Whenever we come across suiting fabrics, many people would often comment that “Wool is the best!” It certainly is among the most common fabrics used in suits. However, what are the other alternatives to wool? What is really the best fabric for me?
“Suiting fabrics in general can be splitted up into three main categories. Fabric made out of (1) Natural Fiber, (2) Synthetic Fiber or (3) Mixed Fiber.”
(1) Natural Fiber – Comfortable and breathable
“Natural Fiber as its name says, are fabrics which are woven completely with completely natural raw materials such as Wool, Cashmere, Flannel, Silk ,etc. Since they are all natural materials, they give you a more comfortable, breathable feel which conforms with your body. Moreover, the chances of your skin being allergic to it are subsequently lower. However, such natural fiber fabrics are often more easily subject to wrinkles and creases, while the pricing are also generally more expensive.”
(2) Synthetic Fiber – Wrinkle resistant and economical
“On the other hand, Synthetic Fiber are fabrics which are woven with synthetic (i.e. man-made) raw materials. Polyester is the most commonly used Synthetic Fiber Fabrics for suits. Other Synthetic Fiber fabrics, includes Rayon, Nylon, etc. These Synthetic Fabrics are much more wrinkle and crease resistant, and they are much cheaper, providing a much better value for money. Nonetheless, the breathability of such fabrics are not as good as the Natural Fiber fabrics as mentioned above. As such they are commonly used for cost-conscious customers or company uniforms.”
(3) Mixed Fiber – Eclectic mix of natural fiber and synthetic fiber
“Finally, Mixed Fiber Fabrics provides a middle ground for both, providing a balance of the wrinkle/crease resistance, economic value, as well as the comfortability of Natural Fiber fabrics. Wool (65-80%) and Polyester (35%-20%) mixes are one of the most common Mixed Fiber suiting fabrics. For higher-end mixed fabrics, it is also common to find fabrics which mix two different natural fibers together, e.g. Wool and Cashmere.”