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Suiting Fabrics: Top 10 fabrics for your suit (Complete Guide)

Suiting Fabrics: Top 10 fabrics for your suit (Complete Guide)

The fabric a suit is made from is important in determining the style, functionality, and quality of a suit. There are a range of suiting fabrics on the market, meaning you have a lot of creative freedom to choose a fabric with the right look and feel for your suit. 

We’ve put together a useful guide to choosing the perfect suiting fabric – plus, our top 10 fabric picks for suit-making. 

What Makes a Good Suiting Fabric?

Choosing a high quality, comfortable fabric is key to creating a suit that you or your customers will get a lot of wear out of. A suit that looks good but isn’t durable or comfortable is not worth a space in your closet.  

Characteristics of a premium suiting fabric

A premium suiting fabric will be strong, breathable, soft against the skin, and will have the perfect combination of structure and drape. 

Try to avoid loosely woven, low-quality fabrics that don’t have the durability to hold up to years of wear. Also, breathability is important, even for a cool-weather suit. Choosing a breathable fabric is best for avoiding uncomfortable humidity and sweating inside of your suit. You will also want to avoid itchy fabrics, no matter how great they look – because you know you won’t reach for that beautiful suit if it itches when you wear it!

Finally, choose a fabric that has enough structure to get well-tailored, crisp lines – but remember not to go too far in that direction and avoid ultra-stiff fabrics with minimal drape. The fluidity and movement added by a fabric with a nice drape will take your suit from stuffy to sophisticated.  

Fabric Weights for suit-making

If you wear suits year-round, you will likely need a range of suits made from fabrics of different weights to account for the seasonal fluctuations in temperature. 

While shopping in-person at a physical fabric store will allow you to touch the fabrics and choose one that looks and feels right, the selection of high-quality suiting fabrics is usually very limited. That’s where online fabric shopping comes in – when you buy fabrics online, you have a much better selection and more options to help you find that perfect fabric. 

To take some of the mystery out of shopping for fabrics online, most shops will list the weights of their fabrics to give you a better idea of how that fabric will feel. The fabric store will typically provide the weights in either grams per square meter (gsm or g/m2) or ounces per square yard (oz or oz/yd2). A higher gsm or oz measurement indicates a heavier fabric. 

Here is a useful guide to help you make sense of fabric weights when it comes to suiting fabrics: 

gsm

oz

weight

types of suits

<136

<4

very light

ultralight specialty suits

136-237

4-7

light

lightweight, summer suits; usually more fluid, casual styles

237-305

7-9

medium

standard, midweight suits

>305

>9

heavy

heavy-weight suits; structured, winter suits

 

What is the best fiber content for a suiting fabric?

Fiber content also has a huge impact on the quality and wearability of a suit. Choosing a natural fiber that is breathable and resists wrinkling, such as wool, is a great choice for a high-end, traditional suit. 

Looking for something a bit more casual? Go for a cotton or cotton blend. It’s comfortable to wear, soft against the skin, yet has a more relaxed feel than wool. 

If you live in an area with sweltering summer temperatures, choose a lightweight, very breathable fabric that wicks sweat away from your skin, such as linen. 

It’s best to avoid synthetic fabrics if possible because they will lack the breathability necessary to stay comfortable all day in your suit.

Top 10 Fabrics for Sewing Shirts

Here at FabricSight, we stock a huge selection of European fabrics for sewing suits and blazers – from traditional to unique. Our focus is on offering sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics to help reduce the impact of the fashion industry on human and natural resources, which is why many of our fabrics have certifications ensuring their quality and sustainability.

Here are our hand-picked, top 10 suiting fabrics: 

1. Stretch Wool Suiting

Lightweight wool suiting is a great option for a high-quality suit that will transition well into multiple seasons. A good wool suiting will be durable, have a sophisticated look, feel great to wear, and have a good drape while maintaining structure. This natural fiber is also breathable and wrinkle resistant. Choosing a structured fabric with a bit of built-in stretch will allow for a more comfortable wearing experience. 

