Textile
Overview
 
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
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

. Yarn is produced by spinning
Spinning (textiles)
Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

 raw fibres of wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

, flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, or other material to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

, knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

, crochet
Crochet
Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by...

ing, knotting
Macramé
Macramé or macrame is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of "hitching": full hitch and double half hitches...

, or pressing fibres together (felt
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

).

The words fabric and cloth are used in textile assembly trades (such as tailor
Tailor
A tailor is a person who makes, repairs, or alters clothing professionally, especially suits and men's clothing.Although the term dates to the thirteenth century, tailor took on its modern sense in the late eighteenth century, and now refers to makers of men's and women's suits, coats, trousers,...

ing and dressmaking
Dressmaker
A dressmaker is a person who makes custom clothing for women, such as dresses, blouses, and evening gowns. Also called a mantua-maker or a modiste.-Notable dressmakers:*Cristobal Balenciaga*Charles Frederick Worth...

) as synonyms for textile.
Encyclopedia
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
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

. Yarn is produced by spinning
Spinning (textiles)
Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

 raw fibres of wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

, flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, or other material to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

, knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

, crochet
Crochet
Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by...

ing, knotting
Macramé
Macramé or macrame is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of "hitching": full hitch and double half hitches...

, or pressing fibres together (felt
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

).

The words fabric and cloth are used in textile assembly trades (such as tailor
Tailor
A tailor is a person who makes, repairs, or alters clothing professionally, especially suits and men's clothing.Although the term dates to the thirteenth century, tailor took on its modern sense in the late eighteenth century, and now refers to makers of men's and women's suits, coats, trousers,...

ing and dressmaking
Dressmaker
A dressmaker is a person who makes custom clothing for women, such as dresses, blouses, and evening gowns. Also called a mantua-maker or a modiste.-Notable dressmakers:*Cristobal Balenciaga*Charles Frederick Worth...

) 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).

History

The discovery of dyed flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 fibres in a cave in the Republic of Georgia dated to 34,000 BCE suggests textile-like materials were made even in prehistoric times.

The production of textiles is a craft whose speed and scale of production has been altered almost beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. However, for the main types of textiles, plain weave
Plain weave
Plain weave is the most basic of three fundamental types of textile weaves . It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics....

, twill
Twill
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs . This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a "step" or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this...

, or satin weave
Satin weave
Satin weave is one of the three important textile weaves. The satin weave is distinguished by its lustrous, or 'silky', appearance...

, there is little difference between the ancient and modern methods.

Incas have been crafting quipus (or khipus) made of fibres either from a protein, such as spun and plied thread like wool or hair from camelids such as alpaca
Alpaca
An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an altitude of to above sea level, throughout the year...

s, llama
Llama
The llama is a South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times....

s, and camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

s or from a cellulose like cotton for thousands of years. Khipus are a series of knots along pieces of string. They have been believed to only have acted as a form of accounting, although new evidence conducted by Harvard professor, Gary Urton
Gary Urton
Gary Urton is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies at Harvard University. He was previously Professor of Anthropology at Colgate University from 1978 to 2001. Dr. Urton is a specialist in Andean archaeology, particularly the quipu numerical recording system used in the Inca...

, indicates there may be more to the khipu than just numbers. Preservation of khipus found in museum and archive collections follow general textile preservation
Textile preservation
Textile preservation refers to the processes by which textiles are cared for and maintained to be preserved from future damage. The field falls under the category of art conservation as well as library preservation, depending on the type of collection...

 principles and practice.

During the 15th century, Textiles were the largest single industry. Before the 15th century textiles were only in a few towns but during, they shifted into districts like East Anglia, and the Cotswolds (Duplessis).

Uses

Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

 and containers such as bags and basket
Basket
A basket is a container which is traditionally constructed from stiff fibres, which can be made from a range of materials, including wood splints, runners, and cane. While most baskets are made from plant materials, other materials such as horsehair, baleen, or metal wire can be used. Baskets are...

s. In the household, they are used in carpet
Carpet
A carpet is a textile floor covering consisting of an upper layer of "pile" attached to a backing. The pile is generally either made from wool or a manmade fibre such as polypropylene,nylon or polyester and usually consists of twisted tufts which are often heat-treated to maintain their...

ing, upholstered furnishings
Furniture
Furniture is the mass noun for the movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating and sleeping in beds, to hold objects at a convenient height for work using horizontal surfaces above the ground, or to store things...

