What is "Fiber" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 25-Apr-2023 (11 months, 22 days ago)
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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.
A substance with high length to width ratio (usually more than 100:1) suitable for making fabrics.
The basic entity, either natural or manufactured, which is twisted into yarns, and then used in the production of a fabric.
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 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.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

Sarong 60
A sarong is large sheet of fabric, often wrapped around the waist and worn as a skirt by men and women in southeast Asia and Pacific islands, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia. The fabric is...
Tencel 45
A cellulosic fiber produced by Courtaulds, spun from an amine oxide solvent that offers a higher degree of polymerization than is available with rayon. Characteristics: pleasant feel or hand, good...
An individual or organization which buys grey fabrics and sells them as a finished product to cutters, wholesalers, retailers, and others. The converter arranges for the finishing of the fabric,...
wool and also rayon. Very smooth, lustrous surface made with a slight short nap very close and compact weave to look like fine leather. Weave not visible because of napping. Very high quality wool...
Picot 1452
Exploring the Delicate World of Picot in TextilesThe term 'picot' refers to a looping or decorative edging technique used in embroidery and sewing, often seen on lace and fabric hems. Originating in...

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