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KSU / Fashion / FDM 10033 / What is the basic difference between fiber, yarn, and fabric?

What is the basic difference between fiber, yarn, and fabric?

What is the basic difference between fiber, yarn, and fabric?


School: Kent State University
Department: Fashion
Course: Fashion Fabrics
Professor: Harriet mcleod
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: Fashion, fabrics, cellulose, protein, fibers, and yarn
Cost: 50
Name: Exam I: Fashion Fabrics
Description: Exam for Fashion Fabrics
Uploaded: 09/29/2018
9 Pages 48 Views 2 Unlocks

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

What is the basic difference between fiber, yarn, and fabric?

Industry terminology and organization

Understand the basic difference between fiber, yarn, and fabric 1. Fiber

a. The first stage of raw materials to be made into yarn

2. Yarn

a. Fibers spun or put together into a longer yarn to get made into fabric 3. Fabric

a. Made of many yarns

Textile Industry  

1. What kinds of companies take part?

a. Farmers ranchers, herders who provide raw materials

b. Yarn and fabric manufacturers

c. Major countries involved

i. China, India, US, Japan, Pakistan, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Brazil, Italy 2. What do they produce? Don't forget about the age old question of What are the main factors of production?

a. Cellulose fibers, protein fibers, or manufactured fibers

What is the difference between staple and filament fibers?

b. Fibers or chemicals that turn into yarns, threads, fabrics, or dye/finish FIBERS

Basic concepts

1. Serviceability  

a. A textile product’s ability to meet consumer’s needs

i. Aesthetics

ii. Care  

iii. Cost

iv. Comfort

v. Durability

vi. Safety

vii. Environmental concerns

2. Staple vs. filament fibers

a. Staple

i. Shorter staple=fuzzier product

ii. Longer staple=smoother product

iii. Most natural fibers are ONLY staple length

iv. Manufactured fibers can be cut to staple lengths

What is the difference between generic names and trademark fiber names?

If you want to learn more check out What is the difference between benefits and products?

b. Filament

i. Appearance and properties

1. Smooth

2. Naturally shiny (lustrous)

ii. All manufactured fibers begin this way

iii. Silk is the only natural filament

3. Generic names vs. trademark fiber names

a. Generic

i. The regular names for a fiber

1. Ex: Elastomer

b. Trademark

i. The company/trade name for a certain fiber with special qualities

1. Ex: Spandex/Lycra

4. Fiber properties:

a. Absorbency

i. How does this affect staining and cleaning?

ii. How does this affect breathability and comfort?

iii. How quickly does it dry?

b. Moisture wickingIf you want to learn more check out What is the difference between pure and applied research?

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

i. Moisture spreads out over surface of fabric allowing it to dry quickly

c. Breathability (conducts heat)

i. Does it conduct heat?

d. Insulation (retains heat)

i. Does it retain heat?

e. Drape

i. Is it stiff and structured?

ii. Does it hang in soft folds?

f. Luster

i. Is it shiny or dull (matte)?

g. Hand and texture

i. Feel and visual recognition of surface texture

ii. Smooth, slippery, fizzy, rough, bumpy

h. Resiliency (wrinkle and crease)

i. Does it wrinkle easily or resist wrinkles? We also discuss several other topics like What is the definition of a dependent variable?

i. Durability and strength

i. How strong is it?

ii. How long will it last?

j. Dimensional stability  

i. Does it shrink?

k. Electrical conductivity  

i. Does it produce static or not?

5. Fiber quality – what attributes affect how high or low the quality of a fiber? a. Diameter, fineness, longer/shorter staple fibers, manufactured vs natural fibers 6. Cost – how do fiber costs compare to one another; which fibers are more expensive or  ‘cheap’ within a group?

a. The fiber quality, where they come from (location), organic

b. 100% natural silk vs a blend or 100% rayon

**When studying the properties of fibers, focus on the above list - what a consumer or designer  would consider important. Focus on what property makes a fiber unique or more desirable when  compared to its fellow fibers, or how one fiber category (i.e. cellulose) compares to other fiber  categories.

Natural Fibers

What are the two major categories of natural fibers? What are the sources from  which they are produced? Which is the most widely used?

