Comfort is more than just a great mattress on your bed or a plush, thick couch that adapts to your body. It is also found in the fabrics you wear. When you want to be comfortable it is not just a T-shirt that will do it but the fabric your clothing is made from
What are the softest fabrics? Softness is determined more by the thread count than the actual fabric. Cotton is one of the softest materials you can buy and if the thread count is high, then you are going to get a lot of comfort wearing or laying on cotton fabrics.
To learn more about the softest fabrics you can wear or lay on, just continue to read our article. it has the information so you can alter your sewing project accordingly and supply some comfortable clothes or quilts to your family.
The list can get a little long as cotton and most of its variations are known to be very soft and gentle next to your skin. That is just the start as you will find cotton used to make sateen sheets which are also known for being very soft.
But sateen is not a fabric but a style of weaving. This means that you need cotton and other soft fabrics to make those sheets soft enough to sleep on. Next will be bamboo and bamboo combined with cotton produces a very soft fabric that may make you wish you had learned about this combination years ago.
Rayon is supposed to be soft and it is engineered to be as soft as silk. Then batiste is made from a variety of fibers both synthetic and natural. Because of those origins, it is also considered a very soft material.
Everyone knows that merino and cashmere wool are soft but mulberry silk may make those soft fabrics feel more like sandpaper when you compare the three. If you are looking for a soft fabric for a new blanket don’t ignore Chanasya faux fur.
Not only is that soft but it is also hypoallergenic, reversible, and feels great to the touch. Then not to be outdone, fleece is also a nice soft fabric. It has its place in this list as it can be as soft as other fuzzy fabrics are.
We cannot forget silk either. That is one of its major attributes that makes that fabric popular and desired especially for lingerie. we are sure we forgot some other soft fabrics for this list but that tends to happen.
There is just not enough room to list every fabric that is soft as the majority of the light and medium-weight materials are very soft.
Not only are they rare and expensive the list is so short you can’t call it a list. But these fabrics are said to be the softest of all and can only be bought by the richest of people. Just so you know, mulberry silk did not make this list.
1. Vicuna - this material is found in a llama-like animal that lives in Peru. The fur color is orange with white patches and it belongs to the smallest of the camelid species. The animal is very graceful as well.
Not only is this the softest material in the world, but it also lays claim to being the lightest and warmest you can buy. Plus, it is the most expensive material you can purchase with a coat costing upwards of $50,000 or more.
A winter scarf can run you $4,000. Its diameter is measured at 12 microns and to give you an idea of how fine that is, a human hair measures roughly 50 microns, and Merino wool measures in at 24. When spun into fabric it looks a lot like wool but feels more like silk
2. Guanaco - this material is made from very soft llama fur and an adult llama only produces about 2 to 3 pounds of this fiber. It is the second most expensive material you can buy with a woman’s jacket in the price range of $25,000+.
3. Shahtoosh - This fabric is found in India and Nepal and it is fur taken from the Tibetan antelope or normally called the chiru. Woven by master weavers in the Kashmir region only a shawl can reach about $5,000.
Unfortunately, the chiru is considered an endangered species, and the sale of its fur is considered illegal in most countries
4. Baby Cashmere - this is not like the cashmere you already know. Instead, this fabric comes from baby Hircus goats, and gathering of this wool happens only once in a baby goat’s lifetime.
The goat can only produce up to 80 grams of this fiber with about only 1/2 of those grams as usable. it is supposed to be 20% softer than regular cashmere
5. Cervalt - the red deer of new Zealand produces this wool-like fiber. But only 20 grams per deer can be produced every year. Making it very rare and expensive. It is as soft as regular cashmere.
Socks made from this material runs in the neighborhood of $1,500 per pair.
Honorable mentions for this list are Leopard fur, Japanese denim, mulberry silk, and Burmese lotus flower silk
A case can be made for bamboo as it rivals cotton if not surpasses it as a very soft fabric to wear. In fact, one company dedicates itself to producing bamboo clothing blended with cotton with the former fabric being the dominant partner in the blend.
Cotton is also good and it certainly has enough soft applications from baby attire to medical supplies. Polyester, fleece, and other synthetic materials can be made to be soft but they do not come as close to the softness of these two materials.
