FIBERS TO FABRICS
Fiber is a hairlike strand of material. It is a
substance that is extremely long in
relation to its width, at least 100 times
longer than it is wide. A fiber is the
smallest visible unit of any textile product.
Fibers are flexible and may be spun into
yarn and made into fabrics.
There are two categories of fibers:
This is what cotton fiber looks like under the microscope
Note that it is made up of many layers. It is not straight.
This is what wool fiber looks like under the microscope
Note that the fiber is not smooth.
Flax or linen fiber under the microscope
Silk fiber under the microscope
Note that it is smooth compared to wool and cotton.
Synthetic fibers are the result of extensive research by
scientists to improve on naturally occurring animal and
plant fibers. In general, synthetic fibers are created by
forcing, usually through extrusion, fiber forming
materials through holes (called spinnerets) into the air,
forming a thread.
Synthetic Fibers are made from synthesized polymers or
small molecules. The compounds that are used to make
these fibers come from raw materials such as petroleum
based chemicals or petrochemicals.
Common synthetic fibers include:
Spandex there are more
Comparison of natural fibers to synthetic (polyester, the last one) under the
Fibers are spun into yarns or threads.
Fibers can be made into fabric in 3 ways:
The characteristics of any given fabric is
related to it properties as a fiber.
Fibers can also be blended to take
advantages of the properties of each fiber.
Example: Polyester may be blended with
Fibers are a part of our life that we take for granted.
What would your life be without them?
By D. Lowman 2011