Everything You Need To Know About The Fabrics


 The question that you might now be thinking is, what makes fabric easy to work with? 

When you start learning how to sew using a machine, it is best to work with simple fabrics. 

Below are the characteristics of easy-to-sew fabrics: 

1. Not Too Thick Or Thin 

With thin fabrics, it is common to stretch them out as they are easily overhandled. As for thick fabrics, they require more precision when stitching since it is more likely to skip stitches.  

It is also problematic to maneuver the thick fabric pattern pieces underneath the needle and presser foot. So, find a nice regular-sized fabric in your preferred color.  

2. Minimal or No Stretching 

When sewing, it is very easy to overstretch fabrics that are stretchable. It will take some time to develop a natural impulse for handling stretchable fabric while you sew – recognizing when to pull and when to leave the feed dogs and foot to their work.  

To make matters worse, if you mess up a seam, the chances of damaging (misshaping, to be specific) the fabric as you undo your stitches is very high.  

3. No Need for Special Presser Feet 

As a beginner, I advise you to steer clear of fabrics with suggestions (walking, non-stick) requiring the use of a special presser foot as it may turn out to be difficult to work with, or it will be too difficult for an all-purpose foot at least. 

Before deciding to purchase such fabric, ask yourself whether it will be worth it to switch between presser feet or buy a different presser foot. 

Fabrics Beginners Should Avoid 

As a beginner, you should steer clear of the following fabrics: 

1. Exceptionally Thick Fabric 

As we had mentioned earlier, thick fabrics are hard to move evenly underneath the needle, resulting in uneven stitches. Thick fabrics also require tension adjustments and heavy-duty needles – things you should not concern yourself with on a beginner level.  

2. Slippery Fabrics 

Cutting fabric that is slippery accurately is a tricky and slow process. Not to mention the extra basting and pining and taking care to keep your fabric from slipping off the sewing table.  

3. Exceptionally Thin Fabric 

Similar to thick fabric, thin fabric also requires making tension adjustments and using particular needles to yield even stitches. Also, when pressing thin fabric, it is easy to warp your pattern pieces.  

Moreover, it can be very irritating how thin fabric gets caught on the throat plate's needle opening.  

4. Embellished Fabric 

This type of fabric is very appealing. However, it demands a tiresome form of special treatment where you have to take out every sequin along the seam allowances before stitching the seams.  

Failure to do that could cause your needle to break or shatter the sequins, and the pieces may get trapped in the machine. 

Types Of Fabrics and Their Examples 

As you might be well aware, there are many fabrics available. Most patterns have a fabric recommendation, so, below I have listed the various classifications of fabrics and their examples to guide you when shopping for fabrics.  

They include: 


Types of fabrics Examples of the fabric
Lightweight fabrics Muslin, georgette, Crepe de chine, Silk chiffon, Organdie, Voile, Cotton lawn, Thai silk, Cotton batiste, Silk habotai, Silk organza
Openwork Fabrics or Mesh Fabrics Tarlatan, Cape net, Lace, Borderie Anglaise, Eyelet fabric, Buckram, net fabrics (illusion mesh knits), Assuit, Bobbinet, Tulle
Medium-weight fabrics Cashmere, Crepe de China, Gingham, Raw silk, Cheesecloth, Gabardine, Flannel, Sateen, Chintz, Damask, Gauze, Poplin
Plied fabrics Brushed denim, Felt, Flannelette, Microfiber, Ultra suede, Suede, Milt soft pile – flannel, Boucle (loops), Terrycloth, Velveteen, Velour, Plush, Astrakhan, Chenille, Velvet, Faux fur, Fur
Heavyweight fabrics Chenille, Upholstery fabric, Towelling fabric, Tweed, Tartan, Fleece, Denim, Canvas
Shiny glossy fabrics Cire, Polished cotton, Sateen, Silk (and all its variations), Satin
Ribbed Fabric Calvary twill, Chino, Bedford cord, Pique, Faille Taffeta, Poplin (Broadcloth), Serge, Drill, Whipcord, Moire, Bengaline, Grosgrain, Corduroy, Gabardine, Denim

The Best Fabrics for Beginners to Practice How to Sew 

If you are a beginner, go ahead and stock up on the following fabric: 

1. Cotton fabric

Cotton is perhaps the most forgiving and simplest to use fabric. It is versatile with different options for weight making it great for multilayered crafts, from simple designs to more detailed projects.  

Cotton is comfortable to wear and easy to maintain in addition to being cheap. Consider beginning with easy patterns such as pillow covers, blankets, bags, pants, skirts, or shirts. Before you begin sewing, make sure to prewash your cotton fabric as it typically shrinks.  

