12 Characteristics of Good Quality Fibre/Fabric

There are many characteristics that decide if a fibre or fabric is of good quality.
They are listed as follow:

Abrasion Resistance/Durability
The ability of a fabric to resist wear from the continual rubbing of its surface.

Absorbency
The ability of a fabric to take in and hold moisture.
Absorbency is an important property which affects many other characteristics such as:

  • skin comfort (the better the absorbency, the greater the skin comfort),
  • water repellence (the poorer the absorbency, the better the water repellence and quickness to dry),
  • static build-up (the poorer the absorbency, the more the static build-up),
  • shrinkage (the better the absorbency, the higher the tendency to shrink),
  • stain removability (the poorer the absorbency, the harder it is to remove stains), and
  • wrinkle recovery (the poorer the absorbency, the lower the tendency to wrinkle).

Drape
The way the fabric falls - some fabrics flow while others are stiffer.

Appearance/Hand
Appearance refers to the way the fabric appears to the eye.
Some fabrics are lustrous, while others are dull.
Hand refers to the way the fabric feels to the touch.
Descriptions like softness, crispness, dryness, and silkiness are all terms that describe the hand of the fabric. The comfort of a fabric is heavily dependent upon its hand.

Colourfastness
The dyed fabric's ability to resist fading due to washing, exposure to sunlight, and other environmental conditions.

Strength
The stronger the fabric, the less likely it is to tear.
Garments made from fabrics that possess both high breaking strength and abrasion resistance can be worn often and for a longer period of time before signs of wear appear.

Shrinkage
Some fibres, especially natural fibres, shrink noticeably when washed; unless they have been specially treated. Fibres which shrink would usually have to be dry-cleaned.

Wrinkling/Resiliency
Fabrics differ in the degree to which they wrinkle and require ironing.
A closely related concept is the resiliency of the fabric, which refers to the ability to spring back to its original shape after being twisted, crushed, or wrinkled.

Pilling
A pill is a tangled ball of fibres that appears on the surface of a fabric as a result of wear or continued friction or rubbing on the surface of the fabric.

Static
Some fabrics build up a lot of static due to its contact and brushing with other surfaces, including the skin.

Care
Some fibres are easier to care for as compared to others which require specific laundering instructions.

Wickability
The ability of a fabric to move moisture away from the skin to the surface of a fabric where it can evaporate.