We've been learning about the different categories of natural textiles: cellulosic fibers (plant-based, like cotton and linen) and protein fibers (animal-based, like wool and silk). I find it so interesting how the chemical structure of these macromolecules can affect all the fabric qualities that I already know about from sewing, like strength, abrasion resistance, elasticity, resilience, and lustre. I'm just sad that our professor isn't actually a chemistry person, because I want to know more about the stuff that she and our textbook just gloss over, like the polymers' side chain interactions and the importance of hydrogen bonding! I really think that if I were to redo my undergrad, I'd want to change my major from bio/psych to fiber science. Doesn't this blurb from Cornell sound so fascinating? Oh, whoops, excuse me, my nerd is showing.
Because I don't have any sewing to show, I thought I'd share my notes from class instead:
In order to keep from being bored in class (like most teachers, I'm a terrible student -- easily bored and distracted and always thinking about how I could teach something better), I ended up illustrating my notes. Actually, when I was bored in undergrad, I used to take notes in Elvish (i.e. transliterating by using the Quenya alphabet), but that ended up being a problem when I tried to look back at my notes a few years later, but had forgotten my Elvish.
|We also discussed the process of making linen from flax -- it's pretty intense! Even today, there's no decent "quick" substitute for retting, which means linen will probably stay a luxury fiber.|
If you're interested in following along with me in my studies, these websites do a decent job of teaching the same information that I've been learning about cellulosic fibers. What say you, am I a nerd or am I a nerd? Would you ever want to learn about the chemistry of fibers? I'm already brainstorming about how I can add in a unit of fiber science for my chem class after the AP exam is over...