Wools Used For Mens And Womens Suits And Business Wear
Mens Suit and Womens Suit FABRIC IDENTIFICATION
Burn Test - CAUTION. WARNING. BE CAREFUL! This should only be done by skilled burners! Make sure there is a bucket of water nearby and that you burn in a metal bucket or non-plastic sink.
To identify fabric that is unknown, a simple burn test can be done to determine if the fabric is a natural fiber, man made fiber, or a blend of natural and man made fibers. The burn test is used by many fabric stores and designers and takes practice to determine the exact fiber content. However, an inexperienced person can still determine the difference between many fibers to "narrow" the choices down to natural or man made fibers. This elimination process will give information necessary to decide the care of the fabric. Blends consist of two or more fibers and, ideally, are supposed to take on the characteristics of each fiber in the blend. The burning test can be used but the fabric content will be an assumption.
WARNING: All fibers will burn! Asbestos treated fibers are, for the most part fire proof. The burning test should be done with caution. Use a small piece of fabric only. Hold the fabric with tweezers, not your fingers. Burn over a metal dish with soda in the bottom or even water in the bottom of the dish. Some fabrics will ignite and melt. The result is burning drips which can adhere to fabric or skin and cause a serious burn.
Cotton is a plant fiber. When ignited it burns with a steady flame and smells like burning leaves. The ash left is easily crumbled. Small samples of burning cotton can be blown out as you would a candle.
Linen is also a plant fiber but different from cotton in that the individual plant fibers which make up the yarn are long where cotton fibers are short. Linen takes longer to ignite. The fabric closest to the ash is very brittle. Linen is easily extinguished by blowing on it as you would a candle.
Silk is a protein fiber and usually burns readily, not necessarily with a steady flame, and smells like burning hair. The ash is easily crumbled. Silk samples are not as easily extinguished as cotton or linen.
Wool is also a protein fiber but is harder to ignite than silk as the individual "hair" fibers are shorter than silk and the weave of the fabrics is generally looser than with silk. The flame is steady but more difficult to keep burning. The smell of burning wool is like burning hair.
Man Made Fibers
Acetate is made from cellulose (wood fibers), technically cellulose acetate. Acetate burns readily with a flickering flame that cannot be easily extinguished. The burning cellulose drips and leaves a hard ash. The smell is similar to burning wood chips.
Acrylic technically acrylonitrile is made from natural gas and petroleum. Acrylics burn readily due to the fiber content and the lofty, air filled pockets. A match or cigarette dropped on an acrylic blanket can ignite the fabric which will burn rapidly unless extinguished. The ash is hard. The smell is acrid or harsh.
Nylon is a polyamide made from petroleum. Nylon melts and then burns rapidly if the flame remains on the melted fiber. If you can keep the flame on the melting nylon, it smells like burning plastic.
Polyester is a polymer produced from coal, air, water, and petroleum products. Polyester melts and burns at the same time, the melting, burning ash can bond quickly to any surface it drips on including skin. The smoke from polyester is black with a sweetish smell. The extinguished ash is hard.
Rayon is a regenerated cellulose fiber which is almost pure cellulose. Rayon burns rapidly and leaves only a slight ash. The burning smell is close to burning leaves.
WOOL USED FOR SUITS FOR MEN AND WOMEN
WOOL is the fiber derived from the fur of animals of the Caprinae family, principally sheep, but the hair of certain species of other mammals such as goats, llamas and rabbits may also be called wool. This article deals explicitly with the wool produced from domestic sheep.
WOOL fabric brings to mind cozy warmth. Some wools are scratchy giving some people the idea that they are "allergic" to wool. Although wool fiber comes from a variety of animal coats, not all wool’s are scratchy but rather extremely soft. The wool fibers have crimps or curls which create pockets and gives the wool a spongy feel and creates insulation for the wearer. The outside surface of the fiber consists of a series of serrated scales which overlap each other much like the scales of a fish. Wool is the only fiber with such serration’s which make it possible for the fibers to cling together and produce felt. The same serration’s will also cling together tightly when wool is improperly washed and shrinks! Wool will not only return to its original position after being stretched or creased, it will absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. Its unique properties allow shaping and tailoring, making the wool the most popular fabric for tailoring fine garments. Wool is also dirt resistant, flame resistant, and, in many weaves, resists wear and tearing.
