Posted January 7th, 2016
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Category Archives: fabrics

Lyocell (Tencel)

Lyocell (Tencel®) Lyocell, better known by the brand name Tencel®, is a cellulosic fiber. This means that it is regenerated cellulose. Natural cellulose is dissolved from wood pulp and extruded into filaments which are spun into threads and yarns for textile production. Tencel® is the brand name used for lyocell produced by Lenzig AG, an Austrian company. Lenzig bought American Enka, the company that first produced lyocell, and it is now the only large scale producer. Lyocell is...

What Are You Sleeping On? The Ingredients List for Mattress Recipes

What Are You Sleeping on? The Ingredients List for Mattress Recipes  What are you sleeping on? A few of the readers of this article may sleep in a sleeping bag or on folded blankets or quilts on a sleeping mat or an air mattress, especially if they are camping at the time and using a smart phone or tablet. Most of us, however, sleep on beds of one sort or another, also including sofas, futons, semi sleepers, and built-in beds. The most common configuration for a bed in North America is a...

Aloe Vera: The Succulent Ingredient

Aloe Vera: The Succulent Ingredient Aloe is a succulent plant which grows naturally in desert and semi-desert areas. Used for thousands of years as the source of medicinal and cosmetic products, this plant has been so widely cultivated that identifying its place of origin is a matter of educated guessing. It is also known by other Latin names, but the official one is Aloe vera. The three most active substances in Aloe vera are derived from hydroxyanthrone. Collectively they are called...

Nylon

[caption id="attachment_862" align="aligncenter" width="382"] Uses of Nylon[/caption] NYLON Nylon is a thermoplastic amide polymer.* Invented in 1935 by DuPont chemical engineer Wallace Carothers and first used for toothbrush bristles, nylon is the most used synthetic fiber. In 1940 it was introduced as a substitute for silk in stockings. Nylon is very similar to silk, and with Japanese occupation of China the supply of silk was restricted. Then in 1942, nylon replaced silk in parachutes....

Damask

[caption id="attachment_834" align="aligncenter" width="539"] Italian Silk Damask, 14th Century[/caption] Damask Damask is not a fiber, but a style of weaving, named for Damascus, Syria, where silk and linen were woven in this manner in the early Middle Ages.  In damask weaving, patterns are created by longer warp threads on top (satin) for the foreground, and longer woof threads (sateen) for the background.  This pattern is reversible, meaning the the negative image appears on the back...

Cashmere

[caption id="attachment_823" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Cashmere Goat, Spring Gate Farm[/caption] Cashmere Cashmere is also known as cashmere wool, though it is not really wool (like that shorn from sheep), but a type of goat hair. It is considered a luxury fabric, more expensive than wool. Whether woven or knit, it is a fine fabric which becomes softer with use. Commonly used in shawls, sweaters, scarves and hats, cashmere is also used by some manufacturers in the covers of select...

Polyester

[caption id="attachment_565" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Polyester Fiber (Wikipedia Commons [PD]), from photo by Edward Dowlman, taken at Strathclyde University[/caption]  Polyester Polyester, sometimes just called “poly,” is a long-chain polymer.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, a polymer has to be at least 85% esters to be classified as polyester.  There are several kinds of polyester, but the kind abbreviated PET is made into fabrics.  PET is also the substance of...

Silk

Silk Many of us have heard of the Silk Road. The name conjures images of adventure, romance, luxury, wealth, conquest and intrigue.  It was the route from China to India, Persia, Egypt and Europe by which silk was carried to market.  In ancient times, China was known as the Land of Silk. That is where production of silk began some time before 3500 b.c. In fact, our word “silk” came from the Chinese word si.   China is still the major producer of silk, producing about 3⅓ times as much...

Bamboo

Bamboo Bamboo is the only kind of grass listed in tree identification guides. It is the largest and tallest grass, growing to tree-size, and it is woody.  Since ancient times in East Asia, bamboo has been an important building material. It has also been used for musical instruments, cooking and eating utensils, hats, mats, ship sails, and many other things, including fabrics.  At least 27 manufacturers reviewed on Beds.Org use bamboo, mostly in cover fabrics. Bamboo is touted as a...

Wool

[caption id="attachment_471" align="aligncenter" width="640"] "Flock of sheep". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.[/caption] Wool The simplest definition of wool is hair grown by sheep.  It now includes hair from several types of goats as well as llamas.  Wool is one of the oldest fibers used by humans, and sheep are among the earliest domesticated animals.  From the many breeds of sheep come many varieties of wool, offering many choices to mattress manufacturers and their...

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