Did you know that cotton is the most popular fiber in the world, accounting for 39% of the textile market share? It’s also the most important since it boasts durability, absorption, and other properties.
That said, cotton isn’t the only material for clothing. Many other types of fabric with different qualities, textures, and patterns exist. They vary in touch, flexibility, cost, and much more.
Choosing the right material for your clothing, bedding, or sewing projects depends on what you want to achieve. However, it’s best to know more about their differences so you can make an educated choice.
Read on to learn more about the different types of fabric below.
Natural vs Synthetic Types of Fabric
There are hundreds of different types of fabric around. Regardless, they all boil down to two classifications: natural or synthetic.
Natural fibers come from animals and plants, while synthetic fibers come from artificial materials.
Cotton, wool, silk, fur, jute, and even hemp are popular examples of natural fibers. They’re usually more absorbent, durable, and luxurious than anything man-made.
On the other hand, the synthetic material for synthetic fibers comes from chemical processes first produced in 1938. The most common examples include polyester, spandex, and rayon.
Why did these products become so popular? For starters, they’re cheaper and more compatible with mass production. Some have waterproof and water-resistant properties, as well.
These classifications have lots of sub-categories too. For example, different types of cotton fabric or polyester are available in the market. These details are usually included on the label produced by the label manufacturer.
Woven vs Knitted Types of Fabric
We can also classify all types of fabric into two — woven and knitted — based on the production process used. The main difference is in the yarn or thread.
Woven fabric has two pieces of yarn woven over and under each other, forming a crisscross pattern. The pattern results in a tauter and sturdier fabric, but it’s less stretchable.
The process also gives the woven fabric a weft and a warp. The former refers to the yarn going across the fabric’s width. The latter refers to the yarn going down the loom’s length.
Knitted fabric has a piece of thread forming an interlocking loop design. It’s similar to hand-knit yarn. As such, it’s more stretchable and elastic while retaining its shape.
Because it has only one yarn, there are two types of knit fabric: weft-knitted and warp-knitted. The type dictates the direction it can stretch.
How to Choose the Right Type of Fabric
You should familiarize yourself with these basic types of fabric. The material and process both determine the cloth’s properties. It matters when choosing the right material for your sewing project or deciding how to wash your clothes.
After reviewing these categories, choose other factors like the color or the types of fabric patterns. Then you’ll have the perfect fabric for your upcoming project!
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