16 Different Types of Cotton Fabric (2023)

Cotton is used to make a variety of fabrics and the cotton plant dates all the way back to 3,000 BC. It is a very versatile plant that creates a very important material that is used in creation of hundreeds of products, including clothing, bedding, and curtains.

16 Different Types of Cotton Fabric (1)

Pretty much everyone has at least one garment in their closet that is made of cotton fabric but did you know that there are an array of different types of cotton fabric on the market today?

Cotton is one of the most popular fabrics used in the creation of clothing and we explain each of the different types of cotton fabric to help you decide which version of this very versatile fabric is the best one for you to wear and feel comfortable in while sporting it.

Cotton has been around since 3,000 B.C. Back then, it was grown in the Indus River Valley in Pakistan before being spun and woven into cloth. By 800 A.D., Arab merchants were bringing cotton cloth to Europe to sell, and in 1492 when Columbus discovered America, he located cotton plants that were growing throughout the Bahama Islands. By the 1500s, cotton was being grown and sold throughout the entire world and in today’s world, is used to make many different types of cotton fabrics.

I have a ton of clothes that are made of cotton or other versions that are listed below that involved cotton fabric in their creation. Cotton is cool or warm, depending on the garment, and soft to the touch so it is easy to wear and to take care of when you wash and dry it. It is used in a variety of garments and other products, including aprons, tablecloths, and bedding. Everyone I know owns some amount of clothing items that are made of cotton fabric along with sheets, pillowcases, and comforters. Below is our list of main types of cotton fabrics.

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Quilting Cotton

Quilting cottons are also referred to as craft cottons, patchwork cotton, or printed cotton and are plain weave cottons that are light to medium weight cotton. They are a pretty closely woven fabric and there are an array of quilted cotton fabrics available that are utilized for making tops, tunics, aprons, blankets, quilts, dresses, and skirts.

Brushed Cotton

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Brushed cotton is sometimes referred to as flannel or flannelette. it is a medium-weight cotton fabric that has surface fibers that are brushed on one side of the material which gives it hey very soft and warm look and feel. you can purchase it in a plain material, or checked printed or stripe material and it is most often used for casual shirts, children’s clothing, and linings for bedding comic coats, and jackets. When it comes to a lightweight flannelette, it is used many times to make nightgowns and pajamas.

Pima Cotton

Considered a higher-end type of cotton fabric, pima cotton boasts longer fibers than regular cotton. Smooth fabric that is very soft to the touch is created with pima cotton. It tends to be resistant to wrinkles and very durable. Several products are created from this type of fabric, including bed sheets and underwear.

Egyptian Cotton

16 Different Types of Cotton Fabric (4)

Known as the highest quality cotton fabric, Egyptian cotton is used to make a number of products, including higher thread count bed sheets that many people prefer over other types of sheets to sleep upon. You can expect to pay a little more at the cash register for anything made from this type of fabric.

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16 Different Types of Cotton Fabric (5)

There are many fabrics that are created from a cotton twill weave fabric, including some linen fabrics, denim, chino, and gabardine. It is used in making pants, jackets, skirts, and much more. It is distinguished by its weave pattern that places diagonal lines in the fabric and it is very sturdy and durable. Cotton twill is also used in creating some types of upholstery fabric since it is so durable.

Cotton Lawn

Cotton lawn is a lightweight, plain-weave cotton fabric that has a crisp, smooth feel. It can be quite sheer but is reasonably strong due to the fine weave. Often used for blouses, children’s clothes, tablecloths, and blankets.

Organic Cotton

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Organic cotton fabric is created without any synthetic fiber being added into it and is usually free of chemicals, including fertilizers and pesticides, when the cotton is being grown by cotton producers.

Knitted Fabric

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Knitted fabric is made with one single yarn that is looped continuously to create a braided look and multiple yarns are used to make a woven fabric, crossing over each other at right angles, to create the grain of the fabric. Stretching is a process that can be used to determine if a fabric is woven or a knit fabric. Some of the products made from knitted fabric created with multiple yarns are men’s and women’s button-up shirts, jeans and trousers, and even denim jackets.

