Anytime you make clothing, you want to choose fabrics that are not only durable but comfortable and soft as well. With so many fabrics out there in a wide range of textures, you have many options for fabric that is soft and comfortable. But what is the softest fabric in the world?
There isn’t one fabric that is necessarily the softest in the world. Some of the softest fabrics are cotton, bamboo, wool, and silk. Other soft fabrics include modal and rayon.
The softest fabric in the world is more objective than it is subjective. It depends on who you ask. There are plenty of soft fabrics, but not all soft fabrics are multipurpose. The best soft fabric to use for your project depends on what you want to make. Keep reading to learn what makes a fabric soft and what the softest fabrics to use for certain clothing are.
What Determines The Softness Of A Fabric?
While the world’s softest fabric is a matter of opinion, certain factors determine whether or not a fabric is soft. These factors are:
- How flexible the fibers are
- How thick the fibers are
- How the fibers are woven together
The flexibility of the fibers that make up a fabric plays a large role in the softness of that fabric. Fabrics that have more flexible fibers are going to feel softer than fabrics made of fibers that are rigid.
Natural fabrics made of plant fibers, such as cotton and bamboo, will be softer than synthetic fibers. The fibers that make up cotton and bamboo are made of cellulose. Cellulose is a lot softer than the plastic fibers that many synthetic fabrics are made of. That’s why cotton is a softer fabric than polyester.
The thickness of the fibers also determines the overall softness of the fabrics. Finer fabrics, like those made from animals’ hair, make the fabric softer because it takes more of the fibers to create the fabric. The thin fibers also make fabric more lightweight.
Thicker fibers create heavier fabric with a rougher texture. Corduroy and wool are both popular fabrics for cold-weather clothing. But unlike corduroy, wool is made from animal hair, making it a softer fabric.
The third determining factor of fabric softness is how the fibers are woven together. Some fabrics are made of spun yarn, while others are made of filament yarn. Fabrics made from spun yarn (like cotton) tend to be softer than fabrics made from filament yarn. This is because spun yarn has a texture that is more “hairy,” so when the fibers are woven together, it creates a softer texture.
However, just because a fabric is made of filament yarn doesn’t mean it isn’t soft. Fabrics like silk are made from filament yarn. Since silk fibers are so thin, it takes a lot of them to create fabric. This results in a fabric with a high thread count. The higher the thread count, the softer the fabric. Fabrics made using a knit weave, like jersey and modal, are also soft.
What Are The Softest Fabrics In The World?
CottonCotton is a natural fabric made of fibers that come from the cotton plant. The fibers themselves come from the white, fluffy cotton bolls that grow out of the top of the plant. The cotton fibers are spun into yarns, which are woven together to form a fabric that is naturally white and very soft.
Many types of cotton fabrics are made from different varieties of cotton plants. According to Pima Cott, the four main types of cotton that can be purchased are:
- Pima cotton
- Upland cotton
- Egyptian cotton
- Acala cotton
Pima, Upland, and Acala cotton are all grown in the United States, while Egyptian cotton is grown in the Nile River region of Egypt.
Pima cotton is made of long fibers that are considered some of the finest in the world. This means that fabrics made Pima cotton are some of the softest fabrics that you can purchase. Egyptian cotton is also made of long fibers, so it is incredibly soft as well. All of the cotton fabrics mentioned are quality as well.
Other fabrics that are made from cotton are flannel and sateen. Flannel is made from cotton fibers that are brushed to give them a fuzzy texture. The fuzzy texture makes flannel a warm fabric. Sateen is made from cotton fibers that are combed. Combing the fibers makes them longer, resulting in a softer fabric.
With any type of cotton fabric that you buy, you can be assured that you will be getting fabric that is very soft and comfortable.
BambooBamboo fabric is made from fibers of the bamboo plant. Once the bamboo has grown, it is cut down into smaller pieces. The pieces are mashed to create a pulp and mixed with water to help soften them. Once the fibers are created, they are spun into yarn. The yarns are woven together to create fabric.
