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How to Choose Fabric for Clothing in an Apparel Fabric Store?

Fabric selection is one of the most important steps in sewing a dress. Choosing the wrong fabric can mean a big regret, and we have been there. Luckily, there is usually more than one “perfect fabric” for all types of patterns, and with just a few consideration, you can simply hit the mark.

How to select fabric for clothes?

When beginning a sewing job, you will start in one of two points; either you will have fallen in love with a fabric and want to find a suitable pattern for it, or you will have fallen in love with the pattern and want the material to make it.  In both of the ways, you are in love, so that is an excellent place to start with.

Have a pattern?

Patterns will let you know which fabric they were created for. Though there aren’t any sewing police that will come and arrest you if you deviate from the suggested version of the materials, a sewer who is a beginner will like to stick to the list of fabrics. The fabrics listed will have characteristics like a stretch, drape, and weight, which will complement the design of the pattern.

Here is the list of specific fabrics and their corresponding characteristics.

Cotton voile

Cotton voile is a lightweight fabric with a semi-sheer appearance and has an excellent drape.

Cotton lawn

Although quite similar to cotton voile cotton law is slightly crisper as compared to the later.

Rayon challis

Rayon Challis is lightweight and smooth. It drapes well, and it is comparatively heavier as compared to other lightweight fabrics including cotton lawn and cotton voile.


Chambray is another lightweight and smooth option for your dressing. However, chambray does not drape like the way cotton voile, rayon challis, and cotton lawn does.


You probably already know, this stuff is one of the heavyweight fabrics with very little stretch or drape.

Double Gauze

Double gauze is a unique fabric, and it is literally 2 layers of gauze woven combine. This double layer of the material solves the main issue of sewing clothing from gauze i.e., the sheerness, while it retains the perfect qualities of being extremely light breathable like cotton voile.



When you opt to the knit fabric class, you will find various types of option ranging from light to medium weight fabrics. Knit fabric is a go-to for any kind of clothing that need to have a lot of stretch or drape. Patterns are meant for either woven or knit fabrics. Additionally, the size of the pattern for knit fabric will usually specify the level of stretch required in the fabric.


With lightweight and delicacy, silk is a fabric that drapes well. Silk fabric has a slightly shimmery look. It can be slippery, and therefore, you need to be very careful while working with it. Silk can also be used for high-quality lining fabric.


It can vary from light to heavyweight. The weight of satin depends on the type of it. Like silk, it also has a glossy look, but it drapes well because of slightly heavier characteristics.


Linen is medium weight, and it has little elasticity that leads to the wrinkles for which it is popular. It conducts heat well that is the reason why linen is so much popular choice for anything warm weather.


There are more than 200 types of wool out there. Wool is produced from around 40 different kinds of sheep. Therefore you will get all types of variety in this type of fabric. Wool is very hard-wearing it versatile. The wool gives you toast warm feeling and it is better for colder seasons.


Flannel is a lightweight and soft fabric that works fine for cold temperature pants, shirts, jackets, and the like.

So you find one of the great fabric for your next coming event? Now match this fabric to the dress of your choice and start shopping for the patter!


For pants, you can opt for flannel, wool, and denim. For warmer weather, you can go for linen

Blouses and Shirts

For shirts and blouses you can opt anything from rayon challis, cotton voile, knit, double gauze, chambray, silk, linen, cotton lawn. For fewer drape blouses and shirts go for flannel.


Skirts look good when you chose one of the fabric from rayon challis, cotton lawn, knit or linen. The idea is to pick one that offers excellent drape.


For dresses, you need to choose something that offers perfect drape and finest breathability. So go for cotton lawn, cotton voile, rayon challis, knit, double gauze, satin, silk, linen. For colder weather, opt for wool.


So next time, when you are standing in an apparel fabric store, keep these tips in mind before you choose your fashion fabric or accessories. I hope this article will help you a lot.


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