• Written By Shalini Kaveripakam
  • Last Modified 24-01-2023

Variety in Fabrics (Types, properties, and uses)


Variety in Fabrics: We wear wool in the winter, cotton in the summer, and nylon raincoats during the monsoon. Why do we dress differently depending on the season? We also dress differently at different events. Where do we acquire all of these fabrics?  To answer these questions, here is an article on Variety in Fabrics.

Variety in Fabrics

Woollen, cotton, silk, and synthetic materials are among the fabrics we frequently utilise. Cotton materials are typically used in the summer, while woollen fabrics are worn in the cold, dry winter. When the weather is neither too hot nor too chilly, silk and synthetic textiles are the most comfortable.

Definition of fabrics: Fabrics mean a woven material, textile or other materials resembling woven cloth.


It is a spun thread that is used for weaving (or knitting) fabrics. In other words, yarn is a long thread used to make fabrics (or clothes).

We choose a cotton fabric and pluck out a loose yarn (or thread) from one of the edges. If there are no loose strands visible, we can use a pin or needle to extract the yarn from the fabric. We can continue to pluck yarns from the cloth indefinitely. This depicts a cotton fabric made consisting of cotton yarn arranged in a specific pattern.


If you have ever tried to thread a needle, you know how tough it can be. The end of the thread is frequently separated into a few thin strands. This makes passing the thread through the needle’s eye difficult. The thin thread strands we see are made up of even thinner strands known as fibres. Yarns are used to make fabrics, and yarns are made up of fibres.

Pick a cotton yarn from a cotton fabric scrap. Lay this strand of yarn out on the table. With your thumb, press one end of the yarn and scratch the other with your nail. Using a magnifying glass, examine the strands. You may notice that these tiny strands are made up of even thinner strands called fibres

Fibres and Their Types

Fabrics are made from fibres. Fibres are long, strong and flexible thread-like materials. There are three types of fibres- natural, synthetic and mixed fibres.

Fibres and Their Types

Natural Fibres

The fibres that are obtained from plants and animals are called natural fibres. Cotton, jute, coir, hemp and flax are examples of fibres obtained from plants. Wool and silk fibres are obtained from animals. Wool is obtained from the fleece of sheep or goats. It is also obtained from the hair of rabbits, yaks and camels. The silk fibre is drawn from the cocoon of the silkworm. The fabric made from natural fibres is called natural fabric.

Advantages of Natural Fabrics

  1. These fabrics absorb more water and sweat.
  2. They allow air to pass through them.
  3. They are biodegradable and do not affect the environment.

Disadvantages of Natural Fabrics

  1. They do not retain their crease for long.
  2. They may shrink on ordinary washing.
  3. Moths and moulds can easily attack them.
  4. They do not dry rapidly.
  5. Natural silk is very expensive and not quite affordable.

Human-made or Synthetic Fibres

The fibres made by humans from different chemicals in the industries are called human-made or synthetic fibres.

Some of the common synthetic fibres are nylon, polyester and acrylic. Synthetic fibres are mostly obtained from petroleum. The fabric made from synthetic fibres is called synthetic fabric.

Advantages of Synthetic Fabrics

  1. Synthetic clothes are more durable and easier to maintain.
  2. They do not absorb much water, dry up fast and are wrinkle-free.
  3. Moths and moulds do not attack synthetic clothes.

Disadvantages of Synthetic Fabrics

  1. They do not allow the air to pass through them and hence are not good for summers.
  2. They do not absorb sweat.
  3. They easily catch fire.
  4. They are non-biodegradable.

Mixed Fibres

The fibres made by blending natural fibres with synthetic fibres to obtain superior and useful fibres are called mixed fibres. Terry cot (terylene\(+\)cotton), terry silk (terylene\(+\)silk) and terry wool (terylene\(+\)wool) are some examples of mixed fibres.

Different Types of Fibre

  • a. Natural fibres and artificial fibres can be further divided based on the constituents of the fibres.
    • i. Plants that produce fibre are classified into two groups based on how they are used. Primary plants are those that are planted primarily to produce fibre and have a greater fibre content. On the other hand, fibres can be obtained as a bi-product from some plants, referred to as secondary plants.
    • ii. Natural fibres are classified into five categories based on their botanical origin. Jute is an example of a bast type fibre.
  • b. Leaf Fibre: Leaf fibre is mostly derived from sword-shaped leaves with thick, fleshy, and rough surfaces, such as those found on the agave family. Henequen is an example.
  • c. Seed Fibre – Seed fibre is made up of fibres obtained from seeds. Cotton fibre is particularly important in the textile industry and is frequently utilised. Cotton is a good example.
  • d. Reeds and grasses grow naturally in marshy land and are used to make various baskets, mats, and floor coverings.
  • e. Wood and Root Fiber – This type of fibre is frequently taken from trees and contains high cellulose.