Our high-quality, 100% wool stretch suiting fabric is available in several sophisticated colors. It would be the perfect choice for a classic suit.

2. Worsted Wool

Worsted wool is a special, high-quality yarn produced from wool fibers that are longer, finer, and stronger than the shorter, fluffier, woollen yarns that make up a lot of the wool on the market. The result is a very durable fabric that is smooth and soft to the touch. Because of this, worsted wool is a wonderful choice for a high-end suit that needs to feel as luxurious as it looks. 

Our classic, worsted wool blend fabric would be a great choice for your next suit-making project.

3. Wool Twill

Twill is a fabric that is woven with a twill weave, which results in a characteristic diagonal pattern across the fabric. This diagonal pattern can range from subtle to a statement depending on the colors and construction of the fabric. Twill is a very durable fabric with a great drape and smooth feel, making it good for outerwear and other garments that get a lot of heavy use. Twill can be made from many different types of fibers, but a wool twill suiting will give you a very traditional, classic suit look. 

We have a great selection of wool twill fabrics that would make great suits and blazers, such as this elegant wool suiting fabric.

4. Cotton Twill

Since twill can be made from various fibers, other twill weaves, such as cotton, are also great choices for suiting fabrics. A cotton twill is a durable, versatile fabric that is breathable and comfortable to wear. It tends to have a bit more of a relaxed feel than a wool twill but can still make a great suit.

Our premium organic cotton twill is an awesome fabric for heavier weight, yet comfortable, winter suits. 

5. Polyester-Viscose Windowpane

A windowpane plaid is a classic look for a suit that adds a bit of interest while maintaining a neutral vibe that doesn’t stand out too much. Plus, when made in a polyester/viscose blend, your suit will be versatile and easy to wear. The polyester adds durability and wrinkle-resistance, while the viscose gives the fabric a gorgeous drape and a silky hand-feel. 

We have a selection of poly-viscose windowpane check fabrics, such as this classic blue and white plaid.

6. Linen

If you live in a tropical climate, or somewhere with unbearably hot summers, linen is the perfect choice for a breathable, warm-weather suit. A linen suit will have a more relaxed, casual feel – so keep that in mind if you’re in need of a formal look. Linen also tends to wrinkle easily, so if you hate wrinkles, it may not be the best choice. But if you’re in need of a relaxed, everyday suit that is comfortable in hot weather – linen is a great option.

Our premium, certified European Flax Linen fabric is available in a huge selection of colors. You’ll be sure to find the right one for your next suit!

7. Linen Blend

If you love the breathability and comfort of linen, but need a more formal look for your suit, a linen blend might be the perfect choice for you. A blend can bring out the best qualities of linen while helping to alleviate the tendency to wrinkles and the rustic, casual appearance. 

We have a high-end, 60% linen fabric that includes polyester and viscose fibers to bring out a more luxurious, silky look and feel and reduced wrinkling.

8. Silk Blend

Silk adds a bit of luxury to any fabric. A silk blend suiting fabric will give you the durability and elegant feel of silk without the price tag of a 100% silk fabric. A silk/poly blend can be a great choice for an elegant, sophisticated suit that will be comfortable to wear. 

Our double-faced silk blend suiting fabric gives you two classic color choices in one elegant fabric.

9. Satin

Looking for a unique, luxury fabric for a suit that will stand out from the crowd? A high-quality satin will give your suit an elevated, high-end feel. Satin is perfect for a special occasion suit or an elegant party look. Made with a satin weave, this fabric has a beautiful sheen, silky feel, and gorgeous, fluid drape.

Our Tencel/cotton satin is the perfect fabric for creating a stylish, luxe suit.

10. Velvet

Another option for a one-of-a-kind, high-end suit is velvet. This fabric has a trimmed or looped pile that gives it the unique, fluffy appearance that makes it so recognizable. Velvet has a soft, luxurious feel and a beautiful drape. The way the light catches the fabric often gives it an elegant sheen that changes as the fabric moves. 

We stock a beautiful, top-quality, midweight velvet fabric with just enough stretch for super comfortable wearing that would make a wonderful, structured suit.

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