Textiles can be made from many materials. These materials come from four main sources: animal (wool, silk), plant (cotton, flax, jute), mineral (asbestos, glass fibre), and synthetic (nylon, polyester, acrylic). In the past, all textiles were made from natural fibres, including plant, animal, and mineral sources. A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands. Natural fabrics are derived from the fibres of animal coats, plant seeds, stems and leaves, and silkworm cocoons. They are soft and breathable and UV light does not cause discoloration. Coir is a natural fabric which is obtained from the fibrous husk of a coconut. It is stress resistant, bio-degradable and buoyant. Coir is used to make sacking, twine, doormats and items such as bags and ropes. Coir can also be used in construction and to improve clays. It is a good fabric to control soil erosion. Cotton is one of the best-known natural fabrics. The fibre grows around the seeds of the cotton plant. Cotton is soft, strong, flame retardant, hypo-allergenic and easy to wash. It is the most popular natural fabric used in making clothing. It is also used to make home furniture, bags and medical products. Heavyweight cotton fabric can be used to make items such as shoes and tents.