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 Olefin Fiber Definition : Definitions for the Clothing & Fabric Industry

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Olefin fiber is a synthetic fiber made from alkenes. It is used in the manufacture of various textiles. Olefin is also referred to as polypropylene, polyethylene or polyolefin.The name comes from the term olefiant gas, an early name for ethylene meaning "oil-forming".

Major fiber properties

The Federal Trade Commission's definition for olefin fiber is: A manufactured fiber in which the fiberforming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of ethylene, propylene, or other olefin units
[2]  Olefins are produced as a monofilament, multifilament, staple fiber, tow and slit or fibrillated film years with variable tenacities. The fibers are waxy colorless, often round in cross section.[1] The fibers are also resistant to moisture and chemicals. Polypropylene is used more for textiles because of its high melting point. The fibers do not take dye very well so colored olefin fibers are produced by adding dye directly to the polymer prior to or during melt spinning.[3]

'some interior designers prefer olefin to most other fibers because of its attractive appearance and other positive performance aspects along with the low cost aspect as compared to similar products made with different fibers.[1] Along with being moisture and chemical resistant, it is also abrasion resistant, low static, stain resistant, colorfast, strong, very comfortable and extremely lightweight olefin is the lightest textile fiber.[4] Fiber properties can be modified in a wide range with additives (e.g. UV-, thermal resistance, antibacterial, flame retardant).[5]


The first commercial producer of an olefin fiber in the United States was Hercules, Inc. (FiberVisions). In 1996, polyolefin was the world's first and only Nobel Prize winning fiber.[6] Other U.S. olefin fiber producers include Asota; American Fibers and Yarns Co; American Synthetic Fiber, LLC; Color-Fi; FiberVisions; Foss Manufacturing Co., LLC; Drake Extrusion; Filament Fiber Technology, Inc.; TenCate Geosynthetics; Universal Fiber Systems LLC.[2]


Sports & active wear, socks, thermal underwear; lining fabrics.
Telar by Filament Fiber Technology, Inc. is a fine-denier olefin used in blends for pantyhose, saris, and swimwear.
Home Furnishing
Indoor and outdoor carpets and carpet tiles, carpet backing.
Olefin has almost completely replaced jute in carpet backing because of its low-cost, easy processing, excellent durability, and suitability
[1]. Upholstery, draperies, wall coverings, slipcovers, floor coverings
Interior fabrics, sun visors, arm rests, door and side panels, trunks, parcel shelfs, resin replacement as binder fibers,
Carpets; ropes, geo-textiles that are in contact with the soil, filter fabrics, bagging, concrete reinforcement, heat-sealable paper (e.g. tea- and coffee-bags)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kadolph, Sara J., Langford, Anna L., (2002), Textile, Ninth Edition., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Prentice Hall pp 109-113
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^

Fabric Definition

Fiber Definition

The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  (  Modified by Apparel Search 11/10/04 & Updated 4/8/07

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