Fabric 101: The Breakdown of Different Fabric Types

Who really looks at the fabric type when shopping? Believe it or not, some people do. Think about when Dri-FIT first hit the market; if you were the type to workout often, that was the ideal material to buy to stay dry (hence the name). In this post, I want to breakdown the different fabrics we carry in our store.



Polyester is a synthetic fiber mostly composed of petroleum. While it’s not as breathable as cotton and linen, its resistance to absorb stains and durability can stand the test of time. Polyester blends are a popular trend, because you get the durability of polyester, with the breathability of another fabric. Garments made from polyester can last a long time, and require less water, energy and heat when washing clothes. Polyester can also be used to make the textile weave satin.  


Nylon is a strong synthetic material made from petrochemicals. Typically used for blouses, dresses, hosiery, lingerie, underwear, etc. Although its stronger and more expensive to produce than polyester, they both make good choices for clothing.


Cotton is a fluffy material that comes from natural fibers of cotton plants that is lightweight and breathable, making it a great material to stay cool in hot weather. It’s intended to be durable enough to use every day, which is why many items are made from cotton, such as: garments, t-shirts, bedding, furniture, etc. It is the second most used fabric after polyester. 


Spandex is a synthetic fiber that is blended with several fibers to add stretch and elasticity to materials.


Linen is a strong and lightweight fabric made from flax plant that is commonly known for the lining inside jackets. Linen is also absorbent and breathable, allowing air to pass through and help balance body temperature. You will notice designers starting to blend linen with cotton. 


Viscose is a semi-synthetic type of rayon fabric made from wood pulp. It is considered a silk substitute, due to its similar drape, luster, and smooth feel when compared to its luxury counterpart.



Source: MasterClass staff. www.masterclass.com. MasterClass, Aug. 2021, https://www.masterclass.com/articles/28-types-of-fabrics-and-their-uses. Accessed 29 June. 2022). 

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