A textile is a flexible material
comprised of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to
as thread or yarn.  Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting,
crocheting, knotting, or pressing fibres together.
The words fabric and cloth are commonly used in textile assembly trades
(such as tailoring and dressmaking) as synonyms for textile. However,
there are subtle differences in these terms. Textile refers to any
material made of interlacing fibres. Fabric refers to any material made
through weaving, knitting, crocheting, or pressing. Cloth refers to a
finished piece of fabric that can be used for a purpose such as covering
a bed or table.
The production of textiles is an ancient craft, whose speed and scale of
production has been altered almost beyond recognition by
industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing
techniques. However, there is little difference between ancient and
modern plain weave, twill or satin.
Many textiles have been in use for millennia, while others are recent
inventions. The range of materials has increased in the last century
with the introduction of artificial fibers in the 1920s and 1930s.
Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are
for clothing and containers such as bags and baskets. In the household,
it is used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, towels, covering for
tables, beds, and other flat surfaces, and in art. In the workplace, it
is used in industrial and scientific processes such as filtering.
Miscellaneous uses include flags, tents, nets, cleaning devices, and
transportation devices such as balloons, kites, sails, and parachutes.
Textiles used for industrial purposes, and chosen for characteristics
other than their appearance, are commonly referred to as technical
Sources and types :
Textiles can be made from many materials. These materials come from four
main sources: animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic. In the past, all
textiles were made from natural fibres, including plant, animal, and
mineral sources. In the 20th century, these were supplemented by
artificial fibres made from petroleum.
Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from
the finest gossamer to the sturdiest canvas. The relative thickness of
fibres in cloth is measured in deniers. Microfiber refers to fibers made
of strands thinner than one denier.
Production methods :
Weaving is a textile production method which involves interlacing a set
of vertical threads (called the warp) with a set of horizontal threads
(called the weft). This is done on a machine known as a loom, of which
there are a number of types. Some weaving is still done by hand, but the
vast majority is mechanised.
Knitting and crocheting involve interlacing loops of yarn, which are
formed either on a knitting needle or on a crochet hook, together in a
line. The two processes are different in that knitting has several
active loops at one time, on the knitting needle waiting to interlock
with another loop, while crocheting never has more than one active loop
on the needle.
Braiding or plaiting involves twisting threads together into cloth.
Knotting involves tying threads together and is used in making macrame.
Lace is made by interlocking threads together independently, using a
backing and any of the methods described above, to create a fine fabric
with open holes in the work. Lace can be made by either hand or machine.
Carpets, rugs, velvet, velour, and velveteen, are made by interlacing a
secondary yarn through woven cloth, creating a tufted layer known as a
nap or pile.
Textiles are often dyed, with fabrics available in almost every color.
Coloured designs in textiles can be created by weaving together fibres
of different colours (plaid), adding coloured stitches to finished
fabric (embroidery), creating patterns by tying off areas of cloth and
dyeing the rest (tie-dye, or drawing wax designs on cloth and dyeing in
between them (batik), or using various printing processes on finished
Textiles are also sometimes bleached. In this process, the original
colour of the textile is removed by chemicals or exposure to sunlight,
turning the textile pale or white.
Textiles are sometimes finished by starching, which makes the fabric
stiff and less prone to wrinkles, or by waterproofing, which makes the
fabric slick and impervious to water or other liquids. Since the 1990s,
finishing agents have been used to strengthen fabrics and make them
Sources : Internet
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