Soft like cotton or smooth like velvet — every dress design starts with the choice of fabric.

At the same time, there are plenty of attractive options to choose from and turn into a beautiful dress. That said, your decision can be swayed by various factors, such as comfort, style, flexibility, ease of sewing, and so on. 

And sometimes, certain occasions call for classic styles featuring specific fabrics. For instance, wedding dress designers have a penchant for picking silk and chiffon for wedding gowns, whereas cotton is suitable for casual wear. 

Similarly, elegant fabrics, such as velvet, add a touch of glamour to a showy statement dress, whereas cashmere blends luxury and comfort in an understated piece. With these things in mind, we have curated a diverse selection of the best fabrics for dresses.

Best Fabrics For Dresses

1. Cotton

Perhaps the most versatile of all, cotton is a comfortable option that designers can alter into a wide range of styles. You can choose a lightweight option in a soft hue, like a powder blue cotton fabric, for a basic summer dress that blends easily with other pieces and accessories. 

For a more whimsical touch, consider patterned designs that bring warmth and joy to a dress. At the same time, go for a neutral colour palette to strike the right balance between playful and subtle, thus making the fabric easy to style. 

Powder Blue Cotton Fabric

2. Linen

Linen fabric used for dresses are essentials in most wardrobes, and it can be styled in various ways. For some design inspiration, consider how you can turn a simple camel-coloured linen fabric into a timeless piece with an easy-going and laid-back approach. 

Alternatively, you can go for a brushed worn mauve fabric to provide an elegant touch to a dress. 

Brushed Worn Mauve Fabric

3. Silk

Synonymous with elegance and luxury, silk is a no-brainer for evening wear. You can even pull it off during the day, as long as you have the self-assurance and poise. After all, the loud fabric itself calls for and exudes confidence.

Either way, silk in rich and deep colours, such as berry plum, are excellent for creating a sultry silhouette. And, of course, the smooth texture will feel comfortable against the skin to boot. 

Berry Plum Silk

4. Polyester

This synthetic fabric is easy to care for, and it’s also relatively inexpensive. Additionally, many prefer it for its crease-resistant quality, especially when making T-shirts and dresses. 

Considering how about 60% of all clothing on racks are made of polyester, it’s safe to say you cannot go wrong with this fabric. What’s more, polyester is available in a variety of prints, which will leave you spoiled for choice. 

For instance, you can just as easily turn a fiery red-coloured cotton/poly blend into a semi-formal cocktail dress or a long gown fit for the red carpet. 

Amsterdam Red Polyester

5. Wool

Winter style essentials almost always feature clothing made of wool. Indeed, wool is known for warmth and comfort, but it can also provide structure to a dress — all you have to do is pick the print wisely. 

That said, a classic chequered design in a wool/linen blend is ideal for smart casual wear. Or you may even take a page out of the style books of various Asian cultures and create elegant winter dresses from rich Pashmina wool

Pashima Wool

6. Velvet

Nothing says drama like the vivid and elegant sheen of velvet. And yet, the best part about this fabric is perhaps its smooth texture. 

That said, even a quintessential LBD made out of simple black velvet fabric provides a luxuriously comfortable yet stylish piece for most occasions. And perhaps, you can add a long matching drape to unlock its potential of becoming a show-stopping dress.

Black Velvet

Choosing The Right Fabric 

Dressmaking is an art, and the fabric acts as a canvas. Needless to say, picking the right material for making a dress should be a thoughtful process, in which you must consider various factors, not limited to style and occasion.

At the same time, ensure that you only buy high-quality material from reliable fabric houses that source their textiles from the finest mills. After all, your work of art should look good and also last long.