Streetwear Fabric Recommendations

Streetwear Fabrics

Streetwear Fabrics Recommendations

What better way to kick off our very first recommended fabrics series than with the ever-popular category of streetwear?

An industry term used to describe non-designer clothes worn every day on the streets, the multibillion-dollar streetwear boom was first largely centred around subcultures of hip hop and rap music, skateboarding and art intertwined with fashion. Now, it has expanded to a wide array of various subcultural influences, and the big brands are in on it too.

From large name brands like Supreme and Louis Vuitton to fast fashion houses like H&M and Zara, streetwear helms a wide variety of styles and garments with definitely something that’s sure to be up to anyone’s alley. In this guide, we feature our personal fabric recommendations for popular streetwear style pieces to help you make an informed decision when embarking on manufacturing your clothing collection.


Twill

Image: potterybarn.com

A plain-weave fabric, the yarns in twill are packed closely together to result in its signature thick pattern of diagonal parallel ribs. Twill fabrics generally have a front (technical face) and back (technical back) side, with the front being more visually attractive, durable and pronounced.

Often used for sturdy work clothing, trousers/pants and upholstery, the durable fabric choice is also prevalent and distinguishable in denim, chino, drill, herringbone and gabardine fabrics-which are all a type or variation of the twill.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Opaque
  • Stain resistant

Cons:

  • Can wrinkle
  • Prone to shrinkage if not washed correctly

Recommended for: dresses, shirts, pants

Armani
Cotton-twill shirt 

Proenza Schouler
Twist front ruched twill dress 

Marni
Twill pants

 

Woven Nylon and Nylon Blends

Image: Stern & Stern

Image: Stern & Stern

A synthetic polymer fabric, nylon is made from monomers-a long-chained carbon-based molecule. Originally marketed as an alternative to silk for making stockings, it is one of the most commonly used fabrics to date thanks to its high versatility.

Strong, durable, lightweight and tear-resistant, the fast-drying material makes for a great option for garments with a water-resistant property. Its ability to take color dyes well and resistance to fading also allow it to be produced in a variety of eye-catching colors and styles.

Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Water resistant
  • Abrasion and wear resistant
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Can melt with heat – do not iron
  • Non absorbent

Recommended for: jackets, pants, shorts

Givenchy
Woven nylon jacket

Nike
Woven nylon shorts

Gobchang 
Nylon-blend pants

 

Woven Polyester and Polyester Blends

Polyester Fabric

One of the most widely known synthetic fabrics, polyester is loved for its durability and affordability. Its strong fibers result in a fabric that is tear, stretch, pill and abrasion-resistant, making it a truly versatile option for clothing and even gear such as backpacks and camping tents.

Its moisture resistance also makes it resistant to stains, and when blended with cotton, its shrinkage, wrinkling and durability are enhanced.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Moisture wicking
  • Easy care
  • Wrinkle resistant

Cons:

  • Less suitable for those with sensitive skin
  • Contains plastic fibers

Recommended for: jackets, pants, shorts

Maison Margiela
Poly-blend track pants

Hermes 
Poly-blend jacket

NORTH SAILS X Prada
Recycled poly-blend shorts

 

Corduroy

Corduroy

Distinguished by its distinctive raised cord or wale texture, the timeless fabric dates all the way back to ancient Egypt in 200BC and is still popularly used today. A ridged material made up of woven pile-cut yard which is then cut into cords or wales forming vertical ribs, its unique twill weave texture results in a thick and hardy fabric that holds warmth and remains durable.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Interesting texture
  • Easy care

Cons:

  • Prone to shrinkage – avoid high-temperature washing
  • Thick and heavy

Recommended for: pants, jackets

Levi’s
Corduroy pants

French Connection
Corduroy jacket

Gucci
Pleated cotton corduroy trousers

Jersey

Also known as single knit, jersey-knit fabrics are one of the most basic forms of weft knitting and are a commonly used, highly diverse popular choice for clothing in the fashion industry.

Known for its stretchiness and close knits, the lightweight fabric is highly absorbent and breathable, making it a great choice for activewear, t-shirts, underwear and baby clothes.

