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A long, thin filament with a length at least 100 times its diameter. Fibers are used to make fabric, paper, mats and as fillers and strengtheners in composite materials.

Sources of fibers are:

- animal: wool, alpaca, mohair, angora, and silk. 
- vegetable: cotton, kapok, linen, hemp, jute. 
- synthetic: rayon, nylon, acetate, polyester, acrylic. 
- mineral: asbestos, glass, carbon, tungsten. 

The types of fiber are characterized as:

- staple: short fibers. 
- monofilaments: continuous single fibers. 
- tow: a continuous strand of bundled but untwisted fibers. 
- yarn: a continuous strand of twisted fibers.

Synonyms and Related Terms

fibers; fibre (Br., Fr.); fibra (Esp.); vezel (Ned); fibrous substance;

Other Properties

Fibers are characterized by their shape, strength, elasticity, flexibility, weight, stability and ability to absorb moisture

Additional Information

G.Cook, Handbook of Textile Fibres:I. Natural Fibres, 5th edition, Merrow Publishing Co., Durham, England, 1984.


Properties of Synthetic Fibers

Properties of Natural Fibers

Fiber Burn Tests

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles, Phyllis G.Tortora, Robert S. Merkel (eds.), Fairchild Publications, New York City, 7th edition, 1996
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • E.J.LaBarre, Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-making, Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam, 1969
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Mary-Lou Florian, Dale Paul Kronkright, Ruth E. Norton, The Conservation of Artifacts Made from Plant Materials, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1990
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • A.Lucas, J.R.Harris, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries, Edward Arnold Publishers Ltd., London, 4th edition, 1962
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988