What Does Acrylic Fabric Feel Like? A Detailed Guide

Acrylic fabric has become increasingly popular in recent years for clothing and home furnishings. But what exactly does acrylic fabric feel like? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide a detailed overview of the look, feel, and properties of acrylic fabric so you know exactly what to expect.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Acrylic fabric typically feels soft and lightweight, but can also feel stiff or scratchy depending on how it’s made. It has a texture similar to wool but without the itchiness. Acrylic resists shrinking and fading.

The Look and Feel of Acrylic Fabric

Acrylic fabric is known for its unique characteristics that make it a popular choice in the textile industry. When it comes to the look and feel, there are several key aspects to consider.

Smooth, Soft, and Lightweight

One of the main reasons why people love acrylic fabric is its smooth and soft texture. It feels incredibly gentle against the skin, making it a comfortable option for clothing and accessories. Additionally, acrylic fabric is lightweight, which adds to its overall comfort.

Whether you’re wearing a cozy sweater or a stylish scarf, you can expect a pleasant and cozy feel with acrylic fabric.

Can Also Feel Stiff or Scratchy

While acrylic fabric is generally smooth and soft, it’s important to note that it can sometimes feel stiff or scratchy. This is more likely to occur with lower-quality acrylic fabrics or those with a higher percentage of acrylic fibers.

However, advancements in textile technology have led to the production of softer and more luxurious acrylic fabrics, so it’s always worth exploring different options to find the right one for you.

Often Has Sheen or Luster

Acrylic fabric is known for its ability to mimic the appearance of natural fibers such as wool or cashmere. It often has a subtle sheen or luster, which adds a touch of elegance to garments and home decor items.

This sheen not only enhances the overall look of the fabric but also adds a luxurious feel to it. Whether you’re looking for a casual or more formal style, acrylic fabric with a sheen can elevate your outfit or interior design.

How Acrylic Fabric Compares to Other Fabrics

When it comes to comparing acrylic fabric to other fabrics, there are a few key factors to consider. Let’s take a closer look at how acrylic fabric compares to some popular fabrics in terms of texture, breathability, and stretchiness.

Similar to Wool But Less Itchy

Acrylic fabric is often compared to wool due to its warmth and softness. It has a similar texture to wool, making it a great alternative for those who find wool to be too itchy or irritating on their skin.

Acrylic fabric provides a cozy and comfortable feel without the discomfort that some people may experience with wool.

Not as Breathable as Cotton

While acrylic fabric offers warmth and insulation, it is not as breathable as cotton. Cotton is known for its breathability, allowing air to circulate and moisture to evaporate, keeping you cool and comfortable.

Acrylic fabric, on the other hand, tends to trap heat and may not be the best choice for hot and humid climates. However, it can be a suitable option for cooler weather or indoor use.

Less Stretchy Than Spandex

When it comes to stretchiness, acrylic fabric falls short compared to spandex. Spandex is known for its exceptional elasticity, allowing it to stretch and recover without losing its shape. Acrylic fabric, while it does have some stretch, is not as flexible as spandex.

This is something to keep in mind when choosing a fabric for garments that require a lot of movement or a snug fit.

Factors Affecting Feel of Acrylic Fabric

When it comes to the feel of acrylic fabric, several factors come into play. Understanding these factors can help you choose the right acrylic fabric for your needs. Let’s take a closer look at the main factors that affect the feel of acrylic fabric.

Fiber Mixes and Blends

The composition of the acrylic fabric plays a significant role in its feel. Acrylic fibers are often blended with other fibers to enhance certain qualities. For example, blending acrylic with natural fibers like cotton or wool can provide a softer and more breathable feel.

On the other hand, blending acrylic with synthetic fibers like polyester can increase durability and make the fabric feel more resilient.

Furthermore, the percentage of acrylic in the fabric blend also impacts the feel. Higher percentages of acrylic tend to make the fabric feel more synthetic and less soft. Conversely, lower percentages of acrylic can result in a fabric that feels closer to the natural fibers it is blended with.

Yarn Type and Density

The type of yarn used in the production of acrylic fabric can greatly influence its feel. Different yarn types, such as spun or filament, can create variations in texture and softness. Spun yarns, made by twisting fibers together, can produce a fabric with a fluffier and more plush feel.

Filament yarns, on the other hand, can result in a smoother and silkier texture.

