Natural fibre , any hairlike raw material directly obtainable from an animal, vegetable, or mineral source and convertible into nonwoven fabrics such as felt or paper or, after spinning into yarns, into woven cloth. A natural fibre may be further defined as an agglomeration of cells in which the diameter is negligible in comparison with the length. Although nature abounds in fibrous materials, especially cellulosic types such as cotton , wood , grains, and straw , only a small number can be used for textile products or other industrial purposes. Apart from economic considerations, the usefulness of a fibre for commercial purposes is determined by such properties as length, strength, pliability, elasticity, abrasion resistance, absorbency, and various surface properties. Most textile fibres are slender, flexible, and relatively strong. They are elastic in that they stretch when put under tension and then partially or completely return to their original length when the tension is removed.
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- Environmental and Ethical Issues In The Production Of Natural Fabrics and Fibres
- Textile manufacturing
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Fibre is the starting point of the textile chain. First of all, fibre is obtained from the source, which is then spun into yarn. Yarn is then woven or knitted into fabric. Fibres can be classified into 2 main categories: natural and synthetic.
Natural fibres are obtained from natural sources such as animals and plants, while those which are not obtained from natural sources are called synthetic fibres. This article mainly aims at studying plant and animal fibres - the traditional sources as well as the recently developed ones.
The following are some of the popular fibres used in the textile industry:. It is one of the traditional fibres used in the textile industry. It is one of the most preferable fibres because the cloth made from it is durable, at the same time having a good drape. Moreover, it is moisture-absorbent and smooth to the touch. One of the other qualities of cotton fabric is that it takes time to dry.
It also creases easily, requiring regular ironing. It is a fibre that has been used in the textile industry since ages. The properties of linen fabric are very much similar to cotton fabric.
Like cotton, linen fabric is also highly moisture-absorbent and durable. It creases easily and requires ironing. However, it is stiffer as compared to cotton.
Linen is usually used in the manufacture of summer clothes and home linen. It is obtained from the jute plant and is popularly known as Golden fibre on account of the golden sheen that it possesses. On account of its high strength, it is perfect for use in packaging material. Jute is sometimes blended with other fabrics or even used individually in the production of apparel. However, it does not have as good a drape as cotton and creases easily.
Bangladesh in India is one of the major sources of jute in India. It is obtained from silk worms. The most popular kind of silk is obtained from the mulberry silk worm.
The silk that is obtained from other varieties of silk worms is called wild silk. China, India, Nepal and Europe have been traditional producers of good quality silk on a large scale. Silk fibre has a unique sheen. It is very smooth to the touch, at the same time being strong. These qualities made it the fabric of choice for sarees and dress materials. Apart from this, silk is also used for nightwear, bed linen, underwear as well as home furnishings.
Wool fabric is soft to the touch and provides warmth to the weather, due to which it is the preferred choice for winter apparel. Wool has other features such as elasticity and good drape. Moreover, it can be easily dyed in different colors, thus making it suitable for use in fashionable winter apparel.
The common type of wool used for the production of apparel is Merino wool, obtained from the Merino sheep. Merino wool is the softest wool in the world. The wool industry in the world is largely spread out in Australia, China and New Zealand. Cargill Inc. The fabric made from corn fibre is easy to care for, cheap and very comfortable to wear. Moreover, it is stain-resistant and UV resistant.
This fabric can be used for several applications such as readymade apparel, diapers, bedding, carpets and upholstery. Moreover, the production of this fabric requires the use of less fuel, and is hence environment-friendly as well. However, in recent times, scientists have come up with an innovation wherein silk is produced from spiders. As opposed to silkworms, spiders produce silk at normal temperature, due to which the process is environment-friendly as well.
Spider silk is useful for the production of light-weight apparel. Coir fibre is thick and strong and is hence ideal for use in rugs, sacks and brushes. If the coir is harvested while the coconuts are tender, the fibre is white in color; however, it is brown-colored if harvested on maturity. The coir industry in India is largely concentrated in Kerala. Apart from India, Sri Lanka is a major producer of coir fibre. The hair of the yak is very useful in the production of warm clothes, mats and sacks.
This is because of its qualities such as warmth and strength. Yak fibre is usually found in black and piebald. In rare cases, white yak hair is also obtained. This fibre has been used in the textile industry since long. Usually, camel fibre is found in light brown, dark brown and reddish brown shades. It is soft to the touch and the apparel made from it is quite durable. Camel fibre from Mongolia is very popular. Since long, the soft hair of llamas is used for the production of apparel, while rougher hair is used in rugs and wall hangings.
