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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Different types of Home Textiles

Introduction of Home Textile

Home textile is a branch of technical textile comprising application of textiles in household purposes. Home textiles are nothing but an internal environment, which deals with internal spaces and their furnishings. Home textiles are mainly used for their functional and aesthetic properties which provides us the mood and also gives mental relaxation to the people.

Definition of Home Textile

Home textiles can be defined as the textiles used for home furnishing. It consists of a various range of functional as well as decorative products used mainly for decorating our houses. The fabrics are used for home textiles consists of both natural and man-made fibres. Sometimes we also blend these fibres to make the fabrics stronger. Generally, home textiles are produced by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, or pressing fibers together.

Different types of Home Textile products

A considerable portion of home furnishings consists of textiles. A number of these furnishings are typical in households and are made according to certain general methods of construction and composition. The basic items may be grouped as Sheets and Pillowcases, Blankets, Terry towels, Table cloths, and carpets and Rugs.

Sheets and Pillowcases
References to sheets and pillowcases are generally related to fabrics woven with a plain weave of cotton, or more often, cotton/polyester blended yarns. If they have easy care, no-iron properties, they are likely to be so labeled. It may be noted that sheets and pillowcases are also made to a laminated extent of linen, silk, acetate, and nylon; the constructions vary from plain to satin weave or knitted.

Sheets and Pilow Cases

Sheets and pillowcases are identified according to types based on thread count: 124, 128, 130, 140, 180, and 200. The higher the count, the closer and more uniform the weave; the more compact the weave, the greater the resistance to wear.
Sheets and pillowcases are generally labeled. But one can always examine them for quality. By holding the fabric up to the light, one can determine whether it is firmly, closely and uniformly woven. It should look smooth. Lengthwise and crosswise threads should be of the same even thickness, rather than thick or thin in spots. There should be no weak places, knots, or slubs, and the yarns should run straight and unbroken.
Sheets are made in two types: flat and fitted. Both types are made to fit five typical size mattress: crib, twin, full or double, queen, and king. Pillowcases are generally produced in sizes to fit pillows of standard, queen and king size.

Blankets are made of various constructions and compositions, which provide different degrees of warmth, softness, and durability. They are usually woven, but can be knitted or stitch-knitted or by flocking fibres onto a polyurethane foam base. The yarns may be composed wholly or of blends of cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, or polyester.


Blankets may be classified into three basic types: conventional, thermal, and flocked polyurethane. Their characteristics are somewhat different in appearance, texture, warmth, durability and care.
Conventional blankets are usually woven with soft-twist yarns, in the filling and higher twist yarns in the warp. The yarns may be of wool, acrylic, polyester, or blends of these fibres. Blends containing nylon are also used. The fabric is heavily napped to produce a thick, close, fuzzy surface. Thermal blankets are either woven in a variation of the plain weave, such as a honeycomb pattern, or knitted in a manner that produces an open lightweight construction. The soft-twist yarns may be of cotton, wool, acrylic, polyester, or a blend of any of these fibres. The fabric is not napped. Flocked polyurethane blankets are composed of polyurethane foam base covered with fibre flocking, usually nylon, held in position with an acrylic adhesive. They are very soft, resilient, and sometimes spongy. They tend to have a misty appearance, particularly in the lighter colors, due to the flocking. They are relatively light in weight.

Terry Towels
The primary function of a terry towel is to absorb moisture from wet skin. It must, however, be strong enough to withstand the strain of the rubbing and pulling, twisting and tugging of the user, and of constant laundering. Terry towels are made either of all-cotton, or a combination of cotton and polyester. While polyester provides increased strength, lighter weight, faster drying after laundering and less shrinkage, all-cotton towels provide greater absorbency.

terry towels

One should not purchase towels merely by a brand name because the name identifies only the manufacturer, not a particular quality of terry towels. A company may manufacture many different grades and qualities of terry towels under the same brand name.
Terry towels are divided by size into five groups, guest, hand, bath, extra large, and beach.