In addition to yarn type, the density of the fabric also affects its feel. A higher density fabric will generally feel thicker and more substantial, while a lower density fabric will feel lighter and airier.

The density of acrylic fabric is determined by the number of yarns per square inch, with a higher yarn count resulting in a denser fabric.

Finishing Processes

The finishing processes applied to acrylic fabric can have a significant impact on its feel. These processes include treatments such as brushing, shearing, or sanding, which alter the surface texture of the fabric.

Brushing, for example, can create a soft and fuzzy feel, while shearing can give a smooth and polished appearance.

Furthermore, the application of chemical finishes can also affect the feel of acrylic fabric. These finishes can provide properties like water resistance, stain resistance, or anti-static properties, which can alter the tactile experience of the fabric.

It’s important to note that the feel of acrylic fabric can also be subjective and vary from person to person. Some individuals may prefer a softer and more luxurious feel, while others may favor a sturdier and more resilient texture.

Ultimately, finding the right acrylic fabric for your needs requires considering these factors and personal preferences.

The Benefits of Acrylic for Clothing and Home Goods

Acrylic fabric is a popular choice for clothing and home goods due to its numerous benefits. From its ability to retain shape to its low cost, acrylic offers a range of advantages that make it a go-to material for many consumers.

Retains Shape and Resists Shrinkage

One of the key benefits of acrylic fabric is its ability to retain its shape over time. Unlike some other fabrics that may stretch or lose their form, acrylic maintains its original shape, ensuring that your clothing or home goods look great even after multiple washes.

Additionally, acrylic is highly resistant to shrinkage, so you don’t have to worry about your favorite sweater becoming too small.

Quick Drying

Acrylic fabric is known for its quick-drying properties, making it ideal for clothing and home goods that may come into contact with moisture. Whether you’re caught in a rainstorm or have spilled a drink on your acrylic blanket, you can rest assured that it will dry quickly, preventing any potential damage or discomfort.

Resists Fading

Another benefit of acrylic fabric is its resistance to fading. Acrylic fibers are dyed before they are spun into yarn, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting colors. This means that your acrylic clothing and home goods will maintain their original color even after repeated washing and exposure to sunlight.

Easy to Care For

Acrylic fabric is incredibly easy to care for, making it a convenient choice for busy individuals. It is machine washable and can be tumble dried on low heat, saving you time and effort on laundry day. Additionally, acrylic does not require ironing, so you can say goodbye to those pesky wrinkles.

Low Cost

Compared to some other fabrics, acrylic is relatively inexpensive, making it an affordable option for a wide range of consumers. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly sweater or affordable home decor, acrylic offers great value for money without compromising on quality or style.

Shopping for Acrylic Fabric: What to Look For

Check Fiber Content

When shopping for acrylic fabric, it’s important to check the fiber content. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber made from polymers, which gives it its unique properties. Look for fabrics that are made from 100% acrylic or with a high percentage of acrylic blended with other fibers.

This will ensure that you are getting the best quality acrylic fabric.

Inspect Fabric Closely

Take the time to inspect the fabric closely before making a purchase. Look for any inconsistencies in the texture or color, as this could indicate a lower quality fabric. Acrylic fabric should feel soft and smooth to the touch, with a slight sheen.

It should also have good stretch and recovery, meaning it will bounce back to its original shape after being stretched. If the fabric feels rough or stiff, it may not be of the best quality.

Consider End Use

Consider the intended use of the acrylic fabric when making your purchase. Acrylic is known for its durability and resistance to wrinkles and shrinking, making it a great choice for clothing, upholstery, and outdoor applications.

If you’re looking for fabric for blankets or cozy winter garments, acrylic can provide warmth and insulation. On the other hand, if you need fabric for a lightweight summer garment, you may want to consider a blend of acrylic with other fibers to provide breathability.

For more information on acrylic fabric and its properties, you can visit Textile Learner. They provide in-depth knowledge about various textile fibers and fabrics, including acrylic.


With its soft, lightweight feel and shape-retaining properties, acrylic fabric is a versatile choice for clothing and home d├ęcor. However, quality can vary. By inspecting fabric closely and factoring in how you plan to use it, you can select acrylic material with the ideal look, feel and performance.

We hope this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of what acrylic fabric feels like and what to look for when shopping.

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