Llama fibre is normally available in white, black, grey, brown as well as reddish brown colors. Llamas and alpacas are very much similar to each other in appearance. However, the llama is larger in size and has a longer head as compared to an alpaca.
Alpacas usually have the same color of hair throughout their bodies, while it might differ in case of llamas. Alpaca fibre is used for the preparation of winter apparel. Alpaca wool is very much similar to sheep wool, but lighter in weight, warmer and softer to the touch.
Generally, alpaca wool is available in white color; however, colors such as blackish blue, brown, silvery gray and blackish brown are also found.
Alpaca fibre has been used in the textile industry since centuries. The popularity of clothing made from alpaca fibre is rising since the last few years. This is mainly because raising alpaca has a lesser impact on the environment as compared to other wool-bearing animals. Apparel producers sometimes make use of a blend of alpaca fibre and Merino wool to get the dual benefit of durability and warmth. It has been in use since centuries in the textile industry.
Legend has it that Ramie fibre was used in clothes for mummies in Egypt as long back as BC. The fabric produced using Ramie fibre is strong, silky, shiny and does not crease easily. In spite of its strength, the use of Ramie fibre in the textile industry is not all that extensive, mainly on account of the labor, time and expenditure involved in the extraction and cleaning of the fibre.
It is useful in the production of sewing thread, filter clothes, fishing nets and packaging material. Sometimes, it is used in the production of household fabrics and in apparel, usually in combination with some other fabric such as wool.
China, Japan, Philippines and Brazil are the leading producers of Ramie fibre. Usually, the fibre is creamy white in color and is silky to the touch after processing is done on it.
The hair of the Angora rabbit is long and soft and is found in a variety of colors. Angora wool has been used in the production of sweaters and suits since long back. On account of its low elasticity, it is blended with wool for producing apparel. Typically, the hair of dogs such as the bearded collies, shepherd dogs, sheepdogs, poodles, terriers, Shih Tzus, dachshunds and wool hounds is used in the production of apparel.
Chiengora hair, being warm and soft to the touch, is widely used in winter clothing and blankets. Sometimes, some other fibre such as wool is mixed with Chiengora fibre for the production of apparel or blankets. It is also popularly known as Pashmina.
China has emerged as the largest producer of Cashmere fibre. Cashmere fibre is extremely soft, lightweight, fine and warm. Because of these qualities, it is very useful in the production of winter apparel, jackets, pants, blankets and scarves.
Typically, Cashmere fibre is available in different shades of grey, white and black. It possesses qualities such as warmth, light weight, crease resistance, durability and softness. It is useful in the production of winter apparel. Apart from this, it is also useful in the production of blankets, rugs and scarves. It is a traditional fibre used in the textile industry.
It is lustrous and strong and dyes easily. Moreover, it is soft to the touch and lightweight. It is ideal for use in summer wear, underwear, sleepwear, sportswear, children's wear as well as home textiles. Obtained from the bamboo plant, it possesses several qualities such as smoothness and durability. It is environment-friendly as well, requiring fewer pesticides as compared to cotton cultivation.
The term fiber or fibre  is used for a class of materials that consist of continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread. Fibers are of great importance in the biology of both plants and animals , for holding tissues together. Humans use natural and synthetic fibers for diverse purposes. For instance, some fibers are spun into filaments, thread, string or rope. Some are components of composite materials, others are matted into sheets for products such as paper or felt.
Environmental and Ethical Issues In The Production Of Natural Fabrics and Fibres
Cotton fibre can be woven or knitted into fabrics including velvet, corduroy, chambray, velour, jersey and flannel. Cotton can be used to create dozens of different fabric types for a range of end-uses, including blends with other natural fibres like wool, and synthetic fibres like polyester. In addition to textile products like underwear, socks and t-shirts, cotton is also used in fishnets, coffee filters, tents, book binding and archival paper. Linters are the very short fibres that remain on the cottonseed after ginning, and are used to produce goods such as bandages, swabs, bank notes, cotton buds and x-rays.
The animal fibers used most commonly both in the manufacturing world as well as by the hand spinners are wool from domestic sheep and silk. Also very popular are alpaca fibre and mohair from Angora goats. Unusual fibre such as Angora wool from rabbits and Chiengora from dogs also exist, but are rarely used for mass production. Not all animal fibers have the same properties, and even within a species the fiber is not consistent.
