Different types of fabrics – Volume 1


The list of types of fabrics is too long to cover in one article, hence, this is a first part of the article. Fabrics are useful to make dresses/garments/fashion anything to cover our body, home textiles, handloom products, packaging materials and many other utilities, the meaning of fabric is, cloth or material that is useful to make products to cover our body or to be useful for home textiles and more, in other words, the cloth made from yarns or fibres by weaving, knitting, felting etc.

The fabric invented in the pre-historic time, no confirm or exact source of when it was originated, but perhaps about 5000 BCE the woven fabric came into use, Cotton in India and Silk in China were in use perhaps by 3000 BCE. Fabric manufacturing was recognized as a craft in the past and it remained as a cottage industry until the 18th century, now, there are mainly two processes – ancient handlooms/handicrafts and modern scientific invention. From 19th century onwards, succession of industrial revolutions, improvements and modernization of machines and other technologies, increase in the demands world over etc. are the reasons due to which the production of fabrics has increased, prices drop down, new trends and new types of clothing can be seen.

Natural/Organic/Plant based fabrics: Cotton, Muslin, Linen, Hemp, Ramie, Modal, Jute…

Man-made/Artificial fabrics: Taffeta, Satin, Poplin, Corduroy, Rayon, Voile, Broadcloth, Brocade, Organza, Crepe, Damask, Flannel, Georgette, Chenille, Polyester, Synthetic, Velvet, Chiffon, Modal, Organza, Spandex, Twill, Viscose, Nylon, Jersey, Net, Lace…

Animal based fabrics: Silk, Wool, Leather, Cashmere, Feather, Fur…

You know, all the fabrics above and others are not perfect in one way or other, they have some good and poor characteristics, thus, blended fabrics are invented, the mixture of two or more fibers spun together is called blended fabrics, such fabrics are very much successful across the world. Blended fabrics are more personalized, increased in performance, smoothness and better quality. Few of the blends are: Terry Cotton – a blend of 65% Polyester and 35% Cotton or 67/33, 70/30 etc. Terry-Wool for Suiting Fabrics – 65% Polyester and 35% Wool and many more blends are available.

China happens to be a top fabrics producer followed by India, Italy, Germany and Turkey. The utility of fabrics can be devided into three categories mainly and these are – Industrial Fabrics, Household Fabrics and Consumer Fabrics (Fabrics for RMG).  Fabric is main resource for apparel and home textiles, thus more the production and consumption of fabrics means better the performance of RMG and home textile industries. According to the report, the global textile & apparel trade in 2021 was US$869 billion, the consumption of apparel (number of pieces) is expected to touch 1,84,078 million pieces in this year and it is estimated to reach around US$2 trillion by 2025.

Fabric manufacturing and processing is the highest contributor in environment pollution – air, water and land, they are releasing toxins into atmosphere. China is the top producer and hence also a top contributor in pollution. We will read more about pollution into textiles industry in a separate article and also find more details about sustainability, vegan fashion and ethically made clothes.


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