There are two types of fibres used in making textile
products – those that come from the natural
environment and those that are manufactured called
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Sources of natural fibres
Cotton from the cotton plant
Linen from the flax plant
Wool from sheep
Silk from silkworms
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1. Sea Island Cotton
2. Egyptian Cotton
3. Pima Cotton
4. American Upland Long Staple
5. American Upland Short Staple
6. Asia Short Staple
Varieties of cotton
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It is soft
It absorbs moisture
It wrinkles easily
It is strong
It is comfortable
It is durable
It has good colour retention if dyed at the fibre stage
It is easy to print on and requires heavy ironing
It is easy to care for, easy to wash
It is a natural resource that is fully renewable
Properties of Cotton
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It is the strongest of the vegetable fibers.
Known for the coolness and freshness in hot weather.
It is smooth and gets softer the more it is washed.
It has a high natural luster.
It is strong and durable and dries quickly
It has poor elasticity
Properties of Linen
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Warm and comfortable to wear
Good resiliency when dry
Good drape and elasticity
Damaged by chlorine bleach
May shrink unless treated
Looses strength when wet
Shows pilling effect
Poor lustre and expensive
Felting of wool
Properties of Wool
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Types of Silk
Types of Silk fabrics
Crepe de Chine or CDC
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Most lustrous and luxurious.
Lightweight and water absorbent.
Good dye ability with rich colours.
Stronger and moderately wrinkle resistant.
Excellent drape and luxurious hand
Damaged by chemical exposure.
Looses strength when wet.
Silk treated with formaldehyde shows high strength,
higher resistance and reduced solubility to chemicals.
Properties of Silk
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Man-made fibres are classified into three classes,
those made from natural polymers, those made from
synthetic polymers and those made from inorganic
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Is soft and luxurious and also drapes well.
It is not a heavy fabric but it gives warmth.
It was originally used to make outdoor goods but
now is common in clothing and carpet although pure
acrylic can result in pilling.
It can be dyed to bright colours.
Acrylic is made from a petrochemical called
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Is a polymide which is made from petroleum.
It is durable and lightweight.
Nylon is quick drying and cleans easily because dirt does
It can be static and does not absorb moisture so, if used it
clothing, it can be clammy in the heat.
Examples of nylon products include luggage, carpeting
materials and hosiery because of its elastic recovery
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Is soft and strong, resistant to shrinkage and does
It is a polymer which is produced from coal, water,
air and petroleum products.
It can blend with natural fibres such as cotton or
wool or with artificial ones, to increase the fabric
more durable and easier to wash.
It can be used in clothing, filling for upholstery, floor
coverings and insulation.
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Viscose is a solution of cellulose xanthate made by treating a cellulose
compound with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide. Byproducts
include sodium thiocarbonate, sodium carbonate, and sodium sulfide. The
viscose solution is used to spin the fiber Viscose Rayon, or Rayon
Is created by the regeneration of natural materials.
It is made from wood pulp and its properties are similar to those of linen
There are various types of rayon including regular, high tenacity, high wet
modulus and microfibers.
High tenacity rayon is strong and used mainly in industry.
Regular rayon is often used in clothing.
High wet modulus has high wet strength and microfibers are fine and
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Yarn is a long continuous length of
interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production
of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, em
broidery, and rope-making. Thread is a type of yarn
intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern
manufactured sewing threads may be finished
with wax or other lubricants to withstand the
stresses involved in sewing. Embroidery threads are
yarns specifically designed for hand or machine
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In the textile arts, plying is a process used to create a
strong, balanced yarn. It is done by taking two or
more strands of yarn that each have a twist to them
and putting them together. The strands are twisted
together, in the direction opposite that in which they
were spun. When just the right amount of twist is
added, this creates a balanced yarn, which is a yarn
with no tendency to twist upon itself. Almost all
store bought yarns are balanced, plied yarns.
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How to identify your fabric
When you can't tell if a fabric is a knit or woven, put it through these tests:
Look for loops or grain
In knit fabric (left), one continuous yarn is looped repeatedly to create what looks
like tiny rows of braids. In woven fabric (right), multiple yarns cross each other at
right angles to form the grain, like a basket.
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Knits & Wovens: What's the Difference?
Apply the stretch test
When knit fabric is stretched along its width, it will stretch significantly. Along its
length, it will stretch slightly. If a knit fabric is stretched excessively, a run may form.
Most woven fabrics can't stretch along the lengthwise grain (the length of the fabric),
and there is minimal give along the crosswise grain (the width of the fabric).
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Knits & Wovens: What's the Difference?
Check the wrinkle resistance
When you ball up a knit in your hand, it will crush easily.
When you release it, the fabric will spring back into shape with
few, if any, wrinkles. When you wad up a woven fabric, it
usually wrinkles easily.