Table cloths are generally made of cotton, linen, rayon, polyester, or blends of any combination of these fibres. They are produced in various ways, designs, and patterns. Among the most popular are damask and lace constructions. Of the damask, linen is the most expensive and has set the mode or style frequently imitated with the less costly fibres. Although linen damask generally requires greater care of laundering and ironing than such easy care finished cloths as are made from cotton/polyester blends, linen damask tablecloths continue to enjoy a high status because of their beauty, luxuriousness, and durability.

Table Cloths

Carpets and Rugs
Floor coverings have been made from textile fibres for more than five thousand years. Throughout civilization, rugs and carpets have formed a part of the history and culture of races and nations. Well chosen rugs and carpets serve as a colorful foundation for the decorative plan and color scheme of all rooms in the modern home including kitchen, bathrooms, patios and pool edges, as well as for schools, office buildings, and hospitals. Carpets also serve as heat and sound insulators. As floor coverings are among the more costly items in a house furnishings budget, careful consideration must be given to fibre, color, decorative character and design, size and construction to obtain the best value of any price level.

Carpets and Rugs

The term “rug” and “carpet” are sometimes used synonymously, but the form or the size in which these coverings are manufactured differs. Rugs may vary in shape as well as in width and length. The factors that account for differences in price are the type, quality, and quantity of fibre used, as well as the amount of twist in the yarn, the number of plies in the yarn, and the basic method of construction. Machine-made carpets may be tufted, woven, needled or knitted.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What is Technical Textile

In the initial time of textile products manufacturing, men used to produce clothing which were required to be civilized. They used to put emphasis on decorative and aesthetic properties of clothing during manufacturing. But, day by day their demand changed dramatically. They began to put emphasis on technical and functional properties along with decorative and aesthetic properties.  So, Textile can be can be classified into two sectors according to its applications. They are traditional and Technical Textile. The industries which produce traditional dresses, curtains, blankets, lingerie etc. products to fulfill general and aesthetic demands are called traditional Tex. industries and this sector is known as traditional Tex. sector. On the other hand, the industries which produce products that can meet up specific demand like protection from cold, bad weather, extreme situation etc. are called technical Tex. industries. This sector is known as Technical Tex. sector.  

Examples of technical textile

Two Universally accepted definitions are as follows -
Encyclopedia Universal is cited by Nemoz –
"Technical textiles are materials meeting high technical and quality requirements (mechanical, thermal, electrical, durability...) giving them the ability to offer technical functions".
Memon and Zaman defines as follows –
 "Technical textile is defined as textile materials and products manufactured primary for their technical performance and functional properties, rather than for their aesthetic and decorative characteristics".

There has been a decent increase in the global demand for TT in various fields namely –
  • Meditech – Medical and hygiene.
  • Agrotech – Agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture and forestry.
  • Buildtech – Building and construction.
  • Mobiletech – Automobiles, shipping, railways and aerospace.
  • Protech – Property and personal protection.
  • Indutech - Separating and purifying industrial products, cleaning gases and effluents.
  • Hometech – Technical components of household textile, floor coverings and furniture.
  • Clothtech – Technical components of clothing and footwear.
  • Sporttech – Leisure and sports.
  • Packtech – For packaging purposes.
  • Oekotech – Environmental protection.
  • Geotech – Civil engineering and Geo textiles.
The above applications have provided way for making various products – from Vehicle upholstery to Parachutes, shelter Fabric to home furnishing, environmental Infrastructure and also to Hospitals.

Raw materials
Raw materials used for making TT are as follows –

  • Natural fibres – Cotton, Wool, Jute, Silk etc.
  • Synthetic polymers – PES, PA, PAN, PP etc.
  • Regenerated fibers – Rayon and acetate fiber.
  • Minerals – Asbestos.
  • Metals – Carbon, steel etc.
Different types of basic processes are employed for manufacturing technical textiles like weaving and knitting. Some advanced processes like stitch bonding, chemical, thermal bonding to needle punching etc are also used. All these processes are used for making the finished technical textile. Some other products like ropes, bags, belts etc. are also produced by these techniques.

