VEGAN FABRIC GUIDE


More than 50 million animals are killed each year for their skin or fur. The methods used to kill these animals are barbaric. They are often gassed and electrocuted, which seems gentle compared to another common method of being skinned alive.

The animals most often killed for fur are minks, rabbits, foxes, chinchillas, beavers, and lynxes. Europe houses most of the worlds fur farms. The animals are kept in very small cages causing them great stress.

Cows and calves are the most common victim of the leather industry. When the milk production of dairy cows declines, their skin is made into leather. The hides of their calves are made into high-priced calfskin.

Other animals that are often killed for their skin are zebras, bison, water buffalo, boars, kangaroos, elephants, eels, sharks, dolphins, seals, walruses, frogs, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, and snakes.

You can help these poor animals by making a small sacrifice. Stop buying clothes and upholstered products made from animal derived materials. There are plenty of vegan fabrics and materials available, as you will see below. There’s absolutely no reason why anyone would not be able to do this.

100% vegan fabrics & materials

These fabrics are man-made synthetics, derived from plants, or a combination of both.

  • Acrylic
  • Bamboo
  • Batiste
  • Buckram
  • Calico
  • Cambric
  • Canvas
  • Chenille
  • Chino
  • Chintz
  • Cork
  • Corduroy
  • Cotton
  • Cretonne
  • Denim
  • Dimity
  • Duck Cotton (Duck Cloth, Duck Canvas)
  • Elastane
  • Elastic
  • Faux-Leather (Leatherette, Vinyl, or Polyurethane)
  • Flannelette
  • Fustian
  • Gingham
  • Hemp
  • Khaki
  • Lame
  • Linen
  • Lint
  • Lyocell
  • Mackintosh
  • Madras
  • Marseille
  • Microfiber
  • Modal
  • Moleskin
  • Monks Cloth
  • Moquette
  • Muslin
  • Nankeen
  • Nylon
  • Oilcloth
  • Organdy
  • Orlon
  • Percale
  • Pilot Cloth
  • Polar Fleece
  • Polyester
  • Rayon
  • Sateen
  • Seersucker
  • Silesia
  • Spandex
  • Tapa
  • Ultrasuede
  • Velour
  • Viscose
  • Voile

Fabrics and materials that are NOT vegan

These fabrics and materials are derived from animal fibers, animal skin, or a blend of fiber or fur with synthetic materials.

  • Aba
  • Alpaca
  • Angora
  • Brocade
  • Bunting/Bunt
  • Camelhair
  • Camlet
  • Cashmere
  • Doeskin
  • Down
  • Duffle
  • Felt
  • Fleece
  • Frieze
  • Georgette
  • Grogram
  • Haircloth
  • Horsehair
  • Leather
  • Linsey-Woolsey
  • Mackinaw
  • Mohair
  • Pongee
  • Russet
  • Samite
  • Sarsenet
  • Serge
  • Shagreen
  • Sharkskin
  • Sheepskin
  • Silk
  • Stammel
  • Suede Leather
  • Swans Down
  • Tammy
  • Tweed
  • Vicuña
  • Viyella
  • Wincey
  • Wool
  • Worsted

Fabrics and materials that MAY NOT be vegan

These materials can be made in several forms that may include animal skin or animal fiber. It is best to ask the source before buying.

  • Baize
  • Broadcloth
  • Challis
  • Chiffon
  • Crepe
  • Damask
  • Etamine
  • Faille
  • Flannel
  • Foulard
  • Gabardine
  • Grosgrain
  • Jersey
  • Moreen
  • Mousseline de Soie
  • Ninon
  • Organza
  • Plush
  • Poplin/Tabinet
  • Ramie
  • Rep
  • Satin
  • Shantung
  • Taffeta
  • Tapestry
  • Velvet
  • Velveteen
  • Whipcord

Descriptions of non-vegan fabrics and materials

These fabrics and materials are derived from animal fibers, animal skin, or a blend of either one with synthetic materials.

Aba – Fabric woven from goat and camel hair.

Alpaca – Fiber harvested from an Alpaca.

Angora – Fabric made from Angora rabbit fur.

Brocade –  A class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads.

Bunting/Bunt – A type of lightweight worsted wool fabric used for flat and ribbon making.

Camelhair – A type of cloth made from pure camel hair or a blend.

Camlet – A woven fabric orivginally made of camel or goat’s hair; later made of goat’s hair and silk, or of wool and cotton.

Cashmere – A fiber obtained from cashmere goats and other types of goat.

Doeskin – Leather made from the skin of a female fallow deer.

Down – The soft under plumage that geese, ducks and other waterfowl have to keep them warm and dry. Use to fill comforters, pillows, and other bedding articles.

Duffle – A coarse heavy woolen fabric.

Felt –  A cloth made of wool and fur often mixed with natural or synthetic fibers.

Fleece – A woolen coat of a domestic sheep or long-haired goat (most blankets and sweaters are made of polar fleece which is a synthetic, vegan fabric).

Frieze – A heavy woolen fabric with a long nap.

Georgette – A sheer, lightweight silk dress material.

Grogram – A fabric that’s a mix of silk and wool.

Haircloth – Cloth woven from horsehair or camelhair.

Horsehair – A fabric made from horsehair fibers; used for upholstery and cosmetic brushes and applicators.

Leather – A durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skin, often cattle hide.

Linsey-Woolsey – A coarse fabric that’s made with linen and wool or cotton and wool.

