Do You Know Your Fabric?
There is no better time to own a fashion boutique. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook can help you connect with an unlimited number of customers, and e-commerce tools to run your business are at your fingertips. Combine this with a quality dropshipping service, and owning an online fashion boutique has never been easier. But hold on– you carry beautiful, on-trend clothes, but do you know what they are made with?
Part of being a successful boutique owner is knowing your fabrics so you can describe the features of the clothes you sell, especially with “live sales” quickly trending for online boutiques. Knowing how to showcase and describe different characteristics of fabric is key.
This is one of a four-part blog series to review common fabrics used by clothes designers and manufacturers. While there are hundreds of different types of fabric, we will focus on four fabrics found in most clothing today: Polyester, Rayon, Acrylic and Cotton.
Different Types of Fabric
Fabric is made by entwining fibers together and is named after the fiber used to manufacture it. Most fabrics are a blend of different fibers and fall into two categories: natural or synthetic. A fabric is also described by its production process -- woven or knitted – and by the finishing technique. So let’s jump into the characteristics of the first fabric we will explore: Polyester.
Polyester: The King of Synthetic Fabric
Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate) has emerged as one of the most prominent fibers for fabric production and is incredibly strong; they do not tear, stretch, or pill easily like cotton and other natural fibers. Polyester and polyester blend clothing can be machine-washed and do not require special care, making it the most popular synthetic fabric in the world.
While natural fabrics have a soft texture, polyester does not. But when polyester is blended with other fabrics like spandex, cotton or acrylic, the texture changes and can feel like a soft satin, a gauze-like chiffon, or even crimped crepe. The processing technique can also make polyester fabrics vary drastically. For example, both rompers shown below are made with 100% polyester, but the mint romper has a textured crepe feel while the animal print romper has a satin finish.
Another popular blend used by designers is a polyester/spandex blend due to its soft and stretchy features making if comfy to wear. It is also used for sports apparel since it wicks moisture and dries quickly. This blend is often processed as a brushed polyester to obtain a smooth, buttery fabric that drapes well without clinging to your body. The below dress is is an example of a double brushed polyester/spandex fabric.
Polyester and rayon is another popular blend. Depending on the process technique, this blend can feel like silk, wool, or linen. Rayon helps to create a soft fabric feel, while polyester is added for durability. This distressed start knit tank is made with a polyester/rayon blend that is soft, stretchy and durable.
Now, what happens when you blend polyester, rayon, AND spandex? You get an extremely popular blend that is used for its durability, softness and stretch. It can look and feel like French terry, thermal, waffle print or active wear. This color block blends knit and French terry fabrics for a soft feel on the outside and cozy loops on the inside, with a good amount of stretch.
The last common blend is a poly-cotton. A 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend is smooth and gentle, but as the percentage of polyester increases the garment begins to feel “plastic” with less breathability. Poly-cotton is an incredible blend of fabrics, adding the good qualities of both fabrics into one garment. It is also the best fabric for T-shirts, making them light and breathable, but also durable.
You can now see why polyester is “king” when if comes to synthetic fabrics and why it’s popular with manufactures. Knowing different characteristics of polyester fabric can help you better describe and sell your clothes, and also increase your image as an expert in fashion. Our next blog will cover the amazing features of Rayon, so stay tuned! Feel free to email questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org