Fabric knowledge guidance for fashion designers

Fabric as the key to clothing, "looking for fabric" has always been the most headache for both buyers and sellers of fabric. Designers run around between markets, which is time-consuming and ineffective. So understand some knowledge about the fabric become a important and must for designer

Table of Contents

The classification of common clothing fabrics, the advantages and disadvantages of fabrics, summarized as follows.

Fabric classification

Natural fibers: plant – cotton, linen; animal – silk, wool

Synthetic fibers: polyester, acrylic, nylon, vinylon, spandex, chlorine

Man-made fibers: viscose, soy fiber, glass fiber, metal fiber, bright silk (ice silk)

Blended fabrics: cotton-blend (NC fabric), cotton-polyester blend (TC fabric), cotton-blend-polyester blend (TNC fabric)

Weaving process

From the textile process, the fabric can be divided into knitted and woven

Knitted fabric is rich in elasticity, soft feel, comfortable and comfortable, breathable, easy to disperse. There are mainly sweat cloth, velvet, bird’s eye fabric, mesh fabric, etc.

Woven fabrics have stable structure, no elasticity (except for fabrics with elastic fiber), flat surface, solid and durable. Compared with knitted fabrics, woven fabrics are not close to the body and not easily damaged. Mainly chiffon, oxford fabric, denim, twill, facecloth, flower satin, etc.

Fabric dyeing and finishing

Fiber dyeing: fiber stage dyeing, good color fastness, mostly for fancy series goods.

Yarn dyeing: yarn stage dyeing, good color fastness, mostly for striped series goods.

Cloth dyeing: Dyeing after becoming cloth, easy to fade even though adding “color fixing agent”.

Piece dyeing: garment dyeing stage, more difficult to fix color, has added color fixing agent also easy to fade.

introducing the advantages and disadvantages of common fabric

1. Pure cotton

Cotton fabric is the raw material of cotton, through the loom, by the warp and weft yarn vertical and horizontal sinking interwoven textiles.


A. Moisture absorption

Cotton fiber has a good moisture absorption, so it touches human skin, so that people feel soft and not stiff.

B, heat preservation

Because cotton fiber itself has porous, high elasticity, so, cotton fiber textiles have good heat preservation, wearing cotton woven clothing so that people feel warm.


Cotton fabrics by a variety of checks and practice, woven fabrics and skin contact without any stimulation, no side effects, long wear on the human body is beneficial and harmless, good health performance.

D. Soft hand feel, comfortable to wear

E, good warmth (the best choice for underwear)

F, good dyeing, soft luster, with a natural sense of beauty


A, easy to wrinkle, and more difficult to smooth out after wrinkling

B, easy to shrink

The shrinkage rate of cotton clothing is 2% to 5%, after special processing, or washing treatment exceptions

C, easy to deformation, lack of elasticity

Cotton clothing will be easy to deformation, especially summer clothes, because the fabric is thin

D, easy to sticky hair, it is difficult to completely remove

2. Polyester

An important variety of synthetic fibers.


A, high strength, good elasticity

Due to the low moisture absorption, its wet state strength and dry state strength is basically the same. Impact strength is 4 times higher than nylon, and 20 times higher than viscose fiber.

The elasticity is close to that of wool, and when elongated by 5% to 6%, it can almost fully recover.

B. Good heat resistance and light resistance

Polyester is the best synthetic fiber fabric in heat resistance, with thermoplastic, can be made into pleated skirt, and pleats lasting.

C. Smooth surface, good abrasion resistance

Abrasion resistance is second only to the best abrasion resistance nylon, better than other natural fibers and synthetic fibers.

D, corrosion resistance, not afraid of mold


A, poor dyeability

Polyester molecular chain because there is no specific dyeing group, and the polarity is small, so the dyeing is more difficult, easy to dye poor, dye molecules are not easy to enter the fiber.

B、Poor moisture absorption

It is hot and stuffy to wear, and easy to carry static electricity and stain dust, which affects the beauty and comfort.

