Fibre Types

Natural fibre-animal -wool /silk/ alpaca /cashmere

                     plant-cotton /linen /jute /hemp

Sythetic fibres-elastomeric/acrylic/pvc/polyester/nylon/tactel

Regenerated Fibres-viscose/lyocell/acetate/modal/tencel

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Woven Fabrics

Interlcok threads or yarns 

weft:runs horizontally

warp:runs vertically

Fray easily

strongest along the grain

lack elasticity

stronger and firmer the closer the weave is 

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Knitted Fabrics

Made from Yarn in a series of interlocking loops

They are:



can be napped or brushed

making them fluffy

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Plain weave


Constrcution-over one under one

Selvedge- doesnt fray

Bias-diagonally across the weave so fabric stretches 

Lots of variation/strong/hardwearing/used for fashion and furnishings fabrics

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Twill weave


Construction-over 2 under 2 weft moves over 1 warp thread each time 

Pattern-forms a diagonal patern

Strong/Drapes well/used on jeans and uniforms and jackets

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Satin Weave


Construction-warp over 1 under 3 weft over 3 under 1 

weft thread-lies on the surface

Weakest of all weaves/shiny/snags easily/drapes well/used to produce polyester satin

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Weft knitted


Construction-horizontal rows interlocking loops /ladders

Made by hand or machine

Stretch and comfortable

Used for socks and jumpers/t-shirts 

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Warp knitted


Construction-Vertical colums interlocking loops doesnt ladder

Made by machine only

Less elastic and firmer 

Used for swimwear and underwear and geotextiles 

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Non woven Fabrics

Wool felts:

fibres are matted together made from animal hair or wool

Fibre web is squashed together with moisture a machine and heat

Fibres  become tangled 

used for hats and jackets/slippers

Bonded fabrics :

Fibres are bonded together using adhesive solvent of lines of stitching 

Used for disposable fabrics such as medicalmasks and table linen

used for interfacting and stiffening

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Non woven Fabrics

Needle felts:

fibres are tangled and interlocked

fibres are passed through lots of barbed needles

Laminated Fabrics:

fabrics are bonded together for extra properties 

Gore tex and Sympatex 

Fabrics can be made waterproof and breathable

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Non woven fabrics summed up

Made from raw fibres using chemicals to mat fibres togetherand heat to bond the fibres together

Then stitching the fibres together in layers

They dont have a grain dont stretch or fray easily not as strong as knitter or woven and are permeable 

They can be moulded made from recycled fibres cheap and weaker when wet easily pull

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Smart Materials

Smart materials can respond to external stimuli or activated by internal or external power sources 

Gore Tex:

-Laminated membrane 




-used on jackets and shoes 

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micro encapsulated

scents and smells are released slowly

childrens toys 

moistured tights

antebacterial socks

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Thermochromic fabrics

-Dyes that change colour in response to tempreture 

-used for novelty products and medical uses eg wound dressings to indicate infection 

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Memory textiles

shape memory polymer

tempreture sensetive foam used to mould and match the body pressuring against it 

used for elderly and disabled 

could be used for medicine and keyhole surgery

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Body enhancing Fabrics

Create a sence of well being

medicine plaster with painkillers

anti stress or calm including properties 

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Electro textiles

Textiles can be combined with electronics to create products with soft keyboards to provide additional functions

wearable textiles

soft washable fabric with optical/electrical fibres

could be used for shirts with parental use on babys and for military use 

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uv reactive Fabric

Dyes can respond to light/sunlight and can produce interesting patterns 

used for novelty products 

can measure sun exposure/military clothing that adjusts according to the environment 

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phosphorescent Fabric

Transform invisble forms of energy into visible light

dyes can be impregnated

dye can be a surface coating printed on pattern or woven or spun 

used for childrens novelty clothing clubbing wear and high visibility for safety purposes 

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Combining Fibres and Fabrics

Interfacing: Fabrics such as vilene-can be stitched or laminated to other fabrics.which reinforces stiffens and gives strength to collars cuffs to prevent fabric from stretching or sagging

Quilted:Two or more layers sewn together to give an attractive appearance and added warmth 

Gore tex:can be laminated toanother fabric using adhesive and heat 

used for all weather clothing such as shoes and jackets because its breathable and waterproof

Kevlar:a high strength lightweight and flexible fibre used for bicycle tyres racing sails and bullet proof vests because of its high strength to weight ratio

Thinsulate:a highly insulating but thin fabric 

microfibres in thinsulate are fine and capture more air in less space making it a better insulator 

it traps air between the wearer and the outside 

can be machine washed and dry cleaned is breathable as well as moisture resistant 

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Two ways of mixing Fibres


when fibres are mixed together at the spinning or spineret stage meaning that different fibres are disturbed throughout the fabric

includes polyester and cotton


two different yarns are used during the weaving process one for the warp and one for the weft

