My Cart

pink dress

How to Check the Fabric Quality of Clothing

Before buying new clothing, you may want to check the quality of its fabric. This is an important step to ensure the clothes are high-quality and long-lasting.

In the long run, it will not only help your budget but also protect the environment by saving resources, limiting waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

These are many qualities to look for in textiles for apparel, footwear, and accessories. Some are more crucial than others. The best way to encourage sustainable fashion is to buy fewer clothes and higher-quality.

The overproduction and overconsumption of cheaply made clothing due to fast fashion made consumers consider clothing as a disposable commodity.

Fast fashion popularity and worldwide reach are highly detrimental to people, animals, and the planet. It's about time to pay more attention to the quality of the clothes we buy and prepare a sustainable future for fashion.

As consumers, we have the power to drive change in the global textile and apparel industry. When we choose to buy and wear high-quality garments, it results in a lower social and environmental impact.

Valuable fabrics are more likely to be produced sustainably and under decent conditions for the textile factory workers.

Here are 15 tips to check the fabric quality of clothing.

1. Fabric material

Check what kind of material the fabric is made of. Natural and organic fibers such as cotton and linen usually make high-quality fabrics. Whereas synthetic materials like viscose-rayon and polyester are used to produce cheap garments.

Read up my article on the top 10 most eco-friendly sustainable fabrics to learn more about the different types of textiles for clothing.


fabric material

2. Resistance to stretch

High-quality fabrics keep their strength and shape even after being stretched out. Pull the fabric with both hands and see if it comes back into place. It's a great sign for durability and longevity.

3. Quality hand feel

Clothing is our second skin. It should make us comfortable at all times. How does the fabric feel under your hand and on your skin? Prioritize comfort to avoid red, irritated, and itchy skin.


white dress

4. Timeless look

Prefer clothes that are classic and timeless over bold styles and trends. Check the fabric overall look to determine that it won't go out of style easily. Search for clean shapes, simple cuts, and elegant silhouettes.


classic dress

5. Durable coloring

Textiles and apparel can be high-quality, chic, versatile, stylish, and modern with the right colors. Look for information on the dyes used during manufacturing to ensure a durable and eco-friendly process. Well-done coloring is a clue for quality clothing.

6. Fabric weight

Lightweight fabrics tend to be cheaper and less resistant than heavier textiles. Fabric weight is a great indicator of strong construction and can help you pick more durable pieces.

7. See-through clothing

Fabrics that are unintentionally see-through and revealing aren't safe to buy and wear. These are bound to cause issues as the fabric is light, thin, and won't hold. They should be avoided.

This is especially important if you are choosing fabric for activewear. Read up my article on the top 10 sustainable fabrics for sportswear to identify high-quality and functional textiles.


see through dress

8. Moisture-wicking

Natural and high-quality fabrics are generally highly absorbent. Moisten the fabric gently, press it with your fingers, and see how fast it absorbs liquids. Moisture shouldn't make an even wet spot but follows the threads of the fabric.

9. Tight threads

Loose fabrics are more subject to deteriorate over time. They tear and break down easily after wearing and washing them. Choose textiles made with a tight weave or knit.

10. Imperfections

Imperfections are a sign of natural fabrics but also often found in cheap clothes. Look for cuts, irregularities, and defects in the fabric which are caused by low fiber strength or bad construction.


11. Fabric sourcing

Where do your fabric and clothing come from? And who made them under what kind of conditions? The fabric origin tells you a lot about its quality. Pay great attention to the store and its suppliers where you are making purchases.

12. Finishing

Look for poor stitching, mismatching, asymmetry, and other details to tell if a fabric is cheaply made. When the finishing is bad, it's a clue for cheap materials and construction.

black white stripes pin

13. Ethical and sustainable production

Buy fabric made sustainably with ethical production methods. The best textiles and apparel are manufactured with high standards regarding the environment and people.

Follow my guide on how to check if a fashion brand is ethical to learn what to look for in sustainable and fairly made textiles.

14. Certification standards

Certification standards guarantee production with sustainable processes under environmentally friendly and socially responsible working conditions. Choose textiles with the least possible impact on people, the environment, animals, and with responsible use of resources.

Read up my article on the best eco-certification standards for textiles to learn more about them.

15. Pricing

Low-priced fabrics and garments are cheaply made and low quality. High prices don't necessarily mean higher quality but they are an indicator helping us make better choices.

About the Author: Alex Assoune

Alex Assoune Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.


More, More, More

Related Articles

nopal cactus

Desserto Is The First Vegan Leather Made From The Nopal Cactus

Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez are Mexico-based entrepreneurs who launched Desserto, the first organic and vegan leather made from the Nopal or prickly-pear cactus. They developed an alternative to... Read More

Is Hemp Stronger Than Jute

Hemp and jute are excellent natural and environmentally friendly fibers, especially for clothing. They reduce the water and carbon footprint of our wardrobe and allow a more conscious lifestyle. Hemp... Read More
hemp leaves
emilia george

Emilia George

Emilia George is an American maternity and nursing wear brand founded by Elle Wang. Emilia is a girl’s name she likes. George is the name of her son. She decided... Read More


Careste is an American sustainable luxury brand founded by Chief Executive Officer Celeste Markey and Creative Director Elizabeth Rickard Shah. Careste embodies innovation in sustainable luxury fashion. It designs sophisticated,... Read More
chipotle goods

Chipotle Launches Its Organic and Naturally Dyed Apparel Collection

Restaurant company Chipotle is launching a sustainable apparel collection made from 100% organic cotton and naturally dyed with avocado pits. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is a food chain business that... Read More

Careste Is Building a Sustainable Brand For Women, By Women

Sustainability is a growing movement in the fashion industry. Many brands are driving meaningful change by designing sustainable collections. One of them is Careste, a new fashion start-up based in... Read More
careste white dress


Apnée is a French sustainable swimwear brand founded by two passionate divers in 2017. It created its first capsule collection in 2019 and now offers a complete collection of men's... Read More

Disruptors for GOOD Podcast Supports Ethical And Sustainable Fashion

The Social Impact Lifestyle Platform Causeartist presents the Disruptors for GOOD podcast. It invites social entrepreneurs around the world dedicated to ethical fashion, sustainable travel, impact investing, and businesses that... Read More
sustainable fashion
apnee swimwear

Apnée Swimwear Launches Swim Trunks Made of Ocean Trash

The sustainable swimwear brand Apnée is launching its first complete collection made of ocean trash, including recycled swimshorts produced in Portugal. Two passionate French divers founded the Apnée swimwear brand... Read More

False Ego

False Ego is an American sustainable fashion brand based in Denver, Colorado. Jevon Taylor founded False Ego in the summer of 2018 to answer the necessity of sustainable fashion and... Read More
false ego