Fabric Types  

Fabric Types


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Fabric Fibers: Cotton | Linen | Silk | Synthetic | Wool

fabric Imagine having a world of fabrics and notions at your fingertips!  Online fabric stores offer a wide selection of fabrics, often at discount prices, and they are a dream come true for anyone who needs fabrics for sewing or decorating.  Gone are the days of trekking from one fabric store to another to find just the right fabric.  Fabrics, notions, ribbons, yarn, and even the latest sewing machines, can be delivered to your door!

Before the introduction of mechanized production, fabrics were handwoven on looms.  They were usually made from linen, wool, silk, or cotton, or a combination thereof.  It was a labor-intensive task to warp the loom and fill in the weft with a shuttle.  As a result, each family member had relatively few articles of clothing.  In some locales, handwoven cloth is still a cottage industry.  However, with the automatic weaving and knitting equipment available today, fabric is widely available in both natural fibers and synthetics.  Newer fabrics, such as synthetics, often have built-in wrinkle resistance and stain resistance.  These synthetic fabrics are generally easier to care for and may never need the touch of an iron; they accommodate our busy lives beautifully.

Watch:  Bolts of Colorful Fabrics in a Fabric Shop

The two primary types of fabric are woven fabrics and knit fabrics.  Either of these can be made with loosely or tightly spaced fibers.  Yarns may be dyed before the fabric is constructed, or designs may be hand-stamped or printed by machine onto the finished fabric.  Bear in mind that each fabric has its own handling characteristics and unique sewing requirements.  For example, some fabrics stretch and give more than others.  Other fabrics are slippery and require special care.  Still others require interfacing, underlining, or lining to stabilize the fabric and make it hang properly.  Fabrics with a nap require special layout before cutting.  So, before buying your fabric, research what type and size needles you will need for your sewing machine, what stitch length is appropriate, and maybe what type of presser foot is needed to successfully construct your project.  Choosing fabric to fit its intended use, and then knowing how to work with it, will give the best results.

woven fabric sample knit fabric sample

A more extensive range of fabrics is available online than the limited selection of fabrics stocked at most local fabric stores.  You can find all types of apparel, decorator and upholstery fabric in a wide variety of fibers, weaves, colors and prints.  Some online fabric stores also offer leather hides, trims, tassels, and pillow inserts.  Much of this fabric is available at discount prices.  Mill overruns are usually discounted, seasonal discounts often apply to apparel fabric, and decorator fabrics are frequently available at substantial discounts.

Fabric can be ordered in swatches, by the yard, or in larger wholesale quantities.  When ordering fabric online, it is important to order fabric swatches first to ensure that the fabric is suited to your needs.

On Fabric-Types.com, you will find several consumer information resources relating to fabrics and textiles.  You will also find a selection of fabric shops offering discounted fabrics and sewing notions as well as sewing machines and accessories.

Fabric Resources

  • TextileWeb.com
    Digital marketplace for the garment and apparel industry.
  • FabricLink
    Educational resource for fabrics, apparel, and home furnishings.
  • Apparel Fabrics Guide - Interior Fabrics Guide
    Guides to apparel and interior design cloth, incorporating samples, quality, fabric types, and textile info.
  • Textile Industries
    Directory of textile resources, news, and magazines.

Fabrics and Notions Shops

  • Fabric.com
    Save on a wide range of fabric, patterns, and sewing supplies.
  • Joann.com
    This fabric shop offers a broad selection of popular fabrics and craft items.
  • AnniesCatalog.com
    Features a good selection of sewing and quilting products.
  • Denver Fabrics
    Fabrics and notions for fashion, bridal, crafts, and home decor.

Fabric Shop Directory

  • Fabric Retailers
    This fabric retailer directory lists fabric shops throughout the USA.

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