Flannel is also a good clothing material to wear when you want to have the shirt next to your skin very soft. Flannel is made from wool and also cotton so you know it has inherited those soft qualities.
Fleece is another good soft synthetic fiber that makes excellent clothing. You can also go to faux fur as they will give natural fibers a run for their money. Of course, everyone will have their own opinion on which is the softest clothing material. We are sure that someone would mention cashmere as that is one of its best qualities.
The list here can be long as everyone will think their first choice should be on the list but remember skin type does influence which is the softest fabric for some people. What is soft for tougher skin may not be so soft for those people who have sensitive skin or allergies.
Like we said in the previous section, everyone will have a different opinion on what is the softest natural fibers in the world. There may be a couple of names of fabrics that may surprise you as they are not normally mentioned in most fabric articles.
Silk is one of the top materials when it comes to softness. Some people claim it is the softest and it is doubtful that they would get much of an argument there. Next up would be cotton although certain wool varieties, cashmere, alpaca, merino, and several others, would certainly challenge Egyptian and Pima cotton for the crown of being the softer of the two.
Then for the surprising mentions, there is coir, made from coconut husks, pina which is made from banana leaves, Agave and Abaca which are made from either bananas or palm leaves. These are all soft natural materials.
We cannot leave out fabrics made from plants or grass as bamboo is certainly soft but so is Nettle, ramie, Jute, hemp, linen, and flax. Some of these materials you should have heard about already. The present cotton, silk, and wool with good challengers to the softness crown.
There are about 30+ wool varieties that can be seen as very soft, which makes it difficult to say which is the softest natural fabric. But if the rare fabric section has anything to say about it, wool is the softest natural material you can find, if you can afford it.
One final mention, asbestos is a soft material made from minerals. Unfortunately, asbestos is also very dangerous to your health like synthetic fabrics are. Being soft doesn't mean it is the best material to wear.
For synthetic fibers, it is the processing of the chemicals that contribute to the softness of those materials. There are no natural elements involved in making synthetic fabrics so all softness is achieved through artificial means.
That is why you often get an artificial feel to the fabric even though manufacturing processes have been upgraded over the years. But it is hard to make plastic as soft as natural fibers.
For natural fibers, the best answer would be that the fibers are grown soft through natural means. that is what makes those hairs, fleece, and plant cellulose so popular. They do not need a lot of work to make them soft. They are soft naturally.
That does not mean that techniques have not been invented to help make natural fibers even softer. There are some and you are the one who benefits from those techniques. Then those techniques are often used on those in-between fabrics like bamboo, rayon, viscose, and other materials that use both natural elements and chemical ingredients to be turned into a nice soft fabric.
It is hard to match the natural softness of wool, cotton, silk, and even linen, hemp, and many of the other naturally based fabrics you can buy. Plastic just does not measure up no matter how much technology improves in the coming years.
There are a lot of home remedies that can help you make your stiff fabric softer. That is if you do not like to use fabric softener. Here are a few options to help you soften your clothes so that they come close to feeling as soft as the fabrics mentioned above.
1. saltwater - this method requires a large tub that will hold all those fabrics you want to make softer. Then add lukewarm water till you get it almost full. Then add 1/2 cup of salt for every quart of water in the tub.
That is right, 1/2 cup per 1 quart. Then add your fabrics and let them soak for two to three days. After that wash as normal and let dry.
2. baking soda - this option can be added right into your wash load. All you will need is your regular amount of laundry soap, a full load of clothes, and 1/4 to 1 cup of baking soda. The smaller the load the less amount of baking soda you will need.
Not only will you get your soft, but they should also be deodorized and any foul odor should disappear.
3. Vinegar - even if you do not soak the clothing in saltwater, you can still get them soft by adding vinegar to your wash load. Vinegar, unlike baking soda, can be added to your fabric softener dispenser and it will automatically be added at the right time.
Or you can use borax and accomplish the same goal. Although, you may have to add the borax like you do the baking soda and forget about having it automatically placed in your rinse cycle.
Common fabrics are quite soft and all you have to do is buy those common fabrics in a high thread count to get the softness you deserve. It would be nice to afford those rare and expensive materials but life is not always fair and you make do with what you can afford.