Tag Archives: modest


The Fabric can Make the Dress


While shopping for dresses, abayas, scarfs and accessories with which to adorn hijabistas, I continued to notice how varying fabrics contrast to create distinct qualities within the same apparel cut and style. The above abayas are from the same structural format, but have different forms with different fabrics.

Patterned Fabric Designs

Patterned designs tend to obscure the garment form.

Denim Skirt and Denim Abaya

As well, the weight of a fabric can strongly influence how the garment hangs and its flow, as in the above denim skirt and abaya.

Knit Abayas

Knits tend to be softer and more breathable than woven fabrics. But knits also tend to stretch and cling to your form.

Pleated Abaya and Outerwear

Woven fabrics are perfect for distinctive pleats and folds. But be careful that the garment edges are well-finished, as woven fabrics tend to unravel.

A number of fabric types grace garment styles on this side of the Atlantic, while an additional variety of textiles can be found across the Ocean. So a rich assortment exists from which to choose.


Knits come in a number of fabric forms and weights. Knits effect gentle, delicate drapes and fall easily along garment lines. Again, their drawback for modest wear is that they tend to be clingy.


Silk is lightweight, slightly shimmery, and delicate for a nice drape. Silk many times is coupled with satin, as you can see in the trim above. Here the trim gives the silk some weight and helps it hang with defined shape.


Satin is heavier than silk and projects a heavy gloss. Many find satin too pronounced for modest wear. However there are abaya and dress styles fashioned in satin, especially in black.


Linen is a cool, medium weight fabric that wears well in summer and warm climates, and is great for mild weather outerwear. Because linen lacks elasticity, the fabric wrinkles easily. Therefore you often find linen blended with non-wrinkle fabrics.


Flannel, although a soft, lightweight fabric, is well-insulated for colder weather. I have seen flannel used in casual hijabi wear.


Wool works for heavy knits and coats. Woolen fabric is extremely durable and great for cold weather. Do not wash wool, unless it’s a wool blend. This fabric will shrink considerably in water.

Polyester is an inexpensive synthetic fabric that blends well with other fabrics, takes on the characteristic of the partner fabric, and is easy to care for.


For pants you want linen (in warmer weather), denim, flannel, or wool.

Shirts and blouses like cotton, rayon, knit, silk, light linen, or flannel.

With skirts, your best go-to’s are wool, wool blends, cotton blends, denim, knit, or linen blends.

Favor dresses with cotton blends, some polyester blends, rayon, cotton gauze, silk, linen blends, wool, and possibly satin.

So hijabistas, next time you’re shopping for that one-and-only look, check out the fabric. Find the right fabric and you’re half way there.

Stay beautiful.

Rabia Hasan of  AnNisa Designs LLC seeks to encircle the feminine grace of muslim women with modern, unique fashion.  Join us. We invite your comments.

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