11 common cotton fabrics and their many handy uses

December 7, 2014

Cotton is so common today that choosing a fabric for a sewing project can be tough. To help you, here's a list of eleven common cotton fabrics and their many uses.
Cotton is easy to care for. That's why it’s the most widely used natural fiber for everything from furniture and decorating to clothing. However, cotton fabric includes such an amazing variety of weaves and textures that it is sometimes difficult to find your way among them. Here are the characteristics of a few types of cotton fabric to help you sort them out.

1. Plain or printed cotton fabrics

  • They are light, stretchy, easy to sew and are often used for shirts, blouses and dresses.

2. Poplin

  • Tightly-woven with a satin-like look, this good-quality fabric is easy to sew and maintain. It's ideal for dress shirts and fancy dresses.

3. Cottonjersey

  • Both knitted and stretchy, the properties of this fabric make it perfect for t-shirts, casual dresses and sleepwear.
  • Jersey is often blended with elastane (Lycra), allowing it to be converted into leggings or tights as well as stretchy skirts or dresses.

4. Brushed cotton (fleece)

  • Fleece is the perfect fabric for warm sweaters. In fact, once the cotton is brushed, its soft and plush surface retains warmth.

5. Towelling (terry cloth)

  • Terry cloth is a little more rigid and less soft. Due to its high absorbency, it is used to make towels, bathrobes, bath mats or beach wear.

6. Flannel

  • Flannel has a downy feel, but it isn’t stretchy. It is used mainly for sleepwear.

7. Corduroy

  • This cotton fabric has a velvety, ridged texture. Sturdy and easy to sew, it’s the perfect fabric for winter clothing such as pants, jackets and skirts.

8. Cotton voile

  • Cotton voile is very fine and transparent. it is used mainly to line clothing such as dresses and skirts.

9. Cotton twill

  • Thick and robust, cotton twill is ideal for work clothes, shorts, pants or jackets.

10. Jean fabric and denim

  • Although jean fabric is lighter and thinner than denim, both fabrics are similar. Among other things, they are used to make overalls, work clothes, shorts and jackets.

11. Gingham

  • Gingham is a cotton canvas with checks or stripes that’s perfect for aprons, blouses or summer dresses.

And there’s still more...

Embroidered cotton, organic cotton, cotton piqué, jacquard, seersucker, cretonne, batiste cotton, madras and chambray: there’s no lack of cotton fabrics out there! Cotton is often blended with other fibres, such as polyester. To make sure you choose the proper fabric for your project, don’t hesitate to consult the experts at your local fabric store.

11 common cotton fabrics and their many handy uses
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