Making your own clothes is always super rewarding and I love trying new things, one of these things is hoodies, the shapes are basic enough to master but the complication comes with choosing the right fabric.
The best fabrics for hoodies and sweatshirts are those which are soft, snuggly and durable. Fabrics such as cotton jersey and fleece are perfect as they are soft, warm and thick enough to create a soft shape.
In this article, I am going to talk about what you should be looking for in a hoodie fabric, what you should know and my top recommendations.
Do Hoodies & Sweatshirts Require Special Fabric?
No, not really. There are many fabrics commonly used in making hoodies and sweatshirts. These fabrics are neither unique nor basic. They are just the perfect fabric that suits a hoodie or sweatshirt style.
There are many styles of hoodies and sweatshirts, which all demand different materials. There are Nylon/polyester sweatshirts, which athletes, like runners, commonly wear, and there are lightweight sweatshirts made of jersey fabrics that stretch.
This style is usually worn on a day-to-day basis by teenagers visiting the mall or going out. It provides the total comfort and coverage of a sweatshirt, but without the thickness.
Hoodies and sweatshirts are designed to provide warmth and comfort for the user, so fabrics used to make them must be soft and comfortable. Fabrics like cotton, fleece, wool, Polyester, and french Terry are among the most widely used materials. They are comfortable to touch and are the perfect fabrics used to make clothing for cold weather.
A high-quality sweatshirt or hoodie is made of 100% cotton, fleece, or French Terry. In comparison, low-quality hoodies are made of a mix of Cotton and Polyester. This is because polyester is very cheap and great for mass production.
Hoodies and sweatshirts are typically a part of most people’s wardrobe because they are easy to wear and have a cozy feeling. We can wear them in the house or outside. They are not only made for the cold weather. Using lighter fabrics, they can also serve as comfy clothing during the warmer days.
Choosing fabric for a hoodie depends on the style and purpose of the hoodie. For instance, if you’re doing some outside activities that will make you sweat, wearing hoodies made of nylon material or fleece fabric can absorb sweat.
However, if you’re choosing to wear hoodies or sweatshirts due to the cold weather, wool and fleece fabric can provide you with all the warmth you need.
And if you want to wear a hoodie to make a fashion statement or just out of convenience and comfort, cotton, cotton elastane, and cotton-polyester fabrics will be perfect for your hoodie. They are lightweight and soft to the touch.
Some sweatshirts are specifically designed to provide comfort. For example, Tailors can use fleece back fabrics to create sweatshirts or hoodies. The front of this fabric is soft and smooth, while the inside of the material is rough and textured. This type of sweatshirt is excellent for cold seasons.
Polyester fabrics used to make hoodies, sweatshirts or jackets are very durable. Most times, the inside of the material is lined with fleece or fur, while the exterior is smooth to the touch. Polyester fabrics are used to make parkas, bomber jackets, and more. They are usually worn during cold seasons, but they are also warm weather friendly.
Can I Use Any Fabric To Make A Hoodie?
No, you cannot use just any fabric to make a hoodie. For example, linen or silk materials won’t be ideal hoodie fabrics. Many people recommend denim fabrics to make hoodies. However, the result may be too thick for regular use. Besides, denim isn’t very comfortable, and that takes away the very purpose of hoodies.
When selecting material, it is essential to remember that warmth, comfort, style, and convenience are a few reasons why most people own hoodies. Whichever material is used in making hoodies must provide these qualities as listed above.
It is better to use fabric that is soft, lightweight, breathable, and sweat-absorbent. That way, the clothing can be comfortable for the user. Fleece, Jersey, Cotton, Polyester, poly-cotton blends, rayon, and even wool are all good fabric choices.
If you live in a colder hemisphere, a hoodie made of wool fabric or wool and fleece blend will be thick and heavy, perfect during winter. Cotton is the most comfortable material, but even thick cotton fabrics will not protect you against the cold as fleece or wool.
Also, nylon or nylon blend fabrics help keep the moisture away without making a hoodie feel less comfortable to wear. The fabric selection you make will also depend on the purpose and your skin type. Some fabrics will not be suitable for sensitive skin and those with skin allergies.
Lastly, your lifestyle should also be considered when choosing a hoodie. Some materials are much thicker than others, while some are better for outdoor activities than others.
6 Best Fabrics For Hoodies & Sweatshirts
There are a lot of good choices of fabrics for a hoodie or sweatshirt. It all depends on your sense of style and comfort level. Plus, you will need to consider the weather conditions around your home and if you do any outdoor activities, a lot of hiking or mountain climbing.
For these outdoor activities, you should go with nylon or fleece fabric. It will help you to stay warm and have the moisture dry away as quickly as possible. Cotton fabric and cotton-poly blend are best for casual outdoor activities. While fleece or wool fabrics will go for cold weather.
