Understanding Fabric Weight: What is GSM?

When it comes to choosing the right fabric for a project, it’s important to take into consideration the weight of the fabric. One of the most common fabric weights used in the textile industry is GSM. So, what exactly is GSM fabric weight or g/m2, and how is it measured?

GSM fabric weight, also known as grams per square meter, is a metric measurement that indicates how much a piece of fabric weighs per square meter. To measure GSM fabric weight, a small sample of the fabric is weighed, and the weight is divided by the area of the sample. This provides the weight per square meter measurement used to classify fabrics into weight categories.   You can convert ounces into a GSM weight by multiplying the oz/yd2 x 33.906. The higher the GSM, the heavier the fabric.  Silk uses a different weight measurement called momme or mm for short.  This unit of measure can also be converted to GSM.


Some fabric examples of various fabric weights:

1. Extra Lightweight fabrics: These fabrics are usually sheer or semi-sheer. They work well made into blouses and dresses, especially for formal wear. They typically range from 20-100 GSM. Examples include chiffon, organza, and silk cdc.

2. Lightweight fabrics: These fabrics are a bit heavier than extra lightweight fabrics and are commonly used for blouses, skirts, and dresses. They range from 100-170 GSM. Examples include challis, viscose satin, and charmeuse.

3. Medium-weight fabrics: These have good body and work well for tunic tops, jumpsuits, pants, or summer jackets. They typically range from 170-230 GSM. Examples include linen, rayon jersey knit, and tencel twill.

4. Medium to Heavy fabrics: These fabrics are great for pencil skirts, pants, sheath dresses, or jackets. They range from 230-340 GSM. Examples include ponte knit, corduroy, and faux leather.

5. Heavy t0 Extra Heavy fabrics: These fabrics are ideal for projects requiring durability and structure. It’s also a good weight for home decor.  The weight range is from 340-450 GSM. Examples include canvas, wool coating, and bull denim.

GSM is a useful measurement for fabric weight, but it’s not the only factor to consider. Other factors, such as the weave and fiber content of the fabric, can also impact the weight and feel of the fabric. For example, a 100 GSM silk fabric may feel lighter and more delicate than a 100 GSM cotton fabric due to the nature of the fibers.

Knowing a fabric’s GSM can help determine its suitability for your project. By understanding the different fabric weights and their corresponding GSM, you can choose the right fabric for your next project.


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