Purchasing clothes and furniture that use vegan fabrics is a great way to support your vegan lifestyle and encourage brands to stock more vegan products. But although more brands than ever are stocking vegan and cruelty-free products, they don’t always label them as such.
Vegan and cruelty-free fabrics are come in two categories: Plant-based vegan fabrics, such as cotton, hemp, and other fabrics made from these materials (such as chino, corduroy, denim, and khaki), or synthetic vegan fabrics, including nylon, polyester, elastane, microfiber, or rayon. Most non-vegan fabrics are either use wool from an animal or silk in their construction.
Of course, it isn’t always so simple. Some fabrics have both vegan and non-vegan methods of production. Others will be made from silk or wool but are then given another name, making it hard to tell if they contain animal-derived materials.
Below, we’ve listed 150 fabrics, given a brief description, and stated whether they are vegan or not, and below the table, we’ve also gone into more detail into some of the more popular fabrics that people ask about. Remember: not all vegan fabrics are sustainable. Many synthetic vegan fabrics are bad for the environment and may still cause indirect harm to animals and the planet.
p.s. We’ve worked hard to make this the most useful source for information on vegan fabrics on the internet, but we still recommend you check the label and, if necessary, ask the manufacturer for more information. Additionally, just because the main material used is vegan doesn’t mean there might not be non-vegan elements, such as leather details – so watch out for those!
Which Fabrics are Vegan and Cruelty-Free? Check the Table!
|Fabric||Is It Vegan?|
|Aba – a course felted fabric woven from goat and/or camel hair.||No|
|Acrylic – a synthetic fabric made from a polymer called acrylonitrile.||Yes|
|Aertex – a trademark for a brand of loose-weave cotton fabric.||Yes|
|Alpaca – derived from alpaca hair. It is warmer than wool, water-resistant, and hypoallergenic.||No|
|Angora – woven from hair of the angora rabbit. Silky and soft.||No|
|Baize – a felt-like material used for covering snooker and pool tables. Typically a wool/cotton blend.||Depends|
|Bamboo – Bamboo cellulose is used to make all types of rayon, including viscose, modal, and lyocell.||Yes|
|Batiste – also known as Cambric or Chambray, it is a lightweight cotton (or linen) fabric used for linings, lingerie, and handkerchiefs.||Yes|
|Broadcloth – a dense cloth historically made of wool, but in a modern context more likely to be cotton or cotton blend.||Depends|
|Brocade – a rich, thick fabric with an elaborate raised design. Normally silk, but synthetic alternatives are available.||Depends|
|Buckram – a stiff cotton or linen cloth. Used for bookbinding, hats, and in clothing.||Yes|
|Bunting (or Bunt) – traditionally made from a lightweight wool, but alternative materials include plastic, synthetic fabrics, and paper.||Depends|
|Calico – a cheap, plain-woven textile made from unbleached cotton. Often, the cotton has not been fully-processed.||Yes|
|Cambric – also known as Chambray or Batiste, is a lightweight cotton (or linen) fabric used for linings, lingerie, and handkerchiefs.||Yes|
|Camelhair – fiber or cloth made from the hair of a camel. Often blended with other fibers, including wool.||No|
|Camlet (or Camelot, Camblet) – a woven fabric traditionally made of camel or goat’s hair. Later made from blends of goat’s hair and silk, or of wool and cotton.||No|
|Canvas – a course and durable plain-woven fabric traditionally made from hemp, but now typically made from cotton, linen or PVC.||Yes|
|Cashmere – a soft and silky fiber harvested from cashmere, pashmina, and other types of goats.||No|
|Challis – a lightweight woven fabric. It can be made from cotton, silk, or wool (or often a blend), but is now sometimes produced from man-made fabrics, such as rayon.||Depends|
|Chambray – also known as Cambric or Batiste, it is a lightweight cotton (or linen) fabric used for linings, lingerie, and handkerchiefs.||Yes|
|Chenille – a heavy woven fabric typically manufactured from cotton or synthetic yarns, sometimes mixed with wool or silk.||Depends|
