What Is the Best Fabric for Pants? (2024)

Many people wonder what the best fabrics are for certain types of pants when buying or making pants. After all, we want anything we wear to hold up for a long time while continuing to look good. Different types of pants, such as trousers, cargo pants, or casual pants, all require different types of fabrics depending on their specific purpose.

The best fabrics for pants are:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Wool
  • Polyester
  • Polyester/Cotton blend
  • Polyester/Wool blend

Most of these fabrics are common for different types of pants, although some fabrics are found more than others depending on the season.

Let’s look at specific types of pants that you can make or buy and common fabrics used to make them so that you can make the best choice.

What Is the Best Fabric for Pants? (1)

Quick Navigation

  • What Is the Best Fabric for Dress Pants?
  • What Is the Best Fabric for Casual Pants?
  • What Is the Best Fabric for Cargo Pants?
  • What Is the Best Fabric for Palazzo Pants?
  • What Is the Best Fabric for Stretchy Pants?
  • What Is the Best Fabric for Trousers?
  • How Much Material Do I Need for a Pair of Trousers?
  • How Do I Choose Fabric?
  • Conclusion

What Is the Best Fabric for Dress Pants?

Most people wear dress pants in a professional setting, whether in a college internship or the workplace. If you work in a large city where you have to walk to the office or have a long commute, you want your dress pants to be comfortable and wrinkle-free when you get to your office or meeting.

The best fabrics for dress pants are fabrics resistant to wrinkles (for that long commute), water (for walking in the rain), and comfortable for all seasons. Wool and polyester are common fabrics for both men’s and women’s dress pants.

Wool and Polyester

Wool is warm, comfortable, and wrinkle and water-resistant, but maybe too hot in the summertime. Polyester is also water-resistant and dries faster than wool, so it may be a better choice if you frequently get caught in the rain on your way to the office. Polyester is a good choice for dress pants in any season because it isn’t too warm or too cool.

Other Fabrics

Many women’s dress pants are made of other fabrics such as linen, velvet, or silk. While these fabrics may look nice, they are not as versatile as pants made out of polyester or wool and won’t look nice when wet or wrinkled, so they aren’t the best choice for dress pants.

What Is the Best Fabric for Casual Pants?

Casual pants are the pants you wear all the time. When making or buying casual pants, you will want fabrics that will last a long time and can withstand frequent wear. Here are four common types of casual pants and the best fabrics for them.


Jeans are most people’s go-to pants. They are worn all the time, which is why they are commonly made with heavier fabrics like denim and corduroy. Denim is a good all-weather choice, while corduroy jeans are popular for winter time because corduroy helps to insulate and keep you warm.


Culottes are a type of wide-leg casual pants that usually hit below the knee. This makes culottes a popular choice for summer. Summertime calls for cooling, breathable fabrics. Cotton and linen are popular fabrics for culottes.


Joggers are a type of casual pants that are looser up top with an elastic waistband and elastic around the ankles. They are commonly worn for sports and leisure activities or lounging around the house. You also want joggers to be made out of breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, or a blend of cotton and stretch fabrics so that you can move around easily.

What Is the Best Fabric for Cargo Pants?

The military first created cargo pants to hold all of their necessary supplies. They later became more fashionable, but the original purpose of cargo pants was to be worn for working, hiking, gardening, or other outdoor activities.

Synthetic Fabrics

The best fabrics to use for cargo pants are fabrics that are tough and durable because of their purpose. Synthetic fabrics like polyester are the best choice because they can withstand frequent wear. You also want them to have a little stretch, especially in the pockets. Using a polyester and spandex blend will give them both stretch and durability.

Blended Fabrics

Polyester/cotton blends and cotton/nylon blends are good choices as well. Cotton helps to make the pants more breathable and easy to clean, while polyester and nylon give them durability. All of those are qualities that you would want for pants that are meant to be worn for working and getting dirty.

What Is the Best Fabric for Palazzo Pants?

