The textile industry developed from being an artisanal industry to become with the industrial revolution, of the centuries XVIII and XIX in a massive mechanized production.
In the 20th century, artificial fibres were created, threads with texture, new manufacturing methods, and more types of finishes.
Thanks to the scientific advance in the textile industry, it is possible to imitate fibers and natural materials at a lower cost, artificial skins similar to leather etc.
Before going to a fabric store or buying online, we must consider the use we are going to give to the fabric. It is not the same to buy a fabric, for example, to make a garment for a baby, who has especially sensitive skin and is less resistant to chemical components, than to buy a fabric for an adult who has stronger skin.
We also have to take into account external agents, such as light (among other factors) to which the fabric will be exposed.
For example, a fabric for a tablecloth that you are going to use every day and that, probably, is going to end up full of stains should be made of a fabric that is easy to wash (the best thing for these cases is to buy resin fabrics).
Another example would be the fabric for making curtains, because you will have to take into account the amount of light you want to pass through the window.
Nor should we forget to analyze the properties of the fabrics, such as resistance, comfort, texture… For all these reasons, I think we should all have some basic notions about what textile fibers are.
Animal fibers are, without a doubt, the oldest used by human beings, since they have been used since prehistoric times.
Generally they are protein, as they are hair, fur, wool… They are easy to dye and spin. They can be woven or non-woven like felt, which is a set of clumped fibers.
Within this classification we find:
Wool: Which comes from different species of sheep (the one we know best is merino). Its most important characteristics are elasticity and easy absorption of humidity.
Silk: Which comes from the silkworm, bombyx mori. Its properties are resistance and elasticity.
The hairs: Taken from different animals such as goats (mohair and cashmere fabrics), horses (the mane has several, for hat-making or rope making), rabbits (angora fabrics) or camelids (alpaca, llama, camels …) Its main property is thermal, as they are hollow fibers.
Natural vegetable: Fibers are made of cellulose. The three most important in the textile industry are cotton, linen and esparto.
There are others like coconut, hemp or sisal, but they are more used in other productive sectors.
The fibers of mineral or inorganic origin are practically not used in the textile world. The most known are the asbestos, the glass fiber and the one that is extracted of some precious metals like the silver or the gold.
The synthetic textile fibers have been created completely artificially using different petroleum derivatives. Both the raw material and the creation of the filament are artificial, which gives them a much greater versatility (and economy) than in the previous cases. In addition, these fibers are usually created to be resistant and very durable.
It should also be noted that they do not require complex care. This is the case of leatherette or foscurit fabric, which provide great freedom in the manufacture. So you know which fibre to use if you want to stay warm in winter!
These types of fibers are obtained from natural ones, but by manufacturing and altering them to obtain longer and more resistant filaments. Depending on the raw material used in each case, they can be divided into
Cellulosic: these are industrial derivatives of cellulose. In the past they were called artificial silk, but today they are known as rayon, silk lining or acetate.
Protein: these are fibers that come from the regeneration of proteins. The latter can be of both animal and vegetable origin.
Alginic: they are also known as “rayon alginate”. Sodium alginate, a water-soluble substance, is used to obtain these fibers.
Now you have some basic notions of the different types of textile fibres that exist and their characteristics. This way you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you. It doesn’t matter if you are making a quilt, a garment or a curtain, if you get the right type of fiber, the result will be fantastic!
What is canvas made of?
Canvas is a material that can be composed of 100% cotton in different weights (in Prints and portraits it is printed on 400 gram cotton) or a mixture of natural fibers and cotton.
The canvas fabric allows excellent adhesion of the color pigments: the result is therefore a print with very bright colors and on a durable material.
Cotton canvas makes the colors slightly brighter in print, while 100% cotton canvas offers a much more durable material.
We offer FREE shipping all around Australia, and the best quality printing for our handmade printed canvas and posters.