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A Guide To Different Types of Cotton Fabrics


Cotton fabric is an all rounding champ and is fairly popular amongst artisans and customers in the fabric industry. It is a versatile material available in multiple textures and thicknesses. Their wide range makes them a hit amongst users, be it lawn garments or moleskin – cotton is the way to go!

Cotton fabric has high durability and tensile strength making it tear and rip resistant. This is one of the prime reasons why it remains intact even after many wash cycles. A piece of advice – cotton has the property of shrinking when put under water, so prior washing is recommended. 

If you are new to sewing and quilting, the decision making process can be quite overwhelming; continue reading this informative article to get an understanding of the various types of cotton fabric to make an informed decision

Main Kinds of Fabrics 

Some of the most common used cotton fabrics are:

  1. Eyelet

This fabric is also known as Broderie Anglaise. It is a plain weave kind of fabric having a certain shaped embroidery hole in it- i.e., named eyelet. It is either pure cotton or cotton mixed with a synthetic material. Eyelet is suitable for making skirts, tops, and nightwear.

  1. Flannel Fabric

A medium weight cotton fabric which is also referred as brushed cotton. The flannel fabric has surface fibers brushed towards one side and is soft and warm to touch. It is found in either stripped, printed or checkered form making it the best choice for casual wear shirts, children's clothing and warm linings or nightwear etc.

  1. Canvas Fabric

This fabric ranges from medium to heavy weight plain weave like cottony material. It has excellent strength, is sturdy and durable. Its use is fairly traditional; the heavy one is best for sails; on the other hand, lighter versions are fit for tunics, skirts, bags or aprons etc.

  1. Cambric Fabric

It is a plain weaved cotton that is smooth, finer, and firm-textured. Mostly, designers use this material for stitching blouses and children's clothing. Cambric fabric is fit for warm ironing and pressing while it is damp.

  1. Calico Fabric

This material is plain weave, coarse, and pocket friendly, having light to medium weight. It is used for making test garments, toiles or slopers. It is machine wash friendly and ironed at a high degree.

  1. Chambray Fabric

It is a light – medium-weight material made of plain woven cotton fabric with a good range of colors between weft threads and wraps. Mostly, blue, grey, and black colors are prevalent. However, others may be available. Chambray fabric offers comfort and ease in stitching and donning, making it suitable for children wear, tops, and dresses. 

  1. Cheese Cloth Fabric

 It is so named because of its soft, loose woven nature. Cheese cloth has a plain weave and has wrinkled texture, best fit for casual wear blouses, skirts, and shirts. Hand wash is recommended since this material is delicate.

  1. Corduroy Fabric

This fabric has many names, such as baby cord, cord, or needle cord. It is hardwearing medium-heavy weighing cotton having lengthways ribs that smoothly move one side, giving the opposite a ribbed surface. These ribs are the cords, and their amount per inch is known as a wale.

A standard wale has 10 to 12 cords per inch. Corduroy is easily available as a plain or printed fabric fit for a wide variety of garments like skirts, shirts, trousers, etc.

  1. Cotton Velvet 

It is a medium weighing woven material having a silk pile towards its right. The pile gently pushes one way creating a soft luxurious feel on touch. Velvets are expensive and suitable for evening attire in particular.

  1. Cotton Jersey Fabric

It is a well-known material famous for its soft and stretchy texture, making it a hit choice for t-shirts. Cotton jersey does not require much attention; it is super soft and versatile. It is easily used for multiple kinds of sewing projects, mainly garments.

  1. Cotton Drill

A dense, strong and durable fabric with medium or heavy weight. Such qualities make it a perfect choice for uniforms or factory worker clothing. It has its similarities with denim but has a smoother appearance in comparison. 

  1. Seersucker Fabric 

A piece of cotton clothing which does not require ironing. A dream come true for many hustlers. It has its roots in India and is commonly used as a material for shirts and shorts, keeping in mind the weather in that region. This fabric is light weighing and puckered, making it not stick on the skin, allowing free air circulation, perfect for hot and humid weather.

  1. Denim Fabric 

Denim is one of the most famous sought after cotton fabrics; it is a strong, sturdy, heavy weighing material woven using a twill weave. Mostly, it has white, blue, or black colored weft threads. It is used for making casual wear clothing such as jeans, skirts, shirts, etc. This piece is washing safe and ironed hot while pressing down. 

  1. Gingham Fabric 

It is a fairly light in weight plain weaved cotton fabric normally available as one solid color and in white. Usually used in making table linen and children's wear. Gingham fabric is made up of either pure cotton or a mix with polyester.

  1. Voile Fabric

It is extremely light in weight, plain weaved cotton material, and quite see-through. Voile is soft and drapes easily. It is available in plain or printed variety fit for a blouse, women's dresses, and children alike. 


There are many more varieties of fabrics available on our website. When starting your sewing or quilting project, head to Royal Motif Fabrics; let us guide you with selecting the best material for your needs and along the way share amazing insights to help you as well.

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