Bamboo fabric is a newer type of fabric that is quickly gaining popularity because it is said to be eco-friendly and soft. The most common uses for bamboo fabric are for clothing, particularly sportswear and bedding. This is because bamboo fabric is very breathable.
Bamboo fibers can be made into fabric by themselves, but sometimes the fibers are blended with cotton fibers to make them stronger. Whether the fabric is 100% bamboo or a bamboo and cotton blend, it still results in a very soft and comfortable natural fabric.
WoolWool is a natural fabric that comes from animals’ hair, particularly animals that can be sheared. Once the animal is sheared, the hair is scoured and combed to make the fabric as soft and pure as possible. Then the fibers are spun into yarn, which is woven together to create fabric. All of this is done without harming the animals in the process.
There are different types of wool fabric that can be purchased. Some of the different types are:
- Angora wool
- Merino wool
- Vicuña wool
Fleece fabric is usually made from polyester, a synthetic fabric, but it is created in a way that makes it softer than other polyester fabrics. The term “fleece” is also used to describe the individual fibers or wool that comes from sheep.
The other types of wool listed above come from different animals, making them more expensive. Angora wool comes from rabbits and is one of the finest and softest wool fabrics. Merino wool comes from the merino sheep, while cashmere comes from the coat of the cashmere goat.
Vicuña wool comes from the coat of a vicuña, a relative of a llama that is only found in a particular region of South America. Vicuña wool is the most expensive fabric in the world because it is so rare, soft, and warm. The other types of wool listed here are all pricey but very soft as well.
Other Soft Fabrics
SilkSilk fabric is made from fibers created by silkworms. Silk is soft but in a different way than other fabrics. When silkworms make silk, they secrete a gummy substance to help the fibers stick together.
When silk fabric is created, the gummy substance is removed from the fibers, making them smooth. Individual silk fibers are so fine that it takes a lot of them to create fabric. The high fiber count combined with the smoothness of the fibers gives silk its soft texture.
RayonRayon is another soft fabric that comes from natural sources.
Like cotton and bamboo, rayon is made from cellulose fibers, but the cellulose comes from wood.
The cellulose fibers are combined with chemicals to make the fabric itself, so rayon isn’t 100% natural.
It is semi-synthetic, but the amount of cellulose in rayon still makes it a very soft fabric.
ModalLike rayon, modal is a semi-synthetic fabric, but it is made from cellulose fibers of the beech tree. The fibers are soaked in chemicals to help further soften the fibers.
The fibers are then woven together to create the fabric. Sometimes, modal is blended with cotton to make the fabric stronger.
Whether by itself or blended with cotton, modal is one of the softest fabrics you can buy.
What Is The Softest Material For Clothes?
The softest material to use for clothing ultimately depends on the type of clothing you want to make. Just because a fabric is soft doesn’t make it the best material to use for certain clothes.
For example, cotton and wool are soft fabrics. Cotton is only a good fabric choice for clothing that you would wear in the summer and won’t do a good job keeping you warm in the winter. Wool will keep you warm during winter but is too hot for summer clothing.
Even if one fabric is softer than another, the purpose of the clothing will determine which fabric you should choose. Let’s take a closer look at different clothing types and the best soft fabrics to use for each one.
T-ShirtsT-shirts are a casual clothing choice that can be worn for many reasons. They can be worn for working out, sitting at home, or running errands and can be dressed up or down. Because t-shirts are so versatile, the best fabrics to use should be soft and comfortable.
T-shirts are usually worn during the spring and summer when temperatures are warmer. You want the t-shirt to be soft but keep you cool as well. The best soft fabrics to use for t-shirts need to be breathable, like cotton, bamboo, and modal.
