The choice for fabric to use on any clothing or garment is a very crucial step for a clothing production factory. Choosing, or at times, settling with the wrong type of fabric can be the main reason for the clothing product’s disappointing performance in the market.
What makes the fabric selection process tougher is the fact there are several options for fabric types and a few of them could seem the “perfect” fabric for the garment. However, by having determinants, the process of choosing the perfect material for your clothing product can be made easier.
Want to learn more about the whole clothing production process? Check out our guide: The Ultimate Guide For New Clothing Manufacturers
Choosing Fabric for Clothing Production
There are only two reasons why garment professionals start a clothing project: it’s either they like a fabric and has to find a fitting pattern for it or they like a pattern in which they need to find a fabric to work around it. Both of these components compose your perfect material. They should compliment each other and work altogether.
An excellent fabric would be useless if it is used on a wrong pattern and vice versa. That’s how their magic works for clothing materials and garments. Let us give a closer look on sewing patterns and fabric; most especially the latter which is a bit more complex because of variety.
Most of the time, there are specific sewing patterns paired with certain fabrics depending on weight, elasticity and drape. These factors compliment the pattern which is why the pairing is already listed as traditional.
However, there are no written rules saying a pattern cannot be paired with a certain fabric. At the end of the day, it is still up to private label clothing manufacturers to decide on which sewing pattern to use. The results are only different in terms of people’s tastes.
Choosing fabric type is more evident to the outcome of the garment or clothing product compared to choice of sewing pattern. However, this doesn’t mean choice for sewing patterns does not impact the product. As mentioned above, fabric and pattern work altogether. The main catch is choosing for fabric type is a tough decision due to the different types available out there. The fabric you choose would definitely make or break your garment product. Here is a list of the most popular fabric types out there commonly used by clothing production factories.
A lightweight, semi-sheer fabric notable for having great drape.
Similar to the cotton voile but with a more crisp feel.
Smooth and lightweight with excellent drape. However, this fabric is slightly heavier compared to other lightweight fabrics such as cotton voile and cotton lawn.
Smooth and lightweight but is not known for having good drape.
Heavy fabric with close to no drape and elasticity.
Rarely used fabric which is literally two layers of gauze woven together. The double layer solves the issue of sheerness when sewing clothing from gauze while retaining its positive qualities (lightweight and breathable).
There are different kinds of knit ranging from heavy to middleweight fabrics. This type of fabric is your automatic choice if the garment needs to have a great deal of stretch.
Lightweight and fragile with excellent drape. This fabric is slightly shimmery and slippery making it difficult to work with. Commonly used as a lining fabric.
Weight varies depending on the type of satin. Much like silk, shimmery, slippery and fragile.
Middleweight fabric that is a bit elastic. Linen conducts heat very well, which is why it’s a popular choice for warm-weather anything.
Has a wide variety of types depending on the kind of sheep the wool is taken from. Extremely durable and warm.
Soft and lightweight fabric that works well for perfect for loose garments.
Popular fabric options for each garment type
Jeans and pants
Linen (for warm weather), denim (most common choice), flannel and wool are some of the best options.
Shirts and blouses
Any type of cotton fabric, rayon challis, double gauze, knit, silk, chambray, linen, and flannel (for shirts and blouses with less drape).
Cotton lawn, rayon challis, denim, knit, and linen.
Cotton voile, cotton lawn, rayon challis, double gauze, knit, silk, satin, linen, and wool (particularly winter clothes).
Seeking advice from professionals in factories that make clothes is advisable for choosing the fabric you will use for your garment or product. The list of fabric options above is only a basic overview and there are more sub-categories for each type of fabric. If you are a small quantity clothing manufacturer, you would not have the luxury of time to get to know them all. Simply seek for professional advice and at the same time learn from the industry as you move forward