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Fabric GSM what is it and what does it mean?

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

When purchasing fabric you may come across the phrase “GSM of the fabric”. GSM means Grams per Square Meter. There are many types of fabric from natural fibre fabrics to synthetic fibres and a mix of both, there's at least 28 types of fabric. All of which have different types of GSM as you can imagine Leather has a higher GSM than Chiffon and so on. GSM does not mean the quality of the fabric its just the weight.

This system is also used on paper products, so the next time your buying paper for your printer from the local store on the side of the packet it usually has the GSM, this like fabric relates to the grams per square meter and now you know what it means, but remember this is just the weight not the quality of the product.

Below is a list of fabrics from canvas to leather from satin to cotton, all will have their own GSM and all fabric GSMs can vary with dyeing / printing on the fabric.

1. Canvas

2. Cashmere

Blue Chiffon Fabric
Chiffon Fabric

3. Chenille

Leather Fabric
Leather Fabric

4. Chiffon

5. Cotton

6. Crêpe.

7. Damask.

8. Gingham

9. Jersey.

10. Lace.

11. Leather

12. Linen

13. Merino Wool.

14. Modal

15. Muslin

16. Organza.

17. Polyester

18. Satin.

19. Silk.

20. Spandex.

21. Suede.

22. Taffeta..

23. Toile

24. Tweed.

25. Twil

26. Velvet.

27. Viscose

28. Wool.

Calculating GSM

To calculate GSM cut a swatch of fabric of a size 10cm x 10cm place and on a weighing scale, whatever the result multiply the grams by 100 and that is the Grams per Square Meter of fabric.

In the photos we have a swatch of 10cm x 10cm Liberty Hesketh House- Fireside it is 100% cotton and weighs 2g, once we multiply by 100 we have the GSM of the fabric, So per Square meter we multiply by 100 and we get 200 Grams per Square Meter or 200 GSM. In the next image we a 10cm x 10cm swatch of a polyester Orange micro fibre. As you can see from the image its is slightly heavier than the liberty fabric at 3g for the 10cm x 10cm swatch, again multiply this by 100 and we get 300 Grams Per Square Meter or 300GSM.

Synthetic fibre
Micro Fibre Swatch

Remember if you order 1 meter of fabric from a supplier the chances are its not a square meter of fabric, for instance the fabric on our website is quilting fabric it measures off the Bolt and quilting fabric is generally 110cm wide so when purchasing 1 meter of fabric you are actually getting fabric which measures 100cm x 110cm , so the actual weight calculation for the Liberty Hesketh House Fireside fabric per meter (110cm x100cm) would be 220 grams a difference of 20 grams from the actual Grams Per Square Meter of the fabric which is 200 GSM. So remember the GSM of the fabric is weight of the fabric not neccesarily the quality of the fabric.

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