Is it the right material? Does it have the right fall? Will it be too transparent?
Well if such questions keep popping in your head too, then you're at the right place for all these answers.
1. How Do I Know What Fabric To Buy?
As more & more online fabric store come to your notice make sure you don’t make mistakes while buying fabric online. Here’s a detailed guide to buying fabric online which will make you an expert in no time. Understanding the basics of each fabric type, you'll be able to make the right choice.
2. Types of Fabric
The most versatile of all, Viscose fabric is made with wood pulp & cellulose. A type of Rayon, viscose is considered a semi-synthetic material as the production involves high use of chemicals. Various other fibres like cotton, silk or polyester blend well with viscose to attain different properties. Viscose material is soft to touch, slightly shiny & often has a smooth texture along with a flowy drape. Needless to say, viscose fabric is ideal for dresses & skirts. However, the blend of different fibre justifies its use in upholstery & furnishing.
Georgette fabric is named after Madame Georgette de la Plante who was a well-known dressmaker in the early 20th century. A distinct twisting of yarns & plain weave gives georgette fabric all its properties. The most premium georgette is made from 100% silk while less expensive versions have a mix of silk, rayon & polyester. Having slightly coarse texture, medium to low transparency & a flowy drape, georgette is an ideal fabric for gowns, dresses, skirts, sarees & anything that you wish to flow around.
Despite being the most popular fabric in the World, we might not have pondered about cotton fabric as much. Have you? We'll all know cotton is best when it comes to being skin-friendly, breathable & absorbent. It might be best to dig a little deeper into cotton material to know whether it fulfils your needs.
India is known to have the earliest traces of using cotton fibres, dating back to 5000 BC and still is the largest producer of cotton worldwide. Cotton fibres are obtained from the fruit of the cotton plant, which is then spun to make yarns & weaved into fabric. With time, new fibres were mixed with cotton to enhance & add more properties. For example, to add more shine to the fabric, silk yarns are added & cotton silk fabric is produced.
Even though cotton is a natural fibre, the farming of cotton plants requires a very high consumption of water. Further to increase the yield, farmers add harmful pesticides & fertilisers. This results in an overall negative impact on the environment. So next time you opt for cotton fabric, choose the organic variant which is made from cotton grown with low water usage & without pesticides.
The namesake of a small town called Chanderi (Madhya Pradesh), Chanderi fabric is a plain weave fabric with a subtle shine. Originally weaved using hand-spun cotton, it is now made with a blend of various materials like silk, viscose, polyester, etc. Chanderi material is further characterised by its lightweight & sheer texture.
One thing which makes Chanderi the cynosure to our eyes is the vibrant hues of this fabric. Unlike other silk fabrics, Chanderi fabric gloriously imbibes pastel shades. Chanderi has always been popular for designing enticing Chanderi sarees but now it is also used for different clothing purposes and also home decor items like Cushions and Curtains.
Who doesn't adore the mighty Silk? Once considered a rarity, silk fabric is now easily available to one & all. Originally made with a natural fibre procured from the silkworm, silk is now made with several other materials. The typical feature that makes silk fabric distinct from other textiles is the lustre.
The innovation & demand of silk has led to the discovery of more than 30 types of silk fabrics. Depending on the quality of silk material it is used for clothing, home furnishing & accessories. Be it a silk saree, suit, dress, overcoat or any other garment, silk gives the wearer an enchanting gleam.
Another one of the most widely used fabrics, Rayon Fabric is made from wood pulp & cellulose. The smooth texture, breathable nature & flowy fall makes Rayon suitable for dressmaking. It is slightly heavy which makes it suitable for dresses, skirts, palazzos, shorts but is not recommended for sarees & dupattas.
Rayon is an easy to maintain fabric however, the mix of different fibres changes its properties. Viscose rayon is one such example that has an enhanced texture. A mix of naturally occurring fibres like bamboo & banana makes it more sustainable for the environment.
Have you ever heard 'A cloth so fine that yards of it could smoothly flow through a ring!' We're talking about the super smooth Muslin fabric.
It is said that the word ‘Muslin’ originated from the city of ‘Mosul’ (now in Iraq) where the Europeans learnt of its import from India. Just like many of the oldest living textiles, Muslin was also made using cotton fibre. Carded cotton yarn was used to make its texture finer than the regular cotton fabric.
