A synthetic fabric is a product of chemical synthesis and manufacturing processes. They’re supposed to look like natural fibers and fabrics, but the chemicals used to make them are obtained from petroleum. To put it another way, they’re made of synthetic materials.
Acrylic, polyester, nylon, and spandex are the most prevalent synthetic materials. Each has its own unique flaws, but they all share a common weakness: heat, which makes them all vulnerable to wear and tear. Some brand names for synthetic fabrics are trademarked and do not refer to distinct types of fabrics.
Continue reading this post to understand more about synthetic materials and their names. It contains all of the information you need to make an informed decision on the resources you need for your sewing tasks. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the fabric’s name and description.
Purpose of Synthetic Fabrics
In order to avoid any misunderstandings, it is necessary to clarify a few points before moving on to listing the various chemically produced fabrics. Synthetic materials were designed to look like natural ones, as you’ve just read.
In other words, the names of these materials will be similar to the names you’re already familiar with, such as “cotton,” “wool,” “silk,” and so on. To put it another way, the fabric names will remain the same, but the fibers used to create those fabrics will be distinct from one another.
It was also discovered that synthetic fibers might be used as a cheaper alternative to garment fabrics. Processing natural fibers necessitates specialized equipment and consumes a significant amount of resources. The rarity of these natural fibers might further raise the price.
Some natural fabrics are too expensive for some individuals, thus different businessmen recognized an opportunity to make money by manufacturing synthetic fabrics. Even though these fibers are synthetic, their work has managed to mimic the look, feel, and texture of natural fibers to a level that anyone can appreciate.
Others would consider rayon, viscose and other synthetic materials to be synthetic. We don’t have time for that. We label them as in-between fabrics or as belonging to the group of materials that fall somewhere in the between.
It’s not synthetic because they’re made of both chemicals and natural substances. They fall within the “neither/nor” group. It’s possible you’ve heard of them, but they don’t belong on our list of manufactured foods.
How Many Types of Synthetic Fabric are There?
It all comes down to who you ask, as we’ve already stated in other pieces. For example, Gore-Tex, Dacron, and other registered brand names are included as independent synthetic fabric types on certain lists, and those names increase the number of fabrics on some lists to 30.
In today’s world, there are anywhere from 10 to 25 different kinds of synthetic materials. In order to provide the greatest possible apparel, manufacturers are constantly developing new synthetic fabrics.
Anti-wrinkling, anti-shrinking, anti-pilling, anti-stretching, and a slew of other properties are infused into these fibers. With the help of synthetic textiles, washing your clothes is a little easier.
We’ll wind up with a list of between 10 and 25 items because we’re not counting lycra three times because it goes by three distinct names in different countries.
All registered brand names are also excluded because they are mainly variants on existing synthetic fabric kinds. Leather and suede will not be included in our list, as some do. Using natural hides and chemicals to manufacture the material, it falls somewhere in the middle.
What are Examples of Synthetic Fabrics?
Most people have seen examples of synthetic materials at one time or another. Many applications for synthetic fibers and fabrics can be found in the registered brand names. Brand names that have been trademarked are attempting to enhance what we are about to discuss.
There are countless uses for polyester, which is only one example. A wide range of textiles can be found in anything from clothing to carpets to mattresses. All-purpose synthetic material that is both strong and durable. Its greatest opponent is the sun’s rays.
Then there’s nylon, which is frequently found in garment pieces that require a certain amount of give. Stockings, socks, some sporting gear, umbrellas, and rainwear all contain nylon fibers.
Now comes the cloth that has no idea what to call itself. We are talking about lycra, elastane, and spandex and we will use the last name as we do not like the other two.
You can rely on this fabric for a lot of stretch. The fibers can be combined with natural or synthetic fibers to achieve the same stretch. For athletic costumes, spandex is ideal since material can be stretched to accommodate the athlete’s needs.
Among the many uses of synthetic fibers, microfiber is among the most versatile. The material can be produced from polyester, acrylic, and nylon, among other synthetics. There are many tasks that call for delicate cleaning materials, and this one fits the bill perfectly.
As a last option, acrylic, which sounds just like the paint that you can buy at your local paint store The fibers of this material can be weaved or knitted, making it a versatile material. Static electricity is a major downside of this synthetic fiber, which was developed to seem like wool.
How are Synthetic Fibers Classified?
Non-natural fibers and fabrics, as you may know, are what they fall under. Man-made is the most accurate way to describe them so that there is no ambiguity as to how they were put together.
