One of the questions we get asked frequently by our wonderful customers is if a fabric is ‘right’ for a particular season. Therefore, we thought we would write a little article to help guide you in the right direction when looking for an Autumn/Winter or Spring/Summer fabric.
There are five main points to consider when looking at whether a particular fabric is a good fit for a season.
The first point might seem fairly obvious, but you would surprised at how many designers, sewers and ateliers overlook it. The point in turn is to look at your own locality, or the locality of the customer you are making your garment for (if you are an atelier). This is important because season severity varies from place to place. A winter in Moscow is very different to a winter on the French Rivera and your choice of fabric should take this into account.
The next factor to take into account is design, or rather, the design of the garment in mind. Cut and design can play major role in whether a garment might be better suited to warmer or colder climates. A simple shortening of the sleeves to 3/4 can have huge implications on the suitability of your garment, while the length of a dress or jacket can also make it more or less applicable to warmer or colder climates.
The third aspect to look out for is the weight of the fabric. Most fabrics are measured in grams per metre squared (G/M²). At Linton Tweeds, we typically recommend summer fabrics to be around or under 250 G/M², while winter fabrics should be around 300 G/M². Fabrics over 400 G/M² would be considered coating fabrics or heavy winter fabric weights.
Composition is also a critical component when choosing a fabric. Wool and some manmade fibres like acrylic and polyamide tend to insulate better and are therefore better suited to colder weather conditions. Cotton, linen and viscose on the other hand, lend themselves to more temperate climates.
The last point has slightly more artistic license than the others, but it is still one to raise. Colour can have a huge impact on the seasonality of a fabric. Deeper toned colours like purple, brown, orange and red tend to lend themselves better to winter attire, while light and bright colours like yellow, pink, and mid-toned blues tend to be thought of as better suited to spring or summer.
These 5 simple tips will help decipher the seasonality of a fabric without even receiving a sample! However with fashion design, a certain amount of artistic freedom is always encouraged so try to think of these points as guidelines rather than steadfast rules. As Alexander McQueen once said about fashion design ‘You have to know the rules to break them’.