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Fibres and dyes fibres Natural fibres Animal wool wool blends (wool-cotton, wool-viscose, etc.

) silk Vegetable cotton bast (linen, flax, hemp, jute, ramie) Modified cellulose fibres viscose secondary acetate triacetate Synthetic fibres polyamide (nylon, Perlon, Rilsan) polyester (Dacron, Terylene) polyacrylonitrile (Acrilan, Courtelle, Orlon) polyvinyl chloride (Envilon, Thermovyl) polyolefines (Meraklon, Prolene) elastomers (Glospan, Lycra)

application classes

acid, basic, mordant, reactive, (solubilized vat) acid, direct, mordant, reactive acid, basic, direct, mordant, (reactive), (solubilized vat) azoic, basic, direct, mordant, oxidation, reactive, sulfur, vat acid, direct, (disperse), reactive, vat, solubilized vat direct, mordant, pigment, reactive, sulfur, vat, solubilized vat disperse disperse acid, disperse, mordant, pigment, reactive disperse, pigment basic, disperse, pigment basic, disperse disperse acid, disperse, reactive, (wool), vat

FABRIC CHARACTERISTICS AND PROPERTIES


The following list provides the important characteristic and major end uses of natural and man-made fibers used in apparel and home fashion.

Index of Fibers

Acetate Acrylic Cotton Linen Lyocell Microfibers Mohair Nylon Polyester Polyolefin (Olefin) Rayon Silk Spandex Triacetate Wool

ACETATE
Cellulosic-based, from wood pulp or cotton linters Characteristics: Luxurious appearance Crisp or soft hand Wide range of colors; dyes and prints well Excellent drape ability and softness Shrink, moth, and mildew resistant Low moisture absorbency, relatively fast drying No pilling problem, little static problem Most acetate garments require dry-cleaning. Major End Uses: Apparel- Blouses, dresses, linings, special occasion apparel, Home Fashion - Draperies, upholstery, curtains, bedspreads
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ACRYLIC
Man-made Characteristics: Light-weight, soft, warm for winter wearing Fine, soft, lightweight, cottonlike fabrics, which are cool in hot weather Dyes to bright colors with excellent fastness Outstanding wick ability Machine washable, quick drying Resilient; retains shape; resists shrinkage, & wrinkles Flexible aesthetics for wool-like, cotton-like or blended appearance Excellent pleat retention Resistant to moths, oil and chemicals Superior resistance to sunlight degradation Static and pilling can be a problem Major End Uses: Apparel - sweaters, socks, fleece, circular knit apparel, sportswear, children's wear Home Fashion - Blankets, throws, upholstery, awnings, outdoor furniture, rugs/floor coverings
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COTTON
Natural, Cellulosic Characteristics: Comfortable Soft hand Absorbent Good color retention, prints well Machine-washable, dry-cleanable Good strength Drapes well Easy to handle and sew Major End Uses: Apparel - Wide range of wearing apparel: blouses, shirts, dresses, children's wear, activewear, separates, swimwear, suits, jackets, skirts, pants, sweaters, hosiery, neckwear. Home Fashion - curtains, draperies, bedspreads, comforters, throws, sheets, towels, table cloths, table mats, napkins

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LINEN
Natural, Made from flax, a vegetable fiber Characteristics: Comfortable Good strength, twice as strong as cotton Hand-washable or dry-cleanable Crisp hand Tailors well Absorbent Dyes and prints well Lightweight to heavyweight No static or pilling problems Fair abrasion resistant Major End Uses: Apparel - dresses, suits, separates, skirts, jackets, pants, blouses, shirts, children's wear. Home Fashion - curtains, draperies, upholstery, bedspreads, table linens, sheets, dish towels.
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LYOCELL
Man-made, cellulosic-based Characteristics: Excellent strength Washable Shrink- and wrinkle-resistant Soft hand Excellent drape Absorbent Dyes and prints well Major End Uses: Apparel - dresses, suits, sportswear, pants, jackets, blouses, skirts.
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MICROFIBERS
Man-made: available in acrylic, nylon, polyester and rayon. Characteristics: Ultra fine (less than 1.0 dpf), finer than the most delicate silk Extremely drapable Very soft, luxurious hand with a silken or suede touch Washable, dry cleanable Shrink-resistant High strength (except Rayon) Excellent pleat retention Insulates well against wind, rain and cold Major End Uses: Apparel - hosiery, blouses, dresses, separates, sportswear, ties, scarves, men's wear, intimate apparel, activewear, swimwear, outerwear, rainwear. Home Fashion curtains, draperies, upholstery, sheets, towels, blankets.
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MOHAIR
Natural, from angora goats Characteristics: Long, lustrous, strong fiber Luxurious Soft hand Most resilient natural textile fiber Lightweight, warms, good insulator Dyes well, brilliant colors Non-crush, -mat and -pill qualities. Resists fading Major End Uses: Apparel - coats, suits, dresses, sweaters, accessories, loungewear, socks. Home Fashion - blankets, throws, upholstery, draperies, carpets, rugs.
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NYLON
Man-made Characteristics: Lightweight Exceptional strength Good drape ability Abrasion resistant Easy to wash Resists shrinkage and wrinkling resilient, pleat retentive Fast drying, low moisture absorbency. Can be pre-colored or dyed in a wide range of colors Resistant to