Pros:

  • Stretchy
  • Versatile
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Lightweight yet durable

Cons:

  • Prone to piling
  • May snag

Recommended for: polo tees, tank tops, shirts

MR P. 
Jersey polo shirt

Superdry
Jersey t-shirt

Dolce & Gabbana
Jersey tank top

 

Heavyweight jerseys

A heavier and thicker variation of the jersey fabric, heavyweight jerseys retain their highly absorbent and breathable qualities despite their thicker weight, which provides an extra plush and cosy option for sweatshirts, sweatpants and hoodies, or for garments that will provide more warmth in cooler climates.

Pros:

  • Breathable
  • Warm and insulating
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Sturdy yet flexible

Cons:

  • Can feel warm in tropical climates

Recommended for: hoodies, sweatshirts, sweatpants, shorts

Rick Owens
Crewneck t-shirt

Komakino
Heavy jersey raglan hoodie

Rick Owens
Heavy jersey pants

 

Interlock/double knit

Image: oliverands.com

A variation of the rib knit, the double knit construction of interlock fabrics result in a thicker fabric that’s soft, insulant, firm, and absorbent. Although it is heavier, thicker and firmer than single jerseys, the interlock fabric remains breathable and feels soft and light, making it an ideal choice for activewear and undergarments.

Pros:

  • Soft and comfortable
  • Reversible and smooth
  • Thicker fabric type
  • Naturally stretchy
  • Same texture on both sides
  • Does not roll and curl at the edges

Cons:

  • May have a tendency to snag, fuzz or pile

 

Recommended for: hoodies, sweatshirts, sweatpants

Polo Ralph Lauren
Cotton interlock hoodie 

Thom Browne
Interlock track pants

Dunhill
Interlock cotton t-shirt

 

French Terry

Image: seamwork.com

Inconspicuous at first glance with its outer resemblance of ordinary jersey fabric, French terry features a smooth knitted outer side and a loosely woven, thread-looped pile inner, which gives it its alternative name the loopback. Lighter than conventional sweatshirt fabrics, the looped backing provides a touch of warmth without being bulky, which makes for great light sportswear garments that are suitable for layering.

Pros:

  • Moisture wicking
  • Lightweight
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Easy care

Cons:

  • Prone to piling

Recommended for: jackets, sweatshirts, sweatpants, shorts

3.1 Phillip Lim
French terry dress with taffeta skirt

Stüssy
French terry tee

Everlane
French terry tracksuit

 

Fleece

A man-made synthetic product not to be confused with the coats of sheep, fleece fabrics are created from polyester. Woven into a light fabric that is brushed to aid in increasing fiber volume, it provides plush and cosy insulation.

Its moisture-resistant properties make it a popular choice for cooler weather and sportswear, wicking perspiration and allowing air to circulate to keep the skin comfortable and dry.

Pros:

  • Warm, soft, cosy, plush
  • versatile and dynamic
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Good insulation

Cons:

  • Can’t be washed, tumble dried or ironed at high temperatures
  • Prone to attracting lint and dust due to high static electricity

Recommended for: hoodies, shorts, sweatshirts, sweatpants

Prada
Fleece hoodie

Emporio Armani
Fleece sweatpants

Nike
Fleece hoodie

 Pique

Characterized by raised parallel cords or fine ribbing which gives the fabric its embossed appearance, the double weave cotton fabric‘s pattern and structure lends for a more formal presentation than jersey fabrics. Its advantageous texture and weave type conceal and show less sweat, and together with its other properties of breathability, durability, and easy care, it’s no wonder that it’s a commonly used fabric for sportswear.

Pros:

  • Breathable and airy
  • Formal look with the weave and knit type
  • Durable and long lasting
  • Shows less sweat

Cons:

  • Can be prone to wrinkling

Recommended for: polo tees, shirts, t-shirts

Adidas
Pique shirt

Fear Of God
Pique pocket tee

Prada
Pique polo shirt

 

Mesh

 Image: moodfabrics.com

Characterised by its net-like open pattern, lightweight heft and permeable texture, mesh fabrics are woven or knitted loosely, resulting in its open hole structure. The lightweight properties and open holes provide breathable ventilation while remaining durable against ripping or tearing, making it a great choice for sportswear and warm climates.

