Learn about the types of textured fabrics for sewing that you can use for making clothes, drapery, and more. Textured fabrics give any sewn item its own stylish look, even without adding any embellishment. Choosing the right clothing textures and fabric will ensure you achieve the right style you are looking for.
Types of Textured Fabrics for Sewing
Texture refers to the fabric surface’s feels and looks, thanks to the threads used and how the manufacturer put the fibers together. Cloth texture is one of the most important aspects of fashion and interior design. With the many types of textured fabrics for sewing, below are the most common ones that you’ll find in fabric stores.
A French term meaning “to curl”, this fabric has differently colored loops that give it a nubby texture. These loops come in different sizes, ranging from small circles to large curls, but each fabric will only have one similar size. Each loop also has a small space between them. This fabric can be either natural fibers, synthetic, or a combination of both. You’ll mostly find it used in upholstery, such as sofa and armchairs.
As one of the types of textured fabrics for sewing derived from a French term, this fabric resembles what the word means in English: caterpillar. It’s a luxurious, velvety fabric with a bulky pile texture. It’s commonly used for blankets, bedding, sweaters, and upholstery.
As the name implies, the cloth’s float yarn has been finished using the chinchilla machine to turn them into naps, nubs, or twisted tufts. Thus, the cloth’s surface has a soft but irregular texture. It’s made of wool or wool blends with a cotton warp to add strength.
Also spelled as crape, this textured fabric has a crimped and crisp appearance. It is available in different types, and not all have well-defined textures. The most common types of textured fabrics for sewing under this category of crepe fabric include:
- Canton: This type of crepe has a well-defined textured surface, thanks to the visible rib on the fabric’s surface.
- Crinkle: This type has an alternating crepe and plain surface, giving it a well-pronounced texture and great style.
- Moroccan: The most distinguishing feature of this fabric is the wavy weaves that give it texture.
- Plisse: One of the lightest textured fabrics, plisse crepe has a puckered look because it underwent chemical treatments.
- Satin: Contrary to other crepes, satin crepe’s texture is at the back instead of the front surface.
- Wool: This has twisted yarns that give the fabric a bumpy texture.
5. Crinkled Finished Cotton
This cotton-made fabric has a crinkled appearance due to chemical and heat treatments applied while the fabric is still in its compacted or compressed state. It is one of the types of textured fabrics that can be made using two types of cotton.
- Percale: This smooth, non-glossy, firm, woven cotton is commonly used to make bed sheets.
- Seersucker: These checkered or striped types of textured fabrics for sewing have a medium weight and a well-defined puckered appearance. They're typically used for sewing summer clothes, overcoats, blazers, and jeans.
6. Fake Fur or Fur Type Pile Fabric
Aptly named, these textured fabrics seem like they’re crafted with animal fur, but they’re not. Faux fur fabrics usually have a knitted foundation or background and dense, heaped surface.
Makers of the felt types of textured fabrics press or squeeze the natural fiber, typically wool or blended. Then, they roll the material by applying enough pressure and moisture to give its signature texture. It’s a dense type of highly textured fabric commonly used in producing accessories.
The texture of flocked fabrics is achieved by creating a unique design. Manufacturers apply adhesive binders on the base fabric’s surface. Then, bits of glitter, nylon flocks, or cotton rayon get blown to it, giving the fabric a raised surface. Some manufacturers also sometimes pull the flock through the base fabric.
9. Hammered Satin
As one of the most common types of textured fabrics for sewing upholstery and dresses, hammered satin has a pebble-like surface. It’s also perfect for making special occasion attire and evening gowns because of its elegant appearance.
The texture of the fabric is all thanks to the dobby weave technique. It’s a type of coarse cotton or linen cloth with a small, geometric woven-in design. It’s common for making towels, thanks to its absorbent property, and creating embroidery projects.
Jacquard fabric has a raised surface made of differently colored, robust silk threads, usually silver or gold. The woven pattern creates designs, mostly flowers, so it's a common fabric for blankets, home decor, and upholstery covers.
Lace is one of the many types of textured fabrics for sewing, which is available in various types. It can be handmade or machine-made and has an adorned surface and elevated patterns. It’s a common fabric for undergarments and wedding gowns.
This fabric has a puckered or wrinkled surface that gives it a design, such as geometrics, florals, and medallions. These designs look like they've been quilted or padded. The item has two pieces of cloth, so it’s puffy and soft, making it perfect for bedding and suits.
