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Fibers and Fabrics
Fabric Descriptions and Fabric Care Suggestions

Submitted by, Denver Fabrics



We recommend that you pre-treat all fabrics using the same cleaning method that you plan to use for the completed garment. Even dry cleaning can produce shrinkage! 

If you are uncertain about whether or not your fabric is washable or dry cleanable, test a small piece. Remember, each fabric is unique!

If your cleaning method is washing, then your zippers, trims and interfacings should also be pretreated. Non-fusible interfacings may be pretreated with the fabric. Fusible interfacings should be pretreated by soaking them in hot tap water for 20 to 30 minutes. Roll in a towel to remove excess water, then hang or lay flat to dry.

Natural Fibers and Fabric

Cotton Fibers and Fabric 
Strong, absorbent, fabric that wrinkles easily. Dyes well. Shrinks unless specially treated. Deteriorated by mildew and weakened in sunlight.

May be laundered in hot water for whites, warm or cold water for colors. May be dried in the dryer. Chlorine may be used with care. Iron while damp.

Linen Fibers and Fabric
Strong, absorbent, wrinkles unless specially treated. Poor affinity for dyes. Has tendency to shrink and stretch. Deteriorated by mildew.

Weaves vary from very light to heavy. Has a natural luster. To retain a crisp finish, it is best dry-cleaned. For a softer finish it can be washed but may shrink in the process.

Wool Fibers and Fabric
Relatively weak, exceptionally absorbent, wrinkles fall out. Good affinity to dye. Needs to be mothproofed. Shrinks unless treated.

Various weights, textures and construction. Used for sweaters, dresses, suits and coats. Dry-clean. May be washed in tepid water and mild soap, do not wring and dry flat. Do not bleach. Some pretreated wools may be dried in the dryer.

Silk Fibers and Fabric
Stong, absorbent and wrinkle-resistant. Good affinity for dyes but may bleed. Resists mildew and moths. Weakened by sunlight and perspiration.

Luxurious, lustrous fabric in various weights. Usually used for blouses, dresses, suites and linings. Dry-cleaning recommended. May be washed by hand in mild suds. Iron on low temperature and slightly damp. Avoid bleach.

Alpaca Fibers and Fabric
Member of the South American Camel family. Fine, very lustrous, stronger than wool. Usually blended with other fibers to add softness and wrinkle resistance. Wide range of natural colors. May be dyed.

Dry clean or hand wash depending on construction and use of garment. Treat as fine wool.

Vicuna Fibers and Fabric
From the smallest member of the South American Camel family. It is the softest and finest fiber used in the manufacture of wool-type textiles. Very rare and costly. Natural colors of fibers vary from fawn to chestnut brown.

Dry clean

Mohair Fibers and Fabric
Hair from the Angora goat. Mohair is strong and lustrous. Dyes easily. Usually blended with other fibers to add strength, luster and crispness. Adds loft and a soft nap to knitting yarns or coat fabrics. 

Same as for wool. 

Cashmere Fibers and Fabric
Hair from the Cashmere goat. Native to the Tibetan region of the Himalayas. Very fine, soft, silky and resilient. Similar to vicuna. Used in fine suitings, coatings and knits. Frequently combined with wool. Costly. 

According to manufacturer's instructions. 

Ramie Fibers and Fabric
A bast fiber used in China and Southeast Asia since prehistoric times. Strong, white, lustrous and silky. Qualities similar to linen. The strongest of all vegetable fibers. Highly resistant to heat and bacteria, dyes well. Wide possibilities for fabric from fine lace to heavy canvas, to dress goods and table furnishings or upholstery. 

Same as cotton or linen. Remove from dryer while still slightly damp. Usually requires pressing with a hot iron. 

Angora Fibers and Fabric
The hair from the Angora rabbit. Very soft and fluffy. Used in sweaters, scarves and other fine knits. May be combined with silk or wool.

Hand wash angora items very gently. Do not wring or agitate. Spin out moisture on spin-only cycle of washing machine. 


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