Fabric makes up the very essence of our lives. If you think about it, this statement is just so true.

The right fabric can actually make or break a good garment design.

And that is probably why Australian crafters, designers, seamstresses and anyone else who works with fabric, can spend hours in the fabric stores looking at fabrics.

Truth is buying fabric is addictive; the good news is it´s not an addiction that will harm your health.

But if you are new to the dressmaking or crafting industry, then fabrics can be a bit overwhelming. The solution is to learn a little about fabrics. This way you´ll understand what you are looking for and can purchase the fabric that meets the needs of the product you are making.


A Quick Guide to Fabric in Australia


When buying fabric online in Australia, you need to realize that there are basically three categories of fabric; knitted, woven, those that are made from animal fibres, plant fibres or man-made. 


What´s the Difference?

Well, experienced dressmakers that purchase online fabric in Australia understand that the difference affects the wear, the fall of the garment and even the fit. For example, a knitted fabric will be stretchier than a woven one, and that will affect size and fit or even the look of a garment.

We don´t have a lot of room here to talk about every fabric sold in Australia but these are the main types of materials available for those people who buy fabric online.


Cotton – This is the most versatile of all fabrics and it comes in many different weights from the lightest of see-through cottons to the heavy canvas. This is the fabric that many online shoppers use to create skirts, shirts, jeans, handbags and more. Fabrics like corduroy, denim and moleskin are made of cotton. When you go to buy this type of fabric online, you´ll find it fairly cheap and easy to work with.


Cotton Jersey – This is a fabric that is machine knitted with fine cotton thread. This is the stuff of T-shirts, jersey shirts and soft cotton garments. When buying this fabric online in Australia, you need to know that it is soft and stretchy. This is a fabric you want to keep on hand for a quick project.  Keep in mind that this isn´t as easy to sew as other types of fabric.

Linen – woven linen comes in several weights. This is a fabric that is preferred in Australia because it breathes easily. However, it does tend to crease easily so you may want to find a linen cotton blend.

Silk – a shiny, slippery fabric that works well for blouses, dresses, elegant loungewear and more. However, when you buy this type of fabric in Australia you need to keep in mind that it´s not always easy to sew.

Wool – a knitted or woven fabric that works well for coats, business trousers, skirts and suits.

Polyester and polycotton – a synthetic woven fabric that is crease resistant, it is a blend of polyester and cotton that works well for beginners.


Which Fabric to Buy Online in Australia

When you are first starting out you want to buy fabrics that are easy to sew and not expensive. In the beginning you are more likely to make mistakes and ruin some of these fabrics, so you want to look for fabrics that don’t slip or stretch when you sew. This usually means nice cotton, linen or a cotton blend.  You also want to stick to light to medium weight fabrics, and avoid purchasing the heavier fabrics online, that is until you are a more experienced crafter or seamstress.