Worn for the first time by Coco Chanel, palazzo pants are popular because of their comfiness and versatility. They come in many different styles and fabrics, but one common trend among them is their wide legs. They can be dressed up for a professional look or dressed down for a more casual look. If you want to make your own palazzo pants, here are the best fabrics to use.

For more professional-looking palazzo pants, stiff fabrics like brocade or silk work well, especially for petite women. Chiffon and georgette are also a good choice for all women because they flow well. For more casual palazzo pants, cotton and linen work well because they flow well and are breathable. Whatever fabric you choose, you want to make sure that it drapes well to create wide legs.

What Is the Best Fabric for Stretchy Pants?

Stretchy pants are made with stretch fabric, making them appealing to a lot of people. This is because stretch fabrics flatter figures well. Because of the fabric’s elasticity, pants made with stretch fabric often don’t require much sewing. Besides pants, stretch fabric is used in sportswear and underwear as well.


Stretch fabric can be a collective name for fabrics made of elastic fibers like lycra, spandex, or elastane. These elastic fibers increase the resistance of clothing to wear and tear. According to Tissura, lycra, spandex, and elastane are different names for the same fabric. What the fabric is called depends on where you live. It’s spandex in Asia and North and South America, elastane in Europe, and lycra in Australia.

Other Popular Stretch Fabrics

Besides lycra, spandex, and elastane, there are other types of stretch fabrics that are popular. Their use for clothing depends on if the fabric is a 2-way stretch fabric or 4-way stretch fabric.

2-way stretch fabrics are comfortable but don’t return to their original shape as 4-way stretch fabrics do. 4-way stretch fabrics can stretch in all directions, making them popular for sportswear.

Here are some popular stretch fabrics and their uses:

  • Stretch cotton- breathable; good for summer shirts and dresses
  • Stretch jersey knit- 4-way stretch; good for dresses, skirts, and shirts
  • Cotton jersey knit- 2-way stretch, good for trousers and dresses
  • Stretch wool- durable, wrinkle-resistant, warm; good for trousers, skirts, and jackets
  • Stretch silk- holds its shape well; good for trousers and jackets

What Is the Best Fabric for Trousers?

Trousers are considered to be less casual pants than jeans or joggers. They can be dressed up or down, but some people prefer to wear trousers in a workplace or business setting. No matter your preference for wearing trousers, you want fabrics that are made to last and will continue to look nice over time. Here are the best and most commonly used fabrics for trousers.


Cotton is the most commonly used fabric for formal trousers and suits. Cotton makes trousers feel softer and more comfortable. It is versatile and can be worn year-round. The downside to using cotton for trousers is that cotton will shrink if not cared for properly.


Like cotton, linen is another good choice for trousers because it is comfortable. It is a great choice for summer because it is very breathable and will keep you cool. The downside to linen is that it can sometimes look too casual, making it a better choice for more loose-fitting, informal trousers.


Wool is an extremely durable fabric and can be used for both formal and loose trousers. It is soft, absorbs moisture well, and will keep you warm in the winter. The downside to wool is that it is more expensive and doesn’t stretch as much as cotton.


Silk is luxurious fabric and is commonly used for making very formal trousers and not trousers that you would want to wear to work regularly. Silk doesn’t shrink and is very figure-flattering. The downside is that it is expensive and can be difficult to clean, so it is mostly used for making suits for formal events that aren’t worn very often.

How Much Material Do I Need for a Pair of Trousers?

If you want to make your own trousers, you may be wondering how much fabric you need to buy. Usually, the pattern you choose will tell you how much fabric you need, but you want to make sure you choose the right size pattern. Choosing the right size means taking accurate body measurements. Here’s how to do that.

Taking Accurate Body Measurements

Before taking body measurements, you might want to get someone to help you accurately read them. You also want to make sure to wear only underwear or something tight-fitting to ensure that the measurements are correct. Wearing loose or bulky fabric can cause the measurements to be inaccurate.

