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By Sarah Oyedo

When creating a new style, whether giving it to your designer/tailor or a personal project, your first point of call is the fabric to use. This is a deciding factor for how your clothes will turn out even if most of us don’t quite realize it from the onset. You’ve probably seen a wonderful style up on a mannequin or in a fashion magazine either offline or online and you want to re-create. Whether it’s a blouse, gown, pants or suit, we are going to run through some of the fabrics that would be more suitable for your design.

First, here is a list of some fabrics options:

ankara fabric material









We already know with fashion and style, there are no hard and fast rules, yet your style may turn out a disappointment if you choose the wrong fabric. Here are some ways to match fabric to style:

Cotton: Cotton comes in two textures; cotton voile and cotton lawn. Cotton voile is light-weight, semi-sheer and comes with great drape. Cotton lawn is similar to voile only It’s slightly crisper. Cotton especially voile is great for blouses, dresses and gowns as they can be manoveured into any style and still come out cute

Denim: This heavy-weight fabric is a great for jackets, shorts, midi gowns, skirts and pants. Like for Ankara, it has no drape and little stretch. But they’re new textures of denim with some measure of stretch and these are best for pants.

Silk: Silk is a light-weight, delicate fabric with great drape and very smooth texture. This fabric is a sure one for blouses, vest inner tops, gowns and kimonos.

Chiffon: Chiffon is a very light-weight fabric with great drape. They’re different types of this fabric ranging from nylon, chiffon with jacquard, chiffon atlas and others. It is these days combined with other fabrics like cotton, leather and sometimes fur… I know right? Chiffon works in dresses, flowing kimonos, skirts, pant and jumpsuits.

Linen: This medium-weight fabric comes with little stretch and conducts heat well.  With plenty colors and patterns to choose from, It works in pants, shirts, skirts and dresses. It’s also a great choose for your flowing kimono/pallazo style

Ankara: This brightly patterned African print is so stylish you can almost never go wrong with it. Yet you’ll find it doesn’t drape or stretch so if you’re considering it for pants you may want to allow some space and not make it too tight. Else the stiffness may make movements like walking, climbing and even sitting difficult. Wide pant pallazo is a good pant style for Ankara as it is much more comfortable.

Lace: Slightly rough with some measure of drape, lace when paired with satin, is a good fabric to make into gowns and dresses, skirts and blouses. It also perfect for your regular Buba&Iro.

Satin: Satin is a soft textured medium-weight fabric with a smooth shiny outlook. Your best choice for bridesmaid dresses, satin can also be made into blouses, skirts, pants, jumpsuits and sexy jumpsuits.

Read also: How To Perfectly Style Your Pocket Squares

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