What is Textile Fiber? | Types of Natural Fiber in Textile

Different Types of Natural Fiber Used in Textile

Textile Fiber Definition:

Textile fiber is a material which is mainly made from natural or synthetic sources. This material will be converted into the making of textile yarns and fabrics such as woven, knitted, non-woven, and carpets. Textile fiber may be in a form of a pliable hair like strand or as the smallest visible unit of textile production.

Classification of Textile Fibers:

The fiber, which is the raw material of fibrous goods, can be broadly classified into two categories according to its generation process. The fiber can be either natural fiber or man-made fiber. The natural fiber has existed wildly on the earth since the dawn of history, but the history of the emergence of man-made fiber is recent.
However, there is miraculous progress in its quality improvement and in the development of new production techniques. Every year, the fields of usage of natural fiber are being encroached by the man-made fibers remarkably.

What is Natural Fiber?

The natural fibers are those, which are obtained from plants, animals or minerals.

Classification Or Types of Natural Fiber:

Natural fibers are classified as follows:
  1. Vegetable fibers,
  2. Animal fibers,
  3. Mineral fibers.
All the above fibers have discussed in the following:

1.Vegetable Fiber: 
Among vegetable fibers too, the kind of fiber differs according to the part of the tree/shrub, from which it is taken.
For example-
  • Collections of fiber growing on the seeds like raw cotton, Java cotton etc.
  • Collections of grown as the skin of the plant stem (phloem, bast) like flax, ramie, hemp, jute etc.
  • Collections of tendons, which make up the stem like Manila hemp.
  • Collections of tendons in the leaves like sisal hemp.
  • Collection of fiber from fruit shells like coir fiber (coconut fiber).

Out of these, the most important one is raw cotton and next to it are flax, ramie, jute and Manila hemp.

Hemp fiber
Fig: Hemp fiber
2. Animal Fiber:
The fibers from animals comprise the substance, which turns to fiber after the coagulation of the mucus thrown up by the body and the hair fiber, which grows on the skin. The earlier one comprises domesticated (silkworm) silk, wild (silkworm) silk. The latter one comprises soft hair such as wool (sheep wool), cashmere wool, camel wool, alpaca wool, mohair, rabbit wool and coarse hair such as cow hair, horse hair, human hair etc.
Animal fiber
Fig: Animal fiber
Conceptually, the soft hair group is called as wool and the latter one is called as hair. In addition, there is also deer hair and raccoon dog hair, which is not used as a raw material in the ordinary fiber goods but it is mainly used for the bristles of the tooth brush hair and for paint brushes or other brushes (shaving brush, shoe brush etc.). However, out of these too, the most important one is sheep wool and silk.

3. Mineral Fiber: 
The only natural fiber from minerals is asbestos.
Mineral fiber
Fig: Mineral fiber

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