bemberg rayon lining
First let's talk lining fabrics and what kinds of fabrics work as linings that aren't labeled "linings." So there are the typical "lining" fabrics that you can find at a fabric store. They are usually labeled "linings" or a sales associate will most likely point you in that direction when you say you're looking for a lining. You probably already know what I'm talking about too. Usually the "lining" fabrics are all solid colors, many are polyester or acetate and they all have that "slippery" quality. But let's say you're pretty much tired of these low-grade low-quality, unbreathable crummy linings and you've decided to expand your search for something else. What do you do? Well, there is a great lining that is called bemberg rayon lining or ambiance. It comes in a variety of solid colors, its breathable, it high quality and lasts and feels wonderful against your skin. I use bemberg for most of my lined garments. I have easy access to this fabric and quite frankly its the lowest cost/highest quality lining "lining" fabric out there. But wait, there's more!
silk charmeuse solid & printed
Let me acquaint you with my favorite luxury lining - silk charmeuse. Yes, you can use silk charmeuse as a lining. I find it very interesting that people get so turned off by this idea or that they laugh in my face because yes, the price is a little astronomical, but I'm telling you, you have not lived until you have a garment that is lined is silk charmeuse. There is a very valid reason that couturiers use this fabric as a lining. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you should line everything in silk charmeuse, but when the lining really counts, silk charmeuse is the ticket. Plus you can get printed silk charmeuse for extra special garments. And it is worth every. single. cent.
silk crepe de chine, printed & solid
There are other types of silks that work great as linings as well, including crepe de chine and china silk. Crepe de chine is a crepe silk that looks like the matte side of silk charmeuse. It works great as a lining in jackets, I think, but its not as slippery as a charmeuse, so keep that in mind. China silk is very very lightweight and has a plain weave to it. It's great as a lining in garments that are delicate.
hammered polyester charmeuse
I've had a lot of people say that they would love to use "printed linings" more often if they could only find them. Wouldn't we all? Printed linings can be really really fun. Surprisingly, I've found some pretty high grade polyester charmeuses at Joann that would do the job of a lining quite well. No they aren't as fabulous as actual silk, but especially in a jacket, polyesters can do really well. So keep your eyes open for polyester silky prints at your local fabric store and expect to be surprised at how much nicer they are in comparison to the actual "lining" fabrics you find there.
from left to right, knit lining and two stretch woven linings
What about linings for stretch fabrics? Stretch lining can be practically impossible to find. Seriously. We carry a few a Yellow Bird Fabrics and I always tell customers about them because of their rarity. When looking at a stretch lining, there are woven stretch linings and knit linings. I have a great resource for both below. Be aware that these linings are rarely, if ever, all natural fibers. But that's OK! Stretch woven lining should have lycra (or spandex, same thing) and you can use it with stretch wovens or knits. If you need more stretch, go with a knit lining. These are like swimsuit linings - the kind that are slick and fairly opaque. If you are wanting more of a luxury stretch lining, opt for stretch silk charmeuse. Yes, stretch silk charmeuse! It's got a little bit of lycra in it and makes a wonderful stretch lining for say something like a ponte knit jacket.
rayon crepe back satins
Last, but not least, coat and outerwear linings. There are a few options for lining a coat. You'll want something substantial. For the money, I like rayon crepe back satin. This is a heavier weight than say, a bemberg rayon lining and you can also find linings that have flannel backings which are very nice. If you're looking to line something really special you can opt for silk crepe back satin which is a heavier, more substantial version of silk charmeuse. It still retains a slick surface in addition to being drapey too.
Now for the moment you've all been waiting for! Yay! Here are my online sources for finding these great lining fabrics:
Bemberg Rayon Lining (also known as "Ambiance"): Vogue Fabrics, Low Price Fabrics, Sawyer Brook
Silk Charmeuse: Mood Fabrics, Thai Silks (for printed silks), Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
Silk Crepe De Chine: Fabric Mart, Mood Fabrics, Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
China Silk: Mood Fabrics, Gorgeous Fabrics
Silks you can dye yourself!: Dharma Trading
Printed Polyester Charmeuse: Low Price Fabrics
Knit & Stretch Linings: Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
Stretch Silk Charmeuse: Mood Fabrics
Coat Weight Linings: Vogue Fabrics, Denver Fabrics, Mood Fabrics
Cotton Batiste: Organic Cotton Plus