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Natural fibres

Angora rabbit

Camel family



Silk Cocoon

Spinning silk yarn



Microscopic view of wool fibre Spider silk is a remarkably strong material. Its tensile strength is superior to that of highgrade steel, and as strong as Aramid filaments, such as Twaron or Kevlar. Most importantly, spider silk is extremely lightweight: a strand of spider silk long enough to circle the earth would weigh less than 16 ounces (450 g).[8] Spider silk is also especially ductile, able to stretch up to 40% of its length without breaking. This gives it a very high toughness (or work to fracture), which "equals that of commercial polyaramid (aromatic nylon) filaments, which themselves are benchmarks of modern polymer fiber technology."[9]

A gardener spider spinning its web Spidersilk

Coir segregation Coir fibers are found between the husk and the outer shell of a coconut. The individual fiber cells are narrow and hollow, with thick walls made of cellulose.

Structure of spider silk. Inside a typical fiber, one finds crystalline regions separated by amorphous linkages. The crystals are betasheets that have assembled together.

Acrylic fibre


Ramie (china grass) Ramie is one of the strongest natural fibers. It exhibits even greater strength when wet. Ramie fiber is known especially for its ability to hold shape, reduce wrinkling, and introduce a silky lustre to the fabric appearance. It is not as durable as other fibers, and so is usually used as a blend with other fibers such as cotton or wool. It is similar to flax in absorbency, density and microscopic appearance. However it will not dye as well as cotton. Because of its high molecular crystallinity, ramie is stiff and brittle and will break if folded repeatedly in the same place; it lacks resiliency and is low in elasticity and elongation potential.[

Spinning of rayon fibres

Asbestos fibres Fibrous asbestos on muscovite

Fabric woven by carbon fibres

A 6 m diameter carbon filament (running from bottom left to top right) compared to a human hair.

Precursors for carbon fibers are PAN, rayon and pitch. Carbon fiber filament yarns are used in several processing techniques: the direct uses are for prepregging, filament winding, pultrusion, weaving, braiding etc. Carbon fiber yarn is rated by the linear density (weight per unit length = 1 g/1000 m = tex) or by number of filaments per yarn count, in thousands. For example, 200 tex for 3,000 filaments of carbon fiber is three times as strong as 1,000 carbon fibers but is also three times as heavy. This thread can then be used to weave a carbon fiber filament fabric or cloth. The appearance of this fabric generally depends on the linear density of the yarn and the weave chosen. Some commonly used types of weave are twill, satin and plain.

Microfiber cloth of non-rugged type. Suitable for cleaning sensitive surfaces. Microfiber is a fiber with less than 1 denier per filament. (Denier is a measure of linear density and is often used to describe of the size of a fiber or filament. Nine thousand meters of a one-denier fiber weighs one gram.) Fibers are combined to form yarns. Yarns are knitted or woven in a variety of constructions. While many microfibers are made of polyester, they can also be composed of polyamide (nylon) or other polymers.

Lyocell was introduced to consumers in 1991 and originally marketed as a type of Rayon. The only current manufacturer in the United States is Lenzing Inc, who market it under the trademarked brand name Tencel. Lyocell is produced from wood pulp cellulose. Lyocell shares many properties with other cellulosic fibers such as cotton, linen, ramie and rayon. Some main characteristics of lyocell fibers are that it is soft, absorbent, very strong when wet or dry, and resistant to wrinkles; it can be machine- or handwashed or drycleaned, it drapes well, and it can be dyed many colors, as well as simulating a variety of textures like suede, leather, or silk.