End Uses
  • Meditech – Baby diapers, contact lenses, sanitary napkins, Artificial cornea, heart valves, ligaments, skin etc.
  • Agrotech – Fishing, crop, bird protection, and shade nets etc.
  • Buildtech – Canvas tarpaulin, floor & wall covering etc.
  • Mobiletech – Helmets, automotive airbags, Insulating felts, Seat belt webbing etc.
  • Protech – Industrial gloves, fire flame retardant fabrics, chemical protection clothing, bullet proof jackets etc.
  • Indutech – Ropes, cordage, industrial brushes, filtration products, conveyor belts etc.
  • Hometech – Stuffed toys, mosquito nets, mattresses, pillow, furniture fabrics, window blinds etc.
  • Clothtech – Umbrella fabrics, shoe laces, sewing threads, interlinings etc.
  • Sporttech – Swimwear, tents, sports nets, sleeping bags, sail cloths etc.
  • Packtech – Tea bags, wrapping fabrics, Jute sacks etc.
  • Oekotech – Floor sealing, erosion protection, air cleaning, prevention of water pollution etc.
  • Geotech – Nets, mats, grids, composites etc.
Technical textiles are considered to be the fastest growing sector of the textile industrial sector. These have been developed to meet the exacting specified high-performance requirements of a specific end-use other than conventional clothing and furnishings.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Properties of Glass fibre Fabrics

Most glass fibre fabrics for consumer purposes have been made of filament yarns. Since all glass fibres are produced in the same general manner from similar ingredients, the fibre used for similar purposes has similar properties. In fact, the designation of this fibre is more frequently expressed as fibre glass.

Glass fibre fabrics

This fibre is second only to Kevlar aramid as the strongest as equivalent diameters of stainless steel. However, because of glass cuts into glass as the yarns slide and rub over each other and are flexed, the filaments roughen and break and the fabric becomes hairy. This will also occur when glass fibre draperies, for example, rub against rough objects such as window sills or radiators.
This fibre is virtually inelastic. Being the least elastic of all textiles has obvious disadvantages for clothing; but when used for draperies and curtains, such fabrics will not stretch or sag out of shape.
The lack of elasticity has no effect on the flexibility and wrinkle resistance of glass fibre fabrics. With the aid of certain finishes, this fabric has good wrinkle-resistance qualities.
The fine fibres have excellent flexibility and pliability and can be woven into fabrics of excellent draping quality, particularly when given the proper finish. These fabrics can be easily sewed by hand or by machine with good quality mercerized cotton thread, using a sharp needle, a long stitch, and low tension.
Heat conductivity
As with ordinary glass, yarns made of this fibre are good conductors of heat.
This fibre is not absorbent – a property that represents both advantages and disadvantages. Being nonabsorbent, these fabrics are water-repellent and, in general, unaffected by water. This quality makes glass fibre unsuitable for clothing worn next to the skin because perspiration and humidity make the fabric uncomfortable.
Cleanliness and washability
This fibre fabric’s smoothness makes it a clean fabric. Dirt and dust do not cling as readily to such fabrics as to rough materials. The cleaning of these fabrics is simple and quick. They may be wiped clean with a damp cloth. If complete immersion in water is desired, the temperature of the water and the soap or detergent used is immaterial, since these factors will not affect glass fibre fabrics. No strenuous agitation of the fabrics is necessary because the dirt comes off easily. The cloth will dry just as fast as the water will evaporate off the surface. If the fabrics are hung properly while wet, ironing is unnecessary.
Effect of bleaches
This fibre is unaffected by bleaches; bleaching is in fact unnecessary since this fibre does not discolor.
This fibre is dimensionally stable. It will not shrink because it is unaffected by water.
Effect of heat
This fibre is highly resistant to heat and will not burn. The types available for general consumer use begin to lose strength at above 600o F, and they soften above 1350o F.
Effect of light
Sunlight has no effect on glass fibre fabrics. This makes them useful for outdoor purposes, such as awnings, as well as for such decorative fabrics as curtains and draperies.
Resistance to mildew
This fibre is unaffected by mildew, but the binder or resin used to finish or size such a fabric may be attacked by mildew.
Resistance to insects
Moths and other insects do not attack glass fibre.
Reaction to alkalies
This fibre is resistant to most alkalies.
Reaction to acids
This fibre is damaged only by hydrofluoric and hot phosphoric acids.
Affinity for dyes
Since this fibre is not absorbent, it cannot take dyes by ordinary methods. Coronizing provides good fastness. A technique for glass yarn dyeing has been developed to give the yarn desired color depth as in other textile fibres. Special methods are used to bind the color to the surface of the fabric. Another procedure adds color to the molten glass before fibres is formed, providing a limited number of colors.
Resistance to perspiration
This fibre is unaffected by perspiration.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

