Textile is an umbrella term that includes various fiber-based materials, including fibers, yarns, filaments, threads, different fabric types, etc. At first, the word "textiles" only referred to woven fabrics.: 3 : 5  However, weaving is not the only manufacturing method, and many other methods were later developed to form textile structures based on their intended use. Knitting and non-woven are other popular types of fabric manufacturing. In the contemporary world, textiles satisfy the material needs for versatile applications, from simple daily clothing to bulletproof jackets, spacesuits, and doctor's gowns.
Textiles are divided into two groups: consumer textiles for domestic purposes and technical textiles. In consumer textiles, aesthetics and comfort are the most important factors, while in technical textiles, functional properties are the priority.
Geotextiles, industrial textiles, medical textiles, and many other areas are examples of technical textiles, whereas clothing and furnishings are examples of consumer textiles. Each component of a textile product, including fiber, yarn, fabric, processing, and finishing, affects the final product. Components may vary among various textile products as they are selected based on their fitness for purpose.
Fiber is the smallest component of a fabric; fibers are typically spun into yarn, and yarns are used to manufacture fabrics. Fiber has a hair-like appearance and a higher length-to-width ratio. The sources of fibers may be natural, synthetic, or both. The techniques of felting and bonding directly transform fibers into fabric. In other cases, yarns are manipulated with different fabric manufacturing systems to produce various fabric constructions. The fibers are twisted or laid out to make a long, continuous strand of yarn. Yarns are then used to make different kinds of fabric by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, tatting, or braiding. After manufacturing, textile materials are processed and finished to add value, such as aesthetics, physical characteristics, and increased usefulness. The manufacturing of textiles is the oldest industrial art. Dyeing, printing, and embroidery are all different decorative arts applied to textile materials.
The word 'textile' comes from the Latin adjective textilis, meaning 'woven', which itself stems from textus, the past participle of the verb texere, 'to weave'. Originally applied to woven fabrics, the term "textiles" is now used to encompass a diverse range of materials, including fibers, yarns, and fabrics, as well as other related items.
A "fabric" is defined as any thin, flexible material made from yarn, directly from fibers, polymeric film, foam, or any combination of these techniques. Fabric has a broader application than cloth.: 207  Fabric is synonymous with cloth, material, goods, or piece goods. The word 'fabric' also derives from Latin, with roots in the Proto-Indo-European language. Stemming most recently from the Middle French fabrique, or "building," and earlier from the Latin fabrica ('workshop; an art, trade; a skillful production, structure, fabric'), the noun fabrica stems from the Latin faber" artisan who works in hard materials', which itself is derived from the Proto-Indo-European dhabh-, meaning 'to fit together'.
Cloth is a flexible substance typically created through the processes of weaving, felting, or knitting using natural or synthetic materials. The word 'cloth' derives from the Old English clað, meaning "a cloth, woven, or felted material to wrap around one's body', from the Proto-Germanic kalithaz, similar to the Old Frisian klath, the Middle Dutch cleet, the Middle High German kleit and the German kleid, all meaning 'garment'.
Although cloth is a type of fabric, not all fabrics can be classified as cloth due to differences in their manufacturing processes, physical properties, and intended uses. Materials that are woven, knitted, tufted, or knotted from yarns are referred to as cloth, while wallpaper, plastic upholstery products, carpets, and nonwoven materials are examples of fabrics.: 207
Main article: History of clothing and textiles
Textiles themselves are too fragile to survive across millennia; the tools used for spinning and weaving make up most of the prehistoric evidence for textile work. The earliest tool for spinning was the spindle, to which a whorl was eventually added. The weight of the whorl improved the thickness and twist of the spun thread. Later, the spinning wheel was invented. Historians are unsure where; some say China, others India.
The precursors of today's textiles include leaves, barks, fur pelts, and felted cloths.
The Banton Burial Cloth, the oldest existing example of warp ikat in Southeast Asia, is displayed at the National Museum of the Philippines. The cloth was most likely made by the native Asian people of northwest Romblon. The first clothes, worn at least 70,000 years ago and perhaps much earlier, were probably made of animal skins and helped protect early humans from the elements. At some point, people learned to weave plant fibers into textiles. The discovery of dyed flax fibers in a cave in the Republic of Georgia dated to 34,000 BCE suggests that textile-like materials were made as early as the Paleolithic era.
