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Types of Mesh Fabric for Sewing Projects Full Guide of 2024

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types of mesh fabricYou’re on the hunt for mesh fabrics and what you’ll need to know. We get it – working with mesh requires learning its ins and outs to end up with the results you want.

Let’s dive into the types of mesh and their characteristics so you can find your perfect match. With just the right mesh, your next project will have that breathable, durable beauty you envisioned.

Once you know the lay of the mesh land, you’ll be ready to cut, sew, and create to your heart’s content. So if you’ve ever sewn and asked yourself which mesh is the best?, start reading – this information will clear things up so you can get stitching.

Key Takeaways

  • Polyester mesh is moisture-wicking and good for activewear.
  • Nylon mesh is durable and often used for outdoor gear.
  • Power mesh is very stretchy and commonly used in shapewear.
  • Tulle mesh is delicate and frequently used for costumes.

What is Mesh Fabric?

What is Mesh Fabric
You’re breathin’ easy in your sportswear made from that stretchy, permeable fabric. Mesh has been coolin’ down athletes for decades with its open construction allowin’ max airflow. Whether it’s a swooshin’ polyester jersey or a supportive power mesh bra, mesh keeps sweat from weighin’ you down.

But mesh ain’t just for jocks. Its lightweight, breathable nature makes it perfect for shapewear, slinky dresses, peek-a-boo overlays and more. Mesh adds intrigue with its sheer teases while still providin’ coverage and support.

Mesh is the ultimate hot weather fabric, combinin’ breathability, flexibility and style.

History of Mesh Fabric

History of Mesh Fabric
Mesh fabric originated in late 19th century England when Lewis Haslam invented this open weave material. Before Haslam’s bright idea, clothing was heavy, hot and restricting. Natural fibers like cotton and wool, used for centuries, absorbed sweat and sagged.

But the petroleum revolution brought new synthesized fibers that changed fashion forever.

Nylon, invented in the 1930s, was strong, stretchy and quick-drying. Polyester fibers followed, providing similar benefits. These synthetic materials allowed Haslam to create a pioneering weave with thousands of tiny holes for max airflow.

Athletes sweating through sports first embraced mesh. Light as a whisper, it kept competitors cool and unrestricted while wicking moisture. By the 1980s, brands like Adidas were meshing it up. This sensation caught on with adventurers, workers and anyone active under the sun.

Beyond sportswear, mesh seduced with its sheer allure. Lingerie and shapewear brands utilized its lightweight support and breathability. Mesh accents and overlays brought intrigue to fashion. Its flexibility allowed for dresses and gowns that swayed gracefully.

Today mesh remains a hot commodity. Synthetics developed over decades continue improving its durability, stretch and abilities. But the spirit remains the same. Like its weave, mesh is woven into our culture.

We desire its freedom, comfort and naughty teases. Mesh liberates us, letting us breathe easy.

Types of Mesh Fabric

Types of Mesh Fabric
Here are the main types of mesh fabric. Polyester mesh is often used for athletic wear thanks to its moisture-wicking abilities. Nylon mesh is more durable, ideal for functional clothing. Power mesh has incredible stretch for shapewear and lingerie while delicate tulle creates ethereal veils and costumes.

Outdoor equipment utilizes mesh netting for its strength. Having covered the mesh basics, we can now explore more specialized uses.

Polyester Mesh

Dress lightly when you wear polyester mesh. Synthetics like polyester brought breathable fabrics. This olefin polymer made from petroleum undergoes processing to form threads, then woven into open mesh for breezy comfort.

Unlike natural fibers, polyester dries quickly and resists shrinking. Pair it with poly threads for strength when stitching.

Nylon Mesh

Nylon mesh allows you to move with ease. This synthetic fiber’s durability makes it ideal for activewear that can withstand your adventures. Nylon mesh glides with you, its strength supporting your movements. Let it carry you through sun-drenched days.

Power Mesh

Stretchy power mesh lovingly cradles your curves like a second skin.

  1. Knitted to curve over your body’s contours
  2. Synthetic fibers woven into a strong yet flexible fabric
  3. Provides lightweight smoothing and shaping
  4. Ideal for shapewear and intimate apparel
  5. Lets you move freely while gently holding you in

Power mesh gives you the freedom to be yourself.


Tulle’s delicate weave adds ethereal elegance to your gown’s overlay.

Delicate Sheer
Lightweight Filmy
Romantic Luminous

Float through your special occasion wrapped in fine tulle. The sheer mesh caresses your silhouette with a feather-light touch, accentuating your graceful femininity.

Mesh Netting

Outdoor sporting activities come alive within sturdy yet breathable mesh netting’s flexible embrace. Versatile and long-lasting, this practical material’s tighter weave lends natural characteristics ideal for nets and equipment.

Discover freedom through understanding as mesh netting’s sturdy practicality enables your active dreams.

