Textile Fabric Types by Fiber Sources
Type of Textile Fabrics - classification of textile fabrics by fiber source, processes, and usage
Generally, a set number of yarns are used for the formation of fabrics. Also, a number of techniques are used for producing fabrics such as weaving, knitting, and felting. The type of fabrics varies by the fibers, the fabric formation techniques, machinery used for producing them, and finishing techniques. Fabrics also made differently based on the end-usage.
Textile Fabrics are manufactured from various raw-materials (generally termed as fibers) which are available from nature or artificially generated or a mix of both (blending). Textile Fibers go through a series of processes in order to become eligible raw-materials for fabric formation.
Natural fibers are collected, tuned to enrich the properties, and spun into usable forms and the final products (generally yarn cones, in case of many of the most common natural fibers such as cotton, wool, etc.) are used as raw materials for generating fabrics such as woven and knitted.
Fabrics can be classified based on the origin of fibers and its processes or its end usage.
Fabrics from Natural Fibers are those which are created from the fibers of animals coats, the cocoons of silkworms, and plants seeds, leaves, and stems. It is breathable and never cause rashes apart from being soft and durable. Natural fabric is the best choice for everyone. It does not change color from UV light and there is no warming until the material loses its tensile strength.
Fabrics from Man-Made Fibers are made from fibers which are either completely made from inorganic or organic materials combined with chemicals. Synthetic fabrics have numerous properties with the purpose for which it is produced and finished. Some are lightweight with ultra sheer while others are moisture wicking and fast drying. Few are very luxurious to imitate some other natural fabrics and some are very strong and tough.
Major Fabric formations
- Woven Fabric: A woven fabric is composed of two basic series of yarn called warp and weft.
- Knitted Fabric: Fabrics which are constructed by interlocking a series of a loop of one or more yarns by hand or by machine are called knitted Fabrics.
- Non-Woven Fabric: It is produced by mixing fibers and making into the form of a thick layer of a web of a width corresponding to the desired width of the fabric.
- Other Fabrics: Braids, Lace, Netting, Felt etc
Fabrics from Natural Fibers
Fibers obtained from nature are generally called natural fibers and the fabrics produced with such fibers are essentially natural fabrics. A large number of natural sources of cellulose content are tapped to produce textile products. Various fiber producing plants and animals are commercially grown in order to meet the growing requirements of textile products. Natural materials blended with regenerated polymers is a new trend in textile production due to the composite products’ specific characteristics, and easy availability of natural fibers.
Commercially available textile fabrics generated with natural fibers are classified below by the source of fibers.
Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the seedpod of the cotton plant and is used to make many fabric types.
The fabric which is believed to be most soothing and safe is called as cotton fabric. Immense use of cotton fabric for infant’s dresses or beddings is a live testimony of its softness and skin-friendliness. Cotton fabric has a distinctive feature that it adjusts easily to climatic requirements that is why it is called all-season fabric. In summer season cotton fabric keeps the body cool and absorbs the sweat easily whereas they give a warm feel if worn in a winter season.
A wide variety of fabrics such as Calico, Corduroy, Denim, Gingham, Drill, Terry Toweling, Chintz, Cambric, Lawn, Gabardine, Poplin, Velvet, etc. are produced with Cotton.
Silk counts to the strongest natural fabric in the world. Known for its softness, luster, beauty and luxurious look, silk fabric is one of the higher grade fabric providing comfort to the wearer in all types of weather. Keeping the body cool in summer and warm in winter, silk was discovered during 2640 B.C. in China.
Variety of silk fabrics such as Chiffon, Georgette, Damask, Taffeta, Organza, Crepe de Chine, Duponi, Noil, Pongee, Shantung, Tussar, Satin, Doupion, etc. are available in the market. Because of its sheer variety of designs, weaving, and quality, silk textile is popular worldwide.
Silk fabric is mainly used for making luxurious and expensive dresses and home furnishings. Indian silk textile is popular worldwide whereas the USA is the worlds leading manufacturer of silk products in France and Italy are also involved in the same line producing high-value sophisticated silk fabrics in Europe.
Linen is called as king of natural fabric. Linen is extensively used for apparel making and home furnishing as well. Linen, being a natural fiber is considered to be safe for all types of skin. Linen fabric is also suggested for sensitive skin as its natural properties makes it resistant to allergies.