The speed and scale of textile production have been altered almost beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques.
The textile industry grew out of art and craft and was kept going by guilds. In the 18th and 19th centuries, during the industrial revolution, it became increasingly mechanized. In 1765, when a machine for spinning wool or cotton called the spinning jenny was invented in the United Kingdom, textile production became the first economic activity to be industrialised. In the 20th century, science and technology were driving forces. The textile industry exhibits inherent dynamism, influenced by a multitude of transformative changes and innovations within the domain. Textile operations can experience ramifications arising from shifts in international trade policies, evolving fashion trends, evolving customer preferences, variations in production costs and methodologies, adherence to safety and environmental regulations, as well as advancements in research and development.: 4
The textile and garment industries exert a significant impact on the economic systems of numerous countries engaged in textile production.
Most textiles were called by their generic names, their place of origin, or were put into groups based loosely on manufacturing techniques, characteristics, and designs. Nylon, olefin, and acrylic are all generic names for some synthetic fibres.: 219
|Name||Product||Textiles named by||Description|
|Cashmere||Wool fiber obtained from cashmere goats||Origin||Kashmir||Cashmere is synonymous with the Kashmir shawl, with the term "cashmere" derived from an anglicisation of Kashmir.|
|Calico||Plain weave textile material||Origin||Calicut||The fabric originated in the southwestern Indian city of Calicut.|
|Jaconet||Lightweight cotton fabric in plain weave||Origin||Jagannath Puri||Jaconet is anglicisation of Jagannath where it was originally produced.|
|Jersey||A type of Knitted fabric||Origin||Jersey, Channel Islands||Jersey fabric was produced first at Jersey, Channel Islands.|
|Kersey||A coarse woolen cloth||Origin||Kersey, Suffolk||The fabric is named after the town in the east of England.|
|Paisley (design)||A type of motif||Design||Paisley, Renfrewshire||A town situated in the west central Lowlands of Scotland.|
|Dosuti||A handspun cotton cloth||Characteristics||A coarse and thick cotton cloth||In and around the 19th century Punjab and Gujarat were famous destination for various handspun cloths. Dosuti was distinguished by the number of yarns [Do+Suti translates to two yarns] used to produce it. Eksuti was another variation with a single thread.|
|Mulmul types such as āb-i-ravān running water, Baft Hawa woven air||Fine muslin fabric variations from Dacca in Bengal||Characteristics||Delicate muslin types||Dacca, India's eastern subcontinent, had a wide range of handwoven and spun muslins. Baft Hawa, which means "woven air", Shabnam, which means "evening dew", and ab-i-ravan, which means "flowing water" are some poetic names for soft muslins.|
|Nainsook||A plain weave fabric with soft hand||Characteristics||Pleasing to the eyes||Nain + Sook translates to "eye-pleasing".|
|Swanskin||A woven flannel cloth||Characteristics||Appears and feels like swan skin||A18th century fabric developed at Shaftesbury.|
|Tansukh||Another type of Muslin with soft and delicate texture||Characteristics||Pleasing to the body||Tan + Sukh translates to "body pleasing". Tansukh was a fine, soft, and delicate textured cloth. The cloth type is mentioned in the 16th century Mughal time records, Ain-i-Akbari.|
The related words "fabric" and "cloth" and "material" are often used in textile assembly trades (such as tailoring and dressmaking) as synonyms for textile. However, there are subtle differences in these terms in specialized usage. A textile is any material made of interlacing fibers, including carpeting and geotextiles, which may not necessarily be used in the production of further goods, such as clothing and upholstery. A fabric is a material made through weaving, knitting, spreading, felting, stitching, crocheting or bonding that may be used in the production of further products, such as clothing and upholstery, thus requiring a further step of the production. Cloth may also be used synonymously with fabric, but often specifically refers to a piece of fabric that has been processed or cut.
Textiles are various materials made from fibers and yarns. The term "textile" was originally only used to refer to woven fabrics, but today it covers a broad range of subjects. Textiles are classified at various levels, such as according to fiber origin (natural or synthetic), structure (woven, knitted, nonwoven), finish, etc. However, there are primarily two types of textiles:
Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing and for containers such as bags and baskets. In the household, textiles are used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, window shades, towels, coverings for tables, beds, and other flat surfaces, and in art. Textiles are used in many traditional hand crafts such as sewing, quilting, and embroidery.
