Sewing is a journey filled with valleys and mountains— many of those encounters are caused by learning curves. It takes time, patience, practice, and a lot of knowledge to get results that make you proud. Learning about each of the main fabric properties sets sewing projects up for success.
Information regarding fabric characteristics is important for designers and sellers to understand to select the appropriate fabrics for the intended application. The main fabric properties are breathability, weight, drape, durability, softness, construction, and technical properties.
Fabric Weight (affects drape and feel)
The fabric weight can determine the density and yarn type of fabric. Weight is calculated by the yarn diameter and the number of yarns per inch of knit or weave. The weight of the fabric also affects the drape, which is the way a fabric hangs under its weight. These factors work hand-in-hand. The drape is also determined by stiffness, thickness, as well as yarn and thread count. The way fabric feels is another property of the fabric, which is determined by smoothness, compressibility, and elasticity.
The weight and color of fabric largely dictate the level of opacity. Generally, the thicker the fabric, the more opaque it is, and the lighter the color the less opaque it is. Placing fabric up to a light source often helps to determine its opacity.
This is measured by a fabric’s ability to retain its shape after being worn and washed. Colorfastness, resistance to pilling, and abrasion are all tested when determining the durability of the fabric.
Compositions (thread count, fiber length, and weave types (woven or knit))
The thread count lets the consumer know how soft the fabric will be. The higher the thread count, the softer it will be. Higher thread counts also typically mean the fabric is more expensive. Fiber length is also important because it indicates the strength, uniformity, and overall quality of the makeup of the fabric.
At Mood, we pay special attention to each fabric and work to curate descriptions that accurately convey each one. Additionally, many products include videos that better portray the overall drape, stretch, and look of our fabrics. We know that the details are important in every project from start to finish, and we want to help.
What do you find most helpful when buying fabrics online?