New developments in Textile Fibres and Fabrics

It is important to be aware of technological developments when fashion designing so that the best and most relevant fabrics may be used for the job. Consumers are demanding qualities from textiles that will enhance their lifestyle such as: comfort, performance, fit, shape retention, trans-seasonal versatility, quality and style, added value, lightweight properties and ecological integrity.
The consumer will continue spending where they see innovation. There are many forward-thinking ideas in fibre and fabric manufacturing. There follows a range of fibre and fabric areas under development.
New developments in traditional fibres
  • The growing of already colored cotton.
Colored cotton
Colored Cotton
  • Organically produced, water repellent, waxed cotton.
  • Compatiable, shrink resistance between wool and cotton or cotton and cashmere.
  • Non-iron or stain-resistance finishes applied to cotton and linen.
Non-traditional fibre sources
  • It is possible to blend Jute with other fibres for strength.
  • Nettle provides a fine, strong yarn and has good insulation properties.
  • Hemp is a soft but strong fibre.
  • Sisal has good antistatic properties and can be blended with other fibres.
  • Pineapple and banana leaves provide a silk-like fibre but they are expensive to produce.
  • Peat fibres produce a felt-like fabric with good antistatic, hypoallergenic and absorbent properties.
  • Alginate is used for dressings and promotes healing. It is water soluble and flame resistance.
Synthetic polymers
  • Polypropylene, traditionally used in packaging and sacking, produces a strong, fine, waterproof fabric with good thermal properties.
  • Polyethylene, traditionally used for banners and packaging, can be used for disposable fashion items.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is used for finishing and coating textiles and can be heat set for interesting creations as it is heat sensitive.
Other materials
Steel, copper and aluminium can be used in knitted, woven and non-woven fabrics.
Fine latex can now be used for garments and accessories. It can also be moulded to create seamless shapes.
There is development work in using paper for textiles; they may have a polyurethane coating and have high strength, good light fastness and temperature resistance.
Fibres can be included into textiles for reflective purposes, but have poor abrasion qualities.
Used with polyester, ceramic fibres can offer waterproof qualities and ultra-violet (UV) protection and can help to maintain body temperatures when incorporated into textiles.
Silk and steel
Silky yarns mixed with steel can produce fine but firm constructions.
Wool may be blended with other fibres, such as KevlarTM (bullet-proof-fabric) to produce a more robust, textural, performance fabric.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Collagen Fibre


     A protein fibre was made by Carl Freudenberg K.G.a.A., Germany, under the name ‘Marena’. Production ceased at the end of 1959.

Collagen Fibre


     ‘Marena’ was a collagen fibre, produced from split hides. The split hides were chopped, treated with alkali followed by hydrochloric acid, washed, refined and spun in solution.
     The fibres were dried and tanned. They were dope dyed.

Structure and properties

Specific gravity
Effect of age
Effect of sunlight
Effect of acids
Effect of Organic solvent
Good resistance
Good resistance

Collagen fibre in use

     ‘Marena’ was similar to horse hair. It had good dimensional stability and excellent resistance to dry-cleaning solvents.
     It was used largely as brush fibre.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Carbon fibre


     In 1963 a team of British scientists, W. Watt, W. Johnson and L.N. Phillips, working at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, U.K., developed techniques for producing carbon fibres of high strength and outstanding rigidity. These fibres were in commercial production by 1968 and have since become of great importance, especially in the field of composites in which the fibres are embedded in resins or other materials.

