What is Micro Fiber | Characteristics and Properties of Microfiber

Last Updated on 27/05/2021

Microfiber and Its Properties

Harshani Wijendra
Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel Technology (SLITA)
Email: harshani_bipasha@yahoo.com


What is Micro Fiber?
Microfiber or micro fiber is a synthetic fiber finer than one or 1.3 denier or decitex/thread. This is 1/100th the diameter of a human hair and 1/20th the diameter of a strand of silk. The most common types of microfibers are made from polyesters, polyamides (e.g., nylon, Kevlar, Nomex, trogamide), or a conjugation of polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene (Prolen).

Micro fiber combines two basic fibers, Polyester and Polyamide (a Nylon by-product). These fibers are usually “split” and formed into a woven fabric of 80% Polyester (the scrubbing and cleaning fiber), and 20% Polyamide (the absorbing and quick drying fiber).

These threads are very small in diameter making them super soft. Rated in denier, the unit for measuring fineness of fabric, a strand of cotton has a rating of 200. A human hair has a denier of 20 and a strand of silk has a denier of 8. Micro fiber has a denier of 0.01 to 0.02! At minimum, 100 times finer than a human hair. Softer than silk, yet bull-dog tough, split Microfiber cloth attracts dust, grime, oily films and salt residues like a magnet.

micro fiber in front of a human hair
Fig: Micro fiber in front of a human hair

The unique surface structure of split microfiber cloth contains hundreds of thousands of micro fiber “hooks” per square inch! These micro-hooks grab, lift, and hold dust and grime without the need for cleaning solutions. Microfiber cloth can be used damp or dry. Used dry, Micro fiber cloth works like a chamois. The super absorbent weaves holds up to seven times its weight in fluid and will not scratch paint, glass, acrylics or plastic window tint films.

Comparison the fineness of microfiber with different textile fibers

Comparison the fineness properties of microfiber with different textile fibers
Fig: Comparison the fineness of different textile fibers

Characteristics of Microfiber

  1. In spite of very fine quality, micro fibers have exceptional strength.
  2. They are breathable fabrics.
  3. Comfort of micro fibers is similar to natural fibers.
  4. It is soft.
  5. They are very durable.
  6. They can be easily maintained and cared for.
  7. They retain their original shape.
  8. They are windproof and water resistant.
  9. They have good moisture wicking ability.
  10. Micro fiber has excellent drape.
  11. It is very light weight.

Properties of Microfiber
Microfibers are made solely from man-made fibers. They are the finest of all the fibers. Sportswear from microfibers functions particularly well. It is breathable and at the same time provides reliable protection against wind and rain. Fashionable apparels in microfibers have graceful flow, silk-like feel and are extremely comfortable. Microfiber clothing is not sensitive, retaining its positive qualities after washing or cleaning. General microfiber properties are point out below.

General Properties of Microfiber

  1. Ultra-fine linear density (less than 0.1 dtex/f), finer than the most delicate silk.
  2. Extremely drapeable and Durability.
  3. Very soft, luxurious hand with a silken or suede touch.
  4. Washable and dry-cleanable.
  5. Shrink resistance.
  6. High strength, although the filaments are super fine.
  7. Insulates well against wind, rain and cold.
  8. Anti-microbial agents help to protect both family members and work staff from the dangers of the bacteria that cause odor and mildew.
  9. Microfiber is hypoallergenic, and so does not create problems for those suffering from allergies.
  10. Microfibre is non-electrostatic.
  11. Microfibers are super-absorbent, absorbing over 7 times their weight in water.
  12. Microfiber dries in one-third of the time of ordinary fibers.
  13. Microfibers are environmentally friendly
  14. Improved breathability
  15. Vivid prints with more clarity and sharper contrast
  16. Appearance retention
  17. Can be made windproof and water resistant
  18. The greater fiber surface area also results in higher rates of dyeing at lower temperatures, and decreased fastness to light, crocking (fastness to rubbing), water and ozone.

You may also like:

  1. Microfiber: Manufacturing, Benefits, End Uses, Appearances & Development
  2. Manufacturing Process of Microfibres: Methods, Materials and Treatments
  3. Application of Microfiber: Clothing, Filter Fabrics, Cleaning, Medical
  4. Dyeing of Polyester Microfiber Fabric and Its Application in Textile

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