Durability Properties of Natural and Manmade Fibers

Last Updated on 16/01/2021

Durability Properties of Fibers:

There are many properties of fiber. Among them durability is one of its most desirable properties of fiber. Fabric has become very important to consumers in the last few years. For example, when buying sheets 75% of shoppers said durability was the most important factor in their purchase. Proof of its strength can be found the great number of uses it has.

The durability of clothing to average wear and tear depends somewhat more on the elasticity, flexibility and resistance of the textile fiber and fabric, rather than the absolute strength of either fiber or fabric. If a fabric possesses these three properties, its garment will absorb or counter more readily stresses and strains during wear. It will allow itself to be deformed with less resistance, thus reducing the chance of intermediate tearing or twisting. For these reasons wool garments owe much of their durability to the elasticity, resilience and flexibility of the fiber and fabric, even though wool is a weak fiber.

Durability evaluations of textile fibres
Fig: Durability evaluations of textile fibres

Strength combined with these properties provides excellent durability that is why nylon and polyester fiber fabrics seem to last forever. Strength and reasonable flexibility can also provide good durability as illustrated by cotton which lack elasticity and resilience.

Felting, matting or bonding of fibers in fabrics tends to increase fabric strength and thereby enhance durability. A raised fabric surface increases fabric resilience and provides longer resistance to abrasive surfaces, e.g. carpets, ribbed fabrics, etc.

Durability Properties of Fibers
Fig: Durability Properties of Fibers

Durability Properties of Natural Fibers:

Properties Cotton Wool Silk
Strength Good Fair Very Good
Moisture Absorbency Very Good Excellent Excellent
Resistance to Abrasion Good Fair Fair
Durability Fair Fair Fair
Stability to Laundering Very Good Good Good
Wash and Wear Poor Fair Poor
Pressed crease Retention Fair Very Good Fair
Pilling Resistance Good Poor Good
Resistance to Mildew Very Good Excellent Excellent
Resistance to Moth/Insects Excellent Very Poor Poor
Effect of Bleaching Becomes weak in concentrated or hot bleaching solution Cl bleach harms, careful use of H2O2/Perborates Cl bleach harms, careful use of H2O2

Durability Properties of Man-made Fiber:

Properties Rayon Nylon Polyester Acrylic Tencel
Strength Very Good Very Good Very Good Fair Very Good
Moisture Absorbency Poor Poor Very Poor Very Poor Very Good
Resistance to Abrasion Excellent Excellent Very Good Fair Very Good
Durability Good Good Excellent Good Excellent
Stability to Laundering Excellent Excellent Excellent Good Excellent
Wash and Wear Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Pressed crease Retention Good  Good Very Good Very Good Very Good
Pilling Resistance Fair Fair Fair Fair Very Good
Resistance to Mildew Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Insufficient data
Resistance to Moth/Insects Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Insufficient data
Effect of Bleaching Becomes weak in concentrated or hot solution Good Good Very Good Insufficient data

References:

  1. Introduction to Textile Fibres by H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy
  2. Handbook of Textile Fibres: Natural Fibres by J. Gordon Cook

You may also like:

  1. Physical and Chemical Properties of Wool Fiber
  2. Application of High Performance Fibers for Special Purposes
  3. Technical Properties of Cotton Fiber
  4. Different Types of Man Made Fibers with Their Application
  5. Chemical Composition of Cotton Fiber
  6. Difference between Natural Fiber and Man Made Fiber
  7. Impurities of Different Natural Fibers with Percentage

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