The way a garment looks, drapes and feels is greatly influenced by the fabric it’s made from. Here are some of the most popular fabrics used in dress making:
Cotton Jersey. This is a stretchy knit fabric that’s comfortable and allows for ease of movement. It’s great for leggings, T-shirts and other casual clothing.
Poly Brocade. This is a synthetic material with a shiny finish that’s ideal for formal wear, such as evening dresses, cocktail dresses and wedding gowns.
Silk Satin. Silk satin is another material that’s perfect for formal attire, but it’s also light enough to wear when the weather is warm.
Lightweight Cotton Lawn. This is an easy-to-sew fabric that works well for casual skirts and blouses, but it can also be used for formal dresses when combined with another fabric, such as silk chiffon or lace.
Stretchy materials are ideal for dresses that need to hug the body, while stiffer choices can help create a fuller skirt. Explore different types of fabric and how they affect your choice of dress pattern. To know more about the wedding dress fabric and bridal fabric read more.
Knits vary considerably in terms of their stretchiness, so read the label carefully before making your purchase. Cotton jersey and interlock knits are ideal for casual T-shirt style dresses, while viscose jersey is often used for floaty summer styles.
If you’re looking for a more structured approach, then opt for woven fabrics such as chiffon or brocade. As these don’t have any give in them, you’ll need to choose a pattern with darts or gathers at the waist to create definition.
Silk is an extremely luxurious fabric and makes an elegant choice for eveningwear or bridalwear. When choosing silk, ensure that it’s laundered rather than dry-cleaned as this will greatly reduce shrinkage when washing.
Taffeta is a crisp, smooth and shiny fabric that is used mainly for making garments and other luxurious items. Taffeta is quite durable, so it can be used for almost anything!
Chiffon is a lightweight, sheer fabric that’s best for making drapey garments. It’s commonly used for formal dresses, blouses and scarves.
Satin is a smooth weave with a glossy front side and a matte back side. It can be made from either silk or synthetic materials. Satin can be light or heavy weight and has a beautiful drape to it. It’s commonly used for evening gowns and lingerie.
Crepe fabric is a lightweight weave with a crinkled surface on both sides. It’s commonly made from silk, wool or synthetic materials like polyester, rayon or nylon. Crepe has great drape and is used to make flowy skirts, dresses and shirts.
Jersey refers to the interlock knit construction of the fabric (similar to t-shirt knits). Jersey knit fabric can be made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibers like polyester, rayon and nylon.