Examples include button-up shirts, trousers, jeans, denim jackets. Knit fabric that has been created with one single yarn includes women’s leggings, T-shirts, sweaters, and some underwear.

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Levant Cotton

Levant cotton comes from the Levant seeds of the Gossypium herbaceum cotton plant, which are also used for feed, oil extraction, and food. It is considered Old World cotton and is used by many commercial cotton producers in creating clothing and other products.

Wool fabric

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With cotton wool fabric you end up with the best of both types of fibers: cotton fiber and wool fiber. This means you get the comfort of cotton with the resilience and strength from the wool fiber. This type of cotton blend can be worn all year round no matter what season it is outside. Cotton and wool blends are normally used in higher-end clothing, including tweed, chenille, brocade, and velvet.


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Poplin, also known as cotton broadcloth, is a medium-weight, plain-weave cotton fabric that is tightly woven and easy to work with when sewing. It is extremely versatile and is used often to produce blouses, dresses, and shirts. It can be a pure cotton blend or one that includes polyester fabric.

Linen Fabric

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Linen cotton mix fabric is very soft and of light to medium-weight. It often contains a blend of 50 percent linen and 50 percent cotton. It retains the look and feel of linen but is more robust and will not crease as much. Some clothing made from linen and cotton is a little itchy to your skin. Some products created with linen cotton fabric include skirts, sheets, jackets, and dresses.

Silk Fabric

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A mix of silk and cotton weave produces a lightweight fabric that is very soft to the touch and offers the drape and luster that silk provides. It is used most often to make blouses and dresses.

Sea Island Cotton

Sea Island cotton is the rarest type of cotton fabric type in the world as well as one of the finest versions of cotton fabric. It boasts a very fine, uniform texture that offers a silky lustre and feels great next to your skin. A variety of products are made from Sea Island cotton, including high-end men’s boxer shorts.


Voile is a soft and very sheer fabric type that is typically made of 100 percent cotton or of cotton blended with linen or polyester. It is a very lightweight cotton fabric that gets its name from the French term for veil. This fabric is used often in hot, tropical climates and for mosquito netting and sheer curtains for windows.

Poly Cotton

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Polycotton is usually a blend of 50 percent polyester and 50 percent cotton can sometimes be made of 65 percent cotton and polyester. It is a very lightweight plain-weave fabric that is very strong, durable, resistant to creasing, however, it is less breathable than other cotton fabrics so it can be hot and make you sweat if you wear it during the warmer months. It is often used to create children’s clothing, skirts, and aprons.

FAQs About Cotton Fabric

What is the warp yarn?

Warp yarn is the set of yarns that are stretched into place on a loom before the weft is added during the process of weaving to create different blends of materials.

What is woven cotton?

Woven fabric is usually a more crisp fabric than 100 percent cotton fabric and it is not stretching. It is sometimes created to be very thin like a chiffon material or very thick to create something like denim fabric. Sometimes spandex material is woven into the mix that will allow it to become stretchable.

Woven cotton fabric is available in a variety of prints or solid colors. It is a fun fabric that is used in by quilters to create gorgeous quilts and blankets. It is also used in home décor items and a variety of different garments for men, women, and children. Some crafters even use woven cotton in an array of different craft projects that they create.

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What is a jacquard loom?

It is a loom that is designed to weave fabrics of intricate designs to create a woven fabric and to even create wholes and other designs throughout the fabric during this process.

What is rayon?

Basically, rayon is a type of fabric that is produced from purified cellulose fibers, which are typically created from wood pulp, and used to make cheaper clothing and other items.


How many types of cotton are there? ›

There are more than 135 types of cotton varieties available in the market and used by designers, retail labels and textile industry all over the world.

What are 10 things made out of cotton? ›

In addition to textile products like underwear, socks and t-shirts, cotton is also used in fishnets, coffee filters, tents, book binding and archival paper.

What is 100 cotton called? ›

100 cotton means the fabric is not blended and is made of a stronger, softer, and more comfortable natural product consisting of fibers picked from the plant. On one side it's strong enough to last many hot washes, and on the other hand, it's biodegradable.