The measurements you should take are:

  1. Your height
  2. High bust circumference– measured 2 inches above the bust under your arms
  3. Full bust circumference– measure around your body at the widest part of your bust
  4. Waist circumference– measure around your waist at the narrowest part
  5. Hip circumference– measure around your body at the widest part of your hips
  6. Torso length– measure from your shoulder to your waistline

Note that the measurements you will need for trousers are your height, waist and hip circumference, and torso length. You can subtract your torso length from your height to find the length of your legs. If you need a visual for taking your body measurements, watch the video below.

How Do I Choose Fabric?

When choosing fabric for making clothes, there are three main factors to consider. These factors are weight, stretch, and drape. There’s a reason that certain fabrics are better choices for certain clothes. It all depends on those three characteristics of the fabric. Let’s look at the three characteristics in more detail.


Fabric weight is measured in grams per square meter. Weight is based on thickness. There are generally three categories of fabrics based on weight: light-weight, medium-weight, and heavy-weight. Here is a list that details which commonly used fabrics fall into which category.

  • Light-weight fabrics- cotton, linen, polyester, rayon, and chiffon.
  • Medium-weight fabrics- velvet, chambray, and sateen.
  • Heavy-weight fabrics- twill, denim, canvas, wool, and brocade.

When choosing fabric based on weight, consider what type of clothing you want to make and for what season.

For example, if you’re making shorts for the summer, you don’t want to use a heavy fabric like wool because heavier fabrics retain heat. Even denim shorts can be too hot in some places during the summer.

Likewise, you don’t want to make long pants that will be worn in the winter out of linen. Linen is a light-weight fabric and won’t keep you warm like wool or twill. Consider the purpose of your clothing and choose a fabric based on that.


Fabrics have different levels of elasticity. The elasticity determines the fabric’s ability to return to its original shape after being stretched. The level of the stretch of fabric can determine how your clothing will fit you.

If you are making your own clothes, consider the pattern you are using and the type of clothing you are trying to make. For example, you will want more stretch in a pair of pants for a flowy blouse.

Some fabrics like spandex are intended to be stretchy and work well for a pair of leggings. But fabrics like cotton and denim have a certain level of the stretch as well.

If you use store-bought sewing patterns, they often recommend a certain stretch percent when choosing fabric for the finished product to fit right. To check the amount of stretch fabric has, follow these steps.

  1. Lay a 5-inch section of fabric beside a ruler.
  2. Position the left side of the fabric over the zero mark and the right side over the 5-inch mark.
  3. Stretch the fabric down the ruler until it doesn’t stretch anymore.
  4. Calculate how much the fabric stretched past the 5-inch mark. (Ex. If it stretched to 6 inches, then it stretched 1 inch past the original length.)
  5. Divide how far it stretched by the original length of 5. (In the example above, 1÷5=0.2)
  6. Multiply that by 100 to figure out the percent of stretch. (0.2×100=20%)


A fabric’s drape determines how flowy it is. Many people think that heavier fabrics have less drape, but this is not always the case. The stiffness of the fabric determines the amount of drape.

Fabrics with a lot of drape work well for skirts, dresses, and wide-leg pants. If you are making trousers or other type of pants, stiffer fabrics are better choices. See the list below for the stiffness and weight comparison of common fabrics.

  • Stiff, heavy-weight- denim, brocade, canvas
  • Stiff, light-weight- organza, twill
  • Drapey, heavy-weight- gabardine, wool
  • Drapey, light-weight- silk, chiffon, georgette

What Is the Most Durable Fabric for Clothing?

The last thing you want when making or buying clothing is for the fabric to tear or fall apart shortly after wearing it. Some fabrics are more durable than others, and clothes made with these fabrics tend to last longer.

Generally, synthetic fabrics are more durable than fabrics made with natural fibers because they are engineered to be stronger and last longer. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon are two of the most durable fabrics out there.

Cotton/Polyester blends are durable fabrics, especially if the percentage of polyester is higher than the percentage of cotton. Cotton/Polyester/Rayon blends are also very durable. Cotton by itself may or may not be durable, depending on the quality.

Thinner, more delicate fabrics like chiffon, georgette, and silk usually aren’t as durable. These fabrics will tear easily if they get snagged on something or scratched. Take extra care when buying or making clothes out of thin fabrics.