, window shades, towel
Towel
A towel is a piece of absorbent fabric or paper used for drying or wiping. It draws moisture through direct contact, often using a blotting or a rubbing motion. Common household textile towels are made from cotton, rayon, bamboo, nonwoven fibers or a few other materials.-Types of towels:* A bath...

s, covering for tables, beds, and other flat surfaces, and in art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

. In the workplace, they are used in industrial and scientific processes such as filtering. Miscellaneous uses include flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

s, backpack
Backpack
A backpack is, in its simplest form, a cloth sack carried on one's back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders, but there can be exceptions...

s, tent
Tent
A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over or attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs...

s, net
Net (device)
A net, in its primary meaning, comprises fibers woven in a grid-like structure, and is very infrequently mentioned in discussions of philosophy. It blocks the passage of large items, while letting small items and fluids pass...

s, cleaning devices such as handkerchief
Handkerchief
A handkerchief , also called a handkercher or hanky, is a form of a kerchief, typically a hemmed square of thin fabric that can be carried in the pocket or purse, and which is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one's hands or face, or blowing one's nose...

s and rags, transportation devices such as balloon
Balloon
A balloon is an inflatable flexible bag filled with a gas, such as helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, oxygen, or air. Modern balloons can be made from materials such as rubber, latex, polychloroprene, or a nylon fabric, while some early balloons were made of dried animal bladders, such as the pig...

s, kites, sail
Sail
A sail is any type of surface intended to move a vessel, vehicle or rotor by being placed in a wind—in essence a propulsion wing. Sails are used in sailing.-History of sails:...

s, and parachute
Parachute
A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon...

s, in addition to strengthening in composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

s such as fibreglass
Fiberglass
Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of glass fiber was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling...

 and industrial geotextile
Geotextile
Geotextiles are permeable fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, or drain...

s. Children can learn using textiles to make collage
Collage
A collage is a work of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole....

s, sew
Sewing
Sewing is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. Sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic era...

, quilt
Quilting
Quilting is a sewing method done to join two or more layers of material together to make a thicker padded material. A quilter is the name given to someone who works at quilting. Quilting can be done by hand, by sewing machine, or by a specialist longarm quilting system.The process of quilting uses...

, and toy
Toy
A toy is any object that can be used for play. Toys are associated commonly with children and pets. Playing with toys is often thought to be an enjoyable means of training the young for life in human society. Different materials are used to make toys enjoyable and cuddly to both young and old...

s.

Textiles used for industrial purposes, and chosen for characteristics other than their appearance, are commonly referred to as technical textiles
Technical textiles
A Technical textile is a textile product manufactured for non-aesthetic purposes, where function is the primary criterion.It is a large and growing sector and supports a vast array of other industries....

. Technical textiles include textile structures for automotive applications, medical textiles (e.g. implants), geotextiles (reinforcement of embankments), agrotextiles (textiles for crop protection
Crop protection
Crop protection is the branch of horticulture concerned with protecting crops from pests, weeds, disease and theft.It encompasses:* Pesticide-based approaches such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides...

), protective clothing (e.g. against heat and radiation for fire fighter clothing, against molten metals for welders, stab protection, and bullet
Bullet
A bullet is a projectile propelled by a firearm, sling, or air gun. Bullets do not normally contain explosives, but damage the intended target by impact and penetration...

 proof vests). In all these applications stringent performance requirements must be met. Woven of threads coated with zinc oxide
Zinc oxide
Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula ZnO. It is a white powder that is insoluble in water. The powder is widely used as an additive into numerous materials and products including plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, rubber , lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants,...

 nanowire
Nanowire
A nanowire is a nanostructure, with the diameter of the order of a nanometer . Alternatively, nanowires can be defined as structures that have a thickness or diameter constrained to tens of nanometers or less and an unconstrained length. At these scales, quantum mechanical effects are important —...

s, laboratory fabric has been shown capable of "self-powering nanosystems" using vibrations created by everyday actions like wind or body movements.

Fashion and textile designers

Fashion designers commonly rely on textile designs to set their fashion collections apart from others. Armani, the late Gianni Versace
Gianni Versace
Gianni Versace was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Gianni Versace S.p.A., an international fashion house, which produces accessories, fragrances, makeup and home furnishings as well as clothes. He also designed costumes for the theatre and films, and was a friend of Madonna, Elton John,...

, and Emilio Pucci
Emilio Pucci
Emilio Pucci, Marquis of Barsento , was a Florentine Italian fashion designer and politician. He and his eponymous company are synonymous with geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colours.-Early life:...

 can be easily recognized by their signature print driven designs.

Sources and types

Textiles can be made from many materials. These materials come from four main sources: animal (wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

, silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

), plant (cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

, jute
Jute
Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which has been classified in the family Tiliaceae, or more recently in Malvaceae....

