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In the textile industry, cloth is the collective term for fabrics and materials used in the production of clothing. Raw fibres go through a process of being twisted together to create threads. These threads are then woven or knit to create a workable material which can then be cut, stitched and turned in to garments.

Fibres can be either synthetic or natural, with the most common natural fibre being cotton and the most popular synthetic fibres being polyester. Each type of fibre is unique and bares different properties; some are sturdy and thick while others are smooth and flexible. Fibres are often combined together into blends giving a combination of desirable qualities.

The application of the clothing determines what type of fibre is used. For example a football shirt would be better suited being made from a synthetic fibre with moisture wicking qualities, than from a material like wool which retains heat.

What Is Fabric GSM?

GSM (also known as GM/2) is an abbreviation of “Grams per Square Metre” and is the metric in which fabric is weighed. GSM is related to thickness, and generally speaking the heavier the weight, the thicker the fabric will be. With that being said however, due to varying weights of different fibres, the GSM cannot accurately determine the thickness in mm of a fabric.

No item has a “standard” GSM, however because GSM is a unit of weight, it can determine the application of a fabric.

Because heavier weight fabrics use more raw fibre and have a longer weaving time, they do cost more than lower weight equivalents. It’s also worth noting that GSM can also be measured in Imperial units. You can easily convert between gsm and g.

As a real world scenario, t-shirts are commonly made from fabrics weighing between 160 and 220gsm, with a 160gsm fabric being the thinner and more lightweight version than the 220gsm option. Some fashion trends require a heavier weight, whilst practical applications like gym and fitness wear would see a lighter weight fabric being more desirable.

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