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Material Research: Textiles & Natural Materials

Guide explaining the different types of materials and manufacturers.

Innovative & Natural Materials


Leather - A durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhides, mostly cattle hide.

  • Long-lasting and wears well

Imitation-Leather - A material intended to substitute for leather where a leather-like finish is desired but the actual material is cost-prohibitive or unsuitable. Artificial leather is marketed under many names, including: leatherette; faux leather; vegan leather; PU leather; and pleather.

  • Source materials range from kombucha to paper to mushrooms
  • Designed to wear like leather

For the source of the information on leather and fabric, and for more details, visit B/Samply Encyclopedia.


Non-Woven Fabric - A textile structure held together by the interlocking of fibers in a random web, accomplished by mechanical, chemical, thermal, or solvent means. Generally, crimped fibers that range in length from 0.75 to 4.5 inches are used.

  • No interwoven strands

Performance Fabrics - Fabrics made for a variety of end-use applications which provide functional qualities, such as moisture management, UV protection, anti-microbial, thermo-regulation, and wind/water resistance.

  • Typically wear-and-tear resistant
  • Often stain resistant and easy to clean


Electricity Generating Textiles - Anja Lund

Grow Your Own Clothes - Suzanne Lee

Are mushrooms the new plastic? - Eben Bayer

Textiles - CCS Library

College for Creative Studies website