fibre to fabric notes

Fibre to Fabric

  • FABRIC: Cloth or other material produced by weaving or knitting fibres.
  • We wear clothes to protect our bodies against the weather- strong sunlight, extreme cold or heat, and rain.
  • Clothing was invented between 50,000 and 1,00,000 years ago.
  • The clothing of a person depends on various factors such as climate, culture, profession, weather changes etc.   
  • YARN: Spun thread used for knitting, weaving, or sewing.
  • FIBRE: A thread or filament from which a vegetable tissue, mineral substance, or textile is formed.
  • There are two kinds of Fibres – NATURAL & SYNTHETIC.

Natural Fibre

Natural fibres are obtained either from plants or animals.

​Plant source:

Plant Source are cotton, jute, coir


  • Cotton plant is a shrub.
  • Cotton is a soft fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant.
  • The fruit of the cotton plant is called cotton ball.
  • It grows in Black soil.
  • It requires warm climate with moderate rainfall.
  • It is a soft fibre.
  • It is sown between May & September.
  • Harvesting begins in October.
  • GINNING: cotton balls burst open after maturing. It is a process in which the cotton fibres are separated from the cotton seeds or lint.
  • SPINNING: A process of making yarn from fibers. In this process a mass of cotton wool fibers are drawn out and twisted. It is an art where the fiber is drawn out, twisted, and then wound onto a bobbin. By this, fibers come together to form a yarn. Spinning can be done by hand and charkha. On high scale production, spinning is done with the help of machines.
  • WEAVING: The process of combining and organizing two different sets of yarns together to make fabric is called weaving. It can be done on looms that are either - hand operated or power operated. It is a method of textile production in which two definite sets of threads are braid together at right angles forming a fabric or cloth.


  • It is the second most important fibre after cotton.
  • Jute is a fibre obtained from the bark of the jute plant.
  • It is a long, soft, shiny plant fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads.
  • One of the CHEAPEST natural fibre.
  • Useful properties: Biodegradability, Durability, & Strength.
  • Grows best in warm, humid climate, with plenty of rainfall.
  • Alluvial soil is best.
  • It is a rainy season crop.
  • In India, jute is mainly grown in West Bengal, Bihar & Assam.
  • Sowing is done between February and may.
  • It is harvested from June to September depending upon whether the sowings are early or late.
  • After harvesting -> the stalk of the plants are tied into bundles and soaked in water for 20 days, this process is called retting.
  • It softens the tissues and permits the fibres to be separated.
  • The fibres are then stripped from the stalks in long strand & washed in clear, running water. Then it is dried for 2-3 days before sending it to the mills.
  • Use- sacks, coarse cloth, curtains, carpet, chair cover, hessian cloth.


  • Obtained from the outer covering or the husk of the coconut.
  • Use – ropes, floor covering and also stuffing in mattresses and pillows.



  • It is obtained from the silky hairs that surround the seeds of kapok trees that grows in India & Malaysia.
  • It is light and fluffy.
  • Used for stuffing cushions, mattress, sound insulation.

Animal source

Animal Source are wool, silk


  • Derived from the hair of sheep.
  • SHEARING – the process of removing the wool from ship using a special type of clippers.
  • KNITTING - In knitting, a single yarn is used to make a fabric. The process of making a fabric by interlocking loops of single yarn with knitting needles or machines, is called knitting. Knitting is done by hand and also on machines.
  • Wool is fluffy, hence retains air. -> Air is bad conductor of heat -> thus woolen cloths retains the body heat and makes us feel warm in cold weather.
  • Australia – leading producer of wool in the world.
  • India – ranks 9th.



  • Silk is obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm.
  • Silkworms feed on the leaves of mulberry plant.
  • India has the unique distinction of being the only country producing all the five kinds of silk namely, Mulberry, Eri, Muga, Tropical Tasar and Temperate Tasar.
  • The caterpillars of the domestic silk moth (also called ‘Bombyx mori’) are the most commonly used silkworm species in sericulture
  • Each worm spins a continuous thread up to 800 meter long to make a cocoon.
  • COCOON: The silky covering spun by the silkworm (or caterpillar) of silk moth is called cocoon. The cocoon is made by silkworm to protect its development as pupa.
  • The cocoon is boiled in water to kill the silkworm & then the silk fibre is removed.
  • SERICULTURE: Rearing of silkworms for production of silk is called sericulture.
  • First developed in China.

Synthetic Fibres

  • For thousands of years natural fibres were the only ones available for making fabrics.
  • Synthetic fibres are man-made fibres, made only from polymers found in natural gas and the by-products of petroleum.
  • Examples of synthetic fibres are polyester, nylon and acrylic.
  • Clothes made from synthetic fibres are stronger and do not wrinkle easily.
  • Can not absorb sweat, hence un suitable for hot and humid weather.

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