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Margaret’s Cleaners Dictionary


Saran Fiber Silk Sisal Soybean Protein
Spandex Sulfar Synthetic

Saran Fiber

A manufactured synthetic polymer fiber. It has excellent resistance to sunlight, weathering, staining, fading, and mildew. Fabrics made with Saran can be washed with soap and water and are non-flammable. Saran is heavy compared to most apparel fibers, and is primarily used in lawn furniture, upholstery, and carpets.


Silk worm Cocoons and raw silk fiberThe only natural fiber that comes in a filament form. The filaments, from 300 to 1,600 yards in length, are produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon, and can be woven into fine textiles. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China. It is soft and has a brilliant sheen, considered one of the finest textiles, and is also very strong and absorbent.

History: Silk was first developed in early China, possibly as early as 6000 BC and definitely by 3000 BC. Legend gives credit to a Chinese Empress Xi Ling Shi. Though first reserved for the Emperors of China, its use spread gradually through Chinese culture both geographically and socially. From there, silken garments began to reach regions throughout Asia. Silk rapidly became a popular luxury fabric in the many areas accessible to Chinese merchants, because of its texture and luster. Because of the high demand for the fabric, silk was one of the staples of international trade prior to industrialization.


A strong bast fiber that originates from the leaves of the Agave plant, which is used for hard fiber cordage and twine and also in various papers that require high strength. It is native to Central America and grown extensively in the West Indies and Africa. It’s also called Sisal Hemp.

Soybean Protein Fiber

A new, healthy, comfortable and environmentally-friendly textile fiber. It’s the only available “active fiber,” has the luster of silk, is soft and as smooth as cashmere, has good moisture absorption, breathability, and warmth.For more information visit


A manufactured stretch fiber that can be repeatedly stretched over 500% without breaking, and will still recover to its original length. It is stronger and more durable than rubber. It was invented in 1959, and when first introduced it revolutionized many areas of the clothing industry. Spandex is the preferred name in North America, while “elastane” is most often used elsewhere. A well-known trademark for spandex is Invista’s brand name Lycra.

Characteristics: In addition to being able to stretch it repeatedly it over 500% without breaking or losing it’s original shape, spandex is lightweight, abrasion resistant, stronger and more durable than rubber, soft, smooth, supple, dyable, resistant to body oils, perspiration, lotions, and detergents, with no static or pilling problems.

Uses: All types of apparel and clothing articles where stretch is desired, generally for comfort and fit, such as: athletic and exercise apparel, swimsuits, brassiere straps and bra side panels, ski pants, slacks, hosiery, socks, and belts.

Sulfar Fiber

A synthetic manufactured specialty fiber characterized by remarkable resistance to heat, chemicals, acids, alkalies, mildew, aging, sun light, abrasion, bleaches and solvents. Industrial uses include electrical insulation, membranes, filtration fabrics, gaskets and packaging.

Synthetic Fibers

The result of an extensive research by scientists over the years to increase and improve upon the supply of naturally occurring animal and plant fibers that have been used in making cloth.

  • Common synthetic fibers: Rayon (1910), Acetate (1924), Nylon (1939), Modacrylic (1949), Olefin (1949), Acrylic (1950), Polyester (1953), and PLA Polylactide (2002).
  • Specialty synthetic fibers include: Vinyon (1939), Saran (1941), Spandex (1959), Aramid (1961), PBI (1983), Sulfar (1983), Lyocell (1992).
  • Other synthetic material used in fibers: Acrylonitrile rubber (1930)

Modern fibers that are made from older man-made materials include:

  • Glass fiber: Used in industrial, automotive, and home insulation (Fiberglass), reinforcement of composite and plastics, and specialty papers in battery separators and filtration.
  • Metallic fiber (1946): Adds metallic properties to clothing for the purpose of fashion, elimination and prevention of static charge build up, conducting electricity to transmit information, and conduction of heat.


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Margaret's Cleaners, Americas Finest Cleaner, and Southern California's Only Certified Couture Cleaner, services all your dry cleaning needs in Southern California, with delivery thoughout San Diego and Orange Counties. We have locations in La Jolla, Del Mar and Newport Beach. Specialists in gown cleaning and pressing, bridal alterations, wedding gown preservation, purse and handbag cleaning, drapery and curtain cleaning, and cleaning your finest household items. In addition, with over 50 years of experience, you can trust Margaret's to clean your finest couture and designer garments.