NATURAL FIBERS
EST. DATE FIBER BACKGROUND AND PRODUCTION
5,000+ BC FLAX: Generally considered to be the oldest natural textile fiber.
Fine linen was used as burial shrouds for the Egyptian pharaohs
Largest producer: Soviet States; other large producers include Poland, Germany, Belgium and France. Largest exporters are Northern Ireland and Belgium.
3,000+BC COTTON: Earliest use estimated between 3,000 BC to 5,000 BC.
Worn by Egyptians earlier than 2,500 BC.
Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793 revolutionized the processing of cotton.
The development of the power loom in 1884 brought significant improvements and variations to cotton fabrics.
Major producers: United States, ussr, China, India. Lessor producers include Pakistan, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, Mexico Iran, Sudan.
3,000 BC WOOL: Used by people of the Late Stone Age,
There are 40 different breeds of sheep, which produce approximately 200 types of wool of varying grades.
Major producers include: Australia, New Zealand, Soviet States, China, South Africa, and Argentina.
2,600 BC SILK: Believed discovered by a Chinese princess.
Silk is made from two continuous filaments cemented together and used to form the cocoon of the silkworm.
Silk culture began about 1725 BC, sponsored by the wife of China's emperor.
Secrets of cultivation and fabric manufacturing were closely guarded by the Chinese for about 3,000 years.
India learned of silk culture when a Chinese princess married an Indian prince.
The major producer and exporter of silk is Japan.
MAN-MADE FIBERS
DATE FIBER FIRST COMMERICAL PRODUCTION
1910 RAYON The first man-made fiber.
The first commercial production of rayon fiber in the United States was in 1910 by the American Viscose Company.
By using two different chemicals and manufacturing techniques, two basic types of rayon were developed. They were viscose rayon and cuprammonium rayon.
Today, only viscose rayon is being produced in the U.S.
1924 ACETATE: The first commercial production of acetate fiber in the United States was in 1924 by the Celanese Corporation.
1939 NYLON: The first commercial production of nylon in the United States was in 1939 by the E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. It is the second most used man-made fiber in this country, behind polyester.
1950 ACRYLIC: The first commercial production of acrylic fiber in the United States was in 1950 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc.
1953 POLYESTER: The first commercial production of polyester fiber in the United States was in 1953 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc.
Polyester is the most used man-made fiber in the U.S.
1954 TRIACETATE: The first commercial production of triacetate fiber in the United States was in 1954 by the Celanese Corporation.
Domestic Triacetate production was discontinued in 1985.
1959 SPANDEX: The first commercial production of spandex fiber in the United States was in 1959 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc.
It is an elastomeric man-made fiber (able to stretch at least 100% and snap back like natural rubber).
Spandex is used in filament form.
1961 POLYOLEFIN/ The first commercial production of an olefin fiber manufactured in the U.S. was by Hercules Incorporated.
POLYPROPYLENE:
In 1966, polyolefin was the world's first and only Nobel-Prize winning fiber.
1989 MICRO FIBERS/ The first commercial production of micro fiber in the U.S. was in 1989 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. Today micro fibers are produced in a variety of synthetic fibers (i.e. polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc.)
MICRODENIER:
The true definition of a micro fiber is a fiber that has less than one denier per filament. Micro Fiber is the thinnest, finest of all man-made fibers. It is finer than the most delicate silk.
To relate it to something more familiar--A human hair is more than 100 times the size of some micro fibers
1993 LYOCELL: The first commercial production of lyocell in the U.S. was in 1993 by Courtaulds Fibers, under the Tencel¨ trade name.
Environmentally friendly, lyocell is produced from the wood pulp of trees grown specifically for this purpose. It is specially processed, using a solvent spinning technique in which the dissolving agent is recycled, reducing environmental effluents.