Inspect the edges
A knit is either sold as a tube or flat. On flat knits, factories
apply round blobs of starch or glue along the lengthwise edges
to prevent them from curling. Along the width, or cut edge, the
fabric doesn't fray. The lengthwise edges of a woven fabric,
called the selvages, are strong and don't move. The cut edge
across the width of the fabric frays.
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Knits & Wovens: What's the Difference?
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which
two distinct sets of yarns are interlaced at right
angles to form a fabric or cloth.
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I. Plain weave
a. Basket/ Matt weave
b. Ribbed ( Warp & Wet )
II. Twill weave
III. Satin and Sateen weave
IV. Variation of Basic weave.
b. Pile (Cut/Uncut)
c. Double Cloth
d. Gauze (Leno)
Types of weaves
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Four or more shafts with warp floats or weft floats in
interrupted diagonal. It is very lustrous.
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Dobby, a decorative weave results in small designs
or geometric figures all over the woven fabric. The
standard dobby weave fabrics are flat and
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Oxford weave fabrics are made with modified plain
weave or basket weave and are generally used for
apparels, particularly cotton shirting materials. The
fabric is fine, soft and lightweight.
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Herringbone describes a distinctive V-
shaped weaving pattern usually found in twill fabric.
The pattern is called herringbone because it
resembles the skeleton of a herring fish.
Herringbone-patterned fabric is usually wool, and is
one of the most popular cloths used
for suits and outerwear. Tweed cloth is often woven
with a herringbone pattern.
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End-on-end (also known by its French name, Fil-a-
Fil) is essentially a plain weave where one colour
yarn is interwoven with another colour yarn.
Although one of the two colours is usually White, a
great variety of end-on-ends have been produced in
recent years. This type of weave yields a familiar
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Chambray fabric is thought to originate from
Cambrai in France many centuries ago as far back as
It differs from denim in that it is not a twill fabric,
when it is woven - the warp and the weft of the
fabric cross equally giving it a 1 x 1 fabric structure.
This is known as a chambray structure. This is partly
responsible for its lighter appearance as the weft, the
lighter unbleached thread, appears on the surface of
the fabric. Both sides of chambray are identical
meaning it has no right or wrong side.
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Piqué, or marcella, refers to a weaving style,
normally used with cotton yarn, which is
characterized by raised parallel cords or fine
Pique fabrics are a type of dobby construction. These
fabrics require the addition of extra yarns, called
stuffer yarns. These stuffer yarns are incorporated
into the back of the fabric to give texture and added
depth to the fabric design.
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The pique is a type of cotton weave, so is the jersey
knit. The pique is a bit heavier and rougher. The
jersey is thinner and smoother knit. The term golf
polo can apply to both.
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What is the difference between a pique polo, a
Jersey Knit Polo and a golf polo shirt?
Knitted fabrics is the third major class of fabric,
after woven and nonwoven fabrics.
Knitting is the construction of an elastic, porous fabric, created
by interlocking yarns by means of needles. Knitted fabrics can
be made much more quickly and easily than woven fabrics at
comparatively less cost. Knitted fabrics are generally light in
weight, comfortable in wear even during travel, but yet require
little care to keep their neat appearance. The tendency of knits
to resist wrinkling is another factor to boost up their popularity.
Knitted fabrics are used for designing active clothing such as
sports clothing. Their elastic nature permits for abundant
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Jersey is a knit fabric used predominantly
for clothing manufacture. It was originally made
of wool, but is now made of wool, cotton,
and synthetic fibres. This is the fabric most often
used to make T-shirts. Jersey is considered to be an
excellent fabric for draped garments, such as dresses,
and women's tops.
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The following types of jersey can be distinguished:
Single Jersey fabric - weight: 140 g / m²
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Dyeing is the process of adding colour
to textile products like fibres, yarns,
and fabrics. Dyeing is normally done in a
special solution containing dyes and
particular chemical material. The temperature and
time controlling are two key factors in dyeing. There
are mainly two classes of dye, natural and man-
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A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a
network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread
or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres to produce long
strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting,
knotting, or pressing fibres together.
The words fabric and cloth are used in textile assembly trades
(such as tailoring and dressmaking) as synonyms for textile.
However, there are subtle differences in these terms in specialized
usage. Textile refers to any material made of interlacing
fibres. Fabric refers to any material made through weaving,
knitting, spreading, crocheting, or bonding that may be used in
production of further goods (garments, etc.). Cloth may be used
synonymously with fabric but often refers to a finished piece of
fabric used for a specific purpose (e.g., table cloth).
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Blended fabrics are those that are made from both
natural and, or synthetic fibres. At least 2 or more
different kinds of fibres are woven together to make
the finished fabric.
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