Textiles produced for industrial purposes, and designed and chosen for technical characteristics beyond their appearance, are commonly referred to as technical textiles. Technical textiles include textile structures for automotive applications, medical textiles (such as implants), geotextile (reinforcement of embankments), agrotextiles (textiles for crop protection), protective clothing (such as clothing resistant to heat and radiation for fire fighter clothing, against molten metals for welders, stab protection, and bullet proof vests).
In the workplace, textiles can be used in industrial and scientific processes such as filtering. Miscellaneous uses include flags, backpacks, tents, nets, cleaning rags, transportation devices such as balloons, kites, sails, and parachutes; textiles are also used to provide strengthening in composite materials such as fibreglass and industrial geotextiles.
Due to the often highly technical and legal requirements of these products, these textiles are typically tested in order to ensure they meet stringent performance requirements. Other forms of technical textiles may be produced to experiment with their scientific qualities and to explore the possible benefits they may have in the future. Threads coated with zinc oxide nanowires, when woven into fabric, have been shown capable of "self-powering nanosystems", using vibrations created by everyday actions like wind or body movements to generate energy.
Textiles are all around us. The textile is a component of basic needs like food and shelter. Textiles are everywhere in our lives, from bath towels to space suits. Textiles help humans by comforting, protecting, and extending their lives. Textiles meet our clothing needs, keeping us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are several applications for textiles, such as medical textiles, intelligent textiles, and automotive textiles. All of them contribute to the well-being of humans.
The term "serviceability" refers to a textile product's ability to meet the needs of consumers. The emphasis is on knowing the target market and matching the needs of the target market to the product's serviceability. Serviceability in textiles or Performance is the ability of textile materials to withstand various conditions, environments, and hazards. Aesthetics, durability, comfort and safety, appearance retention, care, environmental impact, and cost are the serviceability concepts employed in structuring the material.: 1 to 12
Fibers, yarns, fabric construction, and finishes and designing [of garments] are the various components of a textile product. The selection of components varies with the intended use. Henceforth, the fibers, yarns, and fabric manufacturing systems are selected with consideration of the required performance.: 1 to 12
|Commercial textiles/ Domestic textiles||End uses||Technical textiles/ Industrial purpose textiles||End uses|
|Clothing||Clothing items for men, women and children. nightwear, sportswear, lingerie, undergarments, swimsuit. Accessories such as caps, umbrella, socks, gloves, and handbags.||Agro-textiles||Agro-textiles are used in agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, landscape gardening and forestry. Mainly for crop protection, in crop development for instance shade nets, thermal insulation and sunscreen materials, windshield, antibird nets, covering livestock protection, suppressing weed and insect control, etc.|
|Furnishing||Upholstery, curtains, draperies, carpets, towels.||Geotextile||Technical textiles which are used in civil engineering, roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, bank protection, coastal engineering and construction site silt fences, and protection of melting glaciers.|
|Bedding||Bed sheets, khes, blankets, pillows.||Automotive textile||Airbags, seat belts, headliners, upholstery, car carpets, and door card.|
|Others||Shower curtains.||Medical textile||implants, sutures, dressings, bandages, medical gowns, face masks.|
|Indutech||This particular sector includes conveyor belts, drive belts, ropes and cordages, filtration products, glass battery separators, decatising and bolting cloth, AGM (absorption glass mat) plasma screens, coated abrasives, composite materials, printed circuit boards, printer ribbon, seals, gaskets, paper making fabrics.|
Textiles, textile production, and clothing were necessities of life in prehistory, intertwined with the social, economic, and religious systems. Other than clothing, textile crafts produced utilitarian, symbolic, and opulent items. Archaeological artifacts from the Stone Age and the Iron Age in Central Europe are used to examine prehistoric clothing and its role in forming individual and group identities.
Artifacts unearthed in various archaeological excavations informs us about the remains of past human life and their activities. Dyed flax fibers discovered in the Republic of Georgia indicate that textile-like materials were developed during the Paleolithic period. Radiocarbon dates the microscopic fibers to 36,000 years ago, when modern humans migrated from Africa.
Several textile remnants, such as the Inca Empire's textile arts remnants, which embody the Incas' aesthetics and social ideals, serve as a means for disseminating information about numerous civilizations, customs, and cultures.