damage from oil and many chemicals Static and pilling can be a problem Poor resistance to continuous sunlight Major End Uses: Apparel - swimwear, activewear, intimate apparel, foundation garments, hosiery, blouses, dresses, sportswear, pants, jackets, skirts, raincoats, ski and snow apparel, windbreakers, children's wear. Home Fashion - carpets, rugs, curtains, upholstery, draperies, bedspreads Other - Luggage, back packets, life vests, umbrellas, sleeping bags, tents.
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POLYESTER
Man-made Characteristics: Strong Crisp, soft hand Resistant to stretching and shrinkage Washable or dry-cleanable Quick drying Resilient, wrinkle resistant, excellent pleat retention (if heat set) Abrasion resistant Resistant to most chemicals Because of its low absorbency, stain removal can be a problem Static and pilling problems Major End Uses: Apparel - essential every form of clothing, dresses, blouses, jackets, separates, sportswear, suits, shirts, pants, rainwear, lingerie, children's wear Home Fashion curtains, draperies, floor coverings, fiber fill, upholstery, bedding.
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POLYOLEFIN (OLEFIN) (OLEFIN) (OLEFIN)


Man-made Characteristics: Lightweight, lightest fiber, it floats Strong Abrasion resistant, resilient Stain-, static-, sunlight-, and odor-resistant High insulation characteristics Resists deterioration from chemicals, mildew, perspiration, rot and weather Fast drying High wick ability. Color fast, because colors are incorporated during fiber forming stage Spills can be readily wiped up Static and pilling can be a problem Ironing, washing and drying need to be done at low temperature Non-allergenic Major End Uses: Apparel - activewear, sportswear, jeans, socks, underwear, lining fabrics. Home Fashion - indoor and outdoor carpets, carpet backing, upholstery, wall coverings, furniture and bedding construction fabrics.
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RAYON
Man-made, cellulosic-based from wood pulp Characteristics: Soft and comfortable Drapes well Highly absorbent Dyes and prints well No static, no pilling problems Fabric can shrink appreciably if washing dry clean only rayon Washable or dry cleanable. Read the label! Major End Uses: Apparel - Blouses, dresses, jackets, lingerie, linings, millinery, slacks, sport shirts, sportswear, suits, ties, work clothes Home Fashion - bedspreads, blankets, curtains, draperies, sheets, slip covers, table cloths, upholstery.
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SILK
Natural, animal fiber (silk worm)

Characteristics: Soft or crisp hand Luxurious Drapes and tailors well Thinnest of all natural fibers Dyes and prints well Hand-washable or dry-cleanable Little problem with static, no pilling problem Only fair abrasion resistance Poor resistance to prolonged exposure to sunlight Major End Uses: Apparel - dresses, blouses, skirts, jackets, pants, pants, scarves, ties. Home Fashion - curtains, draperies, upholstery.
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SPANDEX
Man-made Characteristics: Lightweight Can be stretched over 500% without breaking Able to be stretched repetitively and still recover original length Abrasion resistant Stronger, more durable than rubber Soft, smooth and supple Resistant to body oils, perspiration, lotions or detergents No static or pilling problems Major End Uses: Apparel - articles where stretch is desired: athletic apparel, bathing suits, foundation garments, ski pants, slacks, hosiery, socks, belts.
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TRIACETATE
Man-made Characteristics: Luxurious hand Excellent drape ability Resilient Excellent pleat retention Washable or dry-cleanable No pilling problem Can have static problem Major End Uses: Apparel - dresses, skirts, sportswear, robes, particularly where pleat retention is important
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WOOL
Natural, Animal fiber Characteristics: Comfortable Luxurious, soft hand Versatile Lightweight Good insulator Washable Wrinkle-resistant Absorbent Easy to dye Major End Uses: Apparel - sweaters, dresses, coats, suits, jackets, pants, skirts, children's wear, loungewear, blouses, shirts, hosiery, scarves. Home Fashion - carpets, draperies, upholstery, blankets.
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Bamboo Fiber - A Brief Analysis


