Different Types of Fibers Explained

Adeleke Adewale
Different Types of Fibers

The different types of fibers are classified based on their origin; Fibers from a natural source called Natural fibers or artificial called synthetic fibers.

Fibers from plants or Animals are Natural fibers. Examples of such fibers are Cotton, Wool, Jute, and Silk.

Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are artificial from chemical substances. Examples include Nylon, Rayon, Polyesters.

Fibers are threadlike structures or long, thin, and flexible filaments. Furthermore, they use them for different purposes.

Fibers are essential materials of the textile industry; Textile naturally has so many important in our daily lives, we can’t just do without textiles.

Knowing fully well that we can not do without Textile should say something about the basics and importance of fibers.

Furthermore, Textile fiber’s importance is for covering, warmth, personal adornment, and even to display personal wealth.

Follow me to know more about the kind of different fibers that are available based on their Classification.

Classification of Fiber

We classify fiber into two categories based on its origin.

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers are fibers obtained from Plants, Animals, or Mineral sources. The Classification of Natural fibers is into Plant fibers, Animal fibers, and Mineral Fibers. Natural fibers include Cotton, Jute, wool, silk, and many others.

Plant Natural Fibers

Plant fibers are types of fibers obtained from plants. These fibers extracted from plants can either be Bast Fiber, Leaf Fiber, or Seed Fiber.

Examples of Bast fibers are Flax, Hemp, Jute, and Ramie; examples of Leaf fibers are Manila, Sisal, Pina, an example of seed fiber is cotton.

Furthermore, most of these fibers extraction are from plants to make Fabrics. Some of the examples of natural fibers are below.

Cotton

Cotton is a natural fiber most widely used for making apparel; a single thread is an elongated cell that is flat, twisted, and ribbon-like structure. They are like boll around the seeds of cotton.

Furthermore, cotton grows in black soil and a warm climate. The cotton plant has boll; the boll has seeds inside, surrounded by cotton fibers.

When this cotton boll matures, it splits open, exposing the raw cotton fiber inside. The threads will get dried by the sun and ready for harvest.

The harvested cotton goes for ginning separates the fibers and the seed. Furthermore, the fibers will be clean and made into long threadlike strands.

Furthermore, cotton characteristics: they have very little elasticity, comfortability, conducts heat well, get weakened by extended sunlight exposure, and have a relatively fair to good strength.

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Linen

Linen is one of the different types of fibers. They are expensive natural fibers. Linens production is in small quantities because it is labor-intensive. Furthermore, linen fiber comprises 70% and 30% cellulose and pectin, respectively.

In addition, Linen is characteristic is its poor elasticity, a good conductor of electricity, Lustrous, Highly absorbent, a lot more brittle, and Linen is the strongest vegetable fiber.

In conclusion, Linen application is in the making of Apparel- Suits, dresses, shirts, skirts, etc.; it is suitable for making the home and commercial furnishing.

Jute

Jute is one of the different types of soft, shiny, spun into coarse, strong threads. They are fibers obtained from the bark of the plant of Jute.

Furthermore, Jute can grow on different soil types, from sandy to clay soil. This plant grows best on loamy soil, sandy and clay soil, and this plant generally loves growing in a region with so much rain.

It is also worth noting that Jute is the cheapest fiber used in significant quantities.

Furthermore, Jute is known for its less strength, cannot be bleached, and have the disadvantage of not being durable. They deteriorate fast when exposed to moisture.

Kapok

Kapok is one of the different types of fibers. This fiber is from the seed capsules of plants and trees of Ceiba Pentandra indigenous to Indonesia, Mexico, Central America, Northern South America, and the Caribbean.

Furthermore, Kapok’s characteristics are its smooth texture, lustrous, fragile, and resistance to moisture. Kapok’s application is in making mattresses, cushions, and upholstery.

Hemp

Hemp is one of the different types of fibers obtained from the stem of the hemp plant. Furthermore, hemp application is in the making of ropes, clothes, carpets, and paper.

Coir

Coir is one of the different types of fibers from the outer covering or the husk of the coconut. You get Coir by leaving coconut in water for a few months. Furthermore, the Coir application makes several household products like floor covering and ropes.

Ramie

Ramie is one of the different types of fibers that are not so common. This type of fiber is a woody fiber resembling flax taken from the flowering plant.

Furthermore, Ramie is characteristic is in its stiffness, brittleness, and lustrous. In addition, it is also suitable for making canvas upholstery and clothing.

