Do you know your fabrics?

Posted on January 11 2016

Do you know your fabrics?

The hands-down most important component of a garment is its fabric. Having a distinctive knowledge about what your garments are made from gives you an edge when buying them. Understanding their components helps you to better maintain them and wear them for the right season.

The first and basic question is this: what are FABRICS?

They are basically materials made from fibres. They are either woven or knitted. The basic difference is that knit fabric is made from one continuous thread (much like the one continuous yarn in your hand-knitting), it stretches all over. Woven fabrics, on the other hand, will only stretch diagonally or as a sewer might say, on the bias.

Fabrics' compositions are generally:

- animal fibres (wool, silk)

- plant fibres (cotton, linen) or

- man-made fibres (polyester).

With this knowledge and understanding of what fabrics are, we can much more be enlightened by their types. They are adequately listed below:

Cotton (100% Cotton Aya Dress pictured above)
The word "cotton" comes from the Arabic "قطن" ‪, meaning "fancy fabric".
The touch…the feel…the fabric of our lives. Cotton is the most common and popular natural fabric today. It’s best property is its ability to ‘breathe’ by absorbing and releasing perspiration quickly. It’s a high quality fabric, can withstand high heat and lasts for years.
Pros: Comfortable and durable. It breathes well. Easy to clean.
Cons: Unfortunately cotton wrinkles, and 100% cotton garments must be ironed regularly to keep their appearance.
How to wash: Machine-wash in warm water with all-purpose detergent.


Linen (Linen mix Fluid abaya pictured above)
Natural fabric similar to cotton that is made from flax fibers.
Pros: Very strong and breathable. Will keep you cool during hot summers.
Cons: Wrinkles and shrinks easily. Poor elasticity. Thus nowadays you will mostly meet mix of Linen and man-made fabrics for better look and wearability.
How to wash: Machine-wash on gentle or hand wash in cold water with a mild detergent.


Denim (Floral Denim dress pictured above)
It is a fabric made of cotton twill that is 100% cotton and very comfortable. Breathable. Denim is used to make not just jeans but also shirts and skirts apart from many other accessories. Denim is made of heavy twill. All jeans are denim, but not all denims are jeans. Denim is a fashion fabric used to make many things, whereas jeans is just one of the garments made from denim.
Pros:Very absorbent like cotton, but heavier and more durable.
How to wash:Machine washable. Can be ironed at relatively high temperatures.

Silk (100% Silk, Silk flower dress pictured above)
Silk is made from the fibres of the cocoon of the Chinese silkworm. It is spun into a smooth, shiny and sleek fabric. Silk absorbs moisture, which makes it cool in the summer and warm in the winter – and its this high level of absorbency that means it can be dyed many different colors.
It feels quite luxurious! Silk retains its shape, drapes well and caresses the figure.
Pros: Feels and looks luxurious. Smooth and warm. Easily adjusts to different temperatures.
Cons: Very delicate and difficult to clean.
How to wash: Dry-clean (preferred) or hand-wash in cold water with mild detergent. Air-dry flat.


Viscose and Rayon (100% viscose Dara Dress pictured above)
Viscose fiber is made from purified cellulose, it is produced from specially processed wood pulp.
Pros: Viscose is versatile and blends easily with other fibres. It is easily dyed and retains vivid colours particularly well. It is renowned for its silk like lustre, appealing drape and superior softness to cotton..
Cons: It wrinkles unfortunately.
How to wash: Machine-wash on gentle or hand wash in cold water with a mild detergent.

The short answer is no. Although many people will consider even small amounts of manufactured fibres in a fabric’s composition a negative, synthetic or semi-synthetic fibres do have their advantages and can make a great alternative or addition to natural fibres. Here’s why:

There is a huge difference between synthetic materials that are commonly used by budget fashion brands and the high-quality synthetic materials used by designers or higher-quality brands. In the fast fashion industry, synthetic materials are often used to replace natural fibres. It’s about cutting costs, so these types of synthetic fibres typically won’t have a high quality and are mainly chosen for their resemblance to natural materials, their price or their look. On the other end of the spectrum there is the designer who chooses a synthetic material over a natural one for its specific properties (e.g. it’s particularly light weight, the way it drapes, its texture), in order to enhance the final garment. Many designers and brands specifically formulate fabrics to get the exact type that’s right for their design or to improve things like breathability and other functional properties.

Some example of synthetic and mix fabrics are below:

Jersey pencil dress made of quality polyester so as to avoid clinging of the fabric to the body. 

Grey pencil dress. Cotton mix with bit of synthetic fabric so as to prevent wrinkling. 


Oftentimes, a small amount of synthetic fibres improves the fit of an otherwise natural fabric. Spandex, polyester or lycra especially mix well with cottons or wools to add stretch and elasticity, and make sure the garment keeps its shape after washing.
Synthetic fibres are often the best choice for active wear because they are lightweight, super stretchy, dry fast or are able to transfer sweat away from the skin. We are currently working on a sports wear collection in sha Allah.

To end this post, I would like to add that nowadays it is very important to find the right manufacturer of your fabrics who will produce your fabrics in the best quality and with best dyeing techniques, both natural and synetic. We source our fabrics from OEKO-TEX approved manufacturers where fabrics are tested against harmful substances.

What are your preferred fabrics?


  • trade80silks: February 09, 2016

    This post is too good because fashion designer is very helpful of the fibric company.

  • Lola Yunus: January 23, 2016

    This is exactly what i have being looking for! Jazakhumlai khair for sharing. I just wish their is a way i could save this somewhere and read whenever i want to. Fabrics fascinate me. When i recently watched a video on where silk comes from and how it is extracted, all i could say was SubunaAllah, Allahu Akbar over and over and over again. I never knew silk came from silk worms. I look forward to more posts on fabrics especially what fabrics are right for each season. May Allah reward you abundantly for this, ameen.

  • Azeezah: January 12, 2016

    This post is awesome. Jazakallah khairan for sharing. As an upcoming fashion designer, it was very helpful and in sha Allah I will check out that fabric company.
    Please can you give me your personal email address, I will love to connect with you in sha Allah.

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