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Understanding Fabrics: Fibres and Fabrics

Understanding Fabrics: Fibres and Fabrics

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Janet Wilson


This one-day course has been specially designed for assistant buyers and designers from UK retail stores, and includes a mixture of theory and practical exercises, delivered by a textile technology expert.  

The characteristics and properties of fabrics are to a great extent determined by the raw materials from which they are made: the fibres. This course explores how the fibre content of fabrics helps to determine their characteristics, quality and cost.   

The course includes:

  • The major natural and manmade fibres, their origins, properties and production will be examined and the related terminology explained
  • Suitable end uses for fabrics composed of the different fibre types will be discussed
  • New fibres, brands and different fibre blends are also discussed
  • You will learn how to recognise different fibres in fabrics and what to look for when sourcing

Also included is a practical analysis of various fabric samples and a detailed examination of fibres using microscopes.

Find out more about this course from student and former Great British Sewing Bee contestant Gee on the LCF short course blog – From Sewing Bee to Short Courses. 

Please note: our Understanding Fabrics courses are part of a series. We recommend you take the courses in the following order or have existing knowledge to the same level before progressing to the next course:

1. Understanding Fabrics: Fibres and Fabrics 
2. Understanding Fabrics: Fabric Construction 
3. Understanding Fabrics: Colouring and Finishing Fabrics
4. Understanding Fabrics: Fabric Testing and Quality


Beginners. You should have an interest in the subject area and a desire to learn but no previous experience is required.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.


Your course place is confirmed once you have booked online or via the phone using a credit or debit card. There is no deadline for booking. Places are offered on a first come, first served basis, and all courses have a maximum number of students. We suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.

Online short courses

Did you know we offer a similar course online? UAL online short courses are designed to help creative people master new challenges, develop their skills, get inspired by new ideas and access the UAL learning experience without having to travel to a campus for class.

Introduction to Textiles (Online Short Course

More online courses

Tutor Description

Janet Wilson, CTextFTI, has been a lecturer in the UK for over 25 years, teaching training courses for the clothing and retail industry. She has worked as a textile designer in the UK and Switzerland and specialises in the subjects of: woven fabrics, warp-knitted fabrics, weft-knitted fabrics, printed and dyed textiles, textile finishing, textile fibres and textile testing and quality. Janet is the author of Classic and Modern Fabrics: The Complete Illustrated Sourcebook, published in 2010. She continues to design fabrics on a freelance basis and is a member of the Textile Institute.


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:

  • A pen & notepad

Available dates

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