), mineral (asbestos
Asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

, glass fibre), and synthetic (nylon
Nylon
Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

, polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

, acrylic
Acrylic fiber
Acrylic fibers are synthetic fibers made from a polymer with an average molecular weight of ~100,000, about 1900 monomer units. To be called acrylic in the U.S, the polymer must contain at least 85% acrylonitrile monomer. Typical comonomers are vinyl acetate or methyl acrylate...

). In the past, all textiles were made from natural fibres, including plant, animal, and mineral sources. In the 20th century, these were supplemented by artificial fibres made from petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

.

Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest gossamer
Textile manufacturing terminology
-A:AbsorbencyAcetateAcrylicAida clothAlnageAlpacaAngoraAppliquéAramidArgyle-B:Backstrap loomBaizeBallistic nylonBatikBedford-CordBiasBinding...

 to the sturdiest canvas
Canvas
Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame...

. The relative thickness of fibres in cloth is measured in deniers. Microfibre refers to fibres made of strands thinner than one denier.

Animal textiles

Animal textiles are commonly made from hair
Hair
Hair is a filamentous biomaterial, that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Found exclusively in mammals, hair is one of the defining characteristics of the mammalian class....

, fur
Fur
Fur is a synonym for hair, used more in reference to non-human animals, usually mammals; particularly those with extensives body hair coverage. The term is sometimes used to refer to the body hair of an animal as a complete coat, also known as the "pelage". Fur is also used to refer to animal...

 or skin
Skin
-Dermis:The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptors that provide the sense of touch and heat...

.

Wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 refers to the hair of the domestic goat
Goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

 or sheep, which is distinguished from other types of animal hair in that the individual strands are coated with scales and tightly crimped, and the wool as a whole is coated with a wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

 mixture known as lanolin
Lanolin
Lanolin , also called Adeps Lanae, wool wax or wool grease, is a yellow waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. Most lanolin used by humans comes from domestic sheep...

 (aka wool grease), which is waterproof and dirtproof . Woollen refers to a bulkier yarn produced from carded, non-parallel fibre, while worsted
Worsted
Worsted , is the name of a yarn, the cloth made from this yarn, and a yarn weight category. The name derives from the village of Worstead in the English county of Norfolk...

 refers to a finer yarn which is spun from longer fibres which have been combed to be parallel. Wool is commonly used for warm clothing. Cashmere
Cashmere wool
Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a fiber obtained from Cashmere and other types of goats. The word cashmere derives from an old spelling of Kashmir. Cashmere is fine in texture, and strong, light, and soft. Garments made from it provide excellent...

, the hair of the Indian cashmere goat
Cashmere goat
A cashmere goat is any breed of goat that produces cashmere wool, the goat's fine soft downy winter undercoat, in commercial quality and quantity. This undercoat grows as the day length shortens and is associated with an outer coat of coarse hair, which is present all the year and is called guard...

, and mohair
Mohair
Mohair usually refers to a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat. The word "mohair" was adopted into English before 1570 from the Arabic: mukhayyar, a type of haircloth, literally 'choice', from khayyara, 'he chose'. Mohair fiber is approximately 25-45 microns in...

, the hair of the North African angora goat
Angora goat
The Angora goat is a breed of domestic goat that originated in Ankara , Turkey and its surrounding region in central Anatolia...

, are types of wool known for their softness.

Other animal textiles which are made from hair or fur are alpaca wool
Alpaca
An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an altitude of to above sea level, throughout the year...

, vicuña wool
Vicuña
The vicuña or vicugna is one of two wild South American camelids, along with the guanaco, which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes. It is a relative of the llama, and is now believed to share a wild ancestor with domesticated alpacas, which are raised for their fibre...

, llama wool
Llama
The llama is a South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times....

, and camel hair
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

, generally used in the production of coat
Coat (clothing)
A coat is a long garment worn by both men and women, for warmth or fashion. Coats typically have long sleeves and are open down the front, closing by means of buttons, zippers, hook-and-loop fasteners, toggles, a belt, or a combination of some of these...

s, jacket
Jacket
A jacket is a hip- or waist-length garment for the upper body. A jacket typically has sleeves, and fastens in the front. A jacket is generally lighter, tighter-fitting, and less insulating than a coat, which is outerwear...

s, ponchos, blanket
Blanket
A blanket is a type of bedding, generally speaking, a large piece of cloth, intended to keep the user warm, especially while sleeping. Blankets are distinguished from sheets by their thickness and purpose; the thickest sheet is still thinner than the lightest blanket. Blankets are generally used...

s, and other warm coverings. Angora
Angora wool
Angora wool or Angora fibre refers to the downy coat produced by the Angora rabbit. While their names are similar, Angora fibre is distinct from mohair, which comes from the Angora goat. Angora is known for its softness, thin fibres, and what knitters refer to as a halo...

 refers to the long, thick, soft hair of the angora rabbit
Angora rabbit
The Angora rabbit is a variety of domestic rabbit bred for its long, soft wool. The Angora is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Ankara , Turkey, along with the Angora cat and Angora goat. The rabbits were popular pets with French royalty in the mid 18th century, and spread...

