Home Sewing 101Fabric Choices for Sewing Projects Cotton – The Most Versatile Fabric

Cotton – The Most Versatile Fabric

Denim, Flannel, Damask, and More!

by Beth Cooper
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When it comes to cotton fabric, there sure are a lot of choices.  Are you unsure of what is what?  Here’s a short lesson on cotton fabric:

Cotton comes in many weights.  Each weight serves a different purpose.  Depending on your project, you may pick a lightweight, medium weight, or heavyweight cotton. 

Lightweight Cotton:  This category includes lawn, muslin, batiste, voile, and organdy.  These cottons are perfect for that lightweight summer dress or perhaps a sheer curtain liner. 

This Petite Lawn in Paisley Navy is by Sevenberry for Robert Kaufman

Medium Weight Cotton:  This category includes gauze, poplin, flannel, gabardine, sateen, chintz, damask, gingham, and jersey.  This category also includes what is commonly called “quilting cotton” and is found in quilt shops.  These cottons are perfect for garment making, bag making, curtains, tablecloths, quilts, and just about anything. 

Heavyweight Cotton:  This category includes denim, velveteen, canvas, corduroy, and toweling.  These cottons are perfect for blue jeans, pants, jackets or coats, and heavy drapes. 

Chemicals are used in the manufacturing process of cotton.  Consider pre-washing your cotton fabric to wash the chemicals out.  Check out other reasons for prewashing here.  If you’re concerned about chemicals, you may want to shop for organic cotton fabric.  No chemicals are used in their manufacturing. 

Cotton certainly comes in a vast array of types, textures, weights, and colors.  These are just the most common types you will encounter.  What will your next cotton project be?  

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