Cotton • Cotton is a natural fiber. It is cool, soft, comfortable, and the principle clothing fiber of the world. • It comes from cotton plants seed pod • It is hollow in the center and looks like a twisted ribbon under a microscope • Some characteristics of cotton are that it is strong, durable, and absorbs moisture well, it does not spring back into shape. • And since cotton wrinkles polyester was added so it could be washed and worn. • It is slower to dry and it is 20% stronger wet than dry • Typical clothing that are made with cotton are blouses, dresses, skirts, underwear, socks, sportswear, and housecoats.
Linen • Linen has been used in clothing for at least 10,000 years. • It is made from a flax plant. • It is elegant and durable, • Linen is the strongest of the vegetable fibers and it is similar to cotton but, has 2 to 3 times the strength of cotton. • Linen fiber is also smooth. • It is also highly absorbent and it is a good conductor of heat. • The fibers have a silky luster and make you feel cool. • It has poor elastic and does not spring back into place. • It is very expensive because most of the flax to make linen is grown in Europe. • Linen produces blouses, dresses, skirts, and suits.
Wool • Wool is a protein fiber. • It is weaker than cotton or linen, especially when it gets wet • It is most valued for its textured appearance and warmth. • It absorbs odor and is durable. • There are two different ways to process to make wool. • Woolen fabrics are considered woolens and have a soft fuzzy surface, very little shine, will not hold crease, and are heavy. • Wool is made to knit garments, sweaters, gloves, skirts, coats, sportswear, for cool weather, socks, and suits.
Rayon • Rayon is a man-made fiber. It is a cellulosic fiber made from wood pulp. • It is the first manufactured fiber which was produced in 1911 and was known as “artificial silk” • It drapes well and has a soft silky hand, that’s why it was known as artificial silk. • It stretches and shrinks more than cotton • It is best to dry it clean and wash it carefully. • It is easily damaged and looses its strength when wet. • Highly absorbent and dyes easily. • Type of rayon is spandex, it is stretchy, elastic, and is used in garments and hosiery. • It is fairly expensive
Acrylic • Acrylic is a fine and soft fabric with the bulk and hand of wool. • It is non-allergic • Dries quickly • Draws moisture away from the body, washable • Modacrylics are used in fabrics like fake fur and more flame resistant
Polyester • Polyester is a strong fiber and is resistant to crease • Many people dislike polyester • The blends of polyester give cotton a permanent press property and extend the wear of the garments • It is used in pillows and in upholstery • It’s threads are used in home and manufactured sewing
Nylon is very light and strong It is stronger when its wet Nylon is used for swimwear. In 1942 nylon was also used for the army. It was used to make parachute, flak vests, combat uniforms, and tires The fibers are smooth and non-absorbent Dirt doesn’t cling to this fiber and it isn’t weakened by chemicals and sweat. Whites should be washed separately to avoid graying. It should also be bleached frequently because it will turn yellow. Nylon