Everything you need to know about fabrics and textile materials
There are many different textile materials and fabrics. Some are of natural origin, others are of synthetic or artificial origin, and the differences and specificities of each can be difficult to decipher. At ELLOZZE, the choice of the material is crucial and we banish poor quality materials in favor of noble materials that fit well. Knowing the materials and fabrics allows us to better decipher the labels and to better understand the pieces in our dressing room and our future purchases. Here is an overview of fabrics and textile materials.
Natural textile materials and fabrics
Fibers of plant origin
Cotton comes from a textile fiber surrounding the seeds of the cotton plant. It is the most widespread vegetable fiber in the textile industry. It represents 37% of the world's textile fiber production, i.e. approximately 26 million tons per year. As you can see, cotton is intensively cultivated worldwide. Very water intensive and produced in sometimes disastrous conditions, it raises ethical and environmental questions.
This is why it is recommended to find out where it comes from and to choose a fair trade or recycled cotton. For this, labels can help, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), guaranteeing a production that respects both the environment (organic cotton) and the working conditions.
ELLOZZE cotton jumpsuits are mainly made of gabardine. This fabric is made of a tightly woven cotton weave, which is almost waterproof and airtight, and which is resistant to wear and tear over time. A large part of our gabardine is upcycled: in a zero waste logic, we buy deadstock fabrics from the greatest Parisian luxury houses, for a more considered fashion.
Cotton is a pleasant fabric to wear for several reasons:
- It has hypoallergenic properties, avoiding any irritation. This is why it is ideal for everyday clothing.
- It has anti-bacterial properties, thus limiting bad odors. It is therefore frequently used to make underwear.
- It has an important absorption capacity, ideal for towels and bathroom linen.
Did you know that denim was created from cotton? Originally made from hemp fibers, this robust fabric is now made from cotton.
This fiber finds its origins in the stems of cultivated flax. Mostly produced in Europe, with more than 100,000 hectares dedicated to its cultivation in France, flax grows very quickly. It takes only a hundred days from sowing to harvesting.
Flax is an environmentally friendly textile material. Indeed, its cultivation requires little fertilizer, pesticides and water. Finally, all the components of linen are biodegradable. If linen is dyed, it is recommended to check for the presence of labels guaranteeing an environmentally friendly dyeing process that does not contain toxic substances.
Once rigid and rough, linen has become soft and pleasant. It is also an excellent thermal regulator, ideal for hot weather or, on the contrary, during winter. Finally, linen is anti-allergic, absorbent and robust.
This fiber comes from the hemp stalk. Today, France is the first producer of hemp with more than 10 000 hectares of culture. This fiber is relatively environmentally friendly because it requires little water, pesticides and fertilizers. Moreover, hemp is robust and favors the local economy.
Hemp in the textile industry has many advantages:
- It is resistant and deforms very little over the years.
- It is antibacterial and antifungal, thus avoiding bad odors.
- It has anti UV properties.
As it is quite rough, it is often used for accessories, or mixed with cotton for the production of clothing.
Bamboo is used to make velvet or very absorbent sponges. It is both very resistant and soft.
Note that, like satin, velvet is a type of weaving, which can also be made from cotton, wool or silk.
Fibers of animal origin
This fiber of animal origin comes from sheep or goat fleeces. Wool is composed of keratin fibers. These are proteins found in hair. The quality of wool varies depending on the animal. There are different types of wool:
- Virgin wool: this is wool from the very first shearing of a lamb. This makes it the finest and softest wool taken from a sheep during its life. Virgin wool is also wool that has not been treated or woven.
- Merino wool: it comes from the Spanish sheep. It is softer and finer than traditional wool.
- Alpaca wool : it comes from the fleece of llamas. It is a high-end wool and known to be resistant.
- Angora wool: it is made from rabbit hair and is known for its rarity and high quality. It should be noted that Angora poses an ethical question because of its harvesting, resulting from animal mistreatment.
- Cashmere: this is a wool created from goat fleeces in Lower Mongolia. This wool is soft and keeps warm. It is rare and precious.
Wool is generally preferred in cold weather because of its insulating properties and its ability to maintain heat. However, wool is also a summer fiber for its insulating properties.
Discover all ELLOZZE flannel and virgin wool jumpsuits. Easy to wear, they are a real must-have in your winter wardrobe.
