There are many different types of fabrics, but all fabrics fall into two distinct categories: natural and synthetic. Natural fabrics include the fabrics that are made from nature through animal coats or plants such as wool, silk, linen and cotton. Synthetic fabrics are man-made and include spandex, polyester, acrylic, nylon and rayon fabrics.
Both natural and synthetic types of fabric are used frequently in apparel and other items. All of the fabrics, however, have different properties that give them various strengths.
Wool is a great fabric for people who need warmth. Wool is very warm, and its fibers will insulate heat. Wool, however, can be itchy to people because of the crimps that are in the fibers. Silk and cotton are known for their soft touch. Silk is also known as a shiny fabric and has a great luster for fancier items. Cotton, on the other hand, has great breathability and will let air circulate next to the skin keeping people dry and comfortable when it is hot. Cotton also is absorbent and can hold water well.
Linen is a great fabric for people who want to dye their fabric to get beautiful colors. When dye is used on linen garments, the color will set and will not fade, leaving a bright color. For athletic clothing, elasticity is desired. Nylon and spandex are both elastic material in that they can be easily stretched without losing their original shape. Nylon is also often used in hosiery.