You are on page 1of 66


Classification of Textile Fibres Identification of Different Textile Fibres Properties and End Click to edit Master subtitle style uses of Different Textile Fibres

Prepared by Mr. P.Lakshmanakanth Senior Faculty IFTK



To Understand the Three sectors of Textile Industry Understand the Textile Fibres Classification of

Understand the general properties of textile fibres To explain the properties and end uses of different textile fibres Identification of different textile



Food, shelter and clothing are the basic needs of everyone. All clothing is made from Textiles and our shelters are made more comfortable and attractive by the use of textiles. The word "textile" was originally used to define a woven fabric and the processes involved in weaving. A Fabric is any piece of Cloth


Three Sectors of Indian Textile Industry

The textile Industry is segmented to three large groupings

1) Apparel, the Textiles used in Clothing 2) Interior Furnishings (also called as home Fashions), the textiles used in furniture, bath, kitchen and bed 3) Industrial, the textiles used in such items as luggage, flags, bandages, dust filters and so on



Sports Wear Tops Blouses, Shirts Bottoms Pants, Shorts & Skirts Swim wear and Beach Wear Dresses Casual Wear Evening Wear Bridal Wear Intimate Apparel Undergarments Sleepwear Lounge Wear Robes Maternity Wear Knit Wear Outer Wear Sweaters Jackets Rainwear Coats

Sport Coats and Suits Accessories Scarves Handkerchiefs Belts Gloves Handbags Backpacks Ties Hosiery Hats Umbrella Athletic uniforms Footwear Sneakers Soft Shoes


Interior Furnishings (Home Fashions)

Furniture Upholstery Slipcovers Hangings Draperies Curtains Domestics Sheets Pillow cases Bed spreads Blankets Comforters Duvets Mattress Covers

Linens Table Cloths Placemats Napkins Towels Floor Coverings Carpets(Indoor/ Outdoor) Rugs Padding Miscellaneous Lamp Shades Decorative pillows Aprons



Recreation Back packs Luggage Fishnets Hiking and mountain climbing gear Ropes Rafts Outdoor Products Furniture Tents Flags Medical Artificial blood Vessels Bandages Disposable Sheets, Surgical gowns, etc Sutures Tape

Manufacturing Plants Conveyor belting Printers blankets Tapes Polishing cloths Civil Engineering Soil erosion fabrics Road Construction reinforcing lining Reservoir lining Drainage Screens Protective wear Chemical resistant gloves Heat resistant Suits Bullet resistant vests Space Suits Transportation (automobiles, airplanes, etc) Flooring Belts Brake linings


Textile Fibres

A fibre is defined as any product capable of being woven or otherwise made into a fabric. It may be thought of as the smallest visible unit of textile production or a fibre can be defined as a pliable hair like strand that is very small in diameter in relation to its length. Fibres are the fundamental units or the building blocks used in the making of textile yarns and fabrics.


Classification of Textile Fibres

The textile fibres are classified according to their Length and Source.

Classification of Fibres by Length. Classification of Fibres by Source.


Classification of Fibres by Length

The textile fibres may be classified as

Staple Fibre Filament Fibre

Staple Fibre : Natural or manmade or short length fibres which measures in inches or fraction of inch e.g. to 18 inches. Expect silk all other natural fibres are staple fibres. Man made fibres is made in filament form but cut into short staple 5/22/12

Classification of Fibres by Source

According to the source from which textile fibres are obtained, fibres are broadly classified in two ways ex:

a) Natural & b) Manmade


Textile Fibre



Cellulose Base

Protein Base

Mineral Base



Asbestos Bast Fibre Hemp Jute Ramie Flax Staple Filament Natural Polymer base Synthetic Polymer Base Glass Metallic Speciality

Silk Leaf Fibre Sisal Manila Cellulose Rayon Lyocell Acetate Triacetate Wool Hair Sheep Alpaca Camel Cashmere Llama Mohair Vicuna Protein Base Azlon Acrylic Polyester Nylon Spandex Anidex Aramid