Includes nylon and wool /and/ acrylic and wool

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Advantages of mixing Fibres

-improves fabric performance

-reduces cost

-different textures can be achieved 

-interesting solour effects easily achieves due to different absorbancies 

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Natural Fibres

Linen-Cellulouse fibre


Silk-natural filament fibre

Wool-any type of animal hair

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-very absorbent

-dyes well

-dries quicker than cotton

-cool to wear


creases easily

stiffer than cotton less subtle 

more expensive than cotton

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-strong when wet

-dyes easily

-easy to launder

-cool to wear


creases easily

takes a long time to dry

stains are absorbed 

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-warmest natural fibre

-heat and moisture can mould the fibres

-water reppelent 


hairy surface 

shrinks when washed harshly 

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-very smooth

-dyes well

-doesnt crease easily

-strongest natural fibre



needs to be laundered carefully

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Synthetic fibres



polar fleece


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strong and elastic

dries quickly

keeps its shape

easy to launder


collects static electricity

feels cold to touch

damaged by high tempretures


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resists wrinkling

easy to launder

dries quickly

strong and hardwearing

disadvantages:can be damaged by heat

feels cold to touch

doesnt absorb moisture


sports clothing

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soft and warm

dries quickly


dyes well


easily damaged by heat

not as absorbent as wool

uses: knitwear/blankets/toys

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Polar fleece


soft and comfortable to wear

warm but light

dries quikly

warm even when wet



not windproof

can be damaged by high tempretures 

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Microfibres and smart materials!!!!!!

Microfibres-polyester/nylon microfibres are 60-100 times thinner than human hair 

they can be blended with sythetic and natural fibres 

used for clothing for outdoor purposes

Themo plastic =They can be heat treated to give them coils/crimps and loopswhich creates textured yarns stretchy and warm

used for underwear and sportswear

Smart material:material that can respond to either external stimuli or activated by internal or external power sources

they can be incoporated by embroidery or printing them on 

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Nano fibres and technical textiles

Nano fibres=tiny molecules added to fibres to improve the molecular level

they can be used to make fabrics repel water stain resistant non creased when washed 

Technical Textiles:

Mnufactured for functionality and technical performance the visual appearance is less important

used in industries such as :medicine and transport/geo textiles

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Fibre content

country of origin 

safety advice

care instructions(how to wash)

safety advice(keep away from fire)

extras may include:

retailers logo

a barcode

ethical information eg organic 

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Care labels !!!!!


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Hand dyeing:

factories emersed in hot and cold dyes in a dye bath

the dye bath is agitated so the dye reaches all areas 

when desired colour is achieved the fabric is removed and raised to remove excess dye 

Then foxed with a mordant or a fixing agent such as salt 

The strength of colour of the dye is determined by:

-time in dye bath

-absorbency of fibres 

-original fabric colour 

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commercial dyeing

Continous dyeing:

The fabric is passed through a dye bath

squeezed between rollers

used for colours that dont require too much of a change quickly with fashion 

Batch dyeing:

Fbrics produced without dye 

dyed to order in large batches

used for fabrics that have changing colour frequently because of fashion 

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Rotary screen printing

Uses CAD

roller squeezes one for each colour 

very fast used in continuous printing of furnishing and clothing fabrics 

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Screen printing

A pattern is printed onto  a fabric 

through a stencil

placed by a screen

each screen prints part of design in one colour 

the printing must be fixed by using steam or dry heat

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Block printing

Done by using a metal or wooden block

one for each colour

background shapes cut away to leave a raised design on the block cut in relief

dye is applied and stamped onto fabric 

slow process by using specialised craft industries 

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Industrial flat bed printing

Automates the screen printing process 

with fabric moved through the machine on a conveyor belt and printed repeatedly rapidly 

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covered buttons











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Product analysis

Design specification=created from design brief after research

sets out essentialand desirable criteria

Product specification=identifies the materials and equipment neede to make the product in prototype stage 

Manufacturing Specifications=

-made after product has undergone final modifications

provides materials and equipment lists

identifies all tasks that need to be completed in sequence to manufacture the product

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Colour and design equipment


-pots are heat resistant and used to melt wax 

screen printing:

-applies patterns onto fabrics with a special mesh placed over the fabric and a squuege to push the pigments through the msh onto the fabric

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one off or job production

A single textile product made to a clients specification 

developed from a basic pattern to be altered by the clients needs 

made by a small team or indivisuals from start to finish 

highly skilled and use of versatile equiment 

high cost of production 

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Batch production

Set quantities made to order 

prototype is made

manufacturing costs generally low 

for seaonal demands such as swimwear

flexible can easily be changed for new orders 

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Mass production

industrial scale of manufacturing were large quantities of products are on a production line 

suitable for products not being redesigned eg jeans towels 

not complicated and cost effective 

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Just in time production

Bought quickly shipped as soon as they are completed and supplied just beforethe the reatiler needs them increases profit but vital they arrive on time 

less space required for storage 

no money  wasted on upholding stock 

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production line

the work flows in a straight line through work stations

any problems can result in the whole line stopping 

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cellular work

small group works on  a range of skills where they can rotate their work 

gives greater skill/higher quality

product changes are easy to do 

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-Allows designs to be sompleted very quick almost instantly


qucik to change colours of a design

quick to change the scale of the motif 

reapeat pattern easy

designs can be saved and used agin 


designs can be sent to the connsumer for instant approval

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sepecialist computer aided software is expensive

designers have to be trained to use the software 

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Reduces the time required to make the textile product

decreases cost of manufacture not as many workers therfore not as many wages

reduces repetitive work

less waste no mistakes decrease the cost



very expensive to buy machinery

workers have to be traines to programm the machine

if machine breaks will need specialist repair service can take a long time 

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processes carried out by CAM

spread and cutting out of fabric 

cuts many layers at one time 

embroider machine embroiders many at once improves productivity 

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