What is Lining Fabric?

Lining fabric is any fabric that can be used to line a garment, accessory or furnishings, such as a dress, coat, curtains or bags. Lining fabric can have a variety of uses, and is generally added for extra warmth, comfort or style. Your lining fabric will be dependent on the item it’s being used for, as different items will have different lining needs.

Clothing will often have linings for added warmth or to make the garment feel comfortable against the skin, such as a silky soft fabric or natural thermal materials. Alternatively, furnishings like lightweight curtains will need a lining to add structure and help them hang correctly. As well as having practical uses, linings can often be used to add some extra color or a print to the underside of a garment.

A huge variety of fabrics can be used for linings, and by designing materials online you’ll be able to understand the type of lining which is best suited to your project. You’ll also be able to experiment with fun and unique lining print designs to create the perfect look.

Both natural and synthetic fabrics can be used for lining fabrics. Different materials will have different properties which may be more suited to certain garments or projects.

Custom Inside Hood Printed by Ready One

Purposes of Lining Fabric?

The main purpose of lining fabric is dependent on the item. For clothing, a lining is usually added to make the garment feel more comfortable against the skin, as well as adding warmth and extra layers for certain items. Trousers and dresses may use a soft cotton lining for an extra layer which won’t add bulk and affect the shape of the piece, or simply a silk-feel lining to keep cool during the Summer.

Coats and jackets usually have linings to thicken the fabric and make them extra warm to wear. Weatherproof coats are likely to have waterproof or thermal linings to protect against the elements, whereas blazers or dinner jackets may use the lining as an opportunity to add some extra color or style to a garment. Linings not only serve a practical purpose, but can often be used simply to add a stylish flair. Adding a printed or colored lining means a pop of color can be seen every now and then, and can give your design a unique quality.

As well as clothing, accessories often have lining fabrics too. Handbags always tend to have a lining which has both a practical and aesthetic purpose. Ideally a handbag lining should be soft to the touch and not be created from any abrasive material which could easily scratch a phone screen, for example. Fashion-lovers have even been known to buy bags simply based on their unique and stylish linings, with designers using vibrant prints such as silky tiger print or brightly colored cottons. Other types of bags, such as washbags, would need a waterproof lining to safely store your toiletries and prevent any leakages.

Curtains will need a fabric which helps them hang correctly and provide privacy for sheer fabrics. A lining can both finish off the look of the curtains beautifully, as well as being used for practical purposes.

Consider what item you’ll be making and what it will be used for. If you’re creating an item of clothing, what time of year will it be worn? Will it need a thicker, warm lining if it’s a piece of Winter fashion? Or a cool, silky lining for a Summertime garment?

Bear in mind that some of the natural fabrics such as organic cotton will have a muted base tone which may affect the colors of your print design. Flecks of cotton seed may be visible in the final print for example, and your colors may come out less vibrant, but this does add a rustic charm to the fabric.


The properties of lining fabrics vary greatly, and are part of what make choosing the correct lining so important. Think about what your item will be used for, when it will be used, and what elements it may encounter, to ensure you choose the most suitable lining for your project.

Lightweight Linings:

  • Usually pure fabrics, such as silk
  • Makes clothing comfortable to wear
  • Very soft to the touch
  • Feel comfortable against the skin
  • Regulates temperature well
  • Silk, Satin

Linings for Warmth

  • Slightly firmer fabrics
  • Great for everyday wear
  • Has more of a structure
  • Helps retain heat

Linings for Furnishings:

  • Durable
  • Everyday wear and tear
  • Has more structure
  • Generally opaque to add privacy to sheer curtains

Advantages of Lining Fabric

One of the advantages of lining fabric is that there are so many options to choose from, depending on what you’ll use the fabric for. Think about if your lining will be worn or used every day; does it need to be durable for everyday wear and tear, or is it purely aesthetic? Will it encounter water or cold temperatures? Every material has a unique look, so make sure you choose the best fabric to make the perfect lining fabric for you.