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A Guide To Natural Materials...

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Here at Shiv Textiles, we use deadstock natural materials to create all of our woven creations.


These materials derive from animals and plants and there are lots of benefits to using these natural fibres as opposed to synthetic ones.


Natural fibres come from the wonders of nature, meaning they can be grown time and time again in a sustainable way. This also means that they are biodegradable so when the end of their lives comes, they break down back into nature instead of sitting in a landfill for decades.


Synthetic fibres however are produced using industrial, chemical processes that release harmful chemicals into the environment at all stages of the fibre’s life. A lot of these fibres contain plastics, which, with each wash releases microplastics into the water which, eventually, affects wildlife in our waterways.


Ever wanted to know more about all the different types of natural fibres?


Well here’s a quick guide for all you need to know about the fibres that we use here, and a handy reference sheet at the end for you to come back to!


Up first, plant fibres:



Hemp

Also known as sambe, hemp fibre is from a cannabis plant and is one of the strongest and most durable of all natural textiles fibres.



Cotton

A soft, fluffy, stable fibre that grows in a protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plant.


Flax

A fibre from the flax plant. It is three times stronger than cotton and is normally woven into linen.




Next, animal fibres:



Alpaca

Alpaca fleece is durable and silky. It is very warm, much like wool but is softer.


Mohair

Soft wool that comes from the hair of the Angora goat. Mohair is a long fibre which is strong and very soft.



Merino

Merino is a breed of domestic sheep. Their wool is very soft and fine.



Wool

The fine, soft, curly or wavy hair forming the coat of a sheep, goat or similar animal. In its most natural form, it is fairly rough.


Angora

A soft, thick fibre that comes from the downy coat produced by an angora rabbit.



Looking for an educational yet adorable Instagram account? Check out @campaignforwool and learn all about the natural benefits of wool. Not only will you gain some new knowledge, but you'll also be treated to some of the most heart-melting sheep photos out there. Trust me, it's a win-win situation!

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