So we’re all aware of the different kinds of materials that exist for our clothes. Some work better for certain conditions than others, and of course we love most of these materials on their own for what they are.
But what about mixing these materials? Are there any benefits to doing this, and if so, why is this a good thing to think about? Well let’s discuss this.
Best Qualities of Both Worlds
When we’re assess the properties of our clothing’s material, we want to balance out all the good features of both fabrics. For example, you might have a coat that is 70% polyester, 28% cotton and 2% elastane.
The reason the fabric is made like this is to make the most of these properties from all of them. Polyester has a good level of waterproofing that makes it a generally great material for coats. Therefore, polyester makes up the biggest percentage of the coat. It’s other great property is reducing its ability to wrinkle, so it can be more crease resistant.
Cotton is a lovely fabric that gives garments a bit of breath-ability so you’re not trapped in your clothes like a sauna. For this coat, only taking up 28% means that it wants to reduce the amount of absorption in favor of its waterproof capabilities. This portion is still enough to make the material much more nicer and softer to the touch, without making the fabric wrinkle too much.
And lastly you have 2% of elastane giving the coat a very small amount of stretch. This is very useful in accommodating thicker clothing under your clothes or allowing your to move in your coat without that stiff feeling if it had no elastane at all.
You would also want to avoid having too much elastane anyway as it would cause more problems with having too much stretch, and eventually losing it’s elasticity, therefore becoming loose and baggy looking. This would be the end of its use in theory, as the coat wouldn’t look appealing after losing its shape.
So mixing fabrics is essential to the maintenance of the garments and making them last longer.
Say you wanted to produce a luxurious looking and feeling material, but the material was generally too expensive on its own for most people to access and buy?
Take cashmere for example. It is a luxurious staple for the winter time, as it wool or alpaca fur. Cashmere, in its highest graded form, retails for hundreds of pounds or dollars in most stores. This is pretty extortionate for most of us, but at the same time we’d like to benefit from some of cashmere’s warmth properties.
How about a cashmere and wool blended garment then? Most place will usually do something like this, or blend cashmere with a much more inexpensive material to source such as poly amide.
What this does is reduce the cost of production for the item, and when these prices are passed on to the customer, the price can be reduced. This means that anyone who wants a piece of cashmere in their clothes can opt for the more affordable cashmere blend instead for a fraction of the price, while still enjoying some of its qualities.
So some fabrics on their own are nice, but not always interesting to wear. Often, you’ll find lovely shimmery jumpers that have a shiny metallic thread sown in with the normal fabric. This is a good example of blended fabrics in its more obvious form.
This blend just creates a more interesting aesthetic which makes it great for slightly more stand out pieces. Metallic blended clothes are usually great for party and evening wear items that give a normal garment a special touch.
The same goes for the kinds of embroidery you get on and between veiled net fabric. The mix of cotton embroidery on polyester netting creates a beautiful finish of elegance and lace for that touch of interest in these pieces.
Easier to Care For
Some fabrics, especially the more expensive ones are just so for more reasons than one. Other than being harder to source, they can also require special washing instructions such has handing washing only, or dry cleaning.
Dry cleaning can be more effort and expense than it’s worth, so it makes buying nicer fabrics harder to achieve. But some blended fabrics, such as a cardigan with 70% cotton and 30% cashmere can be so much easier to look after.
I actually own a cardigan like this. It’s brilliant because its easy to look after, I can put it in the washing machine without worrying about the fabric, and it still has a bit of cashmere in it, which will give me a bit more warmth during the fall and winter.
This feature is so good to look out for as harder to care for fabrics can be ruined very easily if its put in the washing machine at a hot temperature or a fast spin cycle. If you’re not sure about the care details for your clothes, check the label on the inside and see what it advises.
So blended fabrics can make such a huge difference in providing a variety of feature and texture in our clothes, and allowing us to enjoy a larger range of them more viably.