Natural fibres are derived from animals that are mostly composed of a certain protein. Animals do not all have the same properties, and fibre is not consistent within species. Wool and silk are two examples.

The process of polymerization prepares artificial fibres. The artificial fibres, which are entirely made up of the chemically derived compound, are known as purely synthetic fibres. The fibres produced by using a natural polymer as raw material are known as semi-synthetic fibres. Rayon is an example of a semi-synthetic fibre. Nylon, polyester, and acrylic are examples of synthetic fibres.

Properties of Fibre

Different qualities can be observed depending on the fibre’s constituents.

  1. The density of all botanical fibres is roughly \({\rm{1}}.{\rm{5}}{\mkern 1mu} \,{\rm{gm/}}{{\rm{m}}^{\rm{3}}}.\) Bast fibre is the strongest of the botanical fibres.
  2. The natural fibre is lightweight, has a high specific strength, and is rigid. These fibres are also environmentally friendly because they are biodegradable.
  3. In the textile industry, animal fibres are extremely valuable. Proteins make up this fibre, which has a range of physical characteristics. Keratin is a protein that is found in almost all animal hair.
  4. Artificial fibres are extremely durable. Synthetic fibres are employed as a substitute in the textile industry because they are more durable and wrinkle-resistant than silk or wool. Synthetic fibres have a lower water absorption rate than silk or cotton.

Fabric Uses

  1. The cloth has numerous applications in our daily lives. Fabric is used to make clothing, purses, apparel, and accessories such as hats, shoes, scarves, rugs, and curtains.
  2. Fabrics are also employed in the medical field as bandages and wound dressings.
  3. Some of the fabrics, such as silk or muslin, are considered sumptuous.

Fibres of various types and their applications

  1. Botanical Fibres Have Many Applications – Lenzing lyocell fibres are used to assist hops during the growing process or in shellfish aquaculture. This fibre is also widely utilised because it is disposable.
  2. Wool from domestic sheep, alpaca fibre from alpaca goats, and mohair from angora goats are used to manufacture garments by hand spinners.
  3. Synthetic fibre is used to make ropes, seatbelts, wrinkle-free, and easily washable clothing, among other things.


We dress to protect ourselves from the elements, such as the sun, dust, heat, rain, and cold. Clothes also make us appear more intelligent. People wear various sorts of clothing depending on the environment of their respective regions all around the world. People in Kerala, for example, in our country, dress in light cotton clothing that is ideal for humid conditions. In the winter, residents of Jammu and Kashmir dress in thick woollen clothing to keep warm. Fabrics are numerous types of textiles that are used to make clothes. Fabrics differ in texture, sheen, thickness, colour, and the sort of material used to make them. We learnt about the different types of fibres, their qualities, and how to use them in this post.

FAQs on Variety in Fabrics

Q.1. What is Variety in Fabrics?
Ans: Various types of fabrics which we commonly use are woollen, cotton, silk, and synthetic. Cotton fabrics are usually we wear during the summer season, and woollen is worn in the cold, dry winter. Silk and synthetic fabrics are most comfortable when the weather is neither very hot nor very cold.

Q.2. What are six types of fabric?
Ans: The six types of fabric are cotton, silk, wool, rayon, linen, polyester.

Q.3. What are the uses of fabrics?
Ans: 1. The cloth has numerous applications in our daily lives. Fabric is used to make clothing, purses, apparel, and accessories such as hats, shoes, scarves, rugs, and curtains.
2. Fabrics are also employed in the medical field as bandages and wound dressings.
3. Some of the fabrics, such as silk or muslin, are considered sumptuous.

Q.4. What are fabrics? Give examples?
Ans: Fabrics means a woven material, textile, or other materials resembling woven cloth. Examples of fabric are cotton, chiffon, crepe, georgette, etc.

Q.5. How are fabrics prepared?
Ans: Fabrics are prepared from the thread/yarn by weaving (with the help of handlooms or power looms) or knitting.

Q.6. List the steps involved in the preparation of fabric.
Ans: The following steps are involved in the preparation of fabrics:
(i) Obtaining fibre,
(ii) Preparation of yarn from fibres by spinning,
(iii) When two sets of yarn are involved, yarns are woven on looms to make a fabric. When a single yarn is used, the fabric is prepared by knitting.

Q.7. When did people learn to make fabrics?
Ans: When people began to settle in agricultural communities, they learned to weave twigs and grass into mats and baskets. Vines, animal’s fleece, or hair were twisted together into long strands. These strands were woven into fabrics.

Study Animal Fibres Silk Concept Here

We hope this article on ‘variety in fabrics’ has helped you. If you have any queries, drop a comment below, and we will get back to you.

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