A true fashionista can distinguish between designer clothing and knock-offs in a milli second. The main way of doing that is by the fabric. It’s easy to imitate a style, but since one of the main costs of an item is the fabric, imitations are usually easy to spot if you know what to look for. And vice versa, if you find an affordable outfit by an unknown designer but recognize that it was made with quality fabric, then you’ve found yourself a true bargain. In order to build your wardrobe properly, you must have a general knowledge of the fabric you’re buying. By discovering how to recognize quality materials and construction, you’ll be able to make better decisions on what to purchase.
The garment industry uses hundreds of different fabrics in the making of clothes. About 220 different fabrics alone can be used to produce a woman’s suit, for example. Some of these are variations of a basic fabric, such as the many types of cottons, ranging from broadcloth to Pima, while others are made from various fibers and have unique characteristics, like brocade, which has raised designs on a flat surface.
How much do you really need to know about fabrics? Actually it helps to know quite a lot. Here’s why:
One of the keys to dressing fashionably is having variety in your closet
If you have ten blouses that are identical in fabric, except for their color, it’s difficult to put together an outfit that stands out. But if your collection of blouses features lots of different fabrics as well as a variety of textures, weaves, and shades, you can put together outfits that are more unique.
Knowing the different fabric varieties helps when you’re shopping
Asking a sales associate for a pashmina doesn’t really give her very much to go on. But if you say you want a pashmina scarf, you’ve narrowed down the choices considerably. And if you say a pashmina wedding scarf, you’ve done even more refining. Knowing one fabric from another can also help you as you scan your favorite store and look for that perfect outfit.
The care of your clothing is dependent on what it’s made of
Most synthetic fibers, for example, are prone to heat damage, especially hot water in a washer as well as the heat of a dryer or iron.
Practical matters aside, the more you know about fabrics, the better you can become at selecting clothing of quality (which is the only type you should be buying).