Author: Anja Redl
The history of textiles (Latin: texere
– to weave) dates back to
the dawn of human civilisation.
While leather had been used to make
garments long before, the earliest fabric
made of plant fi bres was found in
the area of modern Sweden, dated to be
up to fi fteen-thousand years old. Since
then, the textile world has been enriched
by a number of fabric types.
The culture of silk evolved in India, in
the fourth century AD. The various types
of silk production methods formed
later in China, through the rearing of
silkworms instead of collecting the yarn
in the wild. Wool also appeared in India,
in the third century AD. Weaving,
hence the production of linen has been
discovered in Egypt, in the fourth century
AD. Types of textiles were severely
increased with the discovery of artifi cial
fi bres after the Industrial Revolution.
Nowadays, a broad collection of textile
types is available on the market. Different
kinds of fabrics are made of several
various materials, with several various
methods. Let an overview on those
Wool: Fibres of wool are gained from the
fur of animals. The fi bres are sinuous,
hence trap small bubbles of air, keeping
the temperature constant. Wool is, therefore,
an excellent material for warm
clothing and blankets. The cleaning of
wool requires special carefulness as the
fi bres contract in hot water. Rare kinds
of wool are mohair, made from the fur
of Angora goat; cashmere, of pleasant
odour, made from the fur of pashmina
goat, the tender angora, made from the
fur of Angora rabbit, and the exclusive
alpaca and camel wool.
Silk: The yarn of silk is an explicitly thin
and fi ne yarn, natural substance of the silkworm
pupa. For the harvesting of such,
long and cautious work is needed, therefore
the primary use of silk occurs when creating
luxurious clothing. Its natural gloss
is pleasant to the eye, its touch is pleasant
to the skin.
Cotton: The fi bres of cotton are from inside
the boll of the cotton plant. Cotton is
nowadays the textile of broadest use, as
the touch of it is pleasant, it is durable, and
easy to clean. The longer the cotton fi bres,
the fi ner and stronger the fabric. The highest
quality cotton is made of ELS (Extra
Long Staple) cotton plant, the fi bre-length
of which exceeds all other types.
Linen: Linen fi bres stem from fl ax, and the
attributes of it are mighty similar to those
of cotton. However, linen is stronger and
more durable. The strength and fi neness
of the yarn are determined by the length of
the fi bres, likewise.
Synthetic textiles: Synthetic textiles are
made of synthetic fi bres, the substance of
which is usually oil or coal. These kinds of
fi bres melt when exposed to heat. Synthetic
textiles are less pleasant to touch compared
to natural textiles and might often cause irritation
to the skin. The use of these is prevalent
in lower quality garments as neither
the production nor the cleaning of synthetic
textiles requires special carefulness.
Weaving: Woven fabrics contain several types,
each with differing attributes.
Plain weave: The thicker the yarn used for
weaving, the heavier the fabric. The pattern
is the construction of horizontal stripes.
Primary use of it are bedsheets.
Twill weave: This kind of weave is mighty
similar to plain weave but completed by
a diagonal pattern to increase the hardness
of the fabric. A great example for textile
made of twill weave is denim.
Herringbone weave: Created primarily
of wool yarn, the pattern of herringbone
weave is a construction of V-shaped stripes.
The result is a warm fabric, ideal for
Satin: It is a luminous weave, fi ne to touch.
Producing satin is an especially attentive
work as the yarn tangles easily, decreasing
the durability of the fabric. Hence, sating
is primarily used for luxury clothing and
Pile weave: The fuzzy surface of this kind
of weave is obtained by constant addition
of extra fi laments. A gorgeous example for
pile weave is velvet.
Knitting: Knitted textile is especially supple,
that can be further increased with the
use of elastic yarn. The two types of it are:
Weft knitting: Produced with two needles,
of a continuous yarn, weft knitting had
been the only type of knitting before the
development of knitting machines. However,
with regular use, this type of fabric
tends to expand and lose shape. Most
T-shirts, stockings and pullovers are made
with this technic.
Warp knitting: This type of knitting can
only be produced by factory machines.
Each loop is created from a distinct yarn
and are connected vertically. The result is
a textile that is stronger and does not lose
shape as easily. Warp knitting is regularly
used for swimwear and sportswear.