What is "Fiber" - Definition & Explanation

Fiber is a fundamental component in the field of textiles, referring to the basic unit or thread-like structure that is used to create fabrics and other textile products. It serves as the building block from which yarns, threads, and ultimately, textiles are formed. Fibers can be derived from natural sources, such as plants and animals, or they can be synthetic, man-made materials.

Natural fibers are obtained from various sources in nature. Plant-based fibers include cotton, linen, jute, hemp, and bamboo. Cotton is the most widely used natural fiber and is known for its softness, breathability, and absorbency. Linen, derived from flax plants, is appreciated for its strength and coolness. Animal-based fibers encompass silk, wool, cashmere, and mohair. Silk, obtained from the silkworm cocoon, is highly valued for its lustrous appearance and luxurious feel. Wool, derived from sheep, and cashmere and mohair, obtained from goats, are known for their warmth, softness, and insulation properties.

Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are man-made materials created through chemical processes. They are designed to possess specific characteristics and properties, including strength, durability, and resistance to wrinkling, fading, and stretching. Examples of synthetic fibers include polyester, nylon, acrylic, and spandex. Polyester is widely used due to its versatility, affordability, and wrinkle-resistant nature. Nylon is valued for its strength, durability, and elasticity. Acrylic is known for its softness and ability to mimic natural fibers like wool. Spandex, also known as Lycra or elastane, provides stretch and elasticity to fabrics.

The choice of fiber greatly influences the characteristics and performance of the textile product. Each fiber has its own unique properties in terms of strength, texture, drape, breathability, moisture absorption, and thermal regulation. Manufacturers and designers carefully consider these attributes when selecting fibers to create textiles suitable for specific applications and consumer needs.

Top users and manufacturers in the textile industry vary depending on the specific type of fiber. For example, cotton is widely utilized by numerous clothing brands and textile mills worldwide. Companies like H&M, Zara, and Levi's incorporate cotton fibers into their garments. The cotton industry is also supported by major producers, including India, China, and the United States.

Luxury fashion brands such as Hermès and Chanel extensively use silk in their collections, as it embodies elegance and opulence. These brands often prioritize sourcing high-quality silk fibers, often from regions known for their silk production, such as China, India, and Italy.

Wool, a natural fiber with excellent insulating properties, is utilized by companies like Pendleton and Icebreaker to create high-quality knitwear and outdoor apparel. Merino wool, known for its exceptional softness and moisture-wicking capabilities, is often used by brands like Smartwool and Icebreaker.

In the realm of synthetic fibers, companies like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour employ polyester and nylon extensively in their sportswear and activewear lines due to their durability, moisture-wicking properties, and ease of care.

Prominent manufacturers of fibers include companies like DuPont, which produces a range of synthetic fibers including nylon and polyester. Other notable players in the textile fiber industry include Lenzing AG, known for its production of sustainable cellulose fibers like TENCEL™, and Invista, a major producer of nylon fibers.

In conclusion, fibers are the essential components of textiles, serving as the building blocks for fabrics. They can be derived from natural sources, such as plants and animals, or manufactured synthetically. Each fiber possesses unique characteristics that impact the performance and attributes of the final textile product.
Fiber or fibre (see spelling differences) is a class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to pieces of thread. Fibers are often used in the manufacture of other materials. They can be spun into filaments, thread, or rope. They can be used as a component of composite materials. They can also be matted into sheets to make products such as paper or felt.
Fibers can be used long or short (chopped). For composites, fibers are generally used long or in Mats or fabric. In this case the thermoset resin mainly acts as a binder. In thermoplastics, they are most of the time used chopped (relatively short lengths of very small cross-sections) as reinforcer. Glass fibers are the most used fibers. Syn. Extender, Reinforcer
Acitate A man-made fiber with a luxurious feeling, which dyes in brilliant colors and is economical. Bui if offers low resistance to wear and only fair resistance to sunlight. When blended with other fibers, it can add beauty and luster to a fabric. Acetate is seldom used in todays fabrics.
Fibers can be used long or short (chopped). For composites, fibers are generally used long or in Mats or fabric. In this case the thermoset resin mainly acts as a binder.
The basic entity, either natural or manufactured, which is twisted into yarns, and then used in the production of a fabric.
The fundamental unit of carpet. Fibers are made from nylon, polyester, cotton, acrylics, wool and other materials.
The hair-like filaments of any textile substance, such as the fibers of cotton or the individual hairs of wool.
Any tough substance, natural or man-made, composed of thread-like tissue capable of being made into yarn.
Natural or synthetic filaments, such as cotton or nylon, which can be used in the construction of textiles.
A substance with high length to width ratio (usually more than 100:1) suitable for making fabrics.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

The term has been coined to refer to fashionable and stylish clothing that has been manufactured using environmentally- friendly processes under Free Trade conditions. Eco fashion clothing can use...
A tightly woven plain weave ribbed fabric with a hard slightly lustered surface. The ribbed effect is created by weaving a finer silk or manufactured warp yarn with a heavier filler yarn, usually...
Sheared from free range roaming sheep that have not been subjected to toxic flea dipping, and have not been treated with chemicals, dyes, or bleaches. Eco wool comes in natural tones of white, grey...
The term fur refers to the fine, soft body hair of non-human mammals. True fur comes from animals where the coat consists of short ground hair and long guard hair. Fur served as an important source...
Fil-a-Fil is a popular fabric in the textile industry that is used for making dress shirts and other clothing items. The term Fil-a-Fil is French for "thread-to-thread" and refers to a type of fabric...

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