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Animal Natural fibers

Animal fibers are natural fibers obtained from animals. Examples of Animal fibers are Wool, Silk.

Silk

Silk is one of the different types of fibers. They are a fine, continuous strand unwound from the cocoon of a moth caterpillar known as the silkworm.

This fiber is a plant fiber standard for stuffing in pillows, sleeping bags, and life jackets. Furthermore, silks shine a lot.

In addition, silk characteristics are by its Lustrous, smooth, and slippery soft texture. They are lightweight. Silk is at a disadvantage because its elasticity is poor and easily weakened when exposed to too much sunlight.

Wool

Wool is one of the different natural fibers from sheep, goats, and camels. This type of fiber is a relatively coarse and crimped fiber.

Furthermore, the appearance of the thread depends on the variety of the material. The smoother the scales, the finer, softer, and warmer the fiber will be.

This type of fiber characteristic is its crimped appearance, elasticity, resistance to static electricity, and ability to trap lots of air, which is a lousy conductor of heat. The cloth made with wool is usually valuable for winter.

They are suitable for making clothing- Jackets, suits, trousers, sweaters, hats, etc. This fiber is ideal for making blankets, carpets, rugs, and upholstery.

Man-made Fibers

Synthetic fibers are one of the different artificial polymers that make fabric. These fibers are further classified into Cellulosic, Non-Cellulosic, Protein, Rubber, Metallic Fibers, and Mineral Fibers.

Cellulosic Fibers

Cellulosic fiber is one of the different fiber types from the cellulose of a cell. There are three different types of cellulosic fibers: Rayon, Acetate, and Triacetate.

  • Rayon: Rayon is one of the different type of fibers from naturally occurring polymers simulating natural cellulosic fibers. Furthermore, there characterictics is by their softness, smoothness and comfortability, they are also naturally high in lustre and absorb heat. In conclusion, this Rayon is suitable in making apparels, furnishing items and also for industrial uses.
  • Acetate: Acetate is an acetylated cellulose, they are the cellulose salt. There characteristics is by their thermoplastic ability, softness, smoothness and their resilient. Furthermore, they are primarily use in making apparel like blouses, dresses, jackets, lingerie, linings, suits etc.In addition, they are also use in making fabrics like satins, brocades etc
  • Tri-acetate: This is a type of cellulosic fibers that acetylated cellulose which produce a triacetate cellulose. Furthermore, their characteristics is by their thermoplastic ability, Resilient and they are easily washable. In adiition, this is suitable for making of Apparels.
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Non- Cellulosic Fibers

Non-cellulosic fiber is a synthetic fiber consisting of Polymer fibers, Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, and many others.

  • Polymer Fibers: This is a type of non-cellulosic fiber from various combination of large molecules to make linear polymers.
  • Nylon: This is a type of fiber forming substances. There are several forms of nylon. The several types of nylon depends on the chemical synthesis. Furthermore, nylon is a very polpular type of fabrics that there characteristic is by high resistivity and elasticity, they are also very strong and durable. In addition, they are use in the application of Apparel like stockings and leggings, they are also use for home furnishing and industrial applications to make parachutes, ropes, airbags etc.
  • Polyester:Polyesters characteristics is by their thermoplastic ability and good strength. Polyester is suitable in making Apparel such as woven, shirts, pants and jackets. Polyesters are also use for house furnishing, making of bedsheets, blankets and other house furnitures. They are also use for industrial purpose such as safety belts.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic is a type of cellulosic fibers. there characteristics is by their softness, warm handling characteristics, resilient and shape retentive. Furthermore, polyester is suitable in making Apparel and home furnishing.

Protein fibers

Protein fibers are one of the different threads made from protein products such as corn and milk that will be processed chemically and converted into fibers. However, this type of fiber is not common, and it is not commercially successful.

Rubber Fibers

Rubber fibers are one of the different fibers comprising natural and synthetic rubber. This type of fiber is relatively smooth.

Metallic Fibers

This type of fiber is metal, metal-coated plastic, or a core completely covered by metal.

Mineral Fibers

Mineral fiber is produced from minerals manufactured into glass, ceramic, and graphite fibers, having prescribed properties for specific uses.

These articles have gone a long way in describing the different types of fibers we have, and I believe reading through these articles, you will have basic knowledge of what threads are, what makes the fabrics, and the types of fibers that all these elements form part of our lives.

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