Fibre vs Yarn vs Fabric – What are the differences?

Fibre vs Yarn vs Fabric

Two months ago, we covered Different Types of Textile Dyes. So, now we understand how our clothes get their colours. The next question we would ask ourselves is, “Then how were our clothes made?”. Sure, we know the basics — clothes are made of fabric sewn together — but what exactly is fabric? Perhaps you already have a rough idea, but in this post we will lightly touch on the process of how fabrics are made.

To understand how fabrics are created, we need go back to the beginning.


#1 Fibre

From Wikipedia, “Fiber or fibre is a natural or synthetic substance that is significantly longer than it is wide. Fibers are often used in the manufacture of other materials.”

Fibres can be categorised as:

1. Natural Fibre
2. Manmade Fibre

Natural fibers are biodegradable and include those derived from plants, animals, and geological processes.
In our context of clothing, natural fibres are, to list a few, cotton, hair, fur, silk, and wool.

Man-made or chemical fibers are fibers whose chemical composition, structure, and properties are significantly modified during the manufacturing process. Man-made fibers consist of regenerated fibers and synthetic fibers. An example of a regenerated fibre is Rayon. Synthetic Fibres are more common nowadays, and the following names should have no trouble ringing bells — polyester, acrylic, nylon, spandex and Kevlar.


#2 Yarn

Great. We now see that fibres are the cornerstone of clothing. What about yarn? If we were to describe the relationship between yarns and fibres, it would be similar to a chain and its links.
Basically, a yarn is when one or more fibres are intertwined or locked together. Simple!
For another analogy, think of the cells in a human body — together, certain cells form a tissue, tissues form organs, organs form systems, etc.
With that in mind, let’s find out how fabrics are made!


#3 Fabric

Typically, through knitting or weaving, yarn is processed to create fabric. If you have ever visited a tailor or passed by a fabric store, chances are you’ve seen the huge
rolls of wrapped fabric. Essentially, they are the raw material one step way from being process into what we wear and call clothes.

Thank you for taking the time to read our post, and if you’d like a quick summary on the differences between fibres, yarn and fabrics, please watch the short video below.

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