Texture Of cotton
Information on Different Types of Textile Fibers (Fibres)
Fiber (American English) or Fibre (International English) are hair-like materials (they look like threads) that form the building blocks from which yarn and fabric are made.
In order to determine a fabric's appearance, how it would wear and its care, it is important to understand the characteristics of the fibers from which the fabric is made.
There are basically two groups of fibers:
- Natural fibers, consisting of animal and plant fibers
- Man-made or manufactured/synthetic fibers
There are two types of Angora:
- Mohair (made from the Angora Goat)
- Angora Rabbit Hair (made from the Angora Rabbit)
Typically when we talk about Angora, we refer to Angora Rabbit Hair, while the fibers from the Angora Goat are more commonly known as Mohair.
There are 4 different angora rabbit breeds, namely, English, French, Satin and Giant. Angora wool harvested from these rabbits are lightweight, silky, fine, and very soft. It is 7 times warmer than wool, and is ideal for baby clothes, winter underwear, sweaters and mittens. As only a small amount of wool can be harvested from these adorable creatures, angora is often combined with other fibers to minimize the high cost of this luxurious fiber.
Camel Family (Alpaca/Llama/Camel/Vicuna)
Yarns made from the fibers of these animals are very soft, lustrous, lightweight and warm.
Alpaca is often used for the manufacture of warm, luxurious apparel.
The down hairs of the Llama will produce a soft yarn also suitable for the manufacture of apparel.
Camel hair is from the extremely soft and fine fur from the undercoat of the camel. Camel's hair can be used alone but is most often combined with fine wool for overcoating, topcoating, sportswear and sports hosiery.
Vicuna is the world´s most valuable fiber. Vicuna is small and wild and belongs to the Camel family. It yields the finest animal fiber in the world. This fiber is rare and very expensive.
Cashmere, also known as the fiber of kings, is produced from the fine, soft undercoat of hair of the Kashmir goat. Sixty percent of the world's supply of cashmere is produced in China, Mongolia and Tibet, and the remainder from Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Kashmere, Australia and New Zealand.
Cashmere yarn is extremely soft, lightweight, yet very warm. It is very luxurious and possesses excellent drape. As each Kashmir goat is capable of producing an average of only 4-6 ounces of underdown per year, Cashmere is hence very expensive.
Made from the hairs of the Angora goat, mohair is durable, warm, extremely lightweight, and lustrous with a soft hand. It is the most resilient natural textile fiber, and is often combined with other fibers in the production of apparel and home fashion items.
The finest grade of mohair is Kid Mohair, obtained from the first shearing of a young angora goat. Kid Mohair possesses the unique feature of natural wicking properties that takes perspiration away from the skin, preventing bacterial build up and odor.
Wool is a natural fiber made from the fleece of sheep. Talk about wool and it conjures up a picture of cozy warmth. However, wool is not uniform among all sheep. Sheep live in a wide variety of climates and conditions, and develop their wool to suit the conditions under which they live or are bred.
Today there are different grades of wool for different uses. There are coarse wools for carpets, soft fine wools for undergarments, highly crimped wools for bulky woolen yarns, wools with very long fibers for strong fine worsted yarns - a wide range from which the textile manufacturers can choose for a specific product.