While the lightweight version of muslin material is used for garments, the heavy weight muslin is commonly used for fashion design prototypes.
Lizzy Bizzy Fabric
A classic example of science meets nature, Lizzy Bizzy fabric is achieved by intertwining cotton and polyester threads. This soft, flowy & daily wear fabric, imitates a Rayon-like texture & fluidity. The use of polyester yarn makes it more durable than regular cotton fabric.
For ages, it has been the go-to option for laid-back dressing styles like - Jumpsuits, peplum tops, asymmetrical kurtas, and A-line dresses.
Heading to a beach? People must have recommended going for a Linen Shirt or a Linen overlay. Owing to its high breathability, lightweight & fast drying property, Linen fabric is ideal for a hot humid day. Linen material is made from the stem of the flax plant. Being derived from a natural fibre, linen not only has all the properties of Cotton but also features extra strength.
Coming to its use, Linen is the best fabric for summers & humid environments. While you can design any garment with Linen, it is mostly used in bathing towels due to its moisture-wicking property.
Mix a thick cotton fabric with a brushed & soft texture & you have Flannel fabric. It gives a cosy feel which makes it suitable for a little cold weather. The [patterns on Flannel are achieved during the weaving process by using coloured yarns.
The most popular pattern on Flannel is checks, be it Gingham, Tartan or plain checks. Flannel material is also used for rugged outerwear due to its durability. Flannel finds its common use as shirts, vests, cardigans, sweaters, blankets & upholstery.
The term Dobby is technically used for a weave rather than fabric. Any fabric with a woven design is essentially called a dobby fabric. The weaving for such a fabric is done in a way that it reveals a textured pattern using the same coloured yarn for warp & weft. This is achieved by using a dobby loom or dobby equipment attached with a regular loom.
The slightly textured look adds a distinct look to the fabric even without printing. As it is a weave, any kind of fibre can be used like cotton dobby, viscose dobby, etc. Based on the fibre used, dobby material can be used for all clothing purposes.
One of the best fabrics for the winter season, Tweed is a plain weave fabric. Made with wool as the major fibre content, other fibres are often mixed to enhance properties. Tweed material generally has a rough texture & withstands harsh climates. Traditionally, tweeds were a prominent textile in Scottish & Irish culture, mostly worn as blazers & skirts.
The coarse appeal of tweed fabric has made it popular in the fashion industry too. It is suitable for most of the winter clothing like tweed jackets, overcoats, pants, dresses & even as accessories like hats, bags, gloves & shoes.
Damask fabric is named after its originating place, Damascus. Known for its intricate and reversible patterns, the Damask fabric is prized for its ornateness achieved by skilled artisans using silk, cotton, or wool. Nowadays, incredibly complex damask prints are made with modern textile machines with synthetic damask weaves.
In interior designing, Damask upholstery fabric is used to give a royal feel. Damask fabric by the yard is also used for occasional dressing as corsets, ball gowns, blazers etc.
Known as the softest type of cotton, mulmul fabric is a finely weaved fabric. Once considered a premium fabric, mulmul fabric is cherished for its softness, lightweight & flowy drape. Mulmul is considered ideal for baby clothes and is also used for summer dresses, sarees, dupatta, scarves, etc. Mulmul sarees are quite a rave due to their softness & low maintenance.
Mulmul is often confused with Muslin however both are distinct in the material used. Muslin is essentially achieved through finely weaving any type of material like cotton, viscose or polyester. But mulmul is purely made with cotton fibres.
Just like dobby, Jacquard is also a type of weave that reveals intricate patterns. Although Jacquard fabric is much more complex than dobby fabric. This in turn makes the fabric thicker than regular woven fabrics.
The base properties of Jacquard are based on the fibres used. For example, Cotton jacquard would possess all the qualities of cotton, while Silk jacquard will have a shine like silk itself.
Jacquard is commonly used for occasion wear like gowns, lehenga, sherwani, jackets, etc.
Khadi is ideally defined as a handspun, handwoven fabric with a recognizable course texture. Khadi fabric has a versatile property that cools in summers and keeps one warm in winters.
