Why Natural Fibres and Yarns?
What does it mean to craft naturally?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, crafting is a skill in making things especially with the hands. When we make things, we generally hope to create new things from raw or found materials, without leaving a mark on our Mother Earth.
Until the turn of the twentieth century, the only fabrics available were natural fabrics made from fibres which came from animal and vegetable sources. It was only later on, that synthetic fabrics become popular because of its ease and cost of production. Clothing manufacturers then started making clothes from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, spandex and nylon.
What are Natural Fibres?
Natural fibres are defined as any fibre that is obtained directly from a plant or animal (with little to no chemical reaction). Wool, silk, camel hair, angora, mohair and alpaca are classified under animal fibres, while cotton, bamboo, flax (linen), hemp, and jute are classified under plant fibres.
What are the Benefits of Natural Fibres?
Natural fibres are not just good for the environment, they are also good for you as an end-product consumer. Cotton, wool, silk and other plant and animal fibres are comfortable to wear. They are also a sustainable resource, as they are renewable, biodegradable and carbon neutral and can be used without depleting or damaging the environment. For summer weather like in Singapore, fibres such as cotton, linen and silk are breathable and are a great material to use for your wearables.
A Summary of Natural Fibres, their Sources and What to Use them for?
- Cotton comes from a cotton plant
- Linen comes from flax, a kind of grass
- Wool comes from various animals, from sheep, yaks, goats, etc. to rabbits
- Ramie comes from a grasslike plant of the nettle family
- Hemp comes from the hemp plant, and is mainly used for things like ropes and rugs, though it can be used for clothing as well
- Silk is gotten from the unwound cocoons of the silkworm
- Coir is from coconut husks, and is often used for rugs and ropes
- Jute comes from the jute plant, and is used mainly in heavy-duty textiles
Hope this resource has been useful in explaining more about natural fibres! :)