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Fabrics

COTTON (CO, Baumwolle) 

            
Cotton comes from India and is the most widely used natural material today. Cotton fabric allows the air to penetrate, is skin-friendly and does not become static. This is especially valued when making underwear, bed linen and children’s clothes. Cotton fibres contract in the wash, wrinkle, absorb moisture well and do not stretch much. Very different fabrics, e. g. gauze and denim can be made from this material.
 

Care
• Cotton is stained easily, but it is also easy to wash it, since the material’s tolerance to chemicals is good.
• Use a washing powder with bleach for white cotton clothes.
• Use a Colour washing powder for coloured cotton clothes.
• Bright colourful cotton items should be washed separately as they can bleed dye.
• Thick cotton items should be turned inside out before washing.
• Machine drying is allowed, but the clothes will wrinkle a lot. The best way for drying them is hanging the laundry on a clothesline. 
• High temperatures and steam may be used while ironing.
• If cotton is mixed with other fibres, the item’s care is based on the weaker fibre.
 

 

Characteristics of cotton
Pros Cons
natural and therefore skin-friendly not very elastic
does not get napped tends to stretch out
very breathable  
balances temperature  
absorbs moisture well  
durable  
endures washing well  
   

LINEN    

         
Flax is the oldest natural fibre. Linen is the most natural and friendly material for the human body: everything beneficial to the body will pass through it, everything harmful will be kept out. Linen, which is characterised by great absorbency and a structure that does not leave fluff, feels nice and cool on the skin and looks luxurious. 


Linen is extremely resilient and very strong. Its smooth surface does not attract dirt and neither does it leave fluff. It endures light very well and almost does not bleach at all.
Linen’s tendency to wrinkle is a part of comfortable clothing, as well as the irregular structure of the thread, which is characteristic of linen.
If linen is mixed with other fibres, the fabric’s wearing and caring conditions improve. Linen does not stretch much, so it is mixed with elastane to make it more stretchable.
 

Care
Based on how to care for them, linen items can be divided in the following way:
- white (uncoloured) textiles
- coloured textiles


• White items can be washed at the highest temperature. Boiling is also allowed.
• Washing temperature for coloured items is lower.
• Linen becomes heavy and hard to handle when washed. This is why it is hard to wash it by hand.
• Machine drying should be avoided because then the items dry when they are wrinkled and it is very hard to iron them.


White items: washing powder with bleach
Coloured items:  Colour washing powder
If the linen fibre is mixed with another fibre, the item’s care is based on the weaker fibre.
 

Characteristics of linen
Pros Cons
natural wrinkles easily
cool and fresh stretches
does not attract dirt and fluff  
strong and resilient  
   

 

SILK

          
Silk comes from China. Before paper was invented, silk was used for writing. Silk is called the queen of textiles due to its characteristics and beauty. Silk has a beautiful gloss, is skin-friendly and without static electricity. It always feels cool, does not cause sweating, repels dirt and is easily washable. Silk does not tolerate sweat or sunlight. Contact with sweat and direct sunlight makes the fabric brittle. Deodorants and perfumes may leave permanent stains on silk.

Care

• When caring for silk items, the fibre’s sensitivity to dirt and sweat should be considered.
• Washing detergents or powders meant for silk are recommended.
• If you want to use machine wash, choose a gentle, low-temperature washing programme that ends with draining out the water. Fabric softeners are recommended.
• Silk is not soaked, but washed immediately. This is done in abundant water, where detergent has been dissolved beforehand. Silk does not tolerate wringing out, water is removed by pressing.
• Silk is dried on a surface or a clothesline in a shady, draft-free place. It is ironed on a soft surface while damp and from the reverse side.
• Silk is machine-dried with a low-temperature short-term drying programme. If washing with water is forbidden, the items must be taken to dry-cleaning. Expensive clothing in particular should always be dry-cleaned. Silk items should be aired from time to time to remove unpleasant smells.
 

Characteristics of silk
Pros Cons
skin-friendly does not tolerate heat
cool bleaches easily
glossy and strong delicate in terms of washing
elastic  
isolates cold and hot  

 

WOOLLEN

       
Wool is a material for which fur from various animals is used. The most well-known are sheep, goat, llama, and camel wool. The fibre of wool clothing is soft and fluffy, it keeps warmth well and allows the air to penetrate. The fibre becomes static, absorbs a lot of moisture and takes a long time to dry. Woollen clothes felt easily, which is why one should be careful when caring for them. The characteristics and appearance of wool depend on the area where it is produced. Well-known wool types are cashmere from the wool of a Cashmere goat, and angora produced in Turkey from goat wool. Cat and rabbit fur are also used for angora. The so-called lamb wool is also used, which is collected from lambs up to 6 months old.


Wool fibre has a round cylindrical shape and it consists of three layers. The outer layer protects the fibre and gives it gloss, the middle layer defines the wool’s properties and the inner layer makes the material heat-proof. If a woollen item is ironed, its fibres are pressed flat and its previous properties cannot be restored.
 

Woollen items do not tolerate long-term exposure to sunlight as it makes the fibre brittle. Wet fibres stretch easily, which is why it is not good to dry woollen items on a clothesline.  When dried on a surface, a white absorbent cloth should be put underneath the item.
 

Care

• Detergents meant for wool, low temperatures and washing by hand are recommended when washing woollen clothing. Even temperatures of the washing and rinsing water are important.
• Wool does not tolerate rubbing and scrubbing, it is washed by pressing gently.
• It does not tolerate wringing out, centrifugation or tumble drying.
• Dried on a surface; not ironed, but steamed.
• However, if you do want to machine wash it, you should choose a low-temperature gentle washing programme that ends with draining the water.
• If the wool fibre is mixed with another fibre, the item’s care is based on the weaker fibre.
 

 

Characteristics of wool
Pros Cons
keeps warm very well does not tolerate heat
does not wrinkle tends to felt
natural