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Fiber manufacturing introduction

Introduction of Fiber manufacturing

The textile field has a vital role in our daily lives. All kinds of textile materials are primarily made from fibres. 

Therefore, one must know the basics about fibres and their properties.


Textile technology has come a long way in meeting various applications through its fibre properties and behaviours under various circumstances.


Basic knowledge of textile fibres will facilitate an intelligent appraisal of fibre brands and types and help in identifying the right quality for the application.


 Textile fibres are a source of natural or manmade materials which are vital for textile products like yarn, fabric, and garments. 


In other words, Textile fibre is defined as one of the delicate, hair portions of the tissues of a plant or animal or other substances that are very small in diameter about their length. Fibre is a material that is several hundred times as long as it's thick.

Textile fibres may be in a form of a pliable hair-like strand or as the smallest visible unit of textile production.


Textile fibre can be spun into yarn or made into a fabric by various methods including weaving, knitting, braiding, felting, and twisting.


The essential requirements for fibres to be spun into yarn include a length of at least 5 millimetres, flexibility, cohesiveness, and sufficient strength. 

DSPAT textile fibers
Textile fibres and their application

Classification of fibres


Textile fibres are mainly classified into two categories. This category is based on its sources. The first one is natural fibres and another is manmade fibres known as synthetic fibres.


Textile fibre has been used or developed in textile products such as cloth, rope, household and etc. 


Natural fibres

Natural fibres are made from a material originating from natural sources. Three main sources can be obtained to produce this kind of fibre. 

  1. Cellulosic fibre (origin from the plant), 
  1. Protein fibre (origin from an animal) and 
  1. Mineral fibre. 

DSPAT Textile fibers
Natural fibres


Natural fibres are generally short as compared to manmade fibres and due to this, are used in a staple yarn. (Staple is the term that represents the length which is short as compared with Synthetic fibre.) 


The dimensional structure of Natural fibre would be in hairiness surface because of their origin. Each kind of them has its own characteristic and end-user demands.

The cellulosic fibres are again categorized into three main types, Seed, Bast/Stem, and Leaf.

I.e. - Cotton and Kapok are the seeds of natural fibres

  • Flex, hemp, and jute are the base or stem of natural fibres.
  • Sisal, Abaca, and Pina are the leaf of natural fibres.


Other natural fibres are protein which is also categorized into three types, hair, wool, and filament

i.e.- Llama, cashmere, and mohair are the hair type of natural fibres

Sheep gave the wool which is one type of natural fibre.

Spider silk and worm silk are filament types of natural fibres.


Unlike the other two sources, Mineral fibres are also obtainable from varieties of rock sources which are also known as asbestos fibre.  

It is a fibrous form of silicate made of magnesium and calcium. 


(Due to the higher risk of health problems occurring from the production of asbestos in the textile industry, its production has declined in past years.)

DSPAT Cotton fiber
Cotton fibre (Natural textile fibre)


Synthetic fibre


The term Synthetic fibre or manmade fibres are referred to textile materials that are not originated from natural sources but are developed by humans by using a chemical and mechanical process. 


Unlike Natural fibre, the properties of this fibre can be determined or controlled early before the production occurs.

Unlike natural, Synthetic fibre is produced in a filament yarn or filament staple yarn based on the end-user. 

The dimensional appearance can be varied according to the demands for usage. (Sometimes, it can be the same-like appearance and properties as the Natural fibre has up to some extent.)


Manmade fibres are again classified into two types that have been widely used by the textile industry, Natural Polymer base, and Synthetic base.


Natural polymer-based fibres refer to fibres that have been made with the help of natural cellulosic resources such as wood pulp or cotton linters. 

The composition of these cellulosic will be treated or altered with polymerized technique to regenerate into a new form of fibre.

Natural Polymer or also known as Regenerated fibre is different from a Synthetic base. 

Viscose and rayon are natural polymers while acetate and triacetate lyocell is regenerated synthetic, these are an example of synthetic fibres.


Synthetic base refers to a fibre that has been made totally by a man-made process by using chemical substances as the sources. Its properties of it will be determined totally at the initial for their demands of the manufacturer.

Polyamide, Polyester, Acrylic, modacrylic, Olefin, and elastomeric fibres are examples of synthetic fibres.


The third category is also famous which is in-organic or refractory polymer fibres.

Inorganic man-made fibres are fibres made from materials such as glass, metal, carbon, or ceramic. 

The main application of manmade fibres is in reinforced plastics used to produce composites.


DSPAT Textile manmade fibers
Manmade fibres


Comparison of both fibre types

  • Natural fibres are a limited source and can be produced season-wise, while manmade fibres are unlimited sources because the production depends on the industry.
  • Natural fibre production is comparatively high compared to manmade fibre production.
  • Manmade fibres have a higher life cycle than natural fibres.
  • Natural fibres require lesser chemical treatment while manmade fibres require lots of chemical treatment.
  • Properties of natural fibres are varied due to atmospheric factors and are also affected by the environment while properties of manmade fibres are constant throughout the production and completely controllable.
  • Natural fibres are mostly hydrophilic while manmade fibres are hydrophobic.
  • Generally, natural fibres are staples due to their short length while manmade fibres are in filament form.
  • The durability, strength, and fineness of manmade fibres are generally higher than natural fibres.


Fibres can be divided into natural and man-made (synthetic) substances, and their properties can affect their performance in many applications. Nowadays, man-made fibre materials are replacing other conventional materials like glass and wood in several applications.


This is because man-made fibres can be engineered chemically, physically, and mechanically to suit particular technical engineering.

In choosing a fibre type, a manufacturer would balance their properties with the technical requirements of the applications. Various fibres are available to select for manufacturing. Here are the typical properties of the sample natural fibres as compared to the properties of man-made fibres.

Questions -

  1. A detailed description of fibre manufacturing.
  2. How fibers are produced?
  3. Wite classification of fibres.
  4. What is natural fibre?
  5. What is synthetic fibre?
  6. Which are the different natural and synthetic fibres?
  7. Difference between natural fibres and synthetic fibre.


1. Textile fibre. (2011, August 24). Textile Technology.

Hasan, M. M. (2021, October 7). Complete 5 textile manufacturing processes in detail - textile details. Md Mahedi Hasan.

Houck, M. M. (2009). Ways of identifying textile fibres and materials. In Identification of Textile Fibers (pp. 6–26). Elsevier.

textile blog. (2020a, August 20). Basics of textile fibres. Textile Blog.

textile blog. (2020b, October 26). Textile manufacturing processes for students and professionals. Textile Blog.

Uddin, F. (2019). Introductory chapter: Textile manufacturing processes. In F. Uddin (Ed.), Textile Manufacturing Processes. IntechOpen.

Vice, V. +. (n.d.). What are textiles and fibres? Virtue + Vice. from

Wikipedia contributors. List of textile fibres. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 

 Further, read,

Part 1 Textile fibre's essential properties

Part 2 Textile fibre's desirable properties

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