Looks like you are in . Would you like to shop in NZ ? Yes, please! or No, thanks!

Take 10% off your first order with code: HELLO | Free Shipping & Returns Australia Wide!

A "Beginners Guide" to Fabric

As you may already know, we love to share our knowledge and advice about building a capsule wardrobe so you can be better informed when you go shopping. We have many customers who have had questions about fabrics and are interested in choosing the right fabric based on their needs. This blog post is all about the key fabrics we use and why we use them. This is good place to start when it comes to understanding why you might like certain fabrics over others. 

There are 4 major qualities to keep in mind when considering a fabric choice:

1. Durability 

2. Breathability

3. Cost

4. Ease of Care (read: machine wash & crease-proof)

Depending on your age, your budget, your body, and your propensity for laundry/drycleaning you may find you prefer specific fabrics over others. Here is the lowdown on the major fabrics we use, and tips for care.

1. Cotton

This is the favourite for those who like a breathable, cost-effective & durable fibre. The downside of cotton is that is creases which means it can be time consuming to care for it as it will require ironing. We use cotton for our classic shirting and it's always a good go to if you're not an ironing-hater.

2. Polyester

This is the favorite for ease of care, crease resistance and durability, plus it's very cost effective. Polyester has a bad reputation for being "cheap" and it doesn't 'breathe' as well as a natural fibre. However, newer developments in fabric construction are resulting in better polyester options and we choose selective polyesters for our tops and blouses so we can offer a easy-care, value for money option. 

3. Wool

This is the favorite for durability and crease resistance. Wool is amazing for those layering pieces; suiting and coats. There are some machine-washable options and these are usually the thinner, finer knits, for example a merino layer. Most often however it's best to hand wash or dry-clean wool. There is a risk of shrinkage so we advise care with wool. Another great quality of wool is that it is a natural fibre so you'll find that it doesn't hold odor. This means you can hang after wearing and it will "air" out well. Meaning less washing! Wool is not a cheap option but the life of a wool piece is much longer than many other fabrics and so the investment is well worth it! 

4. Viscose

Viscose is a semi-synthetic fabric. It is a cost effective and comfortable option and you'll find many fashion pieces are made from viscose. The downsides of viscose are that it needs to be hand washed and ironed. Viscose will shrink in water and once dried requires a gentle heat to come back to it's correct shape and softness. Don't skip this step! Viscose is great, it provides a good balance of cost and comfort but take the extra care to ensure a long life.

5. Rayon/Spandex/Nylon Blends

Rayon/Spandex/Nylon Blends are often used for dresses with stretch. We use them for our Tunic styles. They are amazing for easy care, and comfort, and price. These fabrics can be washed and hung on a hanger to dry. In most cases no ironing is required before wearing. They don't breathe as well as a natural fibre but are so comfortable and easy it's worth having the option. Great for busy mums, those whose weight is fluctuating, and those who despise ironing and drycleaning.

6. Silk (coming soon!)

We don't currently offer any silk pieces but these are coming soon. Silk is amazing for breathability & comfort. It's a luxurious fabric and many women after a certain age prefer this fabric over the synthetics. The trouble with silk is its' care (it requires careful hand washing, hang drying and light ironing) and it's price point is higher than the synthetic options. We love it for it's look and feel and will be offering it in our tops and blouses as an option in the future.

7. Tencel 

Tencel is a breathable, natural fibre, not entirely un-similar to cotton in it's qualities. The benefits are that it's cost-effective, and comfortable to wear. The challenge with this fabric is it's care, it will require hand washing and an iron. This is a fabric we have used in the past for dresses and skirts, but from many of our customers we have heard it's too hard to care for. We will likely only be using it in a limited capacity in the future. It's a commonly used fabric by other brands, but it does need a little bit more attention in the care department to ensure a long life. 

So there you have it! The wonderful world of fabrics can be complicated and we hope we've shed some light on this. We would love to hear from you if you have further questions on fabrics, or anything else, feel free to email us at info@issueclothing.com and we'll be happy to help!