Cotton is absorbent making it suitable for towels and undergarments. Cotton is a strong fibre and can withstand the friction required in laundry work. This makes it suitable for school uniforms, children’s clothing and bed linen. Cotton can withstand mild alkalis and stain removers hence making it ideal for household linen and daily wear. Cotton can withstand high temperatures.
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This makes it suitable for items that need to be sterilized such as dish clothes, towels and napkins. Cotton is a good conductor of heat thus keeps the body cool in warm weather. Cotton does not generate and hold static electricity therefore clothes do not cling to the body when worn. This makes it ideal for outdoor clothing.
Cotton takes in dyes easily therefore comes in a wide variety of colours. Cotton is resistant to attack from moths.
Undesirable Properties of Cotton
- Creases easily
- Shrinks readily
- Yellows with age
- Not resistant to mildew
- Lacks lustre
- Not resistant to strong acids
Properties of Linen
Linen is produced from the stem of a flax plant.
The properties of linen are similar to those of cotton except that it:
- Is crisp
- Has lustre
- Is stronger
- Frays readily
Desirable qualities of Linen
It is used for table linen such as table cloths, napkins, mats and cushions because it is strong, hence withstands regular laundering and high temperatures.
Linen is popularly used in the kitchen because it is strong and is resistant to high temperatures.
Linen clothes are popular because they are absorbent making them suitable in hot climate.
Linen takes in dyes easily therefore comes in a wide variety of colours.
It is popularly used to make household articles like organizers, chair covers and cushions.
Undesirable Properties of Linen
- Creases readily
- Attacked by mildew
- Properties of Wool