What Is the Softest Fabric to Wear? Top 11 List Of the Softest Clothing Materials

Not sure which fabric will be the gentlest to your skin? We know the answer!

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on Not sure which fabric will be the gentlest to your skin We know the answer

Whenever we choose a new item of clothing, one of the crucial and most essential features for us is its softness. Of course, for the people that have sensitive skin, this is undoubtedly a constant point of concern. 

However, not all of us are that well informed about the fabrics’ specifics to be able to pick the material that will absolutely satisfy our needs and meet our demands. This is why, if an issue of finding the softest fabric is what you struggle with all the time, this article will be a beacon of salvation for you!

What Are the Softest Fabrics Known to People?

What is the softest fabric in the world? Perhaps, some of us have asked this question at least once in our lives. And the answer may seem to be a bit unexpected for the curious ones since the softest material we know today is extra-long-staple cotton, and also bamboo lyocell, and micro modal. They are so delicate that they feel almost like our second skin.

The complete list of the softest materials will look like this: 

  1. bamboo
  2. micro modal
  3. extra-long-staple cotton
  4. vicuna wool is the most delicate one. Made of the wool of an animal that lives in Peru and is related to Llamas, this super softy is a desired thing for many of us!
  5. guanaco fabric that is woven from a very soft llama fur
  6. Shahtoosh (this fabric can be found in India and Nepal. It is received from a Tibetan antelope). It is extremely expensive: one shawl woven manually can cost about five thousand dollars!
  7. baby cashmere. Unlike regular cashmere material, this one is made of the fur of baby Hircus goats that is gathered only once in its life while the animal is still very young. 
  8. Cervalt is another sort of fiber that has a natural origin. It is received from a red deer that lives in New Zealand, but since it is very difficult to get it in large amounts, the fabric is extremely pricey!
  9. then, we all know Angora that is super gentle and fluffy being received from Angora rabbits.
  10. Pashmina, a fine alternative to cashmere.
  11. Mohair is shorn from Angora goats and then undergoes multiple processing that makes it lighter.

Yes, years ago, everything was much simpler: people had only natural materials in disposal made of organic fibers like cotton or linen, and their softness or harshness could be easily explained by the innate characteristics of the raw material the fabric was made of. For instance, everyone knew that cotton was a soft fabric, whereas linen was (and still is) known for being slightly harsh and kind of scratchy to the skin.

Nevertheless, these days, with that wide variety of materials accessible on the market, it became way harder to differentiate which type of fiber is the softest. Since today a piece of cloth can be made of fully artificial material, its characteristics will also be dependable on that. As everyone probably knows, some synthetics are rather pleasant to the touch, whereas others remind of plastic more or less.

But still, at least for now, natural materials keep on successfully holding their positions in the competition with the artificial man-made creations. Wool, cashmere, and plant-based fibers (like bamboo or hemp) are still among the softest ones in comparison to the synthetics.

What Is the Softest Fabric Known to Man
Photo by Volha Flaxeco

The Softest Types Of Synthetic Fabric

Artificial materials are usually not considered to be that super delicate to the skin, however, we can surely amuse you by saying that it is man-made fabric (two of them, to be precise) that is considered to be the softest on the globe! And those are 

  • bamboo lyocell which belongs to the family of semi-artificial fabrics
  • micro modal that is received through the chemical production process
  • and acetate fabric that is soft and silky being derived from cellulose which makes it a semi-artificial material.

What about all the rest, you may wonder? Like polyester fabric, acrylic fabric, fleece, polyamide fabric, etc.? Well, to tell the truth, it is possible to make them nice and delicate to the skin as well, nevertheless, none of these artificial and chemically-made fibers will ever be able to reach the level of cotton or other completely organic materials.

On the other hand, these artificial materials are way simpler to take care of, which is why most of us prefer them when looking for a new piece of winter clothing. Also, unlike natural fibers, their man-made cousins are lighter (fleece is very lightweight as you know), and they are normally significantly more durable which means we will not have to spend money on a new piece too often.

However, certain challenges do exist. For instance, polyester material often feels coarse which becomes a great point of concern for those who have sensitive skin. Plus, such fabrics often look cheap except for polyester clothing made of China silk, for example. 

But they do have a rather low price and that is one of their biggest benefits in addition to the easy maintenance.

