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Textile Fibres

The following sub-topics will be covered under this topic:

1) Classification of Textile Fibres

2) Properties of Textile Fibres

Fibres

Fibres are classified into two main groups:

  • Natural
  • Man-made


Wool fibre


Asbestos under the microscope

Objectives
By the end of this lesson you should be able to identify different textile fibres.

Natural Fibres

1) Animal

2) Plant

3) Mineral










Animal Fibres

1) Wool

2) Silk

Plant Fibres

1) Cotton

2) Linen


Man-made Fibres

These are fibres that are not made purely from natural raw materials. They are classified into two groups:

1) Regenerated

2) Synthetic











Regenerated Fibres

They are made from natural fibres treated with chemical substances. They include:

1) Viscose Rayon

2) Acetate Rayon

Viscose Rayon

Viscose rayon is made from cotton linters and chemicals.


Spinneret

Acetate Rayon

Acetate rayon is made from wood pulp and chemicals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fibres are made from chemicals. These chemicals are derived from coal, oil or petroleum products. The fibres are made through a process known as polymerisation where polymers are made by the combination of small molecules.


They include:

1) Polyamide

2) Polyester

3) Polyacrylics

Polyamide

They are made from benzene (from coal), oxygen and nitrogen (from air) and hydrogen (from water).



Polyamide under the microscope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Polyester
Polyester fibres are derived from petroleum.

Polyester under the microscope

Polyacrylics
This is produced from acrylonitrile, a liquid produced from petroleum or natural gas.

Elastomerics


They are elastic and rubber like substances made from polyunethane.

Properties of Textile Fibres

Objective

By the end of the lesson you should be able to distinguish between the properties of different textile fibres.


Properties of Cotton


Cotton is produced from the cotton plant. It is one of the most popular natural fibres used to make personal and household articles.

Desirable qualities of cotton

Cotton is absorbent making it suitable for towels and undergarments.



Cotton is a strong fibre and can withstand the friction required in laundry work. This makes it suitable for school uniforms, children's clothing and bed linen.


Cotton can withstand mild alkalis and stain removers hence making it ideal for household linen and daily wear.


Cotton can withstand high temperatures. This makes it suitable for items that need to be sterilized such as dish clothes, towels and napkins.




Cotton is a good conductor of heat thus keeps the body cool in warm weather.




Cotton does not generate and hold static electricity therefore clothes do not cling to the body when worn. This makes it ideal for outdoor clothing.




Cotton takes in dyes easily therefore comes in a wide variety of colours.



Cotton is resistant to attack from moths.


Desirable qualities of cotton

Cotton is a strong fibre and can withstand the friction required in laundry work. This makes it suitable for school uniforms, children's clothing and bed linen.

Desirable qualities of cotton

Cotton can withstand mild alkalis and stain removers hence making it ideal for household linen and daily wear.

Desirable qualities of cotton

Cotton can withstand high temperatures. This makes it suitable for items that need to be sterilized such as dish clothes, towels and napkins.

Desirable qualities of cotton

Cotton is a good conductor of heat thus keeps the body cool in warm weather.


Desirable qualities of cotton

Cotton does not generate and hold static electricity therefore clothes do not cling to the body when worn. This makes it ideal for outdoor clothing.


Desirable qualities of cotton

Cotton takes in dyes easily therefore comes in a wide variety of colours.


Desirable qualities of cotton

Cotton is resistant to attack from moths.


Undesirable Properties of Cotton

  • Creases easily
  • Shrinks readily
  • Yellows with age
  • Not resistant to mildew
  • Lacks lustre
  • Flammable
  • Not resistant to strong acids

Properties of Linen


Linen is produced from the stem of a flax plant.
The properties of linen are similar to those of cotton except that it:

  • Is crisp
  • Has lustre
  • Is stronger
  • Frays readily

Desirable qualities of Linen

It is used for table linen such as table cloths, napkins, mats and cushions because it is strong, hence withstands regular laundering and high temperatures.


Linen is popularly used in the kitchen because it is strong and is resistant to high temperatures.


Linen clothes are popular because they are absorbent making them suitable in hot climate.


Linen takes in dyes easily therefore comes in a wide variety of colours.


It is popularly used to make household articles like organizers, chair covers and cushions.


Desirable qualities of Linen

Linen is popularly used in the kitchen because it is strong and is resistant to high temperatures.

Desirable qualities of Linen

Linen clothes are popular because they are absorbent making them suitable in hot climate.


Desirable qualities of Linen

Linen takes in dyes easily therefore comes in a wide variety of colours.


Desirable qualities of Linen

It is popularly used to make household articles like organizers, chair covers and cushions.


Undesirable Properties of Linen

  • Creases readily
  • Attacked by mildew
  • Frays readily
  • Flammable

Properties of Wool



Wool is the hair or fur from animals such as sheep, goats or camels.

Desirable Properties of Wool

It has a natural crimp which makes it warm to wear.


