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Natural and Manmade Textile Fiber Types And Their Uses

natural-and-manmade-fiber-types-and-their-uses

Fibers

Fibers are the basic building blocks of any textile. It is the most basic component. These fibers come from different sources, which make them unique, and give them distinct properties.

Classification of Fibers

Classification of Fibers

Natural Fibers

The classification of the natural fibers is as follows:

Natural Fibers

Natural Fibers

Vegetable Fibers

Seed

Seed fibers are fibers that are derived from the seeds of various plants. Some of them are as follows:

  • Cotton
  • Kapok
  • Coconut
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Cotton

Cotton is a natural vegetable fiber, that is cultivated from the cotton plant. There are pods on the plant from which the cotton is extracted. The cotton plant is a member of the Mallow family. The fiber is composed of cellulose.

Cotton is extensively used to make fabrics, and finds its uses in apparel. It is also used in home furnishings. It is also used in various industries such as binding, outdoor gear etc.

Kapok

Kapok is derived from the seed of the Kapok plant. It is a white hairlike fiber and resembles with cotton in appearance.

Kapok is used in insulation, and for purposes of soundproofing. It is also used in mattresses, upholstery, and other furnishing products like cushions.

Coconut

Coconut fiber is also called coir. It is derived from the husk of the coconut.

Coir is intensively used in ropes, mats, upholstery, brushes, to make sacks, for insulation etc.

Bast

Bast fibers are those fibers that are derived from the plant's stem. Some of the most common bast fibers used are:

  • Flax
  • Hemp
  • Jute
  • Ramie
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Flax

Derived from the skin of the stem of the flax plant, it is one of the strongest fiber in the category of natural cellulosic fibers. Linen yarn is made from the flax fibers. The texture of the flax fiber is soft and lustrous. It is known to absorb humidity, hence textiles made from the yarn of this fiber is very breathable.

Flax fiber is extensively used in linen fabrics which is commonly used to make breathable garments. Other areas where flax fibers are used are in upholstery, curtains, canvases for art, insulation, towels and other home furnishings.

Jute

Extracted from the bark of the white jute plant, jute fiber is golden in color and has a lustrous appearance. Jute fiber is primarily composed of cellulose and lignin.

Jute fibers are extensively used in making sacks and reusable bags. It is also used in furniture and upholstery.

Leaf

As the name suggests, these fibers are derived leaves of the plant. Some of the leaf fibers are as follows:

  • Sisal
  • Manila
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Sisal

Sisal fiber is extracted from the outer surface of the leaves of the sisal plant, through a process of decortication. The fibers extracted are antistatic in nature and the fine texture of the fiber allows easy penetration of the dyes.

Sisal is commonly used to make ropes and string which are then used to make handicrafts and carpets.

Animal Fibers

Wool

  • Wool
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Wool

Wool fiber extracted from sheep. It primarily composes of keratin. At the surface of the wool fibers, one can see scales and the crimps in the fiber create pockets on the fiber’s surface which gives the insulation property to the fiber.

Wool is used to make winter clothing, blankets, carpets, and upholstery.

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Fine Hair

  • Angora
  • Cashmere
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Angora

Angora fiber is the wool that is extracted from the Angora Rabbit.

Angora fiber is primarily used in apparel products.

Cashmere

Cashmere fiber is obtained from the Cashmere goats.

It is used to make apparel products like sweaters, scarves. trousers, gloves etc.

Silk

  • Cultivated
  • Tussah
Fiber NameFiber Description

Cultivated

Obtained from silk worms, silk fiber is the only naturally occurring filament fiber.

Tussah

Tussah silk is obtained from the silk worm which feeds on oak. The fibers are brownish in appearance and they are considerably more stiff and coarser than the cultivated silk.

Mineral

Rock Fibers

  • Asbestos
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Asbestos

Asbestos fiber is a non-flammable, mineral fiber.

The asbestos fiber is used in fabrics where non-flammable material is required. Asbestos is used to make fireproof products such as safety clothing for fire fighters and insulation products such as hot-water pipe.

Man-Made Fibers

The classification of the man-made fibers is as follows:

Man-made Fibers

Man-made Fibers

Natural Polymers

Cellulosic

  • Acetate
  • Viscose
  • Modal
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Acetate

Acetate fiber is a manufactured fiber made out of a substance called cellulose acetate.

Acetate is used in apparel and home furnishings.

Viscose

Viscose fiber is a regenerated cellulosic fiber. It is a very soft and silky. The textiles made out of this fiber are also very soft and lustrous.

It is widely used in garments and non-woven fabrics like tissues & napkins.

Modal

Modal is a cellulosic fiber made primarily of wood pulp (only beech wood). It can be considered as a form of Rayon.

Modal is used in clothing.

Alginate

  • Alginate
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Alginate

Alginate fibers are obtained from seaweed. It is made from sodium alginate.

Alginate fibers are used to make wound dressing.

Synthetic Polymers

Elastomeric

  • Elastane
  • Elastodiene
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Elastane

Elastane fiber is made from a polymer called polyether-polyurea copolymer.

Due to its stetch properties it is used in athletic wear, leggings, underwear, socks, tights, etc.

Elastodiene

Elastodiene fiber is generally made from polyisoprene.

It is used in hosiery, swimsuits, athletic wear, waistbands and brastraps.

Polyamides

  • Aramid
  • Nylon
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Aramid

Aramid fiber is made up of linear macromolecules composed of aromatic groups joined by amide or imide linkages.

The fiber is used in flame resistant clothing, tires.

Nylon

Nylon fiber is made from melting nylon and creating fibers through spinnerets.

Nylon is used to make women's stockings. It is also used in hosiery, swimwear, track pants, draperies, umbrellas, and luggage.

Polyesters

  • Polyester
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Polyester

Polyester fibre is a “manufactured fibre in which the fibre forming substance is any long chain synthetic polymer composed at least 85% by weight of an ester of a dihydric alcohol (HOROH) and terephthalic acid (p–HOOC–C6H4COOH)”.

Polyester fiber is used in various items like apparel, ropes, bedsheets, jackets, bottles, upholstery, in conveyor belts, etc.

Polyolefins

  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Polyethylene

Polyethylene fiber is formed by ethylene monomers which are joined togther in the synthesis of polyethylene polymer.

The fiber is used in medical implants, cable and marine ropes, sail cloth, fish netting and geotextiles.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene fiber is obtained from 85% propylene.

It is primarily used in non-wovens products such as diapers and sanitary napkins. It is also used in clothing.

Inorganics

Glass

  • Glass
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Glass

Glass fiber is made from extremely fine fibers of glass. It is also known as fiberglass.

It is used in home furnishings fabric, apparel, tires and reinforced plastics.

Metallic

  • Metal
Fiber NameFiber DescriptionUses of the Fiber

Metal

Metallic fiber is composed of metal or metallic alloys.

They are used in a variety of industries, from apparel to automotive.

Hope this article gives you an overview of the fibers. If there are any suggestions on what topics should I write the article on next, feel free to leave a comment down below.

© 2019 PGupta0919

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