For centuries, people have relied on natural fibers from plants and animals to weave into fabrics. These include fibers such as cotton, wool, and silk. With the advancement of technology and especially after the industrial revolution changed the production process for many goods, synthetic fibers have been developed. Synthetic fibers are man-made and created by processes that have their beginning in the laboratories. The reason behind their creation was to mimic the appearance and qualities of natural fibers, and often with the added advantage of more resistance. Synthetic fibers are often smooth, lightweight and wrinkle-resistant.
Synthetic Fibers Content
Synthetic fibers are made of polymers which means that their chemical substance is composed of molecules that form long repeating chains, a characteristic that is very useful.
These fibers begin as chemicals, often derived from products like coal and petroleum. Extrusion is a manufacturing process where a chemical substance is pushed through a die or nozzle to form long threads, similarly to how a spider spins a web.
Examples of common synthetic fibers used in textiles
Advantages and Disadvantages of Synthetic Fibres
- Are strong so they can take up heavy things easily.
- Their original shape so it’s easy to wash and wear.
- Can easily be stretched out as they are very elastic
- Are generally soft so they are used in clothing materials.
- Varieties of colors are available as they are manufactured.
- Clothes made by synthetic fibers are generally cheaper than those made by natural fibers.
- Synthetic fibers do not shrink.
- They are quick drying and need very little or no ironing.
- They last longer as compared to the fabrics made from natural fibers.
- Do not absorb moisture which in textile production means that sweat isn’t absorbed trapping heat in our body.
- They may have a rough feel, making it unsuitable for pajamas, underwear, etc.
- They melt and burn easily.
- They are nonbiodegradable, therefore they cause soil pollution.