They are just like that. Men and women who have studied natural fibers and found ways to employ petroleum compounds to resemble those natural fibers have come up with the idea of synthetic fibers and fabrics.
Cotton and silk were the original inspiration for rayon and viscose, which are in-between materials. Synthetic fibers are the same. They are processed to the same degree as natural fibers to achieve the same level of softness, comfort, and texture.
Because it is a man-made substitute for real fur, fake fur was created. When this material was first invented, the expense of actual was a major factor in its creation, but animal rights groups and certain animal lovers have since added additional reasons to make this substance as well.
Two characteristics unify all synthetic materials. They are derived from petroleum and subjected to human intervention. A person’s health can be placed at risk by using these items or its bedding, as the chemicals employed in their production might be poisonous or harmful.
It’s a truth of life while discussing synthetic textiles that this is a fact of life. For the most part, they are non-biodegradable and take more than 200 years to degrade in landfills.
So non- eco-friendly is another category they can be listed under.
Synthetic Fabric Types
Non-eco-friendly is a category they can fall into as well.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the raw ingredient for polyester. This fabric is claimed to be durable, supple, and wrinkle-resistant, among other qualities.
Because of its capacity to stretch, Spandex—made from a polyester-polyurethane co-polymer—was invented. Rubber-like properties are mimicked by this material.
Plastic manufactured from polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyester fibers (PVC) (PU). It is light and springy, but it lacks the ability to inhale and exhale.
Polypropylene is a very durable and abrasion-resistant substance. Because of its resistance to fading, odor, stain, and static, it’s ideal for outdoor use. Activewear, backpacks, and other products can also benefit from this material.
The polyamide in nylon makes it strong, but it’s not nearly as stretchy as spandex. Nylon also has a good drape, but it’s not as strong as spandex. It dries quickly and combines seamlessly with natural fibers.
6. Microfiber, a synthetic fiber produced from other synthetic fibers, is both soft and long-lasting. Wind, rain, and cold are generally prevented from entering into your body because of the fabric’s extremely tight weave.
In addition to its inherent weakness, acrylic is susceptible to pilling. It is derived from the petroleum chemical acrylonitrile. Wool’s warmth and softness are duplicated in this material, but it does not absorb moisture like wool does.
Among the many synthetic fibers and fabrics you’ll encounter, these are just a few examples. Oil is the primary source of all the chemicals utilized in their construction.
Because synthetic fibers are mostly composed of plastic, they don’t appreciate being heated. These fabrics will melt if you dry them at high temperatures.
Full Synthetic Fabrics List
Acrylic is a well-known fabric.
It is also possible to knit using boucle, a loose-weave material. Suits are made from this heavy fabric. Polyester and other fibers are used to make a wide variety of suits.
Soft, drapey crepon is one of the best options. Blouses and evening gowns are frequently made with this chemically crimped yarn fabric.
Although the crinkle adds to the fabric’s moniker, it doesn’t do much to soften its texture. Semi-transparent cloth is commonly used for evening attire.
Use of glue and short fiber tufts creates the patterned look of the medium-weight material known as flock. It’s found in dresses, coats, and evening attire and requires hand washing or dry cleaning to get clean.
6. Faux fur is made of modacrylic, which is a synthetic substance meant to seem like real fur. It has the ability to be quite bulky, which is ideal for its primary use in the creation of outerwear such as jackets, coats, hats, and elaborate costumes. Because it’s big and bulky, sewing this item will take some time and effort.
The stiffness and crossway rib pattern of grosgrain give it its name. Ribbons, caps, and other formal attire are all made with this material. When it comes to dresses, you can’t go wrong with faux-fabric.
Medium to heavyweight jacquard fabrics feature intricate woven-in motifs. 8. There are a wide variety of garments to choose from, from jackets to suits to dresses.
Lace is lace, and no matter what fiber is used to create it, it is a highly decorative fabric. There are several ways to work with this translucent fabric, including crocheting, embroidering, and sewing, to make magnificent formal gowns and special event outfits.
10 Lame is a woven or knitted lightweight material. Its silky sheen makes it an excellent choice for evening gowns due to its complimentary appearance. It might be extremely fragile.
11 In a satin weave from synthetic fibers, liquid gold looks and feels like liquid gold. Although it is a luxurious fabric with a beautiful drape, it is typically only worn for formal occasions. Only dry-cleaning is allowed.
You’ve probably heard of 12 Microfiber before.
You’ve probably heard of nylon before.
14 Polar fleece (and all fleece derivatives) is a thick fabric that is lightweight. It has a brushed finish to keep it smooth and comfortable. Machine washable and commonly used for outdoor wear.