The hemp fibre industry in Canada is in its early stages of development. A number of fibre separation plants coupled with biocomposite manufacturing lines hempcrete, bioplastic, fibre mats, insulation, etc. Some smaller facilities focused on processing hemp fibre for textile applications are also likely to appear on the Prairies. Each commercial processing plant will be extending specific requirements regarding management of hemp harvest, including straight fibre cutting or post-combine straw, retting, etc. Straw specifications will depend on the end use of the fibre. Until the hemp fibre market is fully established, the processors will buy existing inventory of hemp stalks primarily post-grain harvest material but eventually will contract acres of hemp as a designated fibre crop and will develop their own harvesting protocols. The decortication plant at Vegreville has been in operation since This research and pre-commercial production facility operates the Van Dommele processing system with a straw input of 1 tonne per hour.
Handmade Paper from Pineapple Fibers: Recycled Raw Materials Turned Value-added Product
As with many discoveries of early man, anthropologists believe the use of wool came out of the challenge to survive. In seeking means of protection and warmth, humans in the Neolithic Age wore animal pelts as clothing. Finding the pelts not only warm and comfortable but also durable, they soon began to develop the basic processes and primitive tools for making wool. By B.
Abstract Farmers annually harvest natural fibers from alpacas, goats, llamas, rabbits, and sheep. However, they have seen a decline in consumer demand due to the increased production of synthetics. Despite global trends of decline, New England farms involved in fiber production have increased. Data from and suggest that the niche market of textile artists can help farmers increase their profits through direct marketing strategies. Extension professionals can use these strategies to develop educational materials and workshops. Farmers across the globe harvest tons of natural fibers from alpacas, goats, llamas, rabbits, sheep, and other more exotic fiber-producing animals such as bison. However, these farmers have seen a decline in consumer demand due to the increased production of synthetics such as nylon and polyester Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations [FAO], This website suggests five key reasons for choosing natural fibers: 1 they are healthy to wear, 2 they provide jobs for small-scale farmers, 3 they are sustainable and environmentally friendly, 4 they have many uses, and 5 they are fashionable FAO, Although the IYNF International Steering Committee defined natural fibers as "those renewable natural fibers of plant or animal origin which can be easily transformed into a yarn for textiles" Common Fund for Commodities, , v.
Most textile materials originate from a single, fine structure called a fibre. Some fibres are naturally short in length and are known as staple fibres , eg cotton, wool and linen. Other manufactured synthetic fibres are known as continuous filament , eg polyester and nylon. Natural polymers , also known as natural fibres, come from animals, insects or plants. They all biodegrade so are sustainable , although the processing uses energy.
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Organic cat litter as private label product
Plant and animal fibers have provided humans with, among other things, shelter, vessels in which to hold water and cook food, and thread for making fabrics. Even tho most of the world has abandoned mud and waddle home construction and baskets smeared with clay as water vessels or cooking utensils, plant fibers as a source of weaving still remains current in use. In prehistoric times humans probably obtained flexible plant fibers simply by pulling off strips of bark or cutting stems and leaves onto thin, weavable ribbons. Altho these materials can be lashed and interlaced into mats and baskets, they produce only coarse, stiff items.
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Natural fibers have been used historically to produce our clothes, carpets, cordage, paper, ships sails, and insulation and building materials. The use of natural fibers, both plant, and animal, to meet our needs goes back thousands of years and plays a significant role in history. In the history of natural fibers, one of the oldest recorded uses of plant fibre for fabrics is the use of hemp which was already being cultivated in China in BC.
Many of us tend to believe that natural fibres, being products of nature, are naturally better than their synthetic counterparts. However, this isn't always the case. The production of most natural fibres such as cotton, wool and silk have their fair share of environmental and ethical issues too - it's just that 'natural' is often associated with 'good'. Although the impact on the environment, workers and animals or plants involved in the production varies for each fibre, the impacts nevertheless exist.
Our cellulose and dietary fibre concentrates made from wheat , oats and bamboo optimise the production and the product properties of foods. Our multifunctional plant fibres and additives are used in processing bread and baked goods, meat and meat products, cheese, pasta and noodles, instant products and spices, dietetic food, confectionery and convenience food. Lignocellulose and cellulose are nutrient-independent and standardisable crude fibre components. Our cellulose reduces the energy content of pet food for overweight dogs and cats.