Different Types of Woven Fabrics and Their Uses

In our previous blog post, we looked at how woven fabric is created and its characteristics.  In our blog post today, we look at 16 different types of woven fabrics that you may encounter in your sewing journey



White Buckram woven fabric

Buckram is a stiff cotton cloth with a plain, usually loose, weave widely used in linings and as a supportive material in necklines, collars, waistbands, baseball caps and bags. The fabric is usually white and has a coarse texture. It’s made of woven weave that is soaked in a sizing agent such as wheat-starch paste, glue or pyroxylin. This gives the fabric more strength and durability. Because it is coated, the fabric is also water-resistant.

Cheese Cloth


White Cheese Cloth Fabric

Cheese cloth is a lightweight sheer fabric having an open weave and a slight crepe texture. The gauze-like structure of the lightest cheesecloth makes it suitable for food production, while heavier weights may be used for garment making such as women’s and children’s dresses. Due to its open structure, it does not require much ironing.



Red Chiffon Fabric


Chiffon is probably one of the most popular types of woven fabrics and one of the most luxurious. The fabric is sheer and lightweight and made from hard twisted yarns. Chiffon was originally woven from silk fibres however today chiffon is generally made from rayon or polyester. As chiffon is incredibly delicate, it is often woven by hand. Automated machines can be used to make the fabric however the machines also have to work at a slow pace to avoid causing any damage to finished textiles. 

Chiffon has a slippery texture therefore place sheets of paper on either side of the fabric while sewing. Once the garment is sewn, the paper can be carefully ripped out.

Chiffon drapes well and is used for women’s evening wear, wedding dresses, scarves, ribbons and bows.



Chintz fabric with a flower pattern

Chintz is cotton fabric to which substances called ‘mordants’ and ‘resists’, have been applied. These are used to help dyes adhere to the fabric. It is often printed with large, multi-coloured flowers but can also be dyed a solid colour or printed with geometric designs such as dots and stripes. Chintz ranges in weight from mild to heavy and is most often used for drapes, decorative cushions, dresses and pyjamas. 



Corduroy fabric

Corduroy is a cut pile fabric which is usually made of cotton although it can be combined with polyester and other synthetic fibres. The cut pile fibres form ridges on the surface which are known as 'wales', and these vary significantly in width. Corduroy fabric’s 'wale number' is determined by the number of wales contained in a single inch of fabric, the lower the number, the thicker the wales on corduroy fabric will be. A standard corduroy will have 8-13 wales per inch, elephant corduroy can have a wale number between 1.5 and 6 whereas pinwale corduroy features up to 21 wales per inch. 

Corduroy is mainly used for trousers, overalls, jeans, shirts and children’s clothes.



Blue crepe fabric

Crepe is a type of crinkle-textured fabric that can be made from natural or synthetic fibres. Traditionally crepe was made from natural fibres such as silk, but today, crepe is produced from a variety of fibres, including synthetics. Often crepe will be smooth on one side and textured on the other.

Crepe fabric is a perfect choice for draped clothing or accessories and is often used for evening wear, weddings, blouses, and dresses.



Denim fabric

Denim is a cotton fabric made using a twill weave in which the warp threads are dyed blue while the weft threads are left white. This gives denim its unique colour and appearance. Denim is a very strong, and durable fabric and is used for making clothes, accessories, and furniture. In clothing it is used to make jeans, dresses, hats, jeggings, jackets, shirts, suits, and sneakers. Whilst denim is made from cotton fibres it can also be mixed with elastane fibres to introduce stretch into the fabric. The stretch of the fabric will depend on the percentage of elastane in it.



Checked flannel fabric


Flannel is a loosely woven fabric that is twill or plain-woven. It is typically made from wool or cotton and is brushed on one side with a fine metal brush which raises the fibres to form a nap which gives it a soft texture. The napped finish can be found on either one or both sides of the fabric. Due to its texture which traps heat, flannel is often used for shirts, pyjamas, and bedding. Flannel is often woven with patterns, especially plaid and tartan.



