Let us explore more on the natural fibres that we wear! Here's 4 natural fibres that we'd like to talk about so you'd know more about them, their properties and pro & cons:
Cotton is absorbent, durable and it breathes, making it a comfortable fibre to wear. In addition, it has good resistance to alkali (bleach), heat and static with good wicking properties.
However, cotton is prone to wrinkling, has poor elasticity and it forms lint. It is vulnerable to mildew (a fungal filament) and silverfish (an insect) as well.
Linen is similar to cotton. It wicks well, has no pilling problems and has good resistance against static. Moreover, it is more absorbent and comfortable to wear as it is more lustrous than cotton due to its longer fibre. It does not form lint and repels dust and dirt too.
One of the main reasons why linen is popular in warm climates is that it absorbs and loses moisture faster than other fabrics.
On the downside, linen is prone to wrinkling and is vulnerable to mildew (a fungal filament) and silverfish (an insect). Additionally, it has poor drape and shrinks.
Silk has excellent drape, lustrous hand feel, no pilling and it can either be washed or dry-cleaned. It is the thinnest natural fibre and has little problem with static as well.
However, silk losses strength when wet; thus machine wash is not recommended.
It is also easily discoloured when exposed to sunlight for a prolonged period. Silk is easily weakened and made harsh by alkali (bleach).
Wool is the most absorbent fabric and it is almost static free. As wool is an insulator, it keeps you warm during cold weather and it has a large capacity to absorb moisture, making it extremely breathable.
In addition, wool fibres resist tearing and are able to be spring back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking. Due to its crimped structure, wool is also naturally elastic.
Therefore, wool garments have the ability to both stretch comfortably with the wearer, and return to their natural shapes; making them resistant to wrinkling and sagging.
However, wool is expensive and has low tensile strength which makes it likely to tear. It is also vulnerable to moth and has pilling issue.