844-BIG-Z-FAB (244-9322)

We know the face (or front) of fabrics is what we focus on most. But it is important to keep in mind what the backing of the fabric is made of or how it is constructed. In fact the backing plays a major role in how the final finished product looks and performs for the user. From how it hangs or drapes, to how it performs during movement, and how it lasts over time. We will explore three common types of backing that you will find in our store and in many others.

Understanding fabric backing is the core piece of every fabric project. Whether you’re revamping a vintage sofa, crafting a luxurious faux fur coat, or adding a touch of softness with minky, it’s important to understand fabric backing. We’ve focused on mesh, woven, and knit fabric backing and consider their impact on faux fur, minky, and suedes in general. 

Let’s Explain What Fabric Backing Is A Bit More

Fabric backing refers to the layer of material attached to the reverse side of the fabric to enhance its stability, durability, and usability. This additional layer can significantly alter the fabric’s characteristics, affecting its stretch, sturdiness, ease of sewing, and cutting. Understanding the type of backing a fabric has is essential for any project, as it influences the final product’s look, feel, and functionality.

Don’t Forget To Examine Fabric Backing Before Buying Fabric

Choosing the right backing is more than just a matter of preference. It’s about the performance of the fabric in its intended application. For interior designers, upholsterers, and DIY enthusiasts, selecting a fabric with the appropriate backing means achieving the desired aesthetic while ensuring the project’s longevity and usability. Whether you’re aiming for stretch, rigidity, or a specific texture, the backing plays a pivotal role.

Fabric Backing Types

Mesh Backing

Mesh backing adds a net-like layer to the fabric, offering a lightweight yet stable base for delicate and intricate designs. It’s commonly used in fabrics like lace or tulle. In our store, you’ll find examples of mesh-backed fabrics perfect for creating breathable, elegant draperies or lightweight costumes.

Performance Characteristics:

Stretch: Limited to moderate, providing shape without compromising form.

Sturdiness: Enhances the fabric’s resilience, especially in delicate applications.

Sewing/Cutting: Generally straightforward, the mesh provides a stable guide for sewing and cutting.

Woven Backing

Woven backing involves tightly woven threads that substantially support the face fabric. This type of backing is ideal for upholstery projects, where durability is key. For instance, our store’s suede collection features a woven backing that ensures each piece stands the test of time, perfect for luxurious furniture coverings or chic, durable handbags.

Performance Characteristics:

Stretch: Minimal, ensuring the fabric maintains its shape and structure.

Sturdiness: Excellent, providing the necessary durability for heavy-duty use.

Sewing/Cutting: Requires sharp tools and some experience, given the fabric’s thickness and rigidity.

Knit Backing

Knit backing introduces a stretchable, forgiving layer to the fabric, making it a fantastic choice for apparel and soft home decorations. Our minky fabrics are a prime example, offering unparalleled softness combined with the flexibility and comfort provided by knit backing. These materials are ideal for cozy blankets, plush toys, and comfortable loungewear.

Performance Characteristics:

Stretch: High, allowing for flexibility and ease of movement.

Sturdiness: Moderate, with the knit structure offering resilience while retaining softness.

Sewing/Cutting: Relatively easy, though the stretch may require careful handling to maintain accurate dimensions.

Practical Applications and Well-Known Finished Products

The type of backing not only influences the fabric’s handling during the creation process but also determines the possibilities for its end use. For example:

  • Mesh-backed lace is often seen in delicate wedding dresses and elegant veils.
  • Woven-backed suede is the go-to for high-end upholstery, sturdy handbags, and sophisticated automotive interiors. Its durability makes it suitable for items that require a resilient yet plush exterior.
  • Knit-backed minky fabric is primarily used in children’s products, such as soft toys and baby blankets, and home décor items, such as throw blankets and cushion covers.

Each backing type opens a realm of possibilities for both functionality and creativity. By understanding these fundamentals, creators can push the boundaries of their designs, ensuring their projects look fantastic and are practical and durable. Whether you’re a professional interior designer, an upholsterer working on a new piece of furniture, or a DIY enthusiast keen on bringing your vision to life, choosing the right fabric backing is a critical step in the process.

Choosing the Right Fabric Backing for Your Project

Selecting the right fabric backing is crucial for the success of your project. It requires understanding the project’s needs, the fabric’s intended use, and the environment in which the fabric will be placed. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind:

Durability Requirements: For items that will undergo frequent use or need to withstand wear and tear, such as furniture upholstery or bags, opt for woven backing for its superior durability.

Flexibility and Comfort: For clothing and items that require a soft touch or flexibility, such as children’s toys or wearable items, knit backing offers the necessary stretch and comfort.

Aesthetic and Design Needs: Delicate projects like wedding dresses or sheer curtains benefit from mesh backing, which provides stability without sacrificing the lightness or intricate design of the fabric.

Contact Big Z Fabric Today 

Big Z Fabric is always here to help you choose the best fabric type for your needs. If you have any questions about fabric, please reach out to our team. Contact us today for the best selection of fabric at wholesale prices. 

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3400 Slauson Ave Unit A,
Maywood CA 90270

213-745-BIGZ (2449)

844-BIG-Z-FAB (244-9322)

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