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Best fabric for Pants, trousers & Jeans

Information about the different types of fabrics suitable for making pants - characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks of various fabrics
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There are 7 criteria that I would tick if I was choosing the fabric for pants. They are : the type of pant I want, (structured or formal pants or casual or comfortable pants), the climate I will be wearing it to, comfort, looks, durability, maintainence and ofcourse price. I will also add wrinkle resistance to the mix.

For formal pants my considerations would be on Gabardine, Tropical wool suiting material,  Wool coating, Suiting weight linen, linen like blended materials for pants, Drill, Tartan and Corduroy. For informal Liverpool or scuba, Brocade,Sweatshirt fleece fabric, stretch denim, Velvet and velveteen, Wool crepe can be considered.

Type of pants material for Formal Pants/Trousers

Gabardine ComfortableMedium costAll3
Tropical Wool Lightweight, airy, and breathableHigh costAll season wear/ Summer4
Wool CoatingHeavy, Not very comfortableHigh costWinter3
Suiting Weight
Light and chic.Not very expensiveSummer3
DrillMedium weightNot very expensiveAll4
TartanMedium weight, Checkered materialNot very expensiveAll3
CorduroyRibbed materialNot very expensiveAll3
Blend fabricsMedium weightLow costAll4


Wool gabardine and Microfiber polyester are equally popular for sewing formal pants. Gabardine is a tightly woven, twill weave fabric. This fabric was originally created from worsted wool but now may also be made of cotton, viscose, and polyester. 

The fabric has diagonal ribs on the surface because of the twill weave. There is a sheen on the gabardine that is muted and elegant.

This fabric was first used to make “gabardines,” a type of cloak used in ancient Spain to defend against the weather. It is water-resistant because of its close weave and very hard-wearing.

While gabardine, like other twills, does have the propensity to wrinkle, it is frequently given a wrinkle-release treatment, making it much easier to maintain. 

Cotton Twill

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Twill weave of this pant fabric makes it quite sturdy and long lasting. Cotton twill is always a favourite pant material.

Tropical wool suiting material

Wool is the perfect fabric for fitted apparel due to its inherent qualities of durability, breathability, odor resistance, and wrinkle resistance. And tropical wool is a lighter weight wool that is suitable for all weather.

Worsted Wool is a wool made with long combed and highly twisted fibers in a plain or twill weave. The resultant fabric is very smooth with a napped surface and very durable and warm. The material is available in different weights.

Tropical wool suiting material, also known as summer weight worsted wool, is a light, airy wool that works well for year-round clothing. It is typically classed as lightweight because the weave has bigger gaps, making the fabric porous and more breathable.

 Although lightweight, it maintains its durability and doesn’t wrinkle as easily as other suiting fabrics.

Which material is the best for formal suit pants and dress pants?

Tropical wool is classy and timeless and an excellent material for formal suit trousers in the summer for events like weddings and business meetings. 

You can also get blends in tropical wool – polyester/elastane/wool blends

If you are wondering how much fabric to make pants check it out here. 

Blend fabrics – Linen-like fabrics

These are cotton-poly/rayon blends with a crisp finish and the surface texture of linen. These usually have wrinkle resist finishes. These are good alternatives if linen is expensive for you but you want the look.

Wool coating

Coating wool is a thick and hefty fabric. This can be used to design winter trousers that are warmer since they are naturally durable, sturdy, and weather resistant. This fabric will have structure when designed into pants.


Drill is a plain or twill weave fabric. The twill weave is distinguished by diagonal lines on the fabric’s surface. This is a durable fabric and a popular choice for trousers.

High-quality 100% linen fabric

Linen trousers are an excellent choice for the summer. They are light enough to keep the body cool and comfortable while yet appearing chic. Summer pants can be made of medium-weight linen. They may wrinkle a bit, but that is the charm of linen pants and people will forgive you for it. You can buy suiting weight linen for more structured dress pants.


This is a fabric with a soft pile with thin distinct ribs on the surface.

Tartan fabric

If you like check patterned fabrics, tartan can be used. This is worsted wool fabric.  

Types of pant material for sewing informal Pants/Trousers

Liverpool/ScubaThick and stable knit fabrics; Everyday wear
BrocadeDecorative fabric woven with metallic threads; Special occasion pants
Sweatshirt Fleece
Soft and cozy 4-way stretch material; Casual pants
Denim / Stretch denimStretch denim in flexible in fit
Velvet/VelveteenOpulent and soft fabric
Wool crepeStrong and pebbly-textured fabric

Liverpool or Scuba

These are thick, stable knit fabrics that can be used to make drapey but strong pants. These are thicker than other knit fabrics. These materials combine the comfort of knit with better structure and stability.

Wool crepe

Wool crepe is a strong fabric with a pebbly surface. This is fluid drapey fabric with enough substance, most suited for women’s trousers.

Velvet and velveteen

Velvet and velveteen are both opulent fabrics with a piled surface, but for velveteen, the pile is shorter. They are soft and warm, and medium-weight fabrics. The material may also be stretchy. These are stylish options for women’s pants. If you do not like the glossy look of velvet, you can go for brushed varieties. They are more muted. Today velvet and velveteen are mostly blends of cotton, modal, polyester and elastance.

Denim / Stretch Denim

There is no question that denim is a very durable material. So when you want a strong durable fabric you can reach out for ever dependable denim. Stretch denim is basically Denim fabric with Lycra. Traditionally, denim is made entirely of cotton. To provide a certain amount of give in the clothing, Lycra or spandex fibers are incorporated. Stretch denim fabric is better than stiffer conventional denim for making fitting and comfortable pants.

What are jeans made of?

Jeans are typically made of denim fabric. For Skinny jeans or slim fit styles stretch denim is better suited.

Sweatshirt fleece fabric

This is a soft 4-way stretch material suitable for making every day super comfortable pants. The material has cotton on one side and fleece on the other. The material is very soft on the inside. It can be used to make lounge pants and trekking pants.


Brocade is a decorative fabric woven with metallic threads – it is a good fabric to make pants for special occasions, and evening functions. Brocades typically include floating yarns on the reverse side of the fabric. You may have to line the fabric when made into pants.

As you can see, different pants styles require different fabrics, and the right choice can result in a perfect fit, style and comfort. You obviously have more than one pants, so buy each one of these and see which suits you the best.

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Author: Sarina Tariq
Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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