Khadi is also one of the first sustainable fabrics as it is made with natural fibres like cotton, wool & silk. Cotton khadi is readily available while silk khadi & wool khadi are specialised fabrics. Alongside the coarse feel, khadi also features high breathability, making it ideal as a summer fabric.
Lurex is a fine metallic wire that is woven with other yarns for extra shine in the fabric. Unlike zari, which is a circular yarn, Lurex is a thin flat strip. The Lurex Company, Ltd. has the term 'lurex' as their registered brand name & it deals with all kinds of metallic yarns.
Lurex adds a glamorous touch to any fabric & makes it ideal for any occasion wear. It can be woven with cotton, viscose, polyester & silk. The Lurex metallic yarns are fine enough to give a smooth texture but also strong that adds durability to the fabric.
The most popular use of the net fabric in clothing is found as embroidered net fabric, often used for gowns & lehenga. It is made like a mesh structure of yarns leaving open spaces in between. This makes net fabric lightweight but also fragile.
Various fibres are used in making the net & give it distinct features like softness & transparency. Tulle net fabric is a finer version of the net, much softer & is most commonly used for making skirts.
Lycra is acclaimed for its stretchability, some even say that a good quality Lycra fabric can stretch up to 6 times & regain its original shape. Lycra is a synthetic material made with polymers that provide elasticity. Spandex & Elastane are some other fabrics that also stretch like Lycra.
Lycra fibre is often mixed with other fibres to offer mixed features, Cotton Lycra is moisture absorbent as well as stretchable. Form-fitting garments like underwear, boxer briefs, sweatpants, activewear, etc use one or the other form of lycra fabric.
A luxury fabric, velvet fabric is made using pile weave that gives its acclaimed softness. Velvet can be made using different materials like cotton, silk, viscose & even polyester. The rich & sumptuous look of velvet is highly desired by women all across the globe.
It is used for all kinds of clothing purposes & home furnishing. Surface embellishments like embroidery look great with the richness of velvet & are easily adapted to the thickness of velvet.
3. Type of Fabric Prints
We all have that particular section for our favourite solid attires but you can't deny printed fabrics add vibrancy to our looks. But how are fabrics printed? What are all the ways of fabric printing? Read on
Ajrak, Dabu, Bagh, Kashish, Batik, & more, are all charming hand block crafts. As is suggested by the name, motifs are printed by hand pressing blocks on the fabric. This printing method is known in the Indian subcontinent for nearly 5000 years. Hand block prints are one of the most intricate & tedious methods of printing on fabric. The most common blocks are made of wood, which is carved by master artisans to reveal the desired pattern. These blocks are then dipped in dyes & then pressed on the fabric. Skilled artisans repeat this process across the entire length of fabric.
In India, hand block printing is mainly practised in Rajasthan & Gujarat. With a touch of a human, hand block prints have a unique charm that makes each meter fabric different from the rest.
Tie Dye print
The tie-dye print fabric is quite a rage among the lovers of abstract. Tie & dye techniques are known by different names as the regions change, Bandhani in Gujarat, Leheriya in Rajasthan, Shibori in Japan & so on.
The technique involves gathering the fabric together in small proportions then tying it in sections. When dipped in colour (dye), the fabric is dyed except at the tied section. This reveals enticing patterns on the fabric.
Tie & dye printing is also a favourite among DIY enthusiasts as the process does not require a big setup & can be easily done at home. The most popular DIY is the tie & dye t-shirt.
Screen printing is a commonly used printing method for simple patterns & motifs. If you have ever used a stencil in your childhood, then understanding the screen printing technique is a cakewalk. A screen (like a stencil) with the desired motif is placed on the fabric & then dye is applied to the fabric. The dye leaks down to the fabric through the screen making the desired motif. Screen print fabrics are versatile & don't bleed out the dye as much as handblock prints.
A modern method, digital printing on fabric is similar to a home inkjet printer. This method does not impose any restrictions on the type of design – you can print any graphic on the fabric with any number of colours or tonal transitions between the colours.
Digital print fabrics are used in modern clothing more than traditional ones. Owing to its accuracy in printing, complex designs are preferred to be digitally printed.