Seed Hair Cotton Kapok




Fibre Categories


Originate from natural sources Plant (cellulosic) or animal (protein)

Manufactured, synthetic, or manmade (terms interchangeable)

Originate from chemical sources May also be from regenerated or recycled sources


Natural Fibres

Cellulosic (from plants)


From cotton plants From flax stems

Flax (linen)

Protein (from animals)


From cocoons of silkworms From fleece (hair) of sheep or lambs



Manufactured Fibres


Raw materials melted or dissolved to form thick syrup Liquid extruded through spinneret Extruded filaments stretched and hardened into fibers


Categories of Manufactured Fibres (Generic Groups)

Variants: trade a brand names given Generic group: orfamily of manufactured fibers with similar to slightly modified generic fibers chemical composition Example: ANTRON nylon used for Common generic fibers from hosiery chemical or petroleum products:

Polyester Nylon Olefin Acrylic


Manufactured Fibres

Qualities that are unique or superior to natural fibers

Qualities that may be less than desirable

Elasticity Non allergenic Strength Resistant to abrasion

Feel clammy because they are nonabsorbent Build up static electricity Susceptible to oil stains


Important Textile Terms


Staple: short fibers

Usually characterizes a natural fiber


Fibers twisted together Ply refers to how many yarns may be twisted together before weaving

Filament: long continuous fibers

Usually characterizes a synthetic fiber (except silk)



Properties of Textile Fibres

To be spinnable, a fibre must have sufficient length, pliability, strength, and cohesiveness to form a yarn. Fibres must also be inexpensive, available, and constant in supply to be economically suitable for production.

To make such a fabric the manufacturer chooses fibres, yarns, weaves, and finishes with a 5/22/12

Primary Characteristics of Textile Fibres

The primary properties of textile fibre is

Stable length Tensile strength, Fineness, Spinnability, and Uniformity


Secondary Characteristic of Textile Fibres

Crimp Elasticity Cohesion Density Plasticity Absorbency Resilience


Other Characteristics of Textile Fibres

Wicking or wetting Chemical resistance Resistance to moths, and mildew Flammability or inflammability



Of all the natural fibres, cotton is the most important fibre. Cotton is the seed fibre and it is attached to the seed of the cotton plant which has been is used for over 7,000 years. It is the most widely used fibre in the world. The leading producers of cotton include the United States, China, India, Turkey, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

Some of the varieties of cotton are American Pima, American Upland cotton, Sea Island cotton, Egyptian Cotton etc, 5/22/12

Types of Cotton

Raw cotton is creamy white in colour. The cotton of commerce can be classified into three general groups on basic of fibre length, fibre fineness, and geographical region (country) of growth staple, fine strong fibre of good luster, which form Type 1 Long, fineLong as follows:
cotton the top quality cotton. The fibres are generally of 115 microns diameter, staple length from 1 to 2W. It includes Sea Island, American and Egyptian cotton. They are not easy to grow; they are expensive and are used only for high quality, fine cloths, and hosiery yarns.

Type 2 StandardIntermediate staple, coarser texture and charter length. cotton The fibres are generally of 12-17 microns diameter, from 1 to 1 5/16". The principal member of this group is American Upland. They are used far standard fabrics. Type 3 Coarse,Short staple, waiter fibres of no lustre and low in shorter cotton strength that range in staple length from 3/8 to 1". The fibres are generally of 13-22 microns diameter. These are the Indian or Asiatic cottons. It is used for lower quality fabrics (sometimes blended with wool, far cotton blankets and carpets). 5/22/12

Properties of Cotton Favorable

The fibre has good strength and abrasion resistance. It is hydrophilic (8 percent moisture regain), absorbs moisture quickly, and dries quickly. Quick drying gives cotton a cooling effect, which makes it comfortable to wear in hot weather.

