Unit - Chemistry of Fibres, Textiles and Garments
Prof Robert Lancashire
8 Lectures Semester 1, 2016/2017

Wikipedia links to information and Classification on Fibres - the basic structural element of textile products.

Classification of Fibres
Natural Vegetable
Abacá (Manila Hemp), Bamboo, Coir, Cotton, Flax (Linen), Hemp, Jute, Kapok, Kenaf, Piñ, Raffia palm, Ramie, Sisal, Wood
Alpaca, Angora, Byssus, Camel hair, Cashmere, Catgut, Chiengora, Guanaco, Llama, Mohair Pashmina, Qiviut, Rabbit, Silk, Sinew, Spider silk, Wool, Vicuña, Yak
Mineral Asbestos
Synthetic Cellulose-based Acetate, Triacetate, Artificial silk, Bamboo, Lyocell Rayon, Modal Rayon, Rayon
Mineral Glass, Carbon (Tenax), Basalt, Metallic
Polymer Acrylic, Aramid ( Twaron, Kevlar, Technora, Nomex), Microfiber, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin Polyester, Polyethylene ( Dyneema, Spectra), Spandex, Vinylon, Vinyon, Zylon

Natural Fibres
The various natural fibres are classified based on the origin and include:

Vegetable Fibres (cellulose-based)
  1. fibre collected from seed or seed coatings (raw cotton, java cotton)
  2. Bast or phloem fiber collected from the "inner" skin (flax, ramie, hemp, jute)
  3. tendon fibre from stem or leaves (manila hemp, sisal hemp, etc.)
  4. fibre occurring around the trunk (hemp palm)
  5. fibre collected from the fruit/nut shells (coconut fibre - Coir)
Vegetable fibres are generally forms of cellulose and commercially, cotton and linen are the most important among them.

Cellulose is the most common organic compound on Earth. About 33% of all plant matter is cellulose (the cellulose content of cotton is 90% and that of wood is 40-50%).

Animal Fibres (protein-based)
  1. Silk - composed of amino acids linked by amide bonds (polymer)
  2. Wool - protein like material containing polypeptide chains (spiral polymer)
Leather made from animal hides (skin)

Mineral Fibres
  1. Asbestos is a natural mineral fibre.
Synthetic Fibres

Based on Natural Polymers
Cellulose, Cellulose Ester, Protein, Miscellaneous.
II-Synthetic Polymers:
Based on Synthetic Polymers
Polyamides, Polyesters fibres, Polyolefin, Poly-urethanes, Polyvinyl Derivatives like Poly-acrylonitrile (PAN), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polyvinylidene Chloride (Saran)

Chemical treatment and modification of fibres.

Dyeing of fabrics.
Other Textile Treatments
Dry cleaning
water repellants and water proofing
flame retardants and fire retardant fabrics
optical brighteners

Much of the information in these course notes has been sourced from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License. Students taking this course will be expected to contribute to Wikipedia as a part of their course assignments.

proceed to Textiles Module
or return to CHEM2402 course outline.

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Created July 2011. Links checked and/or last modified 12th October 2016.
URL http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm/courses/CHEM2402/Textiles/Outline_Textiles.html