Studies recommend that if something looks engaging, it will grab more eye, this goes precisely well for foil printing which stands apart to make a fabric look much more sumptuous. Foil printing is used to imprint shining designs onto the fabric. In earlier times gold & silver foils were pressed upon fabric using heat & pressure. Nowadays, metallic paper, glittering paste or powder, etc are used. Foil print fabric can add a subtle glitter to your everyday attires.
A mystic print that changes when unveiled to sunlight. Photochromic prints use a unique pigment that gets transformed into a new colour as disclosed to daylight. This unique pigment is printed on fabric using the screen or digital printing technique.
What makes Marble different from other stones? It's the unique abstract patterns that occur naturally. And when you get these patterns printed on fabric (not digitally) you get marble print fabric.
The method involves a shallow water body & dye pigment. After dropping the pigment in water, it is allowed to spread naturally making a marble-like pattern. The stretched fabric is then dipped in the water body to get the marble print on the fabric & done.
4. How To Choose Fabric
Woven Vs Knit
Observe how your t-shirt is different from your Cotton blouse. The t-shirt is stretchable while the cotton blouse is not. This is the chief difference between woven & knitted fabric. Woven fabric is made with two sets of yarn intersecting at a right angle with each other. On the other hand, knitted fabric is made with a single yarn looped continuously.
Another way to pinpoint the difference between a woven or knit fabric is wrinkle resistant. Knit fabrics are generally more resistant to wrinkles. Again, take a look at your t-shirt & the cotton blouse.
When choosing a fabric keep in mind whether you want the garment to have some capacity to stretch then go for knitted fabric, otherwise woven fabric is equally good & also easy to sew.
Natural Vs Synthetic
Awakened by the drastic changes in climate, a lot of us are more conscious about our choices. We often find ourselves confused when it comes to choosing natural materials & synthetic materials. Owing to the harmful impact of synthetic material on our environment, we recommend you go for a natural fibre based fabric. Let us highlight the difference for you
Made from fibres that are procured from nature itself like cotton, silk, linen, banana, bamboo, & so on.
Mostly made using polyester, nylon or other man-made fibres.
The feel of the natural fabric is much more soft & skin-friendly
Feel a little like plastic & can cause irritation to skin.
Worn out sooner when compared to synthetic but are biodegradable
They are more durable but stay on earth for thousands of years
5. Shopping For Fabric In Store v/s Online
Shopping in Store (Offline)
There's no second-guessing the benefit of shopping fabric in store as you get to touch & feel the material. With the colour, texture & feel right there in your hand, you might feel more confident about buying.
Buying fabric online not only gives you a plethora of options but also lets you order fabric online from any part of the world. Just like any other online shopping, fabric shopping online is a hassle-free process with goods directly reaching your house.
Another perk of online shopping is customisation. With fabric shop online like ours, you can customise any fabric as per your idea, be it the material, design & even printing method. On-demand printing is a true consort for creative souls, fashion designers & boutique owners.
6. What to Look For When You’re Buying Fabrics?
There are two types of fabric based on their weave, woven & knitted fabric. While a knitted fabric is stretchable & wrinkle resistant, woven fabric is easy to sew & more versatile in its look.
Whether the fabric is made from natural fibres or synthetic ones? What is the percentage of a certain type of fibre in the fabric composition? This will help you dissect the properties you want in the fabric.
How much fabric do you need for your sewing project? An important factor in calculating the length of fabric required you need to consider the width as well. Usually, heavy fabrics like flannel, corduroy, etc have wider widths. Handwoven fabrics have less width as the width of manual looms is less.
Country of Origin
A particularly important factor in making a conscious choice is checking where & how the fabric is made. A country like China is particularly detested because of the working conditions & environmental impact of producing goods.
We are accustomed to checking the care instruction of ready-made garments but checking the same for fabric is equally relevant. This gives you an idea about fabric shrinkage, dye bleed & helps with maintaining the lustre of fabric as good as new.
7. Fabric by Occasion:
Fabric for Festivals
What we wear at a festival is as important as the festival itself. Be it Diwali, Eid, Rakshabandhan or any other festival, we want to dress up with some extra shine of festive fabrics. Embroidery Fabric is a no-brainer for festivals, whether it's made into an embroidered lehenga, saree, suit or gown. Silk fabric & sequins are the next obvious choice for any festivity.
