When you enter the fashion industry, you will hear the words fibres, textiles, fabrics, and yarns frequently.
Before you can use these materials, you need to know what each of them is so you can differentiate between them.
The term fibre can be used to describe an animal, mineral, or vegetable substance.
Fibres are thin, long, flexible structures that exist in natural form and are used for constructing fabrics in fashion.
When a fibre is artificial or synthetic and is processed into a continuous yarn or thread, it becomes a filament.
That filament can be spun into yarn, which is then woven into a fabric.
You might already be familiar with yarn from crafting or other DIY projects, but yarn is actually an essential staple in fashion design.
This material emerged in the 18th century using a variety of methods, including open-end friction and centrifugal spinning. These processes all work to twist and spin fibres, which forms the yarn you see and work with today.
If you have ever seen yarn in bulk, they may all seem the same. However, there are several different types of yarn.
The most common types are polyester blends called filament and nonfilament yarns. There are also staple yarns, which are produced from short length fibres.
Fabrics are products or materials that are made by weaving, knitting, or crocheting. There are also non-woven fabrics, which are constructed through twisting, braiding, and felting.
At first, it might seem like fabric is a simple cloth, but to understand fabric, you have to look at its ingredients.
If you look at a basic fabric sample, you might notice that it consists of multiple threads, which cross over each other in a weaving pattern. The threads that you are seeing give the fabrics its properties and characteristics.
You can find the quality of the fabrics hidden within these threads. For example, poor threads equate to poor fabric and vice versa.
You may have heard of or even purchase bed sheets with a high thread count, which make them more comfortable. This is an example of how fabrics qualities can range. Threads are a textile product that cross over and under each other to form a cloth, which is then used in garments.
What is a Thread?
Threads serve a variety of purposes in fashion, but perhaps their most important function is to increase the quality of garments.
All threads begin as simple fibres that can either be very weak or strong depending on their properties.
When you twist together short fibres or continuous fibres, it produces yarns, which are responsible for the strength and flexibility that make up a good thread.
This process is called ‘spinning’.
How to Determine Thread Quality
When you are selecting a thread in garment design, there are several factors that you should consider.
Although you should use a strong fibre, it is important to consider quality, comfort, and many other aspects.
Let’s look at what you should consider when determining which thread you will use for your designs.
Pure and raw materials contain more micro strands within each fibre, which makes it a higher quality thread count.
Often, a company will begin with a raw material, but cut corners in the processing phase. For this reason, it is important to consider selecting materials that utilise quality processing methods. An example of this might include twisting the thread or eliminating excessive lint.
Ease of Use
Your thread should easily come off the spool and consistently wind off the cone.
When selecting your thread, it is important to make sure the material is strong enough for the project at hand. For example, an embroidery thread does not require as much strength as a quilting thread. Alternatively, a thread for piercing does not need to be as strong as a quilting thread.