My Cart


Free Shipping on U.S. Orders over $100

What Material Or Fabric Do I Need?

What Material Or Fabric Do I Need?
Cirrus Solids | Cloud 9 Fabrics


If you’re new to the quilting and fabric crafting world, welcome! We at Little Fabric Shop have been sewing curtains, cutting quilt blocks, and wrestling to craft the perfect seam for what seems like forever. And we’re happy to share our know-how!


How to Determine Fabric or Material Needed for a Sewing Project


As a newbie, you may not be aware of the different weights and types of fabrics available. Or how you might use each kind of material in your project. If you’re wondering what kind of fabric you need to get started, look no further!

Read on to learn what materials and fabrics you’ll want to have on hand for your favorite crafting hobbies. 


Common Fabric Types 

We know there are a ton of fabric options to choose from when you begin your crafting journey. So we’ve put together the below info to help you choose what kind of fabric you’ll need for your next crafting project. 

As you may have guessed, the world of fabrics is vast, colorful, and full of options! Deciding on what you’ll need depends largely on what you plan to make. Is it a holiday quilt for grandma? Or a set of curtains for the new nursery? Each project will demand a different type of fabric. If you’re using a pattern, it will usually indicate which type of fabric you should use to achieve the best results. 

Here are some of our top choices for fabric options that are versatile and easy to work with. 


Cotton Fabric 

Cotton is the most popular fabric option for makers and crafters. The material is durable, flexible, and easy to care for. It’s also a favorite among crafters who make clothes because it stays looking brand new long after you sew it to perfection. 

Sun Print 2020 | Alison Glass | Andover Fabrics
Sun Print 2020 | Alison Glass | Andover Fabrics


Cotton fabric is a fan-favorite for quilters, too. Cotton is breathable and soft, but strong enough to hold up to years of use. The material also absorbs moisture which means it’ll help keep you comfortable and cozy in any season. 


Cotton Fabric Favorites

Cotton fabric comes in a variety of types. Below we’ll detail the different options and why you might want to try them all! 

Organic cotton is growing in popularity, making it a great option for individuals wanting to support sustainability efforts. It’s extremely soft and manufactured using all-natural practices (aka no chemicals) making it the leading choice for folks with sensitive skin. We love organic cotton for baby quilts, blankets, clothing, and accessories. 

A Walk Remembered | Cloud 9 Fabrics
A Walk Remembered | Cloud 9 Fabrics | 100% Organic Cotton Baby Wale Corduroy


One of our favorites for light curtains and airy summer dresses is shot cotton. Shot cotton features a different color for the weft and warp, giving the fabric a unique, multi-dimensional look. This material type is super easy to work with and makes a beautiful draped silhouette. 

Peppered Cottons | Studio E Fabrics

Peppered Cottons | Shot Cotton | Studio E Fabrics


A Cotton-linen blend is another option for apparel that’s breathable and comfortable. The material keeps the wearer cool and this blend reduces the risk of creasing that you often find with 100% linen (goodbye, steamer!). 


Quilting Cotton

Of course, there’s nothing quite as versatile as quilting cotton. It is a plain weave fabric, which is the simplest way to manufacture fabric that is high-quality and durable. Quilting cotton is typically a medium weight fabric, but weight can vary depending on the manufacturer. It holds shape well after washing, and is useful for all kinds of crafting projects—especially quilting! It’s also great for bag-making and home décor sewing.

Golden Aster Fabric Collection | Riley Blake Designs
Golden Aster Fabric Collection | Quilting Cotton | Riley Blake Designs


When you’re using quilting cotton, just make sure you are using fabrics that all share the same weight, as this can vary. You want to use the same weight of fabric throughout your project to ensure your seams lie nicely and you have even material wear for the life of the crafted item.

Pair quilting cotton fabric with your favorite quilting, apparel, or home decor patterns! Our fabric shop has dozens of material colors and patterns to help you get inspired!


Polyester Fabric

What is polyester fabric? We’ll save you from all the nitty-gritty scientific details, but polyester is a man-made, synthetic fabric ideal for many sewing and crafting purposes. It’s a cheaper fabric, and you’ll often see it on the label of fast-fashion clothing. 

Polyester is known for its longevity. The material is incredibly tough so it will last a long time, even with extreme use. Polyester is strong, wrinkle-resistant, and dries very quickly. This material is often used for sports clothing and Polyester fiber can be found in fleece fabrics. 

Polyester is perfect for these uses: 

  • Sportswear
  • Coats 
  • Upholstery 

You’ll often see clothes in stores that are made with a cotton and polyester blend. The blended fabric combines the advantages of both materials and is used to make everything from bedding to t-shirts. 


Outdoor Fabric 

Outdoor fabrics are made from a wide variety of synthetic fibers, polyester, acrylic. Some outdoor fabrics even incorporate cotton. This fabric type is great for outdoor furniture because it can take a good deal of wear and tear and will stand up to the harsh rays of the sun.

One of the best aspects of outdoor fabric is its ability to repel water while also resisting mildew growth. These features make outdoor fabric a great option for makers looking for something that will hold up to the great outdoors and still look fantastic. 

But which kind of outdoor fabric do you need for your project? That just depends on what you’d like to make. One great option is canvas. Canvas is a durable, heavy-duty fabric that makes for a great versatile option for many outdoor applications. But if you’re project will be a throw pillow for a covered patio, you can often get away with using Barkcloth. Especially if you want to make new slipcovers each season to refresh your design aesthetic!

Homestyle Collection | Barkcloth Fabric | Cloud 9 Fabrics

Homestyle Collection | Barkcloth Fabric | Cloud 9 Fabrics 


Fabric of All Types

There are so many fun and creative ways to use fabric in the crafting world! But how do you choose the right fabric or material? When in doubt, consult your pattern! But we’ve also covered the most common fabric types you’ll encounter and the crafty uses they each have. 

Be sure to check out our blog for more educational and instructional content to help you along on your crafting adventure.  

If you’d like to get in touch, simply drop us a note on our contact page! We love hearing from fellow crafters and we’d be happy to help assist you with whatever crafting question you have on your mind. 


Connect with our latest news by signing up here.