What are natural and artificial fibres? Give examples of each.
Hint: Long, thin and flexible thread like structures which can be spun into yarns to form fabrics are termed as fibres. These are classified into two types on the basis of their origin, i.e., natural fibres and artificial fibres.
Complete answer: Natural Fibres: The fibres which are obtained naturally from plants, animals or minerals are known as natural fibres. The usage of these fibres is decided by the orientation or arrangement of the fibres. Natural fibres are further divided into two types: Animal fibres: The fibres obtained from animals are termed as animal fibres. Some examples are as follows: Wool- Obtained from sheep, camels and goats. As it is a bad conductor of heat, this fabric is widely used in winters. Silk- Obtained from silkworms. This fabric is known for its strength, shine and durability. Hence, it is widely used to make designer dresses and formal wear. Plant fibres: The fibres obtained from plants are termed as plant fibres. Some examples are as follows: Cotton- It is a fluffy and soft fibre which grows in a ball shaped protective case. It is widely used in the cloth industry to make bedsheets, towels, canvas, dresses, etc. Jute- It is the second most important plant fibre because of its versatile nature. This fibre can be used to make curtains, carpets, rugs, etc. Synthetic fibres: When small units of chemical substance joined together to form a single unit structure called polymers. As these are modified chemically, thus are known as synthetic fibre. Examples of synthetic fibres are as follows: Rayon- Obtained from wood pulp. It is also termed as artificial silk due to resemblance of properties with silk. It is widely used in the clothing industry and can be dyed in many different colours. Nylon- It was the first fibre which was commercially synthesised from coal, air and water. It has many industrial uses including conveyor belts, ropes, threads, airbags, etc.
Note: In recent times, the synthetic fibres are more commonly used because of their advantages over natural fibres. Some of the advantages are listed below: Cheaper than natural fibre Comparatively more durable Easy to dry and wash