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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.[4][6]


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.[4][7][6]

Fiber is the smallest component of a fabric; fibers are typically spun into yarn, and yarns are used to manufacture fabrics.[8][7] 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.[2] Yarns are then used to make different kinds of fabric by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, tatting, or braiding.[9][10][5] After manufacturing, textile materials are processed and finished to add value, such as aesthetics, physical characteristics, and increased usefulness.[11] The manufacturing of textiles is the oldest industrial art.[12] Dyeing, printing, and embroidery are all different decorative arts applied to textile materials.[13]

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'.[14] 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.[2][1][3]

Textiles themselves are too fragile to survive across millennia; the tools used for spinning and weaving make up most 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 spun thread. Later the spinning wheel was invented. Historians are unsure where; some say China and others India.[21]

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 the 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.[23][24]

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.[26][27]

The related words "fabric"[10] and "cloth"[18] 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.[citation needed]

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.[1] Textiles are classified at various levels, such as according to fiber origin (natural or synthetic), structure (woven, knitted, nonwoven), finish, etc.[28][29][30][31] 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.[4]

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.[4][6]

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.[43][44]

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.[2]

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.[49]

Artifacts unearthed in various archaeological excavations informs us about the remains of past human life and their activities.[50] 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.[24]

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.[51][52]

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.[53]

Architextiles, a combination of the words architecture and textile, are textile-based assemblages. Awnings are a basic type of architectural textile.[57] Mughal Shahi Lal Dera Tent, which was a movable palace, is an example of the architextiles of the Mughal period.[58]

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.[65][66]

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.[77][78] For instance, a small amount of spandex adds stretch to the fabrics.[79] Wool can add warmth.[80]

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.

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.[107][108] 041b061a72


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