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Coiled fiber basket
MFA# 99.134


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.

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;

Physical and Chemical Properties

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


Properties of Synthetic Fibers

Properties of Natural Fibers

Fiber Burn Tests

Resources and Citations

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