Finer Fabrics

By Elizabeth Brumley

Cotton (natural fiber)

Advantages-soft, absorbent, comfortable, strong, durable, inexpensive, doesn't pill, blends well

Disadvantages-wrinkles easily

Can be used for many things like... corduroy, flannels, coffee filters, etc.

Flax/Linen (natural fiber)

Advantages-cool, comfortable, strong, lustrous, durable

Disadvantages-wrinkles easily

Can be used for many things like... finer fabric yarns, paint, medicine, etc.

Wool (natural fiber)

Advantages-hard wearing, absorbs moisture, natural insulator, doesn't wrinkle easily, flame resistant

Disadvantages-traps odor

Can be used for many things like... sweaters, suits, blankets, etc.

Silk (natural fiber)

Advantages-versatile, very comfy, absorbs moisture, cool to wear in Summer, warm to wear in Winter, easily dyed, retains shape, relatively smooth, strongest natural fiber, lustrous

Disadvantages-poor resistance to sunlight exposure

Can be used for many things like... garments, medical dressings, cartridge bags, etc.

Acetate (manufactured fiber)

Advantages-luxurious feel, silky appearance

Disadvantages-needs to be dry cleaned, dyes may fade or bleed, relatively weak, subject to static electricity, heat sensitive

Can be used for many things like... linings, draperies, cigarette filters, etc.

Rayon (manufactured fiber)

Advantages-soft, comfortable, drapes well, durable, absorbent, dyes and prints well, no static or pilling, inexpensive, washable

Disadvantages-wrinkles easily, low resiliency, heat sensitive, susceptible to mildew, stretches, weakens when wet, shrinks, may need dry cleaning

Can be used for many things like... lingerie, bedspreads, diapers, etc.

Lyocell (manufactured fiber)

Advantages-absorbent, biodegradable, strong, resist sunlight, aging, and abrasion

Disadvantages-susceptible to mildew

Can be used for many things like... dresses, slacks, coats, etc.

Nylon (manufactured fiber)

Advantages-high elongation, used in many things, many chemicals, used in many military applications, resistance to insects, fungi, and animals, melts instead of burns, can with stand in different temperatures, ability to be lustrous, heat set, paved the way of easy care garments

Disadvantages-high shrinkage in moulded sections, pollution problems, lack of stability, doesn't absorb water well

Can be used for many things like... raincoats, hoses, dental floss, etc.

Olefin (manufactured fiber)

Advantages-moisture resistant, difficult to stain, great for outdoor applications, chemical resistant, fade resistant, lightweight, strong, good cleanability and stain release

Disadvantages-not resilient, heat sensitive, damaged by friction, extended expose to oil based soils may become permanent, difficult to die, potential to brown from soil wicking

Can be used for many things like... swimwear, vacuum cleaner bags, carpet, etc.

Spandex (manufactured fiber)

Advantages-lightweight, retains original shape, abrasion resistant, stronger then rubber, soft, smooth, supple, resist body oils, perspiration, lotions, and detergents, no static or pilling

Disadvantages-whites yellow with age, heat sensitive, harmed by chlorine bleach, nonabsorbent

Can be used for many things like... aerobic/exercise wear, golf jackets, bra straps, etc.

Polyester (manufactured)

Advantages-resistant to bleaching, fading, and soil dye reactions, stain resistant, quick drying

Disadvantages-difficult to dye, not resistant to oily stains, crimp loss

Can be used for many things like... seat belts, laundry bags, night wear, etc.