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What Are the Different Types of Clothing Materials?

Cotton is often used in the manufacture of clothing.
Polyester is a synthetic material frequently used in clothing fabrication.
Corduroy is often used for making trousers.
Garments may be made from a single type of material or an assortment.
Shoes, sweaters, pants and socks are among the many clothing items which can be made from hemp.
Some people make clothing out of duct tape.
Polyester should be hand washed.
A cotton T-shirt.
Bamboo fabric for clothes.
Fur from minks and other animals can be used as material for clothing.
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  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2014
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Clothing materials are plentiful, and garments can be made from a single type of material or an assortment. Natural materials include furs, leather, and cotton cloth. Man-made materials include polyester, Nylon®, and Spandex®. Less-common materials include hemp, rubber, and jute. Duct tape and recycled paper have even joined the ever-expanding arena of materials that can be used to make clothing.

Cotton has been used to make textiles for centuries. Denim jeans, which are made from cotton twill, have been produced since the late 1800s, and cotton fabrics continue to be a mainstay when it comes to clothing. A thinner cotton material called seersucker has a bumpy texture that prevents it from hugging the skin when worn. It is primarily used for summer-weight clothing and typically features a striped pattern.

Leather has served as a material for clothing since humanity's earliest days. Made from the top layer of an animal hide, leather can be dyed, cut, and sewn similar to cloth fabric. The advantage in using leather as a material for certain garments is its ability to breathe, its durability, and its resistance to heat and cold. While the top layer of hide is used to produce leather, lower layers are used to produce lesser quality materials, such as suede. Suede is similar to leather in many ways, but it is a less durable and more supple material.

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Rubber is used to make a variety of clothing, including dresses, leggings, and bodysuits. Duct tape can even be used to create clothing, with everything from flip-flops to prom dresses being made from the product. A full line of clothing made from hemp is also available, including skirts, cargo shorts, and hoodies.

Corduroy, which is a rigid velvet material, is typically used for making trousers and jackets. Wool fabrics are bulky and retain heat, making them suitable for cold weather apparel. Animal furs, such as rabbit, mink and fox, are also clothing materials that provide warmth for the wearer. Typically, furs used to make clothing are leather with the hair left intact.

Spandex® is a synthetic material known for its superior elasticity qualities. When it is used to make clothing or costumes, it is typically combined with other fibers, such as polyester or cotton. As Spandex's® ability to hug and move with the body, it is often the fabric of choice for competitive swimwear, dance outfits, and wetsuits.

Polyester is a man-made, synthetic material. Clothing materials from polyester offer high color retention, durability, and increased wrinkle resistance as compared to their natural fiber counterparts. The feel of the natural and synthetic fabrics, however, is significantly different and some people may prefer the feel of one type of material over another.

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wavy58
Post 9

@OeKc05 – Terry cloth slippers are nice, too. They keep my feet warm in winter.

My favorite inexpensive clothing material has got to be crushed velvet, though. I see this stuff everywhere, from dollar stores to department stores.

Most of the outfits that I wear to holiday parties are made of crushed velvet. I have a dark red dress of this material, and I can't seem to stop feeling of it while I'm wearing it!

I also have a long velvet blouse with sequins across the neckline. It goes great with black pants, and it is just dressy enough for parties.

OeKc05
Post 8

I absolutely love terry cloth material. Usually, you see towels and rags made out of it, but I have seen some items of clothing made of it.

I have a terry cloth bath robe that is so soft and cozy. It helps my hair dry faster, too. I put it on over my pajamas when my hair is wet and it speeds up drying time quite a bit.

Perdido
Post 7

@myharley – I wish that I could wear wool. It is so warm, but my skin is very sensitive to it.

I itch so much if my skin comes into contact with wool. A couple of times, I've gotten away with wearing a wool sweater on top of a long-sleeved undershirt and a wool skirt with cotton leggings underneath.

However, if the wool protrudes past the underlying protective layer, I will start itching so badly that I will have to remove the sweater or skirt. So, I try to avoid buying anything that is made of wool.

lighth0se33
Post 6

Linen is the lowest on my favorite clothing materials list. I had a bad experience with a linen dress I bought a few years ago, and I haven't bought anything made with this material since.

I didn't know that linen would shrink, and I washed and dried the dress. It turned into a small apron! I didn't even think it would be possible for something to shrink so much!

sunshined
Post 5

How much does it cost to get a fur coat cleaned? Before my grandma passed away she gave me her fur coat. I haven't worn it yet because it needs to be cleaned but I have no idea how much this will cost me.

myharley
Post 4

I have always loved to wear wool sweaters in the winter. I am usually cold all the time, and there is nothing that keeps me warmer than wool.

One year in college I was sick for about a week and my roommate thought she would help me out and do my laundry for me. She washed my favorite wool sweater and put it in the dryer! She was horrified when she took it out of the dryer and it looked like the perfect size for a toddler. She learned the hard way that wool is one of those clothing materials that you can't put in the dryer or it will shrink dramatically.

Mykol
Post 3

I have a black leather coat that I have had for years. I wear it often, yet it still looks almost brand new. I like wearing leather for several reasons. First of all, I love the way leather feels. I think it is classy and dressy without being heavy or bulky. I don't mind spending the money to get my leather articles of clothing cleaned properly since they last for such a long time.

bagley79
Post 2

Of all the different kinds of fabrics listed I wear more cotton than anything else. I don't work in an office so am able to wear jeans every day of the week. If I had to pick a favorite type of clothing material it would have to be denim.

The thing with denim is you can make it as casual or dressy as you want it to be. When I am at home I usually wear a pair of soft denim jeans that are well worn and casual. If I am going out I might wear a pair of dark blue or black denim with a jacket and heels.

I also like to buy clothing material that is easy to take care of. For me this means throwing it in the washer and dryer and not worrying about taking it to the dry cleaners. I also don't have to iron my denim clothes which is another thing I love about this material.

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