Fiber or Fabric?

Ask Dr. Deb Comfort Cotton Fabric Fiber Knit Video Woven

 Read more about different types of cotton fiber based fabrics here.

Did you know there is a difference between fibers and fabrics?

Fiber:

fi·ber

noun

plural noun: fibers

  1. a thread or filament from which a vegetable tissue, mineral substance, or textile is formed.

Fibers naturally occur in both plants and animals. More than half of the fibers produced are natural fibers. Natural fibers include cotton, hair, fur, silk, and wool. Other fibers are manufactured. There are two types of manufactured fibers: regenerated fibers and synthetic fibers. Regenerated fibers are made from natural materials by processing these materials to form a fiber structure. Also called cellulosics, regenerated fibers are derived from the cellulose in cotton and wood pulp. Rayon and acetate are two common regenerated fibers.

Synthetic fibers are made entirely from chemicals. Synthetic fibers are usually stronger than either natural or regenerated fibers. Synthetic fibers and the regenerated acetate fiber are thermoplastic; they are softened by heat. Therefore manufacturers can shape these fibers at high temperatures, adding such features as pleats and creases. Synthetic fibers will melt if touched with too hot an iron. The most widely used kinds of synthetic fibers are nylon (polyamide), polyester, acrylic, and olefin.

Here are some examples of fibers:

Animal-based fibers

Fibre

Source

Attribute

Alpaca

Alpaca

Soft, warmth, lightweight

Angora wool

Angora rabbit

Softness, blends well with other fibres

Azlon

Synthetic

Soft, silky, hygroscopic, also known as Aralac

Byssus

Pinna nobilis

Warmth, lightweight

Camel hair

Arabian ña / Guanaco / South America camelid varieties

Softness, warmth

Cashmere wool

Indian cashmere goat

Softness

Chiengora

Dog

Fluffy, lightweight

Lambswool

Lambs

Softness, elasticity, warmth

Llama

Llama

Lightweight, insulating

Mohair wool

North African angora goat

Dyes well, lightweight

Qiviut

Muskoxen

Softness, warmth

Rabbit

Rabbits

Softness

Silk

Silk worm

Smooth fabric finish with high shine

Vicuña

Vicuña

Expensive, luxurious, soft

Wool

Sheep

Warmth

Yak

Yak

Heavy, warmth

 

Plant-based fibres (cellulosic fibers)

Fibre

Source

Attribute

Abacá

Abaca plant

Thin, lightweight

Acetate

Wood Pulp

Lustrous, thermoplastic

Bamboo

Grass pulp

Lightweight, pliable fibre

Banana

Banana plant pseudostem/leaves

Warm, thick, durable

Kapok

Pentandra tree

Fluffy

Coir

Coconut

Strength, durability

Cotton

Shrub

Lightweight, absorbent

Flax

Herbaceous plant

Lightweight, absorbent, used to make linen

Hemp

Cannabis

Strength, durability

Jute

Vegetable plant in linden family

Strength,durability

Kenaf

Hibiscus cannabinus

Rough

Lyocell

Eucalyptus Tree

Soft, lightweight, absorbent

Modal

Beech tree

Softness, lightweight

Piña

Pineapple leaf

Soft, lightweight

Raffia

Raffia palm

Carpet/rough

Ramie

Flowering plant in nettle family

Heavy, tough

Rayon

Wood Pulp

Soft, lightweight, absorbent

Sisal

Agave sisalana

Strength, durability

Soy protein

Tofu-manufacturing waste

Wooly, lightweight

 

Synthetic fibers

Fibre

Source

Attribute

Acrylic

Petroleum Products

Lightweight, warm, dries quickly

Kevlar

Aramids

Very strong

Modacrylic

Petroleum Products

Lightweight, warm, dries quickly

Nomex

Aramids

Chemical, electrical, and flame resistant

Nylon

Petroleum Products

Durable, strong, lightweight, dries quickly

Polyester

Petroleum Products

Durable, strong, lightweight, dries quickly

Spandex

Petroleum Products

Elastic, strong, lightweight

Rayon

Regenerated cellulose

Weak when wet

 

Fabric

fab·ric

ˈfabrik/

noun

  1. cloth, typically produced by weaving or knitting textile fibers.

Here are some examples of fabrics:

  • Denim
  • Rib Knit
  • Fleece
  • Velvet
  • Lace
  • Jersey Knit
  • Satin
  • Crepe
  • Chambray
  • Organza
  • Taffeta

And a link to a huge list of more fabric names:

https://www.fabric.com/SitePages/Glossary.aspx

 



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