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28 Types of Fabrics and Their Uses

Deciding which type of fabric to make an item with is an important decision, as fabrics can have countless qualities. From natural to synthetic fibers and from knit to woven, here’s a look at different fabric types and how to identify them.

Canvas. Canvas is a plain-weave fabric typically made out of heavy cotton yarn and, to a lesser extent, linen yarn. Canvas fabric is known for being durable, sturdy, and heavy duty. By blending cotton with synthetic fibers, canvas can become water resistant or even waterproof, making it a great outdoor fabric.

Cashmere. Cashmere is a type of wool fabric that is made from cashmere goats and pashmina goats. Cashmere is a natural fiber known for its extremely soft feel and great insulation. The fibers are very fine and delicate, feeling almost like a silk oxford fabric to the touch. Cashmere is significantly warmer and lighter than sheep’s wool. Often cashmere is made into a wool blend and mixed with other types of wool, like merino, to give it added weight, since cashmere fibers are very fine and thin.

Chenille. Chenille is the name for both the type of yarn and the recycled fabric that makes the soft material. The threads are purposefully piled when creating the yarn, which resembles the fuzzy exterior of the caterpillar. Chenille is also a woven fabric that can be made from a variety of different fibers, including cotton, silk, wool, and rayon.

Chiffon. Chiffon a lightweight, plain-woven fabric with a slight shine. Chiffon has small puckers that make the fabric a little rough to the touch. These puckers are created through the use of s-twist and z-twist crepe yarns, which are twisted counter-clockwise and clockwise respectively. Crepe yarns are also twisted much tighter than standard yarns. The yarns are then woven in a plain weave, which means a single weft thread alternates over and under a single warp thread. The sheer fabric can be woven from a variety of textile types, both synthetic and natural, like silk, nylon, rayon, or polyester.

Cotton. Cotton is a staple fiber, which means it is composed of different, varying lengths of fibers. Cotton is made from the natural fibers of cotton plants. Cotton is primarily composed of cellulose, an insoluble organic compound crucial to plant structure, and is a soft and fluffy material. The term cotton refers to the part of the cotton plant that grows in the boil, the encasing for the fluffy cotton fibers. Cotton is spun into yarn that is then woven to create a soft, durable fabric used for everyday garments, like t-shirts, and home items, such as bed sheets. Cotton prints and cotton solids are both available designs.

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