There are textile museums that display history related to many aspects of textiles. The Textile Museum raises public awareness and appreciation of the artistic merits and cultural significance of the world's textiles on a local, national, and international scale. Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., was established in 1925.
The Bayeux Tapestry is a rare example of secular Romanesque art. The art work depicts the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
Textiles are also used for decorative art. Appliqué work of pipili is decorative art of Odisha, a state in eastern India, used for umbrellas, wall hangings, lamp sheds, and bags. To make a range of decorative products, colored clothes are sewn in the shapes of animals, birds, flowers, and magnificent walls on a base cloth.
Architextiles, a combination of the words architecture and textile, are textile-based assemblages. Awnings are a basic type of architectural textile. Mughal Shahi Lal Dera Tent, which was a movable palace, is an example of the architextiles of the Mughal period.
Textiles had been used as currency as well. In Africa, textiles were used as currency in addition to being used for clothing, headwear, swaddling, tents, sails, bags, sacks, carpets, rugs, curtains, etc.Along the east–west axis in sub-Saharan Africa, cloth strip, which was typically produced in the savannah, was used as a form of currency.
Textiles were among the objects offered to the gods [votive offering] in ancient Greece for religious purposes.
The smallest component of a fabric is fiber; fibers are typically spun into yarn, and yarns are used to make fabrics. Fibers are very thin and hair-like structures. The sources of fibers may be natural, synthetic, or both.: 64, 69
Global fiber production per person has increased from 8.4 kilograms in 1975 to 14.3 kilograms in 2021. After a modest drop due to COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, global fiber output rebounded to 113 million tons in 2021. Global fiber output roughly doubled from 58 million tons in 2000 to 113 million tons in 2021 and is anticipated to reach 149 million tons in 2030.
The demand for synthetic fibers is increasing rapidly. This has numerous causes. Reasons include its low price, the demand-supply imbalance of cotton, and its [Synthetic fibers'] versatility in design and application. Synthetic fibers accounts for 70% of global fiber use, mainly polyester. By 2030, the synthetic fiber market will reach 98.21 billion US dollars. From 2022 to 2030, the market is anticipated to increase by 5.1% per year.
Monomers are the building blocks of polymers. Polymers in fibers are of two types: additive or condensation. Natural fibers, such as cotton and wool, have a condensation polymer type, whereas synthetic fibers can have either an additive or a condensation polymer type. For example, acrylic fiber and olefin fibers have additive polymers, and nylon and polyester are condensation polymers.
|Cellulosic fibers (Vegetable or plant fibers)||Protein fibers (Animal fibers)||Mineral fibers||Petroleum based||Cellulose based|
Fiber properties influence textile characteristics such as aesthetics, durability, comfort, and cost.: 69 Fineness is one of the important characteristics of the fibers. They have a greater length-to-width ratio [100 times the diameter]. Fibers need to be strong, cohesive, and flexible. The usefulness of fibers are characterized on the basis of certain parameters such as strength, flexibility, and length to diameter ratio, and spinnability. Natural fibers are relatively short [staple] in length. Synthetic fibers are produced in longer lengths called filaments. Silk is the only natural fiber that is a filament. The classification of fibers is based on their origin, derivation, and generic types.: 64, 69
Certain properties of synthetic fibers, such as their diameter, cross section, and color, can be altered during production.: 66
Cotton: Cotton has a long history of use in the clothing due to its favorable properties. This fiber is soft, moisture-absorbent, breathable, and is renowned for its long durability.
Fabric or yarn produced with a combination of two or more types of different fibers, or yarns to obtain desired traits. Blending is possible at various stages of textile manufacturing. Final composition is liable for the properties of the resultant product. Natural and synthetic fibers are blended to overcome disadvantage of single fiber properties and to achieve better performance characteristics and aesthetic effects such as devoré, heather effect, cross dyeing and stripes pattern etc. Clothing woven from a blend of cotton and polyester can be more durable and easier to maintain than material woven solely from cotton. Other than sharing functional properties, blending makes the products more economical.
Union or Union fabrics is the 19th century term for blended fabrics. While it is no longer in use. Mixture or mixed cloth is another term used for blended cloths when different types of yarns are used in warp and weft sides.
Blended textiles are not new.
Fiber composition the fiber blend composition of mixtures of the fibers, is an important criterion to analyze the behavior, properties such as functional aspects, and commercial classification of the merchandise.
