Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance is increasingly used to differentiate the aetiology of cardiomyopathies. Late Gadolinium Enhancement (LGE) is the reference standard for non-invasive imaging of myocardial scar and focal fibrosis and is valuable in the differential diagnosis of ischaemic versus non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy. Diffuse fibrosis may go undetected on LGE imaging. Tissue characterisation with parametric mapping methods has the potential to detect and quantify both focal and diffuse alterations in myocardial structure not assessable by LGE. Native and post-contrast T1 mapping in particular has shown promise as a novel biomarker to support diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic decision making in ischaemic and non-ischaemic cardiomyopathies as well as in patients with acute chest pain syndromes. Furthermore, changes in the myocardium over time may be assessed longitudinally with this non-invasive tissue characterisation method.