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The top 5 unusual fabrics and how to use them

While the most popular materials quickly spring to mind, such as cotton, silk and Lycra, there are many unusual fabrics you may have not even heard about. Here we look at five unusual fabrics, their unique properties, and the best ways to use them.

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Princess Lace Satin

This whimsical material is luxurious and elegant, combining matt jacquard lace bonded on to a glistening satin back. This unusual and eccentric combination creates a strong lace.

Properties include a smooth and soft texture, a feminine, soft-flowing drape, slight stretch, medium-weight and layered fabric with character and depth.

Favourite uses of this elegant material include wedding dressings, summer blazers, delicate bodices on dresses and detailing in home furnishings.

Gaia Eco Woven

Created from 100% recycled materials, this environmentally conscious fabric has a crepe-like texture and is made from long yearns in a plain weave. Gaia Eco Woven fabric is distinctive, stylish, soft and full of personality.

Its best qualities include its interesting crepe-like texture, opaque finish, soft sheen, heavy weight and strong and durable properties.

This material is best used for bold curtain prints, soft furnishings, banners and flags and outerwear and fashion.

Cotton Silk Satin

The durability of cotton fabric, combined with silk’s glistening, elegant qualities, creates a lustrous chic fabric – as seen at

Its unique qualities include its shine, durability, low weight, strong colour reproduction and soft print detail.

Favourite uses of this textile are in handbags and luggage linings, bedding and pillow cases, soft furnishings and cushions and fashion, especially dresses, skirts and blouses.


This highly structured flexible fabric has excellent thermal insulating and water-absorbent properties.

Further properties of neoprene include its thickness and weight and black-out abilities and its elastic and spongy texture.

Aside from wetsuits, this fabric is great for phone, laptop and tablet cases, yoga or gaming mats, wine bottle coolers and the wacky fashion and apparel seen at London Fashion Week.

Organic Half-Panama Cotton

Made from 100% organic cotton, half-panama cotton is a beautiful rustic material with a vintage vibe. It is a lighter shade than the classic panama fabric.

Unique qualities include its quirky rustic appeal, breathability, unbleached nature with embedded cotton seed flecks, softness, heavy weave, no stretch, solid drape and stone base colour.

Great usages of this eco-friendly vintage fabric include scatter cushions, tote bags, jackets and country-inspired upholstery.

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