From Fibers and Their Properties

Classification of Fibers

Fibers are broadly classified into natural fibers and man-made fibers, as shown in Figure 1-1:

Figure 1-1: Classification of Fibers

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers are hair-like threads obtained directly from plants, animals, and mineral sources. Botanically, a natural fiber is a collection of cells having long length and negligible diameter. They are obtained as continuous filaments or discrete elongated pieces similar to thread. They can be spun or twisted into yarn such as cloth and can be converted into nonwoven fabrics, such as paper or felt. An example of a commonly used natural fiber is cotton. Other examples include wool, jute, silk, hair, fur, hemp, and linen.

The characteristics of natural fibers are:

  • They can be spun or twisted into yarn to make cloth.

  • They can be converted into nonwoven fabrics.

  • They are strong and durable.

  • They have high moisture absorbing capacity.

  • They provide excellent look and feel.

  • They are comfortable.

Natural fibers can be classified according to their origin into the following categories:

  • Plant fibers

  • Animal fibers

  • Mineral fibers

Plant Fibers

Plant fibers are fibers that contain cellulose and can be extracted from the bast or stem, seed hair, leaf, or husk of a plant.

Plant fibers may be further categorized into:

  • Bast fibers: Extracted from the bast or skin surrounding the stem of the plants such as kenaf, roselle, and coir. Due to their high tensile strength compared to other fibers, bast fibers are used for yarn and fabric production. They are durable when used...

Products & Services
Specialty Fibers, Fabrics, and Textiles
Specialty fibers, fabrics and textiles are based upon a unique composition, weave, or technology, and are designed for specialized applications.
Synthetic Fibers and Fabrics
Synthetic fibers and synthetic fabrics consist of bulk fibers, yarns, woven cloth or other textile products manufactured from polymer-based materials such as polyamide (nylon), polyester, aramid, or other spun thermoplastics.
Glass Fibers and Fiberglass Cloth
Glass fibers and fiberglass cloth consist of bulk, chopped fibers or continuous strands of glass. Glass fibers and fiberglass cloth is used in reinforcing plastics and composites as well as other specialized electrical and thermal applications.
Nonwovens are fiber-based products that are formed into mats of randomly-oriented fibers, felt, needlepunched cloth, spunbond, or meltblown structures.

Topics of Interest

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