.

Wadmal
Wadmal
Wadmal is a coarse, dense, usually undyed wool fabric woven in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, and the Orkney, Faroe and Shetland Islands from the Middle Ages into the 18th century...

 is a coarse cloth made of wool, produced in Scandinavia, mostly 1000~1500CE.

Silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 is an animal textile made from the fibres of the cocoon of the Chinese silkworm. This is spun into a smooth, shiny fabric prized for its sleek texture.

Plant textiles

Grass
Poaceae
The Poaceae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called grasses, although the term "grass" is also applied to plants that are not in the Poaceae lineage, including the rushes and sedges...

, rush
Juncaceae
Juncaceae, the rush family, are a monocotyledonous family of flowering plants. There are eight genera and about 400 species. Members of the Juncaceae are slow-growing, rhizomatous, herbaceous plants, and they may superficially resemble grasses. They often grow on infertile soils in a wide range...

, hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

, and sisal
Sisal
Sisal is an agave that yields a stiff fibre traditionally used in making twine, rope and also dartboards. The term may refer either to the plant or the fibre, depending on context...

 are all used in making rope. In the first two, the entire plant is used for this purpose, while in the last two, only fibres from the plant are utilized. Coir
Coir
Coir is a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes, mattresses etc. Technically coir is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. Other uses of brown coir are in upholstery...

 (coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 fibre) is used in making twine
Twine
Twine is a light string or strong thread composed of two or more smaller strands or yarns twisted together. More generally, the term can be applied to any thin cord....

, and also in floormats, doormat
Doormat
Doormat may refer to:* A No Doubt song* Mat...

s, brush
Brush
A brush is a tool with bristles, wire or other filaments, used for cleaning, grooming hair, make up, painting, surface finishing and for many other purposes. It is one of the most basic and versatile tools known to mankind, and the average household may contain several dozen varieties...

es, mattress
Mattress
A mattress is a manufactured product to sleep or lie on, consisting of resilient materials and covered with an outer fabric or ticking. In the developed world it is typically part of a bed set and is placed upon a foundation....

es, floor tiles, and sacking.

Straw
Straw
Straw is an agricultural by-product, the dry stalks of cereal plants, after the grain and chaff have been removed. Straw makes up about half of the yield of cereal crops such as barley, oats, rice, rye and wheat. It has many uses, including fuel, livestock bedding and fodder, thatching and...

 and bamboo
Bamboo textiles
Bamboo textiles are cloth, yarn, and clothing made out of bamboo fibres. While historically used only for structural elements, such as bustles and the ribs of corsets, in recent years a range of technologies have been developed allowing bamboo fibre to be used in a wide range of textile and fashion...

 are both used to make hats. Straw, a dried form of grass, is also used for stuffing, as is kapok
Kapok
Ceiba pentandra is a tropical tree of the order Malvales and the family Malvaceae , native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, northern South America, and to tropical west Africa...

.

Fibres from pulpwood
Pulpwood
Pulpwood refers to timber with the principal use of making wood pulp for paper production.-Applications:* Trees raised specifically for pulp production account for 16% of world pulp production, old growth forests 9% and second- and third- and more generation forests account for the balance...

 trees, cotton, rice
Rice paper
Rice paper usually refers to paper made from parts of the rice plant, like rice straw or rice flour. The term is also used for paper made from or containing other plants, such as hemp, bamboo or mulberry...

, hemp, and nettle
Nettle
Nettles constitute between 24 and 39 species of flowering plants of the genus Urtica in the family Urticaceae, with a cosmopolitan though mainly temperate distribution. They are mostly herbaceous perennial plants, but some are annual and a few are shrubby...

 are used in making paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

.

Cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

, jute
Jute
Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which has been classified in the family Tiliaceae, or more recently in Malvaceae....

, hemp, modal
Modal (textile)
Modal is a cellulose fiber made by spinning reconstituted cellulose, often from beech trees. It is about 50% more hygroscopic per unit volume than cotton. It takes dye like cotton and is color-fast when washed in warm water. Modal is a kind of rayon.Textiles made from modal are resistant to...

 and even bamboo fibre are all used in clothing. Piña
Piña
Piña is a pineapple fiber made from the leaves of a pineapple plant and is commonly used in the Philippines. It is sometimes combined with silk or polyester to create a textile fabric. Piña's name comes from the Spanish word piña which literally means pineapple.- Production methods :Since piña is...