The bamboo fiber is made from the starchy pulp of bamboo plants. This textile fiber is fabricated from natural bamboo and other additives. In fact, bamboo fiber is a regenerated cellulose fiber, which is produced from bamboo pulp, processed from bamboo culms. It looks like cotton in its un-spun form. Many bamboo fiber manufacturers apply extensive bleaching processes to turn the color of bamboo fiber into white. However, the companies engaged in producing organic bamboo fabric leave the bamboo fiber unbleached. Bamboo fiber is thinner as compared to hair and has a round and smooth surface which makes it abrasion proof. Extraction of Bamboo Fiber Two types of processing are done to obtain bamboo fibers- Mechanical Processing and Chemical Processing. However, in both the processes, the raw bamboo has to be split to get bamboo strips. After that, bamboo fiber is extracted either through chemical or mechanical processing. Chemical Processing : It is basically hydrolysis alkalization. The crushed bamboo is "cooked" with the help of Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) which is also known as caustic soda or lye into a form of regenerated cellulose fiber. Hydrolysis alkalization is then done through carbon disulfide combined with multi phase bleaching. Although chemical processing is not environmental friendly but it is preferred by many manufacturers as it is a less time consuming process. Mechanical Processing : In this method, the crushed bamboo is treated with biological enzymes. This breaks the bamboo into a mushy mass and individual fibers are then combed out. Although expensive, this process is eco friendly. Characteristics of Bamboo Fiber Bamboo fiber is naturally anti-bacterial, UV protective, green & biodegradable, breathable & cool, strong, flexible, soft and has a luxurious shiny appearance. Smooth, Soft and Luxurious Feel: Bamboo fiber can be softer even than silk fiber when spun into yarn. It has a basic round surface which makes it very smooth and to sit perfectly next to the skin. Good Absorption Ability: Bamboo fiber absorbs and evaporates sweat very quickly. It's ultimate breathability keeps the wearer comfortable and dry for a very longer period. It is 3-4 times more absorbent than cotton fabrics. Temperature Adaptability: Fabrics made from bamboo fiber are highly breathable in hot weather and also keep the wearer warmer in cold season. Bamboo is naturally cool to the touch. The crosssection of the bamboo fiber is filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes leading to much better moisture absorption and ventilation. It is also very warm in cold weather, because of the same micro structure as the warm air gets trapped next to the skin. Antibacterial: Bamboo is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and anti-static. Bamboo has a unique anti-bacteria and bacteriostasis bio-agent named "bamboo kun" which bonds tightly with bamboo cellulose molecules during the normal process of bamboo fiber growth. This feature gets retained in

bamboo fabrics too. Many tests have been conducted whose results show over 70% death rate after bacteria was incubated on bamboo fiber fabric. Tests by the Japanese Textile Inspection Association shows that, even after fifty washes, bamboo fabric still possessed these properties. It makes bamboo fabrics healthier, germ free and odor free. Applications of Bamboo Fiber After gaining popularity as a green fiber, bamboo has found place in significant fashion circles. However, questions are often raised due to textile chemicals applied to bamboo for making them usable as fibers for clothing and other textile products. Bamboo Clothing: The inherent anti fungal and antibacterial properties of bamboo fabrics make it suitable for such clothing as underwears, t-shirt and socks. It is especially preferred for making summer clothing as it gives protection against UV rays and for being naturally cool. The softness, sheen and drapabaility of bamboo fabric make it suitable for fashion clothing and fashion accessories like scarves. As it has good absorption and is breathable, it can be used in making any type of garments especially sports wear and inner wear. In fact, some manufacturers use a blend of 4% Lycra with bamboo to make sportswear. The softness of bamboo yarn also makes it ideal for making infant wear. Home Furnishings Fabrics: Bamboo fabric has also come to occupy important place in manufacturing of home furnishings due its many qualities including, softness, strength, & durability among others. It is used in making cushion covers, table linen, bed linen, curtains, beddings and pillow, kitchen linen etc. Wallpapers and curtains made from bamboo fabric can absorb ultraviolet radiation very well. Upholstery fabrics are usually made with bamboo blends. Bathroom Textiles: Bamboo fabric is increasingly being used in making bathroom furnishings. Bamboo bath towels and bath robes have soft and comfortable feel and excellent moisture absorption capability. The natural antibiotic property provides hygienic conditions as well as prevents bad odor. They are also suitable for making bath mats due to good absorbency. Non woven fabrics: Bamboo pulp is also used for making non woven fabrics that are then used in making hygiene products such as sanitary napkin, masks, mattress, absorbent pads, food-packing bags. Again, they are preferred for such products due to anti-bacteria and absorption properties. Medical and Hygienic Clothing & Products: Apart from non wovens, bamboo fabric itself is also used in the production of such items as textiles for surgical practices including masks, bandage, gowns etc. apart from linens, towels and drapes in hospitals. Drawbacks of Bamboo Yarn Bamboo textiles can be called a mixed bag from the ecological point of view. While the crop gets high marks environmentally, its processing into fabric fetches negative marks. Strong solvents are used to make bamboo fibers suitable for any textile use. These solvents affect the environment as well as the health of processing-plant workers. However, recently developed processes, such as closedloop systems for processing of Lyocell and Tencel fabrics, use safer solvents such as acetic acid. These may also be used more frequently for organically-processed bamboo textiles. However, this depends upon how much the consumer is ready to pay for, as these processes involve huge expenditure. Apart from the chemicals destroying the natural advantages of bamboo fibers, the other drawback of bamboo fabric is that it shrinks a slightly higher than cotton.

With its few disadvantages, bamboo is still beneficial fiber, more so if processed mechanically. Its yield is 10 times that of cotton, without using any fertilizers or pesticides. Additionally, even organic cotton uses a huge amount of water for growing, whereas bamboo grows without any irrigation, often on hill slopes where nothing else can be grown. It really can give an option for sustainable development for those engaged in producing bamboo and manufacturing bamboo textiles and other products.