What are the different types of textiles?

Where would we be, in this day and age, without fabrics and textiles?

They form part of our everyday lives and are almost as essential as food and water.  Take a quick look around your environment and spot the variety and colours of all the fabrics used in the products dotted around – I can see bedding, curtains and upholstery, furniture, clothing, rugs and carpets just to name a few!

Everyday, we see and touch fabrics and materials subconsciously, choosing which clothes to wear, packing our bags to go to work and college, relaxing on our sofa and jumping into crisply washed bed sheets smelling of fresh air, we come into contact with fabrics everywhere! 

Some feel rough, some feel silky, some are there for warmth and others for coolness.  They all have different textures and feelings and are all used in a huge number of ways within a wide variety of sectors from home to fashion. This blog is here to help you decide which fabric is best for the project you’re looking to undertake.

What are the different types of textiles?

Throughout history fabrics were also used as a status symbol, with the wealthy possessing luxurious silks and expensive colourful patterns. They’ve been around for hundreds of years and can be sourced naturally or formed synthetically.  Today, there are six main types:

  1. Natural Fibres -

Easily renewable and biodegradable, so great for sustainability.  Natural fibres come from plants and animals, with three different types including cotton, wool and silk. Cotton and wool are super-absorbent and strong making them great fabrics for dying.  Silk on the other-hand is soft and drapes well making it great for a luxurious nights’ sleep.

We love the look and the feel of Luxury Italian brand - Filippo Uecher.  They weave superior selection of 100% European Linen fibers. Just the perfect combination of beauty, softness and sustainability. Filippo travelled on Normandy to select them himself.

 Bacco 100% Linen fabric in Seafoam has been very popular choice this season

bacco seafoam blue duck egg

Note: Due to variations in computer screens, we cannot guarantee that colours shown here are truly representative of our products.
Prior to purchasing we recommend that you order a sample by emailing us to sales@inspireinterior.co.uk. 

Filippo Uecher collection



  1. Synthetic Fibres

Not as environmentally friendly as those fabrics made from natural materials, synthetics are manufactured mainly from non-renewable sources (coal and oil) including Polyester, Polyamide (Nylon) and Elastane.  These fabrics do not crease are the most affordable and have good elasticity.

Steeped in tradition and historic culture ASPEN generously takes on a smart country tailored look. With its engineered herringbone structure and wool look textured surface it renders itself extremely suitable for everyday easy upholstery. With 25 great colours to choose from ranging from a comprehensive selection of warm and cool neutrals together with an admirable mix of stylish on trend shades, ASPEN has a colour for every mood.   We stock various FR polyester fabrics to help you with your project.

aspen blue upholstery fabric FR
  1. Blended

Blended fibres combine two or more substances into a single fibre each having different properties that can be synergised.  Polycotten is just one example of these types of fabrics.  The added advantage of blending two different types of fibres means that different qualities of the material can be altered, including strength, material softness, absorbency, cost etc.


  1. Woven

Demin, corduroy and flannelette are all examples of woven fabrics.  These are manufactured on a loom using a warp and weft yarn to interlock fibres.  Threads are woven in a simple under one, over one formation to produce a plain weave.  These fabrics are simple and cheap, with the added bonus of being available in different thicknesses.


  1. Non-Woven

Non-Woven fabrics do not need weaving or knitting together and are usually formed by gluing, compressing or melting webs of fibres.  Felt is one of the most common types of non-woven fabric which is formed with moisture, heat and pressure to combine the fibres into a fabric – although this has no elasticity or shape. 


  1. Knitted

Ribbing, sweatshirt fleece and double knit are all types of knitted fabrics and are made from rows of interlocking loops.  These fabrics are warm, stretchy and strong although tend unravel when a hole is made.  It’s worth noting that knitted fabrics can be warp knitted (in straight lines) or weft knitted (knitted upwards). 


With so many different types of fabrics and colours available on the market today, it’s definitely worth having a really good idea of your project to ensure you choose a fabric that will suit whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.  Have a look at Inspire Interior you’ll see all the different collections available and if you have any questions get in touch!