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Manmade vs. Natural Textile Fibres/Fabrics/Textiles: A Fair Comparison

All textiles are made from fibre, which can be either natural or man-made.

As the name suggests, natural fibres are sourced from plants and animals which naturally thrive in our environment. On the other hand, man-made fibres require human effort to create and are manufactured using chemical processes in factories.

Examples of natural fibres:

  • Cotton- from the cotton plant

  • Wool- from domestic sheep and other animals

  • Linen- produced from the flax plant

  • Silk- from the silkworm cocoon

Examples of manmade/synthetic fibres:

  • Polyester

  • Nylon

  • Acrylic

  • Rayon

Textiles with vary in characteristics depending on the fibres used to make them. If you look at the label of any finished garment, you can tell whether natural or synthetic fibres were used to make it.

A textile’s level of comfort, color-fastness, wear and tear, absorbency, ability to resist wrinkles and ease of care is dependent on the percentages of natural and/or synthetic fibre used.

What are the pros and cons of using natural or synthetic textiles?

Textiles made from natural and man-made fibres both have advantages and disadvantages:

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