The Fabric of Our Lives

We have had lots of new funky fabrics come into stock recently, and it reminded us that there are so many options out there! So, here is a little guide to some of the most common fabrics, along with their properties and uses.

Natural Fibres

  • Cotton – It’s soft, it’s comfortable, it’s easy to use and machine clean, no wonder it is one of the most popular fabrics in the world! It’s breath-ability makes it great for all year use, and with care it can last for years. Suitable for dresses, shirts, skirts, bedding, bags, quilt covers, home furnishings, toys etc.
  • Linen – Derived from plant flax, this was used to wrap mummies in ancient Egypt! It is excellent for cool summer wear, but it wrinkles easily. It is stronger than cotton and can resist dirt and stains. It’s best to hand wash if possible and hang up to drip dry. Suitable for clothing, tablecloths, napkins, decorations, curtains and other home furnishings.
  • Silk – Spun from the fibres in the cocoon of the silk worm, this is one of the most expensive fabrics! This soft and shiny fabric makes luxurious items, and in clothing it is cool in Summer and warm in Winter. However it is not so easy to care for as it is so delicate, so gentle hand washing or dry cleaning is essential. Suitable for luxurious dresses, shirts and home furnishings.
  • Wool – Made from the hair of animals, the threads are woven into fabric which is warm and durable. Heavier and bulkier than other fabrics, it is hypo-allergenic and flame retardant. Tweed, tartan and mohair are all types of wool fabric. Hand washing is best for wool and don’t put it in the tumble dryer unless you want to make accessories for your dolls! Suitable for clothing, rugs, blankets, bags, upholstery and home furnishings.

Man-made Fibres

  • Polyester – Soft and almost satin like, this strong, durable fibre is wrinkle-resistant and can be washed and dried easily in a machine. On the down-side, it is not very breathable and stains don’t remove easily, so be aware. Suitable for clothing, curtains and bedding.
  • Nylon – Invented as a replacement for silk in New York and London (hence the name), it was used to make parachutes and stockings during WW2. It is strong and inexpensive, it resists stains and is easily washed and dried. Being wind and waterproof, it is suitable for jackets, bags, tents and ski-clothing.
  • Viscose/Rayon – Semi-synthetic, this soft and comfortable fabric can be used to mimic the feel of silk. It is light and highly absorbent and it ideal for clothing in hot climates. It wrinkles easily though, and needs careful washing by hand if not dry-cleaned. Suitable for light and delicate clothing, upholstery, curtains and bedspreads.
  • Acrylic – This was created as an alternative to wool. It is soft, comfortable and durable, and it resists stains well. It is easier to care for than wool as it was be washed in a machine, and it resists shrinkage. Suitable for thermal underwear, sweaters, carpets, upholstery, cushions and blankets.

At The Craft Cabin, we stock  a wide range of 100% cotton fabrics and cotton mixed with polyester (Polycotton), which both cover a wide range of uses. To complement these we also supply fleece and lining fabric which are polyester, and the crafters’ favourite – felt, which is acrylic. If there is anything in particular you are looking for, just give us a call on 00 353 49 95 27424 or send us a message at hello@thecraftcabin.ie.

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