A Beginner’s Guide to Denim Fabric


If you’re new to sewing, raw denim can be confusing. But don’t worry – you can do a few things to help make the process easier.

First, knowing how to sew with this fabric is essential for a professional finish on your project. Then, it’s also necessary to understand how raw denim fades.


When shopping for denim fabric, one of the most important things to know is its weight. It’s a simple piece of information that can make or break the quality of your project.

The type of cotton and yarns used to create a piece of fabric can significantly impact its weight. For example, cotton can be blended with polyester to increase its durability and elasticity. The amount of starch used in the looming process can also determine its density.

Another crucial factor in determining the weight of a piece of denim is its yarn count. Different looms produce fabric in various yarn counts (mass per unit length).

While the most common type of denim is 100% cotton, some varieties are blended with poly-blends with different characteristics and durability qualities. The most popular blends are cotton-elastane and polyester-elastane, which have unique properties.

In addition to yarn counts, denim fabric can be woven in different densities based on the looms used to weave it. This can have a significant effect on the overall feel of the material and can also affect its price.

Generally, heavier denim will have a more pronounced crease and a more substantial density than lighter denim. This can be a good thing, especially for jeans that will be sat on, worn, or washed more often.

However, this can also have a negative impact on the longevity and quality of the piece. For example, heavier denim can make getting a good fit on the body more challenging and may be more likely to wear out sooner than lighter denim.

When choosing denim, asking if the fabric is a stretch or non-stretch type is a good idea. The stretch type is going to be much more comfortable and will be less likely to break down.

The non-stretch version is more durable but will break down sooner than the stretchy kind. So it’s a good idea to look for both fabric types if you plan on wearing the finished garment in various conditions.

It’s also a good idea to read the label on your pattern before you cut it out so that you can choose the proper weight of the fabric. Some designs don’t call for denim, while others require a specific significance to make the pattern successful.

Understanding the difference between lightweight, mid-weight, and heavyweight denim is always a good idea regardless of your sewing level. It can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

Lightweight denim is under 12 oz per square yard, mid-weight denim is between 12 and 16 oz, and heavyweight denim is over 16 oz. You’ll find these numbers on labels and in product descriptions, but it’s worth asking a salesperson for the denim weight before buying.


Denim fabric is a thick and tough material often used in clothing. It can come in a variety of colors, weights and stretch levels. However, it’s essential to pre-treat denim fabric to avoid shrinkage or color bleeding when creating a garment.

Regular denim is a cotton-based fabric typically woven in a 3*a twill. This type of weave produces a diagonal ridged texture on the fabric’s surface, making it very hard-wearing. It is available in shades, including blue, black and other colors that have been given a more subtle tint through dyeing.

It is also available in various denim fabrics, including additional fibers such as elastane, spandex and polyester. This extra material allows the fabric to be shaped to a more fitted shape, and it also gives the denim added comfort for those who like to move around a lot.

Some jeans, especially those with a high elastane content, will stretch out slightly as you wear them. It’s essential to keep an eye out for these properties when choosing your next pair of jeans, as they can help to create a flattering fit and increase the longevity of the denim fabric.

The stretch content of a piece of denim fabric will depend on its percentage of elastane or spandex. Usually, this amount will be somewhere between 1% and 4%.

Spandex or lycra is added to the fabric as weft yarns and can give it a more fitted shape than regular denim. It can also make the material more breathable, helping to reduce sweating.

Stretch jeans are an excellent choice for active lifestyles, as they offer plenty of give in the fabric and are easy to wear. They are also ideal for those on the go, as they can be worn from the morning commute to dinners and get-togethers.

They also look great if you’re into wearing patterned clothes and can be easily matched with other pieces of denim in your wardrobe. There are many ways to add some interest to a pair of pants, from ruffles to pockets and belt loops.

Some jeans even have a unique faded pattern that will add a little personality to your outfit. These can be anything from a train track or stacks to a fading stripe down the leg of the jeans, and they can be found in a wide range of styles and fits, from skinny jeans to bootcut.

If you’re looking for the perfect pair of stretch jeans, try a few sizes in-store or online to find the right fit. Then, carefully wash and dry the team to prevent them from stretching out over time and ruining the fabric.

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