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Understand the basics of fabric construction.

The fabric is one of the most important parts of the design; If you don’t know the basics of fabrics, their terminology, and construction, you don’t know what to look for and what to ask for. The design of swimwear, raincoats, suits, sweaters, and/or formal wear involves different types of fabrics. To know which fabrics are best for a particular garment, you need to know the fabrics and how they are made.

How is the fabric made?

Colorful fabrics on a market

The fabric is made up of some kind of fiber content and some kind of construction. The construction method will be one of four different types:

Fabric – Fabrics are made by weaving fiber yarns at right angles.

Weaving: Armors are rings that are wound one on top of the other. Knitted fabrics are slightly elastic and fabrics are stiffer and more resistant.

Fleece – Fleeces are fabrics such as felt, vinyl, and interlinings. They can be woven or fused fibers.

Skins: The skins come from all types of animals.

The fibers can be natural or artificial. To be a natural fiber, it has to come from a plant or animal. Synthetic fibers are oil-based or consist of the manipulation of natural fiber. Fibers are filaments or stacks. Filament fiber is a long fiber and can be natural or artificial. Silk is a natural filament fiber and nylon is a synthetic filament fiber. Staple fibers are short fibers. The staple fibers can also be natural or artificial, such as cotton or polyester.

Fabrics and knitwear

Knitted Fabrics When it comes to the construction of knitted fabrics, you will hear the terms warp and weft. The warp and weft are the directions of the threads or yarns. The chain goes up and down and the shot goes from left to right. An easy way to remember which “left” to replace with hatching.

You can easily tell the difference between a fabric and a knitted fabric just by looking. Knitted fabrics have small thread Vs and edges that do not fray. The edges of the fabric are frayed and the woven structure can be recognized by the threads that weave up, down, and lengthways.

Both knits and wovens can be loosely or tightly made. There are single and double knits and tricot and raschel knits that are made into fabrics used for common garments. Single knits are often used in jersey tops; tricot knits are used a lot in athletic wear. A double weave in woven fabrics is thicker and is typically used for outerwear garments, such as coats.

Mixed substances


Fabrics can also be blended with other fibers to make different types of fabrics that contain any number of combinations of natural and synthetic fibers. Fabrics are generally mixed to change the fabric for improvement or a cheaper alternative to the original.

To mix fabrics, take a central fiber and wrap another around it. You can decide how much of this mix you want. For example, a cotton/polyester blend could be 50/50 or 60/40. If you want stretch fabric I would wrap the elastic around the core fiber. You can also mix more than two types of fibers.

Fabrics can also be light, medium, or heavy. When shopping and purchasing fabrics, keep in mind that the heavier the fabric, the more it will cost as more fibers are used.

Before buying fabric

Rolled fabrics

Before you start looking for fabrics, make a plan of what you want. Fabric stores are a great place to look for inspiration for your mood boards and trendy designs, but not when you’re ready to make a purchase. Otherwise, you may buy fabrics that don’t go well, that go with your collection or color story, or too much (which isn’t cheap), or too little (which is a chore).

Have a game plan of what to buy and challenge yourself to use fabric in more than one way. This will help reduce the cost of buying different fabrics for a collection and encourage you to become a more creative designer.