What is Textile: Definition and Meaning With Manufacturing

What is Textile: Definition and Meaning With Manufacturing

Introduction to Textiles

Textiles are fabrics or materials made from fibers such as cotton, wool, silk, and synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester. Textiles are used in a variety of applications, including clothing, home furnishings, and industrial products. Textiles are also used in the production of paper, carpet, and other products.

Textiles have been used since ancient times, and the history of textiles is closely linked to the history of human civilization. Textiles were used to make clothing, blankets, and other items for protection from the elements. As technology advanced, textiles were used to create more complex items such as tapestries, carpets, and quilts.

Today, textiles are used in a variety of industries, including fashion, automotive, aerospace, and medical. Textiles are also used in the production of furniture, bedding, and other home furnishings. Textiles are also used in the production of paper, carpet, and other products.


Textiles are made from a variety of fibers, including natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and silk, and synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester. Each type of fiber has its own unique properties, which make it suitable for different applications. For example, cotton is a soft, absorbent fiber that is often used in clothing, while nylon is a strong, durable fiber that is often used in industrial applications.

Textiles are also produced using a variety of techniques, including weaving, knitting, and felting. Each technique produces a unique fabric with its own characteristics. For example, woven fabrics are strong and durable, while knitted fabrics are lightweight and flexible.

Textiles are an important part of our lives, and they play a vital role in many industries. From clothing to furniture, textiles are used in a variety of applications. Understanding the history and production of textiles can help us better appreciate the products we use every day.

The textile industry is a major contributor to the global economy, with the global textile market estimated to be worth over $1.3 trillion in 2023. Textiles are an important part of everyday life, and their use is only expected to increase in the future.

History of Textile

Early humans, who lived years ago used to cover their bodies by wrapping tree leaves, woven grass or three barks, bones, skull and the skin of dead animals, to protect themselves from cold weather, rain and other natural disasters.

Spinning and weaving are among the earliest arts. In the twisting of fibers, hairs and grasses by sinews, rolling them between the thumb and fingers, palms of the hands, we have the original of the spinning wheel. The hand-operated spindle and the loom were the most important tools for the production of textiles. The material used was wool.

The very primitive types of spinning, where no spindle was used, was to fasten the stands of goat’s hair or wool to a stone which was twirled round until the yarn was sufficiently twisted when it was wound upon the stone and the process repeated over and over. The need of securing things or otherwise strengthening them then led to binding, fastening and sewing.

The post-industrial era witnessed continuous improvement and innovation in textile raw materials, machinery and processes. Around the middle of the 20th century, significant developments in raw materials like manufacturing of polyamides, polyester, polyacronitrile and machinery like water-jet weaving looms and open-end spinning machines took place and this process of innovation and improvement is still in continuation. 

In the area of weaving, the speed of weft insertion was increated further. A new technology is open-shed weaving, which allows one to add additional patterns or to reinforce a woven fabric in certain spots for technical applications. 

Meaning of Textile

Textile is a term used to describe any material made of interlacing fibers. It is a broad term that encompasses a wide variety of materials, including natural and synthetic fibers, yarns, fabrics, and finished products.

Textiles are used in a variety of applications, from clothing and home furnishings to industrial and medical products. The term textile is derived from the Latin word texere, which means “to weave.”


Definition of Textile

  • Textiles are fabrics made from yarn, either woven or knitted. This term is used to refer to not only woven fabrics, but also yarn, fiber, and any other product made from these materials. Textiles are commonly used in the production of clothing.
  • Textiles are made by weaving, knitting, crocheting, felting, or braiding fibers together.
  • The fibers used to make textiles can be natural, such as cotton, wool, and silk, or synthetic, such as polyester, nylon, and rayon.
  • The type of fiber used will determine the properties of the textile, such as its strength, durability, and flexibility.
  • Textiles are used in a variety of ways, from clothing and home furnishings to industrial and medical products.
  • Clothing is one of the most common uses of textiles, as it is used to protect the body from the elements and provide comfort.
  • Home furnishings, such as curtains, carpets, and upholstery, are also made from textiles.
  • Industrial textiles are used in a variety of applications, such as automotive, aerospace, and construction.
  • Medical textiles are used in medical devices, such as bandages, surgical gowns, and prosthetics.

