How to Choose the Right Fabric for Clothing?

How to Choose the Right Fabric for Clothing?


Picking the perfect dress or material for your next sewing project becomes easier when you understand the key properties of the fabric. These factors include the fabric's durability, weight, and thread count.

Right Fabric for Clothing
Picking the perfect dress or material for your next sewing project becomes easier when you understand the key properties of the fabric. These factors include the fabric's durability, weight, and thread count.


The durability of a fabric is the degree to which it retains its shape, structure, and appearance after use and washing. In general, synthetic fabrics tend to have higher durability than natural fabrics. Other factors that can determine the durability of fabric include the tensile strength of the fibers in the fabric and the abrasion resistance of the material.

Most apparel fabrics are not super durable. This is because you often want a lightweight, drapeable fabric that doesn't have much abrasion resistance or tensile strength!

That said, certain materials, like polyester, are often machine washable and will regain their shape after going through the washer and dryer. Cotton dresses may require cold washing and air drying, while silk or wool dresses require dry cleaning.


Colorfastness describes the ability of a fabric to retain its color during the washing process without losing dyes. Most modern textiles have very good color fastness, but some natural fabrics may require special washing. Always read the care label inside store-bought garments before the first wash!

Colorfastness can also describe the ability of a fabric to resist fading. In general, synthetic materials like polyester have excellent color fastness because they undergo a special synthetic dyeing process that chemically bonds dye particles deep within the polyester fibers. Cotton and other absorbent materials often use water-soluble dyes that may not remain colorfast.


Certain types of fabrics shrink more easily than others when exposed to heat, friction, and moisture. Again, natural materials like cotton and wool can shrink quite a bit, especially in a washing machine! Synthetic materials generally do not shrink easily.

That said, most cotton garments go through a pre-shrunk process during the manufacturing process. This means you can safely wash your jeans and t-shirts without worrying about them shrinking in the dryer!

Wool, silk, and delicate materials should not go into the dryer. These fabrics usually require dry cleaning to avoid shrinkage.

Color and style

Of course, the color and style of the material will also play a big role in helping you choose the right fabric! You will want to choose a material that looks and feels right for the occasion. For formal events, you may want heavier, silkier, or brighter fabrics.

For everyday occasions, you may want to focus on fabrics that are lighter, more comfortable, breathable, and easy to clean.

Certain types of dresses have traditional materials associated with them. For example, long skirts always use knitted fabrics. Wedding dresses almost always use white satin.

Fabric weight

The weight of a fabric describes its weight and thickness. The tricky thing about fabric weights is that different types of materials use different weight systems. For example, the weight of denim is almost always measured in ounces per square yard.

On top of that, with the exception of the US, most of the world uses the metric system, so you may also see fabrics measured in GSM or grams per square meter.

But no matter which weight system your material uses, a higher weight will tell you that the fabric uses larger yarns and will have a thicker or denser weave. It will feel heavier than a lightweight cloth!

Choosing the right fabric weight will ensure your dress has a structured or fluid drape. Lighter-weight fabrics generally drape more, while medium-weight or heavy fabrics will give the dress more dimension and structure.


The thread count tells you how many threads a square inch of fabric contains. This can provide very useful information as it also indicates the fineness of the yarns in the material.

For example, two hundred threads mean that two hundred threads take up one square inch of space when braided together. But 400 threads means twice as many threads can fit in the same space, which means weavers use thinner threads that are softer to the touch.


Finally, before picking a fabric for your clothes, you also need to consider its cleanability. The easiest way to know how to take care of your garment is to look at the care label inside. This will tell you if the garment can be washed or if it needs dry cleaning or any other special treatment.

If you plan to use fabric in your yard, you can usually find this information on the cardboard ends inside the bolts or in the descriptions of products sold online.

What are the most common clothing fabrics?

Cotton and polyester are the two most commonly used tailoring fabrics. Cotton materials such as jersey, cotton lawn, and poplin make up many of the casual dresses on sale. One of the reasons cotton is still so popular is that it is lightweight and breathable, making it ideal for casual attire.

You can find almost any material made of polyester, including formal fabrics like satin and velvet or informal fabrics like jersey. Polyester is much less expensive to produce than many other types of fabrics. This makes it very popular in ready-to-wear. If you want to customize or buy women's clothing, please contact us.

Follow Simple is a professional custom women's clothing manufacturer. We specialize in women's clothing for 13 years, such as dresses, tops, skirts, pants, hoodies, etc. New cloth heads are provided every month, and you can choose photos or actual cuts. Since we are only an hour away from the factory industrial center, your sourcing of premium cut fabrics will get feedback very quickly. Our main fabrics are silk, linen, viscose, cotton, and polyester. Our main customers are from Europe/Australia/Japan. Our production line has the capability to provide the following services: Custom Garment Manufacturing, Private Label Manufacturing, and OEM Garment Manufacturing.