Fabric for Weddings
All celebrations call for an extraordinary look. Going for fabric & getting it custom tailored is sure to give you a look like no one else at the party. Vibrant shades of brocade silk, traditional patterns of embroidery & the glam factor of sequins, all are in favour of a beautiful wedding dress. For the daytime events, the subtle shades & breezy flow of Chanderi, Chiffon, Organza & Georgette will be the best pick.
8. Fabric For Winter
Who doesn't love layering in winters? Not only does it keep you warm but also makes you look chic. But you don't want to end up wearing the same jackets & coats as everyone else. We know, so here's a list of the best winter fabrics for winterwear that you can craft into any attire that you desire.
Tweeds start occupying store space as soon as the weather takes a chilly turn. The mix of wool fibre further adds to its warmth. Tweed fabric features every classic design from plains, checks, stripes, to double tones & reversible ones, so you don't run out of options even in winters.
What's better than plain wool fabric? It's the addition of silk fibre that not only adds a shine to the fabric but also makes it softer. Wool Silk fabric is the perfect choice for those winter events when you want to look party-ready yet save yourself from catching a cold.
If you wish to dazzle an occasion with full vigour no matter the season then Kinkhab Fabric is shall be your partner. The premium fabric is made with a thick silk weave that makes it durable & enticing. The beautiful woven patterns on Kinkhab are easy to style, be it lehenga, blouse, jacket or an overcoat.
The softness of Taffeta silk makes it feel smooth on the skin among all other occasion wear fabrics. Taffeta silk fabric gives a regal feel. The tight weave of yarns gives Taffeta Silk Fabric some thickness. The elegant patterns of zari & vibrant colour yarns add to its appeal.
Mashru silk fabric is known to be a mix of comfort & shine. With a cotton-like feel on the inside & silk-like lustre on the outside, Mashru silk is an elegant choice. You can effortlessly customize it for making shrugs, dupattas, blouses, tunics, dresses, skirts & more.
The warm & cosy feel of fleece makes us weak in the knees. So a fleece fabric garment is essential in your winter wardrobe. Fleece fabric can be turned into a trenchcoat, blazer, hat, glove, skirt & whatnot.
9. Buy Fabric For Dressmaking
Choose Your Sewing Pattern
The primary factor in making a dress is the selection of sewing patterns. Every type of garment has different patterns, even different types of sleeves have a different pattern. Multiple websites offer digital sewing patterns for sewing beginners. Simply search by the name of the garment you would like to sew & you'll find plenty of sewing patterns online.
Which Types of Fabric Work Best for Different Sewing Projects?
The season & the look are two primary factors in choosing the right fabric for your sewing projects. If you wish to buy cloth material online & make a shirt dress for summer, a cotton base fabric will be your best choice. But if you want the same pattern to be worn in winters corduroy will enhance its look.
On the same note, if you wish to make a flowy dress, lightweight fabric like chiffon or georgette will be perfect. However, if you want your dress to have a straight fall pick out a heavyweight fabric like velvet or denim.
How To Choose The Best Fabric For Dressmaking?
Having an idea of how the final project looks like can help ease out the process of choosing fabric for any project. Answer these, is the project meant for everyday wear or occasions? Is it a straight silhouette? Is it flowy? These answers will help you select the right fabrics.
There’s no shortage of dress fabric online but if you are sewing a dress on your own you might also want to check the specification of your sewing machine. Medium-weight fabrics are generally the easiest to sew with a home sewing machine, like cotton, poplin, loom textured, etc. Lightweight & heavy fabrics need pressure adjustment on the machine.
Top 5 Fabric for Dressmaking
10. How To Choose The Perfect Embroidered Fabric?
Embroidery enriches the look of a fabric. The beautiful threadwork either achieved by hand or machine, adds an extra oomph to the fabric. It is often mixed with sequins & other surface embellishments like a mirror, tassels, feathers, patches, etc. Having said that, it is important to understand which type of fabric is compatible with embroidery. To make embroidery stand out, the base fabric should have minimal prints, an already busy print may not go well with even more patterns of embroidery.
