Differences in natural and synthetic fibers Posted on August 3, 2023 under Blog. | no comments.

When choosing clothing, curtains, bedding, or anything else made of fabric, it’s good to know the differences between natural and synthetic fibers. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

All clothing fibers were natural until the 1930s when DuPont introduced nylon. The stretchy synthetic material changed the clothing landscape. It gave fabric more flexibility in how it could be used and gave people more options at lower prices. Today, we have a wide range of materials and fibers from which to choose.

Graphic to illustrate differences between natural and synthetic fibersHere is a brief overview of the differences between natural and synthetic fibers.

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers come from plant and animal materials. Some of the most common natural fibers are cotton, wool, and silk. One of the benefits of natural fibers is their durability. Cotton, for example, is primarily made of the strong natural material cellulose. Natural fibers absorb moisture, making them a traditional choice for non-clothing uses like towels.

Natural fibers are also generally considered more eco-friendly than synthetic fibers because they come from natural sources rather than complex processes. Some natural fibers are more eco-friendly than others, as some plants require significant quantities of water. 

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are manufactured using plant materials and minerals. Nylon and polyester, for example, are made with oil and coal while viscose comes from pine trees or petrochemicals. These fibers can often stretch more than natural fibers and are often cheaper to produce. Some synthetic fibers can repel water. Although some natural fibers are water resistant, they don’t repel water.

The most common synthetic fibers in clothing are nylon, polyester, and acrylic, an imitation wool-like fiber. Some synthetic fibers are sensitive to heat and require special cleaning to stay looking their best.

Whether you prefer wearing clothing made from natural fibers or synthetic ones, properly cleaning them will ensure both last as long as possible. Dry clean your wool, polyester, or any other fabric with Champion Cleaners in Naples, FL. Call (239) 598-1555.

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