Gabardine Fabric: History, Properties, Use, Care, Where to Buy

Introduction to Gabardine Fabric

Gabardine fabrics are a variety of tightly woven textiles, including worsted, silk, cotton, and blended fabrics, that share specific characteristics and are mostly used to make suits and long coats.

Gabardine fabric is one of the most sought-after fabrics in the fashion industry. The ultimate level of processing, when the textile piece is changed into a garment manufactured in detail, is a fabric that stands out for its particular beauty.

Topic Summary
Introduction to Gabardine Fabric Overview of gabardine fabric, its characteristics, and its popularity in the fashion industry.
History of Gabardine Fabric Invention of gabardine fabric by Thomas Burberry in 1879 and its use in protecting from the elements.
Properties of Gabardine Fabric Biodegradable, silky feel, water-resistant, strong, and durable.
How is Gabardine Fabric Made? Originally made from worsted wool or cotton, now made from polyester. Describes the weaving process and characteristics of gabardine twill.
When to Wear It? Suitable for all four seasons, particularly in unpredictable weather conditions.
Where is Gabardine Fabric Made? Mostly made in England, but also produced in China and other Asian countries.
Common Uses of Gabardine Fabric Daily and casual wear, sports and military wear, sewing projects, and dyeing.
How to Take Care of Gabardine Fabric Dry clean or hand wash, gentle machine cycle, low heat drying, iron on low setting.
Best Gabardine Fabrics Reviews of gabardine fabrics available on the market, including fabric details and care instructions.
Gabardine Fabric Buying Guide Tips on caring for gabardine fabric and budgeting for affordable options.
Conclusion Gabardine fabric is a versatile and durable choice for creating elegant apparel.

What is the History of Gabardine Fabric?

The Gabardine fabric was invented by Thomas Burberry in 1879 and trademarked by the British textile company in 1888. Burberry, the designer and founder of the fashion label Burberry, set out to create a fabric blend that was adaptable and durable.

It was originally made of worsted wool or using cotton and the best wool fabrics, but today it is made of polyester. The worsted wool was woven so that one side had a slick feel and appearance while the other had a textured look.

Taking inspiration from the medieval gabardine, Burberry dubbed his cloth the “gabardine.” Beggars used the gabardine to protect themselves from the elements. It was a large, open fabric usually knotted around the stomach.

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Gabardine fabric became increasingly popular for suits and trousers during the 1950s. The fabric gabardine was trendy during this period, and it was utilized to produce a variety of colorfully patterned casual pants, coats, and blazers.

Properties of Gabardine Fabric

  • Is biodegradable.
  • Has a silky feel 
  • The tight weave used in making the fabric allows it to be water-resistant. It can keep you dry for a long period,
  • It is a strong, durable fabric. 

How is Gabardine Fabric Made?

Worsted wool was formerly utilized in conjunction with cotton, and lanolin was added to waterproof it before weaving. Depending on the weave, it could be made of cotton, polyester, or a combination of the two.

With a noticeable diagonal stripe on the face and an even surface on the back, Gabardine twill is crisp or regular on the warp side of the warp. There are always more warp strands than weft in gabardine.

When to Wear It?

Because of the strands used to create the gabardine fabric, the garment may be appropriate in all four seasons simultaneously. 

Most people agree that this fabric is best suited for the middle of the year since it can accommodate the fashion needs of those days when the weather and temperature are unpredictable. This fabric can withstand high humidity conditions without becoming unpleasant because of its softness, drape, and ventilation abilities and its resistance to wrinkling when moist.

Where is Gabardine Fabric Made?

Gabardine fabric is made mostly in England due to its origins in Basingstoke. However, China, along with other Asian countries, produces the fabric. The founding company, Burberry, a British luxury brand, has different outlets and franchises in other countries. Hence, the fabric is widely available.

Common Uses of Gabardine Fabric

Gabardine fabric is used for a wide range of apparel and accessories. The fabric has been around for decades and hence has many uses. They range from home décor to sewing accessories and clothes.

Daily and Casual Wear

Designers from all over the world are already incorporating this gorgeous fabric into their suits and everyday ensembles. Gabardine is also utilized in the production of casual summer clothes such as chinos and shorts, among other things.

The result is that designers have utilized this fabric to create floral dresses and checkered skirts, among other things.

Sports and military wear

In addition to overcoats and suits, military uniforms and athletic gear are all fashioned from this fabric, which is particularly popular in ski gear and fabric shoes. Because of its long-lasting nature, it is frequently used in all-weather jackets. 

The thicker gabardine is better suited for dresses and sportswear, while the lightweight gabardine is best suited for casual apparel and accessories.

Sewing with Gabardine Fabric

Gabardine is an easy fabric to sew. The fabric can be easily cut using a pair of fabric scissors or a rotary cutter if needed. The hand sewing needle used can be a medium-sized universal needle. The sewing thread should be a polyester to create strong seams and stitches.

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Using a hot iron to press the hems of gabardine provides the garment with a sleek finish. Bind the raw edge, or use a Hong Kong finish to finish the raw edge.

