Kimberly Battle
Fibers from plants or animal sources

Natural Fibers

Staple fibers- lower quality, short fibers

Filament fibers- continuous fibers of high quality

Cellulosic fibers- fibers from plants

protein fibers- fiber derived from animals or insects

Cotton- common uses: underwear socks, shirts, blouses, jeans, towel and sheet

  • Characteristics:
  • Strong and durable
    Cool to wear
    Shrinks in hot water
    Wrinkles easily
  • •Proper care –Machine wash
  • –Tumble dry at moderate temperatures –
  • Press with warm to hot iron
  • flax- common uses: pants, blazers, table linens, upholstery

  • Characteristics
  • –Durable and strong

    –Lustrous and smooth

    –Comfortable and cool to wear

    –Wrinkles easily

    –Creases difficult to remove

    Can be expensive

    –Hand wash or dry clean (according to garment label)

    –Iron while damp

    Wool- common uses: sweaters, tailored suits, coats, blankets, upholstery, rugs, and carpets

  • Characteristics:
  • Natural insulator; warmest of all natural fibers

    Soft and resilient

    Naturally flame retardant

    Absorbs moisture more slowly than cotton

    Shrinks if machine washed or dried unless chemically treated

    Affected by moths

    –Dry clean or hand wash in cool water and a mild detergent (according to garment label)

    –Do not place in dryer

    –Press with cool iron

    silk- common used: weeding gowns lingerie, mens ties

  • Characteristics:
  • –Luxurious appearance and feel

    –Strongest of all natural fibers

    –Drapes nicely


    –Easily spots if fabric becomes wet

    –Weakens with exposure to sun and perspiration

    –Dry clean or hand wash (according to garment directions)

    –Press on wrong side with warm iron

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