The fabric chronicles: a journey through all types of fabrics and their uses


Embark with us on this journey as we explore the various fabric types, unveiling their unique qualities and the ways in which they can breathe life into your creations. Throughout this fabric guide, we will offer insights details of each fabric —uncovering not only their textures but also delving into their sustainable origins, uses and much more.  

This article serves as your compass in an exploration of both natural and synthetic fibers, unravelling their pivotal role in shaping clothing, footwear, accessories, bed linens, and even upholstery. 


Natural Fabrics  


    Properties: Cotton is a medium to lightweight fabric known for its soft, breathable, and tightly woven surface. 

    Durability: Fabrics made from cotton fibers can withstand frequent washing, making it a durable choice. 

    Common Uses: Cotton is widely used for shirts, dresses, and casual wear as well as denim items, jersey, gabardine, flannel, gauze, and moleskin.  

    Fabrics type: Cotton fibers are very often blended with others precious materials like silk and wool. Also, cotton fibers can be woven into different fabrics as satin, muslin, poplin, twill, voile, gauze and so on.  

    Sustainability: The major disadvantage of cotton as a fabric is the amount of water, pesticides & fertilizers required for its production, leading to various environmental and health risks. If you want to include cotton in your creations, it’s essential to prefer cotton deadstock fabrics to reduce your environmental impact.  



    Properties: As a premium fabric, cashmere holds great value due to its origins from cashmere goats. The main properties of cashmere fabric are its softness and warmth. 

    Durability: The natural fibers are fine, which makes cashmere fabrics more delicate than cotton. Cashmere fabrics can last many years only if treated properly. 

    Common Uses: Cashmere is highly prized as a material for scarves, sweaters, and comfort-oriented clothes. High-end accessories can be created thanks to lighter cashmere such as fuzzy cashmere. 

    Fabrics type: Mostly in the clothes industry, cashmere fibers from goat are generally used in cashmere felted drap, melange mohair, or wool and cashmere flannel. 

    Sustainability: As cashmere fabrics are produced from goats, this production raises some sustainability issues, such as overgrazing and soil degradation. But it is possible to avoid adverse effects on natural ecosystems, by privileging a sourcing solution that does not involve new production. Check out all our cashmere deadstock fabrics.  



    Properties: Widely recognized for their luxurious fibers, wool fabrics are celebrated for their warmth and durability. 

    Durability: Breathable and requiring infrequent cleaning, wool fabrics provide durability along with convenience. 

    Common Uses: Usually used to create outside clothing, warm sweaters or suiting.  

    Fabrics type: Appreciated for its versatility, wool can be both light and heavy; however, it is worth noting that it can sometimes be itchy. Therefore, wool fibers are often blended with other materials such as mohair or cashmere for enhanced comfort. 

    Sustainability: While wool is a biodegradable material, its life cycle stages from breeding to manufacturing involve some environmental impact, comparable to the production of cashmere fabrics. Source your wool fabrics from Nona Source to reduce your creation environmental impact 



    Properties: Made from the flax plant, the natural fibers of linen fabric are incredibly absorbent and breathable. 

    Durability: Linen fabric is known for its longevity due to several inherent characteristics. Linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant, and the production process retains many of the plant's natural qualities that contribute to the fabric's strength and natural resilience. 

    Common Uses: Linen is a widely used fabric for bed sheets or items that need breathability.  

    Fabrics type: There are four main types of linen fabrics: damask linen, closely woven linen, loose weave linen, plain weave linen. Melange linen exists such as cotton and linen canvas, or linen jersey.  

    Sustainability: Linen fabrics requires very small quantity of water. It is one of the most sustainable fabrics. Linen fabrics have many qualities, the textile is resistant, durable and thermoregulator, and sometimes linen fabrics’ prices can be very high. Opting for deadstock linen eliminates financial concerns. Nona Source provides a range of linen fabrics priced from 6 to 35 euros per meter. 



    Properties: Renowned for their numerous properties, including moisturizing effects, softness, and hypoallergenic qualities, silk fabrics stand out. 

    Durability: Silk is considered one of the strongest natural fibers due to its unique molecular structure. It is produced by silkworms and consists of tightly packed chains of amino acids, forming a crystalline structure. This arrangement contributes to its strength and durability. Additionally, silk fibers have a smooth surface, which reduces friction and makes them less prone to abrasion compared to other fibers. 

    Common Uses: Often used to create long dresses, blouses and scarves and bed linen, silk fabrics fine fibers allow delicate details and a clean-cut for silk designs. Silk fabrics are appreciated for the elegance and the brightness.   

    Fabrics type: Silk can be made from a variety of different silkworm and can be woven for different garments: crêpe de chine and georgette are commonly used to create heavier pieces with beautiful drape. Finer, organza is smoother but still strong, perfect for collars or veils. Silk satin is a highly valuable material with a very soft feel, making it a popular choice for high-end clothing. 

    Sustainability: Traditional silk production requires rearing silkworms in specific conditions, which can have significant environmental impacts. Opting for silk deadstock fabrics allows designers to reduce the need for new silkworm farms while maintaining the inherent beauty and softness of silk. Discover our curated collection of silkies 


    Synthetic Fabrics 


      Properties: Polyester fibers are prized for their high durability, resistance, and quick-drying ability. These versatile properties make polyester a popular choice in various applications, despite environmental considerations. 

      Durability: Polyester fabrics are renowned for their durability, characterized by high tensile strength and resistance to wear, tear, and wrinkles, making them versatile and perfect for diverse applications. 

      Common Uses: Their resilience to UV rays and chemicals, coupled with easy care, makes polyester a popular choice in clothing, upholstery, and outdoor gear- especially for technical or parachute fabrics.  

      Fabrics type: Even if polyester is synthetic, it exists fabrics blended with natural fibers to play with texture and feel, such as linen jersey or cotton canvas.  

      Sustainability: While polyester fabrics offer a range of qualities, they raise sustainability challenges. Traditional polyester production relies on non-renewable resources and energy-intensive processes, contributing to environmental concerns. Sustainable alternatives, like recycled or deadstock polyester, aim to mitigate these impacts by repurposing existing materials. 


      What are the most durable types of fabrics? 

      Textile manufacturing is one of the most polluting on earth, therefore, designers must be aware of the most sustainable fabrics to lower their environmental impact. Different factors come into play, including fiber production, the use of natural resources, farming practices and the biodegradability of materials. If you are looking into taking your fashion design to a new level of sustainability, let’s discover the most sustainable fabrics. 

      When considering sustainability, organic and recycled cotton emerge as commendable choices due to their availability and durability. These options minimize environmental impact, making them suitable for eco-conscious creators seeking a balance between quality and sustainability. Linen stands out for its sustainability, as it requires less water and pesticides compared to cotton. Its inherent durability and breathability make it a favourable option, particularly when sourced responsibly.  

      While silk, wool, cashmere, and conventional polyester may have unique qualities, their production often involves environmental concerns. Sustainable practices, such as opting for recycled and deadstock fabrics from Nona Source, can help diminish these issues.

      Lastly, upcycling and transforming discarded textiles into new and valuable products could be another alternative to foster a more responsible approach to fashion and textile choices.