|Chiffon – a lightweight and sheer fabric. Can be made from cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers.||Depends|
|Chino – a twill fabric. It is typically made from either 100% cotton or cotton-synthetic blend.||Yes|
|Chintz – a brightly printed and glazed cotton fabric.||Yes|
|Corduoroy (or Cord) – a textile made from twisted fibers that have been woven into a distinctive cord pattern. Normally made from cotton.||Yes|
|Cork – made the soft bark of some kinds of oak tree.||Yes|
|Cotton – made from fibers that surround the seeds of the cotton plant. It is used as both a textile fiber and as a thread for sewing.||Yes|
|Cotton flannel (or Canton flannel) – a stout cotton fabric with nap on one side only||Depends|
|Crepe (or Crape, or Crepe de Chine) – a soft woven fabric. Originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, modern crepe is normally either wool, cotton, or synthetic.||Depends|
|Cretonne – a heavy cotton fabric used for upholstery. Typically printed with a floral pattern.||Yes|
|Damask – a woven fabric with an ornate and intricate pattern. It can be made from silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers.||Depends|
|Denim (or Jean) – a durable cotton textile with distinctive diagonal ribbing. Denim itself is vegan, but jeans sometimes aren’t due to leather patches.||Yes|
|Dimity – a sheer cotton fabric woven with raised stripes or checks. Hard-wearing.||Yes|
|Doeskin – leather made from the skin of a female deer.||No|
|Down – fine feathers taken from birds, normally domestic geese.||No|
|Duck (Duck Cloth, Duck Canvas) – a heavy woven cotton cotton fabric which can be used for both clothing and tents.||Yes|
|Duffel (or Duffle) – a coarse heavy woolen fabric used for both bags and clothing, particularly coats.||No|
|Elastane – a synthetic fiber that is stronger and more durable than rubber, while still retaining exceptional elasticity.||Yes|
|Elastic – a flexible stretchable fabric, typically cotton, nylon or polyester, made with interwoven strands of rubber or elastane.||Yes|
|Etamine (or Etamin) – a soft, loosely woven fabric with a slight sheen. Can be made from cotton or wool.||Depends|
|Faille – a shiny, closely-woven fabric characterized by slight ribs in the weft. Can be made from silk, rayon, or cotton.||Depends|
|Faux-Leather – sometimes called Leatherette, Vinyl, or Polyurethane, it is a synthetic fabric that replicates the look of real leather.||Yes|
|Felt – hair, wool or synthetic fiver that has been matted and pressed together to create a thick, strong material. Traditionally not vegan but can be made with synthetics.||Depends|
|Flannel – a soft woven fabric that can be made from wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers.||Depends|
|Flannelette – a light cotton fabric that has been designed to imitate flannel.||Yes|
|Fleece (and microfleece) – made from PET, a plastic. Not to be confused with the fleece of a sheep or goat.||Yes|
|Foulard – a lightweight fabric made of silk or a silk/cotton blend. Can be either twill or plain-woven, usually made with a printed design.||No|
|Frieze – a heavy woolen fabric with a long nap||No|
|Fustian – a cotton and linen fabric. Strong, with a short nap, it is usally dyed in dark colors.||Yes|
|Gabardine – a tough fabric with a tight weave. Traditionally worsted wool, but can be cotton, polyester, or a blend. Used for suits, overcoats, uniforms.||Depends|
|Georgette – a sheer, lightweight silk material used predominantly in dressmaking.||No|
|Gingham – a lightweight plain-woven cotton cloth. Typically produced in a check design mixing white with a bolder color.||Yes|
|Grogram – made from a mix of silk and wool.||No|
|Grosgrain – a corded fabric or ribbon characterized by a weft that is heavier than its wrap. Traditionally wool, silk, or a blend, but can also be made from nylon.||Depends|
|Haircloth – a stiff fabric made from horse hair or camel hair.||No|
|Hemp – a tough fiber harvested from the cannabis plant.||Yes|
|Horsehair – a stiff fabric made from horse hair or camel hair.||No|
|Jersey – a kntted fabric originally made using wool, but now sometimes made with cotton or synthetic fibers instead.||Depends|
