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Virginia Commonwealth University
Fashion Design and Merchandising
FASH 250

FASH 290 Classes # 5&6 Boardnotes: Natural Protein Fibers (wool, specialty wools, silk) –chapter 5 Table: 5-1 Natural protein fibers are of animal origin: wool specialty wools (hair & fur of animals), & silk (secretion of silk caterpillar). These are luxury fibers today.  Silk and wool differ in chemical composition & physical structure but both are protein fibers. Protein wool is keratin, while protein silk is fibroin. Wool molecule is bulkier & less compact than the silk molecule. Keratin: wool (protein found in fingernails, horns, hooves, human hair. Fibroin: silk Hygroscopic: (all protein fibers share this) absorb moisture without feeling wet. Protein fibers have various amino acids: that have been formed in nature into polypeptide chains w/high molecular weigths, containing carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), & nitrogen (N). they are amphoteric =have both acidic/basic reactive groups. Wool - Complex fiber: we have shared chemistry w/wool so we can be allergic to it. - Wool’s combined properties are not equaled by any manufactured fiber: ability to be shaped by heat & moisture, good moisture absorption without feeling wet, excellent heat retention, water repellency, feltability, & flame-retardancy. th Australia 22.5%, New Zealand 18.8%, China 18.8%, Eastern Europe 10%, USA ranked 10 •18-40 microns diameter range •Merino sheep – produces most valuable wool!! ancient breed, 15-20 lbs of fleece, no kemp - Australia 43% of all Merino wool. •Raw/Grease wool: newly removed wool; contains between 30-70% by weight of impurities: sand, dirt, grease, etc. •Lanolin: grease removed from wool is purified to this and used in creams, cosmetics, soaps, and ointments. •Scoured/clean wool: wool after dirt, grease, sand has been removed. •Sheared wool: •Pulled wool -mutton •Shoddy wool – from used clothing and rags •Lamb’s wool -first cutting, animals less than 7 months old •Virgin wool – never been processed before. •Medulla: microscopic honeycomb-like core containing air spaces that increase the insulating power of the fiber. •Cortex - main part of fiber. Made up of long, flattened, tapered cells w/a nucleus near the center. In natural colored wools, the cortial cells contain melanin ( a colored pigment). Bicomponent – two components: one side of fiber swells more than other side, decreasing fiber’s natural crimp. When fiber dries, crimp returns. •Cuticle – the cuticle consists of an epicuticle & a dense non-fibrous layer of scales. •Felting (interlocking of scales) •Cystine linkages •Low tenacity (and looses 40% wet) •Good flexibility (bends 20,000 x’s vs. 3,000 for cotto
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