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Interpreting the Fabric Ratings

Turns out it's pretty hard to grasp the character of fabric through the internet....literally. I shop for fabric online frequently and know how frustrating it can be to end up with something you weren't imagining.  I put together a 0--10 scaled rating system for each fabric in 4 different categories: Stretch, Drape, Thickness, and Wrinkling.  Hopefully the breakdown will be the next best thing to being able to touch the fabric with your own hands.  I'm also always here to help answer questions about a specific item.



The drape of a fabric is created by a number of different elements, including the tightness of weave, the fiber content and processing, and the finishing.  It's part of the magic, but essentially it is the fabric's tendency to pool and fold and cling close to itself.  On the left would be an example of a fabric I would rate as a drape of 1, while the photo on the right is a fabric I would rate as a 10.  It is important to note that a fabric with a high drape rating can be any variety of thicknesses.




"0" on the Wrinkle Scale

No matter how long it sits in the laundry, it will not wrinkle.

We've all had to battle wrinkles, and I am not a huge fan of pressing my clothes after washing.  I try to work with fabrics that have minimal wrinkle characteristics, but sometimes a fabric is just too awesome to pass up! 


"5" on the Wrinkle Scale

If it sits in a pile, it will look like this, if you hang it out off the dryer you can avoid totally wrinkling.


"10" on the Wrinkle Scale

Total wrinkle beast, and will require pressing


Fabric thickness is fairly instinctual, but hard to measure.  Thickness is not mutually exclusive with any other fabric quality; a thick fabric can be drapey or stretchy as easily as a thin fabric.  Thickness does imply durability, warmth, and density and can be thought of from a perspective of volume.  Thicker fabrics will generally be found in the bottom weight category, because the durability is needed for pants and jackets.


"1" rating, will mean very sheer and delicate


"5" rating, means sturdy, middle weight, still sits close to the body.


"10" rating, as thick as it gets, you can measure the edge, and is built to last.

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