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Money Back Guarantee. Expedite Shipping Available. International shipment available. The first synthetic, rayon, made from cotton or wood fibers, was developed in , but not commercially produced until Almost a half a century later, nylon was invented, followed by the various forms of polyester.


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Synthetic fibers reduced the world demand for natural fibers and expanded applications. Until about , yarn was spun on the spindle and whorl. A spindle is a rounded stick with tapered ends to which the fibers are attached and twisted; a whorl is a weight attached to the spindle that acts as a flywheel to keep the spindle rotating.

The fibers were pulled by hand from a bundle of carded fibers tied to a stick called a distaff. In hand carding, fibers are placed between two boards covered with leather, through which protrude fine wire hooks that catch the fibers as one board is pulled gently across the other. The spindle, which hangs from the fibers, twists the fibers as it rotates downward, and spins a length of yarn as it pulls away from the fiber bundle. When the spindle reaches the floor, the spinner winds the yarn around the spindle to secure it and then starts the process again.

This is continued until all of the fiber is spun or until the spindle is full.

A major improvement was the spinning wheel, invented in India between and A. A horizontally mounted spindle is connected to a large, hand-driven wheel by a circular band. The distaff is mounted at one end of the spinning wheel and the fiber is fed by hand to the spindle, which turns as the wheel turns. A component called the flyer twists the thread just before it is wound on a bobbin. The spindle and bobbin are attached to the wheel by separate parts, so that the bobbin turns more slowly than does the spindle.

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Thus, thread can be twisted and wound at the same time. About years later, the Saxon wheel was introduced. Operated by a foot pedal, the Saxon wheel allowed both hands the freedom to work the fibers. A number of developments during the eighteenth century further mechanized the spinning process.

In , the flying shuttle was invented by John Kay, followed by Hargreaves' spinning jenny in The jenny featured a series of spindles set in a row, enabling one operator to produce large quantities of yarn. Several years later Richard Arkwright patented the spinning frame, a machine that used a series of rotating rollers to draw out the fibers. A decade later Samule Cromptons' mule machine was invented, which could spin any type of yarn in one continuous operation.

The ring frame was invented in by the American John Thorp and is still widely used today. This system involves hundreds of spindles mounted vertically inside a metal ring. Many natural fibers are now spun by the open-end system, where the fibers are drawn by air into a rapidly rotating cup and pulled out on the other side as a finished yarn. About 15 different types of fibers are used to make yarn. These fibers fall into two categories, natural and synthetic.

Natural fibers are those that are obtained from a plant or an animal and are mainly used in weaving textiles.


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  5. The most abundant and commonly used plant fiber is cotton, gathered from the cotton boil or seed pod when it is mature. In fact, cotton is the best-selling fiber in America, outselling all synthetic fibers combined. Fibers taken from the plant leaf or stern are generally used for rope. Other plant fibers include acetate made from wood pulp or cotton linters and linen, made from flax, a vegetable fiber. Animal fibers include wool, made from sheep hair, and mohair, made from angora goats and rabbits.

    Silk is a protein extruded in long, continuous strands by the silkworm as it weaves its cocoon. Synthetic fibers are made by forcing a thick solution of polymerized chemicals through spinneret nozzles and hardening the resulting filament in a chemical bath. These include acrylic, nylon, polyester, polyolefin, rayon, spandex, and triacetate. Some of these fibers have similar characteristics to the natural fibers without the shrinkage problems.

    Other fibers have special properties for specific applications. Fibers are shipped in bales, which are opened by hand or machine. The picker loosens and separates the lumps of fiber and also cleans the fiber if necessary. The carding machine separates the fibers and pulls them into somewhat parallel form. The thin web of fibers formed then passes through a funnel-shaped device that produces a ropelike strand of parallel fibers.

    Rollers elongate the strand, called a sliver, into a single more uniform strand that is given a small amount of twist and fed into large cans. There are three major spinning processes: cotton, worsted or long-staple, or wool. Synthetic staple fibers can be made with any of these processes. Since more yarn is produced with the cotton process than the other two, its manufacture is described below. Automation has made achieving quality easier, with electronics controlling operations, temperatures, speeds, twists, and efficiency.

    The American Society for Testing of Materials has also established standardized methods for determining such properties as drawforce, bulk, and shrinkage.

    Weaving: Conversion of Yarn to Fabric

    Spinning systems and yarn manufacturing machinery will continue to become more automated and will be integrated as part of a manufacturing unit rather than as a separate process. Spinning machines have already been developed that combine carding and drawing functions. Production rates will increase by orders of magnitude as machines become available with even more spindles. Robot-controlled equipment will become standard.

    Chapter 89 - Textile Goods Industry

    Domestic yarn producers will continue to be threatened by competition from Asian countries, as these countries continue to buy the latest textile machinery technology. The textile industry is also forming unique partnerships. The American Textile Partnership is a collaborative research and development program among industry, government, and academia aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of the U. Another continuing challenge for the industry will be compliance with stricter environmental regulations. Recycling is already an issue and processes are under development to manufacture yarn from scrap material, including denim.

    Yarn producers will have to incorporate pollution prevention measures to meet the air and water quality restrictions. Equipment manufactures will continue to play an important role in this endeavor. Genetic engineering will become more widely used for developing fibers with unique properties. Researchers have developed genetically-altered cotton plants, whose fibers are especially good at retaining warmth.