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What is wool? Wool is the hair or fur from animals such as sheep, goats or camels.

Desirable Properties of Wool

  1.  It has a natural crimp which makes it warm to wear.
  2.  Wool is resilient making it crease resistant.
  3.  Wool is non-flammable
  4.  It is absorbent


Properties of Silk

– Silk is produced from the secretion of a silk worm.

Desirable Properties of Silk

  1.  Silk is a very strong fibre therefore washes and wears well, making it suitable for underwear.
  2.  Silk has a soft fine lustre therefore popularly used for evening wear. – Silk drapes well
  3.  Silk is absorbent.
  4.  Silk is resistant to mildew, fungi and moths.
  5.  It is crease resistant therefore suitable for travel wear.


Undesirable Properties of Silk

  1.  Weak when wet;
  2.  Easily damaged by high temperatures;
  3.  Weakened by long exposure to sunlight;
  4.  Perspiration weakens it;
  5.  Easily weakened by alkalis and acids.
  6.  Properties of Mineral Fibres



The most commonly used mineral fibre is asbestos.

Properties of Asbestos

It is resistant to fire and most chemicals. Asbestos is commonly used to make firefighting clothes.

Asbestos cloth being resistant to heat and fires is used to make various items such as hats, gloves, belts, ropes and fire-fighting uniform.

Asbestos fibre is also used as insulation materials for water heaters, fridges and ovens. Silver strands are used to make decorative clothes and items. Gold fibres are woven into fabric for decorative purposes to make various items.


Viscose Rayon

Viscose rayon is made from wood pulp and chemicals. The properties of viscose rayon are similar to those of cotton.


Desirable Properties of Viscose Rayon

  1.  Being a filament fibre it produces a smooth and lustrous surface.
  2.  It is therefore popularly used to make table cloths and napkins.
  3.  Viscose is absorbent therefore cool to wear in hot climate.
  4.  Viscose takes in dyes well and therefore can be produced in a wide variety of colours and designs.
  5.  Viscose blends easily with other fibres and is normally blended with cotton and wool.

This makes it crease resistant and strong while maintaining its high lustre.


Undesirable Properties of Viscose Rayon

  1.  Is not a strong fibre and is weaker when wet.
  2.  It should therefore not be twisted,
  3.  Wrung or rubbed during laundry.
  4.  Scorches when exposed to heat
  5.  Develops mildew
  6.  Yellows and rots due to prolonged exposure to light.


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