Basically, there are two different processes used in wool production. Woolen fabrics have a soft feel and fuzzy surface, very little shine or sheen, will not hold a crease, and are heavier and bulkier than worsteds. Blankets, scarves, coating, and some fabrics are considered woolens. Worsted wool is smoother than woolen, takes shine more easily, does not sag, holds a crease well, is lighter and less bulky, and wears longer than woolen. Worsted wool’s require a greater number of processes, during which fibers are arranged parallel to each other. The smoother, harder-surface worsted yarns produce smoother fabrics with a minimum of fuzziness and nap. Fine worsted wool is even seen in clothing for athletics such as tennis. No, they are not hotter than polyester but actually cooler, as the weave of the fabric allows wool to absorb perspiration and the fabric "breathes," unlike polyester.
WOOL SPECIALTY FIBERS, although still classified as wool, are further classified by the animal the fiber comes from.
Alpaca fleece is very rich and silky with considerable luster. It comes from the Alpaca.
Mohair is from the angora goat and is highly resilient and strong. Mohair’s luster, not softness, determines its value. Mohair is used in home decorating fabrics as well as garment fabrics including tropical worsteds.
Angora wool is from the angora rabbit. This soft fiber is used in sweaters, mittens and baby clothes.
Camel hair is from the extremely soft and fine fur from the undercoat of the camel. Camel’s hair can be used alone but is most often combined with fine wool for overcoating, topcoating, sportswear and sports hosiery. Because of the beauty of the color, fabrics containing camel’s hair are usually left in the natural camel color or dyed a darker brown. Light weight and soft, it is said that a 22 oz. camel fabric is as warm as a 32 oz. woolen fabric.
Cashmere is from the Kasmir goat down. Separation of the soft fibers from the long, coarse hair is tedious and difficult, contributing to the expense of the fabric. The soft hair is woven or knitted into fine garments and can also be blended with silk, cotton, or wool.
Vicuna is the softest coat cloth in the world. The amount of coarse hair to be separated from the soft fibers is negligible and yields the finest animal fiber in the world. Vicuna is a member of the Llama family and is small and wild. Since it is generally killed to obtain the fleece, it is protected by rigorous conservation measures. This fiber is rare and very expensive, costing several hundred dollars per yard.
WOOL SUIT FABRICS AND THE SUPER WOOL NUMBERS
Following is an excerpt from the "THE WOOL PRODUCTS LABELING ACT OF 1939" of the Federal Trade Commission of the United States of America.
The super numbers are exactly as follows -
(A) Super 80s or 80s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 19.75 microns or finer;
(B) Super 90s or 90s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 19.25 microns or finer;
(C) Super 100s or 100s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 18.75 microns or finer;
(D) Super 110s or 110s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 18.25 microns or finer;
(E) Super 120s or 120s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 17.75 microns or finer;
(F) Super 130s or 130s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 17.25 microns or finer;
(G) Super 140s or 140s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 16.75 microns or finer;
(H) Super 150s or 150s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 16.25 microns or finer;
(I) Super 160s or 160s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 15.75 microns or finer;
(J) Super 170s or 170s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 15.25 microns or finer;
(K) Super 180s or 180s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 14.75 microns or finer;
(L) Super 190s or 190s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 14.25 microns or finer;
(M) Super 200s or 200s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 13.75 microns or finer;
(N) Super 210s or 210s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 13.25 microns or finer;
(O) Super 220s or 220s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 12.75 microns or finer;
(P) Super 230s or 230s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 12.25 microns or finer;
(Q) Super 240s or 240s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 11.75 microns or finer; and
(R) Super 250s or 250s, is when the diameter of the wool fibers used in weaving of this cloth average 11.25 microns or finer.
