Fiber Flyer

Graham Bowes

Cotton

Comes from the cotton plant.

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Doesn't pill
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to clean

Disadvantages

  • Stretches
  • Wears out over time
  • Can become boring

End Uses

  • Sheets
  • Shirts
  • Socks

Flax/Linen

Comes from the flax plant.

Advantages

  • Cool
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages

  • Wrinkles easily

End Uses

  • Towels
  • Suits
  • Tableclothes
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Wool

Comes from sheep and goats.

Advantages

  • Flame resistant
  • Doesn't wrinkle easily
  • Warm

Disadvantages

  • Can be itchy
  • Traps odors

End Uses

  • Sweaters
  • Blankets
  • Carpets

Silk

Comes from the silk worm.

Advantages

  • Soft
  • Smooth
  • Can be cool in summer and warm in winter

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Poor resistance to sunlight exposure

End Uses

  • Scarves
  • Ties
  • Wedding Gowns
  • Dresses

Acetate

Made out of cellulose and wood pulp.

Advantages

  • Comfortable
  • Soft

Disadvantages

  • Poor resistance to abrasion
  • No thermal retention
  • Loses strength when wet

End Uses

  • Blouses
  • Dresses
  • Home furnishings
  • Upholstery
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Rayon

Made of purified cellulose, primarily from wood pulp.

Advantages

  • Comfortable
  • Soft
  • Smooth
  • Highly absorbent without insulating heat

Disadvantages

  • Doesn't retain heat
  • Low durability, especially when wet
  • Lowest elastic recovery of any fiber

End Uses

  • Blankets
  • Suits
  • Jackets
  • Curtains
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Lyocell

Made out of cellulose fiber that is made from dissolving wood pulp.

Advantages

  • Soft
  • Absorbent
  • Resistant to wrinkles

Disadvantages

  • Susceptible to mildew

End Uses

  • Slacks
  • Coats
  • Jeans
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Nylon

Made of a polymer.

Advantages

  • Resilient
  • Good elasticity
  • Resistant to abrasion
  • Smooth and light

Disadvantages

  • Low resistance to sunlight

End Uses

  • Raincoats
  • Swimwear
  • Upholstery
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Olefin

Made of polyolefin.

Advantages

  • Resistant to abrasion
  • Resistant to stains
  • Colorfast
  • Strong in wet or dry conditions

Disadvantages

  • Very susceptible to heat
  • Very difficult to dye

End Uses

  • Activewear
  • Sportswear
  • Socks
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Polyester

Made out of terepthalic acid.

Advantages

  • Stain resistant
  • Strong
  • Wrinkle and tear resistant

Disadvantages

  • Not very breathable
  • Traps more moisture when sticking to skin

End Uses

All kinds of clothing as well as home furnishings like:

  • Bedspreads
  • Sheets
  • Pillows
  • Curtains

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Spandex

Made out of polyurethane.

Advantages

  • Lightweight
  • Exceptionally elastic
  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Comfortable

Disadvantages

  • Elasticity will wear over time

End Uses

  • Swimsuits
  • Aerobic/Exercise wear
  • Golf jackets
  • Bicycle pants
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