There is nothing worse than feeling hot, sticky and uncomfortable during the warmer months! And though we might not be able to change the weather, we can certainly change the way we show up during spring/summer 2018. Carefully picking your garments based on their fabrics – is a great way to stay cool while mister sun is out doing his thang.
Just like people are reading labels to learn what they are putting in their bodies, you should be reading your clothing tags (and product descriptions) to see what you’re putting on your body. Just by doing that, you can predetermine whether a garment is good for spring or summer. You might think that you can tell by a garment’s appearance whether the fabric is going do you justice on a sunny day at the park, but because some shops generally use a combination of materials in their garments (eg. 50% cotton – what’s the other 50% made of?) – you can’t always be sure. Oh, and just because an item feel soft to the touch, does not mean it will wear well in the summer.
As a fellow shopper and seamstress, I wanted to hook you up with the bits I know about spring/summer appropriate fabrics.There are so many to choose from, but in this post, we’re focusing on the basics – which you probably wear often. Besides these fabrics being commonplace, I don’t think we’re using them to our advantage!
Four woven fabrics (non-stretchy fabrics) you need in your wardrobe this summer
Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the seedpod of the cotton plant and is used to make many fabric types at every price point. The fiber is hollow in the center and, under the microscope, resembles a twisted ribbon. Cotton can be knit or woven into cloth. The two most common weaves for cotton are the plain and twill weave. A plain weave produces fabrics like gingham, percale, chambray and broadcloth. A twill weave is more durable and is found in denim, khaki and gabardine. Satin weave is less common with cotton fibers because it’s a little dressier, but it is found in high-sheen cottons like sateen. – sewing.org
Cotton is great for summer because it absorbs moisture – which is a big help for people who sweat a lot. It will naturally keep you cool and comfortable – a win in my books. The downside with cotton is that it will shrink and can yellow when left in sun for long periods of time. This can be remedied by following the recommended wash instructions and maintaining your clothing well. Cotton does not drape but there are so many variants that you should be able to find cotton in a design you love. I love gingham prints.
Rayon Challis (pronounced sha-lee) is a lightweight, semi-synthetic woven fabric. Often this apparel fabric is referred to simply as rayon. Rayon is a man-made fiber but is comprised of natural fibers. Thus, rayon challis is the perfect fabric for warm weather clothing. Rayon challis is 100% rayon. –indiesews.com
Rayon has a great drape and flows well – perfect for spring and summer looks at an affordable price point. Rayon doesn’t absorb as well as cotton, so it’s best worn in dry heat. Rayon is available in a number of colors so you should be able to get the look you want without compromising on the colors you love. This 100% rayon skirt comes with the instruction to dry clean only – so again, read your labels!
When I think of linen I think of a Frankie Beverly summer concert… Before I let you gooooooooooooooooooo …okay well anyways! I think most people avoid linen for a very obvious reason: it creases!
It’s all a part of the look and if you hate to iron, get yourself a steamer or lightly spray your linen garment with water and wipe over the creases with your hands. Personally, I prefer linen blends because it gives me the benefits of linen without as much wrinkle! If you do want to give linen a shot, try linen fabrics in structured pieces to balance out the crease factor.
The main benefit (of linen) in hot weather is the coolness they provide. Thanks to the weave and linen fiber specifics linen fabric allows more airflow and it’s structure means it stays away from your skin allowing better airflow over your body. Linen is a “stiff” fabric and is less likely to cling to the skin; when it billows away, it quickly dries out and becomes cool again. Summer clothes made of linen possess high air permeability, which allows air to flow through the fabric easily and allows the body to breathe. – linenme.com
Summer blends are the examples listed above but mixed together. Summer blends including cotton, polyester, spandex, nylon & rayon are great in humid conditions because they kinda repel moisture -when blending of fabrics is done well the good qualities of each fabric emphasized – minimizing the poor qualities. So you can use the list above to find your perfect summer blend. The dress below is 61% linen and 39% cotton.
Which fabrics will you be wearing during the summer months?