What is Textile Fiber?

Textile fiber is a class of materials, which are natural or manufactured, can take tensile, friction and bending forces not compression and spun into yarn by twisting together or also converting into fabric (non-woven) direct from fiber. If two fibers are twisted together is stronger than both individual without increasing its tenacity.

Fiber is the smallest visible a substance which is extremely thin in relation to its width. Any substance, natural or manufactured will be considered as a textile fiber, if it has posses the following parameters:

  • High length to width ratio, at least 500 times longer than it’s lateral dimension i.e, L (Length)/d (Diameter of fiber) > 500 (called slenderness ratio)
  • Flexibility/stiffness (can give any shape)
  • Dye ability
  • Good strength and elongation (elastic, i.e, not rigid)

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1. Cotton: Cotton is a natural fiber made from the seedpod of the cotton plant. It is soft, absorbent, and strong, making it a popular choice for clothing, bedding, and other textiles.

2. Wool: Wool is a natural fiber made from the fleece of sheep and other animals. It is warm, durable, and water-resistant, making it a popular choice for outerwear and blankets.

3. Silk: Silk is a natural fiber made from the cocoons of silkworms. It is lightweight, strong, and lustrous, making it a popular choice for clothing and other luxury items.

4. Linen: Linen is a natural fiber made from the stems of the flax plant. It is strong, absorbent, and cool to the touch, making it a popular choice for clothing and bedding.

5. Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fiber made from petroleum-based chemicals. It is strong, wrinkle-resistant, and easy to care for, making it a popular choice for clothing and other textiles.

Difference Between Textiles and Fibers


Textiles

Fibers

  • Textiles are fabrics that are made by weaving, knitting, or crocheting fibers together.

  • Fibers are the basic units used to make textiles.

  • Examples of textiles include cotton, wool, silk, and polyester.

  • Examples of fibers include cotton, wool, silk, nylon, and acrylic.

  • Textiles are typically used to make clothing, bedding, and other soft goods.

  • Fibers can be used to make a wide range of products, including textiles, plastics, and composites.

  • Textiles are often made by combining different types of fibers to create a fabric with specific properties.

  • Fibers can be natural or synthetic, and may be made from plant, animal, or man-made materials.

  • Textiles can be dyed, printed, or treated with chemicals to give them specific properties.

  • Fibers may also be treated to change their properties, such as making them more resistant to water or fire.


Steps of Textile Manufacturing

textile manufacturing from fiber to fashion

Step 01: Fiber to Yarn Manufacturing

1. Fiber Preparation: The first step in the yarn manufacturing process is to prepare the fibers for spinning. This involves cleaning, sorting, and blending the fibers to create a uniform mix. The fibers may also be carded or combed to further align them in the same direction.

2. Spinning: The next step is to spin the fibers into yarn. This is done by twisting the fibers together using a spinning wheel or machine. The yarn is then wound onto a spool or bobbin.

3. Winding: The yarn is then wound onto a larger spool or cone. This is done to make the yarn easier to handle and store.

4. Twisting: The yarn is then twisted to make it stronger and more durable. This is done by winding the yarn around a spindle and then twisting it.

5. Dyeing: The yarn is then dyed to give it color. This is done by immersing the yarn in a dye bath.

6. Finishing: The yarn is then finished to give it a smooth texture and to make it easier to work with. This is done by brushing, steaming, or pressing the yarn.

7. Packaging: The yarn is then packaged for sale. This is done by winding the yarn onto spools or cones and then packaging them in boxes or bags.

Step 02: Yarn to Fabric Manufacturing

Weaving:

1. Warping: The first step in the weaving process is warping, which involves winding the yarn onto a beam in the desired pattern.

