Cloth, Clothes, Clothing…


Certain products derive their names from their raw materials in the manufacturing process. A typical example is cloth and clothes…clothes are made from cloth.

Errrrr…Still confused?

Don’t give in yet.

How is cloth different from clothes? And then clothing?

Here, we will discuss the three words severally while citing examples and distinguishing each one from the other.

How is CLOTH used?

Cloth (an uncountable noun) refers to any fabric used to make apparels, blankets and other items. Cloth can be cotton, polyester, silk, wool, and any other type of fabric.

A cloth (countable noun) refers to a piece of material; as in items like tablecloth, facecloth,


  • I used my microfiber cloth to clean my glasses occasionally.
  • The dressmaker asked her apprentice to buy a few yards of cloth for their new client.
  • I have five tablecloths.
  • He prefers cloth-covered sofas to leather-covered sofas.
  • Cut your coat according to the length of your cloth.
  • The school sells its cloth to students with which to make their clothes.

How is CLOTHES used?

Clothes can be used as a verb or a noun.

As a noun:

Clothes are apparels worn for the purpose of covering the body and are made from cloth.

For example:

  • Your clothes for work should be corporate-appropriate.
  • She needs new clothes for the new season.
  • I can make different clothes from that cloth.

As a verb:

Clothes is the third person singular present tense of the verb “to clothe”—meaning to dress someone.

For example:

  • The guest designer for this year’s Accra Fashion Week clothes his models in sequins only.


Plural of cloth is cloths (no “e”) and this refers to pieces of fabric, as in tablecloths, washcloths, facecloths, etc.

Plural of clothes is still clothes since it is only used in the plural form.

Clothing (uncountable noun) refers to clothes but used in generic and less personal contexts, such as industry and corporations.


We could buy clothes made from cloth in the clothing section of the store.

We could also get some cloths as leftovers from the finished clothes in the clothing section.

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