It has 10 percent increases in strength when wet, which makes it 5/22/12

Properties of Cotton Unfavorable

The cotton has little luster and poor elasticity and resiliency. It is attacked silverfish. by mildews and

It is highly resistant to alkalis but is weakened by the resins used in the finishing process.

It is also compromised when exposed to acids which can be used to create 5/22/12 worn look or holes in jeans. a

End uses of Cotton

Cotton is used in apparel, home furnishing, and industrial fabrics. Its comfort and hand are usually given as reasons for its preference by consumers of apparel and household fabrics. Apparel fabrics of all styles and weights are being used. Knit cotton T-shirts and cotton underwear are preferred for their absorbency and ease of care. Men's shirts and summer suits contain cotton, and the fibre is predominant in women's and children's wear.



Silk is said to have been discovered in 2640 B.C. by a Chinese princess. It is a continuous strand of two filaments cemented together, which forms the cocoon of the silkworm. Silk is mainly composed of protein because it is an animal fibre. It is medium weight fibre of naturally white color. The fibre may look gray or yellow because that is the color of sericin, which is the gummy substance which makes the cocoons hard. Silk is the only natural fibre obtained in filament


Life Cycle of Silkworms

The cultivation of silkworms for the purpose of producing silk is called sericulture.


Properties of Silk Favorable

The fibre has excellent drape and a luxurious hand. It is the thinnest of the natural fibres. It is lustrous and hydrophilic (11 percent moisture regain). Silk has very little problem with static and no pilling occurs. Silk fabric can be washed or dry cleaned, although sometimes the dye of finish used necessitates dry cleaning only.


Properties of Silk Unfavorable

Silk has only fair resiliency and abrasion resistance. Its strength is good; it loses about 15 percent strength when wet, but recovers when dried. The fibre has poor resistance to prolonged exposure to sunlight and can be attacked by moths. It is also expensive and turns yellow if washed with chlorine bleach. It is weakened and made harder by alkalis such as those found in hard strong soaps. Silk also degrades over time by exposing to atmospheric


End Uses of Silk

Silk is used for luxury apparel, household textiles. It is popular in men's neckties for its hand and drape. Silk apparel fabrics are available in a wide range of weights and constructions.

The fibre is used alone and in blends with other fibres. Very fine silk filaments are used in eye surgery. 5/22/12

Flax comes from the stem or stalks of the flax plant and is harvested by pulling the entire plant from the ground. When the fibre is processed into fabric, it is called linen. Flax is the fibre name; linen is the fabric name. Worlds oldest textile fiber Cellulosic fiber from stem of flax plant The largest producer is France, with most of the other leading producers including Germany, Belgium and Russia



Properties of Flax Favorable The fibre has excellent strength. It is the strongest of

the plant fibres.

Flax is also 10 percent stronger when wet. Its hand is good and the fibre has good luster. It is more hydrophilic than cotton (12 percent moisture regains), absorbs moisture quickly, and also dries quickly. These properties make it good fibre for hot weather wear because quick drying has a cooling effect. Flax is completely washable and dry cleanable. Some times, however, dry cleaning is mandated due to finishes applied to the fabric or the construction of the product. It has the highest safe- ironing temperature (450 F = 232 C) and it has no static or pilling problems. fabrics are lint free because they contain no short

Linen 5/22/12

Properties of Flax Unfavorable

Flax has only fair resistance to abrasion, making it less durable than cotton. It has poor drape, elasticity, and resiliency It is vulnerable to mildew and silverfish. End uses of Flax.

The principal end uses of flax include dresses, suits, sports jackets, luxury table cloths, napkins, and wall papers.



