Selecting the right fabrics

is the most important step in a garment. Wrong fabric means an unsuccessful project. There have been many cases where the patterns go to waste, or the fabric went to waste, and time and effort also went to waste. It is crucial to have a basic knowledge on fabrics, their properties and which fabrics to avoid (especially for beginners).

So how then to choose the right fabrics? Before the production, you'll be in either of two junctions; either you would have fallen in love with a specific fabric and need to find the suitable pattern to unleash your creative thoughts or you would have fallen in love with a pattern and need to find the specific fabric to make it in.

Have a pattern? With a pattern in hand, you would know what type of fabrics you are looking for. In fashion, there is definitely no right or wrong, you are only constrained by your imagination. There is definitely no right or wrong in which fabric to use for what purpose. Every fabric has different properties (weight, stretch, drape, structure) to complement the design of the pattern, but that being said we have to be wary of the fabric properties if we or the CMT is able to work with them.

Fabrics that are more challenging to work with (Only for beginner sewers) Alot a times we see a fabric in just the right color, we imagine it in the exact pattern or dress and we have instantly just fallen in love with it. Definitely it's going to be hard not to buy it and leave it for later to figure out what to do. Truth is that some fabrics are very challenging to handle that only the more experienced sewers are able to turn them into something worthwhile. Mainly three fabrics; knit, satin, denim fabrics beginning sewers should stay away from. I always recommend the best fabric for a beginner is a 100% cotton, extremely versatile and easy to maintain. That being said, if you intend to get it stitched from a tailor/CMT, the list below would be useful;

Below are some more commonly used fabrics for garments in Singapore.

- Cotton: comes in many different weights from lightweight voile to heavier weight canvas. The most popular fabric in the industry, often used to shirts, skirts, bags, jeans, trouses and blouses. Comes from smooth and soft to stiffer like twills for jeans and bags.

- Denim: Denim is a heavy-weight fabric that comes from cotton woven in a diagonal ribbing. It has very little drape, some have stretch and is structurally more sturdy.

- Knit: many different categories with different blends and structure varying from lightweight to medium weight. Knit fabric is very popular for any garment with additional stretch needed. Suitable for all patterns and has a nice drape.

- Satin: Satin can vary from lightweight to heavyweight. Usually a glossy appearance, unless a dull yarn is used. More popular choice for evening wear as its smooth, silky and flowy.

- Linen: Linen is a natural fiber from flax plants, making it medium-weight, easy to sew and comes in different variety of weights. Also like cotton thickness dependent used from tops to bottoms. Usually more expensive for pure linen.

- Polyester: Woven and synthetic fabric, generally lightweight and crease resistant. Often comes blended with cotton and a slightly cheaper choice.

This is just the more popular categories, there are many different compositions and blends and categories that can be used.

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