 (pineapple
Pineapple
Pineapple is the common name for a tropical plant and its edible fruit, which is actually a multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries. It was given the name pineapple due to its resemblance to a pine cone. The pineapple is by far the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae...

 fibre) and ramie
Ramie
Ramie is a flowering plant in the nettle family Urticaceae, native to eastern Asia. It is a herbaceous perennial growing to 1–2.5 m tall; the leaves are heart-shaped, 7–15 cm long and 6–12 cm broad, and white on the underside with dense small hairs—this gives it a silvery appearance;...

 are also fibres used in clothing, generally with a blend of other fibres such as cotton. Nettles have also been used to make a fibre and fabric very similar to hemp or flax. The use of milkweed stalk fibre has also been reported, but it tends to be somewhat weaker than other fibres like hemp or flax.

Acetate
Cellulose acetate
Cellulose acetate , first prepared in 1865, is the acetate ester of cellulose. Cellulose acetate is used as a film base in photography, as a component in some adhesives, and as a frame material for eyeglasses; it is also used as a synthetic fiber and in the manufacture of cigarette filters and...

 is used to increase the shininess of certain fabrics such as silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

s, velvet
Velvet
Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed,with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.The word 'velvety' is used as an adjective to mean -"smooth like velvet".-Composition:...

s, and taffeta
Taffeta
Taffeta is a crisp, smooth plain woven fabric made from silk or synthetic fibers. The word is Persian in origin, and means "twisted woven." It is considered to be a "high end" fabric, suitable for use in ball gowns, wedding dresses, and in interiors for curtains or wallcovering. There are two...

s.

Seaweed
Seaweed
Seaweed is a loose, colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae...

 is used in the production of textiles. A water-soluble fibre known as alginate
Alginic acid
Alginic acid, also called algin or alginate, is an anionic polysaccharide distributed widely in the cell walls of brown algae, where it, through binding water, forms a viscous gum. In extracted form it absorbs water quickly; it is capable of absorbing 200-300 times its own weight in water. Its...

 is produced and is used as a holding fibre; when the cloth is finished, the alginate is dissolved, leaving an open area

Lyocell
Lyocell
Lyocell is a regenerated cellulose fiber made from dissolving pulp . It was first manufactured in 1987 by Courtaulds Fibres UK at their pilot plant S25...

 is a man-made fabric derived from wood pulp. It is often described as a man-made silk
equivalent and is a tough fabric which is often blended with other fabrics – cotton for example.

Fibres from the stalks of plants, such as hemp, flax, and nettles, are also known as 'bast' fibres.

Mineral textiles

Asbestos
Asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

 and basalt fibre are used for vinyl tiles, sheeting, and adhesives, "transite" panels and siding, acoustical ceilings, stage curtains, and fire blankets.

Glass fibre is used in the production of spacesuits, ironing board and mattress covers, ropes and cables, reinforcement fibre for composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

s, insect netting, flame-retardant and protective fabric, soundproof, fireproof, and insulating fibres.

Metal fibre, metal foil, and metal wire have a variety of uses, including the production of cloth-of-gold and jewelery. Hardware cloth (US term only)is a coarse weave of steel wire, used in construction.

Synthetic textiles

All synthetic textiles are used primarily in the production of clothing.

Polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

 fibre is used in all types of clothing, either alone or blended with fibres such as cotton.

Aramid
Aramid
Aramid fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers. They are used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites, in bicycle tires, and as an asbestos substitute. The name is a portmanteau of "aromatic polyamide"...

 fibre (e.g. Twaron
Twaron
Twaron is the brandname of Teijin Aramid for a para-aramid. It is a heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibre developed in the early 1970s by the Dutch company AKZO, division Enka, later Akzo Industrial Fibers. The research name of the para-aramid fibre was originally Fiber X, but it was soon...

) is used for flame-retardant clothing, cut-protection, and armor.

Acrylic is a fibre used to imitate wools, including cashmere, and is often used in replacement of them.

Nylon
Nylon
Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

 is a fibre used to imitate silk; it is used in the production of pantyhose
Pantyhose
Pantyhose are sheer, close-fitting legwear, covering the wearer's body from the waist to the feet. Mostly considered to be a woman's and girl's garment, pantyhose appeared in the 1960s, and they provided a convenient alternative to stockings...

. Thicker nylon fibres are used in rope
Rope
A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

 and outdoor clothing.

Spandex
Spandex
Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity. It is strong, but less durable than natural Latex, its major non-synthetic competitor. It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was co-invented in 1959 by chemists C. L. Sandquist and Joseph Shivers at DuPont's...

