Fabric Types – Material for Sewing

Fabric Types – Material for Sewing



hey y'all molest some of melis I was here with you today and today we're going to be talking about types of fabric if you are new to sewing it can be a little overwhelming to go into the fabric store and be faced with all kinds of fabric and not knowing what to buy to be able to make the things you want to make so we're going to start going over all of that today so when shopping for fabrics the first thing that you need to know about fabric is that it's gonna have two properties by which people are going to refer to it the first property is going to be the fiber that it's made for from and the second property is going to be how that fiber is constructed into fabric so let me give you an example sometimes people ask me well can I sew this in cotton and I can't really answer that because cotton is just a fiber it depends on how that cotton is then turned into fabric whether it will work for a specific pattern or not because cotton can be woven and it can be knitted and it can be woven in different manners as well and not all of those are appropriate for every type of project so we have the fiber and we have the construction those are two different things and they're both important when determining what kind of fabric to buy the first main difference when you walk into the fabric store is going to be determining whether the fabric you want to purchase for what you want to make is woven or knit those are the two main construction techniques woven fabric is a series of threads and another series of threads crossed over them knitted fabric is one continuous thread that is looped upon itself to create fabric so let me show you an example here this is woven fabric these are threads and if I pull on the end here I can actually start to pull some of the threads out that are woven one direction and the other to create this fabric this is knit fabric knit fabric is formed from a single continuous thread that is looped and looped and looped and then new loops pulled through the old loops – back and forth back and forth to create fabric knit fabric stretches woven fabric generally does not stretch and that's why the difference is important now I'm not going to talk in this video anymore about knit fabric because there are lots of different types of knit fabrics and I've already made a video covers the most common ones so I will link that below and it'll be at the end of this video and you can go check that out if you're looking for a knit stretchy fabric but if you're looking at woven so let's stick around and continue when you walk into a big box fabric store a lot of times the fabric that's going to be the most plentiful and most common is going to be quilting cotton and that's what this is right here quilting cotton is kind of a light to medium weight fabric it is made of cotton and it is woven it is perfect for things like quilts it is not great for things like garments all of the time and you can sometimes use quilting cotton for garments for example if you are sewing something that is pretty structured like this shirt this shirt is made out of quilting cotton and it wears well and it looks fine on me but it's a pretty this is a princess seemed pretty structured shirt this is not I would not use quilting cotton if I wanted say like something like what I'm wearing the drapes and kind of forms to my body you want something with structure if you want to sell with quilting cotton the next type of fabric that you might see if you go over to the apparel section of the fabric store a lot of times in those big-box stores they have lots and lots of what they call like silky solids and basically what these are they may be shiny or they may not but um they're pretty drapey solid type fabrics they're almost always made out of polyester sometimes they are a blend but these are good for things like dresses and blouses things like that they can work usually they're too lightweight for things like pants that you might want a little more structure and coverage in I actually don't have any clothes in my closet sewn out of silky solids right now so I can't show you any examples of what that looks like clothing wise another fabric you might find over in the woven section is canvas and this one is a Japanese can here so it's actually a lot a little bit thinner and nicer wait then you might find like duct canvas which is used for things like when I was in theater we used it to build sets and temporary walls we use the canvas stretched on a frame for that so as you can imagine canvas is generally not something you want to wear however it can be really great for bags for home decor for things like that so here's an example of canvas fabric another example and I didn't have any on the bolt for this so I'll have to just show you the garment and you might hear something about chiffon fabric so this skirt is made out of a few layers of chiffon chiffon is a woven sheer fabric for example you might think like curtains are sometimes made out of chiffon clothing can be made out of chiffon as well know that it can be shifty and prone to frame and a little bit difficult for a beginner to work with but it definitely does drape nicely and for some purposes chiffon is a great fabric to use for clothing this is an example of linen linen M is a different type of fiber than cotton but it is also plant based and linen fabric tends to be very soft very breathable it's generally used for warmer temperatures and it is generally just done in a plain weave warp and weft you can see this particular linen here is woven out of light and dark fabrics which is why you get this color variation light and dark threads have been combined to create this color and here is an example of a linen garment linen drapes really nicely as you wash it it generally gets softer it's definitely prone to shrinkage when you straight-up buy it from the store so I always always pre wash linen and maybe more than once I mean it's also pretty prone to wrinkling so if you're gonna want something that just doesn't wrinkle or Rumple at all linen is not the best fabric for that you can sit and iron it and you can get those wrinkles out but as soon as you start wearing the garment wrinkles are going to reappear on the subject of pre-washing fabric let's just talk real quick I always pre wash anything that I am going to make clothing out of so that I know that any shrinkage has happened any sizing has come out and that it's going to handle the washer and dryer the way that I plan to care for the finished garment if it's not gonna handle all the washer and dryer I would rather find out before I spent all this time cutting and sewing a garment also you don't want to cut in sew a garment and then have it shrink on you and not fit anymore the next type of fabric here this is twill and twill can be made out of cotton a lot of times it's cotton spandex but what sets it apart is it has a weave and think like dress pants