Editorial Feature

What Raw Materials are Used in Textile Production?

Textile manufacturing is an intricate procedure that depends on a variety of raw materials to produce a multitude of fabrics and textiles with numerous uses. Textile raw materials mainly include fibers, either naturally generated or synthetic, that are used to make clothing, blankets, sheets, and other textile items.

textile raw materials

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Cotton Fiber: The Essential Textile Raw Material?

In recent years, organic textile raw materials have become increasingly popular as a result of increasing consumer knowledge of healthy and safe clothing.

Cotton is the most essential textile raw material for the ready-made apparel industry. In recent years, the use of fibers, filaments, and synthetic textile raw materials has grown, but the industry's attraction to nature and ecological agriculture has refocused attention on cotton production. The suppleness, flexibility, and permeability of this classic textile raw material make it suitable for a wide range of applications, from apparel to household textiles.

Hemp Fibers: A Pivotal Raw Material

Throughout history, hemp fibers have played a vital role as a primary textile raw material. The utilization of hemp fiber as a textile raw material has increased dramatically across all aspects. In comparison to cotton, the most widely used natural textile raw material worldwide, and synthetic fibers derived from petroleum, hemp fibers have gained recognition due to their exceptional sustainable attributes and organic textile production possibilities.

What Qualities Make Silk a Lavish Textile Raw Material?

Silk, renowned for its luxurious texture and lustrous appearance, is a highly regarded textile material. This fiber, which is produced by silkworms, possesses extraordinary strength and lightness, making it ideal for high-end garments and delicate fabrics. Silk's transformative capabilities as a high-end textile raw material give birth to various fabrics imbuing fashion and interior design with refinement.

The Importance of Wool 

Wool, a textile raw material that originates from the fiber of sheep, is highly prized for its superior insulating properties and durability. Wool exhibits extraordinary versatility, enabling the manufacturing of diverse fabrics such as tweed, etc., primarily utilized for winter clothing and comforters. In addition to providing convenience, wool exemplifies elegance in a variety of contexts, serving as a multifunctional textile raw material.

Are Bamboo and Soybean Fibers Used as Textile Raw Materials?

The bamboo plant contains a naturally occurring substance called "Bamboo Kun" that has antimicrobial properties, which is one of its most intriguing characteristics. This substance transforms bamboo into a viable textile raw material. The superior retention of moisture and evaporation properties of textiles made from natural bamboo fibers contribute to the apparel comfort of bamboo-based textiles.

Natural bamboo fibers serve as a textile raw material that is renowned for its "breathing fibers" It is ideally suited for summer attire. Comfortable undergarments can be produced by combining bamboo fibers with other organic textile raw materials such as cotton and silk in specific proportions.

The products made from 100% soy fiber as a textile raw material enable the skin to breathe easily, and those that regulate the flow of blood in the human body prohibit the formation of odor. This unique textile raw material is used to create antibacterial products that prevent the formation of pathogens and rapidly absorb and dry moisture. As a textile raw material, soy protein fiber satisfies the need for comfortable and attractive clothing while also conforming to the casual, basic clothing trend. It is a possible textile raw material for the middle and upper classes within the textile industry.

Cellulose Based Textile Raw Material

As per a recent article in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, as textile raw materials, several nano-cellulose (NC) from microbial and plant sources have been evaluated. The interest in NCs is predominately centered on exploiting their increased crystallinity, which promotes superior mechanical resistance.

Textile raw material derived from bacterial nano-cellulose (BNC) is an alternative to wood/plant cellulose. Various microbes generate cellulose with unique morphology, form, attributes, and yields that are individually employed as textile raw materials under specialized conditions. The chemical structure of bacterial nano-cellulose is identical to that of plant cellulose.

In general, cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are used to classify plant NC. The ultimate chemical and physical properties of textile raw material derived from NC depend directly on the conditions of origin and manufacture. This textile raw material has high tensile and flexural strength, low density, biodegradability, and a large surface area.

How are Plastics Recycled into Textile Raw Materials?

Plastic solid waste (PSW) is a concern in both developed and developing nations. The conventional technique for producing textile raw materials from such waste is primary recycling. In a primary recycling (re-extrusion) procedure, refuse fragments that have been cleaned and separated are collected and recycled. It is possible to combine fragments with virgin textile raw materials to generate high-quality textile sources.

Mechanical recycling, also known as the secondary recycling procedure, can also be used to convert waste into textile raw materials. After contaminants have been eliminated, plastic fragments are divided by density and washed in a receptacle. However, the existence of contaminants and the intricate nature of PET waste, the poor quality of the reprocessed refuse, and wear and tear are disadvantages of the mechanical recycling process.

Chemical recycling, also known as tertiary recycling, is an effective technique for the manufacturing of textile raw materials that adhere to the principles of sustainable development.

A Brief Introduction to Synthetic Textile Raw Materials

Polyester, a synthetic fiber, has gained extensive popularity as a synthetic textile due to its low cost, adaptability, and durability against wrinkling and shrinking. It is widely utilized for apparel, household textiles, and technical materials. Polyester is capable of emulating the properties of organic textile raw materials, thereby offering a vast array of textures and the convenience of simple maintenance.

Nylon is an additional synthetic textile raw material that warrants acknowledgment for its remarkable durability and toughness. It is a lightweight textile raw material and has outstanding resilience to abrasion, granting it industrial use as a textile raw material for multiple applications, including sportswear. Nylon's inherent versatility enables the production of a variety of textures, ensuring its continued popularity.

In short, basic textile materials possess distinctive properties and applications. Gaining an understanding of these materials and their ecologically friendly nature is crucial for making informed decisions and paves the way for novel materials research.

More from AZoM: How are Bioplastics Made?

References and Further Reading

Newth, A., 2023. What Are the Different Types of Textile Raw Materials?. [Online]
Available at: https://www.aboutmechanics.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-textile-raw-materials.htm
[Accessed 9 July 2023].

 Tshifularo, C. A., & Patnaik, A. (2020). Recycling of plastics into textile raw materials and products. In Sustainable technologies for fashion and textiles (pp. 311-326). Woodhead Publishing. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-102867-4.00013-X

Felgueiras, C. et. al. (2021). Trends on the cellulose-based textiles: raw materials and technologies. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 9, 608826. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2021.608826

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Ibtisam Abbasi

Written by

Ibtisam Abbasi

Ibtisam graduated from the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. During his academic career, he has worked on several research projects and has successfully managed several co-curricular events such as the International World Space Week and the International Conference on Aerospace Engineering. Having won an English prose competition during his undergraduate degree, Ibtisam has always been keenly interested in research, writing, and editing. Soon after his graduation, he joined AzoNetwork as a freelancer to sharpen his skills. Ibtisam loves to travel, especially visiting the countryside. He has always been a sports fan and loves to watch tennis, soccer, and cricket. Born in Pakistan, Ibtisam one day hopes to travel all over the world.

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