Saturday, June 4, 2011

Boring Post about Fabrics

But an important one at that. Fabric care is just as important as the way you wear the clothing, so taking good care of your garments will prolong their life!

Natural Fiber Fabrics: mostly animal coats, plant seeds, silkworm cocoons etc.

Cotton: Plant Fiber
Takes abrasion well, wears well, takes dye well (great fabric for DIY dying projects,) you can use any detergent, it does wrinkle easily and needs high heat to remove them, however it can withstand high temperatures, it's the most absorbent fabric so it takes longer drying time.

Linen: Vegetable Fiber (Flax)
2 to 3 X stronger than cotton, lint free, wrinkles easily but can be pressed easily, however constant creasing in the same spot can lead to the fibers breaking.

Silk: Protein Fiber/Silkworm Cocoons
Always read the label when it comes to silk, it is delicate and only pre-washed silk is washable, even still it is best to hand wash it or dry clean. If storing for a long period of time, store it away from light, air, and insects as they will nest!

Wool: Protein Fiber/Animal Hair
Wool will take shape on its own if left hung, or steam from a shower can restore it or refresh its shape. Moths can nest in wool so store with cedar blocks, or just be wary of moths in your home.

Natural Fiber Blends:
Linen and silk, cotton and linen, wool and silk etc. Linen is good in blends because it holds structure and allows things to be washable, but mixing it with another fiber keeps it from wrinkling very easily.

Synthetic Fabrics: mad of plastic, or man made fibers

Polyester: Polymer made from coal, air, water, and petroleum
Machine washable and dryable, dry on low temp. Can be dry-cleaned, and is wrinkle resistant.

Rayon: Regenerated Cellulose
Has qualities of cotton, should be dry-cleaned, but some can handle machine washing, still better to hand wash.

Acrylic: Natural Gas and Petroleum
Can be washed in the washer, needs warm cycle, and may require a dryer sheet, low drying temp, often used as a substitute for faux fur.

Nylon: Petroleum
Machine washable, tumble dry low, warm water, use a dryer sheet to reduce static, can be dry-cleaned.

Synthetic Fiber Blends:
Synthetic fibers can be transformed into anything like faux silk or wool that stands up to washing, and the price is much cheaper than natural fibers. Be careful of heat as this could cause deformities and melting of the garment, even the hot water setting on the washing machine can cause permanent damage.

And as always, read the care label attached to the garment! Some pieces are separate from the general information, and the care instructions are always specific to that article of clothing.


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  3. Thank you for this!! I just bought some new clothes that I am NOT trying to mess up. Though the tags don't tell me what type of material they are at all and I know it's not cotton, so just to be sure I'll be handwashing those pieces. On a mission to redo my entire wardrobe right now. :P