Fabric GSM guide and description

Hi fellow Sewists! I {Mel} would love to have a chat today about gsm. If you're new to the sewing world I totally get all the terminology can be overwhelming. So to save you a trip to Doctor Google and scouring the internet for answers, I thought I would break it down for you. 

Gsm stands for "Grams per Square Metre" and is the metric measurement for fabric. This is the most commonly used measurement in Australia and the one that is used on Melco Fabrics. However, with the internet at our fingertips sometimes the Imperial measurement will be listed, which is oz or oz/yd2 = ounces per square yard.

Hmm you're probably thinking, and I need to know this why Mel? Well, the reason is this is the standard measurement for the weight of fabrics. By understanding the different weight of fabrics you will be able to make more informed decisions about what fabric is best suited to what you are wanting to sew. 

Soo... lets break it down a little further. 

The important thing to state here is that all of the terms above are measurements of weight, specifically the fabric weight when talking clothing. For example a t-shirt may be listed as 250gsm and another may be listed as 7.37oz the outcome is that these are basically the same as 7.37oz = 250gsm. 

You can work out any conversion of oz & gsm by using the following calculation

7.37oz x 33.906 = 250gsm
250gsm / 33.906 = 7.37oz

Hmm now I know you're thinking, what can I do with this information? Like, if I am wanting to make a jumper, what gsm do I look for? 

Well what gsm you're looking for will depend on what you're making and the season you want to wear it in. Fabric weight in almost all cases, is a definition of the thickness of the garment itself. If you want a heavy t-shirt then a 180-200gsm item is generally at the very top end of a t-shirt weight, but if you want a nice lightweight summer t-shirt a 130-150 is also great. Hoodies & Sweatshirts work on the same basis: a thick winter hoodie can be 300-400gsm but a nice all year round weight can be 250-300gsm. Hence, this is why we stock a 250gsm French Terry as this weight is really perfect for all year-round sewing. 

What if there is no fabric weight in the listing I’m looking at?

So in this situation, it’s either the seller does not know or they do not want you to know. If the gsm or oz is not listed anywhere; send a message to the seller. If they don’t know or do not respond that would personally set off a red flag. Really though, in the fabric shopping world the gsm should really be listed. It's important information and you shouldn't have to waste your time asking for such basic info. Well, that's just my thoughts on it anyway. 

So, in summary, gsm is simply the fabric weight of a clothing item.

I have put together a little reference chart below for you. Feel free to screenshot it and save it in your phone for a quick guide. I hope you find this helpful. 

If you have any more questions or comments about gsm, or simply want to chat and connect, I would love you join the Melco Fabrics Facebook page

Sending peace, love and a full bobbin your way. 

Mel Xx