Designers use various fabrics as their best fashion fabrics these days. It all depends on the style of the garment they’re creating, and how they want the fabric to drape. Let's look at the diverse range of clothing and dress fabrics available for sale in the UK market. This will give you an idea of what to include in your fabric collection when you choose your next masterpiece

What are good fabrics for a fashion item?

You'll choose reasonably heavy fashion fabrics for dressmaking a jacket. But if you were dressmaking a skirt or a dress, you would choose lighter designer fashion fabrics online. It's important to determine how the fabric will drape and caress the body's contours to give a particular look.

Designers are very careful when they choose a fabric. They need to make sure that the fabric will give the garment the particular ‘look’ they’re after. 

Aside from the garment’s weight and texture, there are other considerations designers make when choosing clothing and dress fabrics. These include:

  • Quality: The better the quality of the fabric, the more long-lasting the garment will be. This is very important, because manufacturers currently produce unsustainable garments that they don't withstand the test of time. Quality is important for luxury clothing items such as a dress or a skirt. Luxury fabrics like satin dressmaking fabric include – satin, cashmere, brocade, silk, lace and velvet.
  • Natural or synthetic? Natural fabric like cotton fabric is the ideal choice for fashionable clothing. If your fabric combines a synthetic fibre with a natural fibre, you can also create a long-lasting fabric. It's interesting to note that plain cotton fabric by the metre is the most popular choice for dressmaking clothing, because it’s lightweight, soft and natural. The clothing industry uses a number of different plain fabric blends: they combine synthetic with natural fibres to create extremely hard-wearing fabric for dressmaking.
  • Breathability: One of the reasons cotton fabric is such a fashionable choice is because it breathes. The fabric also keeps one cool in summer and warm in winter (think about corduroy fabric, which is mostly made from cotton). Natural fabric choices other than corduroy that are breathable include linen and wool.
  • Easy to clean: Fashionable fabrics that require special care, or dry cleaning, aren’t likely to be chosen for everyday wear. Clothing and dress fabrics that do require this type of care are usually luxury garments that have an expensive price tag. The easier the fabric is to keep clean, the more popular it will be. 

Different types of material to use

As we know, manufacturers either create fabrics from natural fibres, synthetic fibres, or a blend of both. Let’s view each category:

Natural materials

Natural fabrics used for garments are fabrics that come from natural resources – plants or animals. Cotton and linen are both natural fabrics – we produce them from plants (we produce cotton fabrics from the cotton plant and linen fabric from flax. Silk fabric comes from the cocoons of silkworms, and we produce jersey wool from sheep’s or lamb’s wool.


These are man-made fabrics or a combination of natural and man-made fabrics. We make most synthetic fabrics from petroleum. 

We first produced nylons; these were the first synthetic fabric. They were first invented in the 1930s as a substitute for silk to make stockings. We also used the fabric to make parachutes during the war. These days you can include luggage, activewear and swimwear to the list of products for sale made from nylons.

Other popular synthetic fabrics you can consider include polyester, which is extremely durable, and elastane (also known as spandex or lycra). We use the latter stretchy fabric to make activewear because it’s light, stretches well and keeps sweat back from the skin. It also fits better. Many fabric garments like T-shirts, jeans and activewear products are all made out of a blend of fabrics that have a percentage of elastane to give them stretch.

Other types of materials

Many fabrics are what we call ‘regenerated’ fabrics. These are plain fabrics we make from cellulose fibres in wood and transform into fabrics. The most common fabrics are rayon and Tencel, both soft to the touch, easy to clean and they don’t crease. 

Rayon is a breathable silky fabric that feels very much like cotton and linen. It’s biodegradable and we often blend it with cotton fabric. Although we make it from wood pulp, the method we use to manufacture the fabric involves using chemicals.

Rayon comes in various forms. There's viscose fabricwhich is also made from wood pulp, and has various different names but are basically 'viscose’, as well as modal and lyocell. 

Another of our popular sustainable choices is recycled polyester (rPET). We make this fabric from recycled plastic bottles, which makes it far more eco-friendly than the regular price synthetic. Read all about rPET on our website here.

If you’d like to find out more about sustainability in the clothing industry, we’ve put together the perfect blog for you, entitled Why Slow Fashion is the Only Choice. We also suggest you read this: Why Sustainability in Fashion is so important.

Recycled nylons are another choice for certain luxury brands, such as Prada. This Italian design house uses recycled nylons called Re-nylon from Cameroon for certain handbags. They produce these renewable fabric nylons sustainably from discarded products and fabrics.

Woven and knitted textiles

We either weave or knit clothing and dress fabrics during their manufacturing process. If you’d like to know more about woven textiles, read What is woven fabric? A full fabric guide here!

