Textiles are any filament, fibre, or yarn that can be made into cloth. Fibers are harvested from hair-bearing animals (silk, wool), plants like cotton, jute, and flax; and minerals, such as asbestos.
Nylon is a synthetic fabric used to imitate silk; spandex (trade name Lycra) is a stretchy polyester fibre; and olefin fibres are used for activewear, linings, and warm clothing. Velvet is a woven fabric with a thick, soft pile of cut or uncut loops.
Fabrics are the basis of clothing, but they also make up a wide range of household and industrial goods like tents, blankets, bed sheets, table cloths, towels, carpeting, and even artwork. They are made by entwining fibers of a certain type, and there are hundreds of different fabrics in existence today. Different types of fabrics are distinguished by their fiber(s), pattern, texture, and production methods, such as weaving or knitting.
Woven fabrics are characterized by the way longitudinal threads (known as warp) are interlaced with weft or filling yarns to create the fabric. The resulting material can be either cotton, wool, silk, or synthetic.
The most common natural textiles are cotton, jute, and flax, which are harvested from plants. Sheep and silk are animal textiles, which are harvested from hair-bearing animals (like sheep and silkworms). Other animal-derived materials include alpaca wool, vicuna wool, and angora fur, all of which are used to make coats, jackets, shawls, and other warm coverings.
Synthetic fibers are also woven into cloth, but they tend to be much lighter and less expensive than the natural variety. Among the most widely used synthetics are polyester, acrylic, nylon, and lycra. These fibers are often combined with cotton or other natural materials to produce a stronger, more durable fabric, but they can be used on their own as well.
There are many types of new moon textiles fibres which are used to make clothing, shoes and home furnishings. Many of these are natural and some are man made. The fibres can be spun into yarn which is then woven into cloth. The resulting cloth can be shaped into a variety of products including hats, curtains and garments. It can also be pressed into felt. Textiles are used to provide warmth, comfort and personal adornment and they are essential for the survival of the human race.
The quality or value of a textile is dependent on a number of factors including the type and quality of fibres used and the way they are manipulated. The resulting fabric can be coarse, fine, strong or soft. The tensile strength, elasticity and abrasion resistance are important characteristics of a textile. The abrasion resistance can be enhanced by coating with wax or resins.
Some textiles are not woven but are beaten together or matted, such as felt and bark (or tapa) cloth. These can be sturdier than a woven textile and may have a rib structure with warp and weft threads of different thicknesses.
Other fabrics are not woven at all but are prepared in other ways, such as braiding or lashing, netting and various laces. They can be fashioned into clothing and other items or can serve industrial purposes, such as filtering. These specialised textiles are known as technical textiles and they can be found in a wide range of applications.
Fur is hairy animal skin that can be used to make coats, wraps and shawls. It has been one of the most popular forms of clothing since Neanderthal times. Today, it is worn by people who value its insulating qualities and aesthetics. It is usually dyed to mimic exotic animal patterns and can be shorn close or shaped into shapes like hoods and shawls. Fur is also used to make hats and other decorative accessories.
The pelts of animals such as beaver, coyote, fox, mink, raccoon and chinchilla are often used for fur garments. Some of these pelts are adorned with fringes, beads and buttons. Some are patterned with stripes, spots, bars, rings and other shapes that mimic the natural fur color of the animal. Furs may also have a countershading pattern, which is when the underside of the pelt is a lighter color than the topside.
Because the fur industry is global, it can be difficult to know where your coat or trim came from. However, a QR code on the label of some European fur products can allow consumers to trace it back to the farm where the animal was raised. Regardless of where it is made, though, every fur coat, lining or trim represents the intense suffering of animals who are hunted, trapped, ranched or even unborn.
Beds are a common feature in homes and serve as resting places for people. They generally consist of a frame, headboard and footboard. A mattress is placed on top of the frame, and a blanket or some form of covering blanket that insulates and comforts the sleeper is usually added to the bed. A set of bedding typically consists of at least a flat or fitted bed sheet, and some form of blanket or duvet cover (and pillowcases). The latter are also known as bedding sets. Often, a blanket or duvet is also paired with a bedspread that covers the mattress and box spring from top to bottom.
Bed sheets are generally made of cotton. This type of fabric is breathable and forgiving when it comes to stains, and softens with repeated washing. Other fabrics, such as polyester and silk, are softer than cotton but can require special care or may wrinkle more easily.
Pima cotton is a premium variety of the crop that is regarded as luxury due to its extra-long staple and superior characteristics that improve with repeated use and washing. It is used to make upscale sheets, towels and clothing and is grown primarily in Peru.
In Europe, growth in the Home Decoration and Home Textiles (HDHT) sector is sensitive to economic cycles. During downturns, real private consumption expenditure on non-essential items tends to fall. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted this trend, but with European GDP projected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, opportunities could present themselves for the bed textiles market.