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5 Tips on How to Check Fabric Quality when Shopping

When I first got into fashion, I made a terrible mistake that cost me money and customers. I didn’t know how to check fabric quality when buying and as such, I produced wack clothes even though the designs were great.

This is one mistake almost everyone has made. It becomes worse when you’re not in any way fashion-savvy but need to meet your clothing needs. 

And if you aren’t careful when you go fabric shopping, it’ll end in tears. That’s because there’s a high chance you’ll end up buying low-quality materials at a high price.

Yes, it happens. And rather than sulk or curse the seller when you find out you made a wrong clothing choice at the store, why not prevent it? Prevention is still better than you cure, you know.

Already, you’re on this page. That alone proves you’re ready to know how to check fabric quality when buying clothes or materials. That’s a good one and if you read this piece to the end, you’ll never make a wrong fabric choice unless you choose to.

Shall we get started already?

Why Bother about Fabric Quality?

different colorful fabrics

Perhaps, you may be wondering: why should I bother myself about the quality of fabrics? I can just walk up to a store and get expensive clothing.

Of course, you can. But do you remember what they say about price never equating quality? If you’ve never bought low-quality clothing at a high price before, many others have and I’m one of them. But that was then, though, and we can say it happened for good. Perhaps, I wouldn’t have been moved to do some research and write this piece so you can learn from my mistakes.

That aside, if you desire a wardrobe filled with long-lasting clothes, you have to be selective of what you buy. In other words, you have to only buy high-quality clothes otherwise you’d be wearing rags or spending on replacements in no time.

Apart from the fact that knowing how to check fabric quality helps you save money, it also prevents you from harming your skin.

This just made me remember one of my childhood incidents. My mom got me this particular glittery top but I never liked it because anytime I wore it, it itched me. And when I got tired of skin irritation, I had to dump the top. 

Some fabrics are made with properties that may not be welcoming to your skin. If you don’t know how to check for fabric quality, don’t blame your enemies when your body itches you in public. Blame yourself for investing in the wrong clothing.

How to Check Fabric Quality 

feeling the fabric before buying

To recognize quality fabrics when buying, let these tips remain at the back of your mind.

1. Use Your Eyes

This is all about first impressions. The first thing you should do when buying clothes or fabrics is to use your eyes. Does it look good enough? Does it look like something of good quality? If it does, don’t conclude yet. Move closer and check the next point.

2. Touch it

Do you think the material is cool? Great. But have you felt it?

Touching the fabric will allow you to experience its properties momentarily. 

How does the fabric feel in general? If possible, place it on your skin to be sure it won’t irritate you.

 In addition, If the fabric is cotton, check for softness and smoothness. If it’s spandex, be sure it’s stretchy enough. Touching the fabric will give you a closer view you won’t get by merely looking at the material.

3. Check the Stitches and Fibre Weaves

Also, when you touch the cloth, use your eyes once again. That is, pay close attention to the details. Check the stitches and threading. Are they uniform with smooth rows or haphazard? 

The fibers of high-quality fabrics are usually tightly woven with no gaps. If there are gaps, that means the fabric is weak and will wear and tear easily.

Pro-tip:  High-quality fabrics are a blend of vertical and horizontal weaves, this gives them a stronger fabric surface. Never forget to look out for that.

4. Hold it Against Light

This is one hack to check how transparent a piece of fabric is. When you hold it against light and the cloth lets lots of light pass through, don’t buy it.

It means that the fabric wasn’t densely woven and would wear out easily. Instead, go for something that doesn’t appear fully transparent.

5. Test the Colour

Just because the fabric is blue doesn’t mean it’s blue. It could be an illusion, and you wouldn’t know if you don’t look closely.

When examining the colors, be on the lookout for uneven hues throughout the fabric. Once you see that a part is darker than the other, that’s a bad sign. Don’t invest your money in it.

Furthermore, some fabrics weren’t made with a good mordant to keep the dye in place. If you suspect that a piece of clothing will bleed its color, test it.

You can do this by dipping a piece of the fabric in water and wringing it to check if the water changes color.

I know right. You can’t go to the store with water and the seller may not permit that. Well, if you really don’t wanna buy a fabric that you’ll regret, you have to find a way to do this. Otherwise, leave the fabric and go for something else once you suspect it’ll bleed its color.

But what if it’s ready-made clothes you wanna buy? How do you test the color? You know you can’t do that right in the store since it’s already sewn.

So, instead, read the label on the cloth to learn how the manufacturer wants you to take care of the garment. But if you’ve already bought a piece of clothing that bleeds its fabric dye, use the tips we recommend to stop color bleeding from clothes.

And that’s it on how to check fabric quality. Also, read our guide on how to spot fake designer clothes when shopping. The tips also come in handy when you want to shop for quality clothes.

But what happens when you can’t touch or see the cloth? What happens when you want to shop online? You don’t have to believe the pictures or take whatever the vendor says just like that. The solution is to learn how to buy clothes online without making mistakes.

If that sounds like something you’d love, you should read Ria Kosher’s free report on the 7 Sure Ways to Buy Clothes Online Without Worrying about Losing Money. It’ll help you prevent cases of What you ordered vs. What you got.


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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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