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Are Natural Fabrics Harder To Care For?

Posted by The Canningvale Team on

It’s no secret that natural fibres like wool, cotton and silk offer better qualities than synthetics, but does their softness and breathability make them harder to care for? If you worry that they’re too delicate for everyday wear and tear, can only be cleaned via gentle, loving hand wash, or are highly likely to shrink when wet, we have some news for you. We’ve compiled a list of care instructions for the most common natural fabrics as well as polyester - the most common synthetic - so you can compare and see for yourself. We’ve also included handy links to some of our favourite products, all of which have been lovingly created to bring you natural fibres in their very best forms.


Thanks to its softness, durability and excellent insulative properties, cotton holds the title of the most popular fabric in the world. It’s made, as we’re sure you know, from the fibres of the cotton plant, which can be woven in numerous different ways to create various forms of fabric, from denim to corduroy, terry cloth and flannelette. Like polyester, it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to manufacture and is also easy to care for. You can put it through any cycle on your machine, toss it in the dryer and iron it at a high heat without causing any damage. The only downside to cotton is it can shrink in the wash but here at Canningvale we’ve made that a non-issue by pre-shrinking all of our fabrics. Try something from our beautiful new Contento range to discover cotton at its easy care best.

100% Cotton Bedding Collection


Linen is something of a superhero in the fabric world, boasting a range of benefits and selling points that will please even the pickiest consumer (you can read about some of them here). One of its most unique drawcards is the fact it gets both stronger and softer with every wash, making it the only fabric to actually improve with use. Just like cotton, you can throw your linen in the washing machine, dryer and under the iron, although a little more care is needed when it comes to temperature, with a cold wash and low heat tumble dry giving the best results. Save yourself some work with linen and skip the iron, embracing the fabric’s naturally wrinkled texture. If you’re dubious, do a quick google search: you’ll find a plethora of designers that swear it looks better this way.

Sogno Linen Cotton Sheet Set


Silk is widely considered one of the most luxurious fabrics on the market thanks to its incredible softness and lustre. It’s made by pupating silkworms so, as you can probably imagine, its quite an involved process. To give you some idea of what’s required, it takes around 5500 silkworms up to 70 days to produce a kilogram of raw silk. Generally speaking, silk needs more care than most fabrics and depending on the item, should be dry cleaned or hand washed in cool water. It shouldn’t be put in the dryer and should be hung in the shade for best results. If you’re considering silk for your bedroom, our beautiful Valli Silk Rich sheet sets are at the easier end of the care spectrum and can be hand washed or put through the machine on a delicate cycle, allowing you to add a touch of luxury to your home without spending all your money at the dry cleaners.

Valli Silk Rich Sheet Sets


Wool is one of the best natural fibres for cool climates, offering excellent insulation and great durability. It will shrink and mat in high heats, making it important to wash in cool temperatures and keep out of the dryer. Many washing machines now have a dedicated wool setting, making it even easier to work out how to care for your favourite woolly items. If you’re looking for a high quality woollen quilt that also boasts easy care, try our Lana Washable Wool Quilts on for size.

Lana Washable NZ Wool Quilt - Queen


A relatively new natural textile, at least in the western world, bamboo has a long list of excellent qualities including silky softness, great breathability and the capacity to kill odour causing bacteria. It can be machine washed in cool or warm water and tumble dried on low heat, making it just as easy to care for as any fabric on the market. Have a look at our Bamboo Cotton Sheet Sets if you want to try it out for yourself.

Queen Size - Bamboo Cotton Sheet Set


Polyester is one of the most common synthetic fabrics found in bedroom and bathroom linens. It’s formed from a chemical reaction between acid and alcohol and is relatively quick and inexpensive to produce. It’s also stable, strong and wrinkle resistant, making it a popular option for those looking to spend a minimal amount on items that are likely to get a lot of wear and tear. You can put it through almost any wash cycle - warm or cold - and can also put it through the dryer, though a low heat is recommended to prevent possible shrinkage. 

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