2. Sizing: The yarn is then sized, which is a process of coating the yarn with a starch or other material to make it stronger and more resistant to abrasion.

3. Drawing-in: The yarn is then drawn-in, which is the process of arranging the warp yarns in the desired pattern on the loom.

4. Weaving: The weaving process involves interlacing the warp and weft yarns to create the fabric.


Knitting:


1. Yarn Preparation: The first step in the knitting process is yarn preparation, which involves winding the yarn onto a spool or cone.

2. Needle Selection: The next step is selecting the appropriate needles for the desired fabric.

3. Knitting: The knitting process involves looping the yarn around the needles to create the fabric.

Non-Woven:

1. Fiber Preparation: The first step in the non-woven process is fiber preparation, which involves cutting the fibers into the desired length.

2. Web Formation: The next step is web formation, which involves arranging the fibers into a web.

3. Bonding: The bonding process involves applying heat, pressure, or chemicals to the web to bind the fibers together.

4. Finishing: The finishing process involves trimming, cutting, and other processes to create the desired fabric.


Step 03: Dying and Printing of Fabric

Fabric Dying Process

Fabric dying is a process used to add color to fabric. It is a popular technique used in the fashion industry to create unique and vibrant designs. The steps of fabric dying technique are as follows:

1. Pre-treatment: Before dyeing, the fabric must be pre-treated to ensure that the dye will adhere properly. This may involve washing, bleaching, or scouring the fabric.

2. Dye Selection: The next step is to select the dye that will be used. Different types of dyes are available, such as acid dyes, direct dyes, and reactive dyes.

3. Dye Application: The dye is then applied to the fabric. This can be done by hand or with a machine.

4. Fixing: After the dye has been applied, it must be fixed to the fabric. This is done by using a fixing agent, such as a mordant or a dye fixative.

5. Washing: The fabric is then washed to remove any excess dye.

6. Finishing: The fabric is then dried and finished. This may involve pressing, steaming, or other finishing techniques.


Fabric Printing Process


1. Design Preparation: The first step in the fabric printing process is to prepare the design. This involves creating a design that is suitable for printing on fabric. The design should be created in a vector format, such as Adobe Illustrator, and should be sized to the desired dimensions of the fabric.

2. Pre-Treatment: The fabric must be pre-treated before it can be printed. This involves washing the fabric to remove any dirt or oils, and then applying a chemical pre-treatment to the fabric. This pre-treatment helps the ink adhere to the fabric.

3. Printing: Once the fabric has been pre-treated, it is ready to be printed. The fabric is placed on a printing table and the design is printed onto the fabric using a specialized printing machine. The type of printing machine used will depend on the type of fabric being printed.

4. Drying: After the fabric has been printed, it must be dried. This can be done either by air-drying or by using a heat press.

5. Finishing: The final step in the fabric printing process is to finish the fabric. This involves applying a protective coating to the fabric to help protect it from fading or wear.


Step 04: Making Textiles


1. Designing: The first step in the process of making textiles products, garments and apparels is designing. This involves creating a design that meets the customer’s needs and preferences. The design should also be suitable for the type of fabric and the manufacturing process.

2. Fabric Selection: The next step is to select the fabric for the product. This involves choosing the right type of fabric that is suitable for the design and the manufacturing process.

3. Cutting: After the fabric is selected, it is cut according to the design. This is done using specialized cutting machines.

4. Sewing: The cut pieces of fabric are then sewn together to form the garment. This is done using specialized sewing machines.

5. Finishing: After the garment is sewn, it is then finished. This involves adding details such as buttons, zippers, and other embellishments.

6. Quality Control: The final step is quality control. This involves inspecting the garment to ensure that it meets the customer’s requirements and is free from defects.