Pros:

  • Durable and resistant to rips/tears
  • Allows for ventilation
  • Mildew resistant
  • Lightweight, breathable

Cons:

  • Holes in mesh fabric can easily catch onto things and snag if not careful

Recommended for: tanks and singlets, shorts, shirts

Nike
Mesh shirt

Adidas by Stella McCartney
Mesh tank top

Stüssy
Mesh shorts

 

Poplin

Image: spoonflower.com

A ribbed variation of the plain weave fabric, poplin boasts softness and durability due to its weaving structure and high density, which also allows the fabric to be reversible. Lightweight, durable and with a distinctive lustre, it remains a popular choice not only for shirts but also for upholstery.

Pros:

  • Luxurious sheen
  • Wrinkle and crease resistant
  • Easy to iron
  • Breathable

Cons:

  • Fabric is thin – may not provide enough insulation for cooler climates

Recommended for: shirts

Burberry
Poplin shirt

H&M
Cotton poplin shirt

Balenciaga
Logo poplin shirt

 

Oxford

A popular high-quality choice for shirts, the oxford fabric was created in 19th century Scotland by a mill that named its four fabrics after the most prestigious universities of that time-Cambridge, Harvard, Yale and of course-Oxford.

Light, lustrous and soft, oxford features a basketweave structure made by weaving multiple yarns together in a crossed vertical and horizontal direction. Thin yarns are woven over a thicker filler yarn, with threads passing in one direction dyed while the others are left white, creating a thicker fabric with a fine texture and unique checkerboard appearance.

Pros:

  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Ages well and gets softer with use
  • Resistant to damage and wear
  • Durable and versatile

Cons:

  • Thicker compared to other shirting fabric
  • Insulating properties can make it less breathable in hot climates
  • Not suitable for formal attire

Recommended for: shirts, pants

Sacai 
Oxford pants 

Tom Ford
Oxford shirt

Fred Perry
Oxford shirt

 

Chambray

Chambray
Image: weaverdee.com

A popular fabric option for summer clothing, chambray is a lightweight and breathable plain weave fabric that bears visual similarities to denim. Its multicoloured yarn arrangement gives it a slightly faded appearance, with a smooth and soft feeling against the skin due to its tight weave.

Pros:

  • Very breathable, great for summer
  • Soft, and lightweight
  • Great alternative for denim
  • Stretchy, strong, and tear-resistant

Cons:

  • 100% cotton chambray fabrics have a tendency to wrinkle

Recommended for: shirts, summer dresses and skirts

A.P.C
Chambray shirt

Miu Miu
Chambray dress

Neighbourhood
Chambray shirt

 

Suede

Derived from the underside of animal skin unlike leather which is derived from the top side, suede is a durable and comfortable hide option that feels much softer against the skin. Its napped and fuzzy characteristic provides an interesting appearance, but its permeable quality lacks the waterproofing benefits of leather. Booming to popularity in the twentieth century, it is associated with luxury due to its soft, delicate feel.

Pros:

  • Very durable and tough
  • Long lasting
  • Interesting napped appearance and texture
  • Soft and luxurious touch

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to care for
  • Poor resistance to stains, dust and dirt

Recommended for: coats, jackets, parkas

Polo
Ralph Lauren – suede bomber / The Row – suede coat / Balmain – biker suede trousers

Polo Ralph Lauren
Suede bomber

The Row
Suede coat

Balmain
Biker suede trousers

 

Drill

Image: thefabricofourlives.com

Also known as chino, drill offers an interesting texture with its diagonally woven appearance and strong twill weave. Its mercerized surface lends a smooth and soft appearance and texture, with its weaving structure imparting durability and abrasion resistance. Originally used for military purposes, drill fabric is now commonly used for shirts, safari jackets, sneakers, uniforms, and chef coats due to its versatility and resistance towards wear and tear.

Pros:

  • Versatile, sturdy
  • Long lasting and holds well to wear and tear
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Tough and high strength

Cons:

  • Prone to shrinkage if not washed correctly

     

Recommended for: pants, jackets, shirts

Comme des Garçons
Drill trousers

Agnes B
Drill jacket

Brunello Cucinelli
Cotton drill trousers

Found this guide useful and want more?

Check out our other recommended fabrics for various clothing styles:

Recommended Fabrics – Womenswear

Recommended Fabrics – Activewear

Recommended Fabrics – Kidswear

Recommended Fabrics – Swimwear (Coming soon)

Recommended Fabrics – Accessories/others (Coming soon)

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