Into the Cloth: The Science Behind Various Fibers (

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Jeremy Fordham is an engineer who is excited about encouraging dialogue in unique spaces. He contributes to resources promoting Ph.D. programs and is an advocate of sustainability and green energy.

Fabrics are an essential part of everyday life. From their functional purposes as clothing, carpets and curtains to their to aesthetic incarnations as wearable art, fabrics have enriched human existence for centuries. While cotton, wool, silk and linen have been utilized by cultures around the world for generations, scientific research over the last century has yielded a plethora of new, synthetic fibers. While these innovations have made lives infinitely richer, they have also greatly complicated the arts of sewing and fabric design.

As those who have attended online Ph.D. programs in this area know, fiber composition and chemical structure not only affect the lifespan of the fabric, they affect how easily the fabric can be dyed, woven and stitched. They affect whether a fabric must be steam treated, dry-cleaned and even dictate the temperature of the water in which delicate fabrics must be washed. However, while fiber science is certainly complicated, understanding some basic principles will make it possible to select the best fabric for any design endeavor.”

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