Here's a bunch of fabric types, because shopping for fabric can be kind of daunting when you don't have any clue what half the stuff means.
(These are copied from http://www.fabricsandbuttons.com/Mer...oosing-Fabrics
heavy, durable cotton that is tightly woven.
comes in either a plain or twill weave; it has a slight nap (a soft, brushed look) on one or both sides. Since this fabric shrinks quite a bit, machine-wash and machine-dry, both hot. Use a with nap layout, double thickness. Use an 80/12 needle. Steam iron on cotton setting.
soft, with a nap on one side.
sheer, lightly woven fabric. There is also silk gauze.
checks, plaids, stripes, very lightweight.
lightweight, plain woven, this fabric is soft, combed with a crisp finish.
runs sheer to coarse; plain woven; comes in “natural” color or dyed.
the fibers are teased apart to make the cloth fleecy, creating air pockets between the fibers, and feels warmer; is more flammable. Sometimes comes with flameproofing. It is strong, stronger when wet, stands up to hard washing, which makes it ideal for tablecloths, napkins, sheets, pillowcases. Resistant to heat, can be washed at high temperatures.
raised woven designs, usually jacquard, with a puckered/quilted look.
a finish given to ribbed cotton or silk, achieved by passing the fabric between engraved rollers which press a watermark pattern into it.
transparent with crisp finish.
from Egyptian cotton; excellent quality.
cotton pique has a small embossed design, achieved by using two warps with different tension. It is very expensive to produce.
crinkled effect, produced on cotton by printing it with a stripe of chemical, which causes raised buckling by elongating fibers of the printed parts.
plain or satin weave; shiny due to chemical finish.
plain weave with a cross-wise rib.
lightweight fabric crinkled into lengthwise strips of different colors. Traditionally woven with two types of warp, one under heavy tension, to give the variation in surface. These days, chemical methods are more often used to produce the crinkle. It does not need ironing after washing.
sheer, fine fabric; plain or dotted with possible other designs.
looped pile, woven or knitted, and absorbent. French terry is looped on one side and sheared pile on other side.
short pile resembling velvet.
a jacquard weave, reversible pattern of satin or plain weave.
a very fine damask of floral patterns, used for table linen.
China silk is lightweight, and plain woven. It wrinkles easily, and is used mainly for linings.
Fabric Prep: Hand-wash, gentle cleaner, air-dry. Press while still damp.
Layout/Cutting/Marking: without nap layout, double thickness. Mark with fabric markers or chalk. Cut with shears or rotary cutter.
Needles: 65/9 to 70/10
Pressing: Dry iron, silk setting.
Silk that comes from white silk cocoons, not from Thailand . Taffeta is noisy, it rustles when you walk. Taffeta also creases easily. It has a crisp hand, and drapes stiffly. Sew carefully, as ripped-out stitches can leave marks, as can pins. If there is acetate in the fabric, steam can leave spots.
Fabric Prep: dry clean
Layout/Cutting/Marking: with nap, double thickness. Pin in seam allowances. Clip in seam allowance as chalk may leave a permanent mark.
Pressing: steam, use an organza press cloth
A mixture of silk cocoons, both long, smooth and short and rough yellow. It is reeled from double cocoons nested together. The finest dupioni silk is Italian, 2nd is Chinese, 3rd is Indian.
Jacquard weave, embossing effect and contrasting surface; brocade figures are raised above the surface of the cloth. Many times of multiple colors. Designs may be geometric or pictorial.
Satin weave silk, crepe back, sometimes called “crepe backed satin”.
Transparent, soft, light
Crepe backed satin is also called satin-backed crepe because the fabric is reversible; one face has the matte, pebbly texture of crepe, and the other face has the smooth, shiny texture of satin.
Soft, warp rib silk with small, flat crosswise ribs.
Sheer crepe, heavier than chiffon; crinkly, pebbly surface; drapey; tightly twisted yarns; woven. Silk is more drapey than poly. Good quality – hand-wash with 1 tbs shampoo, dry flat, press light steam. Layout without nap, double thickness, using a tissue paperbase to which the fabric and pattern are pinned through. Needle sizes should be 60/8 to 65/9. Dry iron silk setting with mist.
Short fibers, sportier appearance, made from the innermost part of the cocoon.
Thin, stiff, plain weave; fairly transparent; comes in silk, poly, or rayon. Silk organza is of much higher quality. It doesn’t shrink, so you don’t need to preshrink. Machine washing and drying makes it softer; expect to dry clean finished garment.
Plain woven and thin, with a rough weave. A wild silk fabric which was originally hand-woven from hand-reeled Chinese tussah silk. It is woven raw, and then piece degummed. Current pongee silk is a relatively stiff, tightly woven fabric, in medium to heavy weights. Yarns are usually reeled wild silk, but sometimes white silk is used. Natural colors range from off-white to dark honey beige.
Dupioni type silk from the Shantung Province of China.
Plain weave of various weights, silk broadcloth is a crisp fabric.
Made of nubby yarn both length and cross wise, it has a plain weave. Silk linen comes in various weights, and has the look of linen with linen characteristics.
Satin is a weave that produces a shiny surface texture from floating yarns. Protect the fabric with a press cloth, and use a dry iron while pressing. Use superfine pins to avoid snagging surface yarns.
Plain weave with irregular thick/thin yarn, tussah has an uneven surface and color; it is sometimes called “raw silk”
Textured silk made of short waste fibers. The waste fibers fall out when spun silk is made into yarn.