So if you are in search of soft t-shirts that will not cost you a fortune, opting for some synthetic (or better semi-synthetic) items will probably be the ideal solution.

The Softest Natural Clothing Materials

Among the natural fabrics, the highest level of softness belongs to silk. Next come the expensive sorts of wool (for instance, vicuna wool, cashmere, merino, alpaca, and several others), cotton, and a bunch of truly exotic options like coir that is derived from coconut husks, pina which is produced from banana leaves, and Agave which originates from a certain type of palm leaves.

Nevertheless, this is not a complete list, and we can also add such fibers to it as:

  • Abaca
  • hemp
  • flax
  • ramie
  • Nettle
  • linen
  • jute 

So if you suffer from polyester allergy or you simply can’t stand feeling artificial material close to your skin, shifting to natural alternatives would be the better option. Organic and naturally-made fibers have been known for hundreds of years on this planet. In the past, people used to wear only these types of materials, by the way!

Of course, the price of such natural fabric items will always be a top worrying question since we are used to believing that all naturals are apriori the expensive fabrics. And to a certain point, it is true. Let’s remember cashmere or alpaca – those types of wool can hardly be called budget-friendly!

But on the other side of a coin, there is a high quality and excellent characteristics of the material, so at least, you know what you are paying for, and that your money will not be wasted for nothing.

What does bother the lovers of all-natural stuff is that such materials normally require quite a lot of time and attention when it comes to maintenance. Laundering with delicate products, using only a specific washing regime, avoiding certain types of cleansing stuff to not damage the fibers, all this scares folks off. 

The cause is obvious: not everyone is ready to fuss that much if they can simply go and buy some easy-to-care synthetics that will, by the way, be way cheaper.

So whenever you are facing a dilemma of whether to purchase a pricey but high-quality natural stuff or shift to a cheaper variant made of chemically produced fibers, we would recommend scaling all pros and cons before making a final decision.

Softest Clothing Materials For Daily Use

The Best Fabrics For Your Wardrobe | Natural Fiber GuideThe Best Fabrics For Your Wardrobe | Natural Fiber Guide

Everyone would love to wear clothing that is both comfy and pleasant to the skin. This is why being aware of the softest and affordable fabrics is a must. So, they are:

  • cotton
  • bamboo
  • fleece
  • flannel
  • polyester (not all of its types though)

Modern life is busy and we all know about it very well. Most people simply have no or very little time for the daily house chores like laundry, etc. This is actually the major cause why citizens tend to stick to cheaper but simpler to maintain materials rather than fussing about the fancy, expensive, and demanding natural alternatives.

As for the artificial materials, we could highlight such alternatives as fleece. It is known for being lightweight and soft, and besides, this kind of fiber is very easy to take care of.

But if you are picky and seeking something more close-to-nature, better stick to flannel, cotton, or bamboo. 

Flannel is made of cotton and wool so it inherited their beneficial qualities, and bamboo is naturally soft due to the structure of its fibers. And as we all know well, cotton also feels very pleasant when being worn close to the body.

The Rarest Materials That Are the Softest Ones

It would be silly to say that all the luxurious fibers are apriori soft and delicate. However, they are definitely different from the cheaper alternatives (otherwise, they would not cost that much!).

If you are curious about which rare and expensive fabrics are leading in terms of their softness, here is a short list for you:

  • Vicuna wool

This fiber is received from an animal called vicuna which is a relative of the llama. Since these graceful animals live high in the mountains in Peru, their orange fur is known to be very warm and lightweight. They say it looks like wool but feels more like silk. 

And it is extremely pricey, by the way: one vicuna coat will cost you about fifty thousand bucks, and the price of a simple scarf will be four thousand dollars!

Softest Clothing Materials For Daily Use
Photo by pina messinaGuanaco wool
  • Shahtoosh

This fabric is made of the fur of an antelope called chiru that lives in India and Nepal. It is woven manually by the master weavers in Kashmir which makes a single shawl cost like a fortune.

  • Baby cashmere

Despite the name, this fabric is different from the ordinary cashmere being received from baby goats only once in their lifetime. Because the fur is received from very young animals, the fiber is several times softer than the cashmere we all know.

As you can see, all the rarest (and the softest) materials are made of the fur of the animals that are either rare themselves or produce very little fur and are usually woven by hand. This is why these fabrics are so pricey.

Is There the Softest Wool?

