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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.

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