Summer is here, and there are all kinds of skirts on the market that are dazzling to choose from, and there are even more types of clothing fabrics. There are familiar traditional fabrics such as pure cotton, silk, and artificial cotton, as well as new ones such as polyester fiber and chiffon that have emerged in recent years. Do you know what these fabrics are?
From the perspective of material structure, these fabrics are all high molecular compounds, also called polymers, which are organic matter. The characteristic that distinguishes them from ordinary organic matter is that the molecular weight is huge, which can reach 104-106. Traditional cotton and silk fabrics are natural polymers, while polyester fiber and chiffon are artificial polymers.
The cotton used to make pure cotton fabrics is the fiber covered on the seeds of the Malvaceae Gossypium plant. The main component is cellulose, which is a type of polymer. Pure cotton clothing has excellent water absorption, heat resistance, and alkali resistance. Its disadvantages are poor elasticity and easy fading. It is often used to make underwear and children’s clothing. We always like to ask “Is it 100% cotton” when purchasing? However, some clothing cannot be made of pure cotton, such as socks. Socks need to have a certain degree of elasticity, and an appropriate amount of elastic fiber, such as Lycra (a type of spandex fiber), must be mixed into cotton fiber to ensure comfortable wearing, so the socks on the market are all blended materials.
Another traditional fabric, silk, generally refers to silk, also known as the “Queen of Fibers”. Its main component is protein fiber, which is rich in 18 kinds of amino acids that are beneficial to the human body. It has a smooth and soft feel and a soft texture. , cool and comfortable to wear, but not as absorbent as cotton fiber. Silk is also the most expensive due to its small output and high production process requirements. In addition, proteins are easily denatured under acid, alkali, and high temperature conditions, which affects the luster and feel of clothing. Therefore, silk clothing must be worn and taken care of daily more carefully, and never be washed with soap and other alkaline detergents.
Artificial cotton is somewhere between “purely natural” and “purely artificial”. Natural polymer compounds such as cellulose are processed into viscose liquid through alkali dissolution, sulfonation and other processes. Thin filaments are ejected from a fine nozzle and finally woven into cloth, so artificial cotton is also called viscose fiber. Good artificial cotton can be identified by burning. During the burning process, the lower the cotton content, the stronger the gelatinous texture, and vice versa. The powder after burning is very fine and soft. Compared with pure cotton, artificial cotton fabrics are superior in smoothness, softness, brightness and dyeability. Their water absorption is close to that of pure cotton, but they wrinkle easily and have a greater shrinkage rate than pure cotton.
Vital polyester fiber and chiffon are actually the same material, which is a pure fiber fabric. The chemical name is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), also called “polyester”. It is not considered a new substance. The biggest advantage of this kind of chemical fiber clothes is that they are not easy to discolor and deform, and they are wrinkle-resistant, but they have poor water absorption, are very elegant to wear, are generally easy to take care of, and are more affordable than silk. In fact, polyethylene terephthalate has another important use. Mineral water bottles and carbonated drink bottles commonly used in daily life are also made of polyester. The bottom of the bottle is printed with the word PET. Have you noticed?