Types Of Clothing Fabrics
November 4, 2012 - When you think about it, clothing fabric plays a huge role in our life. We all want to look nice and try to stay up to date with the latest fashions. We also need clothing to protect ourselves from the elements, especially in cold regions of the world. Over the centuries a huge number of clothing fabrics have been found to be both useful and necessary. Over the next few months this website will be giving you information concerning a large selection of different types of clothing fabrics and what they are used for.
Types of Clothing Fabrics
To list all the types of fabrics there are in the world would fill up pages and pages. But here is a select sample of the common ones, with a few exotic types thrown in.
Acetate is a combination natural and synthetic fibre. The natural element is from the cellulose of wood.
Acrylic fibres are man-made and incorporate by-products from petroleum and natural gas.
Bark cloth is a very old fabric type that was traditionally made and used in parts of Africa, Asia and the Pacific. It comes from the bark of particular trees native to these regions, whereby strips soaked and then beaten into sheets. Bark cloth was used as a garment and furnishings textile.
Blends are a general description of fabrics made of two or more fibres. The idea is to incorporate the distinct characteristics of the separate fibres into one textile.
Cheesecloth is a variant of cotton cloth and has a very loose weave. There are several grades of cheesecloth, ranging from extra-fine to open weaves. It’s mostly used in cooking and, as the name implies, cheese making.
Chiffon is a very sheer, light fabric made out of silk, cotton or synthetic fibres. The twist in the fibres gives it a somewhat rough feel, and the mesh-like weave contributes to its see through properties.
Corduroy is a strong, durable fabric with a surface of rounded cord or rib and the back has a plain or twill weave. It can be made from several textiles including cotton.
Cotton is derived from the fibre of the tropical cotton plant. When the cotton flowers bloom and die, a boll remains which ripens and splits open to reveal a white, fluffy interior with seeds – this is the raw cotton. Cotton is the most widely used fabric and is the basis of over 30 types of textiles.
Denim is a type of cotton fabric woven in such a way that the threads produce that distinctive diagonal ribbing on the underside of the fabric. Traditionally it was dyed blue and the first denim trousers were made in Genoa, Italy. Both the words ‘denim’ and ‘jeans’ are of French origin.
Georgette is a type of silk fabric, although today synthetic georgettes are also produced. It’s light, crinkly, slightly rough feel is what it’s known for, plus the range of colours it is dyed in.
Hemp is made from the stems of the same plant that makes marijuana, but does not contain any narcotic elements. Hemp has a linen-like texture, has high water tolerance but wrinkles very easily.
Jute is made from the cellulose-rich fibres of the jute plant which is native to Asia. It is typically used for making mats, burlap and gunny bags.
Linen is derived from the fibres flax plant and is highly valued for it’s fresh, cool feel especially during hot weather. Some fabrics of cotton or hemp when woven in a linen-like weave are referred to as linen.
Mohair is a type of wool obtained from the fur of the Angora goat. It has a silk-like sheen and lustre but is also quite strong and durable.
Polyester is a man-made fabric made from by-products of petroleum and coal, mixed with air and water. Like nylon, it has low water absorbency and is quite flammable.
Silk is one of the oldest and most luxurious fabrics known to man. This protein fibre is obtained from the cocoons of the mulberry moth and was first produced in China as far back as 3,000 BC.
Rayon is a regenerated cellulose fibre which is almost pure cellulose. Other names for rayon are viscose and art silk.
Velvet is a woven, tufted fabric, originally made purely of silk but commonly composed of silk and rayon these days. The short, dense piles of cut threads are evening distributed to give velvet its distinctive feel.
Venise is a type of damask textile but typically with showy, floral patterns.
Wool is a natural protein fibre derived from the hair and fur of different animals including sheep and goats. The fibres are shorter than those of silk and generally form a looser weave.