 (trade name Lycra) is a polyurethane
Polyurethane
A polyurethane is any polymer composed of a chain of organic units joined by carbamate links. Polyurethane polymers are formed through step-growth polymerization, by reacting a monomer with another monomer in the presence of a catalyst.Polyurethanes are...

 product that can be made tight-fitting without impeding movement. It is used to make activewear, bra
Brassiere
A brassiere is an undergarment that covers, supports, and elevates the breasts. Since the late 19th century, it has replaced the corset as the most widely accepted method for supporting breasts....

s, and swimsuit
Swimsuit
A swimsuit, bathing suit, or swimming costume is an item of clothing designed to be worn by men, women or children while they are engaging in a water-based activity or water sports, such as swimming, water polo, diving, surfing, water skiing, or during activities in the sun, such as sun bathing.A...

s.

Olefin fibre is a fibre used in activewear, linings, and warm clothing. Olefins are hydrophobic, allowing them to dry quickly. A sintered felt
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

 of olefin fibres is sold under the trade name Tyvek
Tyvek
Tyvek is a brand of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers, a synthetic material; the name is a registered trademark of DuPont. The material is very strong; it is difficult to tear but can easily be cut with scissors or a knife...

.

Ingeo
Ingeo
Ingeo is the trademark name for NatureWorks LLC's synthetic fiber made from corn.The process to create Ingeo makes use of the carbon stored in plants by photosynthesis. Plant starches are broken down into sugars. The carbon and other elements in these sugars are then used to make a biopolymer...

 is a polylactide fibre blended with other fibres such as cotton and used in clothing. It is more hydrophilic than most other synthetics, allowing it to wick away perspiration.

Lurex is a metallic fibre used in clothing embellishment.

Milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 proteins have also been used to create synthetic fabric. Milk or casein
Casein
Casein is the name for a family of related phosphoprotein proteins . These proteins are commonly found in mammalian milk, making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk and between 60% and 65% of the proteins in human milk....

 fibre cloth was developed during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in Germany, and further developed in Italy and America during the 1930s. Milk fibre fabric is not very durable and wrinkles easily, but has a pH similar to human skin and possesses anti-bacterial properties. It is marketed as a biodegradable
Biodegradation
Biodegradation or biotic degradation or biotic decomposition is the chemical dissolution of materials by bacteria or other biological means...

, renewable
Renewable resource
A renewable resource is a natural resource with the ability of being replaced through biological or other natural processes and replenished with the passage of time...

 synthetic fibre.

Carbon fibre is mostly used in composite materials, together with resin, such as carbon fibre reinforced plastic. The fibres are made from polymer fibres through carbonization.

Production methods

Top ten exporters of textiles—2008
($ billion)
80.2
65.3
12.5
10.4
10.3
9.4
9.2
7.3
7.2
5.8
3.7
Source:

Weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

 is a textile production method which involves interlacing a set of longer threads
Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

 (called the warp
Warp (weaving)
In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft, woof, or filler. Each individual warp thread in a fabric is called a warp end or end. Warp means "that which is thrown...

) with a set of crossing threads (called the weft
Weft
In weaving, weft or woof is the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. In North America, it is sometimes referred to as the "fill" or the "filling yarn"....

). This is done on a frame or machine known as a loom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

, of which there are a number of types. Some weaving is still done by hand, but the vast majority is mechanised.

Knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

 and crochet
Crochet
Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by...

ing involve interlacing loops of yarn
Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

, which are formed either on a knitting needle
Knitting needle
A knitting needle or knitting pin is a tool in hand-knitting to produce knitted fabrics. They generally have a long shaft and taper at their end, but they are not nearly as sharp as sewing needles. Their purpose is two-fold...

 or on a crochet hook
Crochet hook
A crochet hook is a type of needle with a hook at one end used to draw thread through knotted loops. Only one crochet hook is needed to make crochet stitches. The crochet hook's earliest use appears to have been in the late 18th century or early 19th century.Typical materials for crochet hooks...

, together in a line. The two processes are different in that knitting has several active loops at one time, on the knitting needle waiting to interlock with another loop, while crocheting never has more than one active loop on the needle.

Spread Tow is a production method where the yarn are spread into thin tapes, and then the tapes are woven as warp and weft. This method is mostly used for composite materials; Spread Tow Fabrics can be made in carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

, aramide, etc.

Braid
Braid
A braid is a complex structure or pattern formed by intertwining three or more strands of flexible material such as textile fibres, wire, or human hair...

ing or plait
Plait
A plait may refer to:* Plait, also called a braid, intertwined strands of, for example, textile or hair* Plait, now called a pleat, a fold of fabric, used in clothing and upholstery* Plait , a fold in the columella of a gastropod mollusc...

ing involves twisting threads together into cloth. Knotting involves tying threads together and is used in making macrame
Macramé
Macramé or macrame is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of "hitching": full hitch and double half hitches...

