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Types of Fabric

Last updated date: 27th Feb 2024
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We all love to do shopping. In our mind, the word ‘shopping’ resonates with ‘clothes’. Clothes are a very basic need of every human being. Now the question arises - ‘what are clothes made of?’, ‘What are the different types of fabric?’ etc. Let’s dig deeper into it. 

Different Types of Fabric

Based on the type of fibres are derived from, fabrics can be broadly classified as synthetic fabrics and natural fabrics. Natural fabrics are kinds of fabric that are made from natural fibres eg: cotton is obtained from the cotton plant, silk is obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm, and wool is generally obtained from woolly animals like sheep. 

Synthetic fabrics are fabrics that are formed through chemical processes and are called man-made fabrics. Common examples of synthetic fibres include rayon, nylon, velvet, and felt. Below are some types of fabrics with pictures:

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Types of Natural Fabrics

They are produced from the natural source of raw materials. Different kinds of fabric include types of cotton fabric, types of wool fabric, types of linen fabric, and types of silk fabric.


Cotton is a soft fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant. It is a valuable crop because only  10% of the raw weight is lost in processing. The fibres are plucked and spun into yarn then woven into cotton fabric. The cellulose in cotton is arranged in such a way that it gives cotton unique properties of strength, durability, and absorbency. It is one of the most preferred fabrics in hot and humid climates. This is because it can also absorb a good amount of sweat from the body.

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It is a natural fibre just like cotton, but it takes longer to harvest and convert into the fabric.


Wool is made from shearing woolly animals like sheep, after checking its quality it is prepared for the spinning process. It is one of the fibres which contains protein units in its molecules, eg: cashmere, qiviut, angora, mohair. The wool is spun into long strands and then these strands are woven into a  fabric. It is one of the most preferred types of fabric in cold regions due to its ability to trap heat and keep warm. Its diameter can range from 16 microns to more than 40 microns. It is also used in blankets, carpeting, saddle cloth, etc.

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It is a natural protein fibre, woven from silk yarn and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. It is produced by several insects; but, generally, only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing. The good absorbent quality of silk fabrics makes them highly desirable in warm climates. Silk is also used in making parachutes. 

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Types of Synthetic Fabrics

This type of fibre is produced from artificial or man-made raw material rather than produced naturally, eg: Nylon, Rayon, Polyesters, etc.


Nylon is a thermoplastic silky material (polymer composed of polyamides) that can be processed into fibres, films, or shapes.

They are purely synthetic and have high tensile strength and resistance for wearing and tearing. The fabrics are stretchable and are widely used in socks and stockings.

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It is a regenerated cellulose fibre that is made from natural sources of cellulose, such as wood and other agricultural products. It is not considered to be a fully synthetic fabric as it is manufactured from natural raw materials. Rayon is known to take on the properties of silk, cotton, wool, and others, and can be used in any type of clothing. Fabrics made from rayon fibres are known to be very soft, comfortable, and quite absorbent.

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FAQs on Types of Fabric

Question: What are the Different Types of Fabric Materials Commonly Used?

Answer: Different kinds of fabric material used are:

  • Natural Fabrics: Cotton, Silk, Wool, Linen, etc.

  • Artificial Fabrics: Nylon, Rayon, Polyester, Spandex, etc.

Question: Write Some Advantages of Natural and Artificial Fibres.

Answer: Some advantages of Natural and Artificial fibre are -

  • Durable: Due to the structure of cellulose plant-based fibres are very strong.

  • Eco-friendly: They have a smaller environmental impact compared to synthetic fibres because natural fibres do not use as many chemicals during the production process. 

  • Absorbent: Natural fibres have a very high absorbency, as the fibres, both plant and animal, have a strong affinity towards water.

Question: What are Microfibres?

Answer: Microfibers are synthetic fibres that are thin and short, with a diameter of fewer than 10 micrometres. They are popular in cleansing clothes due to their dirt-trapping ability. They are generally made of polyester.