Breaking Down Denier: The Science Behind Fabric Strength and Durability

Denier is a measure of the weight, or thickness, of a fabric. The higher the denier, the stronger and more durable a fabric is. This might sound like an obvious statement, but how do we know how strong or durable it will be before we test it ourselves? And what does ‘strength’ even mean when talking about fabrics?

In this blog, we’ll explore those questions and more as we explain what denier is and why it matters for your sewing projects. We’ll also share some tips on how you can use denier to choose fabrics that will last longer through wear, tear and washing cycles.

What is Denier?

Denier is a unit of measurement used to measure the weight of fabric, yarn, and thread. Denier is measured in grams per 9,000 meters (g/9k). It’s calculated by taking the weight of one kilometer of fiber and dividing it by 9,000.

For example: if you have 10 yards of fiber that weighs 15 grams total (1 yard = 36 inches), then your denier, or weight, count would be 15/9000 = 0.016 or 1.6 denier.

The higher the weight rating, or thicker your fabric, the more resistant it will be to tearing and stretching under stress.

What is Low Denier Fabric Used For?

Denier is a measure of the weight of individual fibers, or yarns. It’s used to describe how fine or thick a fabric is and is measured in grams per 9,000 meters (g/9k). Denier can also be used as a unit of measurement for the linear mass density of fibers in a yarn. The higher the denier, the thinner and lighter your garment will be–but it won’t necessarily last longer than one made with lower weight if you’re working with high quality materials like wool or silk!

The most common uses for low-weight fabrics include:

  • Hosiery
  • Lingerie
  • Sheer or opaque window treatments
  • Linings for garments

Lower ratings tend to require delicate washing cycles or hand washing to ensure nothing tears or breaks.

What is High Denier Fabric Used For?

Denier is a measure of the thickness of a fiber in fabric. High denier fabrics are used for heavy duty applications, such as outdoor gear or industrial workwear. Weight numbers can vary anywhere from 3 to 1000+. The higher the number, the more durable your garment will be.

Here’s an example: Nike’s Dri-FIT fabric has a weight rating of 200, meaning it’s made up of 20 strands per inch (SPI). That’s a durable fabric but thick enough to withstand many washings and athletic wear-and-tear.

High rating fabrics are used for:

  • Jackets
  • Coveralls
  • Uniforms
  • Luggage
  • Wallets
  • Outdoor Gear

Why Denier Matters for Your Sewing Projects

This unit of measurement determines the weight of a fabric. While it’s a great way to quantify the strength and durability of your materials, denier isn’t the only factor you need to consider when choosing a fabric.

Denier is one way we can measure how strong or durable something is–and it makes sense that more threads would make for stronger clothing. But how many threads should we use? And what if they’re woven together differently? Those are questions that depend on what kind of sewing project you’re working on: Is this going to be used in an industrial setting where its strength matters most? Or will this garment be worn by someone who needs comfort over everything else?

Weight rating factors into your fabric decision.

Find the Right Fabric from Canvas ETC

It’s important to understand how weight ratings work so you can make informed decisions about which fabrics are best for your sewing projects. Our fabric experts are ready to assist you in finding the best, affordable fabrics for your next sewing projects. Reach out today!