7 Types of Fabrics and Their Uses


In 2018, textile manufacturers produced an estimated 17 million tons of fabric. But, of course, textiles aren’t just used for clothing. They are also essential for creating bedding, furniture, footwear, and other important goods.

With so many different types of fabric material to choose from, it can be hard to decide which is right for your next sewing project. This guide will help you understand the qualities of seven different types of fabrics and their uses.

1. Cotton

This natural fabric is primarily cellulose, the organic compound that gives cotton its fluffy and soft feel. Since cotton grows from a plant, manufactures have to first spin it into yarn and then use it to create fabric. Common uses for cotton include:

  • T-shirts
  • Pajamas
  • Undergarments
  • Bedding

There are several types of cotton fabric to choose from, especially when purchasing wholesale fabric online. In addition, you can buy printed or solid colors, making it an excellent choice for domestic sewing projects.

2. Silk

Silk is another natural fiber. Silkworms produce silk threads to create nests and cocoons.

Silk is shiny and soft, so it is a great choice for elegant garments such as gowns or suits. Some people also choose types of silk fabric for their bedding or upholstery, as it is comfortable and looks classy.

3. Jersey

Jersey is one of the popular types of knit fabric, and it comes from a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers. It is soft and stretchy, with medium weight. Most often, people use jersey fabric for:

  • Loungewear such as sweatpants
  • T-shirts
  • Bedsheets
  • Sportswear

If you want to make comfortable clothing or home goods, jersey fabric is an excellent choice!

4. Canvas

Canvas comes from thick cotton or linen yard. It’s durable and can be water-resistant if blended with synthetic fibers.

Some people choose canvas for outdoor textiles, such as lawn furniture and outdoor pillows. It is also the perfect choice for tote bags and outerwear!

5. Crêpe

This light to medium weight fabric comes from silk, wool, or synthetic materials. Unlike most fabrics, it has a wrinkly appearance that gives it texture.

Designers commonly use crêpe for dresses, blouses, pants, suits, or other formal attire. However, you may also see it utilized for curtains, pillows, or other home decor items.

6. Chiffon

Chiffon is a sheer fabric that is a bit rough to the touch. This texture is due to the twisting of the yarn during the manufacturing process. Its common uses include:

  • Evening gowns
  • Blouses
  • Lingerie
  • Scarves
  • Home decor

This fabric can come from various threads, including silk, nylon, rayon, or even polyester.

7. Linen

This strong yet lightweight fabric comes from flax plants. It is an excellent material for tablecloths, napkins, towels, and other household items. Furthermore, sewists use it to line jackets and create breathable summer clothing.

Choosing the Right Types of Fabrics

While there are countless types of fabrics to choose from, these are seven of the most popular and versatile ones. So, no matter what you intend to create, you can use one of these fabrics to make lovely garments and designs!

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