.

Lace
Lace
Lace is an openwork fabric, patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand. The holes can be formed via removal of threads or cloth from a previously woven fabric, but more often open spaces are created as part of the lace fabric. Lace-making is an ancient craft. True lace was...

 is made by interlocking threads together independently, using a backing and any of the methods described above, to create a fine fabric with open holes in the work. Lace can be made by either hand or machine.

Carpet
Carpet
A carpet is a textile floor covering consisting of an upper layer of "pile" attached to a backing. The pile is generally either made from wool or a manmade fibre such as polypropylene,nylon or polyester and usually consists of twisted tufts which are often heat-treated to maintain their...

s, rugs, velvet
Velvet
Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed,with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.The word 'velvety' is used as an adjective to mean -"smooth like velvet".-Composition:...

, velour
Velour
Velour or velours is a plush, knitted fabric or textile. It is usually made from cotton but can also be made from synthetic materials such as polyester. Velour is used in a wide variety of applications, including clothing and upholstery....

, and velveteen
Velveteen
Velveteen is a cloth made in imitation of velvet. Normally cotton, the term is sometimes applied to a mixture of silk and cotton. Some velveteens are a kind of fustian, having a rib of velvet pile alternating with a plain depression. This fabric has a pile that is short , and is closely set. It has...

 are made by interlacing a secondary yarn through woven cloth, creating a tufted layer known as a nap
Nap (textile)
Primarily, nap is the raised surface on certain kinds of cloth, such as velvet. Nap can refer additionally to other surfaces that look like the surface of a napped cloth, such as the surface of a felt or beaver hat....

 or pile
Pile (textile)
In textiles, pile is the raised surface or nap of a fabric, which is made of upright loops or strands of yarn. Examples of pile textiles are carpets, corduroy, velvet, plush, and Turkish towels.. The word is derived from Latin pilus for "hair"...

.

Felt
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

ing involves pressing a mat of fibres together, and working them together until they become tangled. A liquid, such as soapy water, is usually added to lubricate the fibres, and to open up the microscopic scales on strands of wool.

Nonwoven textiles are manufactured by the bonding of fibres to make fabric. Bonding may be thermal or mechanical, or adhesives can be used.

Treatments

Textiles are often dyed
Dyeing
Dyeing is the process of adding color to textile products like fibers, yarns, and fabrics. Dyeing is normally done in a special solution containing dyes and particular chemical material. After dyeing, dye molecules have uncut Chemical bond with fiber molecules. The temperature and time controlling...

, with fabrics available in almost every colour. The dying process often requires several dozen gallons of water for each pound of clothing. Coloured designs in textiles can be created by weaving together fibres of different colours (tartan
Tartan
Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns...

 or Uzbek Ikat), adding coloured stitches to finished fabric (embroidery
Embroidery
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

), creating patterns by resist dyeing
Resist dyeing
Resist dyeing is a term for a number of traditional methods of dyeing textiles with patterns. Methods are used to "resist" or prevent the dye from reaching all the cloth, thereby creating a pattern and ground. The most common forms use wax, some type of paste, or a mechanical resist that...

 methods, tying off areas of cloth and dyeing the rest (tie-dyeing), or drawing wax designs on cloth and dyeing in between them (batik
Batik
Batik is a cloth that traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. Batik or fabrics with the traditional batik patterns are found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, Azerbaijan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, and Singapore.Javanese traditional batik, especially from...

), or using various printing processes on finished fabric. Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

, still used in India and elsewhere today, is the oldest of these dating back to at least 220CE in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. Textiles are also sometimes bleach
Bleach
Bleach refers to a number of chemicals that remove color, whiten, or disinfect, often via oxidation. Common chemical bleaches include household chlorine bleach , lye, oxygen bleach , and bleaching powder...

ed, making the textile pale or white.

Textiles are sometimes finished by chemical processes to change their characteristics. In the 19th century and early 20th century starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

ing was commonly used to make clothing more resistant to stains and wrinkles. Since the 1990s, with advances in technologies such as permanent press
Permanent press
A permanent press is a characteristic of fabric that has been chemically processed to resist wrinkles and hold its shape. Alternative terms include wrinkle resistant, wash and wear, no-iron,durable press, and easy care...

 process, finishing
Finishing (textiles)
In textile manufacturing, finishing refers to any process performed on yarn or fabric after weaving or knitting to improve the look, performance, or "hand" of the finished textile or clothing...

 agents have been used to strengthen fabrics and make them wrinkle free. More recently, nanomaterials research has led to additional advancements, with companies such as Nano-Tex and NanoHorizons developing permanent treatments based on metallic nanoparticle
Nanoparticle
In nanotechnology, a particle is defined as a small object that behaves as a whole unit in terms of its transport and properties. Particles are further classified according to size : in terms of diameter, coarse particles cover a range between 10,000 and 2,500 nanometers. Fine particles are sized...

s for making textiles more resistant to things such as water, stains, wrinkles, and pathogens such as bacteria and fungi.

