Types of Textiles

Philip Bart

January 17, 2023

When people think of textiles, they may have specific images in mind. For example, they might think of a fabric used to make clothes or a blanket. But there are many different textiles, from natural fibers to synthetic ones. Whether you’re looking for something functional or something pretty, there’s sure to be a textile.


The fabric is a material that enables people to create apparel and other goods. Some fabrics are synthetic, while others are crafted from natural fibers. There are many types of fabrics ranging from wovens to nonwovens. For example, wool is a famous textile due to its heat-retaining capabilities, while polyester is a manmade wonder thanks to its durability.

Despite the many fabric options, a handful of fabric fans swear by cotton, a fiber obtained from plants. This highly versatile fiber can be recycled, washed, dried, and regenerated. In addition, it is known to be both durable and environmentally friendly.

Fabric is often a misnomer. For instance, a t-shirt is much less interesting than a shirt made of polyester. However, cotton has many advantages over its more expensive counterpart. One such advantage is that it is durable and can be easily washed. Another is that it is breathable.

Synthetic fibers

Synthetic fibers are used to manufacture clothes and other textile products. They are made by polymerization, which combines chemical monomers into polymers. Most synthetic fibers are manufactured from coal, oil, or natural gas. Some are derived from para-xylene, an aromatic-based chemical.

Nylons have become the most common synthetic fibers in textiles. These fabrics are durable, stain-resistant, odor-resistant, flame-retardant, and softer than conventional cotton. Polypropylene and acrylic fibers are also used in the production of carpets.

The textile and carpet manufacturing sector is at an early stage of development. It is important to note that the market is a growing one. However, the current status quo is not enough to meet the needs of the domestic or export market.

Natural fibers

Humans have used natural fibers in textiles since ancient times. They are derived from plants, minerals, and animal sources. There are many different types of natural fibers, but a common type is cotton.

Cotton is a natural fiber that is almost pure cellulose. It can produce a wide variety of products, including clothing. It is extremely absorbent and easy to wash.

Flax is another important vegetable fiber. Flax fiber is a cellulose polymer and one of the strongest natural fibers. However, it is less flexible than cotton.

Jute is a very strong natural fiber. This fiber is used to make burlap sacks and rugs. It is also an important vegetable fiber, ranking second to cotton in production quantity.

Functional textiles

Functional textiles combine smart electronics and textile materials to provide applications. A new class of functional textiles has emerged that aims to improve human health. This new material class has several interesting properties, including flame retardant, UV protection, antibacterial activity, and superhydrophobicity. These technologies have the potential to improve human health and quality of life.

Some of the newest functional textiles include far infrared (FI) textiles, designed to help promote rapid healing of injuries, relax muscles, and increase blood circulation in targeted body areas. They are ideal for mountaineering and other sports requiring prolonged sunlight exposure.

Another new category of functional textiles is made up of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are small particles that can offer a range of new properties, such as flame retardant, UV protection, antibacterial, and superhydrophobicity. Despite their potential to deliver new capabilities, their commercialization has been slow.

Classification of textiles

In the textile industry, there are different kinds of fabric. Some are made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, and silk. Others are made from artificial fibers.

The classification of textiles is important to ensure the proper classification of products for customs and trade. It also helps determine the applicable non-tariff measures. HS Code Numbers are also used for trade statistics.

A textile is any material used in manufacturing apparel or other manufactured goods. This includes household textiles, medical textiles, decorative cloth products, and industrial fabrics.

Textiles are classified into fourteen categories: woven, knitted, and industrial. The structure of the fabric also classifies them. These categories are outlined in Section Notes 2A.