Linen fabric does not cause problems like irritation, allergic reaction etc. The natural fiber of linen makes it strong and durable. Linen is an easily maintainable fabric. No special treatments are required for linen; it can be simply cleaned by hands. Although linen is used for all kinds of clothing, yet mostly used for home furnishing items like a tablecloth, bedspreads, interlining, curtains etc.
Soft, strong and very durable wool fabric provide warmth and attractive appearance. It is the fabric which keeps the wearer dry while sweating and cool when it is hot. Wicking away perspiration from the body, the wool fabric does not wrinkle easily and is resistant to dirt wear and tear. It is also having the quality of not burning when put over the flame, it only smolders. Felt made of wool fabric is used as covers for piano hammers. It is also used in absorbing odors and noise in machinery and stereo speakers.
Wool fabric is being used for clothing for over twelve thousand years does not only come from sheep only, whereas widely used Kashmiri sweaters are made from goats.
Wool fabric is equipped with different characteristics like warm, resists to wrinkle, wear and tear, it is lightweight and durable which also absorbs moisture. Have been largely used in blankets and carpets, today almost every wardrobe contains garment made of woolen fabric.
Worsted, Shetland, Baize, Flannel, Jersey, Tweed, Serge, Fleece, Tartan are few generally used wool fabrics.
Cashmere Fabrics are made from the hair fiber forming the downy undercoat of the Kashmir goat. The term Cashmere Fabric is often used for extremely soft wools as well. Cashmere wool obtained from goats is often treated as specialty or luxury fiber because of its high economic value, softness, luster, and scarcity.
Comfortable in both hot and cold condition, the leather fabric is not affected by surrounding temperature. Adding a classic luxury, pleasant to touch and comfortable, the leather fabric is soft, elastic and firm. Leather fabric is blessed with the quality of absorbing water vapor without losing dryness and retaining to the original shape when stretched.
Ramie Fabrics are produced from Ramie plants, a plant with heart-shaped leaves having the white underside with dense hairs. Ramie is also called China Grass since it was grown in China as a fiber crop. Ramie is one of the strongest natural fibers. It exhibits even greater strength when wet. Ramie fiber is known especially for its ability to hold shape, reduce wrinkling, and introduce a silky luster to the fabric appearance.
Ramie fabric having characteristics like moisture absorption, air permeability is valued as a summer fabric which is not harmed by mild acid and is resistant to alkali. Ramie was used to produce open weave fabrics called “Mechera”, suitable for warm climates.
Highly versatile hemp fabric is used in a countless number of products like shoes, furniture, apparel, accessories and home furnishing. Hemp fabric is a fabric which is commonly known for its warmth, softness, and durability.
Providing beautiful lusture, hemp fabric is best for making apparel which can withstand harsh conditions and last longer. UV protected apparel fabric have an insulative quality that allows clothing to be cool in summer.
Having characteristics like durability, absorption, insulation, apparel fabric withstands water better than any other textile product. It is obtained from the stem of the plant, the finest hemp fabric is produced in Italy. Acting as a great choice for comfortable work clothes, home decoration, hemp fabric is also used in the manufacturing of clothing, curtains, draperies, upholstery, bedspreads, table linens, sheets, dish towels, canvas, etc.
Being among the strong and durable fabric, jute fabric is ideally being used as bags or sacks for packing since aging. The jute fabric is a much-soughed item for fashionable clothes, home furnishing, and fashion accessories. Bangladesh counts to the largest cultivator of jute fabric with India as the second largest jute goods manufacturer.
The most important use of the jute fabric is in the manufacturing of carpets, linoleum, cordage, and twines. It is sometimes used as webbing to cover inner springs of the auto seats. Sometimes used as fashion accessory used for fashion garments, tapestries, soft luggage, etc.
Fabrics from Man-made Fibers
Man-made fibers are mainly divided into two groups:
- Manufactured with Natural Polymers are cellulosic fibers that have been made by chemically changing the natural material
- Manufactured with Synthetic Polymers are generally derived from petrochemicals which are processed into polymer substances and then melted in the spinning process and extruded as polyester fibers.
Man-made Fibers from Natural Polymers
Rayon comes from the wood pulp of the eucalyptus, pine or beech wood. It can also be made from short cotton fibers called cotton linters – a waste product from the cotton processing industry.
Rayon is a unique type of fabric that cannot be termed either a synthetic fabric or natural one.
