Friday, June 17, 2016

Fiber comparison/information

Fabric type information



Environmental Impact
Ecologically speaking, both cotton and polyester have their drawbacks, although polyester, which is made from petroleum, may have a slight edge. Cotton is the most pesticide-dependent crop in the world, using as many as one-fourth of all pesticides made. It is also a very water intensive crop. Both fabrics involve copious amounts of water, energy, and toxic chemicals during the manufacturing process.

Unlike polyester, cotton is biodegradable so old, discarded clothing will eventually break down into natural compounds. Cotton is also a renewable and sustainable resource, although there are environmental issues associated with the way it is commonly grown.

Fire Hazard
Cotton is more combustible than polyester. It ignites easily and burns rapidly, leaving behind a light ash residue. Polyester resists ignition but once ignited, it melts and causes severe localized burns. The fire hazard is also high with cotton/polyester blends due to the high rate of burning and fabric melting. The safest route is to purchase clothes that are treated with fire retardant materials.




FASCINATING


?IS THIS TRUE????


What I found interesting?


FINDING THE RIGHT FABRIC
Leather furniture The Smith Brothers style #376 sectional Fabric furniture The Smith Brothers style #8143 sectional, from the "Build Your Own" 8000 series
Smith Brothers offers more than 900 different fabrics, which sounds exciting at first... but when you start to dig into all those choices, it can start to get pretty overwhelming! While it's great to have options, you may want a little extra help in finding that perfect fabric for your new furniture—especially considering that there's a lot to fabric beyond what color works best.


Here is a brief guide to choosing fabric for your furniture.
Fabric Content

NATURAL FIBERS

Natural fibers generally feature flat weaves that are ideal for prints. They are softer, and tailor well for upholstered furniture. However, being a natural product they can fade in direct sunlight, and may be susceptible to pilling.

Cotton. Made from the cotton plant, this is soft, absorbent, and fades easily.
Linen. Made from the flax plant, linens tend to have a lot of hard plant fibers and slubs.

Wool. Made from animal hair, wool is warm, and not often used in upholstery.
Silk. Made from the cocoons of silk worms, silk has strong fibers and a natural shine, but can be damaged by sunlight.

Rayon. Also known as viscose, rayon is made from wood pulp and designed to be shiny like silk.


SYNTHETIC FIBERS
Synthetic fibers are made by extruding chemicals into fiber strands. They are more durable and (in general) more resistant to staining and fading than natural fibers. Synthetic fibers are just as likely to be susceptible to pilling, however.

Acrylic. Very durable and often has a texture similar to wool.

Polyester. Very durable and cleanable.

Nylon. Stain resistant and durable.

Olefin. Durable, but can be susceptible to pilling if used in high amounts.

Polypropylene. Related to polyester.


Fabric Types



SINCE I got a staph infection while recuperating from surgery in 2007, this was interesting to me. Since cotton-poly uniforms seemed to be the choice of staff, I was very surprised at the results. The absolute opposite of what I had thought.









1 comment:

Sue Kaufman said...

Thank you Ann for sharing all this research with us! As a 100% natural fiber lover, I've been heartened recently to learn that some cotton is being grown the good old fashioned way, sans pesticides. There is also bamboo fiber, which I have not investigated yet, but seems to show promise. Thanks again for all your work!!