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A fibre is a piece of material which is long, thin and flexible, like a length of thread. Plant fibres are the basis of fabric such as cotton. Silk and wool fibres come from animals. In the 20th century many artificial fibres were invented like nylon and polyester.
There are many uses for fibres. They can be spun together into filaments, thread, string or rope. They can be woven in fabric or in composite materials. They can also be matted into sheets to make products such as paper or felt (as felt hats). Synthetic fibres are the cheapest to make.
- Vegetable fibers are based on arrangements of cellulose, often with lignin. Examples include cotton, hemp, jute, flax, abaca, piña, ramie, sisal, bagasse, and banana. Plant fibers are used to make paper and textile (cloth). It is also used as dietary fiber.
- Wood fiber is fiber that gotten from trees. They include groundwood, lacebark, thermomechanical pulp (TMP), and bleached or unbleached kraft or sulfite pulps.
- Animal fibers mainly consist of proteins. Examples are silkworm silk, spider silk, sinew, catgut, wool, sea silk and hair.
- Mineral fibers include the asbestos group. Asbestos is the only long mineral fiber that can be found in nature. Six minerals have been classified as "asbestos". They include chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite. Short, fiber-like minerals include wollastonite and palygorskite.
- Biological fibers also known as fibrous proteins or protein filaments consist of biologically important proteins, mutations or other genetic defects can lead to severe diseases. For example, the collagen family of proteins, tendon, muscle proteins like actin, cell proteins like microtubules and many others, spider silk, sinew and hair etc.
Man-made are fibers that are changed by man. Man-made fibers consist of regenerated fibers and synthetic fibers.
Semi-synthetic fibers are made from raw materials with natural long-chain polymer structures. They are only changed and partially degraded by chemical processes. The first semi-synthetic fiber is rayon. Most semi-synthetic fibers are cellulose regenerated fibers.
Cellulose regenerated fibers
Cellulose fibers are a type of man-made fibers, regenerated from natural cellulose. The cellulose comes from many sources: rayon comes from tree wood fiber, bamboo fiber comes from bamboo, seacell comes from seaweed, etc.
Some examples of this type of fiber are:
Synthetic fibers come from synthetic materials such as petrochemicals.
Silicon carbide fiber
- Polymer fibers are a type of man-made fibers, which are based on synthetic chemicals. These fibers are made from:
- Polyamide nylon
- PET or PBT polyester
- Phenol-formaldehyde (PF)
- Polyvinyl chloride fiber (PVC) vinyon
- Polyolefins (PP and PE) olefin fiber
- Acrylic polyesters
- Aromatic polyamids (aramids)
- Polyethylene (PE), eventually with extremely long chains / HMPE
- Elastomers can even be used
- Polyurethane fiber
- Kadolph, Sara J. (2001). Textiles. Langford, Anna. (9th ed ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. . . https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/45136560.
- Kauffman, George B. (1993). "Rayon: The first semi-synthetic fiber product" (in en). Journal of Chemical Education 70 (11): 887. . . https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed070p887.