Rayon fabric is a synthetic textile fiber which is obtained by forcing a cellulose solution through fine spinnerets. In other words, rayon fabric is a final result of solidifying filaments. The process of making rayon is quite distinct; through which natural raw supplies are transformed to make it practical.
Rayon is a fabric that can be woven or knit; further ensuring a versatile use. The efficiency of rayon fabric is comparatively much higher than taffeta or other cotton fabric. It is economical too. Apart from this, its soft texture makes rayon one of the most lovable fabrics. Rayon fabric is widely used in making a number of apparels and home furnishing items.
Nowadays, viscose fabric is widely used for lining and furnishing because it provides the staple for towels and table-cloths.
Cellulose acetate is a combination of cellulose from wood pulp and acetic acid. It is a dry, granular substance which can be dry spun when dissolved in acetone.
Made from the cellulose and obtained by reconstructing cotton or wood pulp, Acetate fabric is resistant to shrinkage, moth, and mildew. Acetate is a fabric which gives extremely soft and luxurious look just like silk fabric.
Lyocell is the generic name for a group of fibers derived from plant cellulose. One of the
most important of these fibers is Tencel® developed by Courthauld.
Although the main source of lyocell is wood pulp, unlike viscose, the manufacturing process is quite different and has been developed to be more environmentally sensitive. The whole process of Lyocell is considered eco-friendly since waste can be re-used.
Azlon fibers are composed of protein materials derived from natural sources. It is produced, like other synthetic fibers, by converting the raw material to a solution that is extruded through the holes of a device called a spinneret and then stretched to improve the alignment of the chains of molecules making up the fibers.
Man-made fibers from Synthetic Polymers
Polyester is a type of fabric that is not found naturally. The polyester fabric is man-made, which has a huge market share (more than 50%) compared to other commercially used fibers. The fabric is widely used in various applications and is very much in demand in markets. This fabric has various qualities due to those it is so popular like wrinkle resistance and springing back into its smooth shape. The fabric is very strong and soft as well.
The polyester fabric can also be mixed with other fabrics to make a strong and durable fabric or to achieve any other motive. For example, In upholstery, polyester is generally blended with wool to eliminate crushing and reduce fading. There are various uses of polyester fabric like it is used in casement curtains, draperies, floor coverings, throw rugs, bedding, and as a cushioning or insulating material.
The term nylon is derived from the New York and London. Nylon is made from polyamide and is extensively used in the textile industry. It is a thermoplastic and is made up of repeated units linked by a chemical bond.
Fabric composed of nylon, called nylon fiber is used in a variety of uses like clothing, sheets, covers, and many other domestic and industrial appliances. Nylon is an easy product to manufacture as it needs less time and also lesser attention. That indeed makes nylon fabrics a nice product to trade and make money. The increasing uses and popularity of Nylon fabrics have made the finest product to trade fabrics.
Nylon fabric is preferred amidst all other fabrics as it is really strong and has a strong ability of stretchiness. High elasticity of nylon fabrics makes it prime use in like of luggage baggage, wallets and many more. In addition, nylon fabrics are easy to maintain as gets cleaned and dried without any special effort.
Nylon Fabrics are availed in the latest forms that are much stiffer and lighter in weight. Since it is highly durable, nylon fabric makes the cloth or the other long lasting and wears and tears resistant. Nylon is the polymer of amide, termed as polyamide extracted from the petroleum.
Acrylic fabrics is a kind of the synthetic fiber that is artificially manufactured. Acrylic fabrics can also be referred as the imitation of wool. Acrylic fabrics are used to make loads of apparels and many other things. The main use of the Acrylic fabrics is in outfits like shirts and many other ladies outfits. Also, Acrylic fabrics are used in seats of chairs and sofas as well. Acrylic fabrics are known for their stiffness and ability to wear and tear resistance. Acrylic also does not possess the glaze for a longer period of time.
Acrylic fabrics are available mainly in two forms that are ‘Courtelle’ and ‘Orlon’. These fabrics are known for their durability and especially Orlon is reckoned for its light weightiness. These kinds of Acrylic fabrics serve plenty of option in shapes and designs. In the market, there are several manufacturers and suppliers in the business of the Acrylic fabrics. That shows the popularity of Acrylic fabrics amidst masses.
