Fabric Choices Part 1: Lingerie

The most common for centuries have been woven fabrics of linen, cotton and silk.
Nylon, after it’s popularity during world war II and its many benefits (stain resistant, stretch and ease of care) became a widespread choice in lingerie production.

Top Tips for Shopping for Fabrics:
I find most fabric stores near me quite overwhelming, loads of fabrics, all not properly labeled and placed throughout the store in a frenzy. One salesperson will tell me one thing and another will say something different. Quality is also a huge concern.
Ways to combat: 1) Bring a measuring tape 2) Ask for swatches or stretch part of the fabric to see % stretch 3) Look for signs of bad recovery for stretch fabrics (bumps, looseness after being stretched) and 4) bring it against the sensitive parts of the skin to see if it would be comfortable to wear

Types of Fibers:

Spandex / Lycra : Fibre with high stretch and recoveries typically mixed into other fabrics to give them more stretch
Nylon: Strong, elastic fibres, not very absorbent
Cotton: Strong fibre, very absorbent and breathable (sustainable, organic options)
Linen: Breathable, good for hot weathers, softer upon wash but prone to wrinkling
Bamboo: Antibacterial properties, and high absorbency (should try) – also sustainable and organic as it doesn’t require replanting, and plant doesn’t require pesticides
Rayon: Smooth, cool, and highly absorbent

Knit fabrics:

-General sewing tip (0.5mm to 1mm zig zag stitch to make sure seams don’t break)

Nylon Tricot: zigzap like surface, durable, thin and inexpensive
single jersey: Great for draping and stretches well with the body(in a variety of fibres)
Double knits: Less prone to fraying, light ones such as cotton interlock work for lingerie
Simplex: DOUBLE-faced fabric with little 4 way stretch (great for bra cups)
Stretch Lace: High spandex content, if too much stretch, can be lined with other fabrics for more support
Mesh: breathable, light and sheer (can be used to back lace and look sheer
Power net / Power mesh: rigid fabric (used for bra bands or girdles)
Nylon / Spandex satin knits: lightweight

Woven Fabrics:

no stretch, except along bias
Chiffon and Georgette: Sheer, flowing and delicate (from Polyester or silk)
Silk Organza: light and sheer, yet stiff and strong and creates volume by standing away from the body
Silk charmeuse: one of the most luxurious fabrics to wear near the skin. It has a satin weave that gives it a high shine and almost liquid appearance. (can also contain spandex or lycra to give it stretch)
China Silk: Commonly used as a lining fabric, china silk (otherwise known as habotai) can be a relatively inexpensive choice for undergarments such as slips
Crepe de chine: Crepe has the flow of other silk fabrics such as charmeuse, but without the high shine. Crepe is dull and textured, so it does not show every lump and bump on the body the way a satin finish does
Satin: Satin refers to a specific weave that results in high surface shine.
Challis: This drapey, plain woven fabric was originally made from a blend of silk and wool, but is now most commonly found in fabric stores in the form of rayon challis (breathable for hot weathers)
Batiste: A fine fabric with a plain weave, batiste is usually made from cotton but can also be found in line. lightweight, but not entirely sheer
Voile and lawn: These are plain woven fabrics commonly made from 100% cotton. Voile is the lighter of the two and is more transparent. Voile and lawn can be used to make lightweight summer lingerie, such as nighties. For things that don’t require much stretch.
Handkerchief linen: Linen is wonderfully luxurious in summer due to its breathability and softness, which only increases with wear and washing
Lace: Lace comes in a broad range of styles, weights, and textures. Some laces are fine and soft, while others can feel scratchy near the skin, so always be sure to test a lace fabric before purchasing. Stretch lace is the better option for lingerie (such as the bralette).


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