Guide To Fabric Weight

We're passionate about sewing and dressmaking at Sew Me Sunshine. We have put together a guide on fabric weight. 

Why is fabric weight important in dressmaking?

It is important to take into account the weight of a fabric when choosing which fabric to use for your project. This is because normally the lighter a fabric is the more drapey it will be, although this isn't always the case. To learn more about fabric drape then you can read our guide on fabric drape here

The weight of a fabric is the result of: 

  • The thickness of the threads used to make it
  • The density of the weave or knit
  • The composition (i.e. linen is heavier than silk)
  • The dying / printing process can also impact on the weight

How is fabric weight measured? 

Fabric width and length always vary from fabric to fabric, which is why fabric is measured in terms of mass per surface area. In metric terms this is measured in grams per square metre (gsm or g/m2). In imperial terms this is expressed in ounces per square yard (oz/y2 or oz). There are lots of tools easily accessed on the internet to convert gsm to oz and vice a versa. 

Weight Category GSM  Fabric Types *
Very lightweight  <135gsm (<4oz) voile, some lawns (i.e. Liberty Tana Lawn), chiffon, georgette, organza, viscose or tencel lawn, lightweight satin, viscose crepe
Lightweight <200gsm (<6oz)

cotton jersey, viscose twill, chambray, cotton poplin, double cotton gauze, babycord

Medium weight  200-270gsm (6-8oz) french terry, needlecord, tencel twill
Medium-heavyweight 270-340gsm (8-10oz) some denim, ventana cotton twill, jumbo corduroy
Heavyweight 340-400gsm (10-12oz) some wool coatings, 
Very heavyweight >400gsm (>12oz) faux fur, some coatings i.e boucle

* This is a guide to some examples, sometimes fabrics may be lighter or heavier, it is important to always check the individual fabric listings.


We hope this blog post has helped you understand fabric weight.

If you have any questions or want to learn more, you can contact Team Sunshine at

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