Wool is the fibre that forms the covering of the sheep. It is a protein fibre. Approximately 40 different breeds of sheep produce about 200 types of wool fibre of varying grades. Examples of well known breeds of sheep raised in the United States are Merino Wool. Leading producers of apparelclass wool include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and China. Leading producer of carpet-class wool include China, Argentina and


Properties of Wool Favorable

The fibres has good resiliency. Wrinkles come out if the garment is hung in a moist atmosphere. Its hand is fair to excellent, depending on the quality of the wool fibre. Wool has good drape and elasticity and is hydrophilic. Wool has very little problem with


Properties of Wool Unfavorablefair to good abrasion The wool fibre has

resistance depending on its thickness fair for finer wool used for apparel, and its good for the coarser wool used for carpets. It loses strength when wet. It has poor luster. Though recent innovations promote easy traditionally wool garments must be dry-cleaned. care,

Wool is vulnerable to moths, but can be moth proofed. Wool has the problems with pilling. It turns yellow if washed with chlorine bleach. It is also weakened and made harsher by alkalis, such as those found in strong soaps. However, wool is highly resistant to acids.


End uses of Wool

The principal end uses of wool include overcoats, suits, sweaters, carpets, luxury upholstery, and felt fabric.



The first commercial production of rayon fibre in the United States was in 1910 by the American Viscose Company. It was the first manufactured fibre. Because it is largely cellulose in content, it greatly resembles cotton in its chemical properties. Two basic types of rayon were developed: Viscose rayon and Cuprammonium Rayon. Cuprammonium Rayon, called cupro and viscose rayon have nearly identical physical and chemical properties.
A sample of rayon fromAnother skirt with a skirt, photographeddifferent texture with a macro lens aA blouse with a texture similar to the second.


Properties of rayon

Properties of Rayon Favorable

Viscose rayon is a medium-weight fibre with fair to good strength and abrasion resistance. It is hydrophilic (11 moisture regain). The fibre is washable under proper care conditions and is dry cleanable. There are no static or pilling problems, and it is also inexpensive.

Properties of Rayon Unfavorable

Viscose rayon loses its strength from 30 % to 50% when in wet condition and it requires great caution in laundering. It recovers strength back when dry

Rayon has very poor elasticity and resiliency. It also shrinks appreciably from washing and it is attacked by 5/22/12 mildew and silverfish.

End Uses of Rayon

The end uses of rayon include a wide range of products in the apparel, interior furnishings, and industrial areas for example dresses, shirts, lingerie, jackets, draperies, medical products, non woven fabrics, hygiene products.



The first commercial production of polyester fibre in the United States was in 1953 by E.I.Dupont de Nemours & Company. It is the most used manufactured fibre across the world. Polyester is a manufactured fibre in which the fibre forming substance is any long chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85 percent by weight of an ester of a substituted aromatic carboxylic acid, including but no limited to, substituted terephthalate units and Para substituted hydroxy-benzoate units.


Properties of Polyester Favorable

Polyester is a medium weight fibre with very good strength and abrasion resistance It can be washed and dry cleaned. The fibre has excellent resiliency and is the best wash and wear fibre. It also posses good elasticity.


Properties of Polyester Unfavorable

Polyester is almost completely hydrophobic (0.4 percent moisture regain) It is difficult to get water and detergent into the fibre to remove stains Static and pilling are also major problems.

Polyester is oleophilic (absorbs oil 5/22/12 easily)

End uses of Polyester

The end uses include a wide range of products in the apparel, interior furnishings, and industrial areas. Suits, skirts, career apparel, performance fabrics, curtains, carpeting, sails, tire cord, fibre-fill used to stuff the pillows and comforter threads are some of the examples of this usage.



Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935 by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station. Nylon is one of the most commonly used polymers

Nylon is the manufactured fibre in which the fibre forming substance is a long chain synthetic polyamide in which fewer than 85 percent of the amide linkages are attached directly to two aromatic rings. The fibre has a rod like shape with a smooth surface. 5/22/12

Properties of Nylon Favorable

Nylon is a lightweight material with excellent strength and abrasion resistance. It is about 10 percent weaker in wet condition. It has very good elasticity, good resiliency, and good drape. It can be washed and dry cleaned.


