Types of Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic Fibres

Fibers are elongated thick-walled cells with pointed ends and the cellulose is present in its cell walls. It may or may not contain lignin. In the environment, apart from three natural sources(plant fiber, animal fiber, mineral fiber), fiber can be synthesized chemically from different kinds of materials and these types of fibers are named Synthetic fiber. Nylon, terylene, rayon are the different kinds of synthetic fibers. Other types of fibers include artificial silk or alginate yarn are regenerated from carbohydrates and materials. There are also some fibers which are regenerated from the protein and bridal regenerated from groundnut protein.

Types of Synthetic Fibre

There are different types of synthetic fibers, these are 

  • Polyester 

  • Acrylic 

  • Rayon

  • Nylon 


Polyester= Poly+ester

It is a category of polymer which contains an ester group in their main chain. The term polyester is used in specifying the material which is known as PET (Polyethylene terephthalate).

Properties of Polyester

  • As Polyester is a category of polymer, it is very strong  

  • Polyester is very resistant to shrinkage and it is very resistant to chemicals also.

  • Polyester is very durable.

  • As polyester is hydrophobic in nature, it gets dry quickly.

  • As polyester is very strong, it retains its shape.

  • It is easily washable.

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  • Polyester suits are made from Polyester.

  • It is used to make Industrial rope. 

  • It is used to make pet bottles.


Acrylic is a synthetic fiber made from polyacrylonitrile named polymer. Character-wise, Acrylic fiber resembles closely to wool. It is also known as  Polyacrylonitrile. This fabric is considered a fossil fuel based-fiber because it is produced on reacting to a variety of monomers with specific coal or petroleum-based chemicals. 

Properties of Acrylic 

  • These types of synthetic fibers are flexible and soft.

  • Acrylic fibers are warm and light.

  • It is very much resistant to chemicals and moths or any other insects.

  • Instead of wool, it is used because these types of synthetic fibers give a wool-like feel.

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  • It is used in making a blanket, Shawls, Jacket, etc.

Rayon Synthetic

Rayon is an important synthetic fiber which is known as viscose-rayon regenerated cellulose. 

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Properties of Rayon 

  • Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber.

  • This type of synthetic fiber is a versatile fiber.

  • It can be dried easily. 

  • These types of synthetic fibers do not insulate body heat. Thus, it is used in hot and humid climates.

  • These types of fibers are soft enough and it is comfortable and highly absorbent.


  • It is mainly used for making fabric. 

  • It is used for the preparation of surgical dressing and viscose-rayon absorbent wool. 

  • Rayon is used in making cheap garments that have low prices. 


Nylon is an important type of Synthetic fibers. It is a polymer of adipic acid hexamethylene diamine. There is another synthetic fiber Terylene which is distinguished from nylon. These were terylene retains its structure on boiling with phosphoric acid.  

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Properties of Nylon

  • It is a polyamide 

  • These fibers are highly lustrous to dull, white, or colored. 

  • It is soluble in hydrochloric acid and it is insoluble in acetone 

  • It can be dried easily.


  • It is used for filter cloths. 

  • These types of synthetic fibers are used for sieves. 

  • It is used as non-absorbable sutures.

Difference Between Natural Fibres and Synthetic Fibres

Natural Fibres

Synthetic Fibres

These types of fibers are composed of natural sources.

Synthetic fibers are man-made fiber.

Natural fibers are divided into three parts ( Plant fibers, Animal fibers, and Mineral fibers) 

Synthetic fibers are divided into four parts (Nylon, Acrylic, Rayon, Polyester)

Natural fibers are less durable than synthetic fibers.

Synthetic fibers are more durable as compared to natural fiber.

It is environmentally friendly.

Some fibers are harmful to nature.

No chemical products or substances are needed for processing these natural fibers.

Various kinds of chemical substances or products are required for the processing of synthetic fibers.

No spinning process is required for filament production.

Melting, wet, drying process is used for filament production

In natural fibers, the properties are so much difficult to change.

In synthetic fibers, properties can be adjusted to suit the final application.

Example- Jute, flax, cotton, silk, wool

Example- Nylon, Orlon, terylene

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Source of Rayon Synthetic Fibers?

It is an artificial fiber that is composed of regenerated cellulose and the substituents are replaced in less than or up to 15-20 percent of hydrogen of the hydroxyl groups. Now, it is produced by the viscose process. The cellulose is treated with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide and it forms sodium cellulose xanthate's viscous solution. Then this solution is forced through the fine nozzles into the bath of sulphuric acid and sodium sulfate. Firstly, continuous filaments are formed, and then yarn is formed and finally, this yarn is desulphurized, bleached, washed, and dried.

2. What are the Benefits and Disadvantages of Synthetic Fibres?

As synthetic fibers are man-made. There are different kinds of benefits and disadvantages of synthetic fiber. 

Benefits of Synthetic Fibers

  • We can clean synthetic fibers easily.

  • These fibers are easy to dry.

  • These types of fibers do not shrink at the time of washing. 

  • These fibers are not as expensive as compared to other fibers.

Disadvantages of Synthetic Fibers

  • Synthetic fibers are not biodegradable. Hence, these types of fibers cause pollution.

  • These types of fibers hydride by giving electrical charges which can cause skin problems.

  • Synthetic fibers melt before burning and it is hazardous to the environment.

  • They do not absorb sweat easily as compared to natural fibers.