1. Cellulose (Plants) 

a. Cotton

i. Most widely used We also discuss several other topics like What molecule is considered to be the energy currency of the cell and is used to do work?
If you want to learn more check out Intangible means what?

b. Flax

c. Hemp

2. Protein (Animals) 

a. Wool

b. Specialty Fur/Hair

c. Silk

i. Only natural filament fiber 

Major Cellulosic Fibers

1. Cotton 

i. Widely available worldwide

ii. Cheaper than most NATURAL alternatives

iii. Higher quality options (longer staples)

iv. Egyptian, Pima, Sea Island, Supima

b. Properties

i. Absorbent

ii. Slow to dry

iii. Conducts heat (breathes)

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

iv. Wrinkles easily (low resiliency)

v. Shrinks easily (poor dimensional stability)

vi. Stronger when wet (better for washing)

vii. No pilling

c. End Uses

i. The #1 natural fiber used today

ii. Apparel

iii. Casual and breathable styles, overall versatile

iv. Often blend with other fibers

v. Home Interiors

vi. Towels, sheets, table linens  

2. Flax 

i. Bast (stem)

1. Fibers made from stem of the plant 

2. Examples are Flax, Hemp, and Ramie 

ii. Longer processing than cotton

iii. More expensive than cotton

iv. Fabric referred to as ‘linen’

b. Properties

i. Much stronger than cotton

ii. Absorbent and wicks moisture away from body

iii. Dries quickly

iv. Conducts heat (breathes)

v. Wrinkles very easily (low resiliency)

vi. Shrinks (dimensional stability)

vii. No pilling

viii. Distinctive texture, hand and body

c. End uses

i. Breathable, lightweight shirts, trousers, blazers, dresses 3. Hemp 

i. Was imported because of restrictions in the US

ii. Bast fiber

1. Fibers made from stem of the plant 

2. Examples are Flax, Hemp, and Ramie 

b. Properties

i. Absorbent

ii. Conducts heat (breathes)

iii. Coarser than flax

c. End uses

i. Twine, rope

ii. Some apparel, though still rough

4. Ramie 

i. Bast fiber

1. Fibers made from stem of the plant 

2. Examples are Flax, Hemp, and Ramie 

b. Properties

i. More absorbent than flax or cotton

ii. Quick driving

iii. Stiffer than flax

iv. More lustrous and shrinks less than other cellulose fibers v. Recent revival due to easier processing techniques

c. End uses

i. Interiors, products, warm weather apparel

Major Protein Fibers

1. Silk

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

i. Comes from silkworms mostly

ii. Some have used spider silk, but is still in development

iii. The only natural filament fiber

b. Processing

i. Silkworms extrude fiber to form a cocoons

ii. Fiber is degummed (unglued)

iii. Cocoons are unspun

c. Cultivated Silk 

i. Best quality

ii. Long filament fibers

iii. Unbroken cocoons

d. Wild silk  

i. Called tussah

ii. Staple fibers

iii. Thicker fibers with slubby appearance

e. Properties

i. The thinnest natural fiber

ii. Naturally smooth and  

iii. Strongest natural fiber

iv. Doesn’t shrink easily

v. Good absorbency

1. Dyes easily

f. End uses

i. Formal wear, skirts, blouses

ii. Anything that needs luster, drape, and smooth hand

2. Wool 

a. Production

i. Sheep are sheared

ii. Sorted according to quality

iii. Wool is cleaned

b. High end wools 

i. Have finer diameter

ii. Merino wool

iii. Lamb’s wool

c. Properties

i. Low strength

ii. Weaker when wet

iii. Insulating - retains heat

1. The natural crimping provides the bulk

iv. Great absorbency

1. Dyes well

2. It repels or wicks water at first

v. Shrinks due to rough surface

vi. Pills

d. End Uses

i. Sweaters, outerwear cold weather accessories

ii. Tailored suiting

1. Made from finer wools

iii. Quality is known by fineness and staple length

1. Worsted: longer staples, smooth and dense yarns

2. Woolen: shorter staple, thicker and fuzzier yearns

3. Specialty Hair and Fur Fibers 

i. Mohair (from goats)

ii. Cashmere (from goats)

iii. Angora (from rabbits)

