Hey there! As we head into our continuation about the material that we wear, don’t take this as you HAVE to know these fabrics…just think of this as a guideline. Information, even for me as a novice blogger, if it is GOOD enough to read and you feel that this is beneficial for you, I say you SHOULD read on.
**Sidenote: I mean Heaven forbid me if I forget what I’m saying now while writing this blog entry and not even remember what I’m wearing by the end of the day (lol).**
But however, you can skim to the very middle or end of this mini-series once it is done for sure, then I say you have been given a mini-lesson, per se. I mean, I LOVE information. Anything that I can read about, if it intrigues me enough, I will read on about it until it exhausts my mind to unconsciousness.
So anyways, let’s move on to natural and man-made materials, shall we?
But one more thing, seriously though…
WHO IS READY FOR SPRING? I know I’m ready!
Natural fibers are just that – those that are found in nature. They come from plants or animals. as opposed to being chemically produced. The following lists a variety of natural fibers and explains how they’re used to clothing.
- Cotton: comes from a plant and is the most popular fabric, in part because it breathes. Among the fabrics made from cotton are flannel, muslin, oxford, poplin, seersucker, and terry cloth. Because cotton cloth wrinkles easily, manufacturers often blend it with polyester to make it wrinkle resistant; unfortunately, this pairing also makes it less breathable. However, today you can buy 100% cotton shirts that don’t need to be ironed but merely thrown in the dryer for a short time because permanent finishes have been added to them that reduce wrinkling. While shirts are more costly, in the long run they can save you a bundle in cleaning costs.
- Wool: comes from animals and is woven into a fiber that can be made into clothing. Wool retains heat and absorbs moisture without feeling wet so it’s particularly good as an outer layer. When treated, worsted wool holds a crease and is smooth and quite durable, making it popular for suits, skirts and slacks. Among the types of fabrics made from wool are flannel, gabardine, tartan, and various tweeds. Most wool comes from sheep, but the wool of other animals —such as alpaca, angora goat (mohair), angora rabbit, cashmere goat, vicuna (a type of llama) and camel — is also wool.
- Silk: is made from the hairs of the cocoon of the silk worm, and man has been using this wonderful fiber since 2,700 BC. Silk is one of the more elegant fabrics because the cloth produced is shiny and gives a dressier appearance. Among the fabrics made from silk are chifon and “doupioni”, a knobby silk found in some men’s lightweight suits. Keep your silk away from alcohol. If you’re going to put on perfume or hairspray, do so before you don a silk garment and allow alcohol to evaporate.
- Linen: is made from fibers in the stalk of the flax plant. It’s the strongest of any vegetable fabric, as much as three times stronger than cotton. Yes, linen wrinkles easily, but it’s also easily pressed. Linen is a good conductor of heat, which makes it perfect to wear in hotter temperatures.
- Hemp: comes from the stalk of the plant whose flowers and leaves make marijuana (but no, the stalk doesn’t contain any of the narcotics that give marijuana its punch). Like linen, it wrinkles easily. Because it’s considered a “green” fabric, hemp is growing in popularity, but it’s still illegal to grow hemp in the United States and so the fabric is imported from China.
While natural fibers require just some simple processing, manufactured fibers are a little more involved. They start as various combinations of raw ingredients that you may not associate with clothing at all, like petroleum and wood pulp. These substances are turned into fiber using techniques that have only been around for the last century or less. Manufactured fibers can have advantages over natural fibers. For example, they can be made into hollow tubes that offer loft without the weight (such as those found in winter overcoats) and microfibers that are excellent at repelling water.
- Acetate: is made from wood pulp. It can have the look of silk, dries quickly, and drapes well. If you own clothing made from acetate, keep it away from acetate in its liquid form, such as nail polish and nail polish remover. Liquid acetate will damage the acetate fabric.
- Acrylic: is a synthetic fiber, meaning it’s manufactured from petroleum products. It has the bulk of wool, draws moisture away from the body, and can be washed. It also dries quickly, but melts if it becomes too hot.
- Nylon: the first completely synthetic fiber, entered the fashion world in the form of stockings introduced in the 1940s. It’s lightweight but strong and its fibers are smooth and dry quickly. After many washes, nylon tends to “pill”; it also melts at high temperatures.
- Polyester: fibers are strong and wear very well. Because it doesn’t absorb water easily, it dries quickly. The downside is that polyester doesn’t breathe. Unfortunately, polyester got a bad name for itself when it was used in double-knit fabric that was popular for a while in the 1970s and then became overused. Today, polyester is often used in a blend with cotton or other fibers.
- Rayon: is created from wood pulp, and it shares many of the qualities of cotton. It’s strong and absorbent, comes in a variety of qualities and weights, and drapes well. If rayon is washed before being made into a garment, it’s a washable fabric.
Yay! You have now at the end of Part 2! We’ll definitely expand more on about this in the last part of this mini-series. But when that does happen, make sure to be ready, because it is almost April and I’m SO excited for the fact of the topics and so on that I will be covering for you folks!
P.S. – If there are ANY ideas that you should think of at ALL, that you would like me to cover on here in the future, go to my fan page on Facebook (like, share, post pics of your fashionable selfies) and mention it on there if you’d like! 🙂
Well, thanks again for reading my blog!
Love for you,