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13 Things About Textile and Fabrics You May Not Have Known

  • September 28th, 2022

Textile is the name for any material that's used to make clothing. The term includes both natural fibres and synthetic fibres, but it also encompasses everything from fabric to rope. We've compiled a list of 14 things about textiles you may not have known!

Modal is a soft, breathable fabric extracted from the wood pulp of beechwood trees.

Modal is a soft, breathable fabric extracted from the wood pulp of beechwood trees. It is a rayon fibre and can be woven into various types of fabric. Modal fabric is made in Italy. The name modal comes from an ancient Greek word meaning "soft" or "comfortable." Modal fabric is often used in lingerie and sleepwear because it's very soft.

Cotton is the most widely used fabric in the world

Cotton is the most widely used fabric in the world. In fact, it's estimated that more than half of all clothing made today is made from this soft, white fibre that comes from the cotton plant. The cotton plant grows naturally in many countries around the world and can be harvested annually.

The cotton plant is a perennial, meaning that it grows back each year. It needs warm and moist soil, along with full sun exposure.

Read more: Spotlight on sustainability: 'ecologically' grown cotton

The plant can be harvested in just under a year, depending on the growing season. There are many different varieties of cotton plants and it's important to know which kind you're harvesting so that you can properly use it once harvested.

Related read: Organic cotton, the Organic Content Standard, and FibreGuard

Linen is a natural fibre made from flax plants and produces one of the most durable fabrics on earth.

Its strength and durability are achieved through its high lignin content, which creates a resistant barrier against bacteria and mould. The fabric has been popular for centuries because it's breathable, cool in summer and warm in winter, easy to care for and extremely soft to the touch. In fact, linen was once used as currency throughout Europe because it was so highly valued by both rich and poor people alike!

Linen is a highly versatile fabric and can be used for almost anything. Linen is also used to make towels, tablecloths and napkins because of its absorbency. It's a great choice for bed sheets because it stays cool in summer and warm in winter. You can even use linen as a shower curtain or to make a pillowcase!

Wool is a protein fibre generated by sheep, goats and other animals.

It's made from the hair of these animals. Wool has been used to make clothing, blankets, carpets and upholstery for thousands of years.

Wool is a natural fibre that comes from sheep or other animals such as llamas or alpacas that live on farms or ranches around the world. It can be used to make clothing like sweaters and socks because it keeps you warm even when it's wet!

Wool is also very soft to touch so if you buy a wool sweater then you will feel nice wearing it! The best part about this material though is its ability to keep us warm even when wet; like during rainy days in winter when we need an extra layer of warmth without having sweaty hands from holding onto plastic bags filled with groceries all day long (yikes!).

Silk is a natural fibre obtained primarily from silkworms.

It is lightweight and strong with a high tensile strength. Silk is durable and can be stretched up to 30% of its length without breaking, which means that it can be used for small diameter ropes or ribbons that will not break easily under strain.

The protein fibres are formed from proteins secreted by silkworm larvae as they spin their cocoons; these proteins are made of long chain amino acid molecules with regular secondary structures that give each fibre its own unique properties. The chain length determines the material properties of the silk: a short (chain) length makes it difficult to process but results in stronger fabrics while longer chains make processing easier but produce weaker fabrics due to increased flexibility.*

Viscose, also known as rayon, is made from cellulose and plant extracts.

Viscose is a soft, smooth fabric that can be blended with other fabrics to create different textures and patterns. Viscose fabric is used in clothing, home textiles and industrial applications.

Viscose is a natural cellulosic fibre that can be made from either wood pulp or cotton linter. It's one of the most common man-made fibres in the world and it's used in a wide range of clothing, home textiles, industrial products, medical applications and other consumer goods.

Polyester is a synthetic fibre derived from coal and petroleum products.

Its production leads to high levels of carbon dioxide pollution, which contributes to climate change. Polyester’s popularity is due in part to its cost effectiveness, durability and comfort when used in clothing, carpets and upholstery fabrics. It is also used as plastic bottles, adhesives, and food packaging.

Related read: Introducing the Global Recycled Standard

Some types of polyester are made from post-consumer recycled materials (PCR) which can help offset some of the environmental impact caused by making virgin polyester.

Spandex is one of the most famous synthetic fabrics in the world.

Spandex is one of the most famous synthetic fabrics in the world and it’s used in everything from clothing, footwear and other items to sportswear like swimsuits and leotards.