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

iv. Llama, alpaca, vicuña

b. Properties & Uses

i. Insulating and lightweight

ii. Fine and soft

iii. Low strength

iv. Pills

v. Expensive

vi. Limited supply and difficulty collecting fibers

c. End Uses

i. Sweaters, outerwear, and cold weather accessories

Manufactured fibers

What is the main difference between natural fibers and manufactured fibers? a. Natural fibers come from plants, animals, and natural substances already occurring in nature

b. Manufactured fibers come from chemicals or natural fibers mixed with chemicals What is the difference between manufactured cellulose and synthetic fibers? c. Manufactured cellulose has some part of cellulose fibers and some chemical  substance to make one fiber

d. Synthetic fibers are completely made of chemicals

Manufactured Fiber Processing

General process terms:

a. Polymer 

i. Long molecular chain of repeating units in different arrangements to form the  fiber

b. Spinneret 

i. What the chemicals go through to form the fibers (looks like a shower head) c. Extrusion/extrude 

i. The process of chemicals being pushed through the spinneret to form a long  filament

What are possible additions or changes to manufactured fibers that can happen  before, during, or after extrusion?  

d. Shape and fineness

e. Length of fiber

f. Luster (adding delustrants)

g. Color

h. Texture/Crimp

i. Flammability

Major Manufactured Cellulose Fibers

What are manufactured cellulose fibers made from?

1. Rayon  

i. Regenerated

ii. First manufactured fiber (in 1910)

iii. Other names include: Modal, viscose 

iv. Lower cost than many natural alternatives

b. Properties

i. Wonderful drape

ii. Soft hand

iii. Luster can change based on manufacturing

iv. Extremely absorbent

v. Weaker when wet

vi. High shrinkage

vii. Poor wrinkle recovery

c. End Uses

i. Produces silk or linen-like fabrics, lower cost velvets

ii. Drapes or silky looks for blouses, dresses, skirts

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

iii. Blended with cotton or linen for plants, blazers, knit tops

iv. Cotton and linen provide structure

v. Rayon lowers the cost and provides better drape and softness 2. Lyocell  

i. Regenerated

ii. Developed in the 1990’s

iii. More expensive than rayon

iv. Trademark name Tencel

v. Closed loop production process using non-toxic solvent

vi. More eco-friendly than rayon 

1. Minimal water and air waste products

2. Recycled cellulose material and is biodegradable

b. Properties

i. Tendency to form fuzzy fibers on fabric surface

ii. Stronger than rayon

iii. Doesn’t shrink easily

iv. Drape and absorbency similar to rayon

3. Acetate 

a. Properties

i. Lustrous and drapes well

ii. Thermoplastic (melts)

iii. Builds static

iv. Fades easily

v. Cheap

vi. Different from rayon & lyocell 

1. More chemicals and has less recycled cellulose materials

b. Care & End Use

i. Typically dry clean only

ii. Low temperature ironing

iii. Very low cost alternative to silk

iv. Linings

v. Formal Wear

Synthetic Fibers

Where do synthetic fibers come from? What are they made from? a. From chemical compounds  

i. Many petroleum-based

ii. Think of plastics

1. Polyester 

i. The #1 fiber used today

ii. Less expensive than natural alternatives

iii. Very versatile

iv. Activewear, casual apparel, formal wear, linings

2. Nylon 

i. First synthetic fiber (1939)

ii. A silk substitute

iii. Very strong

iv. Often blending with other fibers to add strength

v. More expensive than polyester

vi. Hosiery, lingerie, carpeting, activewear

3. Acrylic 

i. Inexpensive wool substitute

ii. Crimped to add bulk and improved insulation

iii. Sweaters, blankets, scarves, gloves

4. Spandex (elastomer) 

i. Very high stretch and recovery (elasticity)

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

ii. Always blended in small amounts

iii. Used in swimwear, activewear

iv. Added to many woven fabrics to provide stretch and close fit

What are environmental issues and alternatives in the fiber world? 1. Concerns 

a. Dependency on oil (unsustainable resource)

b. Energy and chemical use in production

2. Alternatives 

a. Bio-based (from renewable sources, rather than oil)

b. Fiber recycling

Why would 2 different fibers have been used together to make a fabric? How does it  affect serviceability?

