Grandma wore polyester, mum wore cotton - you can also choose viscose and lyocell!
As a woman who loves fashion, you are sure to be the envy of those around you and instantly define such colors as deep blue, aquamarine or fuchsia. Surely you can also explain that herringbone and crow's foot are not only issues from the world of fauna and flora.
However, are you familiar enough with the subject to describe the fibers of your favorite clothes in a few words?
Or do you really only distinguish thin cotton cambric from thick wool, and about synthetic and artificial materials you only know what you heard from your mother or grandmother - that they are not breathable and better avoided?
Clothing materials are not that difficult to classify
Basically, the fascinating world of clothing materials distinguishes three types of fibers from which our favorite fabrics and knits are made:
- natural – i.e. of plant or animal origin (e.g. linen, cotton, wool, silk),
- artificial - obtained as a result of chemical processing of wood cellulose (e.g. viscose, lyocell, modal),
- as well as synthetic - produced from start to finish by man, obtained in the process of polymerization of petroleum or coal (e.g. polyester, polyamide, acrylic, elastane).
Currently, there are many clothes on the market made of uniform clothing materials and those made of mixtures of various fibers. This affects the functional properties of fabrics and knitted fabrics, e.g. reduces susceptibility to creasing, increases elasticity or simply allows you to reduce the price. When completing your wardrobe, it is worth checking the composition of the raw materials and bearing in mind that the most beneficial for both us and the environment are clothes made of cellulose fiber fabrics or knitted fabrics, i.e. those of plant origin.
Organic cotton, lyocell or viscose?
Today's dominant, pro-ecological trends also have a large impact on the clothing industry. More and more often, consumers consciously buy clothes, choosing those made of natural materials of plant origin. For this reason, new collections are often based on fabrics and knitwear made of organic cotton, viscose or lyocell. This choice of designers is not surprising, because in many ways it is the best solution.
Although cotton has been cultivated in the world for thousands of years, the intensification of its production falls only on the 18th century and the times of the industrial revolution in England. The growing demand for cotton has led to the fact that its cultivation, acquisition and processing are currently among the most environmentally harmful processes. Contemporary fashion trends, however, place more and more emphasis on the use of organic cotton produced with a limited amount of harmful substances.
In general, cotton clothing is characterized by very good air permeability and hygroscopicity, and knitted and woven clothes work very well in spring and summer, ensuring wearing comfort. Underwear and sportswear are often made of cotton knitted fabrics, and fabrics, apart from clothing, are also used as utility textiles.
This fiber is obtained through the chemical processing of cellulose and is therefore classified as artificial. For this reason, it is sometimes mistakenly perceived by laymen as unnatural. Commercial production of viscose started at the beginning of the 20th century, and the material, also known as "rayon", was appreciated for its functional properties. Pleasant to the touch, softly arranged, airy and light, viscose, like cotton, is an ideal option for the warmer seasons.
Also called tencel, it belongs to the same fiber category as viscose. It is also obtained from cellulose pulp and is a fiber liked by designers creating in the spirit of sustainable fashion. Lyocell was developed in 1972, so compared to viscose and cotton, it is the shortest current type of fiber on the market. It is willingly used both in the production of clothing and textiles.
Your clothes, your conscious choice
Although a few decades ago the textile industry was dominated by synthetics, today you have much more choice when buying your clothes. Natural, organic materials from which clothes are sewn are not only a pleasure and comfort of wearing, but also benefits for the natural environment. Therefore, when completing your wardrobe, do it wisely and consciously, thinking about both yourself and the environment.