Fleece is a good choice of fabric because the material is not tightly woven. It should have tiny air pockets that trap your body heat and keep you warm and comfortable. Also, the fabric is soft, feels pleasant to touch, and is super absorbent. It can withstand a little water, so you don’t need to hurry and get changed if you get wet.
Some fleece fabrics are made from eco-friendly materials. It is produced from plastic turned to polyester. So you are actually doing the planet a favour! You can also go for fleece fabrics made of natural fibres.
They are durable and comfortable as well. You can wear fleece anytime and any day, depending on the quality of the material and weave style. Looser weave fleece fabric is warmer and better for breathing, while fleece fabrics with a tight weave let you stay cool when the temperature gets warmer.
Jersey Fabric For Hoodies
Jersey fabric is another excellent choice for hoodies. It is made of cotton. Plus, It stretches up to 25% to allow freedom in your clothing. This fabric will enable you to do any activity in it. For example, it is excellent for yoga, cardio, and working out in general.
Because it’s made from cotton, the hoodie should be easy to wash and quick to dry. It is a washing machine safe, so just take care of it like a jersey knit fabric. Cotton jersey is also an easy fabric to find and may not cost you much at all. It also doesn’t require that much fabric.
For example, a medium-sized hoodie will need a 45-inch material for the width. And you will need 2 7/8 yards. For 60 inch wide fabric, you need about 2 yards. You can find and purchase Jersey fabrics in most fabric stores.
Stretchy Fabric For Hoodies
Stretch fabrics are excellent hoodie choices, but it largely depends on your lifestyle. If you do a lot of physical activities, then this type of hoodie might work for you.
However, be prepared to layer it with other coats and jackets during the winter. Stretchy fabrics aren’t huge warmth providers, so you will need an extra layer of clothing to protect you from the cold.
A 2 way or 4-way stretch fabric will work. You can also use a bamboo jersey or any of the following materials to make your hoodie comfy and stretchy; Doubleknit Rayon Blend, Interlock twist jersey, Double knit, Silk Mesh Knits, Silk Jersey.
Stretchy materials are strong and durable. They will last you for years. Just make sure that when selecting a material, it stretches in the way you want it to. Make sure to follow the cleaning guide for each material. It can help your hoodie stay in tip-top shape.
Polyester Fabrics For Hoodies
If you are on a tight budget, then maybe polyester may be the way to go. It is significantly cheaper than cotton and most materials. You can find it in almost any fabric outlet. However, polyester may not be the best choice for hoodies regarding the look of the fabric, although it is comfortable.
Polyester is commonly used in making ready-made hoodies you want to buy from a retailer. Because it is cheap, it is excellent for mass production. The Cotton-polyester blend is another excellent fabric choice because its mix makes the material visually pleasing, durable, and comfortable.
Many people are allergic to polyester, so that’s a slight problem you should check first before committing to a polyester or cotton-polyester fabric.
Also, polyester fabric is durable; however, it doesn’t breathe as well as cotton or other natural fibers do. So if you plan on doing physical activity while wearing your hoodie, this might not be the best choice. However, if you have a tight budget, then we recommend polyester.
French Terry Fabric For Hoodies
French terry is sometimes referred to as loopback cotton. It’s called this because the fabric is warp knitted with a flat face with loops under the material. They are similar to the loops on a towel, and they absorb moisture and sweat.
French terry is mainly made from 100% cotton and sometimes mixed with elastane for stretchy comfort.
French terry is a proper hoodie material. It is designed for hoodies with its smooth flat surface and absorbing loops underside. It is also made of cotton. However, getting this material is not as easy as other materials.
It is also much more expensive than polyester, stretchy fabrics, and more. Still, it is an ideal choice if you’re planning a hoodie or sweatshirt sewing project.
100% Cotton Fabric For Hoodies
Cotton is a great fabric choice for hoodies. On top of that, it is skin-friendly and highly durable. However, cotton isn’t very stretchy. If you’re looking for an oversized comfy fit for your hoodie, you can go for 100% cotton fabrics.
However, if you’re looking for some stretch, then opt for cotton fabrics mixed with elastane or jersey fabrics.
This type of fabric is excellent for cold weather or indoor use. It is certainly not for outdoor activities. Cotton can keep you feeling cozy and very warm. It is also lovely to the touch. When using this material to sew a medium-sized hoodie, you will need about 45-inch width material with 2 7/8 yards.n And for 60-inch wide fabric, you need about 2 yards.
Cotton tends to shrink in a washing machine, so check if the material you’re buying is washing machine safe. It is also available in most fabric shops in a variety of colors.