Carbon fibre
     Most of the important textile fibres in use today are derived from organic polymers, i.e., polymers in which the backbone of the molecular structure consists of carbon atoms to which are attached atoms of other elements, commonly hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.
     It has long been known that pyrolysis of these fibres, such as rayon, could result in the removal of the non-carbon atoms to leave a filament consisting essentially of carbon. But the carbon atoms in these filaments are arranged in more or less disordered forms; the structure is amorphous rather than crystalline, and the filaments are weak and of little practical value. To achieve high strength and modulus, it was necessary to devise a process for producing carbon fibres which would orientate the carbon atoms and result in fibres of a high degree of crystallinity.


     The starting material for production of carbon fibre is commonly an acrylic fibre, such as ‘Courtelle’, in which the backbone of carbon atoms is attached to hydrogen atom and CN groups. A three-stage heating process is used in converting the acrylic fibre to carbon.
     The initial stage is to heat the acrylic fibres at 200-3000 C under oxidizing conditions. This is followed by a second stage when the oxidize fibre is heated in an inert atmosphere to temperatures around 10000 C. Hydrogen and nitrogen atoms are expelled, leaving the carbon atoms in the form of hexagonal rings which are arranged in oriented fibrils.
     Finally the carbonized filaments are heated to temperatures of up to 30000 C, again in an inert atmosphere. This increases the orderly arrangement of the carbon atoms which organized into a crystalline structure similar to that of graphite. The atoms are in layers or planes which lie virtually parallel to each other. The planes are well oriented in the direction of the fibre axis, this being an important factor in producing high modulus fibres.
     The mechanical properties of carbon fibres produced in this way are affected greatly by the conditions under which they are treated in the final stage, and by varying these conditions it is possible to produce fibres of different modulus and strength characteristics.

Structure and properties

      The properties of carbon fibres vary, depending on the conditions under which they are produced. The information which follows relates to a typical range of fibres.
Fine structure and appearance - Carbon fibres are black and smooth-surfaced, with a silky lusture. They are commonly of round cross-section, possibly with flattened sides.
Ultimate tensile strength - 1.80 to 2.40 KN/mm2. (cf. steel 2.80-4.00).
Breaking Extension – 0.5%. (cf. steel 2.0%).
Density – 1.95 g/cm3. (cf. steel 7.80).
Stiffness – 350-410 KN/mm3 (cf. steel 207).
Stiffness/Weight Ratio – 180-210 (cf. steel 27).
Elastic properties – load/extension curve almost liner to break. Hooklean behavior. Perfectly elastic to break.
Specific gravity – 1.75-1.85
Effect of moisture - Nil
Flammability – Not flammable
Effect of Age, sunlight – Nil
Effect of chemicals, solvents – Inert. Hot air oxidation and strong oxidizing agents (e.g. sodium hypochlorite) cause some erosion.
Effect of insects and Microorganism – Nil.

Carbon fibre in use

     Carbon fires are characterized by high strength and great stiffness against bending and twisting forces. Steel fibres, which approach nearest to carbon in stiffness, are four times as dense as carbon, and carbon fibres have a very much superior stiffness to weight ratio.
     The breaking extension of carbon fibres is low, and unsupported fibres are brittle. Applications lie very largely in the field of composites for specialized uses, where the high cost of carbon fibre relative to steel, fiberglass, and other reinforcing fibres is of minimal consequence. Carbon fibre composites are used, for example, in aircraft structural components, in brakes and engines. They have proved of immense value in space vehicles, where weight reduction is at a premium. As carbon fibres become cheaper with increased production, they are finding their way steadily into more mundane applications such as golf-club shafts, fishing rods, boats and submarines, pressure vessels in the chemical and allied industries.