a lot of times are made out of 12 so on the wrong side it'll look like a plain weave but on the right side you'll if you look really closely see threads going diagonally through it and that is a twill weave so this is good for things like pants shorts it can be great again for home decor and bags this is twill another fabric type you might see quite often especially in the cooler months is flannel flannel is a plainly woven cotton that is then brushed on one or both sides to kind of raise some of the fibers make it fuzzy and soft and warm so this is an example here of a flannel garment I made myself and this it is double-sided flannel so it has been brushed on both sides so both the outside and the inside are warm this is good for things like shirts pajamas things like that that you really want something warm and cozy this type of fabric is called shirting and you might find that cotton shirting or cotton poplin is actually a really similar fabric to this it is cotton with a little more body and little bit of a tighter weave than a quilting cotton and this is exactly what it sounds like it's the type of fabric that you would find being used for dress shirts or men's shirts not sure ting this fabric here this is cotton lawn and cotton lawn and cotton Boyle are very similar fabrics they're going to be thin Cotton's that are woven a little bit more loosely than a quilting cotton for example and therefore they're pretty lightweight and that gives them more drape as well which makes them good for some types of garment sewing for example this skirt is cotton boil and boil has a little more drape than Lon Lon is going to be a little more crisp I actually really like to sew with foil but as you can maybe see it's a little bit sheer so a lot of times you have to line it or wear or you might want to wear like a slip or something under it because of is sheer this is one of my favorite kind of multi-purpose fabrics the next type of fabric is rayon shally and rayon is the fiber you've may also hear this referred to as viscose basically what happens is that fibres from plants get synthetically made into threads and then woven into this type of fabric so it is a natural based fiber fabric even if it is man-made therefore it breathes a lot more like cotton or linen or there's other natural plant-based fibers instead of more something like polyester which can be hotter so Raymond Shelley it has a lovely drape it is very soft it's one of my favorite fabrics for garments makes great dresses and tops the only caution that I would say is that sometimes because it has this little looser drapey or weave the fabric can shift off grain when you're cutting and sewing so I recommend definitely stay stitching any curves and also my other trick for dealing with this type of fabric is to iron it well with starch before I even cut out my pattern pieces from the fabric that helps me make sure that it's on grain and the starch gives the round a little more body makes it easier to handle when you're stitching it and then it washes right out after you throw your garment in the wash the next type of fabric is double gauze now this is not something you would typically see in a big-box store but it is widely available online and in independent quilt shops and fabric stores tend to have it more commonly so double gauze if you looked at it really closely on a side view you'd actually see that it's two thin gauze fabrics put together and then they're woven every so often one thread goes through both fabrics and that makes them act as one it is usually made of cotton it is extremely soft and it gets softer every time you wash it it's good for things like scarves like woven t-shirts this is a double gauze t-shirt that I made myself years ago and it just gets softer and nicer to wear with every wash so that's double dahs another common type of fabric you might find at the fabric store and this may be in the section called like silky solids or soapy prints and this is polyester crepe so it behaves a lot like a rayon but it is made of polyester so it does not breathe as well also sometimes it is sheer or semi sheer and the surface is a little bit pebbled a lot of times so it has just a very small texture to the surface this can be great though for dresses skirts and drapey blouses so for example I have a circle skirt made out of polyester crepe and you can see that it is a little bit sheer but it's not as sheer as chiffon for sample and it has just a little bit of texture and then of course beautiful drape in the fabric and then finally generally in big-box stores you will find a lot of denim denim is the same thing that your jeans are made out of and it is generally cotton although you can find it in other fibers I have found Rea on denim before and the thing to make some dent it denim is the denim weave so the denim weave and the toilet are very similar in that you're going to have those day Ivano lines of fibers on the right side however when it's denim it is woven with one thread is going to be blue or black sometimes or sometimes you can find colored denim and the other thread is white so it gets kind of that appearance that we're all familiar with from our jeans twill fabric on the other hand is going to have be woven the same way but it is generally always one solid color thread for both threads so that the fabric is one solid color and it doesn't have any of that color variation denim is also when we think traditional like jeans denim it's dyed with indigo which fades with every wash because of the way that indigo bonds to fabric it's not the same type of dye as many of the dyes that are used on fabrics it's a natural plant-based dye that through chemicals bonds to the cotton fibers and also because of washing and being a natural fiber it fades so that is denim and those are several of the major types of fabric you might find at a fabric store particularly if you're looking at woven fabrics or garment fabrics now if you'd like to find out more about knit fabrics remember I have that video linked below and also at the end of this one so you can go check out some of the different types of knit fabrics you

22 Replies to “Fabric Types – Material for Sewing”

  1. I go to a shop and i dont know what kind of fabric is what….thanku for this…fabrics which makes u warm or feel lighter wrinkly non wrinkly shrinks or not…i was clueless till now …thanku so much

  2. Very helpful vids.πŸ™ I did find some amazing fabrics at https://proudfabrics.co.uk/.
    They are U.K based and they shipped to U.S for me and was reasonably priced. πŸ™.

  3. This was really helpful, Melissa! I loved how you shared an example with a garment when you could. Thank you so much, Sarah

  4. What type of fabric would you recommend for non structured outerwear?

    Edit: I'm fairly new to sewing, and self taught. I've learned all I know from YouTube, so I REALLY appreciate videos/information like this! Thank you!!

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