What Is Cotton Drill? A Fabric Guide

I love cotton drill. It’s very versatile and is a great utility fabric that we stock in some very vibrant colours and best of all it’s really great value too.

Drill has a twill weave which makes it a very strong, dense medium to heavy weight fabric. It’s a really popular choice for uniforms and work clothes but the vibrant colours lends itself to all sorts of other exciting garments including both tailored and casual designs, as well as children’s wear and home furnishings. It’s even used to line shoes!

Drill makes great jackets


The twill weave means it has very attractive characteristic diagonal lines on the fabric which adds an interesting texture.


Drill is quite similar to denim but is usually dyed and has a smoother appearance. (Read my guide to denim fabric here)

Use Drill To Make

The 100% cotton drill that we stock is medium weight and is ideal for clothing and home decor projects. Use it to make:

  • Shirts
  • Heavier weight dresses
  • Trousers
  • Uniforms and workwear
  • Jackets
  • Bags
  • Aprons
  • Home furnishings

Wash and tumble dry several times to pre-shrink and get rid of any excess dye. This will also soften the fabric if it needs it.

Use cotton drill to make and line bags


Drill is great for toys as it’s hard wearing

 Sewing Tips

Drill is a pretty easy fabric to handle.

  • Use a 90/14 needle
  • Stitch length 2.5mm – 3.0mm
  • When cutting pay close attention to the grainline

I hope that’s helpful for you. Please shout if you have any questions.

16 thoughts on “What Is Cotton Drill? A Fabric Guide”

  1. Hi… thanks for this guide it helped me so much.

    I was just wondering is it possible to apply a hydrophobic treatment to garments made with cotton drill?

    Thanks again,


  2. Hi, I have aprons with cotton drill material, do you have any suggestion for the washing instruction? Thank you 🙂

  3. I would like to make a tote bag out of drill and embellish it with heat transfer vinyl. Will it be damaged at all by ironing?

  4. Heya,
    I just bought a drill cotton jacket which is a bit faded and wondering if it’s safe to dye it, or if it might compromise the shape.
    Thanks for your help 🙂

  5. I was wondering if the drill can be used for face masks (with thinner cotton lining)?
    I’m talking about the foldable masks type.
    Thanks in advance

    1. Apologiesfor the delayed response here – seems I’ve not been getting notifications. I wouldn’t recommend drill for masks – I fear it would be too heavy for comfort

  6. So I just found your blog – after I bought the cotton drill. I washed it and it come out totally wrinkled and I cannot iron the wrinkles out. Any suggestions. I washed on delicate and tumble dried on low with a damp dry setting. Thanks

  7. Have just bought a garment in this fabric but it has an awful smell. Have washed it twice. How do I get rid of the smell?

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