3. Mercerized cotton

Mercerized cotton, also known as “ice silk cotton”, the best cotton, made of this raw material, high-quality knitted fabrics, not only completely retain the excellent natural characteristics of the original cotton, but also has a silk-like luster, the fabric feels soft.


A. Improved dyeing performance, bright color and luster, not easy to lose color

B, the fabric has the general luster of silk fabric

C, fabric size is more stable, drape feeling is better, yarn strength increased, not easy to break

D, the fabric is stiff, good wrinkle resistance, not easy to pilling

E, retain the excellent characteristics of cotton, moisture absorption, breathable, soft, comfortable


A, the process is complicated, cumbersome, slightly high cost

B, the style is relatively mature, lack of fashion sense

C, summer sweating easy to show “salt”

4. Modal

Modal fiber is made from wood from nature and can degrade naturally after use.


A. Fiber soft, glossy, colorful

Fabric feel particularly smooth, lustrous and bright, drapability are better than the existing cotton, polyester, rayon, silk-like luster and feel, is a natural mercerized fabrics.

B. With the strength and toughness of synthetic fiber

The strength is higher than cotton and polyester-cotton, which reduces the phenomenon of breaking in processing.

C, high moisture absorption capacity

Modal fabric can keep dry and breathable

D, with a high rate of dyeing, fabric color bright and full

E, natural wrinkle resistance and non-iron

Disadvantages: Modal fabric is almost perfect, with very few disadvantages, the only point of disadvantage is that because a few allergies are not very suitable for use.

5. Lycra fabric

Lycra fabric is a fabric made of spandex fiber, also known as “pull frame” in Cantonese, sometimes directly called “spandex fabric”.


A. Can be used with any fabric

Lycra fiber can be used with any fabric, including wool, linen, silk and cotton, to increase the fabric fit, elasticity and loose natural characteristics, feel more flexible when moving.

B. Not easy to mold and mildew

C, comfortable fit, very elastic and not easy to deformation, wrinkle resistance is very good


A, Lycra must be blended with other fibers

6. Hemp

Hemp is mostly used to make summer casual wear and work wear.


A, good moisture absorption, thermal conductivity

B, linen dyeing performance is good, bright color, not easy to fade

C, good resistance to mold and mildew, not easy to moisture mold

D, strong fiber, soft and fine


A, comfort is not good, more rough

B, the fabric is not wrinkle-resistant, easy to fade

7. Double pearl ground cotton

The surface of the cloth is porous, like a honeycomb, more breathable, dry and more resistant to washing than ordinary knitted fabric.


A. Absorb sweat and not easily deformed

B. Not easy to lose color

C. Not easy to deformation

D. Breathable, dry and soft to the touch



8. Silk

Silk is called the “Queen of Fibers” and has been favored by people throughout the ages for its unique charm.


A. Contains 18 kinds of amino acids which are beneficial to human body

Can help the skin to maintain the metabolism of the surface lipid film, so you can keep the skin moist, smooth

B. Soft, smooth, thick, plump, excellent elasticity

C.with good moisture absorption, breathable performance

D. soft luster, with a pearl-like luster


A. high shrinkage rate, purchase must be one size larger

B. easy to draw silk, difficult to care for, need to dry cleaning

9. Tencel

One hundred percent natural materials, green, known as the 21st century’s green fiber.


A. Softness of cotton, high strength of polyester, warmth of wool

B. High moisture absorption

C. Beautiful luster, soft hand, good drapability, good flow


A.No elasticity

B.in the wet state, will be tangled into cotton particles

10. Bright silk

Full name “bright rayon”, similar to real silk.


A. Comfortable, smooth, shiny, soft

B.easy to take care of, not sticky body, not wrinkled, not easy to deformation

C. high toughness, wear-resistant, easy to take care of

D. easy to wash and dry, keep bright, never fade


A. the raw material is nylon silk, but better than nylon silk, the market is mixed, the quality is not the same

Pan Pan

Pan Pan

Hi, I'm Pan Pan, the founder of BoloTex , I've been running a factory in China that makes Print Fabric for 10 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to Fabric from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

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