How To Choose The Right Fabric For Your Sewing Project

After deciding what you want to make, the most crucial step in beginning a new sewing project is selecting a fabric. You want the completed result to be a success after all the trouble and money of purchasing the sewing machine you love, a design you love, and a fabric you adore. 

Starting by confirming your cloth is appropriate for the project is one approach to achieving that. Of course, there are times when the project you’re trying to produce will dictate the type of cloth you use. For the best results, you should always use quilter’s weight cotton while sewing a quilt, for instance.

How To Choose The Right Fabric For Your Sewing Project (Expert Tips)

Making sure you like the fabric you select is a wonderful idea, but you don’t want to finish a project just to find out you used the wrong kind of cloth.  So we’ve put together some tips to help you choose which fabric is best for your project, to save you time and money and prevent you from doing a complete project for practically nothing.

1. Consider The Purpose Or Use

What kind of clothing are you thinking of buying? Where and how will it be used? Before selecting a fabric, you should consider these questions. A piece of clothing that will be worn frequently should be made of strong, long-lasting materials.

Those worn during physical activity require a very different type of fabric than clothing worn during business meetings or other formal occasions. Before beginning a project that might not be finished soon, research the challenges of working with the required material.

2. Pay Attention To The Characteristics

How do you find the ideal fabric for a project you already have in mind? One strategy is to look at similar products you currently own or find in stores. What material did those have? Look for something comparable. 

Next, consider the qualities you want the end item to have. Will it be fitting or loose if it’s clothing? dressy or standard? for chilly or mild weather? Do you like a print or solid color? Use a strong fabric, like canvas, if you are constructing a non-wearable item, like a potholder or pillow cover. Additionally, take heed of the washing directions on the fabric you choose! Both in the short and long terms, that will be significant.

3. Take Notes And Photos

The amount of knowledge available regarding materials, their features, and their applications could become daunting. Therefore, start with the project at hand and don’t try to take it all in at once. Find out everything you can about the fabric you use for this specific project. – Jot down notes and snap images. 

You will be well on your way to becoming an expert once you have completed several projects utilizing various fabrics. Take each project as it comes, though. The notes and pictures will be useful for later reference and review.

4. Do Your Research

Collecting books on the various fabrics is a nice idea, but if you’re ready to look, you can find a lot of information online. Keep a record of the ones you use, including all relevant information. Add a few swatches of fabric for reference.

You’ll look back on it later and be happy you took the time to do it. When you begin a new project, you can access your library of knowledge.

5. Make Use Of Suggestions

When you have a favorite fabric and need to make something with it, your best chance is to look for a pattern designed just for that kind of cloth. Most of the time, if you start with a pattern that you know you want to make, the pattern will specify the best fabric to use for that pattern, or at least, provide guidelines.

Remember, the rules were put in place for a purpose; follow them! You can choose your path and take action, but if things don’t work out as planned, you could have to start over. Just remember that those who created patterns tried it out on specific fabrics, so you don’t have to.

6. Make Use Of Cotton

Start with cotton, like what you may find in a fabric store’s quilting section if you are a beginner sewer. Nearly anything can be made using cotton, because it is the most adaptable and simple fabric to deal with. 

Since it shrinks, make sure to wash it beforehand. Pre-shrink is the only method to guarantee an ideal fit at the project’s conclusion. Choose a craft project or piece of clothing to create, avoid projects requiring elastic materials, such as knits, or ones involving upholstery (heavy, durable fabrics). 

Fabrics that are simple to handle include flannel, sturdy woven silks, and wool or wool blends in addition to woven cotton. Whenever possible, stay away from napped materials like velvet or faux fur.

7. Keep Note Of The Required Width

36, 45, or 60-inch widths are the most popular garment fabrics. Verify the pattern has the required width to fit all the pattern parts. For beginners, especially, working with too-narrow fabric is practically difficult.

8. Does It Need A Lining?

You could choose a thin, flowing garment that drapes well. However, an extremely sheer fabric might need to have at least a partial lining to be acceptable and durable enough for everyday wear. Such a demand unquestionably raises the required skill set.