What Fabrics Last the Longest?

Durability and longevity often go hand-in-hand. Clothes made with durable fabrics will last longer than clothes made with thinner fabrics. This means that polyester, rayon, and polyester/cotton blends last the longest and hold up better with more wear.

Heavier or thicker fabrics like denim and wool also last a long time, especially if they are taken care of properly. Thinner fabrics can sometimes last a while if you’re careful and don’t wear them too frequently.

What Is the Most Expensive Fabric?

Many fabrics are considered to be luxurious and therefore more expensive. Here are the most expensive fabrics in the world and why they are so expensive.

Vicuña Wool

Wool from a vicuña is the most expensive fabric in the world. A vicuña is a relative of llamas and alpacas. What makes vicuña wool so expensive is its rarity. Vicuñas are hard to catch and when they are caught, wool can only be shorn from them once every two or three years. Alpaca Collections sells 380 grams of vicuña fabric for $3,800. Jackets made of vicuña wool can cost up to $21,000.


Guanaco wool is similar to vicuña wool and is considered the second finest natural fiber. The wool has a similar softness to that of cashmere and the wool’s undercoat makes it extremely warm. It resists dirt, water and is extremely durable.

Mulberry Silk

Mulberry silk is the highest quality of silk available, making it another expensive fabric. The silkworms that make mulberry silk feed exclusively on mulberry leaves, making it the most refined silk in the world. The silk is pure white, hypoallergenic, and 100% natural.


Cashmere is one of the softest fibers in the world. It comes from the cashmere goat found in the Himalayan mountains. Because of the negative temperatures, the goats’ coats grow extremely thick and warm. It is expensive because the fibers can only be collected once a year and each goat only produces around 200 grams of cashmere.


The fur is expensive due to its elegance and softness. Fur has been used to make clothing for centuries. Chinchilla, mink, Russian sable, and rabbit fur are all commonly used for making fur clothing, but leopard fur is the most expensive. But due to their endangered status, it is illegal to sell leopard fur today.


Hopefully, you found this guide helpful. Overall, the best fabric for pants tends to be cotton, polyester, wool, or a blend. For stretchy pants, spandex or another type of stretch fabric is the best choice. As long as you take proper care of any fabric, it has the potential to last a long time. Leave a comment if you found this information useful and share it with others who might enjoy it as well.

What Is the Best Fabric for Pants? (2024)


What is the most comfortable fabric for pants? ›

Cotton is the world's most comfortable fabric due to its exceptional breathability, weightlessness, and softness. It is also the most used fabric of all time.

What is the coolest fabric for pants? ›

What Are The 9 Best Summer Fabrics?
  1. Cotton. Cotton is one of the best fabrics for summer and hot weather. ...
  2. Linen. Linen is another top choice for a breathable fabric to wear in hot weather conditions. ...
  3. Rayon. ...
  4. Denim/Chambray. ...
  5. Polyester. ...
  6. Nylon. ...
  7. Silk. ...
  8. Micromodal.
21 Aug 2019

Which is the best fabric for jeans? ›

Authentic denim is made with cotton. You need 100% cotton in your denim to provide that perfect texture: cotton denim is durable yet will mold to your body with each wear, meaning your denim jeans will be made uniquely your own every time you pull them on.

Which cloth is best quality? ›

Silk, cashmere, leather, and linen have long been highly renowned, sought after, and expensively priced in the fashion world; and for good reasons. Although these high-end, natural materials typically come with a pricey tag, when building a solid, timelessly elegant wardrobe, these fabrics are worth the investment.

Are polyester or cotton pants better? ›

Polyester is lighter, cheaper, more durable, and easier to twist and bend (easier to work with) than cotton. Moreover, polyester can be cut to any staple length and can be made at very different levels of fineness. All these characteristics make it very suitable for a variety of sports and demanding outdoor activities.

Which fabric is strongest? ›

Of all the technical fabric solutions available on the marketplace today, there are none quite like Dyneema. The seemingly unfeasible fabric possesses around 15x more tensile strength than steel by weight, yet can still float on water, making it the strongest and most durable lightweight fiber in the world.