|Khaki – a strong twilled cloth usually made from cotton and linen.||Yes|
|Lace – a beautiful delicate fabric with an open weblike pattern. Traditionally made out of silk, but modern lace is often synthetic.||Depends|
|Lame – a fabric made using a mix of one material (often synthetic) with thin metallic fibers to create a shiny, metallic-looking fabric.||Yes|
|Leather – made by tanning animal (often cow) skin. Strong and flexible.||No|
|Leatherette – an imitation leather made from paper, cloth, synthetics, or other materials.||Yes|
|Linen – made from the fibers of the flax plant. Cool and fresh in hot weather.||Yes|
|Linsey-woolsey – a strong and coarse fabric made with a linen (sometimes cotton) warp and a woolen weft.||No|
|Lint – a linen or cotton fabric with a raised nap on one side. Commonly used to make bandages.||Yes|
|Lisle – a fine fabric made from lisle yarn, (a strong, high-twisted yarn made of cotton).||Yes|
|Lyocell – a type of Rayon made using the Lyocell process. It is a semi-synthetic fabric made using wood or bamboo cellulose.||Yes|
|Mackinaw – a felted woolen cloth with a heavy nap, often produced with a plaid design.||No|
|Mackintosh (or Macintosh) – a lightweight waterproof fabric, usually rubberized.||Yes|
|Madras – a lightweight fabric made from cotton. It typically has a patterned texture and a plaid design. Ideal for summer clothing.||Yes|
|Marseille – a strong cotton fabric. It has a raised pattern and is used for bedspreads.||Yes|
|Mesh – material that resembles a net due to a large number of closely-spaced holes. Typically made of nylon or polyester.||Yes|
|Microfiber – a very fine synthetic yarn.||Yes|
|Modal – a type of Rayon. It is a semi-synthetic fiber made out of tree or bamboo cellulose. Used alone or sometimes blended (often with cotton).||Yes|
|Mohair – a silky fabric made from the hair of the Angora goat.||No|
|Moire (Watered Silk) – a fabric with a wavy (or watered) appearance. Traditionally made from silk, it is sometimes made from wool, cotton, or rayon.||Depends|
|Moleskin – a durable cotton fabric with a velvety nap. It is not made from moles.||Yes|
|Monk’s Cloth – a heavy cloth made from cotton with a basket weave.||Yes|
|Moquette – a synthetic fabric. It is thick and velvety and is normally used for carpets and soft upholstery.||Yes|
|Moreen – a heavy fabric with a ribbed face. Traditionally made from wool, but now may be made from a cotton/wool blend or just cotton||Depends|
|Mousseline de soie – a thin, gauze-like fabric. Traditionally silk, but could now be made from rayon or other materials.||Depends|
|Muslin – a loose plain weave cotton fabric.||Yes|
|Nankeen – a pale yellow cotton cloth.||Yes|
|Neoprene – a synthetic alternative to rubber.||Yes|
|Ninon – a sheer fabric with a plain weave used in dresses, scarves, and eveningwear. Traditionally made from silk, it can now also be made with synthetic fibers.||Depends|
|Nylon – a synthetic polymer made from materials derived from petroleum.||Yes|
|Oilcloth – a cloth treated on one side with a drying oil or synthetic resin.||Yes|
|Organdie or Organdy – a sheer stiff muslin.||Yes|
|Organza – a sheer fabric with a thin plain weave. Traditionally made from silk, but can also be made out of polyester or nylon.||Depends|
|Orlon – a brand name for first acrylic fibers created by DuPont.||Yes|
|Paisley – a pattern of colorful swirled curved shapes. Traditional paisley is likely to be on wool and silk, but can be used on other fabrics.||Depends|
|Percale – a closely-woven cotton fabric used to make bed covers.||Yes|
|PET, PETE – PET, also known as polyethylene terephthalate, is a plastic. When used in fashion it is normally called polyester.||Yes|
|Pilot Cloth – a heavy woolen material with a thicknap. Used for seamen’s uniforms.||No|
|Pique – a weaving style characterized by fine ribbing. Normally used with cotton yarn.||Yes|
|Plush – a term used to describe fabric with a pile higher than ⅛ inch (0.3 cm).||Depends|
|Polar Fleece – a highly-insulating fabric with a soft nap. Made from synthetics such as polyester.||Yes|
|Polyester – a category of synthetic fibers. The most common is PET.||Yes|
|Pongee – a soft thin cloth woven from raw silk.||No|
