Textile theory

textileThe textile theory textbook introduces the learners to all fabric charts according to different garment styles. Fifty fabric swatches of all basic materials are attached. All raw materials, natural and synthetic fabrics are covered. Instructions in proper labelling of garments are also included in the syllabus. The textbook finishes with a silk and nylon assignments.

Course Duration:

Full-time: 2 hours per week over 2 months

Part-time: 1 hours per week over 4 months

Example Lesson excerpt: Fabrics

There are 4 natural fabrics: cotton, linen, silk and wool and numerous synthetic and mixed ones. Note that denim is also cotton.

Always consider the thickness of the material to be used when deciding on the right weight for a particular design.

The dye specifies the colour and dyes can vary from roll to roll.

A challenge for a start-up fashion brand is the fact that usually fabric shops stock only few rolls of each fabric kind / colour and they will not necessarily purchase identical ones again. So the use of basic fabrics is advisable, or be sure to source suppliers who keep bigger quantities. Custom-made fabrics can be ordered from textile companies which usually demand 500 - 1000 meters minimum quantity.

All natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, denim, silk and wool need to be prewashed as they will shrink, unless those fabrics have been prewashed by the manufacturer. Wherever possible, always buy pre-washed natural fabrics. For small ranges or individual outfits, designers have to prewash all fabrics before cutting.

For bigger manufacturing first test a small piece of the fabric / measure it, then wash it and then measure again. Then calculate the percentage of shrinkage and reflect the difference on the pattern applying the principles of grading.

Example: Cut a 10 cm X 10 cm piece; wash it in a domestic washing machine, if the fabric comes out 9cm X 10cm, it means that the fabric shrank 10% in width. On the grading points BUST / CHEST, WAIST/ DROPPED WAIST, HIP/ SEAT add on 10%, calculating each measurement separately and make the alterations, then refine all lines so they blend continuously. All garments then need to be prewashed with a specialist after manufacturing so the clients can have a realistic size. Special prewashing is required as all fabrics will lose their natural lustre with an ordinary wash.


Actual garments constructed by CRE students - click image to enlarge