Carbon fibre
     Special grades of carbon fibre are used in protective clothing fabrics, where their inertness and heat resistance serve them well. Carbon fibre fabrics may be washed at 400C and dried with a short spin tumble dry or calendar. They may be ironed and dry cleaned.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014



     Fibres spun from sodium calcium silicate and related substances forming the materials known commercially as glass.

Introduction of fibreglass

     Fibreglass is also known as glass fibre or fibre glass. The knowledge that fibres could be made from glass is probably as old as glass itself. Molten glass is viscous like treacle, and on being touched with anything, it will ‘string out’ to form a filament when it is drawn away. As glass is in a molten condition during its manufacture, these filaments must have been discovered at an early date. Nature herself produces glass fibres of this type from molten volcanic glass that is spun into fibres by the wind.


Definition of fiberglass

     The generic term glass was adopted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for fibres of this type, the official definition being as follows:
“A manufactured fibre in which the fibre-forming substance id glass”

Types of fibreglass

     Glass is made in a wide variety of different compositions, and fibre may be spun from virtually any glass to provide material suited to particular applications.
     In general, there are two main types of textile glass fibre in large-scale commercial production; ‘E’ glass and ‘C’ glass. Both types are similar, but each is designed to serve to advantage in specific end-uses.
     ‘E’ glass is a boro-silicate glass of low alkali content. It has a very high resistance to attack by moisture, and has superior electrical characteristics and high heat resistance.
      ‘C’ glass has superior resistance to corrosion by a wised range of chemicals, including acids and alkalis. It is widely used for applications where such resistance is required, e.g. in chemical filtration.
     Glass wool fibre for non-textile applications is also spun from glasses of other compositions. Continuous filament is spun from ‘A’ glass (alkali glass; window glass).

Forms of fibreglass available

Glass fibre is produced in two basic form; continuousfilament and staple fibre.

Continuous filament

     Continuous filament glass fibres are made usually from ‘E’ glass. They are produced in a range of filament diameters, with an upper limit in the region of 12 microns (for textile applications). Continuous filaments are produced in the form of strands containing many individual filaments – e.g. from 51 to 4,000 depending on specific requirements.

Fibreglass filament

Staple fibre

     Glass staple fibres are made usually from ‘C’ glass. They are produced in a range of filament counts and lengths, e.g. from 2 to 38 cm.

Commercial products

     Glass continuous filament strands and staple fibre are commonly marketed by the manufacturers in a variety of made-up forms.

Continuous filament yarn

     This is made by twisting or plying a number of continuous filament strands. The numbers which are twisted or plied together affect the yarn’s strength, diameter and flexibility.
     Continuous filament yarns are fabricated into cords and sewing threads. They are widely used, for example, as reinforcement in electrical insulation materials, wire and cable, plastics, etc., as filtration materials, and in decorative fabrics.

Staple fibre yarn

     Yarns spun from staple fibre are woven into fabrics used for wet and dry filtration operations. They are used also as reinforcement in conveyor belts handling hot materials, and as braids in electrical insulation applications.
     Staple fibre yarn is commonly supplied in combination with flame-proof waxes, and commercial insulation varnishes.

Staple sliver

     This is a low-cost wadding material. It is used, for example, in aquarium filtration applications. Woven into fabric, it provides electrical turbine generator thermal blankets.

Bulk staple fibre

     A fluffy, bulky fibre that is used for air and liquid filtration, pharmaceutical wadding and dunnage.

Fine fibre – unbounded

     A mass of soft, fluffy fibre, ranging in diameter from 1.5 to 3 microns. They are used for ‘all glass’ papers and high efficiency filtration applications.

Bonded staple sliver

     A ribbon of parallel fibres bonded together with an alkyd resin. It is used as filler, and also as an outer braid for many electrical cable applications.


     Cordage is made by twisting, plying and cabling continuous filament yarn. It is commonly available in a variety of diameters ranging, for example, from 0.4 – 4 mm. It may be untreated, or treated with various coatings.
     Cords are used in cable wrapping seals, reinforcement of high pressure steam hose, etc.

Sewing thread

     Sewing threads are made from very fine continuous filament yarns. They have the highest tensile strength, flexibility and resistance to high temperatures of any textile sewing thread.


