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This science fair project was performed to compare the water resistant properties of different types of fabrics. The tests were done using fabrics made of cotton, silk, linen, wool, polyester and nylon. Tests were also done with and without applying Scotch Guard coating.


Our first hypothesis is that amongst the fabric types, polyester will be the most water resistant. Our second hypothesis is that all fabrics demonstrate better water resistance after a layer of Scotch Guard is applied.

Scientific Terms

Fabrics, synthetic, water resistance


Fabric types and water resistance

Fabrics are materials that are used to make clothing, cushion covers, curtains and table cloth, amongst others. Many types of fabric and available on the market, and they are made from many different types of materials, textures and colors. The fabrics can be made from natural or synthetic materials.

Cotton is the most common type of fabric used for making clothing. It is durable, cheap and easy to clean but tends to shrink at high temperatures. Silk is made from the cocoon of the silkworm. It is a soft and shiny fabric but very expensive. Wool is made from animal hair that is knitted very tightly and is suitable for winter use because it is very effective in keeping us warm during winter, whilst absorbing moisture and resisting static. Linen is made from vegetable fibers and with cotton, it is the preferred choice for manufacturing summer clothing because it is light and comfortable. Synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon are cheaper, stretchable and easier to clean.

Waterproof fabrics prevent water droplets from being absorbed but allow water vapor to pass through them. They are made by closely knitting the fibers or providing them with a coating of waterproof material.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 2 hours for science fair project
Material availability:
Easily found at a department store
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements