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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Synthetic And Natural Fibers

978 words - 4 pages

Synthetic and natural fibers are the most essential part in clothes manufacturing. They make up the clothing we wear everyday. Fibers are made up of polymers, which are an arrangement of large molecules that are then made up of groups of even smaller molecules that are linked together to form a large chain structure. The smaller molecules are called monomers, and when they join together larger molecules are produced, making macromolecules (Bailey). Synthetic fibers are made up of polymers giving them more unique abilities while still being an affordable alternative to natural fabrics. However, natural fabrics are more luxurious than synthetic. There are many other characteristics that each fiber has, both positive and negative. Which fiber is has the most advantages, synthetic or natural fibers?

Synthetic fibers are man-made from chemical processes or altered natural fibers. They most often start out as a chemical made from coal, oil or natural gas. The compound is then ran through a device with small holes in it called a spinneret. (Troøyen, Fabrics for Dummies: Synthetic Fibers). The solution then evaporates and creates the fiber. Nylon was the world’s first synthetic fiber that was created from only chemicals. It had many advantages such as being durable and lightweight, much better than natural fibers and a substitute for wool (1910s Synthetic Textile Fibers ) . “Nylon was made after several years of research at the DuPont company. Inside, it was simply called fibre 66, but they wanted a trade name. The first suggestion was Duparooh, short for 'DuPont pulls a rabbit out of hat'! But after 400 names were suggested, nylon was finally chosen” (How Are Synthetic Fibers Made?). The first company to produce synthetic fabrics was the Celanese Company. They created rayon by using cellulose. Rayon was now known as a cheaper and more practical version of silk (Murphy). In the 1950's flash spinning was introduced. This is a process in which the solvent is removed quickly at high pressures and temperatures. This made a web of string. (1910s Synthetic Textile Fibers )

Natural fibers all have very different characteristics, however there are some common attributes to all natural fibers. Most are very soft and comfortable to wear, they breathe a lot better than synthetic fibers and they all have a better and more realistic appearance than synthetic fibers. However with these good points, there are also some negative ones. Because some the fibers are so thick, they are all very absorbent and take a long time to dry. Some fabrics are also known well for shrinking if not washed properly, and this is a lot of work to take care of a piece of clothing (Troøyen, Fabrics for Dummies: Natural Fibers). Natural fabrics require a lot of cleaning, which uses a large amount of energy. Cotton, a natural fabric, requires ironing, washing and drying, 72% more energy is used than if you wore a synthetic fabric clothing instead. If...

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