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Fabrics: What You Should Know

What is the best part of sewing for you? Many of you will say that choosing fabric is the best part of the sewing process. Fabric is like paint on a canvas. Your design idea is the canvas, and the fabric is the paint that gives it color and dimension. When sewing, it is so important to understand what fabric will be better suited for your project. However, with the large number of fabric types to choose from, knowing what fabric will work best for your project can be quite confusing. That is why taking time to understand fabric types and their characteristics are such a necessary part of garment creation. Because the more you know about fabrics, the more inclined you will be to pick the right fabric for your garment.

Most fabrics fall into two categories, woven (chambray, rayons, eyelet, etc) and knits (jersey, french terry, fleece, etc). The difference between knits and woven is the way it is constructed. Wovens are created on a weaving loom, where the threads are tightly woven. Knits on the other hand are created by interloping or interlacing yarn or thread. The creation of both woven and knit fabric also explains why woven fabrics have little to no stretch and knits do. Woven fabrics are created on looms, which work on tighter tension, while knits are created with less tension.


Though most fabrics fall into the woven and knit category, Did you know that there is another category of fabrics? There is, this category is called nonwovens. It is a man-made fabric-like material made from staple fibers (a natural fiber that can be twisted to form yarns) bonded together by chemical or mechanical heat. An example of nonwoven fabrics would be felt, leather, faux leather, and latex. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to tell the difference between nonwovens and other fabric types because nonwovens can behave like woven and knits. Now that we have familiarized you with the different categories of fabrics, next week we will begin breaking down the variety of fabrics that fall under each category, starting with the woven. 

Thank you so much reading this blog, I hope that it was informational and helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Until next week, happy sewing. 

By: Faith St Juliette

Fabrics included in the post can be found HERE

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