Can you name some different kinds of fabric? ›

In reality, there are five basic types of fabric or cloth: silk, cotton, linen, wool, and worsted.

What is the highest grade of cotton? ›

Supima (which stands for Superior pima) is the crème de la crème of all cottons. Supima cotton is very rare- In fact, less than 1% of the cotton grown in the world is Supima cotton.

How many fabric types are there? ›

Deciding which type of fabric to make an item with is an important decision, as fabrics can have countless qualities. From natural to synthetic fibers and from knit to woven, here's a look at different fabric types and how to identify them.

What is the main material of cotton? ›

What type of fiber is cotton? Cotton is a seed-hair fiber made mostly of cellulose. The fibers are composed of about 87 to 90 percent cellulose (a carbohydrate plant substance), 5 to 8 percent water, and 4 to 6 percent natural impurities.

What is the softest type of cotton? ›

Pima cotton is among the softest and most delicate kinds of cotton in the world because of its extra-large staple fiber that exceeds the size of average cotton fiber. Almost all luxury brands prefer to use this cotton to facilitate their spinning process and produce a fabric that is even and easy to dye.

What is the lightest cotton? ›

If you are looking for a lightweight cotton fabric that never needs ironing, seersucker cotton is the perfect choice for you. It originated in India and is commonly used to make shirts, shorts and even suits best suited for warm weather, being both light, breathable and durable.

How many grades of cotton are there? ›

There are fifteen (15) physical grade standards representing the predominant range of color and seven (7) physical grade standards representing the official leaf grades for American Upland cotton.

What is cotton Class 10? ›

Cotton is the most important fibre crop produced in India because of the variety of its applications in all fields. Cotton is a Kharif crop that requires approximately 8 months to cultivate. Although in Tamil Nadu, cotton is grown both as a Kharif as well as a rabi crop.

What is high quality cotton fabric? ›

Pima is considered the finest cotton on earth. As an extra-long staple (ESL) cotton, its long fibers make it extra soft and extra strong. The result? Luxuriously smooth fabric that is resistant to fraying, tearing, pilling, wrinkling, and fading.

What are the 3 main types of fabric? ›

They are produced from the natural source of raw materials. Different kinds of fabric include types of cotton fabric, types of wool fabric, types of linen fabric, and types of silk fabric.

Which varieties of cotton are the most common? ›

In the United States and around the world, there are two main species of cotton cultivated for commercial use: upland cotton and Pima (extra-long staple) cotton. Upland cotton comprises the vast majority of production.

How are fabrics used in our daily life at least 25? ›

Answer: The clothes which we wear in our daily lives are not the only basic use of the fabric. Other prominent uses of fabric in our daily life is the bed linen, upholstery, curtains, cushion covers, dusters, mops, covers and many more. The quality of fabric is generally depends upon the fibre with which it is made.

What are the 6 categories of textiles? ›

Textiles are classified according to their component fibers into silk, wool, linen, cotton, such synthetic fibers as rayon, nylon, and polyesters, and some inorganic fibers, such as cloth of gold, glass fiber, and asbestos cloth.

What is thick fabric called? ›

Wool Tweed fabric

Wool Tweed is a very thick fabric usually used to make jackets and coats and also bags. It has a slightly coarse texture.

Is 100% cotton better than Egyptian cotton? ›

Fabrics made of Egyptian Cotton are softer, finer and last longer than any other cotton so are worth putting the slight extra bit of money into. Since finer yarns mean a higher thread count, the weave of the fabric is significantly stronger and lasts a lot longer than regular cotton.

Why is Egyptian cotton so good? ›

Egyptian cotton is more breathable, moisture-wicking and absorbent than normal cotton, which helps to regulate your body temperature, making it ideal for balmy summer nights, and all year round comfortable sleeping. This works by drawing away moisture from your skin when you are hot, allowing you to cool down.

Is Pima cotton better than Egyptian? ›

The best feature of pima cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets is the feeling that you have as you touch it. They are both extremely soft and smooth. You may find little difference between the two materials, and find that pima cotton is a more affordable choice that provides the same quality feel as Egyptian cotton sheets.