This sheer fabric has an open-weave and twisted, knotted, curved, or knitted yarn that gives it its signature texture. It also has square octagonal or hexagonal meshes. One of the most popular net types of textured fabrics for sewing is point d’ esprit; one that has attached larger flecks. You can even find some with embroidery, giving it more texture.
Chemical treatment, together with heat, pressure, or both, are used to create pleats on fabric manually or with the help of a machine or special pleating paper. The pleats get distributed either randomly or regularly. If the manufacturer used a piece of paper, the textured fabric would have more volume.
16. Rib Knit
This double-knitted fabric has vertical ridges, also known as ribbing, that you can stretch crosswise. It's commonly used on cuffs and necklines.
There are several rib-knit types of textured fabrics that you can consider, including:
- Corduroy: This fabric has a mild texture, thanks to its corded or waled pattern and raised cut.
- Crepe de Chine: This lustrous and beautiful type of textured fabric has fine ribbing on its surface.
- Faille: This woven fabric has large, pronounced, cross-grained ribbing.
- Glossy Silk or Satin: This attractive fabric has alternating ribs and stripes.
17. Ribbon Knit
As its name implies, this knitted fabric has yarn or ribbon loops to create texture, and instead of spun yarn, creators use rayon ribbon or narrow acetate. The background or foundation fabric, though, is cotton.
18. Shirred or Smocked
If you love clothes that stretch to get the perfect fit, you probably are familiar with shirred or smocked tops. They're the types of textured fabrics with pinwheel, swirl, ruffle, and more patterns created with elastic thread or spandex yarn. Thus, the fabric gets crinkled and has pleating, giving it texture. Some fashion designers or tailors also add adornments or embroidery to give the final product added design and style.
19. Slubbed Silk
As one of the types of textured fabrics for sewing specifically for a particular fabric type, slubbed silk has an irregular surface. The rough yarns used in its construction run horizontally, creating a coarse, matte surface.
20. Sweater Knits
This fabric is highly textured, thanks to the bulky yarn used in manufacturing it. It also generally has unique stitching patterns that add more texture to the fabric. These types of textured fabrics for sewing are also fuzzy, perfect for making sweaters; thus, the name.
This heavyweight fabric has a rough texture because of the twill or herringbone weaving. You’ll also find tweeds with colored slubs that add more texture to the fabric. It’s usually made into jackets, coats, and skirts, but some lighter varieties are great for making home decor.
Another bulky type of textured fabric, terrycloth, has loops on one of its surfaces or both surfaces. It’s absorbent, soft, and cozy, so it’s commonly used for producing robes, towels, soft toys, and even cloth diapers. You can find woven and knitted terrycloth varieties.
23 and 24. Velvet and Velour
These are two different types of textured fabrics but often interchanged, so we’ll discuss them together.
Velour has knitted textures while velvet has woven textures, but they’re produced similarly. They also both have a crinkled, crushed finish. Likewise, they both have a soft texture. However, velour types of fabrics can be made from natural or synthetic fiber, while velvet is pure silk.
Additionally, velour stretches, while velvet doesn’t. Designers and sewers usually use velvet for special occasion dresses, evening wear, draperies, and upholstery, while velour is typical for hoodies, yoga pants, and loungewear.
25. Waffle Textured Fabrics
From the name itself, this fabric looks like a waffle or wafer cookie. Some describe its surface as honeycomb-like; hence, it’s also known as honeycomb fabric. The signature pattern is achieved by creating cords that run vertically, horizontally, or both.
Usually, cotton, polyester-cotton, or microfiber-based, the waffle types of textured fabrics for sewing can have a light, medium, or coarse texture. Its use will depend on its gauge, namely:
- Light: Cleaning cloth, Dishtowels, Hand towels
- Medium: Aprons, Bath towels, pajamas
- Coarse: Plush bath towels, robes, slippers.
This textured fabric gets produced by knitting or weaving the woolen fibers created from the soft, fine, and curly coats of goats, sheep, or other animals. The wool fabric has a surface texture ranging from fuzzy to chunky, perfect for sewing items meant for the cold season.
Types of Textured Fabrics - In Conclusion
Definitely, there are still a lot of textured fabrics that you can consider for your sewing projects. However, you can start with the 26 types we’ve listed. When choosing which types of textured fabrics for sewing to use, make sure you look at their general properties and the foundation fabric.