Everyday we contact with many different types of fabric.

Do you know what are they make up of and how to take care of them?










Here are some of the main types of natural fabrics and man-made fabrics you may face everyday:

Natural Fabrics


comes from cotton boll (plant). Can be woven, pressed by heat into flannel, or used as knits. Good for almost all purposes, such as Apparel, Crafts, Quilting, Baby and Children’s accessories. As a natural fiber, cotton “breathes” which makes it comfortable to wear. For quilters, cotton is the fabric of choice– it handles and sews easily. Care: machine washable.


comes from flax (plant). Real linen wrinkles easily, but is cool, and like cotton, linen “breathes”– making it a good choice for summer apparel. Linen is also great for table top accessories. To maintain its crispness, linen is often dry-cleaned. For a softer look, many linens can be hand-washed. Read your labels carefully.


comes from silk worms. The collection process is intricate and explains why silk is often expensive. Silk can have either a smooth finish or a nubby finish (raw silk). Care: usually dry clean, but many new silks may be hand washed. Read label carefully.


comes from animal coats (the animal is not harmed!) known for its warmth, wool is often blended with man-made fibers. Good for apparel, especially outer wear. Care: usually dry clean, although some wools may be hand-washed. Read labels carefully.


Man-made Fabrics


When it was first introduced, polyester became a favorite fabric for apparel. It is easy to care for (mostly machine washable . read labels carefully) and keeps its shape and color well. The disadvantage of polyester is that it does not “breathe,” which means it retains body heat and moisture and its not as comfortable as some of the natural fibers. Depending on the manufacturer, polyester fabrics have different names, many of which you will recognize – Dacron, Fortrel, Kodel and Trevira are among the many. Polyester may be offered in the form of knits, jerseys or cotton and silk-like fabrics.


Considered the most “natural” of the man-made fabrics, rayon is most often used for apparel. Depending on its construction, it has a soft draping quality, or can be made to look like linen. Rayon, too, has brand names such as Avril or Enka. It is more absorbent than polyester and usually is best dry-cleaned.


New types are being developed yearly! Sometimes Nylon is mixed with other fibers for apparel. Some Nylon brand names are Antron and Viviana. Nylon is often a major fiber in knits, nylon tricot (underwear) nylon velvet and stretch swim wear. Machine washable.


(Brand names include Acrilan, Creslan, Orlon) is often used as a substitute for wool, in sweaters, fleece wear and other outer wear. (You’ll also find acrylic-wool blends.) Like wool, acrylic is warm and wrinkle resistant. One of its advantages is that it is usually machine washable.

Article taken from http://www.fabrictree.com/FabricFacts.html