Natural Fibers

By Chelsea King

  • Cotton: The soft, white, downy fiber (boll) attached to the seed of a cotton plant. Most used of all natural fibers. It was grown in warm climates, and the southern U.S. The Characteristics of cotton are Strong and durable, Absorbent, Cool to wear, Shrinks in hot water, & Wrinkles easily. The proper care of cotton would be to tumble dry at moderate temperatures. One of the common uses of cotton would be used for making shirts.
  • Wool: The fiber that forms the coat (fleece) of sheep. The primary sources are Australia, South America, New Zealand, and United Kingdom. Some characteristics of wool would be natural insulator; warmest of all natural fibers, soft and resilient, and naturally flame retardant. Common uses of wool are used for sweaters, blankets, coats, and rugs or carpets. Proper care for untreated wool would be not to place in the dryer, and to press with cool iron.
  • Flax: The fiber that comes from the stem of a flax plant. Flax is grown and harvested primarily in Eastern Europe. Common uses would be pants, blazers, table linens, and upholstery. Characteristics on would would be durable and strong, it wrinkles easy, it can be expensive,. and is lustrous and smooth. To take proper care of flax you must iron while damp, and must hand wash or dry clean (according to garment label).
  • Silk: The fine, lustrous fiber that comes from a cocoon spun by a silkworm. The silkworm forces two fine streams of a thick liquid out of tiny openings in its head. Characteristics of silk are that its expensive, it easily spots if fabric becomes wet, and that it drapes nicely. One example of taking proper care of silk is to press on wrong side with warm iron, and common uses of silk would be wedding dresses, lingerie, and men's ties.

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