When selecting lingerie or fabric to create your own, consider more than the fit and feel before you make a purchase. Even though primary concerns for lingerie and undergarments tend to include comfort and sensuousness, there are other factors to consider. With all the options on the market, take your time and get a feel for the best fit for you before spending money. These six tips can help you choose the best fabric for lingerie.
Consider Skin Feel
Since lingerie touches more of your skin than any other item of clothing, it makes sense to choose fabric based on tactile feeling. Materials may be smooth, slinky, crisp, cozy, and even feel cool or warm to the touch. Some of the most popular include satin, silk, cotton, muslin, jersey, organza, nylon, Spandex, chiffon, and various laces, trims, and appliques. Each has a unique feeling that must be touched to choose. Remember that beautiful lace and trim may add great style to a piece of lingerie but can also irritate the delicate skin of the neck, chest, joints, or other areas.
Think About Stretch
Fabrics come in non-stretch, one-way, or two-way stretch types. One-way stretch means the material will stretch vertically or horizontally, but not both like two-way stretch. While some lingerie like a chemise may not need to stretch to fit, others may be more comfortable if they bend and flow with your body movements. Spandex, Lyrcra, nylon, and other synthetic fibers add stretch to a garment. If you sew your own lingerie, it is important to realize that very stretch fabric may need a different sewing machine and cause problems if you try to attach lace or trim.
Air Flow and Drying Factors Matter
Lingerie should ultimately be comfortable, and the fabric you choose should permit your skin to get air so you do not get too warm or cold. Also, consider materials that wick away and assist with moisture evaporation to maintain high levels of comfort. These factors are usually discussed when choosing fabrics for active or athletic wear, but they matter for lingerie as well if you want to maintain all-day or all-night comfort.
Decide on Weight and Drape
The lightest sheer fabric like organza can create a highly sensual nighty that floats around your body like a cloud, while heavier satins drape over your curves and provide a heavier, more sensual feel. Different pieces usually work best with different weights of fabric, though some like basic chemises and even panties can be sewn with multiple types for different experiences. A fabric’s weight may add bulk under clothing. A stiff drape may cause skirts or ruffles to stick out rather than hang down smoothly.
Natural vs. Synthetic
Some sources say to stay away from synthetic fibers, even though these are some of the most commonly used fabrics for lingerie and underwear. The general trend toward natural and even organic materials exists in the lingerie business too. Health and environmental concerns top the list of reasons you might choose cotton or silk over nylon and organza.
Do You Want High-Tech Lingerie?
Lingerie has gone high tech and new advancements in fabric technology happen all the time. Not only do some fabrics now absorb moisture, combat odor, and even monitor health conditions. When you slip into some lovely lingerie, you can get more benefits than you think.
In the end, selecting the best fabric for lingerie is mostly a matter of personal taste. If you cannot make up your mind between cotton and silk, Lycra and jersey knit, why not buy a few of each and enjoy? As the most private types of clothing you will ever wear, how the fabric feels and how it makes you feel is frequently the deciding factor.