7. Packaging: The last step is packaging. This involves packing the garment in a suitable package for shipping.


Step 05: Fashion Designing

1. Research: The first step in fashion designing is to research the current trends and fashion styles. This includes researching the latest fashion trends, fabrics, colors, and silhouettes. It is important to stay up to date with the latest fashion trends in order to create unique and stylish designs.

2. Sketching: After researching the latest fashion trends, the next step is to sketch out the designs. This is where the designer’s creativity and imagination come into play. The designer should create sketches that are unique and stylish.

3. Selecting Fabrics: Once the sketches are complete, the designer must select the fabrics that will be used to create the garments. The designer should consider the type of fabric, the color, and the texture when selecting the fabrics.

4. Pattern Making: After selecting the fabrics, the designer must create the patterns for the garments. This is a very important step in the fashion design process as it determines the fit and shape of the garment.

5. Sewing: Once the patterns are complete, the designer must sew the garments. This is a very time consuming process and requires a great deal of skill and patience.

6. Finishing: The final step in the fashion design process is to finish the garments. This includes adding any embellishments, buttons, zippers, or other details to the garments.


Video on Textile Manufacturing Processes Fiber to Garments


Difference Between Textiles and Fabrics

Textiles

Fabrics

  • Refers to the industry of making cloth or fabric products such as clothing, bedding, towels, etc.

  • Refers to the material used to make textiles, such as cotton, wool, silk, etc.

  • Can refer to the entire production process, from fibers to finished products

  • Refers only to the finished material, ready for use

  • Often used to describe the broader context of the textile industry, including the design, production, and marketing of textile products

  • Typically used to describe the physical material itself

  • Can include non-woven materials such as felt or insulation

  • Generally refers only to woven materials

  • Can be made from a variety of materials including synthetic fibers, plant fibers, and animal fibers

  • Can also be made from a variety of materials including synthetic fibers, plant fibers, and animal fibers

Specialized Uses of Textiles


1. Protective Textiles: Protective textiles are used in a variety of applications, such as fire-resistant clothing, bulletproof vests, and chemical protective clothing. These textiles are designed to protect the wearer from hazardous conditions.

2. Medical Textiles: Medical textiles are used in a variety of medical applications, such as surgical gowns, bandages, and wound dressings. These textiles are designed to be comfortable, breathable, and provide protection from infection.

3. Automotive Textiles: Automotive textiles are used in the automotive industry to provide insulation, soundproofing, and protection from the elements. These textiles are designed to be durable and long-lasting.

4. Industrial Textiles: Industrial textiles are used in a variety of industrial applications, such as conveyor belts, filtration systems, and protective clothing. These textiles are designed to be strong and durable.

5. Marine Textiles: Marine textiles are used in the marine industry to provide protection from the elements and to provide insulation. These textiles are designed to be waterproof and resistant to saltwater.

6. Aesthetic Textiles: Aesthetic textiles are used in a variety of applications, such as upholstery, curtains, and clothing. These textiles are designed to be attractive and comfortable.


References

  • Textiles and Clothing by Kate Heintz Watson
  • Textile Engineering – An Introduction Edited by Yasir Nawab
  • Textile Technology: An Introduction by Thomas Gries, Dieter Veit, Burkhard Wulfhorst
  • Handbook of Technical Textiles Edited by A R Horrocks and S C Anand
  • Natural Fibers by Dr. Abu Bakr Siddique & Dr. Hosne Ara Begum
  • Introduction to Textile Fibres by H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy
  • Handbook of natural fibres, Volume 1: Types, properties and factors affecting breeding and cultivation Edited by Ryszard M. Kozłowski
  • Handbook of natural fibres, Volume 2: Processing and Applications Edited by Ryszard M. Kozłowski
  • Introductory Chapter: Textile Manufacturing Processes by Faheem Uddin
  • Textile Technology- An Introduction by Burkhard Wulfhorst and Thomas Gries
  • Textiles, 12th Edition By Sara J. Kadolph and Sara B. Marcketti
  • Yasir Nawab (Ed.) Textile Engineering De Gruyter Textbook

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