Menswear Fabric: Meanings and Types

When purchasing menswear or any type of clothing, it is not absolutely necessary to be familiar with all of the jargon related to weaving; rather, as a customer, you should be more concerned with understanding how to distinguish between different final products.

Meaning of Menswear Fabric

The majority of materials used in menswear, with a few exceptions, are woven. Simply put, this means that the broad, flat bolts of fabric from which the garment is created were initially constructed by weaving several strands of fabric together, nearly always at right angles. The materials utilised, the technique employed to weave the individual strands together, and the size and spacing of the fibers all affect how distinctively one bolt of woven fabric differs from another.

However, since fabric count (commonly just referred to as “count”) and fabric weight are often used as standards of quality, it is important to understand what they mean. The number of threads per square inch (or “fabric count”) is a measure of how durable and wear-resistant a fabric is; the higher the count, the more durable and resistant the fabric will be.

Light, medium, and heavy or bottom-weight textiles are typically used for clothing, and these categories provide a good indicator of the fabric’s intended use. For example, a winter coat made of medium-weight wool.

Men’s Clothing: Common Weaves and Woven Fabric

There are countless variations of fabric weaving, each with its own name. Thankfully, the majority of menswear uses just a few typical production techniques and accepted materials. While some words exclusively refer to the material used, others identify a particular weave pattern, and a few do both at once.

Plain Weaves − The plain weave is the easiest to make into a textile. If you ever produced potholders, baskets, or any other form of handicraft project as a youngster involving interwoven straps, you’ve constructed a plain weave. A plain weave is any weave in which the threads travel obliquely over and under one another. When producing wool for suit jackets and pants, this method frequently results in fabric that is the same on both sides.

Any sort of thread can be used to create a plain weave, but traditionally, suits are made from worsted wool, a form of yarn in which the wool fibres are bundled together in long bundles. Worsted wool creates a fabric that is both durable and comfortable.

The twill family of weaves is made by offsetting the thread each time it passes beneath a thread or group of threads moving in the opposite direction; this method of weaving is more difficult. Twill fabric has a pronounced diagonal pattern and will always seem different on one side. Most men will recognise the slanted Twill weave in their blue jeans, as well as variations such as the decorative herringbone and Houndstooth.

Many fabrics have two distinguishing qualities: they are twill-woven and they use a particular fabric. Cotton chino, for instance, is a soft fabric that is twill-woven. The durable fabric is known as worsted wool twill.

Seersucker Weaves − Contrary to a popular misconception, seersucker does not refer to a particular striped pattern. It is rather a famous American, particularly Southern, affectation. The intricate weaving of the fabric necessitates applying various stresses at various spots, giving it its recognisable bumpy texture.

Due to its complex and intricate weaving process, seersucker can only be manufactured with cotton strands and is therefore expensive to produce. However, it provides exceptional comfort in hot weather and needs little maintenance because it is machine washable and relatively tough. Although seersucker is most frequently created with blue and white stripes, any colour can be used.

Key Things Men Need to Know About Men’s Fibers

The most important thing to understand is what each weave does and why you should or shouldn’t purchase it. The cheapest and easiest to make weaves are plain weaves, which produce decent shirts that maintain colours and patterns well. They are also the most popular family of weaves used in woollen suits, and the industry standard for suits is still plain-woven worsted wool.

Twill weaves are better suited for cotton pants, blue jeans, and some shirts, yet they can also be used to create herringbone patterns for suit coats when woollen threads are employed. Twill is easily recognised because, even without the use of dye, the front and back of the fabric will always be different in colour and texture.

Only lightweight cotton clothing should be made with seersucker, a particularly specialised weave that can be identified by its bumpy texture. Unlike the other wovens, it has a more relaxed air about it and is strongly associated with summer and the American South.

Although there are, in fact, thousands of different weaves, some of which are extremely specific to the type of thread used and others that are more broad, a man who is familiar with this straightforward terminology can enter a clothes store well-armed.


There is no pause button in the quick-moving world of fashion. As the new year approaches, the fashion industry introduces us to a menswear circuit that deviates from the norm as a prelude to the always changing global fashion week schedules.

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


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