Textile fibres can be defined as the textile substance that is very small in diameter in relation to their length or in other words fibre is the material which is several hundred times longer than its thickness.
Fibre is the basic component of any textile material. There are different types of fibres around us in daily use. Fibres with a short length are called as staple fibres, whereas fibres with long length are called as filaments.
Types of Textile Fibres
- Natural Fibres
- Man-Made Fibres
Fibres which are obtained from the natural origin directly or indirectly referred as natural fibres.
Fibres obtained from the natural origin can be further sub-classified into three different categories based on their different natural origins. Classification of natural fibre is as follows –
- Vegetable Fibres
- Animal Fibres
- Mineral Fibres
These fibres are basically cellulosic fibres. Besides their use as textiles, these fibres are also used in the manufacturing of papers. Vegetable fibres are basically obtained from various parts(Organs) of the plants such as seeds, bast, leaf, fruit, stalk, etc.
Seed fibres are obtained from seeds such as cotton, kapok, etc. the cotton fibres are widely used for the apparel purpose, medical uses, and other textile applications.
Leaf fibres are obtained from leaves of plants such as Palf, sisal, agave, etc. Leaf fibres are used for marine ropes and cement reinforcement.
Fruit fibres are obtained from the fruit of the plant such as coir fibre (coconut fruit). These fibres are mainly used for manufacturing doormats, carpets, etc.
Bast fibres are obtained from the bast surrounding to the stem of the plant. Such as jute, hemp, flax, ramie, etc. These fibres have more strength, durability and do not get affected by moisture so that they are used for manufacturing durable yarns, fabrics, packaging material and paper.
Stalk fibres are extracted from stalks of the plant – such as straws of rice, wheat, and other crops. Bamboo and grass fibre is also included.
The fibres are obtained from animals are called as animal fibres. The fires are mainly made up of protein molecules. The basic element of a protein molecule is carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen.
Wool (Hair fibres obtained from the animals) & silk fibres are common examples of animal fibres.
The fibres obtained from the sheep are referred as wool fibres, in the way the hair of the horse, camel, goat are also obtained as fibre. 90% of hair fibres are wool fibres used various applications.
Silk is very delicate filament. It is obtained from silkworms. Silk formation takes place by the secretion of proteinous molecules in liquid form through the glands of the silkworm, It is located on the head of the worm. This liquid proteinous material gets converted into the solid filament. During this secretion process, the worm forms cocoons from which silk is extracted. The sericulture of the silkworm is called as the rearing of the silkworm.
The Fibres obtained from the feathers of the birds is called as avian fibres.
These are the inorganic materials shaped into fibres. Asbestos is the example of mineral fibre. These fibres are fireproof, resistance to acid so that these fibres mainly found in the industrial application.
As the name itself indicates these textile fibres are made by man to meet the particular requirements.
The chemical composition, structure, and properties are significantly modified during the manufacturing process.
Depending on the raw material chosen for making these textile fibres – fibres can be further sub-classified into 3 categories –
- Regenerated Man-Made
- Synthetic Fibres
- In-Organic Fibres
Regenerated synthetic textile fibres are also called as semi-synthetic fibres.
These fibres are made up of naturally long chain polymer structure, which is modified and partially degraded by a chemical process to enable the polymerization reaction to form the fibres. Most of the semi-synthetic fibres are called cellulose regenerated fibres.
Examples – Viscose rayon, modal, cupra (Rayon), bamboo viscose, tencell.
The cellulose required comes from various sources such as rayon from the tree wood, modal from the beech trees, seacell from seaweed.
In the manufacturing process of these fibres, cellulose is fairly reduced to the pure viscose form and then foam and then foamed into the fibre form by extrusion through the spinnerets.
Synthetic fibres are manufactured from the petrochemicals.
Examples – Polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc.
These fibres are formed by the polymerization of monomers. Once the polymer is formed, it can be formed into a filament by converting that polymer into fluid form and then extruding the molten or dissolved polymer through narrow holes to give filaments. To form the fibre from molten polymer it gets passed through the spinneret.
An alteration in structure, design and in other words – aspects of yarn can be done by altering the polymers used for it.
These fibres are generally very strong, fine and durable with very low moisture absorbency property so that these fibres are also called as hydrophobic fibres.
These textile fibres are also called as metallic fibres.
Metallic fibres are drawn from the ductile metals such as copper, gold, silver and can be extruded or deposited from more brittles such as nickel, aluminum and iron. From stainless steel also fibres can be formed.
These fibres are not that much widely used but these fibres have their special applications in technical textile.