"Soft materials" are those that can be readily crushed, sliced, deformed, or scraped. Sponge, cotton are two examples. Hard materials are those that resist such treatment. Rock, wood are examples of hard materials.
The word "soft" is used to describe many things that are not actually soft. For example, sand is considered a soft material because it can be worn away by rain and wind. A harder material would not wear away like this; it would just get deeper holes from water or air pollution. Sticks and leaves are also considered soft materials because they can be rubbed out or scratched off trees, bushes, and the like. Harder materials would remain even after being touched by hands or tools.
Things that are made from soft materials include clothes, carpeting, upholstery, and bedding. Soft materials are easy to scratch, bruise, or mark. That's why buildings use stone or brick for their exteriors; they're hard enough to look nice but still allow light to get inside when necessary. Trees, on the other hand, are hard materials because their thick skin protects them from being scratched by wind or ice. Grass is another example of a hard material because it keeps its green color when cut down.
Those materials which cannot be easily compressed, cut, bent, or scratched are called hard materials. Examples: iron, glass. Those materials which can be easily compressed, cut, bent, or scratched are called "soft materials." Examples: cotton, rubber.
Hard materials are more useful than soft ones because they can be used to create objects that work well outside the body. For example, knives are hard materials used by people to cut food and flesh. Without these hard materials we would have no way to eat or be healed by doctors.
People usually think that metals are hard materials but actually they're soft because they can be worked with tools to shape them into any form you want. All kinds of materials are classified as hard or soft depending on how you use them.
Cotton is a soft material but it's still used to make clothes and toys because it's easy to work with. Rubber is a hard material that can also be used to make things like shoes and car tires because it can take much weight without breaking. Lubricants such as oil are used between the surface of the tool and the material being worked on to make their interaction easier.
There are two ways of making something out of wood: dead straight lines can be cut with a knife or axe, while curves need to be cut with a saw.
"Soft materials" are materials that can be compressed. Cotton, rubber, and sponge are a few examples. "Hard materials" are those that cannot be compacted. Glass, ceramics, and stone are all hard materials.
Steel, rock, and iron are a few examples. The term "softness" is used to describe the feel or touch of something soft.
Compressing a soft material makes it feel softer and gives it a more velvety touch. Compressing a hard material has the opposite effect—it makes it feel harder and less velvety. Soft materials are easier to crush than hard ones; you can compress cotton until it's flat, but you would need a lot of pressure to crush a piece of steel. Hard materials are stronger than soft ones; you could use your hand to crush a piece of paper, but you couldn't use it to crush wood unless you put some effort into it.
There are many different types of soft materials. Cotton is fluffy and can be crushed easily with your hands or objects like fingers or brushes. Sponge gets its name because it feels like cotton yet can be pressed into any shape you want. Melton wool is a type of cloth made from sheep's wool that is commonly used for clothing because it is very soft. Linen is another type of cloth used for clothing because it is very soft and can be washed multiple times before it needs to be replaced.
At room temperature, soft materials are those that may be easily deformed by thermal pressures or thermal fluctuations. Liquids, polymers, foams, gels, colloids, granular solids, and most soft biological materials are examples of soft materials. As the name suggests, a hard material would not be able to be deformed in the same way as a soft material.
The most common reason for a material to be considered soft is if it has low stiffness. This means that when stress is applied to a soft material, it will deform easily. If the material is stiff, then it will not deform so easily. Stiffness is usually measured using a unit called "gravities", which is just another way of saying "millions of pascals (MPa)". The human body is about 1 MPa, glass is 70-150 MPa, steel is 130-180 MPa, and wood is 30-50 MPa.
Another way of explaining why some materials are soft is to say that they have high strength but low stiffness. So a soft material can be stressed much more than a rigid one before breaking.
It should also be noted that not all soft materials are good for use in medical devices or food products. Some substances that are soft at room temperature can become very hot when exposed to sufficient light or heat; these include many plastics and elastomers.