The seams on the fabric should be open, and their edges should be finished using a serger. The fabric can easily support heavy sewing patterns and designs and won’t hinder when sewing multiple patterns and designs.

Consequently, you can easily achieve your desired custom gabardine fabrics using the correct sewing essentials and the right set of sewing notions and supplies.

Dyeing Gabardine Fabrics

Using Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye, gabardine fabrics can be easily dyed in different colors. 

How to take care of Gabardine Fabric?

  • It is better to dry clean the fabric, or you can wash it by hand
  • If washing by machine, use a gentle cycle
  • When drying, set the dryer to low heat
  • It is preferable to dry the fabric out in the sun
  • When ironing, set your shark steam iron to a low setting.

Gabardine fabric can be bought at fabric and garment shops. Customers can also buy it through online retailers and websites like and Amazon, which have the best Gabardine fabric available—ranging from the simple Gabardine Suiting to the classy Robert Kaufman Bi-Stretch Suiting.

It can be sold in several ways depending on the seller;

  • By yard
  • By Inches
  • Can be cut to order

Gabardine fabrics are tightly woven, and generally feature a diagonal pattern on the front of the fabric from the weaving process. Gabardine can be made from many different fibers. Wool, cotton, polyester, and other fibers can all be used. Traditionally, gabardine fabrics were used to make suits, coats, or even uniforms, but this versatile fabric can be used for many other apparel items as well, as gabardine comes in different weights.

Best Gabardine Fabrics

Here are our gabardine fabric reviews.

1. Gabardine Suiting

This medium-weight gabardine fabric is priced at just over five dollars per yard. The fabric is soft and features a more fluid drape. Gabardine is a great choice for many different apparel items. Suits, skirts, dresses, pants, shorts, and more can all be sewn from this fabric.

  • Available in 50” widths and this line of fabric comes in over twelve different colors
  • Fabric is made from 100% polyester
  • Machine wash, tumble dry on low heat
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2. Tuva Textiles Solid Wool Gabardine Blend Black

This medium-weight fabric is a blend of wool and polyester. This fabric would be a great choice for sewing many different apparel items that require more structure. Suits, jackets, skirts, dresses, blazers, and more, can all be made from this versatile blended fabric.

  • Available in 58” widths and can be purchased for under ten dollars per yard
  • Machine wash, tumble dry on low heat
  • This fabric is made from 50% wool and 50% polyester

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3. Tuva Textiles 100% Wool Gabardine Camel

This medium-weight fabric, as the name implies, is made from 100% wool. This wool fabric is versatile enough to make many different apparel items. Suits, skirts, dresses, blazers, and more can all be sewn from this fabric.

  • Available in 58” widths
  • Dry clean
  • This fabric can be purchased for under twenty dollars per yard

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4. Robert Kaufman Bi Stretch Suiting

This unique, medium-weight fabric is a blend of 58% polyester, 36% rayon, and 6% spandex. The fabric drapes fluidly, is soft, and has a ten percent four-way stretch for added mobility and comfort. This fabric would be a good choice for making many different apparel items including suits, dresses, skirts, pants, coats, and more.

  • Machine wash on gentle, lay flat to dry
  • Comes in 57” widths
  • Can be purchased for under thirteen dollars per yard

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5. Telio Selwyn Stretch Gabardine

Telio Selwyn Stretch Gabardine

This line of gabardine fabric is quite unique. The fabric is medium weight, is smooth and soft, and features twenty-five percent four-way stretch. Because of the fabric’s stretch, it is a great choice for many different apparel items, including skirts, blazers, pants, suits, dresses, and more.

  • Fabric is a blend of 63% polyamide (nylon), 27% cotton, and 10% spandex
  • Available in 58” widths
  • Machine wash cold, drip dry

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Gabardine Fabric Buying Guide

Gabardine fabric is a unique fabric that comes in different weights and different blends of fibers. This fabric is so versatile that it can be used to make many different apparel items. Some may be structured, while others may be more lightweight and unstructured, and have more stretch and mobility, due to the fabric’s different compositions.

Caring for Gabardine

Surprisingly, many gabardine fabrics can be laundered at home. While each line of fabric is going to have its own care instructions, most gabardine fabrics do not need to be dry cleaned. Many fabrics can be washed in the washing machine with cold water on gentle and either tumble dried on low heat, laid flat to dry, or drip-dried. Some fabrics are dry clean only, but there are quite a few lines that offer fabrics that can be laundered right at home.


When you think of suits, structured dresses, and business attire, you might think that there has to be a hefty price tag attached to the fabric, but this isn’t always the case. Many lines of gabardine fabric can be purchased for under twenty dollars a yard, with some that can be purchased for under fifteen, and a whole host that can be purchased for under ten dollars per yard. Making your own, custom-tailored apparel doesn’t have to be extremely pricey. Gabardine is a great alternative to other, pricier fabrics.

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This fabric is a favorite among athletes because of its durability despite its lightweight and resistance to water, among other qualities. Gabardine fabric has a rich history, and it has evolved into an excellent fabric for creating elegant apparel for both men and women.


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