• Feb 07

A Guide to Natural Fibres

Have you ever wondered where 'natural' fabrics come from? How are they made? What makes them natural? Here we will share an in-depth guide to all the common natural fabrics. 

What fabrics are natural?

Natural fabrics are created from both animal and plant fibres. Animal based fabrics include Cashmere, Wool, Alpaca, Angora, Silk and Mohair. Plant based fabrics include Cotton, Linen, Viscose, Bamboo, Ramie, Hemp, Silk, and Jute. 

What are the benefits of a natural fabric? 

  • Tough and Functional 
  • Warmth
  • Breathability
  • Comfort in hot weather
  • Absorbent
  • Hardwearing
  • Versatile 
  • Ecologically friendly 
  • Insulating qualities 

How are Natural Fabrics made?

This really depends on the type of fabric. Let's hear about two popular and common natural fabrics. 


Wool is sheared, cleaned, graded and classified. They are classified into three categories, light (light clothing), medium (outerwear) and coarse (rugs). From here they are compressed into bales and go to a spinning mill. 

Wool can be spun differently to create a different appearance. With the use of combing, drawing and twisting, the fabric can become smooth or coarse. Some common styles are Herringbone, Prince of Wales, Two Colour Twill and Tattersall Check. 


Linen is derived from the Flax Plant, once it's been harvested it goes to a 'scutching mill' where seeds are removed, fibres are separated from the stalks and the slivers are untangled and they're seperated into short and long fibres. From here the fibres are either knitted or weaved. Linen can come in different weights, or be more coarser or firmer. One great thing with Linen is that it actually improves with age through wearing and washing! 

What are some sustainable natural fabrics?

There are many plant alternatives which have been around for a long time but also some new exciting developments. Bamboo is a stem fibre, whereby the entire stem is used. Bast Fibres such as banana, jute, hemp and nettle are obtained from the phloem or inner skin of a plant.

Where can I buy Natural Fibre Fabrics? 

You can shop a huge range of natural fibre fabrics online at www.supercheapfabrics.com.au