In dress making and designing, fabric selection is vital important and integral part. Different fabrics for required for different ages, purposes and occasions. Wedding dress, uniforms, under garments, casual wears all requires different kind of fabrics and at times a combination of many.

In this page

  1. Common scenarios of fabric selection
  2. Major fabric categories and its importance

Common scenarios of fabric selection

Infant Clothing

Baby skin is very sensitive. Clothes must be soft and pliable to be really comfortable. Hence soft, knitted, fabrics are popular. Cotton fabrics are suited for babies. Synthetic are not absorbent and cause irritation for summer, simple cotton dresses are suitable in the winter, a cotton dress is worn and on over it woolen garment can be worn for comfort.


The clothes for a toddler should be designed so that it gives mainly protection and comfort. A toddler learns to stands, sit, creep, crawl, walk and climb. The clothes toddler wear should allow them to move freely and comfortable. The clothes should be light in weight but should give warmth. Soft, smooth, fabric which do not collect soil and dirt would be ideal.

Pre School Child

At this age of 3 to 4 years the child become interest in its clothes, so selection should be done carefully where the child learn mostly through clothes. Bright colours and their favourites colours red, yellow, blue and green are prefered by children. Play clothes should be more in their wardrobe.

A Preschool child clothes should be appropriative, durable and comfortable. Cotton for summer wear, wollen for winter and teri cot, silk matrials can be worn with cotton lining.

For Adults

Petticoats are generally are under wear garments which are worn next to the skin. They should be absorbant and smooth which give comfort to the wearer. Generally cotton, poplin, thin cambric, satin or rayon varieties can be worn. Slightly thik variety of cotton handloom material can be used for petticoats for children.

Major fabric categories and its importance

Clothing refers to the various articles used to cover the body. Apparel may be divided into two classes. First one the desire for warmth and for protection against elements, Secondly the desire for satisfaction we receive from wearing clothing that makes us appear to advantage. Baby's cloths need not be full of frills or elaborate, since the baby's comfort should be the main criterion. Their clothes are meant to protect them from colds and chills, while allowing enough freedom of movement for the limbs. Clothes should not be tight as they will hamper the circulation and breathing

The appearance of a garment is greatly influenced by the fabric used for construction, not all fabrics are suitable for all garments. To choose a suitable fabric for a specific end use calls for basic knowledge in fabric construction and types of fabrics available in the market. Fabrics are produced mostly from yarns. Few fabrics are directly produced from fabrics. Fabrics are made from yarns and are constructed mostly either by weaving or knitting. In Indian market, seventy percent of the fabrics are produced by weaving. Among the other fabric constructions, lace making is worth mentioning. Felts are fabrics made directly from fibers without making yarns.

Woven Fabrics

Woven FabricWoven fabrics are made by using two or more sets of yarn interlaced at right angles to each other. Much variety is produced by weaving. Woven fabrics are generally more durable. They can be easily cut into different shapes and are excellent for producing styles in garments. However the raw edges ravel or fray easily and need to be protected. Fabrics having more fabric count (number of wrap and weft yearns present) keep the shape well. Low count fabrics are less durable and may snag or stretch.

Woven fabrics are manufactured in different widths depending on the end use. The fabrics used for apparels usually contain 90 cms width. The Sheeting materials are generally made having a width of 160 cm/140cms and 150cms/180 cms.

Knitted Fabrics

Knitted FabricKnitting is the construction of an elastic, porous fabric, created by interlocking yarns by means of needles. Knitted fabrics can be made much more quickly and easily than woven fabrics at comparatively less cost. Knitted fabrics are generally light in weight, comfortable in wear even during travel, but yet require little care to keep their neat appearance. The tendency of knits to resist wrinkling is another factor to boost up their popularity. Knitted fabrics are used for designing active clothing such as sports clothing. Their elastic nature permits for abundant physical activity. Knitted fabrics are produced by two general methods. Warp knitting and weft knitting. They are made as flat or tubular fabrics depending on the end use. Tubular fabrics may not have any seams at the sides where as flat fabrics are treted just like woven fabrics.

Laced Fabrics

Laced FabricLace is an open work fabric consisting of a network of threads or yarns formed into intricate designs. Laces are developed for beauty and adornment. Lace which looks so delicate is made out of strong yarns looped or twisted together in a more complicated manner than any other methods of construction. Thus they are expensive too. They are manufactured in many widths, shapes and in limitless variety of patterns.

Hand made laces are more expensive than machine made laces. As expensive goods are preferred only by few, the machine made laces are more popular among consumers. Laces are produced either in the form of a fabric or in a shape suited for a particular end use. They are mostly used as trimmings, on apparels and home furnishings.

Blended Fabrics

Blended FabricsIt is important to observe that production of staple yarn is not limited to composition from one kind of fiber the stapele of two or more kinds of fibers may be combined for blended at different stages. When different types of fibers are blended, the properties of these fibers are also combined in the blended yarns.