There are innumerable types of fabrics made from natural and synthetic fibers. Natural fibers are obtained from nature such as animal coats, plant seeds, stems and leaves, and silkworm cocoons while synthetic ones are man-made fibers developed by chemical processes. Some of the latter are manufactured as a response to the weaknesses of the former
Linen is the oldest fabric known to man. Linen is a cloth derived from the fiber of flax. It is primarily used for home furnishings and décor. It is expensive as it has exceptional qualities and characteristics. Linen is hypo-allergenic and protects against sun radiation. It has been used for over 10,000 years and is luxurious and comfortable. Linen is one of the strongest fabrics but it creases very badly which is something to consider when using it around your interiors though it is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. And, it won’t withstand heavy wear. However, linen does resist pilling and fading. Soiled linen upholstery must be professionally cleaned to avoid shrinkage.
Leather: Leather is a natural fabric with interesting natural textures. In terms of decorating and design, leather is often reserved for upholstery. A leather recliner or couch are sophisticated touches to add to any room. Leather is very elastic and soft but it is also extremely firm. This tough material can be gently vacuumed, damp-wiped as needed, and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap.
Cotton natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses.
Cotton fabric is made from the fiber of plant. The fiber grows around the seeds of the cotton plant and cotton has been used since about 3000 BC. It is soft, strong, flame retardant, hypo-allergenic and easy to wash. Cotton is probably the most commonly used fabric in the world. It can be produced more cheaply than a lot of fabrics. It is one of the most versatile fabrics offering an extensive range of weights, textures and patterns. Cotton can be dyed easily and responds well to printed pattern. Cotton drapes attractively and although it is not a luxurious fabric it is resilient, practical and easy to sew, giving widespread appeal.
Wool came from the soft curly hair taken from a live sheep. Wool is extremely durable and resists wrinkles. It has some great qualities and it can be used in a variety of ways around the living spaces adding richness and texture. Being sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Generally, wool is blended with a synthetic fiber to make it easier to clean and to reduce the possibility of felting the fibers.
Vinyl (polyvinyl chloride or PVC), is the world’s most versatile plastic, used to make everything from food wrap to auto body parts. Vinyl is a prominent coated fabric in the textile industry. Vinyl fabrics are used for furniture upholstery, transportation seating, wall coverings, etc. Easy-care and less expensive than leather, vinyl fabrics are ideal for busy living spaces. Its durability depends on its quality.
Silk is considered the strongest fabric made from natural fibers produced by silkworms. It is an elegant fiber. This delicate fabric is only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms. It must be professionally cleaned if soiled. It is beautiful, luxurious and expensive. Silk is not the most practical fabric for home furnishings despite being one of the strongest natural fibers. It is terribly affected from sun damage and does not work well when being stretched or taut. When used for curtains it drapes and hangs beautifully with fluid folds, looking stunning, however, if the curtains are hung in line of direct sunlight, the silk will be damaged.
Hemp is a natural fabric seen in décor, shoes, and clothing. The fabric is extremely water-resistant and able to withstand harsh conditions for extended periods of time. It can be used for many things from work clothing to home decoration such as table linens, dish towels and sheets. It has a great luster and dyes easily.
It is economical and strong, reusable and repairable. It is a good insulator of electricity and heat. Jute is reserved for carpet, rugs and floors. The woven natural fabric is extremely durable although it can be difficult to clean and maintain.