Fabric Comparison Chart Bookmark and Share

Posted by Sazid Rahman

Identifying fabric is important. More important is the comparison of fabrics. This makes us know the true quality of a fabric by differentiating it from its substitutes. The following chart gives a complete information upon different types of fabric at a glance. It gives information about the weaves of the fabric, its characteristics and the uses, the important part of comparison.

Another table is given at the bottom, which shows the comparison of only the characteristics of few fabrics. For example, water retention is very high in cotton and the lowest in polypropylene. Same with the drying time taken, very long in cotton and vice versa in polypropylene. Cotton and wool shrinks more than polyester and nylon.

Fabrics Weaves Characteristics Uses
Soft, crisp feel and durable. Clothing, uniforms, lingerie, linings, interlinings.
Durable, soft and wooly feel. Used as replacement of wool.
Alpaca Various weaves, knits and weights. Fine, silk-like, soft, lightweight, and warm. Men's and Women's suits, coats, and sportswear, linings, sweaters.
Angora goat Various weaves and knitted. Smooth, very strong, and high luster. Carpet, upholstery, curtain, and automobile cloth.
Angora rabbit Various weaves and knitted. Long, very fine, light weight, extremely warm and fluffy. Knit wear - gloves, scarves, sweaters, etc. for children and women.
Soft, silky, shiny. Fur coats, trimming fur and fabric garments.
Broadcloth Plain weave. Closely woven with smooth finish. Shirts, dresses, particularly the tailored type in plain colors, blouses, summer wear.
Camel hair Twill or plain Light weight, lustrous and soft. Coats, women's suits, sports coats, sweaters, some blankets and put in some very expensive oriental rugs. Also used in (fine) overcoating, topcoating, hosiery and transmission belts.
Canvas Plain. Mostly rugged. Hair canvas is an interfacing material in various weights.
Cashmere (Kashmir) All weaves but mostly plain or twill. All knits. Soft, silky and very lightweight. Knitted into sweaters for men and women, also women's dresses.
Challis Plain. Soft and very lightweight. Women's and children's dresses and blouses, kimonos, neckties, and sportswear.
Chiffon Plain. Lightweight, sheer, and transparent. Evening wear, blouses and scarves.
Crepe Mostly plain but various weaves. Crinkled and puckered surface with rough feel and appearance. Depending on weight, it is used for dresses of all types, including long dinner dresses, suits, and coats.
Damask Figured on Jacquard loom. Reversible fabric with woven pattern. Sheds dirt.
Denim Twill - right hand - may be L2/1 or L3/1. Originally had dark blue, brown or dark gray warp with a white or gray filling giving a mottled look and used only for work clothes. Comes in heavy and lighter weights. Pants, caps, uniforms, bedspreads, slipcovers, draperies, upholstery, sportswear.
Douppioni Plain. Irregular with many slubs. It is imitated in rayon and some synthetics
Drill Twill. Closer, flatter wales that gabardine. Uniforms, work clothes, slip covers, sportswear, and many industrial uses.
Flannel Usually twill, some plain. Soft, with a napped surface that partially cancels the weave. Dull finish. Made in a variety of weights. Shrinks if not pre-shrunk. Sags with wear, unless underlined. Does not shine or hold a crease. Blazers, dresses, skirts, suits and coats. Boys suits, jackets, and shirts.
Gabardine Steep twill Clear finish, tightly woven, firm, durable. Wears extremely well. Inclined to shine with wear. Hard to press properly. Men's and women's tailored suits, coats, raincoats, uniforms, and men's shirts.
Georgette Plain. It is characterized by it's crispness, body and outstanding durability. It is sheer and has a dull face.
Herringbone twill Twill. It is usually created in wool and has varying qualities. Suitings, top coatings, sports coats.
Houndstooth Broken twill weave. Weaned into an irregular check of a four pointed star. sportcoats, suits.
Mohair Plain or twill or knitted. Smooth, glossy, and wiry. Linings, pile fabrics, suitings, upholstery fabrics, braids, dress materials, felt hats, and sweaters.