Any type of cotton is great to use for a t-shirt. Whether you use Pima cotton, Egyptian cotton, or another form, you will be left with a t-shirt that is very soft and breathable. The higher quality cotton you use, the more expensive the fabric will be. But by using more expensive fabrics, you’ll be left with a softer and more durable t-shirt.
Modal is another great fabric choice for t-shirts, especially shirts that you will wear for lounging. Bamboo fabric is great to use for sportswear t-shirts because it is not only soft but very breathable as well.
Egyptian and Pima cotton are good choices to use for shirts and blouses because these types of clothing are usually worn in the workplace or for special events. Both Egyptian and Pima cotton are of higher quality, so using them will create a blouse that is high quality as well.
Silk is also a great fabric choice to use for a blouse, especially if you want the blouse to look dressy. Silk can also give a shirt or blouse a luxurious look and feel. Whether you use Egyptian or Pima cotton or silk, be prepared to pay a little more for the fabric.
PajamasFor pajamas, you want to use fabrics that are soft and comfortable enough to sleep in but won’t make you sweaty and sticky while you sleep.
Fabrics that are breathable and cooling in addition to being soft work best.
Modal, cotton, and silk are all good fabric choices for pajamas. Modal and cotton are breathable, so they will keep you cool while you sleep.
While silk isn’t as breathable as the others, it has a cooling texture that feels great against the skin and will keep you cool as a result.
Cold-Weather ClothingFor cold-weather clothing, such as coats, sweaters, and long-sleeved shirts, you want to use fabrics that are soft but warm. Wool fabrics are the best choices to use for fall and winter clothing.
Remember that there are many different types of wool fabrics, but Merino and Cashmere are two of the more popular choices. Both fabrics are pricey, but they will create clothing that is very soft and keeps you warm at the same time.
Cotton is not the best fabric choice for winter clothing because it has a cooling effect. The exception to this is flannel. Even though flannel is made of cotton, it has a fuzzy texture that is commonly used for long-sleeved shirts to do its ability to keep you warm.
The best soft fabric to use for pants ultimately depends on what type of pants you want to make. For pants that you wear in the summer, using cotton will make pants that are soft and breathable.
Wool is a good choice for winter pants, whether those pants are casual or more formal. The pants will be comfortable but warm. Due to its knit weave, jersey fabric is great for making athletic pants and activewear. You want athletic pants to be breathable no matter what season it is.
Like pants, the best soft fabrics to use for dresses depending on the type of dress you want to make. Dresses can be worn for many reasons, and you want the type of fabric you use to match the purpose of the dress.
Due to its luxurious appearance, silk is a great fabric to use for fancy or special occasion dresses. Cotton or knit fabrics are good for casual or summer dresses. You can even use wool to make dresses for winter time.
Blankets/BeddingThere are so many soft fabric options that you can use for making blankets and bedding. If you live in a warm climate, making blankets out of cotton and bedding out of bamboo fabric is a good idea because they are cooling and breathable fabrics.
For colder climates, fleece blankets and flannel bedding are great because they will help keep you warm. If you live in a moderate climate, you may want a cooling fabric for bedding to use in the summer and warm fabric for bedding during the winter. Ultimately, the type of fabric you choose should be based on the climate where you live and what season it is.
What Is The Most Comfortable Fabric?
As with fabric softness, there is not one fabric that can be called the “most” comfortable. Softness and comfort go hand-in-hand. The softer fabric is, the more comfortable it will be when you wear it.
Any of the fabrics that we’ve mentioned as being soft should be comfortable as well. Cotton, bamboo, wool, silk, rayon, and modal are all comfortable fabrics, but some will be more comfortable depending on the season. You will get the most comfort by wearing soft fabrics that are also seasonally appropriate.
We hope this article gave you more information about soft fabrics. There isn’t one fabric that is the softest or the most comfortable, but there are various soft fabrics out there that can be used for your project. Just remember to keep in mind the type of clothing you are wanting and what its purpose is. If you enjoyed the article, share it and leave a comment. Thanks for reading!