Miatela's Guide to Different Fabrics & Their Properties

In this post, we’ll be telling you a little bit about fabric types, categories, and their properties. We’ve even included a handy, printable guide at the bottom of the post, so read along!

Different kinds of fabric  

Hot chocolate, that lovely nip in the air, and the smell of rustic apples. It’s the beautiful season of fall and winter! And what comes along with? - Knits!

We bet, if you Googled the word ‘autumn’ 60% of the search results would be tasteful images of women, or cute couples or babies on Tumblr or Pinterest, dressed in knitted beanies, socks, mitts, and scarves. 

Knit fabrics stretchy and supple, while woven fabric, which isn’t very stretchy and has more of a crisp feel, is used to make quilts and draperies. They won’t unravel, unlike woven fabric, because of how they are made.


Types of Cotton Weaves

Cotton is woven into four principal weave types. Depending on the weave, you can expect different looks and feels:

  1. Sateen - Dense fabric with a slight sheen to it,  it’s lustrous and silky to the touch. Because of its beautiful drape, it’s used often for linens.
  2. Percale is usually a preferred weave for clothing, since it has a very breathable weave. It wrinkles easier than sateen, though, and requires ironing more frequently.
  3. Flannel is super soft and warm due to the unique brushed technique used when creating it. It’s perfect for winter clothing, sheets and even pajamas.
  4. Twill has a unique texture in that it has a diagonal weave pattern. Denim is the perfect example of the unique pattern created by the weave.

Types of Fabric and Their Properties


If you’re a designer, stylist, or work closely with sewing apparel, you’ll know that it opens up a door to the use of a lot of different fabrics. What you use depends on what you plan to sew. Some patterns require fabric with stretch in it while others call for no stretch. The pointers below should hopefully help you pick the right fabric. (can hyperlink the other post ‘Here’s what to check for before buying fabric’ here)

Chenille – soft, velvety, and textured; usually made with a silken thread sewn into cotton or wool

Chiffon – lightweight, airy and sheer; typically made of cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers

Crepe – has a crisp, wrinkly or crumpled look; made from silk, wool, or synthetic fibers

Denim – thick, sturdy, with a twill weaving that creates a diagonal ribbing; made from cotton

Fleece – lightweight and keeps you warm; made from synthetic fibers

Rayon – soft, lightweight, and absorbent; made from regenerated cellulose fibers

Satin – rich and lustrous; the name actually refers to a specific weave rather than the fibers it is made with however, it’s commonly created using silk, nylon, or polyester

Silk –  smooth, shiny, and irresistibly soft to the touch; made from the cocoon of the silkworm

Velvet – tufted, soft, and dense; made out of cotton, silk or nylon

Wool – thick, soft, and warm; the fibers are made from sheep, goats, and sometimes even camels, llamas, or rabbits

Chintz – coated with a smooth glaze after it’s printed with bright colors, flora and fauna motifs; typically made with 100% cotton

Linen – strong, absorbent, and dries quickly; made from the fibers of the flax plant

Below, you’ll find a helpful, printable visual fabric guide. Don’t forget to Pin it to your Pinterest board!

Image result for a pair and a spare fabrics

Image credit: a pair & spare