How many natural fabrics are there? ›

Common examples of natural fabrics include cotton, denim, wool, and silk. The fibres that constitute these fabrics can always be sourced from natural origins. For example, cotton is obtained from the cotton plant, silk is obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm, and wool is obtained from sheep and other animals.

How many types of fibers are there in clothes? ›

Bitesized information on ten of the most used textile fibres in the fashion industry including cotton, polyester, viscose (or rayon), silk and wool.

What is pure cotton? ›

The label 'Pure cotton', especially in India, doesn't mean that the fabric is only made of cotton. Rather, it means that the amount of cotton that has been used in the fabric is pure. If you are looking for cotton garments that are not blended, what you should ideally go for is a 100% cotton tag.

What animal is cotton from? ›

Cotton is the most widely produced natural fiber on the planet. Other natural fibers include silk, made from the cocoons of silkworms; wool, made from the fur of sheep or alpacas; and linen, made from fibers in the stems of flax plants. Cotton fibers come from cotton plants.

What is cotton Class 6? ›

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose, and can contain minor percentages of waxes, fats, pectins, and water.

What is a bunch of cotton called? ›

Bale: A bale is a bundle of raw cotton.

What is the common name of cotton? ›

Gossypium herbaceum is the scientific name of cotton. Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fibre that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants.

What is cotton fiber called? ›

Cotton fibers are the purest form of cellulose, nature's most abundant polymer. Nearly 90% of the cotton fibers are cellulose. All plants consist of cellulose, but to varying extents. Bast fibers, such as flax, jute, ramie and kenaf, from the stalks of the plants are about three-quarters cellulose.

What is the rarest cotton? ›

Genuine Sea Island Cotton

The real Sea Island Cotton comes from the seed of the Gossypium Barbadense plant which produces the longest fibres in the world with pile lengths of more than 50mm. This is the rarest type of cotton, making up less than 0.0004% of the world's cotton production.

What is the highest quality cotton fabric? ›

Pima is considered the finest cotton on earth. As an extra-long staple (ESL) cotton, its long fibers make it extra soft and extra strong. The result? Luxuriously smooth fabric that is resistant to fraying, tearing, pilling, wrinkling, and fading.

What is the strongest type of cotton? ›

Supima cotton is a high-quality type of cotton that is made from Gossypium barbadense . It is considered to be one of the softest and strongest forms of cotton in the world, and the methods of production and certification that are used for Supima cotton are different than those used for Pima cotton.

What is the softest cotton in the world? ›

Pima cotton is among the softest and most delicate kinds of cotton in the world because of its extra-large staple fiber that exceeds the size of average cotton fiber. Almost all luxury brands prefer to use this cotton to facilitate their spinning process and produce a fabric that is even and easy to dye.

What is a soft cotton called? ›

Known for its stretchiness and softness, cotton jersey fabric is a staple to make your favourite cotton tee-shirts. It's a very low maintenance fabric which is incredibly soft and is made up of predominantly cotton with some elastane.

Which type of cotton is expensive? ›

Gossypium barbadense is an extra-long-staple (ELS) cotton variety, which means that it consists of longer cotton fibers that produce softer and more luxurious textiles. This type of cotton accounts of 8 percent of the world's cotton production, and it is significantly more expensive than Gossypium hirsutum.

What is the thinnest cotton called? ›

Sheers: Batiste, lawn, organdy, dimity, dotted swiss and voile are all finely woven cotton sheers.

What is the most breathable cotton? ›

Chambray. Chambray is like denim. It is a tightly woven cotton fabric, which means it is sweat-absorbent yet breathable. It is lighter weight than denim, which makes it a good choice for summer wear.

Is Supima cotton better than Egyptian cotton? ›

Supima cotton stands for “superior cotton,” which is a step above Egyptian cotton in quality and feel. The fibers have superior durability and can stand up to washings easily. You will find that because supima cotton is so soft, your night's sleep will be comfortable and easy.


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