The most common blend is cotton and polyester. Regular blended fabric is 65% polyester and 35% cotton. It is called a reverse blend if the ratio of cotton predominates—the percentage of the fibers changes with the price and required properties.
Blending adds value to the textiles; it helps in reducing the cost (artificial fibers are less expensive than natural fibers) and adding advantage in properties of the final product. For instance, a small amount of spandex adds stretch to the fabrics. Wool can add warmth.
Fibers from the stalks of plants, such as hemp, flax, and nettles, are also known as 'bast' fibers. Hemp Fiber is yellowish-brown fiber made from the hemp plant. The fiber characteristics are coarser, harsher, strong and lightweight. Hemp fiber is used primary to make twine, rope and cordage.
Animal textiles are commonly made from hair, fur, skin or silk (in the case of silkworms).
Bacterial cellulose can be made from industrial organic and agricultural waste, and used as material for textiles and clothing.
Minerals and natural and synthetic fabrics may be combined, as in emery cloth, a layer of emery abrasive glued to a cloth backing. Also, "sand cloth" is a U.S. term for fine wire mesh with abrasive glued to it, employed like emery cloth or coarse sandpaper.
In the 20th century, they were supplemented by artificial fibers made from petroleum. Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest microfibre made of strands thinner than one denier to the sturdiest canvas.
Synthetic textiles are used primarily in the production of clothing, as well as the manufacture of geotextiles. Synthetic fibers are those that are chemically constructed, therefore are unsustainable.
Textile manufacturing has progressed from prehistoric crafts to a fully automated industry. Over the years, there have been continuous improvements in fabric structure and design.
|Production method||Description||Inventors, inventions and milestones in progression|
|Barkcloth||Barkcloth is made by pounding bark until it is soft and flat.: 245||Bark is an older known fabric; ancient people around the world wore bark cloth daily until woven fabrics replaced it. In Indonesia, the bark cloth is associated with the Torajan people, who made it from the fermentation of inner bark of certain local trees, mulberry and pandanus. The Torajans used stones and wooden beaters to produce bark cloth.|
|Felting||Felting is a method of manufacturing fabric directly from fibers by entangling, interlocking the fibers by rubbing and pressing.: 245||Both felt and Tapa cloth (a type of bark cloth) have a history that dates back to antiquity. Felting is another old method of fabric manufacturing. While civilizations in the western Mediterranean improved their weaving skills, nomads in Central Asia learned how to make felt, a non-woven material, from wool.: 5 : 245 Felting involves applying pressure and friction to a mat of fibers, working and rubbing them together until the fibers become interlocked and tangled, forming a nonwoven textile. A liquid, such as soapy water, is usually added to lubricate the fibers, and to open up the microscopic scales on strands of wool.: 245|
|Nonwoven||Nonwoven fabrics are manufactured by the bonding of fibers to make fabric. Bonding may be thermal, mechanical, or chemical, or adhesives can be used.||Nonwovens and felting share a similar history. The first fabric that was made without yarn [nonwoven] was felt. Later on, needle punched, bonded nonwovens were developed.: 5 : 245|
|Weaving||Weaving is a textile production method which involves interlacing a set of longer threads (called the warp) with a set of crossing threads (called the weft). This is done on a frame or machine known as a loom, of which there are a number of types. Some weaving is still done by hand, but the vast majority is mechanized.: 1–14||Handlooms: Early Looms date to 5000 BC. From antiquity until the mediaeval times, the loom improved in both Asia and Europe, despite the fact that the loom's fundamental operation remained unchanged. In 200 BC, the Chinese invented vertical looms and pedal looms, transforming the craft into an industry. By decreasing the worker's workload, innovative solutions improved productivity.
There were harnesses and heddles to govern the movement of the warp yarn, a shuttle to transport the weft yarns, a reed to compact the cloth, and a take up roller to roll down the cloth. By the 1st century AD, all necessary components for a loom were assembled.: 6
Power looms: John Kay invented the flying shuttle in 1734 in Bury, Lancashire. It was one of the first innovations in the cotton woven fabric industry. Samuel Crompton invented a spinning machine in 1779 that produced yarn faster than ever before. Then Edmund Cartwright invented the first power loom in 1785.: 10
Jacquard loom: The Jacquard machine was a modified version of programmable loom developed in 1804. It was developed by Joseph Marie Jacquard based on earlier inventions by Basile Bouchon (1725), Jean Baptiste Falcon (1728), and Jacques Vaucanson (1740).
The industrial revolution in the 18th century led to mass production of yarn and cloth, which led to the growth of the woven fabric part of the textile industry.
|Knitting||Knitting involves interlacing loops of yarn, which are formed either on a knitting needle, needle, or on a crochet hook, together in a line. The processes are different in that knitting has several active loops at one time, on the knitting needle waiting to interlock with another loop.||Hand knitting: Though knitting was developed by Danes around 900 BC it did not reach to other civilizations until 900 AD.: 5 Europe learned to knit by hand around 1400. Three to four stockings could be knit in a week by 1450. William Lee invented a stocking frame in 1589 that could knit one stocking per day. Acceptance of Lee's invention and subsequent modifications resulted in a wide range of fabrics in Europe.: 8 The machine knitting is separated into two main groups of production processes: warp knitting and weft knitting.|
|Looping, and crocheting||Looping and crocheting never have more than one active loop on the needle. Knitting can be performed by machine, but crochet can only be performed by hand.||Nålebinding is a precursor of crocheting and knitting.|
|Spread tow||Spread tow is a production method where the tow fibers are spread into thin tapes, and then the tapes are woven as warp and weft. This method is mostly used for composite materials; spread tow fabrics can be made in carbon, aramid and other fibers.|
|Braiding or plaiting||Braiding or plaiting involves intertwining threads together into cloth. Knotting involves tying threads together and is used in making tatting and macrame.: 279|
|Lace||Lace is made by interlocking threads together independently, using a backing alongside any of the methods described above, to create a fine fabric with open holes in the work. Lace can be made by either hand or machine.|
|3D Textiles||Complex interlacement of yarns where the final product has not plain form as flat fabrics, but 3D form.||All technologies - weft knitting, warp knitting, weaving and braiding allow production of complex products with 3D form if suitable machine configuration and pattern are used. This technologies are used for woven heart valves, composite profiles and other.|
|Additive manufactured textile like structures||Fabric manufacturing by 3D printer employs additive manufacturing, also known as additive layer manufacturing (ALM), a CAD-aided manufacturing technique that builds the object layer by layer. The method is used in manufacturing of Auxetic textiles and in composite materials.|
Important parameters in fabric selection:
The primary consideration in fabric selection is the end use. The fabric needs vary greatly depending on the application. Similar types of fabric may not be suitable for all applications.: 18
Fabric weight is an important criteria while producing different fabrics. A carpet requires a fabric with 1300 GSM, but a robe may be made with 160 GSM. Certainly, fabrics for clothes and carpets have distinct weights.: 18
|GSM (grams per square meter) range||Categorization||Termed as||Suitable for the textile products|
|0-50||Sheer fabric||Sheer curtains, Lingerie items, Wedding dresses,|
|50-150||Light weight||Top weight||Blouse, Lining, Shirt, T-shirt, Dress|
|150-300||Medium weight||Bottom weight||Skirt, Trousers, Kind of denims, and Suits|
|300-600||Medium to heavy weight||Bull denim||Drapery, Overcoat, Towel, Slipcover, Workwear|
|More than 600||Heavy||Carpet, Mat, Upholstery, Type of Winter coats|
Stretchable fabrics have greater movability and are thus more comfortable than fabrics with no stretch or less stretch.: 23
|Top five exporters of textiles—2013|
According to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database, the global textiles and apparel export market reached $772 billion in 2013.
China is the largest exporter of textile goods. The majority of China's exports consist of apparel, apparel accessories, textile yarns, and textile products. The competitive advantages of the China are low prices and abundant labor, lowered commercial obstacles, and a ready supply of raw materials. China, along with the United States and India, is a major producer of cotton.
China's apparel market share has declined in recent years due to various reasons and a shift toward high-end, sophisticated products. Additionally, the investors from China made stakes in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Last year, its market share was 36.7%, or $161 billion, a decline of 8% year-over-year. In other words, China lost $14 billion in garment work orders to other countries in a single year. In 2016, Bangladesh's apparel market share was valued at $28 billion, increasing 7.69 percent from the previous year.
