Types of Fabric | Different Types of Clothing Materials: Fabric Glossary

Knowing your fabrics is as important as your outfits. Are the fabric terms confusing you? Get set to know different types of fabric and clothing materials in our SlubWords fabric glossary here! 

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Illustrated by: Aayushi B.

Types of Fabric

Brocade (N.) [bro-kay d] Brocade is a type of silk fabric that has a decorative raised design, usually woven with gold or silver threads. The designs feature repetitive floral patterns. Brocade is considered a rich, fancy fabric, used in fashion to make party wear, like wedding dresses, gowns, skirts, etc. It is also used in upholstery and other home décor products. Also read: Types of Fabrics in Interior Décor.

Cashmere (N.) [kazh-meer] Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a luxury fiber obtained from cashmere goats and other types of goats. The word cashmere is an old spelling of Kashmir, the geographical region in the north of India and Pakistan. Common usage defines the fiber as wool but it is finer and softer than sheep’s wool. Cashmere is ideally preferred in winters for sweaters, sweatshirts, etc. Due to its soft touch and light weight, cashmere is considered a luxurious fabric for winter wear and is expensive.

Chiffon (N.) [shi-fon] Chiffon is a lightweight fabric with a slippery texture. It is plain-woven sheer fabric or woven with alternate yarns that give a mesh-like and slightly crumpled look. Due to its light and delicate touch, it is used for summer wear, lingerie, gowns, blouses, scarves, and much more.

Cotton (N.) [kaw-tuhn] A soft, usually white, fibrous fabric composed of the hairs surrounding the seeds of various erect freely branching tropical plants of the mallow family is called cotton. As we know, cotton is ideally used in summers due to its breathability and absorbent property. Cotton is used to make products like t-shirts, jeans, lingerie, casual wear, accessories, and so on.

Crepe (N.) [kreyp] Crepe is a thin fabric that has a wrinkled appearance, made of silk or cotton or chiffon. As crepe is a delicate lightweight fabric, it is used to make garments, for example, evening gowns, scarves, blouses, skirts, etc. Crepe is also very popular for making wedding garments like bridesmaid dresses, owing to its flowing, slightly shiny look.

Denim (N.) [denuh m] Denim is a thick, hard material made of cotton with a different weaving process, usually used to make jeans or jackets. Denim is the most common among all types of fabric worn as a part of daywear almost all over the world. It is also used to make dresses, suits, sportswear, and work clothes.

Faux-fur (N.) [foh fuhr] Synthetic fur is known as faux fur. Also see fur.

Faux-leather (N.) [foh leth-er] See rexine.

Fishnet (N.) [fish net] Fishnet is a knitted fabric made from a combination of fibers like merino wool, nylon, or polypropylene. It is an open, diamond-like structured knit used to make tights, stockings, etc.

Fur (N.) [fuhr] Fur is referred to a hairy layer of an animal that is fine, soft, and thick, usually used to make coats or trimmings on apparel and accessories. Among the types of fabric used for making outerwear, fur coats are the most expensive. It is not only used in outerwear but also used by high-end fashion brands for their ready-to-wear collections.

Georgette (N.) [jawr-jet] Georgette is a lightweight semi-sheer fabric made from silk. It is an evergreen fabric, and you can wear it in all seasons. It is available in different colors and prints mostly used for sarees, dresses, evening gowns, and much more.

Guipure (N.) [gi-pyoo r] A heavy lace consisting of embroidered motifs held together by large connecting stitches is called guipure. It is a delicate and decorative fabric used to make cocktail dresses, bridal dresses, and also accessories.

Khaki (N.) [kah-kee] Khaki is a light brown fabric made of cotton or wool and is usually used to make military uniforms and police uniforms. For everyday wear, khaki is also commonly used in trousers and shorts.

Lace (N.) [leys] Lace is a delicate translucent fabric that has a design with cut-outs or holes in it, usually made by twisting or knitting threads in a pattern. It is perhaps the most popular types of fabric that is used for decorative purposes such as trimmings or borders in dresses, bridal gowns, etc. Other uses of lace include tops and skirts, handbags, gloves, and even pantyhose.

Lamé (N.) [lah-mey] Lamé is a type of fabric that is knit with thin metallic fiber and is usually in gold, silver, or copper shades. Due to its shiny-metallic look, it is mostly used for eveningwear, dance costumes, and accessories like handbags.

Latex (N.) [ley-teks] Latex is a glossy material made of rubber or plastic. It usually sticks to the skin when worn. As it has elasticity and stickiness, it is mostly used in sportswear and other sports items like swimming caps, tennis shoes, gloves, etc. Recently, latex has also found extensive usage in clothing, popularized by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, etc. Inspired by cosplay, these dresses aren’t hugely popular in the mainstream.

