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What is Fabric selection in apparel 

● Fabric selection is a crucial step in designing a project because 
fabrics are designed for specific applications, a fabric 
manufactured for one purpose, may not be adaptable for another 
● Therefore selecting the appropriate fabric is only the first step in 
providing serviceable fabrics for apparel manufacturing.  
● Designers specify the fabric as part of their design concept.  
● Designers may develop new styles for fabrics that have been 

Various aspects of Fabric selection 

● Fabrics used in garment manufacturing can be categorized into 
two groups: ​(i) properties and (ii) characteristics.  

● A property is a static physical dimension such as yards per pound; 

whereas, the characteristic is the reaction of the fabrics when a 
force is imposed upon it. Elongation, elasticity, shrinkage and 
seam strength are examples of characteristics. These are the 
measure of reactions to dynamic conditions.  

● Characteristics are physical or chemical changes in the fabric 

resulting from the application of outside forces. 

Understanding the Concept of Fabric 

Selection for Garment Manufacturing 
Proper fabric selection is an essential task for garment making. Putting 
into consideration that fabric is the fundamental material for 
manufacturing clothes. The quality of the fabric influences not only 
the apparel’s standard but also the convenience of which a garment 
structure can be made from smooth fabric. 

Selection is one challenging task for most manufacturers. Thus, 

understanding the properties of every chosen fabric that affects the 
manufacturing process is important. Setting the appropriate fabric 
quality is an essential aspect of garment range making.  

Below are things you need to understand when it comes to proper 

fabric selection for garment making.  

Fabric Overview  
Fabric is comprised of numerous fibers. These fibers are twisted into 
yarns and then knitted together to create a fabric length. They can also 
be woven into a web and pressed together using ​circular knitting 
Garment fabric can either be created from one or more fibers and may 
have a distinct finish. There are a lot of fabrics you can choose from. 
Not to mention, new fabrics are being made almost every time. 

Specifications for Fabric 

Fabric specifications are a detailed list of required materials for the 
chosen fabric. Oftentimes, it is made by manufacturers instead of the 
designer. Hence, designers understand that there are limits when 
choosing fabrics for prototype garments.  
Choosing the Right Fabric 
There are several factors to take note of when ​choosing the right 
fabric​. This includes:  
● The outcome when it is made into a garment.  
● The overall cost you need to spend on the fabric.  
● The current trending fashion style.  
● Products that other designers may choose for a similar product.  
● Customer/company demands of your fabric choice.  
● The fabric types that are available for you.  
● The availability of fabric patterns or colors for your garment design.  
● Any special elements ​you would like to have for your fabric. 
● Fabric choice affecting the product’s quality and care.  
● Any additional equipment required to work with the chosen fabric.  
Your decisions can either make or break the design and/or quality of 
your garment. Thus, don’t take fabric specifications too lightly.​  

Fabric Selection Scenarios  

These are major key points to remember when selecting fabrics for 
your garments​. 

Baby Garments  
As we all know, babies’ skin are 
delicate and sensitive. The 
exact reason why infant 
garments should be soft and 
supple. With this, fabrics that 
are knitted and soft are mostly 
recommended.​ ​Synthetic 
fabrics may cause irritation since it is not absorbent. 

Kids under the age of 3-4 years will become interested in clothes. 
Hence, proper selection should be made since your kids will most likely 
learn through selection of clothes. Colors that are bright are mostly 
their favorite. Preschool clothes should be durable, appropriate, and 
comfortable to wear.​  

Adult clothes should be smooth, absorbent, and comfortable. Cotton, 
satin, poplin, or rayon fabric types are preferred. Thick variety of 
cotton fabric material is ideal for children’s petticoats.  

Fabric Categories  
The garment’s appearance is greatly determined by the type of fabric 
used for production. To select the right one, you should have a basic 
knowledge with proper fabric making and different types available for 
purchase in the market. Below are the major textile categories you 
should know​.  

Woven Textile  
This type of fabric is made from two or more yarn sets woven together 
at right angles. This is also more durable unlike other types. It can be 
cut easily into various shapes and is best for creating stylish clothing.  

Lace Textile 
A lace fabric consists of multiple yarns or threads made into complex 
garment designs. It is created for beauty and fashion. Moreover, laces 
are made out of yarns woven together in a complicated way than other 
methods of creation. They are quite pricey, especially the handmade 
ones. Laces are often used as apparel and home furnishing trimmings.​  

Knitted Textile 
Knitted fabrics are produced by 
yarns interconnecting each other 
using yarn needles. Fabrics of this 
type can be produced quickly and 
easily compared to woven types. 
They are lightweight, comfortable, 
and require little maintenance to 
keep their appearance neat. In 
short, they are wrinkle-resistance 
which give them an edge in the 

Fabrics that can accommodate to external factors without human 
involvement are known as smart or electronic fabrics. These types can 
react, adapt, and sense specific conditions. However, there are 
triggered factors that can affect smart textiles. Below are some of 

● Moisture  
● Heat  
● Light  
● Other external conditions  
Common Fabrics used in Garment manufacturing 
Name  Description 

CALICO  Calico is 

Made of 
cotton and 

COTTON  Cotton 
LAWN  lawn is 
made of 
combed or 
cotton. It is 
a balanced 
weave. It is soft and top weight fabric.  

COTTON  It is top 
MUSLIN  weight 
with open 
or loose 
sleepwear, shirt, dresses, etc.  

POPLIN  Poplin is 

made of 
cotton or 
blends with 
polyester. It 
has more 
warp than 
weft and 
weft are 
generally coarser.  

TAFFETA  Taffeta is 

only from 
filament yarn. Its weave is close, and 
wrap and weft same size. There is more 
warp than weft. It is fine smooth fabric 
with a very fine crosswise rib.  

DRILL  Drill is 

made of 
cotton or 

polyester. It is produced from carded 

yarn with 3/1 warp face twill.  

DENIM  Denim is produced from cotton or 

blends with polyester. Carded yarns 
only or rotor yarn is used for denim 

GABARDINE  Gabardine 
is usually 
wool or 

man-made fibers. It is usually fine, 

combed, and worsted.  

TWEED  Tweed 
may be 
coarse or 
cotton, man-made fiber and blends 

SATEEN/SATI Sateen is 

N  weft float 
cotton. It 
is top 
smoothest, fullest and mostly lustrous 
and very flexible fabric.  


Understanding different fabrics is one great way for you to know which type is best 
for your garment manufacturing. Not only that, each fabric holds its own unique 
features suitable for various human needs. What’s important, you’re producing 
garments that will not only bring your good revenue, but also make wearers 

Fabric Sourcing: 5 Important Points to Remember 
Importance of Fabric Selection in garment making