The average fiber diameter may be subject to a coefficient of variation around the mean that shall not exceed 24 percent.
CARING FOR YOUR WOOL SUITS
Allow 24 hours before wearing a wool garment again. The natural resiliency of wool fabric will allow wrinkles to fall out and the original shape to bounce back.
Soil and dust can be removed from wool fabric by brushing lengthwise with a garment brush. Wool garments with heavily napped surfaces should be brushed regularly. Finer wool fabric should be restored using a damp cloth instead of a brush.
If a wool garment gets damp, hang it out of direct sunlight. Be sure to brush it after it is dry.
If a label says "Dry Clean Only" take the garment to a professional dry cleaner for the best results. You may choose to hand wash the garment instead. However, the garment probably hasnt been treated for washability. Washing may result in some shrinkage, loss of color, and/or the fabric may lose some of its softness.
Removing Stains from Wool Fabric
Try to treat stains immediately to prevent them from setting into the fabric.
With a clean white cloth, blot to remove as much of the stain as possible. Do NOT rub.
Take garments with stubborn stains to the dry cleaner as soon as possible. This includes stains caused by paint, dyes, nail polish, etc.
Have a bottle of stain or spot removal solution on hand for oil based stains such as oil, make-up, or chocolate. Make sure that the product you use is safe for wool fabric. Test the solution on an inconspicuous area before using on the stain.
Be sure to remove stains before pressing. Heat can cause stains to set in wool fabric.
Hand Washing Wool Fabric
Clean wool fabric using a mild detergent in lukewarm water. Never use hot water! Do NOT use bleach. bleach dissolves wool fabric.
Completely cover the garment in water and soak for 3 to 5 minutes. Gently squeeze to allow water to penetrate the fabric. Do NOT wring the garment.
Rinse thoroughly with cool water to remove all traces of soap.
Squeeze gently to remove excess water. Do NOT wring the garment.
To dry, lay the garment on a flat surface, reshaping if necessary and allow to dry away from direct sunlight and heat. Do NOT hang to dry. This will cause the wool fabric to stretch from the weight of the water that has soaked into the fibers.
Never put wool clothing in the dryer! The combination of heat, friction and pressure will cause shrinkage.
Ironing Wool Fabric
Set iron for WOOL setting.
Add water to the iron. Always use steam heat when pressing. Never iron wool fabric dry.
Squeeze gently to remove excess water. Do NOT wring the garment.
Press garment on the inside of the garment to avoid surface shine.
Use a pressing cloth when top pressing. A clean white handkerchief or cotton cloth may also be used.
When pressing napped fabrics, place a piece of the same fabric or a thick terry cloth towel on the ironing board to prevent crushing.
If napped wool fabric is slightly scorched when pressing, rub lightly with an emery board. A diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide may be used for a more severe scorch. Be sure to test on a hidden area first.
Shine created by pressing may be reduced by sponging white vinegar on surface of wool garment. Rinse thoroughly.
Some recommended notions for someone with a lot of wool to press are a steam iron, a tailors ham for pressing curved areas such as collars and lapels, a seam roll for pressing seams open without making a visible seam edge, a point presser for hard-to-reach places, and a press cloth.
Wool Fabric, Clothing, and Blanket Storage
To prevent the invasion of the clothes moth, brush wool with a fabric brush before storing.
Clean the garment or blanket. Food stains and body oils attract moths. Dry cleaning or laundering kills moth eggs and larvae.
Store cleaned wool fabric in airtight bags or containers with tight-fitting lids. When folding, add white tissue paper between folds to prevent wrinkling.
Add mothballs to the container. Do NOT put them directly on the fabric. Hang them in small loosely woven cloth bags near the fabric. Clothing will need to be aired out after removing from storage to remove the mothball odor.
STAIN REMOVAL OPTIONS FOR WOOL FABRICS
Please note :Be sure to test the fabric for colorfastness. Do not use bleach if your fabric is colorfast.
Milk or Egg Products
Rinse well in cool water. Presoak with detergent and powdered bleach in cool or warm water. Follow Package directions for dissolving bleach. Launder in cold water with detergent and liquid bleach.