Wool is resilient making it crease resistant.


Desirable Properties of Wool

  • Wool is non-flammable
  • It is absorbent

Desirable Properties of Wool

Wool is resilient making it crease resistant.


Desirable Properties of Wool

  • Wool is non-flammable
  • It is absorbent

Properties of Silk

Silk is produced from the secretion of a silk worm.

Desirable Properties of Silk

Silk is a very strong fibre therefore washes and wears well, making it suitable for underwear.


Silk has a soft fine lustre therefore popularly used for evening wear.


Silk drapes well


Silk is absorbent.


Desirable Properties of Silk

  • Silk is resistant to mildew, fungi and moths.
  • It is crease resistant therefore suitable for travel wear.

Desirable Properties of Silk

Silk has a soft fine lustre therefore popularly used for evening wear.

Desirable Properties of Silk

Silk drapes well


Desirable Properties of Silk

Silk is absorbent.


Desirable Properties of Silk

  • Silk is resistant to mildew, fungi and moths.
  • It is crease resistant therefore suitable for travel wear.

Undesirable Properties of Silk

  • Weak when wet;
  • Easily damaged by high temperatures;
  • Weakened by long exposure to sunlight;
  • Perspiration weakens it;
  • Easily weakened by alkalis and acids.

Properties of Mineral Fibres

Asbestos

The most commonly used mineral fibre is asbestos.

Properties of Asbestos

It is resistant to fire and most chemicals. Asbestos is commonly used to make fire fighting clothes.


Asbestos cloth being resistant to heat and fires is used to make various items such as hats, gloves, belts, ropes and fire fighting uniform.

photo


Asbestos fibre is also used as insulation materials for water heaters, fridges and ovens.


Silver strands are used to make decorative clothes and items.


Gold fibres are woven into fabric for decorative purposes to make various items.


Properties of Asbestos

Asbestos cloth being resistant to heat and fires is used to make various items such as hats, gloves, belts, ropes and fire fighting uniform.


Asbestos Cloth

Properties of Asbestos

Asbestos fibre is also used as insulation materials for water heaters, fridges and ovens.


Properties of Asbestos



Silver strands are used to make decorative clothes and items.



Properties of Asbestos


Gold fibres are woven into fabric for decorative purposes to make various items.


Properties of Viscose Rayon

Viscose rayon is made from wood pulp and chemicals.
The properties of viscose rayon are similar to those of cotton.

Desirable Properties of Viscose Rayon

Being a filament fibre it produces a smooth and lustrous surface.It is therefore popularly used to make table cloths and napkins.


Viscose is absorbent therefore cool to wear in hot climate.


Viscose takes in dyes well and therefore can be produced in a wide variety of colours and designs.



Viscose blends easily with other fibres and is normally blended with cotton and wool. This makes it crease resistant and strong while maintaining its high lustre.

photo


Desirable Properties of Viscose Rayon

Viscose is absorbent therefore cool to wear in hot climate.



Desirable Properties of Viscose Rayon

Viscose takes in dyes well and therefore can be produced in a wide variety of colours and designs.



Desirable Properties of Viscose Rayon

Viscose blends easily with other fibres and is normally blended with cotton and wool. This makes it crease resistant and strong while maintaining its high lustre.

Undesirable Properties of Viscose Rayon

  • Is not a strong fibre and is weaker when wet. It should therefore not be twisted, wrung or rubbed during laundry.
  • Creases readily
  • Scorches when exposed to heat
  • Develops mildew
  • Yellows and rots due to prolonged exposure to light.

Properties of Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fibres are made from chemical substances which are mainly derived from coal, oil or petroleum products. There are properties that are common to all synthetic fibres.

Desirable Properties of Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fibres are very strong. They are therefore used to make a variety of items.


Synthetics are smooth and have a lustrous finish.


Synthetic fabrics drape well and are popularly used to make curtains and table clothes.


Synthetic fabrics are resilient. This means they do not crease easily and are therefore good for traveling and work clothes.


Synthetic fibres are also:

  • Light in weight therefore good for travel.
  • Resistant to sunlight except nylon which yellows with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

  • Not attacked by moths, insects and mildew.

Desirable Properties of Synthetic Fibres

Synthetics are smooth and have a lustrous finish.


Desirable Properties of Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fabrics drape well and are popularly used to make curtains and table clothes.


Desirable Properties of Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fabrics are resilient. This means they do not crease easily and are therefore good for traveling and work clothes.

Desirable Properties of Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fibres are also:

  • Light in weight therefore good for travel.
  • Resistant to sunlight except nylon which yellows with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

  • Not attacked by moths, insects and mildew.

Undesirable Properties of Synthetic Fibres

  • Not absorbent
  • Develop static electricity making them cling to the body and attract dirt.
  • Damaged by chlorine bleaches
  • Damaged by high temperatures
  • Abrasion and prolonged wear causes pilling (small ball-like features) on the fabric.

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