|Poplin (or Tabinet) – has a tight weave and a distinctive ribbed texture. Typically made of cotton, but can be wool or silk.||Depends|
|Prima Loft – a brand of synthetic insulating materials developed for the US Army in the 1980s.||Yes|
|Ramie – a natural fiber made from the stalks of the Chinese Nettle plant. It is similar to linen, and has been used for fabric for more than 5,000 years.||Yes|
|Rayon – a semi-synthetic fiber made by chemically treating tree and bamboo cellulose.||Yes|
|Rep – from the Latin for ‘rib’, Rep (or Repp) is a fabric with horizontal ribs. Can be made from silk, wool, or cotton.||Depends|
|Russet – a coarse gray, brown, or reddish-brown cloth. It is made of wool and dyed with wood and madder (a red dye).||No|
|Sailcloth – any fabric used for boat sails. Could be cotton, nylon, or Dacron.||Yes|
|Samite – a luxurious heavy silk fabric which often has silver or gold threads woven into it.||No|
|Sarcenet – a fine soft silk fabric from Italy.||No|
|Sateen – a cotton (or sometimes rayon) fabric with a satiny finish.||Yes|
|Satin – a smooth fabric with a glossy surface. Uses fibers such as silk, nylon, or polyester.||Depends|
|Scrim – a lightweight woven fabric used in curtains, bookbinding, and upholstery. May also refer to a heavier reinforcement material used art, building, and canvas making. Made from cotton or flax.||Yes|
|Seersucker – a light fabric normally made of cotton with alternating rough and smooth stripes.||Yes|
|Serge – a twilled woollen fabric made with a two-up, two-down weave.||No|
|Shag – a fabric with a deep pile. Typically used in reference to rugs or carpets.||Depends|
|Shagreen – a type of leather made from rough, untanned skin. Often shark or ray.||No|
|Shantung – a silk plane weight fabric often used for bridal gowns.||No|
|Sharkskin – a worsted fabric with a two-toned appearance. Traditionally made from wool, mohair, or silk, but can also be made using rayon. Could also refer to an actual sharkskin (not vegan!).||Depends|
|Sheepskin – a sheep’s hide which has been tanned with the fleece still attached.||No|
|Silesia – a twilled cotton fabric used for pockets and linings.||Yes|
|Silk – a soft and shiny fiber harvested from silkworm cocoons.||No|
|Spandex – an extremely stretch synthetic fiber used in the manufacture of elastic clothing.||Yes|
|Sponge cloth – a porous fabric usually made in a loose honeycomb weave.||Depends|
|Stammel – a course woolen fabric historically used for the undershirts of penitents.||No|
|Suede leather – a type of leather with a napped finished. Uses the underside of the skin of the animal, normally lamb, but can be deer, goat, pig, or calf.||No|
|Swan’s-Down – could refer to either the soft down feathers of a swan OR a thick soft fabric, often wool (could be cotton, rayon), used in baby clothes.||Depends|
|Taffeta – a smooth plain woven fabric made from either silk or synthetic fibers. Primarily used for evening wear.||Depends|
|Tammy – a plain-woven fabric of wool or a wool/cotton blend used for linings. Often glazed.||No|
|Tapa (or Tappa) – a paper-like cloth made in the South Pacific by pounding tapa bark.||Yes|
|Tapestry (or Tapis) – a woven decorative fabric, made with wool and/or silk.||No|
|Tencel – a brand of lyocel and modal rayon fibers produced by Lenzing. It is a semi-synthetic fabric made from the natural cellulose found in wood pulp.||Yes|
|Thinsulate – a brand of synthetic thermally-insulating fiber used in clothing.||Yes|
|Toweling – refers to any fabric used to make towels. Usually linen or cotton.||Depends|
|Tweed – a rough wool patterned fabric assocatied with Scotland and Ireland.||No|
|Ultrasuede – a synthetic microfiber used as a substitute for suede leather.||Yes|
|Velcro – a fastener for clothes consisting of two connecting sides, one with stiff hooks, the other softer loops. Both sides are made from nylon.||Yes|
|Velour – a plush fabric made from cotton or polyester that resembles velvet. It can be produced cheaper than velvet and is vegan.||Yes|
|Velvet – a silky fabric with a dense pile. Traditionally, made from silk, but it can be made from a wide range of materials, including nylon, rayon, linen, and wool.||Depends|