Rinse in cool water and pre-treat with liquid bleach or bleach. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Launder in cool water with bleach.
Harden the wax by either applying ice or placing the garment in the freezer. Scrape off as much of the frozen wax as possible, then launder with bleach and detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric. Repeat the laundering procedure until all the color from the wax is gone. Do not dry the garment until the wax color is completely removed.
Soak in cool water. Pretreat with Stain Out or bar soap and rub gently. Wash with detergent and bleach, or bleach.
Apply liquid bleach or rubbing alcohol. Rub on detergent and launder with liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. Repeat if necessary.
Ink- Felt Pen
May be impossible to remove. Apply liquid bleach and rub on detergent. Rinse. Repeat as necessary. Launder with liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Launder with liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. If stain has caused color change, try to restore by using ammonia on fresh stains, vinegar on old stains. Do not use ammonia or vinegar with liquid bleach.
Launder garment in the hottest water recommended for the fabric with bleach and detergent. If the garment is not colorfast then regular bleach is fine.
Vacuum, do not brush, as much of the pollen from the garment as possible. Pretreat the area with bleach. Launder normally with bleach and detergent.
Apply Stain Out and rub gently into stain; let sit 5 minutes. Then wash with detergent and bleach or bleach in the hottest water safe for fabric.
Apply prewash stain remover such as Stain Out and gently rub into the stain; let sit for 5 minutes. Then wash with detergent and bleach or bleach in the hottest water the fabric will tolerate.
If the damage is severe it may be permanent. Mild scorching can be treated to improve the color by brushing the scorched area and pre-treating it with detergent or bleach. Then launder normally in detergent and bleach.
Coffee, Tea, Wine, Soft Drinks
Pretreat with liquid bleach. Launder right away with detergent and liquid bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Mildew can damage the cellulosic structure of fibers as well as many manmade fibers. If the fabric shows no sign of permanent damage treat the mildew by first brushing the area to remove as much of the organism as possible. Pre-treat the area by rubbing with bleach. Launder in the hottest water recommended for the fabric plus bleach. Test for colorfastness. If the garment is not safe in chlorine bleach substitute bleach.
Grease, Butter, Margarine, Oil, Mayonnaise, Ice Cream, Chocolate, Cosmetics
Apply liquid bleach stain remover and rub into stain. Launder with detergent and liquid bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Gravy, Mustard, Ketchup and Other Tomato-Based Products
Presoak in powdered bleach and detergent in warm or hot water. Launder with detergent and liquid bleach. If oily stain remains, use Stain Out on stain and launder again.
Place the stained surface down on a pad of paper towels, spray with WD-40, and let stand for a few minutes. Turn the fabric over and spray the other side. Apply liquid dishwashing detergent and work into the stained area. Replace towels as they absorb the stain. Wash in hot water with a laundry detergent and bleach for about 12 minutes (use "heavy soiled" setting if there is no minute timer on your machine), and rinse in warm water.
Fruit-Flavored Drinks, Juices
Soak in cool water. Rub bar soap into the stain or pretreat with liquid bleach. Wash right away with detergent and bleach or bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Dye That Bleeds
Dye transfer is caused when unstable dye colors "bleed" from one fabric to another. Their removal is often difficult. To minimize problem, sort loads by color, and always remove clothes from washer as soon as rinse cycle is complete. Re-launder affected items right away with detergent and liquid bleach. If color remains (on all-white fabrics only) use a packaged color remover or stripper sold under the "Rit" label.
Diaper Stains, Vomit
Rinse off soils. Presoak. Launder in hottest water safe for fabric with appropriate bleach, To kill bacteria that contribute to diaper rash, add liquid bleach to the wash cycle.
Vitamins, Liquid Pain Relievers
Pretreat and let sit for 5 minutes. Launder in hottest water possible, using appropriate bleach.
Mayonnaise, Mustard, Salad Dressing
Pretreat, launder in hottest water safe for fabric, using appropriate bleach.
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