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The Difference in Fabric Types

The biggest difference when it comes to fabric types are whether they are natural or man-made. Both have great qualities that can be perfect for different items.


  • Cotton and Linen - These fabrics are breathable yet highly absorbent. They can withstand very high temperatures, but are soft and comfortable to the touch.
    • Types of cotton and linen fabrics include denim, corduroy, seersucker, and terry cloth.
    • The uses for cotton and linen are abundant! These fabrics absorb colors well, so they’re often used when dyeing fabrics. They’re also used in upholstery, chair cushions, curtains, and table covers; apparel such as socks, underwear, and sheets. Cotton is also used for high versatility blankets.
  • Silk - This is known for its amazing texture and beautiful luster.
    • Uses: windows, rugs, throw pillows, and baby bedding/blankets.
  • Wool - Known for its warmth; it also has a soft and fuzzy feel, there is no shine, and it doesn’t hold a crease. This fabric tends to be heavier and bulkier than others.
    • Uses: Carpeting, blankets, and floor coverings; apparel include coats, suits, skirts, pants, and kilts.


  • Nylon, polyester, rayon, viscose and acrylic - Though they are man-made, they have a very natural feel. These fabrics require less maintenance and are generally easily washable.
    • Uses: Polyester is used to make a lot of different kinds of clothing, especially suits. Fleece works great for comfortable blankets that wick moisture.
  • Microfibers - These are durable and very popular due to their ability to repel moisture.
    • Uses: Cleaning cloths, with the fibers formed a certain way, can be really good at picking up dust and are 100% washable. The fabric’s ability to repel moisture has also made it a good fabric to use on furniture, such as couches.

Another difference in fabrics, as I’m sure you’ve noticed when shopping for clothes, are woven fabrics versus knit fabrics.
Woven fabrics include twill, satin, solid dyed, yarn dyed, and printed fabrics. They’re used to create:

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Coats
  • Dresses
  • Jackets

Knit fabrics include types like single jersey, double jersey, rib, interlock, pique, lacoste, fleece, and solid dyed, yarn dyed, and printed fabrics. This family of fabrics is used to create clothing like:

  • Skirts
  • T-Shirts
  • Underwear
  • Trousers
  • Sweaters

Where to Buy?

  • Walmart:
    • 100% polyester, 100% Cotton, and a blend of the two: $4.97 - $9.97 per yard
    • Fleece: $4.41 per yard
  • Pottery Barn:
    • Linen/Cotton: $40 per yard
    • Denim: $30 per yard
  • Ebay
    • Cotton: $5 - $9.99
    • Knit Fabric: $4.99 - $11.99
  • Joanne’s
    • Flannel: $2.99 - $6.99
    • Fleece: $4.99 - $12.99
    • Satin/Lace: $4.99 - $6.99