|Velveteen – a cotton fabric with a dense pile made to resemble velvet.||Yes|
|Vicuna – the wool from the vicuña’s (a South American relative member of the camel family) undercoat.||No|
|Vinyl (or PVC) – a plastic.||Yes|
|Viscose – a type of rayon made using the viscose process. It is made from tree and bamboo cellulose and commonly used in fashion.||Yes|
|Viyella – a fabric made from a cotton and wool blend in a twill weave.||No|
|Voile – a sheer fabric, usually made of either 100% cotton or cotton blended with linen or polyester. Used in curtain making.||Yes|
|Vulcanized Fiber – a tough laminated plastic made from cellulose.||Yes|
|Whipcord – an extremely strong worsted fabric with a twill weave. Can be made from heavy cotton, worsted wool, or synthetics||Depends|
|Wincey Fabric – fabric made with a wool weft and a cotton warp (sometimes linen is substituted for cotton). Can be plain or twilled.||No|
|Wool – a natural fiber obtained from sheep, goats, rabbits, and other animals.||No|
|Worsted Wool – a high-quality type of wool. Stronger and smoother than wool, worsted is often used in suit-making.||No|
FAQ – Vegan Fabrics or Not?
Is Suede Vegan?
Suede is not vegan or cruelty free. It is a type of leather with a napped finish typically made out of lambskin, but may also be made from goat, pig, calf, or deerskin. The exception is ‘vegan suede,’ which isn’t actually suede, just a synthetic alternative that does not use animal products.
Are Fleece and Microfleece Vegan?
Both fleece and microfleece are vegan as they are made of polyester, which is the same type of plastic that is used to make many plastic bottles. Unlike a sheep’s fleece, this fabric is suitable for a vegan lifestyle. However, watch out for fleece blends: commonly these are cotton or rayon, but fleece is sometimes blended with wool – the resulting blend is not vegan.
Is Moleskin Vegan?
Moleskin fabric is vegan. It is a heavily-napped fabric typically made from cotton (or sometimes polyester) that is famed for its softness and durability. Despite the name, moleskin fabric has nothing to do with furry, subterranean mammals. It is cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle – no moles were harmed in the manufacture of this fabric!
Moleskin fabric should not be confused with the notebook brand, Moleskine (but just in case this is what you were looking for, we’ve checked, and Moleskine products are typically vegan!).
Is Felt Vegan?
Felt is traditionally not vegan, but vegan versions are increasingly popular. Traditionally, felt is made from wool and animal fur, and linked to cruel, unethical, or inhumane treatments of animals. However, felt can also be made from synthetic materials. When this is the case, the felt is cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle.
Always check the label to find out which type of felt a product uses, and keep in mind that some products will use a mix of both animal-derived materials and synthetic materials
Is Vinyl Vegan?
Vinyl, aka polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is vegan. It is a versatile plastic used in a wide range of products, including clothing, toys, construction, and – of course – vinyl records. Because it does not use animal-derived products it is suitable for a vegan lifestyle, however, vinyl does have significant sustainability issues that may give vegans cause to think twice.
Is Lace Vegan?
It depends. Traditional lace is made out of silk and is not vegan. However, most modern lace is made out of cotton or linen, but could also be made out of synthetic materials like polyester. In these cases, lace is cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle.
Vintage and second-hand lace are less likely to be vegan, and vegans should also be wary of more-expensive lace products, which are more likely to be made of silk (since cotton and linen are cheaper).
Is Mesh Vegan?
Yes, mesh is normally vegan. It is typically made from nylon or polyester, both of which are vegan, cruelty-free, and suitable for a vegan lifestyle. It is possible to make mesh from non-vegan materials, but this is not generally done; to be safe, always check the label.
Is Chiffon Vegan?
