Fabric weight is the outcome of how a fabric has been woven, its finish and sometimes the fibre type. It’s usually measured in grams per metre (gsm). A lightweight fabric is typically between 30 – 150 gsm, medium weight 150 – 350 gsm and heavyweight 350+ gsm. Fabrics with different fibres or weaves but with the same weight may not have the exact same thickness.
GSM is not always an indicator of durability in all cases, for example one indicator of high gsm is simply a heavier, thicker towel which would typically be more absorbent. The higher gsm of a towel means it will soak up more water but then it will take longer to dry. It is always advisable to check the Martindale score for durability when using for upholstery.
|Type||GSM||Types of Fabric|
|Light-weight fabric||30 – 150||Chiffon, Organza, Voile, Taffeta, Poplin|
|Medium-weight fabric||150 – 350||Velvet, Sateen, Fleece, Velboa, Suede|
|Heavy-weight fabric||350+||Wool, Felt, Denim, Canvas, Suede, Leatherette|
The weight of the fabric can affect how it drapes, feels and looks. For example, lightweight fabrics are often used for summer clothing because they are breathable and don’t trap heat. Heavier fabrics are often used for winter clothing and furnishings because they provide more warmth.
How do I choose what fabric to use?
Choosing the weight of a fabric will depend on how often it is going to be worn or used. These are just a few ideas.
- Examples of uses for lightweight fabric – fancy dresses, blouses, wedding dresses, lingerie, sashes, scarves, home décor.
- Examples of uses for medium-weight fabric – clothing such as jackets, shirts, t-shirts, trousers, suits, blazers, curtains, home décor.
- Examples of used for heavyweight fabric – perfect for everyday use, long lasting projects, upholstery, curtains, winter clothing
What is the difference between GSM and Oz?
GSM stands for grams per square metre while oz stands for ounces per square yard. Please note that our website uses gsm per square metre.