Very strong, resistant to both abrasion chemicals. It is elastic, easy to wash and is quite lustrous. It returns easily to it's original shape and is non-absorbent. It is fast drying, resistant to some dyes. Women's hosiery, knitted or woven lingerie, socks and sweaters.
Organdy Plain. Made with tightly twisted yarns. Crispness is due to a finish with starch and calendaring which washes out, or a permanent crispness obtained with chemicals. Wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish. Collars and cuffs, artificial flowers, millinery, summer formals, blouses, aprons.
Organza Plain. Fine, sheer, lightweight, crisp fabric. It has a very wiry feel. It crushes or musses fairly easily, but it is easily pressed. Dressy type of fabric, sometimes has a silvery sheen. Evening dresses, trimming, millinery, underlinings for delicate, sheer materials.
Oxford Plain variations - usually basket 2 x 1. Warp has two fine yarns which travel as one and one heavier softly-spun bulky filling which gives it a basket-weave look. Rather heavy. Men's shirts mostly. Summer jackets, shirts, skirts, dresses, and sportswear.
It is lightweight, strong and resistant to creasing, shrinking, stretching, mildew and abrasion. It is readily washable and is not damaged by sunlight or weather and is resistant to moths and mildew. Vary, depending on blend.
Pongee Plain. Light or medium weight. Dresses, blouses, summer suits.
It¹s drapability and dyeability are excellent and it is fairly soft. Rayon does have a tendency to shrink but does not melt in high temperatures. It is resistant to moths and is not affected by ordinary household bleaches and chemicals. Clothing, hose.
Sateen Sateen filling-face weave. Lustrous and smooth with the sheen in a filling direction. Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Dresses, sportswear, robes, pajamas.
Satin Satin. Usually has a lustrous surface and a dull back. Made in many colors, weights, varieties, qualities, and degrees of stiffness. Slips, evening wear, coats, capes, and jackets, lining fabrics, millinery.
It is lightweight and flexible. It resists deterioration from perspiration, detergent and body oils. It is characterized by it¹s strength and durability. Athletic wear and foundation garments.
Taffeta Usually plain with a fine cross rib. It is smooth with a sheen on its surface. The textures vary considerably. They have a crispness and stiffness. Dressy evening wear: suits and coats, slips, ribbons, blouses, dresses.
Tussah Usually plain but also in twill. It is coarse, strong, and uneven. Dull lustre and rather stiff. Has a rough texture with many slubs, knots, and bumps. In lighter weights, dresses. In heavier weights, coats and suits and ensembles.
Velour Thick, plush pile, with a plain or satin ground, or sometimes knitted. The pile is characterized by uneven lengths (usually two) which gives it a rough look. The two lengths of pile create light and shaded areas on the surface. A rather pebbled effect. Dressing gowns, dresses, waist-coats.
Velvet Pile, made with an extra warp yarn. velvet may be crush resistant, water resistant, and drapes well. Has to be handled with care, and pressed on a velvet board. Eveningwear, at home wear.
Voile Plain, loosely woven. Sheer and very light weight. To obtain a top quality fabric, very highly twisted yarns are used. Voile drapes and gathers very well. Dresses, blouses.
It is very resilient and resistant to wrinkling. It is renewed by moisture and well known for it's warmth. Clothing, blankets, winter wear.

Fabric Characteristics

Cotton Wool Polyester Polypropylene Nylon
Water Retention High High Low Lowest Medium
Drying Time Long Long Short Shortest Short
Heat Conduction (Wet) High Low Low Low Medium
Comfort Level (Dry) High Medium High Medium Medium
Shrinkage High High Low High Low
Durability Medium Medium High Medium High
Colour Choice High High High Low High
Paddling Suitability Low Low High Medium Medium
Camping Suitability Medium High High Medium Medium

Source: http://www.fabrics-manufacturers.com

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