Different types of cloth are used for different types of clothing. Differences between types of cloth include:
- How the cloth was made (woven, knitted, felted, and how those techniques were implemented)?
- What fiber it was made from?
- What weight the cloth is?
Common natural clothing materials
|Fiber / Source||Fabric / Clothing Material|
|Down For Down-Filled Parkas|
Common synthetic clothing materials
Some clothing is made from synthetic fibers, which are man made, primarily from petrochemicals. Common man-made materials include:
- Nylon was first produced in 1935. Nylon is a thermoplastic silky material. It became famous when used in women’s stockings (“nylons”) in 1940. It was intended to be a synthetic replacement for silk and substituted for it in many different products after silk became scarce during World War II.
- Polyesters include naturally occurring chemicals and synthetics. Natural polyesters and a few synthetic ones are biodegradable, but most synthetic polyesters are not. Polyesters may change shape after the application of heat and are combustible at high temperatures. They tend to shrink away from flames and self-extinguish upon ignition. Polyester fibers have high tenacity and E-modulus as well as low water absorption and minimal shrinkage in comparison with other industrial fibers.
- Spandex (elastane) is known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable than rubber, its major non-synthetic competitor. It was invented in 1959 by Charles Lewis French Jr. and Taylor.