What are Fibres and Fabrics?
Fibres are the materials which are available in the form of thin, continuous and flexible strands spun into yarn and made into fabrics.
Fabrics are defined as a cloth material made by knitting or weaving or of threads together.
Types of Fibre
There are two types of fibres and are classified according to their origin.
- Natural fibres: These fibres are naturally obtained from plants and animals. Cotton and jute are fibre obtained from plants. Silk and wool are fibre obtained from animals.
- Synthetic fibre: These fibres are artificially synthesized by humans within the industry by the application of simple chemicals. Examples: Acrylic, polyester, nylon, rayon, acetate, are a few examples of Synthetic fibre.
Silk and wool are fibre obtained from animals.
Wool fibres come from sheep, camel, goat, and yak. The process involved in making animal fibres into wool follows a series of steps — Shearing, Scouring, Sorting, Cleaning, Dyeing, Straightening, Rolling and Combing.
Silk fibres are obtained from the silkworm and the process of obtaining silk from the silkworm is called sericulture. The silk thread or the yarn is obtained from the silk moth’s cocoon.
The life cycle of a silkworm begins from the:
Stage 1- After mating, female silk moth lays around 200 – 300 eggs at a time.
Stage 2- The egg hatches and new silkworms arises and feed on mulberry leaves for around 30 days and move into the next stage.
Stage 3-Cocoon, a protective layer or a silky web spun is developed around the larvae, which is the size of a small cotton ball made of a single silk thread.
Stage 4- Pupa stage. A stage where silk fibres are obtained by killing the pupa and plunging the cocoon into boiling water and unwind the silk thread.
Stage 5- The last stage of a life cycle, in which the completely developed pupa changes into an adult moth. Again the life cycle begins from here.
Cotton, wool and jute are the fibres obtained from the plant source.
- Jute fibre is obtained from the stem of jute plants. It is soft, shiny and long fibre with a silky texture.
- Cultivated in rainy seasons and is basically grown in the states of West Bengal, Bihar and Assam.
What Are Fibres Made up Of
The finer part of the thread is referred to as fiber.
- Fibre is a thread-like structure that is spun into ropes, clothes and strings.
- Fabrics are made from fibres obtained from natural or artificial sources. Example: rayon, nylon, polyester, etc.
The thin strands made from fibre are called as yarns. Spinning is the process of making yarn.
- Cotton is obtained from cotton bolls which are taken directly from the surface of cotton seeds.
- It is grown in black clayey soil with a warm climate.
- The processing of cotton involves Ginning, Spinning, Weaving and Knitting.
- The plant from which cotton is picked contains seeds. The process of removing these seeds from cotton pods is known as ginning.
- Ginning can be done using hands or by machines.
- The process of making yarn from thin strands of fibres is called spinning.
- It can be done by hand or on a spinning wheel.
Two distinct yarns are arranged together on weaving machines, known as looms, to make a fabric.
Knitting is one of the most popular methods to make fabrics from yarns.
- In this process, a single yarn is used to make a piece of fabric.
- Fabrics are woven material or textile.
- It is prepared from yarns by weaving or knitting.
- Example: Blankets, towels, curtains, etc.
Hand knitting is a conventional method of knitting, though it is also done on machines. For example, sweaters are knitted from wool.
Natural Fibres vs. Synthetic Fibres
These are obtained from nature, i.e., from plants or animals. Plant fibres are obtained from plants and are also called cellulosic fibres. Example: Cotton, flax, hemp, jute, and ramie. Animal fibres are obtained from animals and are also known as protein fibres. They are eco-friendly fibres.
Example: Cotton, wool, jute and silk.
These are not obtained from natural sources. These are prepared in laboratories using various petrochemical products. These are also known as man-made fibres. These are more durable than natural fibres.
Example: Polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc.
Evolution of Clothing
Evolution of clothing
Flax fibres were the first to be put to use as clothing followed by cotton.
In modern days, clothing became mechanized, where machines have more to do with making clothes.
Learn more about Fibre to Fabric from the topics given below: