Fiber is a delicate hair portion of the tissues of a plant, animal or other substances, that are subtle in diameter in relation to length. The general classification of fibers can be; Natural and Man-made. However, this classification can’t bring out the distinct fiber families hence the need for more breakdown. Textile fibers are obtained from many sources. Natural fibers include those produced by plants, animals, and geological processes. Man-made refer to the manufactured ones. The textile industry requires that fiber content be provided on content labels and should meet the safety standards for use. Below is the distinct classification of the fibers used in wheel spinning.
1. Animal Based Fibers
These are natural fibers that consist largely of particular proteins. They are the most popular type used in hand spinning and are enjoyed in moderate portions. They are either based on plant (cellulose) or animal (protein). They include the following examples;
Is a unique natural fiber quite fine, long stable and with excellent thermal properties. It comes in a full range of colors (around 22), often rare and in high demand. It was traditionally produced in South America. It is almost indestructible, and alpaca clothing is extremely healthy and comfortable to wear. Improved diet, high-quality veterinary care, and scientific selective breeding determine the future of alpaca fibers.
Angora fiver is an excellent fiber often used for crocheting and knitting to make exquisitely soft textiles. The Angora fiber is made from Angora rabbit’s hair. There exists four basic breads of the angora rabbits; these are the French, English, Satin and Giant breeds. The texture is highly warm with a high insulating property that traps warmth. It has an excellent strength and durability.
Silk is an animal fiber whose main chemical component is fibroin. It is found in filament form. It is produced by insects (spider and silkworms). Its properties make it a superior substance for spinning, knitting, weaving, printing as well as finishing. The color of silk could be yellow, green, brown or gray. It can withstand higher temperatures than wool and is less likely damaged by alkalis.
1.4 Mohair wool
Mohair is a silk-like fabric that is made from Angora goat hair. It is quite durable and resilient and is known for its higher luster and sheen. It is an environmentally friendly alternative to real fur. It is soft, luxurious and durable. Mohair drapes are great insulators to keep heat in during cold weather.
1.5 Camel Hair
Camel hair animal fiber is obtained from the camel and belongs to the group known as specialty hair fibers. Such camels have protective outer coats, of a course fiber that grow as long as 40cm. Textiles from camel hair are some of the finest, and they make a luxury apparel. Camel’s hair is often obtained from two-humped Bactrian camel with the best quality coming from nomadic households of Mongolia.
2. Plant Based Fibers
Cotton is a natural fiber harvested from the cotton plant. It is one of the oldest fibers under human cultivation spanning over 7,000 years ago. Many cottons are blended with other natural fibers such as linen to add texture and strength for weaving and knitting.
Flax is produced from the bast of the flax plant. Flax fiber is exceptionally adaptable. Its length and fineness can be changed in many different ways through mechanical and chemical processes making it highly suitable for various spinning techniques.
Bamboo textiles are the clothing or yarn made from the bamboo fibers. Bamboo is a naturally occurring natural textile made from the pulp of the bamboo grass. It resembles cotton in its un-spun form. It then spun and dyed for weaving into cloth.
Sisal is a long, strong white fiber made from the leaves of a Mexican plant used to make ropes and twine. Sisal is long, versatile and hard wearing and can be used to make heavy textiles.
3. Synthetic fibers
Rayon is a synthetic textile material that is composed of some regenerated and highly-purified cellulose that is derived from various plant sources. It is described as a regenerated fiber because the cellulose is obtained from soft woods or linters. It is then converted into a liquid compound and squeezed through tiny holes using a spinnerette.
Polyester is a manufactured fiber used in textile and made from synthesized polymers. It is resilient, quick drying and resistant to biological damages such as mold and mildew. It is easy to wash and able to hold forms well.
Acetate is a synthetic fiber obtained from cellulose acetate. It is molded from solutions of cellulose acetate in organic solvents. It is quite elastic, soft with a pleasant feel.
Nylon is a family of high-strength and resilient synthetic polymers made from the polymerization of an amine and acid chloride. The thread is lifted from the interface of two immiscible liquids.