What Are the Different Types of Clothing Materials

How to choose the best fabric for clothes

Whether you head to a fabric store to do it yourself or buy clothes, choosing the right fabric is never easy. This is especially tricky when shopping for children and teenagers, who are very particular about how the fabric feels to their skin. Here’s a handy guide that will hopefully make things easier for you.

What material is clothing made out of?

While in the past, silk was the traditional woven material, today, cheaper materials are often used alone or in combination, such as cotton, flax, wool or synthetic fibers. The fashion industry, especially fast-fashion retailers, mostly uses polyester instead of silk or other plant materials.

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Choosing Fabric Options for Each Clothing Type


Cotton comes from the cotton plant. It’s easy to clean and comfortable. Unfortunately, it elongates and loses its shape. It also wears out easily over time.


Essentially, nylon is a type of plastic derived from crude oil. This plastic is then put through an intensive chemical process, resulting in the strong, stretchy fibres that make it so useful as a fabric. 


Polyester is usually very comfortable. It washes well and doesn’t need special care. We tend to use a variety of polyester blended knitted fabrics because they paint very well, last long and the dye doesn’t fade. Because polyester blends are man-made, they don’t breathe as well as cotton. For a spinning dress, however, that doesn’t matter. It has plenty of room for air to come in and out, and is soft and durable, making it an ideal fabric.


Silk has existed since ancient China. It’s very smooth and shiny and comes from the cocoons of silkworms. It’s very light, flowing and, of course, silky!

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Satin can be light or heavy. It tends to have a glossy appearance, is smooth, silky, and flowing.


Wool is a textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair from goats, down from musk oxen, fur from bison, Angora hair from rabbits, and other types of wool from camels. Wool is made up of protein and a small amount of lipid.

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Denim is woven from a cotton fabric to produce a twill. It’s very hard and firm, fades and wears well, which is why it’s so widely used in jeans.


Leather has been used as a material for clothing since the early days of man. Leather is made from the top layer of animal skins and can be dyed, cut and sewn like cloth. The advantages of leather for some clothing materials are its breathability, durability, heat and cold resistance. The top layer of leather is used to produce leather, and the bottom layer is used to produce lower-quality materials such as suede. Suede is similar to leather in many ways, but it is a less durable and softer material.

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