Crepe or polyester crepe is a thin and lightweight fabric with exceptional draping properties. Lingerie blouses, dresses, and evening attire can all be made from the fabric, which can be machine or hand washed.
Poly linen is a synthetic fabric that is intended to look and feel like linen. Dresses and suits alike can be made from this medium-weight fabric, which is wrinkle-resistant.
17 Sequin fabric is a lightweight fabric with sequins attached to it, as the name implies. Among the best uses are gowns for social gatherings and other garments of a similar nature. This fabric should only be dried cleaned, not ironed.
Using nylon strands, 18 Tricot is a delicate and lightweight fabric that is warp-knitted. It stretches in both directions, but not lengthwise. Because of its softness and smoothness, this fabric is ideal for lingerie.
19 Tulle- or petticoat net is a netting or mesh-like fabric that is lightweight and easy to work with. The material can be irritating to the skin, making it uncomfortable to wear. For tuts, costumes, veils and even true petticoats, this term is most often employed.
Vinyl is a heavy-duty fabric that is not woven, making it ideal for upholstery. Many people are drawn to it because of its smooth, shining surface, which gives the impression of leather. As a result, outerwear is the only application for this material. A moist towel and some gentle but forceful wiping will do the trick.
Because some synthetics were already covered in earlier sections, and because others were not genuinely synthetic in nature, we’re sorry if we missed any of your favorites from this list of synthetics. Aside from the natural fibers, semi-natural and synthetic ones can be used in the making of these garments.
Is Polyester Synthetic or Natural
Everyone should realize that this is a synthetic product by now. Polyester has gone a long way since its inception in the fabric industry in the late 1960s and early 1970s to become the fabric that it is today.
During its early years, this material was almost doomed because of the clothing’s phony or artificial appearance and feel. It’s unfortunate that, despite technological advancements in the processing of petroleum fuels, polyester has never been able to shed its false feel.
Despite its ability to imitate a wide variety of natural fibers and materials, it is distinguished by the way it feels. The softness of natural fabrics cannot be matched by artificial fibers, and the creators of this fabric are unable to do so.
When compared to natural fibers, polyester makes up for its lack of quality. Even beginners may afford to buy it because of the low price.
What are the Most Common Synthetic Fibers?
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of polyester at some point in your life. As a result of its rollercoaster history, it is well-known throughout the world today. Nylon, which is utilized in a wide range of applications, would be the next choice.
Because of its overall strength, it has supplanted natural fibers in ropes. This material is excellent for manufacturing clothing and other gear, such as tents, backpacks, and the like. Also well-known is spandex.
This is due to the fact that it has such a wide range of applications in athletic wear and sports apparel. Spandex is your best bet when you need to stretch, and we don’t just mean a little.
Neoprene is a well-known and widely used material. It can be used to fill a variety of needs. Softness and comfort can be achieved using this material. Fleece and microfiber are also available. Due of its softness, durability, and ability to keep out the cold, these two materials have seen significant growth over the years.
Which is the Strongest Synthetic Fibre?
Until now, none of the synthetic materials we’ve discussed has surpassed the strength of the two we haven’t. Steel is believed to be stronger than dyneema or cuben fiber.
In spite of the fact that it is not woven, it is best used for camping and trekking. A thermoset liquid-crystalline polyoxazole fabric called Zylon is said to challenge Dyneema’s strength.
In bulletproof vests, it’s been utilized to replace Kevlar since the 1980s, according to rumor. When used in this manner, despite its strength, it can degrade quickly.
However, you can find both materials in camping and parachuting applications, as well as motorsports and boat rigging.
What are the Disadvantages of Synthetic Materials?
One of the most significant drawbacks is that they’re not very excellent at breathing. Since they may be tightly woven and adhere to the body, these fabrics are ideal for cold apparel. The less air they can take in the closer they go to the body.
To make matters worse, the materials are flammable and can emit dangerous compounds into the air if they melt or catch fire. As a result, some of the chemicals used in the creation of garments can be harmful to your health.
High temperatures should be avoided when cleaning these materials because of their plastic nature and the risk of them melting or deforming. The textiles will be destroyed and will need to be replaced if this is done.
Some Final Words
Synthetic fabrics are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it easier to use them as a substitute for natural fabrics. Their decreased cost is also enticing, allowing consumers to wear gorgeous items at a fraction of the natural cost.
In the end, the decision is yours; assess the risks and benefits before making a final decision. Using synthetic textiles can help you save money when you’re strapped for cash.