Silk – A natual fibre that is soft and beautiful to touch. Silk garments must be treated with care, many can be hand washed, but always read the care label.
Cotton – An extremely versatile fabric. Pure cotton needs ironing, but some of the great cotton/elastane blends that are around give you a great, easy to wear and launder garment.
Wool– There is a big difference in the quality of wool, short fibres will give a scratchy garment that pills quickly, long fibres will give you a smooth garment that doesn’t pill and will wear well for a long time. Merino sheep have longer fibres, which is why Merino Wool is usually more expensive, but it’s worth the money as you’ll get it back over the life of the garment. Never ever put a wool garment in the Dryer – it will break the fibres, make them curl up and shorten, and your garment will come out sizes too small. You can often handwash in luke warm water wool jumpers and leave to dry in the shade. Wool suiting needs to be dry cleaned.
Viscose – Is a soft and comfortable fibre with superb drape and feel (it’s a slimming fabric). Most often it’s recommended that it’s dry cleaned.
Acrylic – the poor cousin of wool – it’s a man made fibre, feels soft and warm to the touch, but pills very quickly and you don’t get much wear out of the garment before it starts looking tired and old.
Cashmere– This soft wool comes from the soft belly hair of the goat, who usually lives in the Kashmir region of India. Not all cashmere is created equal – like that of wool – cheap cashmere will pill and not feel as soft, high quality cashmere feels like wearing butter – it’s soft and oh so warm, and never prickles your skin. It may take those goats a long time to grow enough to make a jumper, but if you can get it on sale you’ll love it forever.
Polyester – a man made fibre that has many uses, it’s great for blending with other fabrics such as cotton to give extra durability, non-iron qualities and stain resistance. Too much polyester will make you sweat.
© Imogen Lamport 2010
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