Synthetic Fibres: Characteristics and End Usage

Last updated on July 21st, 2023 at 10:42 pm

There are twelve major groups of Synthetic or manufactured fibres, eight of which are found in considerable abundance in fashion apparel, wearable accessories, and home furnishings. Each has specific characteristics that are unique and are wearable under trade names that belong to their producers. For example, Zafran is Nylon that is produced by BASF Corporation, Solara is an acrylic product of Monsanto, and Estron is acetate owned by Eastman Chemical products.

Synthetic Fibre

The textiles that are achieved with these manufactured fibres come in a wide range of textures, appearances, and feels. They are used to produce fabrics that bear the same names as those produced with natural fibres such as batiste, which is synonymous with cotton; flannel, generally associated with wool; satin, often a silk fabric; shantung, another silk favorite; and crash, a heavyweight linen product. The manner in which they are converted from their fibre state to yarn and then to fabric, dictates the types of fabrics that will eventually be used for wearable items and home furnishings.

Now discussing the eight major generic groups of fashion-oriented manufactured fibres, their characteristics, the types of fabrics they are used to produce, and their apparel and home furnishings uses as follows:

Acetate Fibre

Characteristics

Luxurious feel and appearance, wide range of colors and lusters, excellent drapability and softness, relatively fast drying.

Fabrics

Brocade, crepe, double knit, faille, knitted jersey, lace, satin, taffeta, tricot.

Wearable Uses

Blouses, dresses, foundation garments, lingerie, linings, shirts, slacks, sportswear.

Home Products

Draperies, upholstery.

Acrylic Fibre

Characteristics

Soft and warm, wool-like, lightweight, retains shape, resilient, quick-drying, moth-resistant, resistant to sunlight, oil, and chemicals.

Fabrics

Fleece and pile fabrics, face fabrics in bonded materials, simulated furs, jerseys.

Wearable Uses

Dresses, infant wear, knitted garments, skirts, ski wear, socks, sportswear, sweaters, work clothes.

Home Products

Blankets, carpets, draperies, upholstery.

Modacrylic Fibre

Characteristics

Soft, resilient, abrasion and flame resistant, quick-drying, resists acids and alkalis, retains shape.

Fabrics

Fleece fabrics, knit-pile fabric backings, non-woven fabrics.

Wearable Uses

Deep pile coats, trims, linings, simulate furs, wigs, and hairpieces.

Home Products

Blankets, carpets, flame-resistant, draperies and curtains, rugs.

Nylon Fibre

Characteristics

Exceptionally strong, supple, abrasion-resistant, lustrous, easy to wash, resists damage from oil and many chemicals, resilient, low in moisture absorbency.

Fabrics

Knitted and woven fabrics.

Wearable Uses

Blouses, dresses, foundation garments, hosiery, lingerie and innerwear, raincoats, ski and snow apparel, suits, windbreakers.

Home Products

Bedspreads, carpets, draperies, curtains, upholstery.

Olefin Fibre

Characteristics

Unique wicking properties that make it very comfortable; abrasion-resistant, quick drying; resistant to deterioration from chemicals, mildew, perspiration, rot, and weather; sensitive to heat; soil resistant; strong; very lightweight; excellent colorfastness.

Fabrics

Knitted and woven fabrics.

Wearable Uses

Pantyhose, underwear, sports shirts, sweaters.

Home Products

Carpet, carpet backing, slipcover, upholstery.

Polyester Fibre

Characteristics

Strong, resistant to stretching and shrinkage, resistant to moist chemicals, quick-drying, crisp and resilient when wet or dry, wrinkle and abrasion resistant retains heat-set pleats, and crease, easy to wash.

Fabrics

A variety of knitted and woven fabrics.

Wearable Uses

Blouses, shirts, children’s wear, dresses, half hose, ties, lingerie, underwear, permanent press garments, slacks, suits.

Home Products

Carpets, curtains, draperies, bedding.

Rayon Fibre

Characteristics

Highly absorbent, soft and comfortable, easy to dye, versatile, good drapability.

Fabrics

Knits, pile fabrics, woven fabrics that simulate flax.

Wearable Uses

Blouses, coats, dresses, jackets, lingerie, linings, millinery, rainwear, slacks, shirts, suits, ties.

Home Products

Bedspreads, blankets, carpets, draperies, sheets, slipcovers, tablecloths, upholstery.

Spandex Fibre

Characteristics

Can be stretched 500 percent without breaking, lightweight.

Fabrics

Elasticized woven and knitted fabrics.

Wearable Uses

Athletic apparel, bathing suits, foundation garments.

Home Products

None

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He is Abu Sayed, the founder of the blog site Textile Apex. He is a Textile Engineer having eight years plus practical experience in the Textile and Clothing industries. With a deep love for fashion and a keen eye for detail, he combines his creative flair with extensive knowledge to offer insightful and engaging content to his readers.
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