Best 100% Cotton Fabric Types To Sew A Men’s Summer Robe

Best 100% Cotton Fabric Types To Sew A Men’s Summer Robe

“It’s cuddly, easy to put on and he uses it like a bath towel.”

This is what Virginia’s husband said when I asked why he wore his dressing gown (aka our Box Sleeve Robe) for most of the day when he works from home.
It is hot here in Brisbane in summer. Often between 30-40 degrees Celsius and it is very humid. So, a pool is handy to have, and showers are a regular occurrence.
I can understand why one is tempted to permanently lounge around home in a dressing gown, because the thought of getting dressed seems pointless.


What is the best fabric to use when sewing a men’s robe for Summer? 

In particular, a robe or dressing gown like ours, with flowy Box Sleeves. So, here are my top recommendations:

The Top Six 100% Cotton Fabrics For Men’s Summer Robe

  1. Chambray
  2. Lawn
  3. Linen/Cotton Blend 
  4. Poplin
  5. Seersucker
  6. Terry Towelling

I know, I know the Linen/Cotton is a blend but it has to be included - the cotton part of 100% ;)


Sewing Pattern - Men's Box Sleeve Dressing Gown

Why Sew With Cotton?

The Characteristics Of Cotton

Cotton is a popular choice for summer due to its breathability and lightweight nature. It allows air to circulate, keeping you cool and comfortable in warm weather. It is a durable and affordable fabric that is easy to care for.
Any cotton with a longer fibre means a stronger cotton fabric (such as Egyptian cotton). The longer the fibre the more luxurious the cotton and soft to touch. Denim, for instance is made of short cotton fibres.
During my 20s I worked as an accountant in the cotton industry in Australia. Most of my time was spent in a Cotton Gin just outside of Moree, Australia. A Cotton Gin separates the fibre from the cotton seed and removes debris. It is here the cotton is graded based upon its fibre length.
Australia has gained a reputation globally of growing quality cotton. Cotton Australia have a simple resource that summarises the different types of cotton fabric and fashion purposes.


Why These Six Cotton Fabrics?

Each of these cotton fabrics work well for a men’s summer Robe. Firstly they possess a timeless quality, in other words they will always look good. Secondly, how they feel when worn.

The cotton fabric either gives you a light summery feel or keeps you feeling snug and dry on those humid days.

Below is an explanation of the qualities and suggested weight of each of these fabrics. I have provided them in alphabetical order.



Chambray cotton fabric has a similar look to denim but is typically lighter in weight and softer in texture. It is woven using a plain weave with coloured yarns in the warp and white yarns in the weft, creating a subtle, textured appearance. Chambray is comfortable and breathable. I would recommend the medium fibre weight of chambray cotton for the men’s robe sewing pattern.


Linen/Cotton Blend

Probably the most expensive of the options listed, A linen/cotton blend fabric combines the desirable characteristics of both linen and cotton fibres, resulting in a versatile and balanced textile.
Linen is known for its strength, natural lustre, and excellent moisture-wicking properties. Cotton, prized for its softness, breathability, and ease of care. The fabric maintains the coolness, durability, and crisp texture of linen while benefiting from the added softness and comfort of cotton.

Linen/cotton blend fabric tends to have a moderate fibre weight, falling between the lighter weight of pure linen and the heavier weight of pure cotton fabrics. The result is a luxurious and stylish garment that will stand the test of time.

Mens luxurious Linen Box Sleeve Robe Sewing Pattern



Some might think Lawn is a bit too light weight for a men’s robe but it is worth considering when you live in sticky hot weather.

Lawn cotton is a lightweight, breathable fabric. It is sheer, with a soft, smooth finish. It's made using a plain weave and is often used for making lightweight clothing.

The fibre weight of Lawn cotton fabric typically ranges from fine to medium. For boys and men, I would recommend medium weight. And while you are at it, make him a little handkerchief to pop in his pocket.


I have made my brother the Box Sleeve Robe out of Cotton Poplin and it fell really nicely with crisp lines and neat corners. Poplin cotton fabric, also known as broadcloth, is characterised by its tightly woven plain weave construction, resulting in a smooth and crisp texture.

It has a slight sheen and is often made from combed cotton yarns for added softness. It is not as breathable as other cotton options, but due to Poplin’s refined appearance and somewhat wrinkle-resistant properties it makes a nice-looking summer boy’s and men’s dressing gown.

This easy to care for fabric works from a fine to a medium weight for the Robe.

Men's Box Sleeve Robe Sewing Pattern made from Cotton Poplin

This looks cool, both in appearance and feel. Seersucker cotton fabric is recognisable by its puckered texture and alternating smooth and crinkled stripes.

It is woven using a special slack-tension weave, which creates the characteristic puckering effect. Seersucker is lightweight and breathable.

Typically used for making summer clothing such as shirts, dresses, and suits, it is perfect for the Box Sleeve Robe. Its puckered texture helps to promote air circulation, making it ideal for hot and humid climates.

The fibre weight of seersucker cotton fabric ranges from light to medium. Choose which works for you best.

Terry Cloth/ Terry Towelling

Terry cloth cotton fabric is known for its looped pile texture, which provides excellent absorbency and softness. It is woven using a special dobby or jacquard loom that creates loops on one or both sides of the fabric. Terry cloth is commonly used for making towels, bathrobes, and beachwear due to its ability to absorb moisture quickly and comfortably. Sound familiar for those living in the tropics?
A customer recently made one out of bath towels, which I thought was a great way to source this fabric. The fibre weight of terry cloth cotton can get heavy it can be worth its weight in gold.



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