Yes and no. Traditional chiffon a lightweight, sheer fabric is made out of silk, which is non-vegan. However, many chiffon clothes are now faux-chiffon, made out of rayon, nylon, or polyester. These are made using a similar process, but are vegan and cruelty-free. Vegan chiffon is cheaper to produce, but the resulting fabric is not quite as luxurious or smooth as silk chiffon. Check the label!
Is Velvet Vegan?
Yes and no. The term velvet actually refers to the structure of the fabric and how it is made, so it can be made from many different materials. Traditionally-made velvet is made from silk, so it is not vegan. New methods mean velvet can now be made from other materials, including vegan ones such as cotton, linen, and synthetics, and non-vegan ones, such as mohair and wool. We recommend you check the label or ask the manufacturer to be certain.
Is Spandex (aka Lycra or Elastane) Vegan?
Yes, spandex (aka lycra or elastane) is a vegan material. It is a synthetic fabric that is formed from a long-chain polymer (an organic material), and it can be combined with other fabrics like polyester or cotton (also vegan). Spandex fabric is not made from animal-derived products, and no animals are hurt during the manufacturing process. It is considered cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle.
Is Cotton Vegan?
Yes, cotton is vegan – it is a natural fiber that is harvested from cotton plants. It is not animal-derived and is considered suitable for anyone living a vegan lifestyle. Like other vegan fabrics, it can be produced without causing cruel, unethical, or inhumane treatment of animals, however the methods used to grow non-organic cotton may cause ethical concerns for some vegans as it is not a sustainable process. We recommened organic cotton.
Is Chenille Vegan?
Normally, but not always. Chenille is vegan when it is made from cotton or synthetic yarns (which is most of the time). However, if the yarn is mixed with wool or silk, then it cannot be described as being vegan.
Interestingly, the name is derived from the French for ‘caterpillar.’ This may cause some initial concern amongst vegans; however, the name comes from the fact that the yarn is fuzzy and resembles a caterpillar, rather than any involvement of caterpillars in the manufacturing process!
Is Denim Vegan?
Yes, denim is a vegan fabric, and most denim clothes are vegan. It is made from cotton which is woven into a distinctive twill pattern, which makes them more durable, water-resistant, and less likely to wrinkle. However, some jeans use leather patches that make them unsuitable for a vegan lifestyle – always check the label.
Is Modal Vegan?
Yes, modal fabric is vegan. Modal is a type of rayon, a fabric made from plant cellulose. It is cruelty-free, does not use animal-derived materials, and can be used as part of a vegan lifestyle. Like many synthetic fabrics, the production process relies heavily on chemicals, so it is not a sustainable vegan fabric. For this reason, some vegans choose not to use modal in preference of more sustainable fabrics.
Is Tencel Vegan?
Yes, Tencel is a vegan fabric. It is a brand-name for a type of rayon created by an Austrian company called Lenzing AG. Tencel material is a type of rayon fabric (made from plant cellulose) created using the lyocell or modal process. Additionally, and unlike other forms of rayon, Tencel is produced using a sustainable process, making it better for the planet too.
Is Neoprene Vegan?
Yes, neoprene is vegan, it is a synthetic alternative to natural rubber. It is made using a multi-step chemical reaction, and then the finished material is laminated to another fabric, often nylon, ready to use. The production process does not involve animal derivatives, although as a synthetic the production process is not considered sustainable.
Is Velour Vegan?
Yes, velour is vegan. It is a dense fabric that is meant to look and feel like traditional velvet and is often referred to as vegan velvet. The most common form is cotton velour, but you may also see polyester velour or rayon velour.
Is Flannel Vegan?
Flannel is sometimes vegan. It is a soft fabric with a loose weave and a napped finish. It is usually made from cotton, wool, or synthetic fiber, and depending on the fabric used it may be vegan or not vegan. Vegans should avoid traditional wool flannel and aim for alternatives made out of cotton or synthetic materials.
Is Memory Foam Vegan?
Yes, memory foam is vegan. It is made from polyurethane, a type of plastic also used in car seats, in glues, and as insulation in buildings and fridges.
However, it should be noted that both shoes and memory foam mattresses often have other materials in them that may not be vegan. For example, a memory foam mattress may have a mattress protector made from satin, silk, down, or flannel. These animal products are not vegan fabrics and not compatible with a vegan lifestyle.