In 2016 the leading exporters of apparel were; China ($161 billion), Bangladesh ($28 billion), Vietnam ($25 billion), India ($18 billion), Hong Kong ($16 billion), Turkey ($15 billion), and Indonesia ($7 billion).
Garment Exports in Bangladesh Reached Record High in 2021-2022 Fiscal Year; China ($220.302 billion), Bangladesh ($38.70 billion), India ($8.127 billion), Pakistan ($19.33 billion).
The fabric, when it leaves a loom or knitting machine, is not readily usable. It may be rough, uneven, or have flaws like skewing. Hence, it is necessary to finish the fabric. Finishing techniques enhance the value of the treated fabrics.: 6 After manufacturing, textiles undergo a range of finishing procedures, including bleaching, dyeing, printing, as well as mechanical and chemical finishing.
Textiles are often dyed, with fabrics available in almost every colour. The dyeing process often requires several dozen gallons of water for each pound of clothing. Coloured designs in textiles can be created by weaving together fibres of different colours (tartan or Uzbek Ikat), adding coloured stitches to finished fabric (embroidery), creating patterns by resist dyeing methods, tying off areas of cloth and dyeing the rest (tie-dyeing), drawing wax designs on cloth and dyeing in between them (batik), or using various printing processes on finished fabric. Woodblock printing, still used in India and elsewhere today, is the oldest of these dating back to at least 220 CE in China. Textiles are also sometimes bleached, making the textile pale or white.
In textiles, color matching extends beyond selecting the appropriate dyestuffs or pigments and combining them in precise proportions to achieve the desired end product color. Meeting criteria for fastness, cost, and quality is also essential. This process plays a critical role in materializing a designer's concept into an actual product.
Textile finishing is the process of converting the loomstate or raw goods into a useful product, which can be done mechanically or chemically. Finishing is a broad term that refers to a variety of physical and chemical techniques and treatments that finish one stage of textile production while also preparing for the next. Textile finishing can include aspects like improving surface feel, aesthetical enhancement, and adding advanced chemical finishes. A finish is any process that transforms unfinished products into finished products. This includes mechanical finishing and chemical applications which alter the composition of treated textiles (fiber, yarn or fabric.)
Since the 1990s, with advances in technologies such as permanent press process, finishing agents have been used to strengthen fabrics and make them wrinkle free. More recently, nanomaterials research has led to additional advancements, with companies such as Nano-Tex and NanoHorizons developing permanent treatments based on metallic nanoparticles for making textiles more resistant to things such as water, stains, wrinkles, and pathogens such as bacteria and fungi.
Textiles receive a range of treatments before they reach the end-user. From formaldehyde finishes (to improve crease-resistance) to biocidic finishes and from flame retardants to dyeing of many types of fabric, the possibilities are almost endless. However, many of these finishes may also have detrimental effects on the end user. A number of disperse, acid and reactive dyes, for example, have been shown to be allergenic to sensitive individuals. Further to this, specific dyes within this group have also been shown to induce purpuric contact dermatitis.
Eisengarn, meaning "iron yarn" in English, is a light-reflecting, strong material invented in Germany in the 19th century. It is made by soaking cotton threads in a starch and paraffin wax solution. The threads are then stretched and polished by steel rollers and brushes. The result of the process is a lustrous, tear-resistant yarn which is extremely hardwearing.
|Brushing||Carpets, rugs, velvet, velour, and velveteen, referred to as pile fabrics, are made by interlacing a secondary yarn through woven cloth, creating a tufted layer known as a nap or pile.: 196|
|Shearing||"Shearing machine" is a machine equipped with shearing cylinder, ledger blade, fluff exhaust, and joint seam sensors. The machine operates similarly to a lawn mower.: 197 Moleskin and velvet are sheared materials in which pile is cut to a certain level.|
After the oil industry, the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter of agricultural land, which has several harmful impacts on the environment. As the industry grows, the effect on the environment is worsening. Textile manufacturing is one of the oldest and most technologically complicated industries. This industry's fundamental strength stems from its solid manufacturing base of a diverse range of fibers/yarns ranging from natural fibers such as jute, silk, wool, cotton, and jute, to synthetic or manufactured fibers that include polyester, viscose, nylon, and acrylic.