More so today than ever before, textiles receive a range of treatments before they reach the end-user. From formaldehyde finishes (to improve crease-resistance) to biocidic finishes and from flame retardants to dyeing of many types of fabric, the possibilities are almost endless. However, many of these finishes may also have detrimental effects on the end user. A number of disperse, acid and reactive dyes (for example) have been shown to be allergenic to sensitive individuals. Further to this, specific dyes within this group have also been shown to induce purpuric contact dermatitis.

Although formaldehyde levels in clothing are unlikely to be at levels high enough to cause an allergic reaction, due to the presence of such a chemical, quality control and testing are of utmost importance. Flame retardants (mainly in the brominated form) are also of concern where the environment, and their potential toxicity, are concerned. Testing for these additives is possible at a number of commercial laboratories, it is also possible to have textiles tested for according to the Oeko-tex certification standard which contains limits levels for the use of certain chemicals in textiles products.

See also

  • Bettsometer
    Bettsometer
    A Bettsometer is a fabric degradation tester commonly used to measure or test the integrity of fabric coverings on aircraft and their wings....

  • Maya textiles
  • Quipu
    Quipu
    Quipus or khipus were recording devices used in the Inca Empire and its predecessor societies in the Andean region. A quipu usually consisted of colored, spun, and plied thread or strings from llama or alpaca hair. It could also be made of cotton cords...

  • Realia (library science)
    Realia (library science)
    In library classification systems, the term realia refers to three-dimensional objects from real life such as coins, tools, and textiles, that do not easily fit into the orderly categories of printed material...

  • Textile manufacturing
    Textile manufacturing
    Textile manufacturing is a major industry. It is based in the conversion of three types of fibre into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. These are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. Cotton remains the most important natural fibre, so is treated in depth...

  • Textile manufacturing terminology
    Textile manufacturing terminology
    -A:AbsorbencyAcetateAcrylicAida clothAlnageAlpacaAngoraAppliquéAramidArgyle-B:Backstrap loomBaizeBallistic nylonBatikBedford-CordBiasBinding...


  • Textiles of Lampung
  • Textiles of Mexico
    Textiles of Mexico
    Textiles of Mexico have a long history. The making of fibers, cloth and other textile goods has existed in the country since at least 1400 BCE. Fibers used during the pre-Hispanic period included those from the yucca, palm and maguey plants as well as the use of cotton in the hot lowlands of the...

  • Textiles of Oaxaca
    Textiles of Oaxaca
    The state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico has a noteworthy tradition of finely crafted textiles, particularly handmade embroidery and woven goods that frequently utilize a backstrap loom. Oaxaca is home to several different groups of indigenous peoples, each of which has a distinctive textile...

  • Textile preservation
    Textile preservation
    Textile preservation refers to the processes by which textiles are cared for and maintained to be preserved from future damage. The field falls under the category of art conservation as well as library preservation, depending on the type of collection...

  • Textile printing
    Textile printing
    Textile printing is the process of applying colour to fabric in definite patterns or designs. In properly printed fabrics the colour is bonded with the fiber, so as to resist washing and friction...

  • Textile recycling
    Textile recycling
    Textile recycling is the method of reusing or reprocessing used clothing, fibrous material and clothing scraps from the manufacturing process...

  • Timeline of clothing and textiles technology
    Timeline of clothing and textiles technology
    Timeline of clothing and textiles technology.*Prehistory – spindle used to create yarn from fibres.* – loom.*c. 28000 BC – Sewing needles in use at Kostenki in Russia....

  • Units of textile measurement
    Units of textile measurement
    Textile is measured in various units, such as: the denier and tex , super S , worst count, and yield ....



Sources

  • Duplessis, Robert. "Transitions to Capitalism in Early Modern Europe." (1997)
  • Good, Irene. 2006. "Textiles as a Medium of Exchange in Third Millennium B.C.E. Western Asia." In: Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World. Edited by Victor H. Mair. University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu. Pages 191–214. ISBN 978-0824828844
  • Fisher, Nora (Curator Emirta, Textiles & Costumes), Museum of International Folk Art
    Museum of International Folk Art
    The Museum of International Folk Art is a state-run institution in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. It is one of many cultural institutions operated by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs...

    . "Rio Grande Textiles." Introduction by Teresa Archuleta-Sagel. 196 pages with 125 black and white as well as color plates, Museum of New Mexico Press, Paperbound.
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