Mackinaw – A woolen cloth heavily napped and felted, often with a plaid design.

Mohair – A fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat.

Moire – A fabric with a wavy appearance produced mainly from silk, but also wool, cotton and rayon.

Pongee – A soft thin cloth woven from raw silk.

Russet – A coarse homespun cloth made of wool and dyed with wood and madder.

Samite – A heavy silk fabric, often woven with silver or gold threads.

Sarsenet – A silk fabric made in plain or twill weave, and mostly used for linings.

Serge – A twilled woolen fabric.

Shagreen – A type of rawhide consisting of rough, untanned skin formerly made from a horse’s back. It is now commonly made of the skins of sharks and rays.

Sharkskin – A smooth worsted fabric with a soft texture and a two-toned woven appearance. It is historically made of all natural fibers, being some mixture of mohair, wool and silk. Sharkskin is commonly used as a liner in diving suits and wet-suits.

Sheepskin – The hide of a sheep, sometimes also called lambskin.

Silk –  A natural protein fiber produced by several insects, but generally only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing.

Stammel – A coarse, woolen fabric usually dyed red, used in medieval times for undergarments.

Suede Leather – Suede leather is made from the underside of the skin, primarily lamb, although goat, pig, calf and deer are commonly used.

Swans Down – Soft woolen fabric used especially for baby clothes.

Tammy –  A plain-woven fabric of wool or wool and cotton, used mostly for linings, garments, and curtains.

Tweed – A soft thick fabric, woven from contrasting woolen yarns.

Vicuña – The wool from the Vicuña’s undercoat.

Viyella – A fabric made from a twilled mixture of cotton and wool.

Wincey – A plain or twilled fabric of wool and cotton used especially pajamas.

Wool – A textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, angora from rabbits, and other types of wool from camels.

Worsted – A high quality type of wool yarn.

Description of fabrics and materials that may not be vegan

These materials can be made in several forms that may include animal skin or animal fiber. It is best to ask the source before buying.

Baize – The green fabric used to cover pool/billiard tables. It can be made of either wool or cotton.

Broadcloth – A dense, plain woven cloth. Today, most broadcloth is made of cotton or cotton-blend, but can also be made of wool.

Challis – A lightweight woven fabric, originally a silk-and-wool blend, which can also be made from cotton, silk or wool, or from man-made fabrics such as rayon.

Chiffon – A lightweight, sheer fabric made from cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers.

Crepe – A soft woven fabric of various fineness, often made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers.

Damask – A reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibres, with a pattern formed by weaving.

Etamine – A thin, slightly glossy fabric used principally for women’s dress goods. It is sometimes made of all cotton yarn or a combination of cotton and wool or cotton and linen, or a combination of wool, silk linen and cotton fibers.

Faille – A somewhat shiny closely woven silk, rayon, or cotton fabric characterized by slight ribs in the weft.

Flannel – A soft woven fabric, originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, but is now often made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber.

Foulard – A lightweight fabric, either twill or plain-woven, made of silk or a mix of silk and cotton, usually with a printed design.

Gabardine – A tough, tightly woven fabric, traditionally made using worsted wool, but may also be cotton, textured polyester, or a blend. Commonly used to make uniforms, suits, windbreakers, overcoats, etc…

Grosgrain – A silk or silk like fabric with crosswise ribs.

Jersey – A knit fabric originally made of wool, but is now made of wool, cotton, and synthetic fibres.

Moreen – A strong fabric of wool, wool and cotton, or cotton.

Mousseline de Soie – A thin gauze-like fabric of silk or rayon.

Ninon – A sheer fabric of silk, rayon, or nylon.

Organza – A thin, plain weave, sheer fabric made from silk, polyester or nylon.

Plush – A fabric, as of silk, cotton, or wool, whose pile is more than ⅛ inch high.

Poplin/Tabinet – a strong fabric in a plain weave of any fiber or blend, with crosswise ribs that typically gives a corded surface. Traditionally made of a silk warp with a weft of worsted yarn, it is now made with wool, cotton, silk, rayon, polyester or a mixture of these.

Ramie – A fabric made from a flowering plant native to eastern Asia. It is not as durable as other fibers, and so is usually used as a blend with other fibers such as cotton or wool.

Rep – A cloth woven in fine cords or ribs across the width of the piece, usually made of silk, wool, or cotton.

Satin – A smooth fabric formed with a satin weave using filament fibers such as silk, nylon, or polyester.

Shantung – A fabric with a ribbed effect and a sheen that gives dimension and interest to the fabric, commonly used for bridal gowns. It is often made of silk, polyester, or sateen.

Taffeta – A crisp, smooth plain woven fabric made from silk or synthetic fibers.

Tapestry – A heavy textile with a woven design; used for curtains and upholstery. Typically made with a naturally based warp thread such as linen or cotton; the weft threads are usually wool or cotton, but may include silk, gold, silver, or other alternatives.

Velvet – A silky densely piled fabric with a plain back; can be made of silk, nylon, acetate, rayon, linen, wool, mohair, etc. Synthetic velvets have been developed using polyester, nylon, viscose, acetate, and mixtures of different synthetics and/or natural fibers.

Velveteen – A cloth made in imitation of velvet. Normally cotton, the term is sometimes applied to a mixture of silk and cotton.

Whipcord – A strong worsted or cotton fabric made of hard-twisted yarns with a diagonal cord or rib.


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