Textile Fibres

Fibres form the basis of all textiles, a textile fibre is one that consists of interlacing fibres that are processed into a textile such as lace, woven fabric and knit fabric or spun into a yarn. A textile product is defined as “any raw, semi-worked, worked, semi- manufactured, manufactured, semi-made-up or made-up product which is exclusively composed of textile fibres, regardless of the mixing or assembly process employed.”

In order to make a material, a textile fibre must be at least 5 mm in length and strong enough to withstand the spinning process. A textile material is created in a three stage process:

  • Spinning: fibres are spun into yarns
  • Knitting & Weaving: yarns become fabrics
  • Finishing

Classification of Textile Fibres

Textile fibres come in a wide variety of texture, thickness and feel but in general they are classified into two distinct segments:

  • Natural
  • Man-made

Natural Fibres as the name suggests are those whereby the origins come from a natural source such as plants, animals and minerals. Popular natural fibres that come from plants are Cotton and Linen whereas Wool and Silk are two of the most common and widespread animal based natural fibres used to produce fabrics.

Man-made or synthetic fabrics, rather than be produced naturally are created by the polymerisation of monomers and usually come from chemical sources. Popular man-made fibres are Viscose which derives from petrochemicals and pine trees, Acrylic, Nylon, and Polyester which come from coal and oil.

For more information on the classification of textile fibres check out our textile fibres graphic below:

textile fabrics

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