What are Synthetic Fibres?

Synthetic Fibres

Chemicals are used to create synthetic fibres. They’re usually made of polymers and are more durable than natural or regenerated fibres.

What are synthetic fibres?

Synthetic fibres are man-made fibres, the majority of which are created from petroleum-based basic materials known as petrochemicals. Fibres are used to make all fabrics, and they can come from natural or artificial sources. They are formed up of a tiny unit or polymer that is made up of several repeating monomers. 

Nylon, acrylics, polyurethane, and polypropylene are among them. Every year, millions of tonnes of these fibres are manufactured all over the world.


Semi-synthetic fibres are created by a chemical process from naturally occurring fibres. The naturally occurring fibre is taken, broken down, and rebuilt. The most common material used for this is cellulose. Cellulose is a naturally occurring component in plants. The cellulose is taken from the plants, dissolved, and spun into fibre.

What distinguishes synthetic fibre from natural fibre?

Synthetic fibres are more long-lasting, with excellent wear and tear resistance. Synthetic fibre fabric is extremely durable as a result of this. These fibres have a great lustre and do not yellow with age.

Types of synthetic fibres

  • Polyester is manufactured from terephthalic acid and dihydric alcohol esters.
  • Polyacrylonitrile fabrics are acrylic fabrics.
  • Rayon is made from recycled wood pulp that has been treated with chemicals such as caustic soda, ammonia, acetone, and sulphuric acid to ensure that it can withstand repeated washing and use.
  • Acetate and triacetate are manufactured from cellulose, which is a type of wood fibre that goes through a lot of chemical processing to get to the final result.
  • Nylon is a petroleum-based material with a permanent chemical finish that can be hazardous.

Pros of using synthetic fibre

Because synthetic fabrics are constructed of man-made, artificial fibres, they have several advantages for everyday use, including cost and stain and water resistance.

Cheaper: Most natural fibres are prohibitively expensive, especially in their purest form, whereas synthetic fibres provide less priced alternatives. Many synthetic materials, such as wool and silk, are imitations of natural fibres.

Stain-resistant: Synthetic materials are more stain-resistant, and some are specifically engineered to be stain-resistant, thus synthetic clothing is ideal for everyday use.

Waterproof: While some natural fibres are water-resistant, synthetic fibres may be manufactured to be nearly entirely waterproof, making them ideal for outdoor and rain gear.

Cons of synthetic fibre

  • Because most of them aren’t heat resistant, they’re dangerous to wear near a fire.
  • During hot and humid regions, they do not enable air circulation, making them sticky, sweaty, and difficult to wear.
  • They aren’t biodegradable in any way.

Common examples of synthetic fibre


 Polyester is coal and petroleum-based synthetic fabric. Polyester is known for its durability; but, because it is not breathable and does not absorb liquids efficiently, it is not advised for use during the summer.


Rayon is a reconstituted wood pulp-based semi-synthetic fibre. Even though rayon is made from plant fibres, it is classified as semi-synthetic due to the chemicals employed in the manufacturing process, such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide. Rayon comes in the form of modal, viscose, and lyocell, and can be used to imitate silk, wool, and other materials.


Spandex, often known as Lycra or elastane, is a synthetic material with exceptional elasticity. Spandex is a stretchy fabric that is combined with a variety of fibres and used in everything from trousers to athleisure to hosiery. Spandex is an anagram of the word expands, which is a fun fact.


Acrylic fibres are man-made fibres manufactured from acrylonitrile or vinyl cyanide polymers. Because of its ability to retain heat, acrylic is frequently referred to as “fake wool.” It’s frequently utilised in the production of faux fur and fleece.


Microfibers are extremely thin and short fibres with a diameter of fewer than 10 micrometres that are used in cleaning cloths due to their propensity to trap dirt. Polyester is commonly used, and it can be woven or non-woven.

What are the uses of Synthetic fibres?

Synthetic fibres play an essential part in today’s world, and they are used to create fabrics and goods for everyday use, either alone or in combination with other synthetic or natural fibres.

 Here are a few examples:

  • Ropes
  • Parachutes
  • Nets for catching fish
  • Carpets
  • Tents
  • Pillows with fillers
  • Lycra and spandex are common fabrics for everyday use.
  • Blankets
  • Warm and protective clothing for extreme climates
  • Wigs made of synthetic hair


Natural or synthetic fibres may be identified in all fabrics (or a blend of the two). Natural and synthetic fibres both have advantages and disadvantages. Natural fibres come from plants and animals, while synthetic fibres are created from chemical compounds, and each is valued differently in the textile industry.

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Robin Singh

Robin Singh is education professional tutor of NCERT. I have good knowledge of CBSE all subjects. Expert in maths, physics and chemistry. if students have any doubt about NCERT Solutions so contact us info@cbsenotes.in.

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