Q:

What are fabrics?

A:

Quick Answer

A fabric is a material made of artificial or natural fibers woven together. The characteristics of fabrics depend on the fibers used and what treatment is applied to them. Treatments may include dyes, starching and formaldehyde finishes.

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Full Answer

The natural fibers that were used throughout the history of mankind were silk, cotton, wool and flax. Then artificial fibers were created that include rayon, nylon, acrylic and polyester. Fabrics are used in the creation of many items such as backpacks, clothing, tents, nets, flags, balloons, parachutes, sails, carpets and towels. As of 2008, the United States was the third exporter of textiles in the world. As of 2014, the last artificial fiber to be invented and used was lyocell in 1993, made from wood pulp.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some different types of fabrics?

    A:

    There are many different types of fabrics, but all fabrics fall into two distinct categories: natural and synthetic. Natural fabrics include the fabrics that are made from nature through animal coats or plants such as wool, silk, linen and cotton. Synthetic fabrics are man-made and include spandex, polyester, acrylic, nylon and rayon fabrics.

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  • Q:

    How are woven fabrics made?

    A:

    According to the BBC, woven fabrics are made by weaving together yarn strands in an over-under pattern. Warp threads are strung vertically on a loom, and then a weft thread is woven horizontally through the warp. When the weft thread reaches the end, it can be looped over and passed back the other way, forming an S-shaped curve as it progresses up the loom.

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  • Q:

    Can you wash acetate?

    A:

    Acetate fabrics can be machine washed on the gentle cycle in warm water, with a mild detergent, then laid out flat to dry. If stained, rinse first in cold water before washing. Avoid wringing out the fabric if hand washing, as it can cause damage to the garment.

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  • Q:

    How can you make fabric stiff?

    A:

    Use a gelatin mixture to firm up fabrics like silk chiffon and silk charmeuse. Mix a solution of 1 teaspoon of gelatin with 16 ounces of tap water, then leave it to sit for 30 minutes.

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