Properties of Mesh Fabric

Properties of Mesh Fabric
You’ll find mesh fabric quite breathable and lightweight thanks to its open, grid-like texture, though the durability depends on the fiber used. For example, a polyester workout shirt will stay cool and dry during high intensity training.

Some key properties of mesh fabrics include:

  1. Breathability – The open weave allows air to flow through easily.
  2. Lightweight – Less fiber is used compared to tightly woven fabrics.
  3. Stretch – Many mesh fabrics have some stretch for flexibility.
  4. Sheerness – Visibility through the fabric varies by the tightness of the weave.
  5. Snagging – More open weaves are prone to catching and pulling.

The breathability makes mesh a go-to for activewear where ventilation and cooling are essential. Stretchy power mesh creates shape in bodysuits and bras without sacrificing comfort. For dance costumes and bridal veils, soft tulle mesh adds ethereal volume. Outdoor mesh nets stand up to weather while allowing air flow.

Uses of Mesh Fabric

Uses of Mesh Fabric
You love how mesh layers lightweight openness. The uses depend on its sheer versatility. Fashion designers utilize mesh for everything from party tops to shapewear. The open weave works in clothing where breathability matters most.

Polyester mesh makes workout wear breezier. Nylon meshes stand up in functional garments. Power mesh stretches to smooth lines in bodysuits and bras. For dance costumes or bridal gowns, tulle mesh creates dreamy volume.

Outdoor brands rely on durable mesh for nets and sporting goods. Tightly woven mesh withstands play while allowing airflow. Fine meshes strain particles in filters. Even building wraps and fences use meshes for a lightweight feel.

Experiment with mesh to fulfill secret desires for beauty, movement and freedom. Sheer poetry, an openwork of yarns, mesh liberates by concealing and revealing.

Working With Mesh Fabric

Working With Mesh Fabric
When working with mesh fabric, mind your tools. For cutting, rely on rotary cutters, not scissors, to glide through the open weave. For sewing, choose ballpoint needles that won’t snag threads and polyester thread for strength.

Make the zigzag stitch your choice to reinforce seams, and go slowly with a light foot to avoid pulling. The open weave of mesh fabric requires special considerations when cutting and sewing. Rotary cutters prevent fraying, while ballpoint needles and polyester thread accommodate the delicate threads.

Reinforcing seams with a zigzag stitch and gently guiding the fabric prevents distortion. Adjusting tools and techniques preserves the airy drape that makes mesh so light and breezy.

Cutting Mesh

When cuttin’ mesh, use a rotary cutter ’cause scissors can snag the open weave. You’ll love how the rotary blade glides smooth as silk through the grids of your mesh fabric. Forget those scissors that chop and fray – embrace the rotary’s clean slices. It keeps the openwork intact for your sheer creations.

Polyester meshes for activewear, power mesh for shapewear, woven meshes for filters – all surrender to a sharp rotary’s edge.

The right cut frees the potential, liberates your mesh to move and breathe. Like a whisper of threadwork, it conceals and reveals.

Sewing Mesh

Stitchin’ mesh calls for a gentle hand ‘n the right tools, my friend. When sewin’ this delicate material:

  1. Grab a ballpoint needle to slide smooth through the weave.
  2. Keep a rotary cutter handy for clean cuts.
  3. Opt for polyester thread for strength.
  4. Set your machine to a zigzag stitch to hold it all together.
  5. Go slow with a light touch – don’t tug the fabric.

Mesh asks for patience ‘n care. With the proper prep, your sheer creation will take shape – breathable, lightweight, ready to move. The right stitches make all the difference. Take it easy and you’ll see this ain’t so hard.

Durability of Mesh Fabrics

Durability of Mesh Fabrics
Gettin’ your hands dirty with mesh can be rough, but stayin’ strong like a warrior and choosin’ the right fiber’ll help ya brave the fray.

When considerin’ mesh durability, start with how ya plan to wear it. Delicate tulle mesh – perfect for billowy costumes – won’t survive daily wear n’ tear. Nylon mesh, frequently used for athletic garb and durable outdoor gear, stands up to stretch n’ stress.

For shapewear n’ workout clothes, opt for power mesh. Its exceptional stretch ‘n strength holds ya in while givin’ with ya. Sturdy mesh nettin’ plays hard in sports fields, holdin’ up to weather n’ rough housin’.

Matchin’ mesh type to use keeps your threads in fightin’ form. A gauzy overlay mesh disintegrates with one wrong move, while performance mesh lasts lap after lap. And in between, meshes like nylon stand strong through daily activewear demands.

Considerin’ fabric traits like weight n’ fiber helps select the right mesh for the job. Then ya can wear your breezy mesh creations with confidence, knowin’ they’ll go the distance.

Breathability of Mesh Fabric

Breathability of Mesh Fabric
Mesh fabric’s breathability keeps ya cool ‘n comfy, proppin’ up performance when ya perspire. Whether ya need workout wear that wicks moisture or a veil with airflow, mesh delivers.

