Natural Fibers

What are they?

Natural Fibers come from plants and animals.

It is hard to believe that fabrics can come from plants, or even worms.

Actual cotton comes from the seed of a cotton plant, and is the soft, white boll. Cotton is actually the most used natural fiber. There are upsides and downsides to cotton: it is very cool to wear, it absorbs easy, and is very durable, but it wrinkles very easily and will shrink in hot water. Cotton needs to be machine washed, tumble dried on low or moderate temperatures, and when ironing use warm to hot temperatures.

Another type of plant that clothing comes from is the flax plant. This natural fiber comes from the stem of a flax plant. Flax is very smooth, strong, and durable. It is also very comfortable to wear, but on the downside it can be pretty expensive, wrinkles easily, and it's hard to remove creases from it.

Wool is the fiber that comes from sheep. A sheep's coat, or fleece, is what wool really comes from. Wool is very warm and very soft. It is actually the warmest of all fibers, and is a great insulator. A perk of wool is that it is naturally flame-resistant, but it does not absorb moisture very much. Wool also shrinks when washed if it is not chemically treated, and it can be affected by moths. You can't put untreated wool into the dryer. It has to be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water with a mild detergent. Proper ironing care is to press it with a cool iron.

Silk comes from the cocoon that is spun by a silk worm. Silk is a very nice fabric. The way it looks and feels is very luxurious. Silk is also the strongest of all the fibers. It is very expensive though, easily spots if something gets it wet, and with more exposure to the sun it will weaken. You should not wash silk. It needs to be dry-cleaned, and if ironed it needs to be pressed on the wrong side with warm heat.

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