2. Muslin fabric

This is a form of cotton fabric that is extremely simple to work with. It is very versatile (where you can use it for coarse and delicate clothing) and has a plain weave.  

This fabric is commonly used in making blouses, washcloths, upholstery, blankets, quilts, dresses, and other forms of clothing. Muslin is reasonably priced enough that some experienced sewers use it for practice before they move on to cut the more high-priced fabrics for the final design.  

3. Polyester  fabric

This fabric is very popular for beginners. It is a woven synthetic fabric that is crease-resistant and typically lightweight. Polyester is moisture resistant and is excellent for home furnishings and apparel.  

You can use this fabric to make items like upholstered furniture, blankets, bedsheets, jackets, pants, shirts, and hats. Polyester is an economical substitute for natural fabrics and a perfect fabric for practicing sewing.  

Suitability of the Fabric to Particular Garments 

The best fabrics for different garments are indicated below; 

1. Best Fabric To Sew Pants 

Go for fabrics that aren't too rigid or hard, or you will not feel comfortable wearing them. Flannel, denim, and linen are great choices. Select wool (both wood blends and 100%) for colder climates.  

The type of pants (whether jeans, unstructured pants, tailored trousers, or combined) basically determine the fabric to use. You can also make some very comfortable pants using Corduroy.  

2. Best Fabrics to Sew Kid's Clothing And Stuff 

For kids, it is recommended to use all cotton fabrics. You can select cotton lawn, cotton satin, cotton twill, or cotton satin stretch. You may also use knit fabrics such as wool knits. Steer clear of synthetic textiles.  

3. Best Fabrics to Sew Skirts 

Cotton lawn with beautiful prints, Ponte Roma knit, silk jersey, and lightweight cotton are all great for sewing skirts. You may also purchase silk that is printed and rayon in charmeuse, georgette, chiffon, and crepe.  

Fine knits in silk, microfiber, and rayon are also suitable. Other ideal fabrics for sewing skirts include stretch velvet, lycra blends, soft wool, and drapey rayons. 

4. Best Fabrics to Sew Jackets 

Flannel, linen, or wool, particularly wool tweeds and wool crepe, are all great for making jackets. You can also make a nice, free-flowing jacket using lightweight velvet knits.  

5. Best Fabrics to Sew Dresses 

For making dresses, organza, silk chiffon, lace, velvet, taffeta, satin, and raw silk work great. However, the type of dress also determines the fabric to use.  

For instance, medium-weight fabrics, including some elastane (spandex) are good for a fitting body rip-off dress. If you want to make drapey dresses, go for lightweight fabrics such as charmeuse, challis, crepe, and jersey.  

6. Best Fabrics to Sew a Lining Inside Your Garments 

The most commonly used fabrics for sewing a lining are cotton and rayon acetate.  

7. Best Fabric To Sew Shirts/ Blouses 

To make shirts or blouses it is recommended to buy Linen, batiste, lightweight woven broadcloth, eyelet, poplin, seersucker, faille, twill, chintz, cambric, chiffon, and lightweight cotton fabric. To make airy tops, silky satin fabric is perfect for the job.  

Buying the Fabric 

Before you go shopping for the fabric, you should have a sewing pattern in mind of what you intend to make. Once you have the pattern, you will have a better idea of how much fabric to purchase and the types of fabric you are looking for. You could buy any buttons, zips, or threads as well to match your design.  

It may, however, not turn out that way. You may come across some exceptional fabric that you simply can't just pass up. If this happens, obtain 3m of that fabric to have a variety for when you are ready to sew.  

When you go shopping for fabric: 

  • Confirm that the fabric you choose is among the recommended ones for the sewing pattern you select.  
  • Roll out the fabric bolt a bit and check how the fabric flows. Feel it to ensure that it fits with the pattern you want to make.  
  • Check the label for care instructions and fiber content. If the fabric is too demanding to maintain, just find another one.  
  • Picture your intended design created in the fabric you select. How does it look? Does the fabric color suit you?  
  • Check the fabric width. Fabrics come in various widths: mostly 45" (115 cm) and 60" (150 cm). Determine the length of fabric you will require by looking at your sewing pattern. Ensure that you purchase enough fabric for a 10% shrinkage on washing to be on the safe side.  
  • Take your time. Take as much time as you can to make sure that you like how the fabric you have selected looks, you like how it feels under your touch, and you have it in the correct size. 

Where to Buy Your Fabric Online 


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