Have you ever wondered how it is possible for some pieces we find in thrift stores, for example, to remain in great shape and beautiful even after years and years of wear? Well, the secret to this lies primarily in the quality of the fabrics with which these pieces were produced. This is a very important factor to be taken into account when shopping. After all, we want not only beautiful and elegant pieces, but quality and lasting pieces, right?
First, we need to understand that fabrics are made of different fibers, from different origins and that bring different results, as we can see in the variety of fabrics we find in stores. There are three categories in which to classify fibers: natural fibers, artificial fibers, and synthetic fibers. The first group refers to those that are ready-made from nature, whether of plant, animal, or even mineral origin. Artificial fibers, in turn, are those produced chemically, but from natural raw material. Among these are viscose and nylon, for example. Finally, synthetic fibers are produced from petroleum-derived materials. This category includes polyester, elastane, polyamide, among others. As our focus here is on the durability of fabrics, let’s just stick to the group that houses the most durable fabrics: natural fibers. These fabrics in addition to being more weather resistant, bring a more classic and elegant air to your wardrobe. They require special care in washing and drying, they may wrinkle a little more, but have a very nice feel, are fresher and allow the skin to breathe (which helps avoid bad smells and not absorb it). These fabrics are:
1 – Cotton
Usually, when we talk about cotton the first pieces that come to mind are t-shirts and white dress shirts. Cotton is, in fact, widely used to make these items, but it isn’t just for that. There are a variety of pieces that can be made with this fabric such as jackets, skirts, blazers, among others. In addition, cotton pieces do not necessarily have to be white. We also find pieces in other colors but also made of cotton and have a great aesthetic result, not to mention the durability factor. But be careful! When washing cotton garments, always use cold water and hang to dry in the shade, as high temperatures can shrink the garment, and we don’t want that!
2 – Linen
It is easy to think of linen and already visualize a piece that wrinkles easily. Actually, this is a common factor among natural fiber fabrics, but it’s just as easy to unwrinkle, often quickly unwrinkling as you wear it. Some people even claim that this is the charm of the fabric and this factor does not detract from its beauty. Summer is coming in the Southern Hemisphere, and this is a great fabric for this season. If you cannot easily find 100% linen pieces in stores, look for it in thrift stores. In addition to a quality piece, you can still get it at a great price.
3 – Silk
Speaking of beauty and elegance, we cannot fail to mention silk. Soft and smooth to the touch, it is also made from natural fibers. It is a very fresh and beautiful fabric. It is a fabric often found in party wear, for example, but the price is somewhat high and the fabric requires some special care, like always hand-washing!
4 – Wool
For those in the Northern Hemisphere, wool is a great choice for colder days. Clothes made of natural wool do not pick up lint balls or pillings, warm the body but still allow it to breathe just like the fabrics mentioned above. Pieces made with this fabric, besides being beautiful and warm, last a long time!
5 – Mixed fiber fabrics
Usually, pieces made from fabrics made 100% from natural fibers are not the cheapest (silk pieces for example). This is not to say that all pieces with these fabrics are absurdly expensive. On the contrary, we can find pieces with great cost-benefit and worth the investment! When that doesn’t happen, though, my tip for you is: look for garments made from fabrics made from mixed fibers, i.e. fabrics that contain natural fibers mixed with synthetic or artificial fibers, such as mixed polyester (synthetic fibers) and cotton (natural fibers), which are said to be the most common blend. These are fabrics that shrink very little compared to 100% cotton, for example. With these fabrics, you will have a cooler piece that allows the body to perspire without leaving a bad smell, a more resistant and durable piece that doesn’t wrinkle as much, and probably at a better price.
One fabric that has been winning hearts lately is the viscose-linen blend. Considered the “new linen”, this fabric brings the combination of natural linen fibers and artificial viscose fibers. It wrinkles a lot less, it’s easier to iron, soft to the touch, fresh and has the elegance, comfort, and versatility of linen.
When you go shopping, be sure to always check the clothing label to see if, in fact, the garment is made with the fabric advertised. Quality mixed fiber fabrics have a higher percentage of natural fibers than the percentage of the other fibers it contains. It is very important that you notice the composition of the fabric on the label so as not to be fooled. Not every silk dress is actually really made of silk, not every cotton shirt is 100% cotton, and not every merino wool sweater is actually a wool sweater.
Remember, cherishing the durability of the pieces in our closet is not just a matter of personal taste, but a very important point for us Christians to take into account. I end this post with a message from Sister White to us:
“Our clothing, while modest and simple, should be of good quality, of becoming colors, and suited for service. It should be chosen for durability rather than display.”(Messages to Young People, 352)
I hope you enjoyed this post! Share this valuable information with your friends, and God bless and guide each of you! ‘Til next time!