1. Improves cost or balance out positive and negative fiber properties


What are the processes for staple length spun yarn production and filament length yarn  production?  

Which fibers can be made into filament yarns? Spun yarns?

1. Filament yarns

a. Silk and manufactured filament fibers 

b. The number of filaments extruded from spinneret are combined into yarn c. Extrusion and drawing

d. Texturizing (if desired)

e. Laid or loosely twisted together

i. Twist is not required for filaments to form long strand

ii. High twist can be added for certain looks

2. Spun yarns

a. Any staple length fibers 

b. Cleaning fiber (if natural)

i. Untangles and loosely aligns fibers

ii. Fiber web is drawn through a funnel to produce sliver

1. Sliver: Untwisted, loosely parallel group of fibers

c. Carding (required)

d. Combing (optional)

i. May go through additional combing stage to remove shorter fibers and  

improve alignment

e. Drawing

i. Stretches sliver, adds slight twist

ii. Forms compact, finer roving

f. Spinning (creating twists)

i. Spinning will twist slivers or roving together to form long, stable yarn

g. Open-end Spun Yarns

i. Uses sliver only (no roving stage)

ii. Faster & Cheaper

iii. Lower quality yarns

h. Ring Spun Yarns

i. Finer, stronger yarn

ii. Uses very thin roving

iii. Higher quality & price

Major steps in the process:

1. Carding  

a. Shorter staple fibers

b. Fuzzier: more protruding ends

c. Bulkier, warmer

d. Softer

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

e. Lower strength

f. Less expensive

g. In wool yarns, woolen

2. Combing 

a. Longer staple fibers

b. Smoother: less protruding ends

c. Finer

d. Stronger

e. More expensive

3. Drawing 

a. Stretched filaments as they are extruded

b. Improves:

c. Alignment of molecules

d. Strength

e. The more it is drawn, the stronger it is

4. Spinning 

a. Creating twists

b. Spinning will twist slivers or roving together to form long, stable yarn 5. Texturizing (filament yarns) 

a. Adding crimp or curl to synthetic filament by air ot heat

b. Provides bulk that increases warmth

c. Improves elasticity, absorbency, and comfort

d. Mimics natural fibers like wool

i. Ex: Acrylic

What are the differences between…

1. Carded/Woolen 

a. Softer

b. Bulkier

c. Warmer

d. Lower strength

e. Less expensive

f. Fuzzier

g. Shorter staples fibers

2. Combed/Worsted 

a. Smoother

b. Finer

c. Stronger

d. More expensive

e. Longer staple fibers

3. Ring spun  

a. Finer, stronger yarn

b. Uses very thin roving

c. Higher quality & price

4. Open-end spun yarns 

a. Uses sliver only (no roving stage)

b. Faster & Cheaper

c. Lower quality yarns

Yarn Classifications  

How they affect properties and end use?

1. Hard (High) Twist) 

a. Higher strength

b. Lower absorbency

c. Better soil repellency

d. Finer, smoother

Fashion Fabrics Exam 1

2. Soft (Low) Twist 

a. Lower strength

b. Higher absorbency

c. Softer hand (and fuzzier, often)

d. Retains heat better (insulates)

1. Yarn size

a. Measures the weight of a yarn 

b. Finer yarns create finer, lighter fabrics with smoother hand

c. Helps determine: 

i. End use 

ii. Quality and price 

d. Measured as yarn count (spun yarns), denier (filament), or text (either)

2. Novelty yarns

a. Decorative yarns

i. Tweed, Boucle, Chenille, Slub 

3. Ply yarns

a. Multiple single yarns twisted together

b. Increases strength 

Other Study Resources:

1. Look over the lecture PowerPoint slides on Blackboard (under ‘Learning Materials’). 2. Review your completed lab sheets and lecture notes.

3. Review the tables of fiber properties in the book (chapters 2-4), as well as the Yarns chapter.  4. Make sure you get notes from another classmate for any days that you’ve missed! Slides  and lab sheets do not include other examples that came up in class.

5. Go through your closet! Look at your fiber content labels and think about how those fibers  are being used in your garment.

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