The weight of the fabric determines a lot of its characteristics. These include but are not limited to its drapiness, stretchability, breathability, and softness. A heavier fabric usually means it is more resistant to external factors and is opaque. The weight of the fabric is, for the most part, determined by the thickness of its threads and their weaving density.
So, what is a heavy fabric? Gram per square meter or ounce per square yard is the unit for the weight of the fabric. And we call a fabric heavy when its weight is above 10-12 oz or 340-400 g/m².
Different Heavy Weight Fabrics and What to Expect from Them
Whenever you are taking on a project, it is important that you consider all the variants involved. As indicated above, the weight of the fabric goes a long way in determining its characteristics. Therefore, knowing what to expect from fabric will enable you to successfully complete any of your sewing endeavors.
For today’s piece, we will be focussing on different heavy fabric types and their features. So, let’s dive into it.
You would agree that canvas is the probably fabric type that comes to mind when we talk about heavy fabrics. This fabric relies on a basic weave and it is available in a variety of different fibers.
Without any doubt, canvas fabric is known for its toughness, firmness, and heavy-duty. You can even make it weather-resistant and perhaps waterproof by combining cotton and synthetic fibers. This, therefore, makes it an excellent outdoor cloth piece. Canvas was historically made of linen and hemp. However, more recently, you will mostly have cotton fibers going into its production.
Its resilience to moisture and stains makes it an ideal exterior cloth. This quality has helped canvas find its way on some of the world’s best and most renowned bags. You will also find the use of canvas in construction shoes, especially in casual wear. If you are looking for a more high-quality stiff fabric type, you can go with hemp canvas, polyester canvas, and various mixes.
Duck Cloth Fabric
Duck cloth fabric essentially is a woven canvas fabric that is often composed of cotton. It features a high fiber content and a strong composition. This makes it long-lasting, smooth textured, and rigid fabric. Standard weights range from commercial fabric to lighter apparel.
Along with its durability, duck cloth fabric comes in twelve various weights. The lightest, grade twelve, is great for ordinary apparel, while the heaviest, grade one, is perfect for equipment such as hammocks or sandbags.
However, keep in mind, canvas duck is another name for duck cloth. Duck cloth resembles canvas fabric, that’s why it is usually referred to as canvas duck. Canvas duck offers a wide variety of applications because of its weight range. Various weights serve a variety of purposes.
Duck cloth has its use for a variety of purposes, including outdoor utility materials and garments. It offers a wide variety of applications because of its weight range. Different weights serve different functions.
You would agree that denim now has a legendary status when we talk about its wide range of use in everyday outfits. It essentially is a sturdy cotton fabric with a woven fabric and a modest diagonal ribbing design.
This heavy-weight fabric prevents shrinking and creases and it achieves this characteristic through its production from cotton-polyester blends. Nowadays, some denim fabrics contain a stretch fiber, like spandex or elastane, to give elasticity for more fitting clothing designs.
In denim, the cotton fabric is warp-facing. In this, weft threads go behind two or more warp threads. Moreover, the warp yarns become more visible on the front side. The diagonal ribbing distinguishes denim fabric from the others, which are all woven cotton fabrics.
Moreover, as a tip, a typical size 80 needle would generally be enough for the lighter-weight types of denim. They feature a very small tip that allows them to easily glide into the cloth and strengthen the shaft for further stability. You can also buy a specific denim sewing machine.
You will find Ottoman fabric in the making of upholstery or heavy-duty outerwear.
If we talk about the composition, Ottoman fabric has a composition of pure silk strands and these give it a genuine glossy look. However, nowadays, the majority of the ottoman fabrics have a blend of silk and other natural fibers, such as wool or cotton.
The best part about ottoman fabric is that spills tend to roll off the cloth due to ribbed weave, making it easier to keep clean. Ottoman subsequently gained popularity as a fabric for jackets and bulky winter outfits, as well as curtains.
However, the ottoman fabric’s all-silk weave requires little maintenance. If it is part of a garment, you can spot clean it or dry clean it as required. Moreover, it is possible to steam clean it if it is part of the upholstery.
As a tip, try to use sewing machines for upholstery if you are thinking of designing some curtains with ottoman fabric.
Corduroy is a dense, sturdy cloth. This fabric is relatively rigid in nature and swiftly absorbs and releases moisture, enabling the garment to “breathe.”
Though corduroy is often made of cotton, it may also be woven using thick polyester fabric and cotton mixes or even 100% polyester. On the other hand, you will also occasionally find wool in the production of corduroy by textile manufacturers.
In past, corduroy found itself in and out of style many times. Corduroy is still highly popular as a flexible, sturdy fabric suitable for pants, coats, and children’s wear. Furthermore, corduroy also finds its use in the making of couch and chair covers, as well as ornamental cushions.
Wool Tweed Fabric
The next entry on our list of heavyweight fabric types is an extremely rigid and thick fabric with great weather resistance. This fabric has a slightly gritty feel. Irrespective of tweed’s ability to withstand the weather, it has a permanent position in the worldwide fashion sense.