Textile mills and their wastewater have grown in proportion to the increase in demand for textile products, generating a severe pollution concern around the world. Numerous textile industry chemicals pose environmental and health risks. Among the compounds in textile effluent, dyes are considered significant contaminants. Water pollution generated by the discharge of untreated wastewater and the use of toxic chemicals, particularly during processing, account for the majority of the global environmental concerns linked with the textile industry.
Clothing is necessary to meet the fundamental needs of humans. Increased population and living standards have increased the need for clothing, enhancing the demand for textile manufacturing; wet processing needs more water consumption. Conventional machinery and treatment procedures use enormous quantities of water, especially for natural fibers, which require up to 150 kg of water per kg of material. The textile sector is accountable for a substantial number of environmental impacts. However, the discharge of untreated effluents into water bodies is responsible for the majority of environmental harm produced by the textile sector.
The textile sector is believed to utilise 79 trillion litres of water per year and to discharge around 20% of all industrial effluent into the environment. Reportedly, aromatic and heterocyclic compounds with color-display and polar groups make up most of the dyes used in textile coloration processes. The structure is more complex and stable, making it more difficult to degrade printing and dyeing wastewater.
In addition, textiles constitute a significant percentage of landfill waste. In 2023, North Carolina State University researchers used enzymes to separate cotton from polyester in an early step towards reducing textile waste, allowing each material to be recycled.
Many kinds of respiratory diseases, skin problems, and allergies may be caused by dyes and pigments discharged into the water.
Although formaldehyde levels in clothing are unlikely to be at levels high enough to cause an allergic reaction, due to the presence of such a chemical, quality control and testing are of utmost importance. Flame retardants (mainly in the brominated form) are also of concern where the environment, and their potential toxicity, are concerned.
Certain chemical finishes contain potential hazards to health and the environment. Perfluorinated acids are considered to be hazardous to human health by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
|Name of the substance||Advantage in textile products||Associated health risks and environmental impacts||References|
|Perfluorooctanoic acid ( PFOA), Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon)||Hydrophobic effect||Endocrine disruptor|||
|Fluorocarbon (PFC)||Hydrophobic effect||May cause respiratory illness|||
|Bromine||Brominated flame retardant||Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances may cause neurobehavioral disorders and endocrine disruption|||
|Silver, silver nanoparticle||Antimicrobial resistance||Environmental impact of silver nanoparticles and toxic effects on human health|||
Testing for these additives is possible at a number of commercial laboratories. It is also possible to have textiles tested according to the Oeko-tex certification standard, which contains limits levels for the use of certain chemicals in textiles products.
Different countries have certain laws and regulations to protect consumers' interests. The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act is a law that protects consumers in the United States. The act protects producer and consumer interests by implementing labelling (required content disclosure) and advertising requirements on textile products. The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act applies to all textile fiber products besides wool, which is governed by the Wool Product Label Number. The law prohibits misinformation about the fiber content, misbranding, and any unfair advertising practice, as well as requires businesses to operate in a particular manner.
Testing occurs at various stages of the textile manufacturing process, from raw material to finished product. The purpose of testing is to evaluate and analyze the regulatory compliance, the product's quality and performance, as well as to measure its specifications. Textile testing encompasses a wide range of methodologies, procedures, equipment, and sophisticated laboratories. Local governments and authorized organization's such as ASTM International, International Organization for Standardization, and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists establish standards for testing of textiles.
Some examples of tests at different stages:
For fiber: Fiber identification is a necessary test for determining fiber content and classifying products. The labelling of items with their fiber content percentage is a regulatory requirement. Using microscopy, solubility, and burn tests, fibers are distinguished from one another. More fiber relating tests include fiber length, diameter, Micronaire.
For yarn: Yarn count, Denier, Strength, evenness.
For fabric: Dimensional stability, color fastness, thread count, G.S.M, pilling, flammability.
Textile market on the sidewalks of Karachi, Pakistan
Magnified view of a plain or tabby weave textile
Fabric shop in canal town Mukalla, Yemen
Advertisement for Zepel, the trade name used to market Teflon as a fabric treatment
Textile machinery at the Cambrian Factory, Llanwrtyd, Wales, in the 1940s
A modern umbrella fabric has specific requirements for colour fastness to light, water and wet rubbing, and permeability.
Appliqué cross. The edges are covered and stitches are hidden. It is overlaid with decorative gold thread.
Clothing made of textiles, Thailand
A modern Manila hemp made on industrial weaving machines
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acrylic fiber used to imitate wools.