What is it?
We think it is important that you know what types of conventional materials are out there and what they are made of.
Rayon - Made from cellulose fiber (typically from tree pulp). The pulp is soaked in a chemical bath and then forced through spinnerets which product a sort of fiber that can be woven into fabric
Polyester - Comes from the same material that is used to make plastic bottles which originally comes from oil. It is processed into threads that can be woven into fabric.
Spandex, Lycra, or Elastane - A polymer invented in 1958 that does not exist in nature an is completely fabricated in a lab. It is similar to rubber and can expand 5 times its length. It is typically woven into other fabrics and so is often used in small percentages.
Silk - Natural silk is biodegradable and comes from the larva casings of silk worms. Conventional silk comes from boiling the silk worm casing (while the silk worm is still inside and alive). Once boiled, the casings can be unwound and the thread woven into fabric. There are other forms of silk (peace silk, Aurora, Ahimsa) where the worms are allowed to leave the casing first but then the ends of the silk thread must be tied together which leaves lumps in the fabric.
Acetate - Similar to rayon but made using cotton as the cellulose fiber.
Lycocell - Similar to rayon but the process uses chemicals that are reused and not released into the environment. Also the energy used is recouped. Tencel is the trademark name.
Terylene - Also known as PET, Lavsan and Dacron, it is a thin polyester fabric.