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The textile industry uses many fibers as its raw materials. As a result of the development of new fibers, difficulties arise in textile industry in terms of identification, classification. Hence, classification of textile fibers was compounded by the trained manufactures to identify each of the fibers with the different trademarks. Textile fibers are classified according to the source and the length of the fibers. (a) Classification of fibers by source: According to the source from which textile fibers are obtained, fibers are broadly classified in two ways viz, natural and manmade.

A cite for all in textile fibers, fashion, apparel industries, terminology etc

Natural Fibers:

1. Vegetable fibers or Cellulosic fibers: As the name indicates these fibers are obtained from vegetable source i.e. plants and their constitute is Cellulosic matter. This category includes by far most important textile fibers called Cotton, which make up nearly 50% of total fibers used in world (by weight), it is considered as major fiber. This category also includes other minor fibers such as Linen, Jute, Pineapple, etc., 2. Animal Fibers or Protein fibers: There are several animal fibers each obtained from a different source, but only two are recognized as major textile fibers. They are Wool and Silk. They make up small proportion in the market (by weight) but a much higher proportion by value. Other minor fibers in this category are Mohair, Cashmere, Angora, and Camel hair. 3. Mineral Fibers: Asbestos is a natural fiber obtained from varieties of rock. It is a fibrous form of silicate of magnesium and calcium containing iron, aluminum and other minerals. It is a acid proof, rustproof, flameproof. However, the use of asbestos is now rapidly declining following the discovery of health risks from asbestos dust. II Manmade Fibers: These refer to those fibers that are not naturally present in nature, but are synthesized. 1. Cellulosic Source: fibers manufactured from a natural polymer Cellulose that is obtained from wood. (a) Regenerated fibers: The starting product is cellulose, which is dissolved in sodium hydroxide and viscous solution is extruded through spinneret into dilute H2SO4. (b) Modified Regenerated: The raw material here also cellulose, but these fibers are modified chemically so that polymer can be dissolved in an organic solvent and extruded into hot air which evaporate the solvent. 2. Protein Fibers: These are from the protein source but not manufacturing in present days. 3. Mineral Fibers: These fibers are glass, steel and carbon all of which are found in industrial end uses viz., Glass is used for low cost reinforced, Plastic for ships, cars and thermal and electrical insulation etc., Steel is reinforced rubber in tyres and belts for filters where chemical resistance is important. Carbon fibers are used where high performance is required i.e. aircrafts parts, tennis and squash rackets etc.,

III Synthetic Fibers: The term synthetic means that the polymer is entirely man made from chemicals. These group fiber properties are dependent upon their chemical compositions and kinds of molecular orientation. The group includes three major fibers and several minor ones. The major ones include Nylon (polyamide produced in U.S.A in 1938), Polyester (produced in 1953), Acrylic (produced in 1948). (B) CLASSIFICATION OF FIBERS BY LENGTH: According to length fibers are classified into two types they are; Staple, Filament. 1.Staple Fibers: Natural or manmade or short length fibers which measures in inches or fraction of inch e.g to 18 inches. Expect silk all other natural fibers are staple fibers. Man made fibers is made in filament form but cut into short staple lengths. 2. Filament Fibers: Long fibers those measured in yards or meters are known as filaments. Silk and all man made fibers are filaments.