Which fabric has highest strength? ›

We learned that out of the twelve fabrics we tested, natural silk is the strongest fabric, and natural wool is the weakest. Of the synthetic fabrics, denim was the strongest, and flannel was the least strong.

What material is the most breathable for pants? ›

A good quality, lightweight cotton is one of the most breathable fabrics around, so it will allow a little airflow for drying out the dampness. “Some cotton pros include its softness, absorbency, and hypoallergenic nature, which makes it more comfortable in sweaty situations,” Angeles says.

What kind of pants are good for hot weather? ›

Cotton Shorts

Cotton is king during summer. The ubiquitous material reigns supreme during the warmest months of the year—for a good reason. It's soft, light, and airy, gently grazing against the skin instead of constricting your comfort while you're going about your day.

Is denim or cotton better? ›

3. Denim jeans are denser and provide insulation in addition to being harder to make and wash. Denim jeans are usually manufactured commercially. In contrast, cotton jeans are lighter, more breathable, and easy to wash and make.

Is polyester good for pants? ›

Polyester is also water-resistant and dries faster than wool, so it may be a better choice if you frequently get caught in the rain on your way to the office. Polyester is a good choice for dress pants in any season because it isn't too warm or too cool.

Which fabric is long lasting? ›

Microfiber and canvas are two of the most durable furniture fabrics. However, cotton and linen also have very strong fibers. Cotton and linen must be woven tightly in order to be considered durable.

What cloth lasts the longest? ›

Natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk, linen, and cashmere are generally a better bet when choosing clothes that will last. While synthetic fibres can bring levels of stability and versatility to garments, as a rule of thumb don't buy a garment with more than a 20% portion of synthetic fiber.

Which cloth is long lasting? ›

Linen as a fabric has a very long lifetime, as it's one of the most durable fabrics out there. With a recent resurrection, linen clothing is coming back as people seek ways to lessen their fashion footprint.

Is 100% cotton better than polyester? ›

Polyester is hydrophobic and for this reason, fabrics made with polyester don't absorb perspiration. Cotton on the other hand absorbs moisture. Cotton is more breathable than polyester and also extremely hypoallergenic. Those with sensitive skin tolerate 100 per cent cotton better than polyester.

What is better 100 cotton or polyester? ›

Polyester apparel is more wrinkle-resistant than cotton, fades less, long-lasting and durable. It is a great option for a restaurant worker who needs a tough shirt to withstand lots of wearing and washing, and because polyester is less absorbent than cotton, it is more sweat stain resistant too.

Is 100% cotton a good fabric? ›

100% cotton shirts are comfortable and cool, especially in warm weather. Cotton is well known as the ideal fabric for hotter climates because it allows moisture to evaporate. A shirt made from a cotton blend is more likely to retain moisture making you hot and sweaty.

How long do cotton pants last? ›

Cotton: decomposes in about 5 months

Organic cotton is one of the most sustainable fabrics, in part because it can decompose so quickly. When composted, it can decompose in only a few weeks.

Which fabric is stronger cotton or polyester? ›

Relative to cotton, polyester is stronger, with a greater ability to stretch. Fiber strength can range from 2.5 grams/denier to 9.5 grams/denier.

What is the strongest waterproof fabric? ›

Best Waterproof Fabrics
  • Polyurethane Laminate (PUL)
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
  • Extra-Long-Staple (ELS Cotton)
  • Polyester and Nylon.
  • Oilcloth.
  • Microfiber.
  • Wool.
  • Latex and Natural Rubber.

What is the weakest fabric? ›

Wool is the weakest of all-natural textile fibers.

What is the strongest cotton fabric? ›

Supima cotton is a high-quality type of cotton that is made from Gossypium barbadense . It is considered to be one of the softest and strongest forms of cotton in the world, and the methods of production and certification that are used for Supima cotton are different than those used for Pima cotton.

