Here's a video of the mass spring mesh model being applied to cloth simulation! - https://vimeo.com/73188339. I'm sure there's been many projects and papers written about this, but I thought it'd be nice to attach a visual resource here. This site here dives a bit deeper into the mathematics (https://stanford.io/2FLo5Wp) of how it works. Each factor to be taken into account is represented as a variable. When applicable, physics is used to relate the factors to one another, though the site also discusses some of the real life phenomenon that simulation may not be able to account for.
So there are spring forces acting between point masses. In Proj4, I didn't quite understand why there's a bending spring force acting on point masses that are 2 units away. I googled it and found a string theory (related to a electric guitar technique) that explains this behavior. The link is as follows https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4108333/