     A non woven material used primarily in plastics reinforcement. It is distributed in a random pattern to ensure maximum uniformity in the finished laminate. Mats are treated with various bonding resins to provide optimum capability with the laminating resin, and the desired handling and fabrication characteristics.


     This is low-cost, high-strength reinforcement material made by gathering a number of continuous filament strands and winding them into a cylindrical package. It is available in two forms: continuous strand roving and spun strand roving.

Chopped strands

     These are available in a wide variety of fibre lengths. They are used as reinforcement for resins, and for reinforcing putties, caulking compounds and foam rubber. They are also used for gypsum wallboard reinforcement.

Milled fibres

     These are made from hammer-milled continuous filament strands. They are used where shorter fibre lengths are required for reinforcement applications.

Fabrics and tapes

     These are made from continuous filament yarns, roving and staple yarns, by weaving on conventional looms.
     Fabrics and tapes may be processed through molding, laminating and coating techniques. They are used in applications requiring the most exact control over thickness, weight and strength, including industrial filtration, electrical insulation and decorative fabrics.


Glass manufacture

Glasses of many different compositions are made by the glass industry, the type produced being selected to suit the end-uses for which it is required. Silica sand and limestone may be regarded as basic ingredients, to which are added varying amounts of other materials such as soda ash, potash, aluminium hydroxide or alumina, magnesia or boric oxide.
The glasses commonly used in making textile fibres – ‘E’ glasses and ‘C’ glasses – are made from compositions of the following type –

‘E’ glass

Amount (%)
Soda; Potash
Less than 1.0
Boric oxide

‘C’ glass

Amount (%)
Boric oxide
     The ingredients are charged into a furnace, where they are fused at high temperature, forming molten glass. Filaments may be spun direct from this melt, or the glass may be formed into marbles of 16 mm diameter. The marbles are inspected, and any that contain impurities are discarded. The others are then passed to the spinning machines, fibreizing units or ‘bushings’ as they are called in the glass fibre industry.


a.     Continuous filament process
b.     Staple fibre
There are a number of methods of producing glass staple fibre, the most important of which may be considered as follows -
-         Centrifugal process
-         Jet process (Steam blowing, Batwool or Staplefibre process)
-         Rod drawing process


-         Sizing
-         Heat-cleaning
-         Heat-setting
-         Dyeing
-         Printing
-         Finishing
-         Washing
-         Drying
-         Ironing

End-Uses of fibreglass

-         Insulation
     Glass fibres are widely used for electrical, thermal and acoustical insulation purposes. They are less bulky and more efficient in many respects than other insulators.
-         Reinforcement in plastics
     The use of glass fibre is reinforcement in plastic has become the largest single end-use for textile type fibres. Glass fibres reinforce plastics in the same way as steel reinforces concrete. The non-flammability of the fibres, and their resistance to corrosion and biological attack, has added to their efficiency in this application.
-         Industrial filtration
     Glass fibres and fabrics are used for filtering gases and liquids in many industrial operations.
-         Belting
     Glass yarns used as reinforcement in industrial belting, including conveyor belts for handling hot materials and driving belts, particularly toothed timing belts foe car engines and industrial machinery.
-         Type cords
     Glass yarns used as reinforcement in radial ply tyres results in better miles-per-gallon, greater tread life, improved cornering and cooler running than tyres reinforced with other types of yarn. This is a major market for glass fibres, especially in the U.S.A.
-         Textiles
     Glass fibres have much to recommend them as textile fibres. They are strong and stable to moisture, heat and other influences. Glass fabrics have a poor resistance to abrasion, the filaments, breaking as they rub against each other during use. Glass fibres have only a very small elongation, and do not have the ‘give’ that is so desirable a characteristic of a textile fibre. They do not absorb moisture, and the fabrics are uncomfortable against the skin. They cannot be dyed by normal techniques.

Fibreglass fabric
     Glass fibres are used for apparel fabrics in special applications such as car racing suits and suits for astronauts.