Mostly, fabrics use natural fibers obtained from various sources found in nature. This is then subjected to different textile manufacturing techniques such as spinning, knitting, and weaving to create a piece of fabric. Other than that, most newer kinds of fabrics use synthetic fibers, which are produced artificially as opposed to natural fibers. Synthetic fabrics have also become commonplace along with naturally made ones in the textile market. They have several benefits compared to natural fibers such as added strength, absorbing properties and fast dyeability. The different types of synthetic fibers used in clothing are described below.
Polyester is a popular synthetic fabric used to create different clothing. Discovered in the 1930s, polyester has found its use in almost every kind of clothing. The manufacturing technique of polyester is similar to that of nylon, as the plastic gets heated and passed through spinnerets to produce the thin fiber for weaving. It is highly durable and tends to last longer because it tends to retain its properties even during daily usage and washing.
Introduced in 1935, nylon has become one of the most common synthetic fabrics used for a variety of clothing and other needs. The manufacturing process of nylon involves the use of plastic yarn threads, and weaving them to create a piece of fabric. Nylon, with its durability and flexibility, has found its way into sports clothing and other forms of textiles.
Rayon is yet another synthetic fiber, although its origins are not fully artificial. Cellulose, which is a naturally occurring substance, is extracted for the process of making rayon. The cellulose then undergoes various manufacturing processes to convert into rayon fabric. Rayon has several advantages such as durability, good absorbent properties, and easier dyeing.
Sports clothing mainly uses spandex due to their lightweight and flexibility. The fibers used for spandex are made from different materials such as prepolymers, stabilizers, and colorants. A spandex cloth has good stretchable properties, making it ideal for use in sportswear. Besides, spandex has other uses such as in making swimsuits and surgical apparels.
Acrylic, another commonly used synthetic material, has similarities with natural wool. The fiber used to make acrylic uses a combination of acrylonitrile and a comonomers that enables easy dyeing and other manufacturing processes. Acrylic is an alternative to wool and is used for making socks, rugs, and sweaters. The lightweight and soft texture of acrylic gives the wearer more comfort than wool.