Top 5 Best Embroidered Fabrics
11. How To Choose The Best Eco Friendly and Sustainable Fabric?
When it comes to conscious choices, you want to pick a fabric with the least harmful impact on the environment. With so many places to buy fabric online you might get lost in specifications. Start from the fibre itself, check whether the fabric is made with a naturally occurring fibre like cotton, linen, bamboo & more. Next is zero chemical processing, azo-free dyeing & lastly the ability to biodegrade makes a fabric sustainable. Most of the online fabric stores list these but if you can’t find them, simply contact & ask for details.
Top 5 Best Eco Friendly and Sustainable Fabrics
12. What Our Customers Say?
"The designs are very elegant and the fabric is also good. Definitely one of my favourites in my wardrobe. The price is reasonable. Looking forwards to more purchases. Material are high quality. This is one of the best shopping site"
- Rekha Bafna
"Amazing place for beautiful fabrics. They have such a wide range of collection. Recently purchased some fabrics and very happy with the quality of their products. Very prompt in delivering and so customer friendly. I was really surprised to receive my order quite earlier than expected. Glad to have found Fabriclore."
- Vijayalakshmi S
"The designs are very elegant and the fabric is also nice. Definitely one of my favorites in my wardrobe. Totally worth the price. Looking forward to more purchases."
- Shruti Singh Baghel
"Yes, you can with Fabriclore. They have the best clothes with wonderful design and all you can say is that Good return on investment👍 Fabriclore has Best Fabrics, Best Staff, We are spoiled for choices! Highly recommended! I bought the fabrics for making my daughter's wedding lehenga! and its created memories for her for life! Superb Fabrics! Highly recommend!"
- Monster Saurabh
" I'm using Fabriclore for almost 2 years now, their fabrics are so comfortable and feel like your own skin. They are honesty the best fabric brand in India. I recommend it to all my friends and family. I would suggest you to use them for once at least you will also became a huge fan of them.. like me! Their collections are a must try."
- Megha Raj
13. A Video Guide
14. Read More About Buying Fabric on Fabriclore Journal:
- How to style your favorite fabrics this wedding Season?
- A complete guide to fabric care and maintenance (Part 1)
- 5 Things to Check When Buying Fabrics Online
- 5 Sustainable fabrics you are looking out for
- 10 Best Fabrics for Winters - Our Top Pick for you
- Choosing Right Fabrics for Weddings in 2020 (2021)
- A Complete Fabric Wash and Care Guide by Fabriclore
- Where Do Fashion Designers Source Their Fabrics? And You Can Too!
- A video guide to avoid mistakes while buying fabrics online
Where can I buy fabric online?
Best online fabric store is the one that gives you variety as well as customisation. Opt for India's largest online fabric store, Fabriclore.com where you have more than 10,000 fabrics with an array of designs, crafts, colours & dress materials. If you’re a designer or boutique owner, check for fabric wholesale suppliers.
- What should I look for when buying fabric?
Apart from the basics that involve fabric type, weight & texture, having a purpose in mind for the fabric really helps. For example, if you're imagining a flowy midi skirt the best-suited fabric will be a lightweight, flowy fabric like satin, modal satin, crepe or georgette.
- When buying a piece of fabric one should examine it for?
The foremost property to look for when buying fabric is the weight & fall of the fabric. These two properties will help you decide whether any fabric will fulfil the purpose you're buying it for.
- How do you choose high quality fabric?
The quality of fabric can be determined by the fibres used in the making, texture & transparency. For example, when you opt for velvet, cotton velvet will not have the same shine as the velvet made with silk.
- How would you know if the fabric is appropriate for a project?
Having an idea of how the final project will look can help ease out the process of choosing fabric for any project. Ask yourself, is the project meant for casual affairs or occasions? Is it a flowy silhouette? Is it heavy to wear? Etc. Once you have answers to these questions, you'll be able to select the fabrics.
- Why is choosing the right kind of fabric important in sewing machine operation?
Choosing the right fabric is crucial as it determines how your project will turn out. While the majority of woven fabrics are easy to sew on beginner level sewing machines, some thicker & slippery fabrics like Corduroy, silk, satin, etc are a little more tricky. Industrial grade sewing machines come with adjustments meant for different types of fabrics.