Types of Fabric - Different Types Of Fabric

Types of Fabric - Different Types Of Fabric

My mother taught me how to sew when I was a kid.  I want to get back into sewing so I searched the internet and here's great deals I found.

Here's a fabric supplier I found that has great deals on fabric and sewing supplies.  I was surprised by how large and complete their selection is.

Fabric Definition

The fabric definition in Webster's Dictionary states, "a pliable material made usually by weaving, felting, or knitting natural or synthetic fibers and filaments".  Fabric is also known as textiles or cloth.

Fabric Stores Near Me or Shop Online?

Interested in cool textiles and fabrics? 

Find a fabric store near you:

>> Find A Fabric Store Near Me Now <<

Too Busy To Go Out Shopping?
Why Not Shop Online?

Try my favorite fabric vendor: Fabric.com

How Much Fabric Do I Need?

How much fabric you need depends upon the requirements of your pattern and the size of the fabric you will be using.  Fabric comes in various widths of standard sizes depending on the application.

Fabric Yard Dimension

Fabric comes on a rolled-up “bolt” for storage.  Bolts of fabric are usually 54 inches wide and 45 to 100 yards long. 

Fabric is sold by the yard.  When you buy a yard of fabric you get a piece of fabric 36 inches long and 54 inches wide (or however wide the particular bolt is, which varies from textile mill to textile mill). 

Fabric Widths

A typical bolt of fabric from the fabric store is either 45, 54, and 60 inches but can be as small as 32 inches wide or as large as 110 inches wide.  Because bolts sizes vary, be sure to check the width when you make the purchase.

Fabric Calculator

In order to calculate  how much fabric you need you’ll need to consider the following:

  • The width of the fabric divided by the width of one panel is the number of panels that fit into the width (rounded down to the nearest whole number).
  • The total number of panels divided by the number of pieces that fit into the width is the number of rows you’ll need.
  • The number of needed rows multiplies by the length of one piece is the total project in inches.
  • The total project inches divided by 36 is the total amount of yardage needed (round up).

So for example, let's say the width of the fabric is 54 inches.  One panel needs a width of 28 inches.  The length of one panel needs to be 30 inches and there are 6 panels total. 

Our calculation might look like this:

  • 54 divided by 28 is 1.9, round down to 1.
  • 6 panels multiplied by 1 equals 6.
  • 6 multiplied by 30 is 180 inches.
  • 180 inches divided by 36 (inches in a yard) equals 5.

You would need 5 yards of fabric for this project.

Fabric Types

There are many fabric types in the world of textiles.  Some fabrics are natural (such as cotton and wool), others are synthetic (such as polyester).

Here is a short example of some common fabric types:

As you can see, there are many fabric types to choose from.  The textile and fabric industry provides a wonderful array of fantastic products to choose from for your next creative sewing project.


Fabrics are textiles woven from strands or filaments of a variety of materials, including natural or synthetic fibers. 

Fabrics come in a variety of widths, depending on the application.  A fabric meant for clothing is smaller than fabric meant for tents, for instance.

There is a simple formula to calculate how much fabric you will need for a project.

I hope you have fun on your next fabric or sewing project!

For more craft and sewing ideas, check out the New Arrivals from my favorite fabric supplier: Fabric.com


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