Jeremy Fernsler takes a look at building a furbish shader in Maya, one that takes on the visual properties of what fabric looks like in real life. A lot of the concepts in this tutorial can be used in many other instances when creating shader networks.
We look at reference images to see what we want out of a shader and then begin with the most basic of setups
It is interesting to note the differences between working with physical shaders / rendering engines (in Maya or any other application) and what Jeremy is doing here to set up the fabric shader. In the end, this by no means is a physical shader, but it does look very believable as fabric. This is largely doe to the fact that Jeremy is placing strong weight on visual reference and picking up on the visual cues that make fabric look like fabric in the real world.
The only added value a physical shader would have over this set up, is the ability to work in any lighting or camera set up, without any tweaking to the shaders attributes. A physical shader will also have a slightly less involved set up.