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Monday, June 17, 2024

How to choose the best fabric for youth and adult apparel

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Imagine this: you have a fantastic idea for adult and youth apparel, and you are sure of the vast size difference between youth xl and adult small. You’re so sure that it’ll make the cover page of famous fashion magazines and sell out in a few weeks. 

You spend all night on the sketch trying to get the perfect pattern for your apparel, the final step is to sew it but to achieve the look and feel that you desire, you have to use fabric. 

Do you see where we’re going with this? It doesn’t matter how good your sketching pattern and the idea are, the most important step to consider in making youth and adult apparel is the choice of fabric. 

The seams might be well crafted, and the colors could be outstanding but if the clothing is sewn with the wrong fabric, the design will turn out to be a complete tragedy.

Choosing the right fabric for youth and adult apparel is the most important step in sewing an outfit, making a garment, or any kind of clothing for sale. The wrong choice of fabric could affect the final result which means disappointment on the other hand. 

The set of questions anyone must ask themselves before selecting fabric for youth and adult apparel includes:

  • How does this fabric feel on your skin?
  • Is this fabric breathable?
  • Does the fabric shrink after washing?
  • What temperature do people use for ironing?
  • Is it better to wash the fabric by hand or in the washing machine?

The way the fabric behaves during sewing, how it drapes against the skin, and durability, color, and design are all important factors to consider before anything else.  

Sounds like what you’re looking for? Let’s jump right into it.

What type of fabric do you need?

The first consideration every cloth maker makes is to decide on the type of fabric they need for a particular apparel. There are varieties of textiles in the market, broadly categorized as natural textiles and synthetic textiles. 

The natural textiles include cotton, denim, silk, hemp, flannel, linen, leather, wool, and velvet. On the other hand, you have synthetic textiles like polyester, nylon, acrylic, rayon, spandex, acetate, and so on. 

The choice of materials, whether natural or synthetic, determines the overall beauty and style of the apparel. Apparels that are sewn with silk fabric, are prominently elegant and gorgeous, especially for dresses. Chiffon fabrics are often sensuous, wrap around the skin, and are easy to flaunt. 

Cotton fabric on the other hand is consider durable and eco-friendly but must be watch and ironed on a regular basis since it squeezes and wrinkles fast. We could go on and on but you understand the flow now, don’t you? 

Other fabrics include lycra, organza, and linen. Organza resembles organdy and is made out of silk while linen is a woven fabric from the fiber of the flax plant.

While choosing fabric for youth and adult apparel, you need to carefully select the fabric that satisfies your demands, and needs and will help you achieve the look and feel that you’re going for. 

Several fabrics are not considered fit for sewing certain outfits regardless of how beautiful they are. For example, you can’t sew a hoodie with silk nor should you use linen for a denim trouser feel. 

Silk is considered a rich fabric for the wealthy and bougie but it may not always be the best for casual wear for young people or children due to the quality and price of the outfit. 

Now, you see that sewing the design and style of your outfit is much easier than choosing the right fabric for it. That’s not all, in choosing your fabric for adults and youth, you must consider fit, flexibility, and comfort. 

Children will always prefer outfits that are easier to wash including their pieces of denim, younger adults prefer fancy outfits that are easy to iron, something they can throw on without bothering to bear the pain of iron setup or steaming. 

In conclusion, while you consider the style, look, or feel, you must consider fit and comfort including flexibility. Always ask yourself, is this the perfect fabric for a certain group or age? Do you need to choose a different fabric?

Natural Vs. Synthetic 


Natural fabrics are known to be absorbent, easy to wash and take care of, and soft for making most apparel. Cotton as well as other natural fabrics are hypoallergenic which means that they are very comfortable for people who have sensitive skin partly because of the lesser chemicals used during the production process. However, it is not count the top 10 durable fabrics because of the easy tear and wear  of the material


One reason a lot of people choose synthetic fabric is because of its reputation for durability, resistance to stretching, and long-lasting effect. Especially for kids and young adults, one always wants them to grow into their outfits or at least retain the outfit a bit longer before they outgrow it. 

For students and working-class people on the run, quick drying is another factor they consider while buying outfits for themselves or their kids. People who are constantly under the heat, and work out regularly and are careful about buying outfits that retain moisture because of the after-smell effect. 

However, as opposed to natural fabric, synthetic fabrics are more likely to irritate the skin since they’re man-made. Also, they’re not consider breathable due to the number of chemicals used during the manufacturing process.


The color of the fabric that you choose for your outfit must be even without any spots or streaks on it. You may need to open the package and properly supervise for shreds of evidence of uneven dyeing. Such spots and streaks may appear on the crease and fold line which is an indication that the color will fade with time and exposure to such washing.

Check and consider the weight of the fabric

Before choosing any fabric, you need to check the weight of the fabric. Fabric weights are often measured in grams per square meter (GSM). This is a defining factor for the heaviness or lightness of the fabric. Fabrics are measured by the thickness of the materials, paying attention to the level of light, medium, and heavy weightedness of the fabric. 

Examine the Drape of the Fabric

The drape of the fabric is simply how the fabric flows on the body when worn, Some fabrics especially the ones used for hoodies can be found to be stiff than silk fabrics which are fluid and thus have more drapes. A drapey fabric will easily make for skirt outfits as opposed to a fabric with a soft drape which will pal around the body more. To sew a flowing skirt, one needs to pick thin and super-draping fabric but structured skits need thick and stiff fabrics.

Test the stretchiness of the fabric Stretch

Different fabrics have their elasticity and limits too. Some have the ability to bounce back while others do not bounce back once they’re stretch. So, when you are selecting a stretchy fabric, you need to check if it works for the pattern, the style of the outfit, and how the final product will stay on the body. Does it fit the human body as much as it does on the mannequin or floor? 


One must consider the age group of the people they’re making outfits for. Is the outfit for kids, adults, or young people only? For kids, do they play with paints that could stay on the outfit? The boys may like masculine colors like blue while girls prefer feminine colors like pink, purple, and green. Thus, the fabrics need to match the individual taste of the people who will wear them. 

Adults may prefer simple colors that are not too loud, for example grey, white, or black. Colors that are easy to wash and maintain. Some colors are delicate while the rest are easily manage. Some colors can go with several other colors while the rest may go with a specific color. 

While trying to make the perfect apparel, it’s important to consider what purpose the outfit may serve and if the colors are in demand. Certain colors are more sought after in a certain season than the rest. These are points to consider as it relates to color.

Warm colors are associated with warmth and bad conductors of heat while cool colors are perfect for summer. 


Just like the color of the fabrics, certain seasons are best prefer for a specific fabric. Some fabrics are perfect for winter while some are great for fall or summer. For instance, silk, wool, and synthetics are perfect fabric choices for winter because they are bad conductors of heat. While blends of cotton and synthetics are prefer for summer because they’re absorptive and good conductors of heat. Colors and seasons are important when choosing the perfect fabric. 


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