What Are the Types of Clothing Material?

Natural materials for clothing include cotton, leather, wool, fur and fabrics made out of silk or flax. Synthetic materials include polyester, nylon, spandex, acetate and rayon.

Cotton, derived from the fiber of a cotton plant, is one of the most common materials for clothing. It serves as the basis of several textiles, including denim and corduroy. Denim features a distinctive weave pattern of diagonals. Corduroy is a ribbed fabric.

Leather is the tanned rawhide of an animal skin, typically cow. Similarly, some garments have fur, which is leather with the animal hair still attached. People use the hair and fur of sheep and goats to make wool material. Mohair and cashmere are types of wool.

Silk is a luxury material. The threads come from silk worms, the larval form of the mulberry moth. People weave flax fibers to create linen material. Hemp is similar in feel to linen but less commonly used.

Some synthetic fabrics originate from petrochemicals. The by-products of petroleum and coal, mixed with air and water, make polyester. Nylon has thermoplastic fibers. Both polyester and nylon are highly flammable.

Rayon is comprised of manufactured, regenerated cellulose fiber from wood pulp. Acetate results from wood cellulose combined with synthetic processes. Spandex is a synthetic form of rubber, prized for its elasticity.