Different Types of Clothing Material and Their Best Applications

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Last updatedLast updated: July 14, 2021
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Food, shelter, and clothing are defined as the necessities of life. If you are a clothing freak like we are, you certainly love trying out different types of fabrics and seeing how great they look on you or others. Even if you are not very interested in clothing, there are certain reasons why you ought to know the types of clothing material. For instance, if you have a problem with laundry, knowing the different types of fabrics and their properties can help to reduce the problem that you have.

The fiber content of the cloth and the way it is manufactured will affect how effectively it can remove stains and the right way to clean it.

Therefore, whether you are a tailor or are dealing with laundry, it is beneficial to have the right working knowledge of fabrics. In this article, we will consider some of the more common types of fabrics and review those that aren’t that common. We will also see some tips that can help you to choose fabrics. Read on to find out more.

Natural fabric

To consider natural clothing materials, we will review some of the most popular options on the market today.

Cotton

Different Types of Clothing Material and Their Best Applications

This material is arguably the most common material used in making clothing. It is a natural fabric that is popular due to its qualities. The material itself is derived from the cotton crop, and with the improvements in technology, it can be blended with other materials both natural and synthetic.

This material is made through ginning. Here the fibers are extracted from the seed and taken to the mill where the fibers are straightened to form strands.

Advantages

Some of the things that make this fabric great are that it is often friendly on the skin, it is soft, thin, and soothing. Cotton is a versatile material as well that is available in every color imaginable. Another benefit of cotton is that it has excellent breathability.

However, it doesn’t dry off quickly.

Other than that, it is one of the most popular cloth materials in the world. It can be knitted or woven, and there are different weaves. Two of the most common weaves are plain and twill. Additionally, there is a satin weave, from where sateen comes from.

Linen

Next up is linen. This is the term that defines any material made from the flax plant. It is a natural material that is known as one of the strongest and most durable clothing materials.

It is a versatile material that is very popular in the fashion world. Some of the uses of this material include tablecloths, towels, bedding, napkins, curtains, and much more.

As with cotton, linen is one of the oldest clothing materials known to man. It is also one of the most difficult to make. After the flax is ready and harvested, it is then dried for many weeks before the seeds are removed.

The fibers are then separated and graded depending on their quality. The process of carding transforms the long and short fibers into ribbons. The final product is woven into linen fabric and treated.

Advantages

This material comes with plenty of advantages. It is breathable and will make the wearer cool. The sheen is beautiful and classy. It can also help to improve blood flow. Growing linen plants is not bad for the environment as they don’t require irrigation.

Jersey

Different Types of Clothing Material and Their Best Applications

This material is made by hand or machine. It finds roots from an island on the Channels where it was used for making clothes for fishermen. Today, the major use of this material is in apparel and clothing. Since it comes with several useful properties, you will find it used in making shirts, vests, jumpers, sweaters, blouses, and similar articles of clothing that can be found in the typical wardrobe.

This material comes from cotton or a combination of cotton and polyester material. It can be made from fibers like silk, wool, linen, nylon, rayon, and so on.

Advantages

As a knitted fabric, it is pretty tough. In use, this material does not wrinkle or crease. It stays right and will not unravel. Also, since it is made from so many materials, it is easy to access. It also offers some of the best breathability.

Silk

On our list of popular natural materials comes silk. It is widely accepted to be the most luxurious and beautiful of all the available fabrics. It is made from the larvae of the silkworm. This material is prized for its elegant, lustrous appeal and softness. It is one of the more expensive materials available.

The origins of this material date back to 6000 BC in China where it was worn by the nobility. It comes from silkworms. These worms spin a cocoon, which is treated with air or boiling water. It is then gently unwound and made into the silk we know today.

Advantages

Apart from the obvious softness and beauty, this material is also the most hyper-allergenic. It is also prized for its ability to make the wearer feel cool even in hot climates. Available in different colors, silk can complement other materials beautifully as well.

