Synthetic Fibres

What is Synthetic Fibre?

Synthetic fibres are made only from polymers found in natural gas and the by-products of petroleum.

Synthetic fibres are man-made fibres, most of them are prepared from raw material petroleum called petrochemicals. All fabrics are obtained from fibres, while fibres are obtained from artificial or man-made sources.  They consist of a small unit or a polymer which is made from many repeating units known as monomers. They include nylon, acrylics, polyurethane, and polypropylene. Millions of tons of these fibres are produced all over the world each year.

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Classification of Synthetic Fibres

Following are some of the most commonly used synthetic fibres: Know more about Classifications of Fibers

Synthetic Fibre

1. Rayon

  • This is a type of synthetic fibre obtained from wood pulp.
  • Rayon fabric is soft, absorbent and comfortable.
  • It is easy to dye in a wide range of colours.
  • Rayon is mixed with cotton to make bedsheets.
  • Rayon is mixed with wool to make carpets.

2. Nylon

  • This type of synthetic fibre is obtained from coal, water and air.
  • Nylon is very lustrous, easy to wash and elastic.
  • It dries quickly and retains its shape.
  • Nylon finds its application in seat belts of cars, sleeping bags, socks, ropes, etc.
  • Nylon is also used in ropes for rock climbing, making parachutes and fishing nets.

3. Polyester

  • This type of synthetic fibre is obtained from coal, water, air and petroleum.
  • Polyester is made from repeating units of a chemical known as esters.
  • Polyester is easy to wash and remains wrinkle-free and is quite suitable for making dress material.
  • Polyester retains its shape and remains crisp.
  • Polyester is used in making ropes, nets, raincoats, jackets, etc.

Synthetic Fibres Examples

The modern textile industry is unthinkable today without synthetic fibres. Man-made fibres like silk have always been greatly valued for their gloss and fineness. Man-made fibres are smooth. They can be distinguished by looking at a cross-section. Some synthetic fibres are listed below.

  1. rayon
  2. nylon
  3. polyester

This fibre finds its applications in household articles like ropes, bucket, furniture, etc.

Advantages of Synthetic Fibres

  • Synthetic fibres are very durable and do not wrinkle easily
  • They are elastic and can be easily stretched out
  • They are strong and can sustain a heavy load.
  • They are soft and hence used in clothing materials.
  • They are cheaper than compared to natural fibres.

Disadvantages of Synthetic Fibres

  • Most synthetic fibres do not absorb moisture.
  • Synthetic fibre can be affected if washed using hot water.
  • They catch fire easily as compared to natural fibre.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


How are synthetic Fibres made?

Synthetic fibres are made from small molecules synthesized polymers. The substances used to produce such fibres are extracted from raw materials such as chemicals based on petroleum or petrochemicals. Such materials are polymerized into a chemical that ties together two adjacent atoms of carbon.


What are the uses of synthetic fibres?

It is used in the manufacture of ropes, nets for fishing and seat belts. Polyester – This fabric is made from coal and oil and is wrinkle-free and easy to clean. It is used for the production of caps, raincoats, and ropes.


What are the disadvantages of synthetic fibres?

Like natural fibres, synthetic fibres do not easily take up colours. These fibres can burn faster than natural fibres. They are prone to damage to heat and easily melt.


What are the types of synthetic fibre?

For example, man-made synthetic fibres such as rayon, nylon, acrylic, etc. A Synthetic Fiber is a string of a combination of small units of chemical substance.


What is the characteristic of synthetic fibre?

Synthetic fibres are more durable: they have bright wear and tear resistance. Because of this, synthetic fibre fabric is very durable. Such fibres have a high lustre, and with age, they don’t turn yellow.


Are synthetic fibres biodegradable?

No, unlike natural fibres, synthetic fibres are non-biodegradable. They are primarily petroleum-based artificial fibres and are predominantly non-biodegradable.

Give some examples of synthetic fibres?

Nylon, acrylics, polyurethane, and polypropylene are some examples of synthetic fibres.

What are the advantages of synthetic fibres?

Unlike natural fibres, synthetic fibres are more durable, elastic, strong, soft, cheap, and do not wrinkle easily. Thus, they are used to produce caps, raincoats, sportswear and ropes.

Why does synthetic dry faster?

Synthetic fibres do not absorb water, and due to this, they dry faster than natural fibres.

Why are synthetic fibres cheaper?

Synthetic fibres are relatively cheaper than natural fibres because they are made from inexpensive raw materials and are produced very efficiently.

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