Unlike solid fabrics, mesh don’t trap heat ‘n sweat next to ya skin. All those tiny holes let air circulate freely. Sweat evaporates instead of pooling in ya clothes. Heat dissipates instead of lingerin’ ’round ya body.

Breathability depends on the openness of the weave – how sparse the threads n’ how big the holes. Nettin’ ‘n athletic meshes boast extra-open textures for ultimate airflow. While costume tulle allows some ventilatin’, it prioritizes delicate drape over breathin’ power.

Mesh construction also affects durability. More open weaves snag more easily. But they win for comfy cooling in hot ‘n sweaty situations.

Whether ya seek lightweight cover that won’t trap heat or unrestricted airflow to manage high exertion, mesh’s breathability makes it prime for perspiration-prone pursuits. Its porous personality delivers the cooling power to keep ya dry ‘n comfortable.

Mesh Fabric and the Environment

Mesh Fabric and the Environment
Mesh’s porous personality comes at a price for the planet. Though mesh keeps us cool, its common fibers heat things up. Most mesh relies on synthetic, petroleum-derived materials like polyester and nylon.

  1. More fossil fuels get extracted and processed into fabric.
  2. These non-biodegradable textiles linger in landfills after disposal.
  3. Mesh garments release microplastics when washed that pollute waterways.
  4. Manufacturing mesh and its source materials emits greenhouse gases.
  5. Recycling mesh is challenging with limited infrastructure.

Certain renewable, biodegradable fibers offer eco-friendly alternatives. Some designers use organic cotton mesh or silk, but these lack the durability of synthetics for athletic gear and cost more.

Innovations like mesh made of algae and crab shells point the way forward, but widespread adoption depends on scalability and affordability. For now, mesh’s environmental impacts remain tied to petroleum and disposable fashion.

Rethinking production, reducing waste, and recycling mesh are vital for sustainability. As its porous popularity expands from athletic realms into fast fashion, mesh magnifies problems of disposability.

With thoughtful lifecycle choices, its cooling comfort needn’t sacrifice the planet.

Certifications for Mesh Fabrics

Certifications for Mesh Fabrics
You’re still waiting on OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification before using that new polyester mesh supplier. With so many types of mesh fabrics available, you want to be sure the one you choose meets rigorous health and environmental standards.

Different mesh types serve unique functions, but share some concerning chemicals. Polyester and nylon meshes contain traces of carcinogenic compounds used in production. These can migrate to skin over time. Power mesh contains spandex and latex chemicals that may irritate sensitive skin.

OEKO-TEX comprehensively screens fabrics for harmful substances. They check raw materials, all production stages, and finished textiles. Over 10,000 harmful chemicals are banned. If the certification comes through, you can trust that polyester mesh won’t expose wearers to toxins.

Careful mesh selection ensures the safety and integrity of your designs. Seek meshes made sustainably, free of allergenic glues and noxious chemicals. Let certifications guide you, not just cost and performance factors. Together with responsible construction, breathable meshes will keep customers cool, fresh and healthy for seasons to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best uses for polyester mesh fabric vs. nylon mesh fabric?

Polyester mesh is best for activewear since it wicks moisture and dries quickly. Go with more durable nylon mesh for functional clothing like rain jackets or pack covers where abrasion resistance matters.

Polyester tends to snag more easily than nylon, so pick the right fiber for the garment’s purpose.

How do you clean and care for different types of mesh fabric?

Though mesh be but a flimsy cloth, it is strong with proper care. Hand wash it gently in cool water, using no bleach or hot drying, lest holes widen and the weave unwind. Let it air dry flat to maintain the shape and drape you love. With this care, your delicate mesh creations will last.

What are some tips for sewing stretch mesh fabrics that won’t lose their shape?

When sewing stretch mesh, choose a ballpoint needle that glides through the fabric without snagging. Go slowly, keeping stitches small and tight. Avoid pulling as you sew, and let the feed dogs move the fabric.

These tricks will help your project maintain its shape without distorting the knit.

Where can you buy mesh fabric for apparel/costumes/sports equipment?

You can find mesh fabrics like polyester, nylon, and tulle for apparel at fabric stores. Athletic mesh for sports equipment is available at sporting goods stores. Check fashion supply stores for specialty power mesh and costume mesh fabrics.

Craft stores carry basic mesh fabrics as well. Shop online for the widest selection.

Are there any health or safety concerns related to wearing mesh athletic fabrics?

Breathable, provocative mesh undergarments are freeing yet complex, friend. Mindful care in washing, drying, and storing lengthen life, but snags can arise unexpectedly.


When choosing mesh fabrics for your sewing projects, think outside the box. Let the fabric’s open weave symbolize the openness of your imagination. Polyester and nylon offer durability; power mesh, stretch. Tulle whispers romance, while netting shouts function.

Whatever you envision, mesh invites you to breathe life into your creative vision. Just be sure to care for our planet as you give flight to your dreams. With mesh in hand, your creativity is limited only by the depths of your ingenuity.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.