Natural Fibers

Cotton, Wool, Silk, Flax, Etc.


  • Soft, White, downy fiber (boll) attached to the seed of a cotton plant.
  • Most widely used of all natural fibers.
  • Grown in the southern states and have warm climates.
  • Very strong and durable.
  • absorbent
  • cool to wear
  • Wash in machine wash, tumble dry at moderate, press with warm to hot iron.
  • Common uses: underwear, socks, shirts, blouses, jeans, trowels and sheets.


  • The fiber that forms the coat (fleece) of sheep.
  • Primary sources are Australia, South America, New Zealand, and United Kingdom.
  • Warmest of all natural fibers, soft and resilient, naturally flame retardant, absorbs moisture more slowly than cotton, Shrinks if machine washed or dried, affected by moths.
  • proper care- dry clean or hand wash in cold water. do not place in dryer, press with cool iron.


  • Fiber that comes from the stem of a flax plant.
  • Grown and harvested primarily in Eastern Europe.
  • Linen is made by weaving or knitting flax fiber into fabric.
  • Common uses- pants, blazers, table linens, upholstery.
  • durable and strong, lustrous and smooth, comfortable and cool to wear, wrinkles easily, creases difficult to remove, can be expensive.
  • Proper care- hand wash or dry clean, iron while damp.


  • The fine, lustrous fiber that comes from a cocoon spun by a silkworm.
  • Two fine streams of a thick liquid out of tiny openings in its head.
  • Harden into filaments or fibers upon contact with the air.
  • Luxurious appearance and feel, strongest of all natural fibers, drapes nicely, expensive, easily spots if fabric becomes wet, weakens with exposure to sun and perspiration.
  • Proper care- dry clean or hand, press on wrong side with warm iron.
  • Common uses- wedding gowns, lingerie, men's ties.

Leather and Fur

  • Leather and fur are from hides or skins of animals.
  • A tough, flexible material made by preserving animal hides through a process called tanning.
  • Tanning converts hides into finished usable leather.
  • Used for handbags, shoes, belts, jackets.
  • Primary- cattle, goatskins, sheepskins, reptiles.
  • Fur is soft, hairy coat of an animal.
  • Used for coats, outerwear, trimmings
  • Common sources- mink, chinchilla, fox, rabbit.
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