Fibres are fine filaments that either occurs naturally or can be synthesized. Synthetic fibres are man-made fibres produced from chemical substances and are used for making clothes and other useful things. These are made by the process of polymerization. Synthetic fibres can either be completely synthetic or semisynthetic. Fibres that are purely synthetic like nylons, polyesters, acrylics are made from chemicals whereas semisynthetic fibres such as rayons are produced with the utilization of natural polymers as raw material.
Also Read: Fibre to fabric
Types of Synthetic Fibers
Synthetic fibres are of four types, namely:
- Rayon has properties similar to those of silk.
- It is a man-made fibre and cheaper than silk.
- It is obtained from wood pulp.
- It is infused with cotton or wool to prepare bedsheets and carpets respectively.
- It is also known as artificial silk and can be dyed in a wide variety of colours.
- These are strong elastic and light, lustrous and easy to wash fibres made from water, coal, and air initially.
- The fibre is completely synthetic and stronger than steel wire.
- It is used to make socks, ropes, toothbrushes, tents, seat belts, curtains, etc.
- Used to make ropes for rock climbing and parachutes.
- Polyester is made up of many units of an ester.
- It is suitable for making dress material because it is easy to wash and stays crisp and wrinkle-free.
- Terylene is a known polyester.
- PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) is used to make many useful products like bottles, utensils, films, wires.
- Many sweaters and blankets are not created from natural wool but from a kind of synthetic fibre known as acrylic.
- The clothes prepared from acrylic are cheaper and more durable.
- Acrylic is more prevalent than natural wool.
However, synthetic fibre melt on heating. If they catch fire, it could be really dangerous. The fabric sticks to the body of the person wearing it. Therefore, one should avoid acrylic clothes while in the kitchen or a laboratory.
Synthetic Fibres vs Natural Fibres
Synthetic fibres are man-made. Natural fibres, on the other hand, are obtained from plant, animal resources and geological processes and can be utilized in places where the orientation of fibres has an impact on its properties such as composite materials. In natural fibres, the length of the fibres is given whereas, in synthetic fibres, the length of the fibre is controlled by man.
As opposed to natural fibres, filament production in synthetic fibres is brought about by the spinning process which is either wet or dry. For the production of yarn, a chemical solution is used in synthetics fibres. When it comes to comfort, natural fibres are far more comfortable as clothing, compared to synthetic fibres.
Some of the fibres that occur naturally are:
- Camel hair
Also read: Plant Fibres
To learn more about the Synthetic Fibers, its types, and their examples, visit BYJU’S Biology.