Metallic Fibre Vs. Art Silk: Which is Better?
Bholenath U. Upadhyay
Fibres and Textiles Processing Technology,
ICT Mumbai, India
Metallic fibre is a manufactured fibre produced from metal. It may be composed of metal, plastic-coated metal, metal-coated plastic, or a core completely covered by metal. Generally it is used as yarns for fabric decoration.
Art silk is a synthetic fiber which resembles silk, but typically costs less to produce. It is derived from Artificial Silk. Art silk fabric is also called “Rayon Fabric”. It is widely used in sarees.
Metallic fibre and art silk are described below in conversation way.
METALLIC FIBRE: Hello everyone! My name is metallic fibre, commonly known as “fancy fibre” due to my glittery and happy nature, basically, I am a manufactured fibre composed of metal, plastic-coated metal, metal-coated plastic, or a core completely covered by metal.
ART SILK: Hello everyone, my name is artificial silk, commonly known as art silk, I am actually called as the son in law of silk. I am basically a semi-synthetic regenerated fibre comprising of viscose and cuprammonium rayon.
METALLIC FIBRE: Hey you, artificial, stay back….cheap!!!! By the way, why your name consist of the term artificial?? Please enlighten me!!
ART SILK: Don’t call me artificial, I also have a short-form for that which is as pure as ‘art’ and also don’t go by the word artificial, even “glitter” which is a type of rayon is a filament fibre of me with the metallic appearance and has the ability to replace you. As I resemble silk in many aspects, people gave me a new name as art silk.
METALLIC FIBRE: Haha…then too you are consider as a substitute for silk, though you are a member of rayon family. Look at me, I m considered as a whole separate class of fibre in textiles which makes me so independent and I am proud of it.
ART SILK: Keep your pride out for some time , and let me say you that I am not a substitute to any one like silk , earlier people named my family as rayon (ray=light, on=cotton) ,so they say that I resembled cotton. It’s not my fault that I have some qualities common with others and by the way it’s my pride too that I am compared to the king and queen of fibres.
METALLIC FIBRE: Okay okay!! Then too you don’t have a great history as mine, I was used in the clothing of kings and queens as a symbol of nobility and status. Also, in ancient time, people used one of my sibling, gold, in its yarn form for weaving cloths wholly or partly and therefore I was also known as cloth of gold.
ART SILK: History is history now there is no question of only king and queen but one needs to think about masses, people do get a feel like a king and queen when they wear the more absorbent than cotton apparel of made from me. Also you are just a waste, I mean are you biodegradable like me? , if you are the cloth of gold then I am the cloth of protection.
METALLIC FIBRE: Although I am not as that biodegradable as you are, but I am light in weight along with great strength also I can be stretched to a considerable extent, therefore elastic and resilient. Whereas when it comes to resistant I am always better than you since I can resist the attack of insects and microorganisms along with acid and alkali.
ART SILK: Yes I do agree on this but I am more absorbent than you and even 12% more absorbent than cotton. My fineness is less so I give a very silky like feel to the hand. My tensile strength is also fine not as good as you but even my tensile strength in dry condition is good. One of my brother viscose rayon has 15-30% elongation at break. Even my conductivity is good but yes can’t be compared with you. Do you something more interesting in your properties?
METALLIC FIBRE: Well, temperature is not my good friend since it harms me while ironing and gives me a limit of ironing temperature of 130 degree celcius. I don’t like moisture that much and I only consume it upto 0.5%. Also I am not like you whose strength gets lowered by 50% in wet condition but I am not afraid of water and hardly lose any strength when wetted. Also I am a very social fibre since I can conduct with others using my free electrons, therefore I am worldwide famous as conductive fibre. Do you have such awesome properties??
ART SILK: Yeah why not, do you think you are only so called socially active fibre, even I can form a blend fibre with the silk, mercerised cotton and even with polyester. I can be dyed by various dyes to get a brilliant attractive look . As a regenerated fibre I am also eco-friendly as I produce less harmfull gases. Do you know that you can be corroded when oxidised but I can resist even the most strong oxidising agents like hypochlorite and peroxide.
METALLIC FIBRE: What did you said? Less harmfull gases?? Oh please, you produce Carbon disulphide gas which is a great hazard to the environment and also add many effluents to water since you are a wet spun fibre, which makes my LCA more superior than you. Also I can prevent my corrosion using adhesive films.
ART SILK: Who said that I produce a lot of pollution, I think you didn’t hear me properly. My another brother, Cuprammonium rayon, permits disposal by incineration with significantly less formation of harmfull gases than other fibres. Also don’t forget that you require a coating for protection from corrosion or else your half of the life span is reduced. What about your production? How are you produce?
METALLIC FIBRE: My production is way too simpler than yours since it doesn’t consist of dissolution, regeneration and all that stuff. So there are two methods to produce me. The most common is the laminating process, which seals a layer of aluminum (used as a base for me almost everywhere) between two layers of acetate or polyester film who are members of our species, then they cut me into lengthwise strips for yarns and wound me onto bobbins. The adhesive or the film can be colored before the laminating process which gives a dazzling look. What about you? Do you have such a simplified method of production ?
ART SILK: Yes why not, basically I can be produced with wood pulp or cotton linters, but the basic raw material for making me must be processed in order to extract and purify cellulose, then I undergo wet processing to form cellulose filaments which are then spun into yarns and made into fabric. Also I am not that expensive to produce like you. And what about your second method? Is it so interesting than mine?
METALLIC FIBRE: Yeah calm down my friend, I am coming to it. So I can also be produced by metalizing process which involves heating the metal until it vaporizes then depositing it at a high pressure onto the polyester film. This process produces a more thinner, more flexible, more durable, and more comfortable version of me. By the way, what about your applications, are you more commonly applicable than me? I don’t think so.
ART SILK: If that’s the case, then you need to think again. In fact people are quite fond of my products specially women as the art silk sarees make them look adorable, also they get a so called high class society status. My specially modified products are used by U.S. Forces and even in the police uniforms. I am also used for industrial, agriculture and medicinal purpose. Can you be used in domestic chores like me ?
METALLIC FIBRE: I am not born to be used in so sensitive areas but the purpose of my birth is to serve in high tech fields like technical textiles with my god-gifted properties such as high strength, electrical conductivity, heat resistance, anti-microbial properties, etc.
ART SILK: Then too please don’t forget that, right from the bed sheets from where people start their day to the agricultural field in seeder net and seeder tape from where all the human beings get their food, I am used everywhere.
METALLIC FIBRE: Even I am not just limited to technical textiles but also most commonly used in upholstery. I am used in communication lines such as phone lines and cable lines also finding my application in tire cords and missile nose cone. I am also used in protective suits, space suits, cut resistant gloves for butchers and other working places near bladed or dangerous machinery and protect people from get.
ART SILK: I was not aware that you are a so hard working fibre and beneficial in so many field. Seriously, you have gained a high degree of respect in my eyes. A great salute to you brother.
METALLIC FIBRE: Thanks brother! But don’t forget that although I am beneficial, you are more friendly to common people who can’t afford original silk every time & you give them happiness by fulfilling their dream of using silk. A Grand salute to you.
Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.