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Textiles Fibres and Fabrics

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Presentation on theme: "Textiles Fibres and Fabrics"— Presentation transcript:

1 Textiles Fibres and Fabrics
These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the Notes Page. This icon indicates that the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. 1 of 22 © Boardworks Ltd 2005

2 Learning objectives Learning objectives
To understand what fibres are, and recognize the differences between natural and manufactured fibres. To realize how fibres become fabric through weaving, knitting and non-woven methods. To research and record the fabric properties of a selection of natural and manufactured fabrics. Learning objectives 2 of 22 © Boardworks Ltd 2005

3 This wool yarn is made from staple fibres.
Introduction Fabrics are made up from fibres. Fibres come in different lengths: Staple fibres are only a few centimetres in length and are normally spun into a yarn. Filament fibres are usually several kilometres in length, and can be chopped up or left as they are. Filament fibres can be twisted or looped to produce thicker yarns. This wool yarn is made from staple fibres. Image of wool yarn courtesy of Rowan Yarns ( Image of filament fibres provided courtesy of Swicofil ( Dyed viscose filament yarn

4 What are fibres? The questions in this true or false quiz introduce topics covered by the rest of this presentation. You may wish to use it here, or as a revision or plenary activity at the end of the presentation.

5 Natural fibres Fibres can be broken down into two main categories – natural and manufactured. Natural fibres are either animal or plant-based. Silk, wool and hair are all animal fibres. Silk is made by silk worms, wool comes from sheep and hair can come from a number of animals including rabbit (angora), camel, horse and goat (cashmere and mohair). Plant fibres include cotton and linen. The fibres come from different parts of plants. Cotton and coir come from the seed, while linen comes from the stem of flax plants. Cotton fibres grow on cotton plants, forming around the seeds in the cotton boll.

6 Synthetic fibres Synthetic fibres and regenerated fibres are manufactured. All manufactured fibres start as filament fibres. Regenerated fibres are made from natural materials, such as cellulose from wood, that are chemically processed. Viscose and rayon are regenerated fibres. Synthetic fibres are all man-made from organic polymers, made by refining crude oil or coal. Polyester, nylon and acrylic are synthetic fibres. Nylon was the first synthetic fibre to be created from chemicals obtained from crude oil.

7 Modern fibres Microfibres are very fine synthetic fibres, often made from polyester and polyamide. They can be blended with other fibres such as cotton. Fabric made from microfibres is lightweight and durable, and can be waterproof. This top is made from lyocell, a microfibre made from cellullose-derived wood-pulp. It is lightweight, breathable and crease-resistant. ‘Smart’ fibres are synthetic fibres which alter their properties in response to their environment, for example, changing colour in reaction to light or heat.

8 Where do fibres come from?

9 Turning fibres into yarns – carding
Staple fibres are matted together and need to be pulled apart. Traditionally, this was done using two wire brushes (carders), pulled in opposite directions. Image of industrial carding machine courtesy of Ramella Pietro & C ( The carding process can also now be done on an industrial scale.

10 Turning fibres into yarns – spinning
Yarns are fibres that have been spun (twisted) together. There are two methods of spinning: the Worsted Spinning System which produces a smooth yarn and the Woollen Spinning System which produces a more hairy yarn. Yarns can be spun in two directions: Z twist is spun in a clockwise direction S twist in spun in an anticlockwise direction.

11 Fabric types

12 Woven fabric A loom is used to weave fabric.
The vertical yarns or warp yarns are connected to the loom. Then weft yarns are threaded alternatively over and under the warp yarns to produce the fabric. This method produces plain weave. This weaver in Mali, West Africa, is using a hand loom to produce strips of cotton cloth, which will then be sewn together and dyed.

13 Alternative weaves

14 Alternative weaves Jacquard weave is an extremely complex fabric that uses its own specific loom. It uses CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture) to produce the end piece. Therefore, this method is expensive but the end product is of a high quality. Image courtesy of Scotweave (

15 Knitted fabrics There are two types of knitted fabrics. Both processes work by forming interlocking loops of yarn. Weft knitting is when the loops run across the fabric. Weft knitting can be constructed by hand and will unravel if the yarn is broken. The most common example of weft knitting is jersey. Warp knitting is when the loops run vertically. This is constructed using a machine and produces a sturdier fabric. This method hardly ever ladders and keeps its shape.

16 Non-woven fabrics Felting is a quick and cheap method of producing fabric. A combination of pressure, moisture and heat is used to form the fibres into fabric. Felt is not very strong but will not fray when cut. It can be formed (steamed) into shapes without the need for seams. Bonding is another method of producing non-woven fabric. The fibres are bonded together by using stitching or adhesive. Images courtesy of Specialist Crafts ( Laminating is when a number of fabrics are bonded together. Woven, knitted, felted or bonded fabrics can be combined to produce a fabric with a mixture of properties.

17 Fabrics The fabric items are:
clothing (worn by the four people pictured) the roof insulation the bean bag the girl is sitting on at the top of the house the rag doll the girl is holding the plaster on the girl’s knee the bedding on the bed on the first floor of the house the carpet (on all three floors of the house) the sofa in the living room the cushions on the sofa the rug on the floor of the living room the tent in the garden the tennis ball and racket.

18 Sailing clothes need to be wind and waterproof.
Fabric properties Designers will always take fabric properties into consideration when designing a garment/textile product. To choose the correct fabric they will ask a number of questions. Does the item need to be windproof? Will the item need to keep heat in? Does the item need to be waterproof? How often will the item be washed? Does the item need any special protection? How will the item be manufactured? Does the item need to stretch? Will the item be subjected to much wear and tear? Sailing clothes need to be wind and waterproof. Image courtesy of Musto (

19 Fabric properties All fabrics have properties that make them suitable for particular end products. Cotton Polyester Creases easily/cheap Crease resistant/stretchy When you know a fabric’s properties it makes it easy to understand why mixing or blending fibres can produce an enhanced fabric. Cotton Polyester Poly/cotton Crease resistant/cheap/stretchy

20 Fabric properties Task
Take a swatch sample of the following fabrics and draw up your own chart with the following headings: Warmth, Elasticity, Strength, Durability, Crease Resistance, Absorbency, Flammability. Include your own personal description. COTTON WOOL LINEN NYLON Students could complete this task as an individual or group activity. Websites with useful information include: POLYESTER ACRYLIC SILK ELASTANE

21 Which fabric am I?

22 Key points Fibres come in two lengths – staple fibres and filament fibres. Fibres can be natural or manufactured. Manufactured fibres can be synthetic or regenerated. Fibres are spun to make yarn. Fibres are made into fabric by weaving, knitting or non-woven methods, such as bonding. Fabrics have different properties depending on the fibres they have been made from. These properties make them suitable for different uses. Key points 22 of 22 © Boardworks Ltd 2005

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