Spandex is a synthetic fibre made from polyurethane. Polyurethane is created by reacting two chemicals together: an alcohol and an amine (both are organic compounds). The resulting reaction yields a polymer that chemically resembles natural rubber but has better elasticity. When this material is formed into fibres, it becomes spandex!

Nylon is one of the most popular synthetic fabrics today

Nylon was developed by DuPont in 1935 for use in its first industrial fibres, and it's become popular for its strength and versatility. It is known for its strength, durability and versatility. In fact, it's so versatile that it can be used to make anything from parachutes during World War II to lingerie to high-performance athletic wear!

Nylon has a low melting point (around 200 degrees Celsius), which means that it can easily be fused with other materials such as Kevlar or rubber. This makes it possible to create things like tires and gas tanks with increased strength compared to traditional materials like steel or aluminium.

Suede is sometimes called nubuck leather

Suede leather comes from the underside of animal hides, as opposed to leather which comes from the smooth top side. Unlike top-grain or full-grain leathers, which have been sanded and buffed to give them a smooth finish on the surface, suede is thin and soft because it comes from underneath the hide.

For this reason, it's often used for shoes, handbags and clothing. Known as nubuck in some parts of the world (especially Europe), suede is also softer than regular cowhide leathers such as cowhides and buffalo hides because they've had more time to soften since being separated from the animal’s body.

Leather comes from the hides of cows, pigs, bison or exotic animals like ostriches or crocodiles

Leather is a durable material that's often used for shoes, handbags, wallets and furniture. It's made from animal hides. Leather can be made from cowhide, goat hide, sheepskin and pigskin. The most common leathers are cow leather and calfskin leathers because they're soft and flexible enough to be easily worked with during manufacturing processes but also strong enough to withstand daily use by the consumer.

The most common types of leather are suede, nubuck, patent and full-grain. Nubuck is a type of embossed leather that has been sanded to give it a velvety texture. Patent leather is made from calfskin that's been tanned using a chemical process that creates a glossy finish; patent leathers are often used for shoes because they're durable and easy to clean. Full-grain is the strongest kind of leather, with both sides of the hide having gone through tanning processes.

It has a natural sheen and can be easily polished to create a high-gloss finish. Most leathers are made from cowhide, goat hide, sheepskin and pigskin. The most common leathers are cow leather and calfskin leathers because they're soft and flexible enough to be easily worked with during manufacturing processes but also strong enough to withstand daily use by the consumer.

Chenille is a soft fabric woven with tufts of yarn sticking out at regular intervals.

Chenille fabric is a type of plush fabric with an uneven, raised surface made of small loops. It was originally made from silk, but today it's often made from other materials like acrylic or nylon. The pile yarns are twisted around each other before being woven into the fabric and then cut to produce the unique texture. This creates a soft, fluffy and warm material. It’s often used in upholstery and bedding because of its softness and warmth. It also has a textured appearance that makes it ideal for decorating pillows and other home accessories.

Pronounced ‘SHUH neel’, chenille is the French word for ‘caterpillar’, whose fur the yarn is supposed to resemble.

It's usually made from synthetic fibres such as polyester or acrylic, though it can be made from natural fibres like silk as well. Chenille fabrics are available in many different styles and colours, including solid colours and plaids.

The manufacturing process for chenille fabric varies depending on the specific type being produced.

However, most chenille fabrics start out as flat sheets of material that are then woven through a loom to create the raised texture before being cut into pieces for sale at retail stores around the world.

Burlap fabric comes from jute plants that grow wild in India and Bangladesh.

Burlap fabric comes from jute plants that grow wild in India and Bangladesh. This natural fibre is used to make burlap and other fabrics. It's also used to make rope and twine, as well as bags, sacks, and even carpet padding.

The world's fastest growing plant is bamboo!


Textile and fabrics are an important part of our lives, but they can also be very interesting. Some people might not know, for example that nylon is a synthetic material or that suede leather comes from the underside of animal hides.

There are so many different types of textiles out there; it's hard to keep track! It's always good to learn more about what we use every day—especially if we want our planet to stay green and healthy.

Woven to Protect

Proven both stain-resistant and long-lasting, FibreGuard fabrics are engineered from the inside out to perform.

FibreGuard is the result of years of research and testing by interior designers and textile engineers.

Our focus at FibreGuard is to be what we call ‘life-friendly’: offering fabrics ready to stand up to anything daily life can throw at them. Interested in our easy-clean fabrics?

Contact our team to discuss how we can help you and your business today.