For most people, buying fabric is a very easy process. They visit a fabric store, mention a color, check the prints and patterns, stretch and twist the fabric a few times, and select the one that looks the best. But they end up with a low-quality fabric that fades and turns into tatters after a few washes.
To ensure that you walk home with high-quality fabric, you need to consider several elements while buying it. Here is what you should check while buying a fabric.
- Fabric type
Before anything, educate yourself on the types of fabrics. Today, the markets offer natural, synthetic, and blended (mix of natural and synthetic) fabrics. cotton, linen, silk, leather, and denim are natural fabrics, whereas nylon, polyester, rayon, acrylic, spandex, etc., are synthetic fabrics.
Natural fabrics are more expensive as compared to synthetic fabrics owing to their fine quality.
- Check the quality
Whichever fabric you buy, make it a point to test its quality by feeling it against your skin. Also, make sure the print, dye, and fibers are not faulty.
You will not be able to physically check the quality of fabric when buying it online. Hence, do not buy fabric from any random online store. Trust only the reputed names.
To find a good online fabric store, check the reviews posted by other buyers so that you do not get fooled.
Closely check the fabric. Are there any streaks or spots? Is the color even all around? Is there any sign of uneven dyeing?
If you notice faded areas on the fabric, do not buy it. Fabrics with faded areas tend to lose their colors on washing.
To test the colorfastness of the fabric, take a cotton ball or a handkerchief, dampen it and rub it on the fabric. If the color appears on the cotton ball or your hanky, the quality of the fabric is questionable.
The grain of the fabric is the direction of the yarn. It can be lengthwise, crosswise, or bias. It is important in garment construction. The grain determines how a garment will hang, fit you, or look on you.
Hence, while buying a fabric, check the grain.
Fabric weight is determined by several factors including the type of fabric, its weave, etc. It is indicated by GSM. Generally, the weight of the fabric can be anywhere between 60 and 700.
Understanding the weight of the fabric will help you to find the right fabric for your garment. You can compare the weight of the different fabrics and find the suitable one.
But, do not confuse more weight with better quality. Even a very lightweight fabric can be excellent in terms of quality.
- Fiber weave
The best way to test the quality of the fabric is by checking the fiber weave. Fabrics that are woven closely and tightly are often very fine in quality. Their fibers do not have gaps in between them. Their horizontal and vertical fabrics are balanced and neatly woven.
Fabrics with gaps between them tear easily.
- Thread count
Thread count is the number of threads per inch. A good-quality and durable fabric features a high fabric count.
Check the overall finish of the fabric. There should be no uneven weaves and unusual creases. Also, check the corners, there should be no stretching. The fabric should have an even finish.
The bottom line
With several choices at your disposal, you may get a little confused while buying a fabric. However, if you know what to look for, you will be able to find the best quality fabric for you.
We hope this ultimate fabric buying guide will help you in choosing the right fabric for your needs.