You might be surprised, but there is. And all of us know it well. It is merino wool that is received from Merino sheep. This breed of sheep is known for providing people with the most luxurious wool used for making clothing. Its staples are super fine being at about twenty to twenty-five microns in diameter. 

What Is the Softest Cotton Fiber?

The grade of cotton softness can also vary, did you know? The softest one is called Egyptian cotton and it has the longest fiber length. The second place is taken by the Pima cotton, and American upland cotton takes the third place. 

What Types Of Silk  Are the Softest Ones?

Silk has always been known for its smooth and soft texture. However, even this luxurious material has grades of softness! Katan and Moonga silk are among the softest types of it. They are produced in the city of Varanasi in India, and they are known all over the globe for the extreme fineness and softness!  

The Most Lightweight Materials We Know

The weight of fabric matters both when we are going to use it for sewing and when we are choosing apparel for wearing it. No matter what the reason is, here is the list of the world’s lightest fabrics:

  1. Chiffon. This generic name can be used for lightweight and sheer materials made of silk, rayon, or polyester. Being very lightweight and soft, it is a perfect option for making dresses and gowns.
  2. Georgette. Very thin, free-flowing, and loosely woven, this material is usually made of either silk or artificial yarns. 
  3. Crepe
  4. Cotton voile. Very lightweight, sheer, and thin, it is produced of twisted cotton fibers and it drapes perfectly.
  5. Organdy. Even despite being soft and fine, this material is not suitable for drapes since it is rather stiff.
  6. Viscose
  7. Batiste. Made of wool cotton silk, linen, or rayon, this material is often used for making summer dresses.

Softening the Fabric. Mission Possible?

We sometimes need to make our garments feel gentler, especially those that are naturally rather harsh. And though there are tons of homemade remedies existing that can help to solve this challenge, we would like to share a few that do work perfectly.

Salty aqua

For this procedure, we will need a large enough tub (well, it must at least be able to hold all the piles of garments we are going to soften). After loading it with the clothing, pour aqua to almost cover them to the rim, and then add half a cup of salt per each quart of liquid.

All the stuff must stay soaked for two or better three days like that, and then it can be laundered normally and dried.

What Makes Soft Things Soft?What Makes Soft Things Soft?

Culinary soda

This magical powder can go to the barrel directly. Just grab the laundry liquid that is usually used, and a quarter to one full cup of soda. As a bonus, all the foul odors will be deleted and the clothes will come out deodorized and fresh!


Yep, may sound odd, but this smelly liquid makes miracles when being added to the load! And if you are still concerned about the scent, shift for Borax.

Factors That Influence the Fabric Softness

Indeed, why do some types of fiber are softer than others? Have anyone ever wondered? We have, and so we took a small investigation, and this is what was found out.

  • Regarding the artificial fibers, the cause is in chemicals and other artificial additives that are used during the manufacturing process. No matter how we try, we can not make plastic feel the same as natural materials. 
  • With the organic alternatives, it is different. Here the level of softness is explained by the innate characteristics of the fiber. Some are initially gentler than others with no intrusion from outside, and this is why we love those so much.

No matter how developed the cloth-making industry is or will be, it will hardly manage to measure plastic up despite all the technologies involved.

Well, these were the softest types of materials known today, and we also shared a brief overview regarding the causes of fabrics’ softness and their peculiarities. 

So we hope that from now on, you will have no challenges when choosing a new piece of clothing for yourself since you will have no doubts which one will treat your skin the best!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is bamboo fabric soft?

Yes, it is quite soft and nice to the touch.

⭐ What is the softest fabric for blankets?

Cotton and flannel are the best options.

⭐ What is the softest fabric for pajamas?

Silk and cotton will be the ideas variants for the night clothing.

⭐ What is the softest 100%: cotton fabric that doesn't wrinkle?

Polyester-cotton mix has a very low level of wrinkling.

⭐ What is the softest fabric for a bra liner?

Jersey is said to be the optimal choice.

Written by
Camilla is an experienced Consultant with more than 20 years of preparing professional articles for numerous online resources. She has done a tremendous job and has learned a lot during her career. Camilla will advise you on the latest trends and give amazing tips on how to decorate a house.
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The Best Fabrics For Your Wardrobe | Natural Fiber GuideThe Best Fabrics For Your Wardrobe | Natural Fiber Guide