And despite the delicate and soft appearance of this material, it is surprisingly strong and very durable, known as one of the strongest fibers on earth.

Velvet

Different Types of Clothing Material and Their Best Applications

Velvet is a popular type of clothing that is loved for the opulence and soft feel. It has been used for clothing and similar applications for many years. What velvet is has been a source of confusion to many. It is a woven warp pile fabric. It is different from fibers that we have considered like silk or cotton.

As we said earlier, this material is a woven fabric. It is often created using a special loom that weaves a pair of thicknesses simultaneously. These materials are separated to give the pile effect seen in velvet. The whole process is time-consuming and can be difficult, which is why it is no surprise that velvet is one of the most sought-after materials at a high price.

Advantages

This versatile material can be used for different things, ranging from decorations to clothing and more. It feels and looks premium. While the ground fiber was originally made from cotton and silk combination, you can find this material made from even more materials.

Thus, it isn’t as expensive or rare as it used to be.

Denim

You might not know this, but denim is a natural clothing fabric. While there is no denim plant, the material itself is made from 100% cotton fabric. It is made from cotton fibers and has a twill fabric weave.

Different features make this material distinct from the others. One of the main differences is that it has a diagonal ribbing you can see on the fabric’s face. Therefore you can easily identify it from other derivatives of cotton.

The material is made from twill cotton weave. During the creation of weaving, the warp thread is dyed while the weft thread is uncolored.

Advantages

One of the advantages of this material is the versatility in terms of clothing. There are up to 12 different kinds of denim, with each one having special properties that many around the world love. Today, jeans are made from denim and are one of the most popular types of clothing.

Wool

Wool is yet another natural fabric used in making clothing. It is made from the hairs of different animals. While many think that wool only comes from sheep, there are different types of wool from other animals as well.

This material, as we said earlier, comes from the hairs of animals. The producers harvest these hairs and spin them to create yarn. Then the yarn is made into different types of textiles that we can find today.

Advantages

Wool and cotton are two of the most popular materials used in making clothing today. It has its niche, though, and is prized for its natural characteristics and features that allow it to be used for things other materials cannot be used for. One benefit of wool is that it is naturally fire-resistant. This makes it handy for situations that need such kind of material.

Georgette

Different Types of Clothing Material and Their Best Applications

Up next is a fabric that is part of the crepe fabric family. This is a fabric that is made of silk and features a beautiful drape. It has its origins in France, and today has become a fabric associated with high fashion, particularly for women.

This material comes as a plain weave fabric and is woven very tightly by the twisted s-twist and z-twist method. The twisting will create puckers on the surface, which is responsible for the finish the material has.

Advantages

Georgette is unique and is great for several reasons. For one, it is very lightweight and breathable. Therefore, it is comfortable for most people. The appearance is unique too, which is an advantage of its own. Another thing that we love about the material is that it offers a pretty dope drape.

Chiffon

Chiffon and Georgette are referred to as sister fabrics. It is a similar fabric that comes with a slight shine and similar weave to the sister material. The weave of this material creates puckers that roughen the fabric. However, this is a fashion statement and is enjoyed by most people.

The original chiffon material was made from silk and silk alone. This origin made it a very expensive material that was limited to only the rich. However, you can now find synthetic chiffon material which is much lower in cost and makes the material more common.

Advantages

This material is a stunning material that comes with several advantages. For one, it offers superb draping. Also, it gives you excellent retention of dyes.

Rayon

Different Types of Clothing Material and Their Best Applications

Rayon material is very versatile; however, it isn’t very noticeable. That is because of its ability to look like other fabrics. Due to its nature, this material can appear like silk, wool, and other materials, which makes it excellent to mix with other clothing for fashion.

The material is made from cellulose fibers that have been purified, and these fibers are usually made from wood pulp. Although it is made from natural materials, there are chemicals required in its creation, which makes it a semi-synthetic fabric.

Advantages

This is an excellent material that offers good breathability, moisture absorption, and is excellent for casual wear.

