Natural fibers are fibers made from plants or animal sources.Cotton, for example, is the soft white downy fiber attached to the seed of a cotton plant. It is the most widely used of all natural fibers and is grown in the southern U.S and other warm climates. Some characteristics include it being strong and durable, absorbent, cool to wear, shrinks in hot water, and wrinkles easily. To take proper care of cotton, machine wash it, tumble dry at moderate temperatures, and press with a warm to hot iron. Common uses include underwear, socks, and shirts.
Wool is another example of a natural fiber. wool is the fiber that forms the coat of sheep. Its primary sources are Australia, South America, New Zealand, and The United Kingdom. Wool is a natural insulator, is the warmest of all natural fibers, soft, resilient, naturally flame retardant, absorbs moisture more slowly than cotton, shrinks if machine washed or dried unless chemically treated, and is affected by moths. The proper care for untreated wool includes, dry cleaning or hand wash in cool water and a mild detergent, don't place in a dryer, and press with a cool iron. Some uses for wool are sweaters, tailored suits, and coats.
Flax, the fiber that comes from the stem of a flax plant, is another example of a natural fiber. Flax is grown and harvested primarily in Eastern Europe. Common uses for flax include pants, blazers, and table linens. Flax is durable and strong, lustrous, smooth, comfortable, cool to wear, wrinkles easily, creases are difficult to get rid of, and it can be expensive. To take proper care of flax, it must be hand washed or dry cleaned and iron while damp.
Silk is the fine, lustrous natural fiber that comes from the cocoon spun by a silkworm. The silkworm forces 2 fine streams of thick liquid out of tiny holes in its head. These streams harden into fibers upon contact with air. Silk is primarily produced in Asia and Madagascar. Silk has a luxurious appearance and feel, it is also the strongest of all natural fibers, it drapes nicely, is very expensive, easily spots if it becomes wet, and weakens when exposed to sun and perspiration (sweat). To take proper care of silk you must dry clean or hand wash and press on wrong side with warm iron. Commonly used in wedding gowns, lingerie, men's ties.