People prefer the Acrylic fabrics as they are available at the low rates than any other fabrics. In addition, these fibers are worn resistant stays for longer period of time. Acrylic fabrics are the finest example of the invention of the mankind in the fabric industry. And thence is looked up with a great value of pride when putting on.
Because of its great shape retention quality, spandex fabric is widely used as the fashion fabric. The important point to note about spandex fabric is that it bounces back to its original structure even after stretching up to 600 times. Highly durable superior strength spandex fabric is resistant to dry heat and oil. Providing great comfort and flexibility it does not put on weight on the body of the wearer.
With the characteristics of elasticity, retaining back to original shape, resistance to dry heat and abrasion, spandex fabric feels and fits better when blended and of course, make one look better. With its great shape retention qualities, spandex is used in making undergarments and support hose. It creates a less confined feel and becomes stronger and versatile piece of clothing. Providing resistance to perspiration and body oils spandex fabric is more stable and durable.
Lastex fabric basically refers to an elastic fiber that is made from Latex. The lastex fabric is used with other complex fibers with a intent to made different fabrics like spandex and foundation garments.
Polypropylene fabric is especially meant for winter seasons because the only layer of hundred percent polypropylene rib knit generally stays dry and due to this feature, it keeps one’s body warmer. A high-quality lightweight polypropylene fabric is preferred in winter season because it allows a user to perform any moderate activity in cold weather at ease.
Polypropylene fabric basically consists of hydrophobic which relinquishes any possibility of moisture in such fabric and further its pushes the moisture vapor away from the skin. Entailing a large number of features, polypropylene fabric can simply be termed stunning in each and every aspect.
Polyethylene fabric is a distinct fabric that is highly acclaimed in the domestic and industrial sectors. Polyethylene fabric is known for its unmatchable density and strength that is superior to all others. Polyethylene fabric is a type of a synthetic fabric that is manufactured in the labs. The polymerizing the ethylene results in the stiffer product called polyethylene that is later used for the fabric. Polyethylene fabric is used for loads of purposes:
- Domestic: polyethylene fabric is the finest replacement of the traditional fabrics for all kinds of bags. Polyethylene fabric is able to hold a lot more weight than previous ones. People like it as is very light and is wear and tear resistant. Also, it is highly elastic that makes it stretchy. It is used in various toys like jumping pads.
- Industrial: polyethylene fabric is used for machinery. Also, the tough woven fabric is used in the industries at the large scale. The newest technology in the polyethylene fabric has enhanced the usability of the fabric, like in manufacturing and packaging units.
Polyethylene fabric has many more purposes than above. That s why in the market, the demand of the polyethylene fabric is climbing day by day.
Carbon fabric is generally used in different applications such as Brake linings, Aircraft interiors, Windmill blades, Tooling, Primary and secondary structures, Racing helmets and so on. Widely used in an aerospace application, carbon fabric provides a maximum degree of stiffness in aircraft.
An exquisitely created carbon fabric is well known for its light weight and high strength. A carbon fabric is also characterized by different types of features such as Fire resistant, Dimensionally stable, Lightweight, High strength etc.
It is well observed that a large number of vinyl fabrics satin and spot resistant. Vinyl fabric is generally created with ultraviolet stabilized pigments and this segment proves much crucial if one’s application regarding vinyl fabric involves direct exposure to sunlight.
Blended Fabrics are the compositions of the strands extracted either from natural resources or artificially by treating chemicals. There are several kinds of fabric like synthetic fabric, natural fabric, and many others. Blended fabric is the special form of the fabrics that constitutes two or more elements properties. The specialty of the blended fabric is that it is different in the composition and looks. Also, the blended fabric is stiffer and resistant to any kind of depreciation by any means. There are many forms of the blended fabrics, let’s have a look at them:
- Cotton blended fabric: Cotton fibers mixed with other fibers replaces the negative qualities of Cotton and increases the look and feel and also the usability.
- Silk blended fabric: Silk in the blended fabric makes it astonishing in looks and style. It raises the standards of the blended fabrics. Also, silk blended fabrics are known for their smoothness and nonpareil high quality.
- Jute blended fabric: jute is the finest example of the stiffness and durability. Hence the jute blended fabric is also stiffer and sustains the high quality for a longer period of the time. Also, jute blended fabric is used for various purposes as the fabric is capable of holding any kind of weight.
- Apart from the above, there are several kinds of the blended fabric. Blended fabrics are scientifically approved and found appropriate for kind of usability.