Viscose

If silk is too expensive for you, then why don’t you go with viscose? This material is a semi-synthetic fabric that serves as an alternative to silk. It originates from the 19th century when silkworms suffered blight and made regular silk nearly unaffordable. People sought alternatives, and this is the result.

It is derived from cellulose and treated with chemicals.

Advantages

It comes as a cheaper alternative to silk. It is breathable, chic, and versatile.

Leather

Leather is a natural fabric that is made from tanned animal skin. It is believed to be the first type of clothing ever worn by man. Today, the processes for making it has evolved and it is now one of the most sought-after and most versatile materials in the world of clothing.

This material is created from tanned animal skin. The process of creating the fabric stretches from preparation to processing.

Advantages

If you live somewhere with cold weather, then the high heat retention of leather will suit you.

Synthetic materials

These are materials that are made in factories and do not have natural origins. There are several types of these materials, and in this section, we will cover some of the more common options.

Polyester

Different Types of Clothing Material and Their Best Applications

First on the list of synthetic materials is polyester. This is a synthetic fabric that is gotten from petroleum and is one of the most popular types of textiles in the world. Not only is it used in clothing, but it finds loads of applications in different stuff as well. Most of the time, those that use this material do so to complement some other natural materials.

Advantages

Polyester offers advantages when it is used with other natural materials. For example, when the material is used with cotton, it can help to reduce the shrinkage and improve the durability of the material. It is also great for outdoor use due to its resistance to weather conditions.

Nylon

Another type of synthetic material for clothing, nylon comes from a group of synthetic polymers that have wide applications. You will find this material used in different goods and stuff apart from clothing. Unlike some of the other synthetic materials, this material is purely synthetic and contains no trace of natural materials.

Advantages

While this fabric was marketed as an alternative to silk, it has grown in versatility and is used for so many other applications. Today, one of the biggest uses of nylon is in stocking, pants, and form-fitting clothing.

Spandex

Different Types of Clothing Material and Their Best Applications

This is a synthetic material that refers to copolymer fabrics that have undergone a variety of processes. As with nylon, spandex does not contain any form of organic materials. Rather all the components are made in a lab.

Advantages

Spandex is loved for its ability to stretch. It can extend more than 5 times its normal size, which makes it a good choice in for-fitting clothing. It is a versatile material too that can be used in other types of materials whether synthetic or natural.

Net or lace fabric

Net or lace fabrics is the general term for clothing materials that have an open mesh design. In this type of fabric, the yarns are twisted, knitted, and made into a fabric with geometrically-shaped spaces. There are three ways of making this type of material. These are the Tricot, Raschel, and Bobbinet methods. The method applied will affect the type of shape that it has.

Advantages

This clothing has a wide range of applications in the clothing industry. It is so versatile and is used in making different things, ranging from underwear to overlays, edgings, and so on.

How to choose fabric

If you are learning to sew, you need to have a broad knowledge of different fabrics and what you can do with them. When choosing, you should think about the description of the fabric and your skills as well. There are also some important factors to consider.

Quality

You must pay attention to the quality of the fabric. This is required whether you are doing laundry or you are sewing. Serger sewing machines are great at turning even medium-quality fabrics into something elegant. You could also invest in a Singer 4423 machine as many reviewers claim it is one of the best on the market today.

Intended use

You should consider what the fabric will be used for. As a tailor, you should also ensure that the fabric you choose can be easily manipulated into something wearable.

You should also consider how thick the material is and if your sewing machine would be able to handle sewing it. You can find some of the best sewing machines for beginners here and the best Coverstitch models here. One of the most popular models on the market, the Brother sewing machine comes with the things you need for quality stitching.

Final thoughts

The world of fashion is such an exciting world and knowing the types of clothing material can help you, especially if you are thinking of making clothes. The materials we have considered as some of the most popular in the world and chances are that you own one or more clothes made from them. We hope this post has given you more insight into what you wear.

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