Which cotton is the strongest? ›

Pima is also touted as the strongest cotton of all the strains, this is large in part due to staple length. During the spinning, a longer fiber will have fewer exposed or frayed pieces, resulting in a longer, more cohesive yarn.

Which cotton pants is best? ›

List of The Top 11 Cotton Trouser Brands in India
  • Peter England.
  • Pepe Jeans.
  • Allen Solly.
  • Arrow.
  • Jack & Jones.
  • Blackberrys.
  • Louis Philippe.
  • Van Heusen.
20 Sept 2022

What brand jeans last longest? ›

Suggested Durable Brands: Levis Vintage Collection, Real Mccoys, Edwin, Rag & Bone, Unbranded Brand, APC, Nudie Jeans Co, Naked & Famous.

What material pants are best for summer? ›

Cotton is the best, most reliable go-to on a summer day. We can go on and on about the advantages of cotton: it's versatile, comfortable, typically lightweight, breathable, flexible, doesn't trap heat or odour, and it's made from plants so it's natural.

Which fabric is best for daily use? ›

Flannel, muslin, terry cloth, sateen, gauze, velveteen, and sailcloth are some of the other cotton varieties and weaves available. Cotton is unsurprisingly the most common summer fabric. This natural and lightweight fabric is ideal for summertime wear. Linen is a natural cloth made from flax fibres.

Which fabric is best for body? ›

We bring you five skin-friendly fabrics that keep your skin healthy too.
  • Cotton. This is a low maintenance, powerhouse fabric. ...
  • Silk. This highly absorbent, low-maintenance fabric which is hypoallergenic because of its natural protein structure. ...
  • Linen. ...
  • Wool. ...
  • Hemp.
7 Jan 2020

Which Indian fabric is best? ›

Silk sarees and lehengas are the most beautiful creations of Indian wear. Silk is the most preferred fabric during festivities and especially Indian weddings.

Which fabric is strongest? ›

Of all the technical fabric solutions available on the marketplace today, there are none quite like Dyneema. The seemingly unfeasible fabric possesses around 15x more tensile strength than steel by weight, yet can still float on water, making it the strongest and most durable lightweight fiber in the world.

What is the longest lasting fabric? ›

Due to its ultra-fine fibres, synthetic microfibre is the fabric that lasts the longest at this time. Its fibres are tightly woven which creates a strong layer of protection. Synthetic microfibre is efficient in withstanding dirt, dust and spills.

Which type of fabric is long lasting? ›

Microfiber and canvas are two of the most durable furniture fabrics. However, cotton and linen also have very strong fibers. Cotton and linen must be woven tightly in order to be considered durable.

What fabric is itchy? ›

Wool. As anyone with dry- or itchy-skin issues will tell you, certain fabrics exacerbate the problem. One of the biggest culprits is one that's found in nature—wool (not to be confused with the softer merino wool).

Is 100% cotton good for skin? ›

Cotton is 100 per cent hypoallergenic and won't irritate the skin of the person wearing clothing made from this fabric. Even when the weather is hot, cotton won't react with sweat and cause rashes.

What are the 3 main types of fabric? ›

There are three types of woven fabric: plain weave, satin weave and twill weave. Examples of popular woven fabrics are chiffon, crepe, denim, linen, satin and silk. For knit fabric, think of a hand-knit scar; the yarn is formed into an interconnecting loop design, which allows it to stretch significantly.

What's the softest fabric? ›

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.

Which cloth is most smooth? ›

Cotton. The most comfortable fabric is cotton due to its breathability, softness, and weightlessness. It is the most used fabric of all time. It is used to make all kinds of clothing as well as utilized industrially for producing various types of products.

What is high quality fabric? ›

High-quality fabrics feature fibers that are closely and tightly woven together. There should be no obvious gaps between fibers as that's often an indication of weakness in the fiber quality. These fabrics can tear easily.

Which is the costly fabric in India? ›

In India, pure cashmere is the most expensive cloth at 160,000 Rupees (around 2,300 pounds) for a suit length.

Which is the golden fabric in India? ›

Jute is known as the Golden Fibre.

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