Denim Fabric Information -- Denim Weights

  • 01 of 03

    Denim Weights Unraveled

    Labeled Denim Swatches
    Labeled Denim Swatches. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    You want to buy denim online but you are use to the hand and feel fabric at the fabric store. Online they list denim by weight. So what do they mean.

    Question: How do they determine the weight?
    Answer: The weight refers to how much a yard of fabric weighs. A yard of 14 oz. denim weighs 14oz.

    Question: I've seen denim listed from 5 oz to 20 oz. How do I know what to buy without touching it.
    Answer:The swatches shown here are from fabric.com. Each swatch is labeled with the fabric information,...MORE fiber contents, care instructions and the width. Almost all online retailers offer fabric swatches.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Denim Farbic Weight Descriptions

    Side View of Denim Swatches
    Side View of Denim Swatches. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    A 20 oz denim is not going to bend and move for most garment uses. A 5 oz denim is not going to provide heavy denim jeans or jackets, however it will make wonderful shirts, skirts and dresses that will drape well. Knowing that denim runs from 5 to 20 oz and that the less the weight, the lighter, softer, loft the denim will have, you can purchase or request samples of the weights you believe are in the scope you are looking for.

    Looking at the samples in the photo, an 8oz denim is just a tad more...MORE pliable and soft than the 9 oz. The 9 oz sample is just a tad more pliable and soft than the 10 oz sample. Durability wise they are pretty much identical. The real difference comes in at the drape and flexibility.

    Traditionally, 12 to 14 oz is used for denim jeans. It will not ruffle or drape if you were making a full skirt say for square dancing.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Using Different Weights

    Simple Denim Tote Bag
    Simple Denim Tote Bag. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Question: Should I preshrink my fabric?
    Answer: Always pre-wash your fabric and make sure if you are mixing fabrics on one garment that they use the same laundering method.

    Question: I want to make a tote bag. What weight denim should I use?
    Answer: Wouldn't it be nice if every question had a simple answer. If you want a strong, stand on it's own type of tote bag then you want a 10 oz or higher denim. If you want to be able to fold the bag up and have it for when you need it, you can go...MORE down to a 6 oz denim. The choice is yours and what you want the bag to do.
    The tote bag shown here is standing on it's own (nothing is in the bag). It is made with Medium Weight Denim. Find free directions for this tote here.