Textile

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Image:Karachi - Pakistan-market.jpg
Sunday textile market on the sidewalks of Karachi, Pakistan.

A textile is a flexible material comprised of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. <ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, or pressing fibres together.

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[edit] Terminology

The words fabric and cloth are commonly used in textile assembly trades (such as tailoring and dressmaking) as synonyms for textile. However, there are subtle differences in these terms. Textile refers to any material made of interlacing fibres. Fabric refers to any material made through weaving, knitting, crocheting, or bonding. Cloth refers to a finished piece of fabric that can be used for a purpose such as covering a bed or table.

[edit] History

The production of textiles is an ancient craft, whose speed and scale of production has been altered almost beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. However, there is little difference between ancient and modern plain weave, twill or satin.

[edit] Uses

Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing and containers such as bags and baskets. In the household, they are used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, towels, covering for tables, beds, and other flat surfaces, and in art. In the workplace, they are used in industrial and scientific processes such as filtering. Miscellaneous uses include flags, tents, nets, cleaning devices, such as handkerchiefs; transportation devices such as balloons, kites, sails, and parachutes; strengthening in composite materials such as fibre glass and industrial geotextiles

Textiles used for industrial purposes, and chosen for characteristics other than their appearance, are commonly referred to as technical textiles.

[edit] Sources and types

Image:Cloth 800.jpg
A variety of fabric. From the left: evenweave cotton, velvet, printed cotton, calico, felt, satin, silk, hessian, polycotton.

Textiles can be made from many materials. These materials come from four main sources: animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic. In the past, all textiles were made from natural fibres, including plant, animal, and mineral sources. In the 20th century, these were supplemented by artificial fibres made from petroleum.

Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest gossamer to the sturdiest canvas. The relative thickness of fibres in cloth is measured in deniers. Microfiber refers to fibers made of strands thinner than one denier.

[edit] Animal textiles

Animal textiles are commonly made from hair or fur.

Wool refers to the hair of the domestic goat or sheep, which is distinguished from other types of animal hair in that the individual strands are coated with scales and tightly crimped, and the wool as a whole is coated with an oil known as lanolin, which is waterproof and dirtproof. Woollen refers to a bulkier yarn produced from carded, non-parallel fibre, while worsted refers to a finer yarn which is spun from longer fibres which have been combed to be parallel. Wool is commonly used for warm clothing. Cashmere, the hair of the Indian cashmere goat, and mohair, the hair of the North African angora goat, are types of wool known for their softness.

Other animal textiles which are made from hair or fur are alpaca wool, vicuña wool, llama wool, and camel hair, generally used in the production of coats, jackets, ponchos, blankets, and other warm coverings. Angora refers to the long, thick, soft hair of the angora rabbit.

Silk is an animal textile made from the fibers of the cocoon of the Chinese silkworm. This is spun into a smooth, shiny fabric prized for its sleek texture.

[edit] Plant textiles

Grass, rush, hemp, and sisal are all used in making rope. In the first two, the entire plant is used for this purpose, while in the last two, only fibres from the plant are utilized. Coir (coconut fiber) is used in making twine, and also in floormats, doormats, brushes, mattresses, floor tiles, and sacking.

Straw and bamboo are both used to make hats. Straw, a dried form of grass, is also used for stuffing, as is kapok.

Fibres from pulpwood trees, cotton, rice, hemp, and nettle are used in making paper.

Cotton, flax, jute, and modal are all used in clothing. Piña (pineapple fiber) and ramie are also fibres used in clothing, generally with a blend of other fabrics such as cotton.

Acetate is used to increase the shininess of certain fabrics such as silks, velvets, and taffetas.

Seaweed is used in the production of textiles. A water-soluble fiber known as alginate is produced and is used as a holding fiber; when the cloth is finished, the alginate is dissolved, leaving an open area.

[edit] Mineral textiles

Asbestos and basalt fiber are used for vinyl tiles, sheeting, and adhesives, "transite" panels and siding, acoustical ceilings, stage curtains, and fire blankets.

Glass fiber is used in the production of spacesuits, ironing board and mattress covers, ropes and cables, reinforcement fiber for motorized vehicles, insect netting, flame-retardant and protective fabric, soundproof, fireproof, and insulating fibers.

Metal fiber, metal foil, and metal wire have a variety of uses, including the production of cloth-of-gold and jewelry.

[edit] Synthetic textiles

All synthetic textiles are used primarily in the production of clothing.

Polyester fiber is used in all types of clothing, either alone or blended with fibres such as cotton.

Acrylic is a fibre used to imitate wools, including cashmere, and is often used in replacement of them.

Nylon is a fibre used to imitate silk and is tight-fitting; it is used in the production of pantyhose.

Lycra, spandex, and tactel are fibres that stretch easily and are also tight-fitting, and are used to make activewear, bras, and swimsuits.

Olefin fiber is a thermal fiber used in activewear, linings, and warm clothing.

Lurex is a metallic fiber used in clothing embellishment.

Ingeo is a fiber blended with other fibres such as cotton and used in clothing. It is prized for its ability to wick away perspiration.

[edit] Production methods

Weaving is a textile production method which involves interlacing a set of vertical threads (called the warp) with a set of horizontal threads (called the weft). This is done on a machine known as a loom, of which there are a number of types. Some weaving is still done by hand, but the vast majority is mechanised.

Knitting and crocheting involve interlacing loops of yarn, which are formed either on a knitting needle or on a crochet hook, together in a line. The two processes are different in that knitting has several active loops at one time, on the knitting needle waiting to interlock with another loop, while crocheting never has more than one active loop on the needle.

Braiding or plaiting involves twisting threads together into cloth. Knotting involves tying threads together and is used in making macrame.

Lace is made by interlocking threads together independently, using a backing and any of the methods described above, to create a fine fabric with open holes in the work. Lace can be made by either hand or machine.

Carpets, rugs, velvet, velour, and velveteen, are made by interlacing a secondary yarn through woven cloth, creating a tufted layer known as a nap or pile.

[edit] Treatments

Textiles are often dyed, with fabrics available in almost every color. Coloured designs in textiles can be created by weaving together fibres of different colours (plaid), adding coloured stitches to finished fabric (embroidery), creating patterns by tying off areas of cloth and dyeing the rest (tie-dye, or drawing wax designs on cloth and dyeing in between them (batik), or using various printing processes on finished fabric. Woodblock printing , still used in India and elsewhere today, is the oldest of these dating back to at least 600AD in Eygpt.

Textiles are also sometimes bleached. In this process, the original colour of the textile is removed by chemicals or exposure to sunlight, turning the textile pale or white.

Textiles are sometimes finished by starching, which makes the fabric stiff and less prone to wrinkles, or by waterproofing, which makes the fabric slick and impervious to water or other liquids. Since the 1990s, finishing agents have been used to strengthen fabrics and make them wrinkle free. [1]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

<references />

  • Good, Irene. 2006. "Textiles as a Medium of Exchange in Third Millennium B.C.E. Western Asia." In: Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World. Edited by Victor H. Mair. University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu. Pages 191-214. ISBN 13-978-0-8248-2884-4; ISBN 10-0-8248-2884-4

[edit] External links

ca:Tèxtil cs:Látka (textil) da:Tekstil de:Textil es:Textil fr:Textile gl:Téxtil it:Tessuto (manufatto) he:טקסטיל lt:Tekstilė nl:Textiel ja:織物 no:Tekstilvev fi:Tekstiili sv:Textil tr:Tekstil zh:紡織品 pl:Tkanina

Textile

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