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Understanding Common Bra Fabrics

Cotton is a classic fabric used in everything from t-shirts to underwear, and you can find it in bras, too. But in today’s world, synthetic fabrics provide a great blend of the benefits of natural fabrics combined with enhanced durability, resistance to stretching and some great properties you’ll only find in synthetics. Blends are great, because you get the best of both fabrics. What are some of the common fabrics used in bras today, and what makes them so great?

Lycra is a stretch fiber; a form of spandex. It’s a registered trademark of Invista; the company formerly known as DuPont. It’s probably the most recognizable form of spandex in the world, and many clothing manufacturers use it in their products around the world.

Lycra is commonly used in blends with other fabrics, such as cotton, silk and synthetic fibers. It’s extremely popular in bras and swimwear. Lycra makes garments more lightweight, comfortable and breathable. You’ll find it in many sports bras. It’s also quick-drying, and it resists bacteria, UV rays and chlorine; making it a great choice for swimwear.

Microfiber is an extremely comfortable fabric that you’ll find in more and more bras these days; particularly t-shirt bras. You’ll also see it a lot in sports bras. Microfiber is made from polyester and polyamide, and its threads are finer than the finest silk threads. This blend makes it particularly soft, pliable and pleasant-feeling against the skin, making it a huge selling point in bras designed for comfort. Many designers are now using microfiber in their bras instead of cotton for improved wear and durability with that great cotton comfort.

Rayon is a synthetic fabric that resembles silk in texture and feel. It’s used in bras and many other types of clothing because of its versatility and low cost, especially in comparison to silk.

Satin is a smooth fabric with a glossy face and a dull back. It’s typically made of silk or rayon, and is often used in bra designs. Satin is commonly used in bra cups and sometimes bra straps, where the glossy front is desired for decorative purposes.

You’ll see tricot sometimes in lingerie patterns and other sources discussing bra fabrics. Tricot is essentially a type of weave for fabric; a warp-knit that’s close and inelastic. Tricot is actually a class of fabric; cotton, rayon, silk and nylon may all fall under the “tricot” heading.

Viscose is a soft rayon fabric similar to cotton or silk. It’s made from purified cellulose, which typically comes from wood pulp that has been specially processed. Viscose provides the soft comfort and sensuous feel of cotton or silk while costing less, and is appearing in an increasing number of bra designs.

Lace and Embroidery
You’ll often find lace and embroidery in bra descriptions as these little details can provide a nice finish for your bra. If you’re looking at a beautiful bra with decorative detailing, it’s probably done with lace and embroidery.

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