From Fiber to Fabric
Clothes and shoes don’t just come from thin air. There’s a material used in every main piece of clothing that you wear.
What is a Natural Fiber?
Every fiber has its own unique characteristics, and all no more than natural fibers. Cotton is a flat fiber than needs to be twisted. Linen, just like bamboo, has more of a jointed look. Wool has a scaly look (just like a set of corkscrews). And silk has double strands.
What is a Synthetic Fiber?
Unlike natural fibers, with synthetic fibers, the differences are much less apparent. Rayon is smooth rods that look like glass, nylon is smooth clear rods, and polyester is basically a rod which is shaped like nylon (although it is not as clear).
Where Does It All Come From?
In 1884, Louis Bernigaut became the first person to successfully create artificial silk--a material that was the precursor to rayon. Unfortunately, the fabric was highly flammable. It burnt a young lady’s ball gown while she was still in it. Finally, in 1926, rayon was developed from cellulose by the DuPont Company.
Cellulose is a polymer that is quite common in nature (in the same manner as wood, paper, and cotton). Cotton is a material that has been used many times to weave a wide array of fabrics over the course of human civilization.
The synthetic fiber nylon was first used in the 1940s as a material for women’s stockings. It is a light and highly durable fabric whose functionality has expanded to use in parachutes and ropes. There is also a plethora of bulletproof fabrics that are part of the nylon family.
What Are Some Special Uses?
Olefin is a lightweight synthetic fiber that is mostly used in underwear and sportswear. Acrylic and modacrylic fibers are combined with cotton to make fake sheep fleece and coats, and also added in the stuffing for teddy bears. Spandex is a stretchable fiber whose use is dominant in bathing suits and sportswear.
But What Makes A Fabric A Fabric?
Most fibers are interlocked through the processes of weaving, knitting, or crocheting. But paper is not fabric at all as it is made by pressing and flattening vegetable fibers to get them to stick together. These vegetable fibers are laid down on a fine screen from a water suspension and by adding heat, moisture, chemicals, and pressure, they are joined together.
All fibers are polymers (polymers are monomers that are repeated and aligned in a definite and certain pattern). The fact that they are polymers is what allows them to be spun into threads and manufactured into textiles.
From fiber to fabric, find it all HERE today!
The author of this article, Rachel Stinson, has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her, with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estate, restaurants, and ONLINE FASHION STORES with respect to pricing and people involved, and can express her opinions in an engaging manner.