One stand-out characteristic of this fabric type is the dense weave and this helps to repel the droplets. Even today, people adore Wool Tweed for its natural charm, and its fabric mixes in wonderfully with the surrounding landscape.
Typically, the material is made from multi-colored, stubby wool strands in a loose plain herringbone or tweed weave, this results in a unique appearance that is gritty, and crumbly yet keeps the cloth soft and comfortable.
Among modern males, sports jackets or coats are the most popular choice. A well-tailored tweed jacket in natural colors of plain weave, herringbone, or houndstooth can be dressed for a variety of events from corporate events to family occasions.
Suede or sueded fabric
Suede is a sort of leather and similarly, you will find it is made from any type of animal skin which is used to make regular leather. Suede is definitely a premium material; while it doesn’t have the endurance of standard leather, it is softer and more comfortable.
When compared to other fabric types, suede is a robust fabric with a very resilient character. Because of its delicate nature, it has a subtle and delicate drape. Suede is a durable long-lasting material. It may even last for many years if you will use it properly.
Moreover, suede is soft and supple. It can readily be transformed into many sorts of apparel based on necessity and trends. Suede fabric, because it is generally thin, finds its use in the stitching of gowns, boots, jackets, or blankets.
Furthermore, because of its smooth texture, suede appeals to the eyes as well as the skin.
Next on our list of heavyweight fabric types is Chenille. It is a one-of-a-kind fabric distinguished by its fuzz heaps that resemble caterpillars. Chenille is a thick woven fabric that can be manufactured from a number of fibers such as silk, wool, rayon, and cotton.
Chenille has a lovely silky drape, which has contributed to its higher use in clothing in recent times. It is incredibly long-lasting. However, it has a propensity to stretch and shrink, therefore the user needs to strictly follow care recommendations.
Despite the fact that the fibers in the chenille are not naturally glossy, the fabric and thread catch the radiance at right angles due to the piling orientation. Thus, the cloth may seem bright and iridescent as a result of this effect.
Earlier, Chenille had its use in bedsheets, carpets, and duvets, but its usage has extended to clothes and fashion items. Because of its smooth texture and exquisite fall, the chenille lends itself well to the creation of shawls. Among the most common applications for chenille is in the production of rugs and carpets. Chenille carpets are long-lasting and have a silky, thick texture.
Polyester Fleece Fabric
Polyester fleece is a warm, fuzzy fabric you will see in the making of sweaters, sweatshirts, coats, gloves, hats, bedding, and any other purpose that requires a warm, wool-like fabric.
It is a two-sided pile fabric, which means that a layer of chopped fibers grows on both the front and back surface of the fabric, comparable to corduroy or velvet. This material’s insulating quality is good due to its deep pile
Moreover, it is a thick polyester fabric that not only retains heat but also resists moisture and dries rapidly. Its moisture resistance makes it extremely warm and great for harsh winter conditions.
Polyester fleece fabric is becoming extremely prevalent as a fashion fabric and has a variety of more specialized uses. It has been used to produce astronaut undergarments, deep-sea diving outfits, and ear coverings for winter-born calves. Even though it is polyester, it is preferable to cotton fleece since it is more resilient and does not shrink when washed.
This fabric type may have woven or non-woven fabrics. They are called coated because they have a layer of coating or resin on their surface. Basically coated fabric comprises two or three layers of some compounds, at least one of which is fabric and another of which is an entirely continuous polymer layer.
However, when choosing coated fabrics, dimensional characteristics such as fiber density, entire thickness, total width or diameter, total length, and material weight must be considered.
After coating treatment, the fabric can be provided with a lot of beneficial features such as waterproofing, windproofing, flame retardant, light-shielding, and much more. There are many coated fabrics available in the market that can provide all those features at once.
As the coated fabric has some exceptional qualities, it is widely used in making waterproofing tents, car covers, waterproof boots, socks, and some more stuff.
Above are the best thick fabric types you can use for your next DIY project. Here is a video explaining how you can sew through thick seams efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to Heavy Weight Fabrics
What is the best needle to sew heavyweight fabrics?
To sew these thick heavyweight fabrics, always use a thick/denim needle such as 100/16, 110/18, and 120/20.
Which fabric is referred to as the heaviest cotton?
Denim is a heavyweight cotton fabric that is tightly woven with a twill weave. Color-wise, it often has white feathery and blue or black warp threads, however, various colors are used. It has its use in the production of things like jeans, coats, skirts, and other fashion garments.
What to do when you have to sew two layers of thick fabric?
In these cases, a walking foot is a lifesaver. When sewing more than two layers of such heavy-weight fabrics, you’ll need to have one.
What is the best material for making raincoats?
The coated fabric is the best when you want to sew any highly water-resistant product. Raincoats are very well prepared with coated fabrics.
What is the thickest fabric?
Canvas is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about thick fabrics. This is the reason it has wide use by painters. Moreover, canvas comes in a variety of weights.
Wrapping it up!
There you have it, the best heavyweight fabrics you can find right now. We talked about their various characteristics, their usage, and what to expect from them when using them. I hope this piece was of help.