Also, elaborate linings are frequently needed for professional attire. Even a simple lining is typically made using materials that are difficult for beginners to deal with. To prevent such surprises, thoroughly read the pattern criteria.

9. Purchasing Fabric Online

Online fabric purchases are not advised for new sewers. Learning how various kinds of materials behave takes time and experience. The ideal classroom is the section or store dedicated to fabrics, where you may feel and get acquainted with the thick and thin, rigid or flowing, and other variants of fibers.

However, some textiles are becoming more difficult to locate today. With greater experience, you might start using online resources for harder-to-find fabrics like wool, silk, or variations of linen.

10. Inspect The Drape

According to experts, it is important to always examine the fabric’s drape. Going with the hue and appearance alone is insufficient. You must evaluate the technical aspects of the fabric’s manufacturing process. 

If you are buying it offline, unroll a few yards of the fabric to see how it hangs. Check the characteristics if you’re buying it online, before deciding which is best. In general, linens hang heavier and silk drapes more lightly.

11. Assess The Color

When choosing the fabric, color is an important consideration. Therefore, be careful to make a sensible color choice. It’s because the hue always seems different, depending on the lighting or screen of your phone or laptop.

The color of the material is completely different from what you see on screens or in strong lights.

12. Check Out The Stretch 

If you are purchasing the product offline, it is simple to test the stretch of the clothing material. Simply stretch the fabric by pulling it between your fingers. Try to discuss the material’s elasticity with the vendor if you’re purchasing cloth online. T

he stretch of the material is a personal preference, much as the width. Buy a stretchable fabric if you want your outfit to look more natural. Otherwise, a non-stretchable material will also work.

What Are The Common Fabrics Used For Garments?

Below is a list of the most popular fabrics that can be used to carry out your sewing projects. Some of these fabrics are complicated and are not advisable to be used by beginner sewers, while others can be used by both beginners and professionals. 

– Cotton

Cotton is a woven fabric that comes in various weights and is perfect for applications ranging from casual to fancy sewing projects.

While heavier cotton is stiff and better able to maintain its shape, lighter cotton flows and moves more freely. For beginning sewers, cotton blends and 100% cotton work well. 

– Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic non-woven fabric with varying degrees of stretchability. While cutting or sewing, the material has a greater tendency to slide apart.

Despite the enormous popularity of polyester materials in middle-class retail establishments, seasoned sewers who are aware of the benefits of natural fibers do not find them appealing.

– Wool

Of all natural fibers, wool is special. The fine thread or thick yarn can be created from it. Even when wet, the fibers maintain their warming capabilities, and allow air circulation while being effective insulators.

Since it offers a combination of great design and utility, wool has been a go-to cloth for people frequently exposed to the elements.

– Silk

The slick, silky feel of silk makes working with it difficult, and it’s more suitable for advanced sewers than beginners. Silk is also a more pricey fabric, so you might want to go online for more texture and color options.

– Brocade

In both natural and synthetic forms, brocade is a thick, textured fabric. It could be necessary to match the designs, and the fabric has a propensity to fray rapidly. The rich hues and textures of brocade, however, create a stunning, original design appearance.

Which Fabric Is Best For Daily Use?

One of the most widely used breathable natural materials is cotton. An item of clothing produced from the cotton plant’s fibrous balls. It is currently one of the strongest and most popular fabrics in use worldwide. The fabric’s minute hollow spaces are what make it breathable. They may take in and discharge perspiration more easily. 

By wicking away sweat, cotton garments keep the body cool by allowing air to pass between the fibers. Due to its porous structure, cotton absorbs not only one type of dye, but also others. Cotton is a versatile material that works well for various applications.


Sewing disasters, fabric waste, and discouragement can all be avoided by giving the aforementioned factors some thought. It will benefit you, in the long run, to take the time to complete the project appropriately with the right fabric. Instead of feeling angry about the time and resources you squandered, you will be pleased with the finished job.

Along with these factors, you can also consider your budget while purchasing the fabric. Create a budget first, then decide what is best. When purchasing clothing materials online, research the cost of the same material on other shopping sites before selecting the most affordable choice.