Textiles and ultimately clothing start with fibres

Know Your Fibres

Textiles and ultimately clothing start with fibres
Know Your Fibres
Fibres are short fine hairs that can be twisted or spun into longer thread or yarn. This may be woven or knitted into fabric.
Fibres (and then yarns and ultimately fabrics) can be can be natural, synthetic or chemically produced hybrid called regenerated fibres.

Natural fibres Are derived from plants like cotton or animals like wool and silk, Coarse Fibres Are used for rope, string, sacking and industrial uses.Read more HERE
Fibres used for finer fabrics and yarn include cotton, wool and silk. Read more HERE
Synthetic fibres are man-made from chemicals many of which are petroleum derived. Read more HERE
Regenerated Fibres The base material is cellulose that can be obtained from a range of sources. It is then converted through a chemical process into fibres.Read more HERE

Yarns and threads

and what they are used for….
Yarns and threads often take the name from the fibre in which they are spun.
they can be used as a yarn or woven / knitted into a fabric.
See links to plastic free products yarns HERE

Fabrics & Fibres, an intruduction
Guide to synthetic, (plastic), regenerated, combination and natural fibres.
why I prefer natural fabrics over synthetics here.


Threads can be woven or knitted into fabric.
The fabric often takes the name of the fibre such as cotton or wool.
It can also go under a trade name such as nylon.
Or it can be called something else completely such as denim or crepe de chine.

Natural Fibres

Fibres used for finer fabrics and yarn include
Cotton used to make cotton
Flax is used to make linen. It is one of the strongest vegetable fibres.
Wools include
Sheep’s wool in a range of weights and qualities
Alpaca wool used to make high-end luxury fabrics.
Angora wool -The silky white wool of the Angora rabbit is very fine and soft, and used in high quality knitwear
Mohair also from the Angora goat.
Cashmere wool comes from cashmere goats and has great insulation properties without being bulky
Silk is strong and light weight.

Coarse Fibres for rope, string, sacking and industrial uses include:
Abaca -Once a favoured source of rope, abaca shows promise as an energy-saving replacement for glass fibres in automobiles
Coir -A coarse, short fibre extracted from the outer shell of coconuts, coir is found in ropes, mattresses, brushes, geotextiles and automobile seats. Can also be used in a brush rather like a bristle.
Jute -The strong threads made from jute fibre are used worldwide in sackcloth – and help sustain the livelihoods of millions of small farmers
Sisal -Too coarse for clothing, sisal is replacing glass fibres in composite materials used to make cars and furniture.
Copied from Natural Fibres

Hessian /ˈhɛsi.ən/, burlap in America and Canada,[1] or crocus in Jamaica,[2] is a woven fabric usually made from skin of the jute plant[3][4][5] or sisal fibres,[6] which may be combined with other vegetable fibres to make rope, nets, and similar products. Gunny cloth is similar in texture and construction.

Hessian, a dense woven fabric, has historically been produced as a coarse fabric, but more recently it is being used in a refined state known simply as jute as an eco-friendly material for bags, rugs and other products.


Why is nothing EASY??

From the world wildlife fund

About 20 million tones of cotton are produced each year in around 90 countries.

China, United States, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and West Africa account for over 75% of global production.

Cotton represents nearly half the fibre used to make clothes and other textiles worldwide ( the rest is synthetic fibres)It can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton; equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans. (Though I think there is more cotton in a tee shirt?)Here are some more facts about cotton taken from this article in GOOD
textile mills consume 4.5 million bales of cotton yearly
a quarter of the total worldwide pesticide use occurs in cotton farming.
Each year, the World Health Organization estimates that three million people are poisoned by pesticide use
In November 2012, Greenpeace International investigated the use of hazardous chemicals used in dyes and they discovered that 63 percent of the clothing items they tested showed high traces of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), and others had highly toxic phthalates and carcinogenic amines.

report found that water pollution in China over the past few years has grown, with the textile industry responsible for pumping out 2.5 billion tons of wastewater per year.

Read the rest for yourself … it’s just as bad.

You can read more about fabrics and yarns here….

There’s a great list of organic cotton products & suppliers here  at the blog.

Why This Post Is ….

A little bit rubbish. You are reading a work in progress. Here’s how the blog is written and why we post half cocked.

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