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Essential fabrics for winter wear

May 4, 2020 3:10 pm



When the weather turns cold, are you that organised, well-prepared person who carefully stored their winter wardrobe away in the spring? Do you unwrap it from its tissue paper and lavender bags to emerge a vision of winter chic? Perhaps you are more like the rest of us instead, adding layer upon layer until you look like a toddler on steroids?

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If you need to get your winter style sorted, you should think about which fabrics to use and how to make them work for you.

Tweed and other wools

Tweed, flannel, cashmere, gabardine, chenille, felt, plaids and mohair are all traditional fabrics for jackets, suits and coats because they offer sturdiness and durability in addition to warmth. Most of these fabrics come in classic colours and patterns, but they can be styled for a contemporary look.


Jerseys and cardigans are staples of every wardrobe and they come in an endless variety of styles, weights and colours. Old-fashioned 100 per cent wool is the warmest and most durable, but it needs careful washing and it can be a bit brutal on the skin. Cashmere is kinder and much cheaper than it used to be, but again, it must be washed by hand.


Cotton fabric is not particularly warm, but it is still essential for winter as a comfortable, breathable layer under heavier fabrics or knits. It also allows you to add prints and patterns to a winter outfit that might otherwise be a bit plain and to ring the changes when you’re wearing the same coat every day. Cotton is also useful as a lining for wool hats and scarves.


This brilliant manmade fabric is fabulous for cosy, light casual wear, specialist sportswear and outdoor activities. It is not particularly long-lasting but washes easily.


Fur has always been one of best ways to keep warm, but not many people are happy to wear it these days. Faux fur can look great, but don’t expect it to keep out the cold. It is perhaps best used as a trim or on accessories.


Velvet is not a particularly thick or heavy fabric, so its warmth will depend on whether it is lined. It is still a wonderful winter fabric, however, thanks to its luxurious looks.

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