The textile industry is a major part of the manufacturing industry, creating clothing and other useful items. In the U.S, about 2 billion square yards of fabric is manufactured each year for a variety of uses, from clothing to furniture upholstery, to packaging materials.
Textile manufacturing is a labor-intensive industry with a high demand for people to work in factories doing the production of fabric.
Here are 8 different textiles used in textile manufacturing.
Cotton is a soft yet durable fabric used in a wide array of items. It is most commonly used for clothing, bedding, and other home decor items. The fabric can come in several weights ranging from lightweight to heavyweight. Cotton is easy to launder and generally holds its shape well. The most common weight is used for fitted bed sheets and t-shirts. Often, people think of 100% cotton as a breathable fabric, but it can also be mixed with polyester or other materials to increase durability and reduce wrinkling.
Wool is made from the fleece of sheep and other animals, such as cashmere from goats. It is a warm yet lightweight fabric that can be itchy to wear against bare skin. Wool items typically require additional care when laundering unless they are specifically treated for machine washing.
Thick woolens can even be dry cleaned, but many people choose to hand wash them instead. Wool is a durable fabric and can be blended with other fabrics to create new and interesting textures and patterns.
Silk is a lustrous fabric created from the protein fibers produced by silkworms to form their cocoons. It is a delicate and thin fabric with a rich sheen that can be difficult to keep clean.
Silk items require special care when laundering and must often be dry cleaned to maintain the fabric's integrity. Blended silks are popular for accessories, dresses, and other clothing items that benefit from the lightweight feel of silk with added durability.
Linen is made from fibers of the flax plant. Flax plants are harvested while still young, and their stems are cut into strips for fiber thread production. Linen is a durable fabric with an irregular weave that adds texture to clothing items.
The fabric tends to wrinkle easily; some people like this characteristic while others prefer to iron their linen items before wearing. When the linen fibers are spun tightly, it is known as "fustian."
Rayon is made from regenerated cellulose fiber and is sometimes called artificial silk because of its lustrous sheen. It is popular for clothing that needs wrinkle resistance, such as suits or dresses worn for formal events. The lustrous sheen can be used to create dramatic gowns and evening wear, while the synthetic fiber gives the fabric a wrinkle-resistant quality that is also water-repellent.
Polyester is a petroleum-based plastic that comes in either solid or filament form. It holds its shape well and dries quickly, which makes it suitable for active sports and uniforms. Polyester is popular for workout clothes because the fabric does not absorb sweat, so it can be worn for several workouts before laundering.
Commonly, polyester is blended with other fabrics such as cotton, wool, or silk to enhance the durability and wrinkle-resistance of the final product.
Aramid is a recently developed fabric that boasts super strength and durability. It is created by spinning aromatic polyamide fibers into textiles. Aramid fabrics are fire-resistant, sturdy enough to stop bullets, and extremely lightweight—a factor that makes it perfect for ballistic vests worn by law enforcement officers and soldiers.
Spandex is a synthetic fiber that offers excellent stretch and recovery qualities, making it useful for creating workout clothes or leggings with sleek textures. It is often used as a blend with other materials such as polyester or cotton. Spandex is popular with people who like to wear form-fitting workout clothes, because it has wrinkle-resistant qualities that keep garments looking smooth and clean.
The textile industry provides thousands of different fabrics and materials to meet the demands of an ever-changing consumer market. Whether you're looking for warm woolen socks or lightweight cotton pants, the textile industry makes it possible to find exactly what you're looking for.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of the 8 most common textiles used in today's consumer marketplace.
Thank you for reading!