Croft Mill

Understanding Denim Fabric Weights

Denim is one of the most popular fabrics in the world and is also one of the most versatile, perfect for creating a vast range of different garments with as much practical value as aesthetic beauty. The different types of denim fabric are often referred to by their weights and, in this edition of the Croft Mill blog, we're going to explain denim weight in more detail.

Denim weights are usually given in ounces and refer to how many ounces a square yard of the fabric weighs. The fabrics have different weights due to the thickness of the yarn used to create them (known as 'yarn count'). Thicker yarn weighs more and packing it closer together results in more weight per square yarn of denim fabric.

The weight of denim influences many factors, including its durability, ease of sewing, amount of fading and how it feels to wear. Denim fabric is usually classified into three weight categories: lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight.


This category refers to denim with a weight of under eight ounces. Especially good for creating garments to be worn in warmer weather, lightweight denim takes very little time to break in and is particularly easy to sew with. It's ideal for making leggings, shirts and loose trousers. For very fluid and draping garments, it's best to go with a super-light denim of four ounces. As this weight of denim fabric does not crumple and crease as much as heavier weights, fading is subtle.

Medium Weight

This category refers to denim with a weight of between eight and ten ounces. As medium weight denim is a great all-rounder, offering an ideal combination of lightweight and heavyweight denim qualities, it is one of the most commonly-used weights. It's perfect for all kinds of general usage, including for making jackets, skirts, trousers and jeans.


This category refers to denim with a weight of ten ounces or more. Though stiff and not as easy to work with as lighter weights, heavyweight denim is immensely strong and durable, perfect for creating more heavy-duty garments. How the fabric creases when worn results in unique patterns of fading. Heavyweight denim is ideal for creating traditional jeans and structured garments, as well as for making accessories like bags and purses.

At Croft Mill, we have a wide range of denim fabrics available in lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight options. Please browse our website to discover the complete collection.

Posted in Product news, Guides and tagged denim, sewing on