Textiles / Textile Definition: Definitions for the Clothing & Textile Industry

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A textile is any kind of woven, knitted, knotted (as in macrame) or tufted cloth, or a non-woven fabric (a cloth made of fibers that have been bonded into a fabric, e.g. felt).

Textile also refers to the yarns, threads and wools that can be spun, woven, tufted, tied and otherwise used to manufacture cloth. The production of textiles is an ancient art, whose speed and scale of production has been altered almost beyond recognition by mass-production and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. An ancient Roman weaver would have no problem recognizing a plain weave, twill, or satin.

Many textiles have been in use for millennia, while others use artificial fibers and are recent inventions. The range of fibers has increased in the last 100 years. The first synthetics were made in the 1920s and 1930s.

Textiles can be made from a variety of materials. The following is a partial list of the materials that can be used to make textiles.

Animal origin

   Alpaca

   Angora rabbit hair

   Camel hair

   Cashmere

   Mohair

   Silk

   Vicuana hair

Wool : divided into woollen and worsted

Vegetable

   Bark cloth has various uses, and is used in sheets.

   Coir: the fibre from coconuts.

   Cotton

   Grass, rush and straw

   Hemp (mostly used in rope making)

   Jute

   Kapok

   Linen, made from flax

   Nettle: processed in a similar manner to flax.

   Ramie

   Seaweed: a water soluble fibre (alginate) is produced. This is used as a holding fibre in the production of certain textiles: when the cloth is finished the alginate is dissolved, leaving an open area.

   Sisal

Derived from plant products

Mineral

Asbestos: now has very limited uses.

Glass fibres can be used in the manufacture of textiles for insulation and other purposes.

Metal fibre, metal wire and metal foil have some uses in textiles, either on their own or with other materials (see, for example, goldwork embroidery).

A vast range of man-made fibers can be used in textile manufacture, including:

Acrylic fiber

Lurex

Spandex, tactel, lycra and other 'stretch' fabrics

Nylon fiber

Polyester fiber

Polypropylene (comes under various common trade names such as Olefin or Herculon)

Rayon fiber

Ways of making textiles

Braiding/Plaiting

Crochet
usually by hand.

Embroidery
threads which are added to the surface of a finished textile.

Felt
fibres are matted together to produce a cloth.

Knitting
by hand or on knitting machines.

Knotting, including macrame: used in making nets.

Lace
again both hand made and machine made.

Pile fabrics

carpets and some rugs

Velvet, velveteen, plush fabrics and similar have a secondary set of yarns which provide a pile.

Weaving
the cloth is prepared on a loom, of which there are a number of types. Some weaving is still done by hand, but the vast majority is machine made.

Processes

Bleaching
where the natural or original colour of the textile is removed with bleach.

Dyeing
adding colour to textiles: there is a vast range of dyes, natural and synthetic, some of which require mordants.

Waterproofing and other finishings.

Starching

Uses of textiles

Textiles have been used in almost every possible context where their properties are useful. In cleaning

Bags and other means of carrying objects

Balloons, kites, sails, parachutes and other transport use. Early airplanes used cloth as part of the construction.

Clothing

Flags

Furnishings, including towels and table cloths

Geotextiles

Industrial and scientific uses, including filtering

Nets

Rugs and carpets

Tents

Towels

Learn about Textile Recycling.

Clothing & Fashion Industry Definitions
fabric & Textile Industry Definitions
Textile Industry Definition
Textile & Clothing definitions and Glossaries:
The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/textile).  Modified by Apparel Search 10/19/04

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