Silk is a protein fiber whose origin is animal silk. It is mainly produced by the caterpillars of certain families of butterflies or certain species of spiders. In most cases, textile silk comes from silkworms. As silk requires complex work, it is precious and rare. It represents only 0.2% of the world market for textile fibers.
Beware, it is common to confuse silk and satin, yet they differ. In reality, satin is a type of weaving and not a textile material. Originally made only from silk, satin is now made from other natural or synthetic fibers.
The main advantages of satin and silk are their softness, shine, lightness and strength. They are often used for women's undergarments, accessories or even haute couture or more formal clothing, such as a jumpsuit.
Good to know : Poplin is a fabric made from a mix of silk and wool but can also be made from cotton.
Leather is an organic material. There are several varieties of leather:
- Mammalian leathers: cow, calf, buffalo, lamb, goat or pig.
- Fish leathers: stingray, salmon, trout.
- Bird leathers: ostrich.
- Reptile leathers: snake, caiman or crocodile.
Dreaming of a leather jumpsuit? Look no further, ELLOZZE has a wide choice of lambskin jumpsuits in various cuts. We create exceptional pieces in upcycled lambskin leather from deadstock of major Parisian houses.
Chemical textile materials and fabrics
They are derived from polymers of natural origin. As they are derived from plant fibers, they could be similar to vegetable fibers. However, this is not the case because they are subject to intensive artificial treatment to obtain their final appearance. Artificial fiber fabrics are made from cellulose, which is a carbohydrate found in fibers such as flax and cotton. Cellulose is used to make different types of fabrics.
This artificial chemical material is made from fatty wood transformed into chips or wood pulp in soda. It can have two aspects:
- in continuous filament: it is then called rayon;
- in cut fiber: it is called fibranne.
Although natural, it is chemically transformed, which is why it is called artificial.
This artificial chemical material, also known as Tencel, is made from eucalyptus. 100% biodegradable and compostable, this material is an ecological alternative to viscose, if it is not mixed with other synthetic fibers.
To make lyocell, we extract the cellulose, a sugar naturally present in eucalyptus or bamboo, and dissolve it in a non-toxic solvent. The advantage is that this solvent is absolutely non-toxic and is recoverable (99.77%). Thus, lyocell, constantly recycled and purified, is a material with a particularly low environmental impact. The best part? It is very easy to maintain!
Acetate, also known as cellulose acetate, is an artificial material, manufactured since 1865. It is one of the first man-made synthetic fibers. Cellulose is obtained from cotton extracts or tree pulp.
Synthetic fibers are the result of a synthesis of chemical compounds. Created in the middle of the XXth century, these fibers are today, as much exploited as natural fibers. The reason? Their production is simpler and less expensive. 70% of synthetic fibers are derived from oil. This is why they represent a major challenge for the environment. There are several synthetic fibers.
It is the most manufactured synthetic material in the textile industry. One of the main reasons is that it is wrinkle-free and warm. It is generally used to make fleeces or sportswear. Crepe fabrics can also be made from polyester.
ELLOZZE crepe jumpsuits are made of 30% recycled polyester or upcycled polyester. With elegant cuts, they are ideal for workdays or cocktail parties.
Nylon, also known as polyamide, is a resistant and absorbent material. It also dries quickly and is easy to care for. Most of the time, nylon is used in the manufacture of swimsuits, tights and clothing linings.
This synthetic material has a similar appearance to wool. It is soft and easy to care for and is generally used to make sweaters and blankets.
Beware, acrylic is a material with a negative health and environmental impact. Indeed, it is manufactured from petroleum and consumes 30% more energy than polyester. In addition, it contains the acrylonitrile molecule, classified as a mutagenic agent that acts on DNA and can cause cancer.
This material, also called lycra, has the advantage of being very stretchy. It is also robust and anti-bacterial. It is mainly used in the manufacture of leggings, stretch clothing and underwear.
Did you know that washing synthetic fiber clothes releases microplastics into the water, polluting rivers and oceans? However, there are solutions for a cleaner wash. Among them, the guppy bag. This bag reduces the production of these plastics by 86%, while protecting the clothes. The residual fibers are captured in the bag and can be thrown away in the garbage after the machine is finished.