Different types of fabrics and fibres are not often strongly considered when purchasing garments. It is not until the price of the garment increases that we seek to know what the garment is comprised and how it is produced.
The most common natural fibres are cotton, wool, silk and linen and the most common synthetic fibres are polyester, nylon, rayon and acrylic.
There is a multitude of pros and cons for each category of fibre.
Natural fibres are exceedingly more comfortable and breathable, the thought of buttery soft cashmere wool comes to mind. Natural fibres are not nearly as flexible and textures are restricted as well as the amount readily available.
Synthetic fibres triumph over natural in the case of durability and flexibility, as they are extremely malleable. They are more widely used, as they are cheaper and faster to produce, and highly durable. Synthetics often aim to mimic natural fibres, however fall short of the luxurious texture and drape of the natural.
Huge retail chains like H&M and Zara use mostly synthetic fibres in the production of their garments. As synthetic fibres are man made and versatile, they are the perfect material when dealing with fast fashions. Fast fashions are the key to what makes H&M and Zara widely successful, immediately producing fashions that are shown on the runway within weeks, before the design houses have even placed the original designs in their showrooms.
It doesn’t matter if your clothes where woven harmoniously by Chinese silk worms, or formulated by someone working in a laboratory, synthetic and natural fibres both provide beautiful textures and key purposes.