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Textile fibre's desirable properties (Second part)

Other desirable properties of textile fibres

There are an enormous amount of fibres available but among them, few are applicable as textile fibre. That represents that the fibres need to have some specific characteristics and properties within the range of certain parameters to be considered as a textile fibre. These properties and characteristics are discussed below.

Desirable properties 

1. Durability 

2. Fineness 

3. Resilience

4. Lustre 

5. Dyeability 

6. Moisture regain

7. Elastic recovery and elongation

8. Flammability and other thermal stability 

9. Commercial availability

Textile fibre's desirable properties
Textile fibre's desirable properties


Fibres must have the ability to get dyed to be used in textiles because one of the properties of textiles is their attractive appearance. 

For textile fibres to achieve such attractive appearances, they ought to be dyeable so that they can have colour-changing properties. 

Furthermore, dyed textile materials should not lose their colour value during regular use over a long period. 

Moisture regain

Generally, fibres absorb moisture (water vapour) when they come into contact with the atmosphere, and the amount of water that the fibre absorbs will depend on its chemical structure and physical properties, also the temperature and humidity of its surroundings. 

The percentage absorption is expressed as the fibre's moisture regain. In the regaining test, dry fibres are weighed and then placed in a room set to a standard temperature and humidity (21 0 * 10 C and 65% relative humidity [RH] are commonly used). 

Fibres generally contain some water as a part of their inner structure, this is because of the natural humidity present in the environment. Fibres with good moisture regaining will accept dyes and chemicals more readily than fibres with low regaining. Textile fibres with very low regaining capabilities produce issues with static electricity during processing. 

The relationship between fibre strength and moisture content is a key concern in the evaluation of fibre behaviour. Some fibres are stronger when wet, while others are weaker, and some don't change at all. 

As a result, it is important to appreciate that textile maintenance is heavily affected by the strength-moisture content relationship, with hydrophilic (water-absorbent) fibres having regained near zero and hydrophobic (water-repellent) fibres such as cotton, lyocell, and wool having regained as high as 15% at 21°C and 65% RH.

Its basic properties are affected in end-use due to fibre's ability to absorb water. - Fibers are absorbent if they can absorb a large amount of water before they feel wet; this is of considerable importance when the absorption of perspiration is needed; - Fibres with high regains are easier to finish, dye, and process in aqueous solutions, but will also dry more slowly; - Man-made fibres have a low regain and are quick-drying; - For this reason, they prove ideal in some applications. In addition to providing "breathable" fabrics, fibres with high regain ensure that moisture from the body can be easily transferred to the ambient air. 

Because moisture absorption by fibres is affected by moisture, fibres with high regain exhibit excellent tensile characteristics and dimensional properties. 

Elastic recovery and elongation

A fibre's ability to bounce back from elongation (dilation) to its original length is called elastic recovery, and if it can do so at a specified length following elongation (x), it is said to be 100% elastic at that length. 

Elastic recovery is always expressed as a percentage. The elastic recovery of a fibre is determined by several factors such as the type of load, how many times it is held in a stretched state (cyclic loading), and the period over which such loads are applied. Once a fibre is subjected to a force, it will stretch to a certain degree after some initial resistance. 

Elongation, or extension, represents the extent of such stretching and can be calculated as either an elongation under a certain load or one that leads to fibre breakage. In this context, elongation or extension can either be measured as a percentage. 

Cotton fibers
Cotton fibres

Flammability and other thermal stability 

There is real significance and value in the thermal behaviour of fabrics on heating, particularly within the range of temperatures encountered in practical use. 

Fabrics should be able to cope with the temperatures used in processing, drying and ironing, flammability is also a critical factor during its operation. For example, synthetic fibres are more flammable than natural fibres.

Commercial availability

In other words, all the essential and desirable properties of fibre will only work well if the said fibres are readily available in reasonable quantities at a reasonable price when they are needed. 

The accurate estimation of the type of fibres available for consumption and the source of access to these fibres enable the commercial fibre industry to develop with reasonable certainty of supply. 

Depending on the end-use of fibre, it can be classified into two categories- domestic or apparel, and industrial. However, these categories require the fibre to meet certain requirements before it can be utilized.

Questions -

  1. Which properties are desirable for any fibre to be a good textile fibre?
  2. Describe the durability of the textile fibres.
  3. Describe the fineness of the textile fibres.
  4. Describe the resilience of the textile fibres.
  5. Describe the lustre of the textile fibres.


Essential and desirable Properties of Textile Fibres. (2017, September 2). Online Textile Academy.

Rony, J. (2022, January 24). Primary and secondary properties of textile fibres. Fashion2Apparel.

Sayed, A. (n.d.). General properties of textile fibre. from

Sinclair, R. (2015). Understanding textile fibres and their properties. In Rose Sinclair (Ed.), Textiles and Fashion (pp. 3–27). Elsevier.

Textile fibres and their characteristics. (n.d.). from

What are the primary properties of textile fibers? – YnFx. (n.d.). from

Further, read,

Part 1 Textile fibre's desirable properties

Part 2 Other desirable properties of textile fibres

Writer - Manjeet Kamble (Textile Engineer)
(Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute Matunga)

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