What are Fibres?
Fibres are thread-like structures that are long, thin and flexible. These may be spun into yarns and then made into fabrics. There can be different types of fibres. On the basis of their origin, fibres are classified as natural fibres and synthetic fibres.
Natural fibres are the fibres that are obtained from plants, animals or mineral sources. Some examples are cotton, silk, wool etc. Natural fibres can again be divided into two types based on their source i.e. plants and animals.
Examples of Natural Fibres
1. Animal fibres: These are the fibres that are obtained from animals. For example Wool, silk etc.
- Wool: Wool is a natural textile fibre obtained from sheep, goats and camels. It traps a lot of air. Air is a bad conductor of heat. This makes clothes made from wool useful in winter.
- Silk: Silk is also a natural textile fibre which is obtained from silkworms. The rearing of silkworm to obtain silk is known as sericulture.
2. Plant fibres: These are the ones that are obtained from plants. These fibres are extracted from the plants to make fabrics.
- Cotton: It is one of the plant fibres that are used to make clothes. It is a soft staple fibre that is found as a boll around the seeds in a cotton plant.
- Jute: It is a vegetable fibre that is soft, shiny and is spun into coarse strong threads.
Synthetic fibres are the man-made polymers designed to make a fabric. Polymers are obtained when many small units are joined together chemically.
Some of the examples of synthetic fibres are:
- Rayon: It is made from wood pulp. It is also known as artificial silk as it has characteristics resembling silk.
- Nylon: It was the first synthetic fibre. It is used in the making of ropes, sleeping bags, parachutes, different types of clothes, etc. It is one of the strongest fibres known to us.
Advantages of Synthetic Fibres:
- They can be washed and dried quickly.
- They are easy to maintain.
- They are cheaper than natural fibres.
- Easily available.
- Do not wrinkle easily and are very durable.
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