·      Woven fabrics: Created on a loom, these fabrics are interwoven both vertically and horizontally to create fabric. This fabric doesn’t stretch and is quite sturdy. Plain woven fabrics to consider include chiffon, satin, crepe, denim and linen.

·      Jersey knit fabrics: We create these with inter-connected loops (think about hand-knitting to picture what this means). This type of plain jersey fabric is very stretchy, yet able to maintain its shape. We make two types of jersey knit fabrics – weft knit jersey and warp knit jersey. Jersey knit fabrics to consider: lace, jersey and lycra.

10 fashionable material choices

Here we have listed different plain fabrics used for fashion clothing, starting with those fabrics with natural fibres. We also include synthetic fabrics and fabrics that are a blend of both natural and synthetic.

1.   Natural material

The most popular fabric on the planet, cotton fabric is lightweight, silky, comfortable, hard wearing and breathable. It’s also hypoallergenic, so it’s ideal for kids, babies and those with sensitive skin.

Order a snood from maakeHome's Snood Selection

Another interesting fact: you can be either weave cotton or knit cotton fabric. We use this versatile fabric to make many garments. However, cotton does shrink when washed, and creases easily. Popular cotton fabrics are chintz, muslin and gingham.

2.   Denim

This is a woven fabric, a cotton twill that is strong, comfortable, hard-wearing and a firm fashion favourite. 

3.   Linen

One of the oldest natural fabrics, linen is durable and strong. Manufacturers sometimes combine linen with other fibres, both natural and synthetic, to create different fabrics. Linen fabrics often have a blend of cotton or cotton lawn fabric in them.

4.   Silk

A luxurious soft woven fabric that shimmers, it’s the oldest and most precious natural fabric on earth. Manufacturers in Europe, Europe, South Asia and China mostly produce this fabric.

The all-time dress favorite for dress fabrics is Gloss Satin

5.   Wool

We produce this fabric from the wool of sheep and goats – but you can also consider alpacas and llamas as animals that produce wool fabric.

This natural woven jersey or knit fabric is hard-wearing and warm. It doesn’t crease easily, is resistant to dust and wear and tear. However, the fabric isn’t easy to keep clean and can be a little scratchy. We use it mostly to make a jersey, sweater, gloves, scarf or socks.

6.   Velvet

An extremely soft, luxe fabric that is extravagant and warm. It symbolises royalty because it’s so plush and sumptuous.

7.   Satin

We create this fabric from a number of different fabrics. Sometimes manufacturers include a synthetic, cotton and wool or jersey to the mix. It's luxurious, glossy and we use it often for wedding dress fabrics, lingerie, shoes and handbags. We don't make this fabric from a fibre; rather we create it by knitting different strands of fibre together.

8.   Chiffon

This is another blend of various fabrics. We often make this lightweight fabric from synthetics like polyester, nylons and rayon. It’s a popular choice for accessories like scarves, dress fabric blouses and smart eveningwear.

9.   Lace

Originally made from silk or linen, manufacturers now blend various different fibres to make lace fabrics, including cotton, wool, jersey and polyester. We create this delicate fabric by looping, twisting or knitting the yarns together. 

10. Crepe

This soft, lightweight fabric is a mix of a plain weave and a twisted fabric. It has a bumpy surface. We usually produce it from fibres like cotton, silk, wool or polyester, so it’s extremely versatile.

If we make the fabric from cotton, for example, it’s called cotton crepe, and so on. The fabric doesn’t crease, which is another advantage to add to the list. Many designers make garments from georgette, which is a crepe fabric.

Price some of maake's collection

Here’s an idea of the extensive selection of base fabrics for sale we have available to print on. Feel free to add some of these – and check out our website for more options.

·      Avio Cotton Mix: Manufacturers add 5% cotton to a 95% plain polyester fabric to create this ultra-lightweight cotton blend which is perfect for garments. Chosen for its durability, drape and softness. This cotton mix prints vibrant colours.

·      Crepe de Chine: 100% polyester luxury dress material that drapes beautifully. Very lightweight and smooth.

·      Chiffon: 100% textured sheer fabric ideal for fashion garments. Prints vibrant colours.

·      Georgette: Textured 100% polyester fabric often used for fashion garments. Prints beautifully.

·      Drill: 100% cotton fabric that is ideal for tailored and casual clothing. A strong, hard wearing cotton that prints beautifully.

·      Eco Velvet: Soft 100% rPET (recycled polyester) fabric, ideal for fashion clothing and dress material. Its soft white base prints beautifully.


Explore all maake base fabrics here, from natural cotton to cotton and polyester blends and everything in between. Then add to your wishlist. Delivery is reasonably priced locally.

View our selection of sustainable ready-made fabric items here.




October 12, 2023 — Artemis Doupa