Cellulose is the component giving plant cell walls their strength. Cotton is the purest form of cellulose that occurs naturally. Cellulose is also found in bamboo, seaweed, and linen. It can be manufactured synthetically, in the form of rayon, polyester, and nylon. Fabrics made with cellulose are soft, yet strong. However, they can be easily stained, as they readily absorb liquids, oils, and odors. They are also prone to wrinkling. Removing a stain takes special care, because the dyes used to color cellulose materials can be removed along with the stain.
Protein come from a variety of animals, each with its own special characteristics. Weights vary, from the finest cashmeres to coarser threads woven into rugs. Wool loses moisture and odors when aired. Properly hanging a wool fabric will get rid of most wrinkles. It is stain-resistant.
Synthetics include the cellulose varieties above, as well as acetate, acrylic, and spandex. Science and technology were able to understand and duplicate the characteristics of naturally-occurring fibers. The results were materials composed of long fibers that are luxuriously soft, shiny, heat-resistant, and durable.
Mineral threads are less common, and are used mostly to accent other fabrics or items. Fiberglass in drapes is one example. While the mineral threads themselves are stain-resistant, cleaning items containing them can be difficult.