Fabrics and its Types

Types of fabrics used in garment industry

Fabric is derived from the Latin word fabric means a skillful production’ and Textile is derived from the Latin word textiles means ‘woven’.  Fabric in textile means a material made through weaving, knitting, felting, knotting, braiding, or crocheting from different types of yarns. Different types of fabrics are made from a variety of yarn, made from fibers obtained from plants, animals, and manufactured fiber (polyester).

Plant-based fabric: Fibers obtained from plants like bamboo, cotton tree, banana, hemp, etc. helps in making a variety of fabric that is used to make different types of clothes. Sometimes it’s only the fibers that are used and sometimes the whole plant is used to make fabric. A few examples could be cotton, linen, rayon, and jute.

Animal-based fabric: Fabrics made out of animal fur, skin, hair, and silk (silkworm) comes under the animal-based fabric. Leather, wool, silk, are examples of animal-based fabric. Leather is generally obtained from animal skin like camels, crocodiles. Wool is obtained from animal fur from sheep, yak, goats, etc., and animal hair, even warm clothes are made which is obtained from rabbits, camels, or goats. Silk is obtained from the silkworm. A few examples of animal-based fabric are angora wool, cashmere wool, mulberry silk, wild silk, etc.

Manufactured Fabric: This could also be called man-made fabric. These fabrics are chemically manufactured and are synthetic. These fabrics could be purely chemical-based or even a mix of plant and chemical fibers. A few examples could be polyester, nylon, spandex, and many others.

Types of Fabrics

Various types of fabrics get their name depending on the type of fiber used, their texture and pattern, and the production process involved. In the textile industry, we have 200+ types of fabric but to name them all and explain, it needs a detailed study. A few of the popular fabrics used in the fashion industry are mentioned below:

  1. Chiffon: It is a sheer, semi-transparent, light-weighted, simple weaved fabric. It is made with a blend of silk, rayon, polyester, and nylon.  It is very often used fabric in the garment industry. In India chiffon sarees a very famous, but now it is very commonly used in making dresses, blouses, tops, etc.
  2. Cotton:  The most famous and versatile fabric is cotton. It is obtained from the cotton plant. The yarn is made from cotton fiber which grows on the cotton plant. It is very comfortable, and durable, the versatile fabric is also breathable. Any type of clothing could be made out of cotton fabric like shirts, dresses, gowns, undergarments, trousers, and many more.
  3. Crepe:  It is a lightweight, twisted plain woven, bumpy surface fabric. It doesn’t get wrinkles. It is made from silk, wool, and synthetic fibers. It is very often used in dressmaking as it is soft, easy to handle, and comfortable fabric.
  4. Denim: It is one of the most loved and well-known fabrics. It is a sturdy cotton twill woven fabric that is commonly used in making jeans, jackets, bags, etc. Denim is quite famous because of its comfort, texture, durability, and sturdiness.
  5. Leather: It is one of the unique fabrics as it is made from animal skin. It is obtained mostly from camels, pigs, goats, cows, crocodiles, and lambs. The skin undergoes various treatments depending upon the type of animal skin used. Leather is mostly used in making jackets, shoes, bags, wallets, and belts.
  6. Satin: It was originally made out of silk fibers but now it is made from polyester, silk, and wool. It is a glossy, lustrous, elegant, and slippery fabric. It is suited for evening gowns, lingerie, skirts, blouses, etc. because of its smooth and lightweight texture.
  7. Silk: It is a natural fabric but an animal product as it is made from a silkworm cocoon. It is lightweight, smooth, soft, and shimmery look makes it the best choice in the fashion world. The dresses made out of silk fabric look elegant and graceful. It is an expensive fabric because of its high maintenance cost.
  8. Synthetic: It is a manmade fabric, made from petrochemicals. Spandex, nylon, and polyester are a few of their kind. It is durable, quick-dry, easy to handle, and long-lasting fabric. It is mostly used in making sportswear.
  9. Wool: It is obtained from animal fur. Different animals produce different kinds of fur which makes various kinds of wool. It is used to make warm clothes as animal fur is warm. It is a durable and wrinkle-free fabric that needs proper maintenance to keep it long-lasting. It is an expensive product as it needs special care and dry-cleaning to keep it safe.

These are a few types of fabrics used by the fashion industry. To gain more knowledge you can join various courses offered by TIFT, Hyderabad in fashion designing and garment construction.

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