What Are You Putting On Your Body?

December 19, 2017 6 min read

What Are You Putting On Your Body?

I don't know about you, but when I am shopping for new clothes the three things I look for are fit, color, and comfort. I never look at the tag that tells me what type of fabric it's made of. I should start looking at it because the fabric makes the piece of clothing, tells you how to take care of it, and when to wear it.

We’re gonna go over a few of the most common fabrics used to make clothing, so the next time you go shopping you'll be able to understand the little fabric tag.


Cotton

What is it?:
Probably the most common in our fabric guide, cotton comes from the cotton plant. It's then processed and spun into thread or yarn. It’s super soft, really durable, and therefore one of the most commonly used fabrics in clothing. It’s used to make t-shirts, denim, sweatshirts, as well as a lot of non-clothing textiles.

Care:
Care for your cotton clothing by keeping it out of the sun, because cotton fades easily, and washing it in cool water, hot water makes it shrink.

When to wear it:
Cotton is the perfect year-round fabric. During the summer, wear lightweight t-shirts or some casual cotton pants. In the winter, wear a cotton top as a base layer.

When notto wear it:
Cotton is more of a casual fabric, so avoid wearing it to formal occasions or in more professional settings. Be cautious wearing cotton on days where you know you’ll be sweating A LOT, cotton absorbs moisture very easily.


Wool

What is it?:
Wool is made of fibers from animals. Usually sheep, but you can also find a lot of variety in wool–there’s alpaca wool, mohair (from goats), or angora wool (rabbit fur). Wool is great because it’s soft and warm. You’ll find wool in sweaters, jackets, hats, scarves–pretty much anything you’ll use to keep warm.

Care:
Take care of your wool by washing it with cold water with no detergent. Don’t wring or hang dry wool, it will stretch! Lay it on a flat surface to dry instead.

 
When to wear it:

Wear wool when you want to be warm. Wool is great at keeping in warmth during those colder winter days and it’s a great top layer because it’s so thick.It’s the perfect material for cozy days.

When not to wear it:
Avoid wearing wool when it’s warm outside; wool is super thick and will make you feel like you’re living in a sauna once you start to sweat. Also, avoid wearing wool as a base layer. While it’s usually very soft, some types of wool can also get really itchy. Try to keep another layer of clothing between your cozy sweater and your skin.


Leather

What is it?:
Leather is made from animal skin, but you can also find tons of vegan leathers anywhere. Not only is leather used for jackets, but you can also find leather pants, accessories, and shoes.

Care:
Real leather is usually expensive, and so it’s important to take good care it! Use products specifically made for leather care in order to clean and protect your leather pieces.

When to wear it:
Leather is great as a top layer; the thick skin is perfect for keeping out the cold and blocking wind. It’s a fantastic statement piece for any outfit! Try some fun leather bottoms or a killer leather jacket to stand out.

When not to wear it:
Leather is another one to avoid when it’s warmer. It’s not breathable and traps in moisture, so a pair of leather pants is going to turn your lower body into a slip-n-slide. Be cautious wearing leather in more professional settings; leather can be flashy so keep it minimal.


Silk

What is it?:
Silk is our last natural fabric and probably the most lavish in our fabric guide! It’s usually used to make scarves, formal wear, slips–pretty much anything luxurious and expensive. Did you know that silk is made from the cocoons of insect larvae?

Care:
Silk is super delicate and should be hand washed with cold water. The dyes used in silk clothing can sometimes wash out or transfer to other surfaces so be cautious.

When to wear it:

Silk can be very formal and elegant, so it’s great to wear for special occasions. Silk clothing usually has a loose and relaxed fit, so it’s ideal for summer and spring.

When not to wear it:
Thin and lightweight, silk is not typically a fabric to wear in the cooler months. In the summer, beware of pit stains!


Rayon

What is it?:
Rayon first came about as an inexpensive alternative to silk–it’s made from wood pulp rather than insect larvae. Rayon can imitate the texture and feel of a wide range of fabrics, so it’s used in all types of clothing.

Care:
Either dry clean your rayon items or hand wash them in cold water and air dry them.

When to wear it:
Rayon is really similar to silk, so wear it for formal occasions and in warmer weather. Try experimenting with different pieces to find what works for you.

When not to wear it:
If you’re dressing warm, avoid rayon! If you do try it during the winter, play around with layering.


Spandex

What is it?:
Synthetic fibre known generically as spandex is composed of at least 85% polyurethane by weight. Such fibres are generally used for their highly elastic properties. It can stretch up to 600 times and still bounce back. It’s most popular use is in fitness and activewear.

Care:
Spandex can be heat sensitive so don’t bleach, iron, or dry clean and lay it flat to dry.

When to wear it:
Spandex is great for active wear. It stretches with you and won’t hold you back from any physical activity, and it’s great for repelling moisture.

When not to wear it:
Spandex is a casual fabric, so avoid it for professional or formal occasions.


Nylon

What is it?:
Nylon is produced from small almost plastic chips that are melted and made into thread. It’s strong and lightweight so it’s used in different types of clothing.

Care:
Nylon is sensitive to heat and dries quickly. You can machine wash it, but avoid using bleach and be careful with heat.

When to wear it:
Since nylon is so durable and flexible, it’s used for a lot of activewear and allows for easy movement.

When not to wear it:
Nylon is super prone to static electricity. Avoid it when the air is dry, and try to stick to just one piece of nylon clothing to limit static electricity.

Acrylic

What is it?:
Acrylic is produced artificially through a synthetic polymer known as acrylonitrile. Acrylonitrile is derived from petroleum or coal-based chemicals and synthesized to for acrylic resin pellets.Acrylic is usually an inexpensive alternative to wool, you’ll find it in sweaters and other types of clothing.

Care:
There is a lot of variety among acrylic clothing, so make sure to check care instructions when caring for your individual pieces.

When to wear it:
Acrylic will keep you warm but won't weight you down because it's a lightweight fabric.

When not to wear it:
Acrylic usually doesn’t hold up well against abrasion, so be careful about when and where you choose to wear it. It’s also one to avoid on warmer days or when the air is really dry because it's prone to static electricity.


Polyester

What is it?:
Polyester is produced like nylon. It’s durable and doesn’t wrinkle, and it’s used in the production of a wide range of clothing. Some of it’s more popular uses are in suits and formal dresses.

Care:
Since polyester is so durable, it’s pretty easy to care for. Still, make sure you check the care instructions and watch out for any special restrictions.

When to wear it:

Polyester is durable and diverse, so it works for almost any occasion.

When not to wear it:
Polyester is not the most breathable fabric, so avoid wearing it when you know you’ll be warm.


Click here to download our ultimate laundry fabric guide! We’ll help you to decipher what all those weird symbols actually mean.

 

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