CHAPTER 1 FIBRE TO FABRIC
Fibres are the thin strands that make up a thread. The fibres are used to make yarns which are, in turn, used to make fabrics.
When fibres are woven or knitted together, they produce a fabric.
Fibres can be of two types:
1. Natural: The fibres that we get from plants and animals are called natural fibres. Examples of natural fibres are: Wool, silk, jute, cotton, etc. We get cotton from the cotton plant. We get wool from the fleece of sheep or goat and silk is obtained from the cocoon of a silkworm.
2. Synthetic: There are fibres which are not obtained from any natural source such as plant or animal. These fibres are made from chemical substances and are called synthetic fibres. Examples of synthetic fibres are nylon, polyester, etc.
Cotton is obtained from cotton plants. These plants are grown in black soil. When the fruit of the cotton plant matures, it bursts open and the seeds get covered with cotton fibres. These fibre-covered cotton balls can be picked by hand. The fibres are then separated from the seeds by a process called ‘Ginning’. Now, ginning is basically just combing through the seeds to separate the cotton fibres from the seeds.
Jute is made from the stem of the jute plant which is usually grown during the rainy season. After harvesting, the stem of the jute plant is immersed in water for a few days. The stem rots and the fibres can then be separated by hand.
Converting fibre to fabric:
The process of conversion of fibre to fabric looks like this:
Fibre >> Yarn >>Fabric
(i) Fibre to yarn
Fibre is converted into yarn by the process of ‘spinning’. Spinning is the process of converting fibres into yarn. The fibres are drawn out and twisted which brings the fibres together and a yarn is formed.
(ii) Yarn to fabric
The two major ways of making fabric are weaving and knitting.
Weaving: When two sets of yarn are arranged together to make a fabric, the process is called weaving. This is process is carried out in looms which can be either hand operated or machine operated.
Knitting: When a single yarn is used to make a fabric, the process is called knitting which, again, can either be done by hand or by machines.