Leather (N.) [leth -er] Leather is a long durable fabric made of an animal skin like a cow, sheep, etc., and dyed through a chemical process called tanning. It is one of the most common types of fabric for making footwear and accessories like bags. Nowadays leather is also used to make fashion garments like trousers, skirts, tops, etc.

Linen (N.) [linuh n] Linen is a fabric similar to cotton but is made from the flax plant and is known for its strength. It is mostly worn in the spring and summer seasons as it is cooler than cotton. We use it for clothing like tops, shorts, etc.

Mousseline (N.) [moos-leen] A fabric that is stiff and semi-transparent is known as mousseline fabric. It is similar to muslin, lightweight, and sheer in texture. As mousseline is delicate and falls well, it is mostly used in evening wear like gowns, dresses, etc.

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Tylers Fabric

Nylon (N.) [nahy-lon] Nylon is a type of strong synthetic fabric that is also lightweight. It is used for so many clothing products, for example, lingerie, raincoats, swimwear, sportswear, and more.

Organza (N.) [awr-gan-zuh] Organza is a sheer, stiff and light-weight fabric made of silk and wrinkles easily, often used to create more volume in a dress. It is a very trendy fabric nowadays, and it is popularly used for tops, evening gowns, prom dresses, etc. Also tissue.

Pashmina (N.) [puhsh-mee-nuh] Pashmina is a fine type of Kashmiri wool, often used to make shawls. It is also used to make scarfs and as a decorating material as well due to its fine intricate embroidery done by artisans of Srinagar. It is one of the most famous types of fabric from India.

Patent leather (N.) [pat-nt leth -er] A high-shine smooth and glossy finish of leather made from chemical coatings is called patent leather. Patent leather is ideally used to make accessories, for example, belts, shoes, handbags, etc. Nowadays, it is also used in outerwear, other clothing, and military uniforms.

Plastic (N.) [plas-tik] See See PVC..

Plexi (N.) [pla ksi] Plexi is a transparent plastic material and is waterproof. It is transparent PVC. See PVC.

PVC (N.) [PVC](Abbreviation- Polyvinyl Chloride) A glossy plastic-coated fabric, which can be transparent, translucent, or opaque, is called PVC. PVC or plexi fabric has become popular in the last few years to make clothing and accessories like handbags, hats, jackets, raincoats, boots, and more. Also plastic, plexi.

Rayon (N.) [rey-on] Any of a group of smooth textile fibers made from regenerated cellulose is called rayon. It can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton, and linen. Rayon is mostly used in summers and it is used to make clothing like lingerie, blouses, dresses, jackets, and much more.

Rexine (N.) [rex-een] Rexine is an imitation of leather fabric, which is made of synthetic products instead of animal skin. The term rexine is trademarked by Rexine Ltd. in the UK. It is often used in footwear applications. Also faux leather, Also see leather.

Satin (N.) [sat-n] Satin is a type of glossy, slippery fabric that is made with a combination of fabrics like silk, polyester, or nylon. It is popularly used to make evening gowns, lingerie, skirts, tops, nightgowns, etc.

Silk (N.) [silk] Silk is a lightweight, strong natural fiber with a lustrous finish. It is a type of luxe and expensive fabric. It is used in many products like heavy evening dresses, accessories like scarves, gowns, and so on.

Suede (N.) [sweyd] A soft velvety material obtained by sanding the inner layer of animal hide is called suede. Originally, suede was used to make women’s gloves for winters, but now it is also used to make accessories like shoes, handbags, jackets, etc. It is sometimes also used in clothing, either as trimming, surface work, or even as base material.

Tissue (N.) [tish-oo] See organza.

Tulle (N.) [tool] A lightweight fabric with firm netting, usually made of silk, nylon, polyester, or rayon is called tulle. Tulle is the most used among all types of fabric for veils, gowns, or ballet costumes. Tulle dresses, especially girls’ dresses, and wedding gowns are also popular. It is an ideal fabric for summers. Also net.

Tweed (N.) [tweed] A thick and rough wool material with specks of different colors of wool is called tweed. Ideally, it was used for men’s outerwear and today we get products like jackets, caps, gloves, liners, and much more. Also nowadays it is used by high-end fashion brands to make formal wear collections.

Wool (N.) [woo l] Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, angora from rabbits, and other types of wool. It is one of the most popular types of fabric for winters, used for making jackets, sweaters, dresses, sweatshirts, and so on.

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