Grey Garbardine fabric

Garbardine is a tightly woven twill weave fabric that has a raised texture. It is a strong fabric typically made from either cotton or wool. Man-made fibes such as polyester or rayon can also be blended in. Cotton garbardine is used more widely than wool with many designers using it to make skirts, dresses, pants, jackets and uniforms. Cotton garbardine is lighter in weight than its wool cousin, but durable and soft to touch. Wool gabardine is used in suits, trousers, skirts and jackets and is very durable.



Pink georgette fabric 

Georgette is a lightweight sheer fabric, woven in plain weave. It is made with twisted yarns that create puckers on the surface, giving it a crinkled appearance. Georgette is made from silk, rayon, or polyester. It’s mainly used for blouses, scarves, dresses, gowns, bridal wear, and party wear. Indian sarees are often made from silk georgette since the material layers beautifully and drapes well around the wearer’s body.



Printed lawn fabric

Lawn fabric is a fine, lightweight, crisp plain weave fabric that is commonly made with cotton. The fabric has a relatively high thread count, which gives it a silky texture. Due to the way it is woven, lawn cloth is usually semi-transparent. Cotton lawn is often printed with attractive patterns and is ideal for shirts and blouses, dresses, nightdresses, and children’s wear. As well as dressmaking, cotton lawn can be used for furnishing projects such as sheer curtains.



White muslin fabric

Muslin is a lightweight open cloth of plain weave. It is made from cotton fibres and a high thread count which creates a soft, flexible, and breathable material. Muslin is used for baby items (such as swaddle blankets), clothing, upholstery, window dressings, photography, and for culinary purposes such as jam making and filtering liquids. It is often used to make ‘toiles’ to test patterns before cutting and stitching the final product. Doctors also use muslin in surgery, wrapping muslin gauze around aneurysms to make the artery stronger and prevent rupture.



Light blue organza fabric

Organza is a plain weave fabric that is lightweight and sheer. Originally made exclusively from silk, it is now also made from polyester or nylon. Organza has a stiff crisp finish and is very delicate and is prone to frays and tears. The fabric is typically used for wedding dresses, evening wear, underskirts and specialty dancewear like tutus.



Pink poplin fabric 

Poplin is a plain weave fabric with very fine horizontal ribs that results in a strong, crisp fabric. It can be light or medium weight and is usually made from cotton although other fibres such as polyester, silk and lycra can be used. Poplin is commonly used to make shirts, trousers, dresses, and skirts.



Taffeta fabric

Taffeta is a smooth, crisp, transparent fabric with fine rib. Originally made with silk fibres, modern taffeta can be woven from other synthetic fibres such as polyester or rayon. Taffeta has a distinct crispness and shine to the fabric. It is considered a luxury fabric and is mostly used for evening gowns, wedding gowns and prom dresses. It is also used for home décor items such as curtains.



Red velvet fabric

Velvet is a closely woven fabric with a short, thick, plush pile. Velvet can be woven into a plain, twill, or satin weave and is usually made from silk, cotton, or polyester. There are several different kinds of velvet available depending on how the fabric is made and what fibre has been used. These include crushed velvet, embossed velvet, stretch velvet (to which spandex has been added), and patterned velvet, in which the piles are cut to varying lengths. Velvet should be ironed on the back of the fabric as it can have a negative impact on the appearance of the pile. Known for its shine and softness, velvet is for used for clothing such as dresses and suits and for upholstery fabric.


In our review above, we have looked at a wide range of woven fabrics. From the stiff and water-resistant buckram to the delicate and luxurious chiffon, each fabric has its own unique qualities. So, whether you're looking to sew elegant evening wear or everyday outfits, there is bound to be a woven fabric perfectly suited to your project.



1 comment
by Sommers on March 15, 2024

This blog beautifully outlines various types of woven fabrics and their practical uses. It’s a helpful resource for understanding different fabric types and their applications in fashion and beyond.

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