats
  • Thinner than hides

Hides:

  • Skins of larger animals such as cows
  • Skins of animals with a shoulder height of more than 1m
  • Thicker than skins

Choosing The Right Fabric

Fabric Swatches

When picking out your desired fabric, it’s important to note the properties of the fabric and how it will correlate with the garment design and intended use. Keep in mind the advantages and characteristics of each fabric, like texture and suitability for print for example, and its relationship to the garment.

For example, you will want to look at fabric materials that offer breathability, stretch, and moisture-wicking properties for an activewear collection.

Likewise, If you are planning to design & launch your collection with a target audience that resides in tropical climates, similarly, look out for characteristics that would matter for the clothing. They should be cooler, breathable fabrics that will feel light and airy against the skin in the heat and humidity.

Now that you have a brief understanding and overview of fibers and what to look out for, let’s get cracking and explore the various materials based on popular styles and collections:

Fabric Guides For Different Categories:

Recommended Fabrics For Streetwear

Recommended Fabrics For Womenswear

Recommended Fabrics For Activewear (Out soon)

Recommended Fabrics For Kids/babies clothing (Out soon)

Recommended Fabrics For Accessories/others (Out soon)

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