Properties of Nylon Unfavorable

Nylon is hydrophobic fibre (4 percent moisture regain). Static and pilling are the problems. It has poor resistance to prolonged and continuous exposure to sunlight; this usually making this fibre unsatisfactory for use in draperies or outdoor furniture (unless modified to improve its resistance)


End Uses of Nylon

The end uses of nylon include a wide range of products in apparel, interior furnishings, and industrial areas (for example, lingerie, swimwear, exercise wear, hosiery, jackets, bedspreads, carpets, upholstery, tents, fishnets, sleeping bags, rope, parachutes and luggage)


Identification of Textile Fibres

Click to edit Master subtitle style


Identification of Textile Fibres

The identification of the textile fibres can be carried out basically by means of the following tests. The NON TECHNICAL TESTS

Feeling Test Burning Test Microscopic Test Chemical Test



The Non- Technical Test (Feeling Test)

The feeling test requires perception if it is to be of any value. Skilled perception is acquired only after handling many different fabrics over a period of time. Limitations of this test become apparent when examining and comparing fabrics of different fiber content.


The Non- Technical Test (Burning Test)

To recognize the composition of fabrics by the burning test, the sample of fibre, yarn of fabric should be moved slowly towards a small flame and the reaction to heat carefully observed . One end of the sample should be put directly into flame to determine its burning rate and characteristics.

The burning odour should be noted 5/22/12

Identification of Fibres through Burning test When ignited it burns with a steady flame and smells like burning Cotton
Linen Silk





leaves. The ash left is easily crumbled. Small samples of burning cotton can be blown out as you would a candle. Linen takes longer to ignite. The fabric closest to the ash is very brittle. Linen is easily extinguished by blowing on it as you would a candle It is a protein fibre and usually burns readily, not necessarily with a steady flame, and smells like burning hair. The ash is easily crumbled. Silk samples are not as easily extinguished as cotton or linen It is also a protein fibre but is harder to ignite than silk as the individual "hair" fibres are shorter than silk and the weave of the fabrics is generally looser than with silk. The flame is steady but more difficult to keep burning. The smell of burning wool is like burning hair Acetate burns readily with a flickering flame that cannot be easily extinguished. The burning cellulose drips and leaves a hard ash. The smell is similar to burning wood chips. Acrylics burn readily due to the fibre content and the lofty, air filled pockets. A match dropped on an acrylic blanket can ignite the fabric which will burn rapidly unless extinguished. The ash is hard. The smell is acrid or harsh.

Fibre Burn Chart



Microscopic Test

Microscopic test is a technical test that involves identifying the fabric with the help of a microscope with a magnification of minimum 100 power. The test can between fibers. easily distinguish

The test identifies the natural fibers more easily as compared to man made ones. 5/22/12


It is a single elongated cell. Under the microscope, it resembles a collapsed, spirally twisted tube with a rough surface. The thin cell wall of the fiber has from 200 to 400 convolutions per inch.



Under the microscope, the hair like flax fiber shows several sided cylindrical filaments with fine pointed ends. The fiber somewhat resembles a straight, smooth bamboo stick with nodes



Under the microscope, wools cross section shows three layers- epidermis, cortex and the medulla



It appears somewhat elliptical and triangular in cross section when we see under the microscope. It is composed of fibroin, consisting of two filaments, called brin which is held together by sericin.



Rayon fibers have a glasslike luster under the microscope and appear to have a uniform diameter when viewed longitudinally.



The basic microscopic appearance is generally fine , round, smooth, and translucent. It is also produced in multi-lobal cross-sectional types



Generally, polyester fibers are smooth and straight and the cross-section is round. This general characteristic may be altered to achieve certain characteristics, such as texture or light reflection.


Asbestos fibre