History of Man Made Fiber is Described Easy Way/ Synthetic Fiber

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Textile fiber: Textile fibers include natural and artificial fibers that can be interlaced or looped to make yarn or fabric for clothing and other domestic and industrial uses. In other words, textile fiber is the raw material that is used to produce yarn for fabric production. Textile fiber, in its simplest form, is a filament or fine strand of sufficient length, pliability, fineness, flexibility, and strength to be spun into yarn and woven into cloth. In this article, I will brief history of man made fiber. Generally, textile fibers fall into two categories. They are:

  1. Natural Fiber.
  2. Man-Made Fiber

Natural Fiber: Fibers that are derived from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources and can be converted into nonwoven fabrics such as felt or paper or, after spinning into yarn, into woven cloth are called natural fibers. Natural fibres are agglomerations of cells with a diameter very small compared to their length. In spite of nature’s abundance of fibrous materials, especially cellulosic types such as cotton, wood, grains, and straw, only a few are suitable for textiles or other industries.

Cotton ball
Figure: Cotton ball

Man-Made Fiber: The fiber which is derived different reaction of chemical is called man made fiber. The manufacturing process alters the composition, structure, and properties of the material. There is a huge number of consumer and industrial products made from man-made fibres, including shirts, scarves, and hosiery, as well as home furnishings such as upholstery and carpets,

Figure: Man-made fiber

Historical Development Man Made Fiber:

Fiber history can be divided into two types. For example: There is a history of natural fiber and a history for man-made fiber. Natural fibers were used for the first time in 8000 B.C. in Egypt. Many years ago, the man tried to use natural fiber in the Indian subcontinent. Especially in this continent, men tried to use silk first.

A study of the historical development of man-made fibers is very interesting and challenging. The idea of making synthetic fibers came from a desire to make a silk substitute.
In 1664, the famous English scientist Robert Hooke published a book called – “Micrographia.” Hooke discussed, among many other things, the possibility of making an artificial fiber that mimicked silkworms. Simply by forcing a liquid through a tiny hole in its head, this insect produced the finest textile fiber known to mankind
The production of man-made fibers such as rayon, the first of them, had been prophesized by Robert Hooke as long ago as 1664. He believed it was possible to make an artificial glutinous composition or other substances, which were used to draw the silk-worn wire.

In 1710, Rene A de-Reaumer, a French scientist, proposed that silk filament could be produced from gum and resins. It wasn’t until 1770 that Dubert took this idea to the next level and succeeded in making silk filament from silky gum extracted from dead silk dresses.

In 1842, an English weaver named Louis Schwabe invented the machine for creating artificial filaments by forcing liquid through fine holes.
Swiss chemist Gorges Audemars discovered the process of making cellulose mitrate in 1855, which led to the nitrocellulose manufacturing process.

In 1884, Count Hilaire de Charcionnet produced the first man made textile fiber from Nitrocellulose solution, known as “Rayon.” He became the “Father of Rayon.”
As early as 1890, L.H. Despaisses of France developed the cuprammonium process to make rayon, which had the following properties.
During the 1890s, Germany manufactured the first cuprammonium rayon fiber. Cross and Bevan discovered another way of converting cellulosic material.
As early as 1892, they discovered the xanthation process, a method of dissolving cellulose in sodium hydroxide and carbon disulphide to recover it by acidification.

In 1903, secondary cellulose acetate was partially hydrolyzed by cellulose triacetate.
As of 1914, commercial cellulose fiber was manufactured. In Switzerland, Henry Drefus invented cellulose easter.
According to these research activities, fibers like natural fibers and rayons are composed of linear organic macromolecules arranged along three main dimensions. Synthetic fibers have developed from this knowledge. The major inventive step in developing synthetic fibers occurred in the United States and Germany between 1928 and 1936.

In 1934, the first synthetic fiber was developed in Germany from the co-polymers Vinyl halide and Vinyl ester. Many claim these were the first synthetic textile fibers but were of little commercial significance. The fiber was known as “Vinyon” and “Pe-Ce.” Dr. Wallace and H. Carothers, who worked with polyesters and polyamides, laid the groundwork for synthetic fibers.
It was in 1935 that he and his six workers developed fiber-forming polymers from polyesters and polyamides and discovered poly hexamethylene adipamide and cold drawing as a result. A while later, P.Shlack from Germany began researching condensation polymers. In 1937-38, he discovered nylon 6.6, or poly caprolactam.

Figure: Dr. Wallace at Lab

As well as polyethylene terephthalate, polyacrylonitrile was developed by Du-Pont in 1945. Polyethylene terephthalate was first made in England by J.R. Whinfield and J.T. Dickson in 1941.
In 1954, Ziegler and Natta patented a process to manufacture polypropylene. Polyvinyl alcohol was produced in 1957, followed by the production of polyurethane elastomeric fiber in 1958.

In 1959, E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company began commercial production of spandex fiber in the United States. Spandex fiber is an elastomeric man-made fiber used as a filament.
In 1961, Hercules Incorporated manufactured the first U.S. Olefin fiber. The fiber won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1966.

In 1989, E.I. Due Pont De Nemours and Company launched the first commercial production of microfiber in the U.S. Microfibers are not really new fibers, but instead micro-sized ones. Today, microfibers are manufactured in a variety of synthetic materials, including nylon, acrylic, and others.
The first commercial production of lyocell occurred in 1993 when Courtaulds Fibers introduced the Tencea trade name. Lyocell is produced from trees grown specifically for this purpose. It is environmentally friendly and produced by using a solvent spinning technique in which the dissolving agent is recycled, reducing environmental waste.

As early as 1997, Teijin Limited produced the first commercial elastoester in Japan. Like spandex, yet chemically different. They were used in swimwear, cycling, and skiing garments.
In 2001, Cargill Dow LLC produced the first commercial amount of PLA. This man-made fiber is made from renewable resources and is biodegradable. It has excellent color characteristics, low absorption, good wicking, and U.V. resistance.

Textile fibers are still being developed today. Textile fibers i.e. man made fiber have developed historically in these ways.

Here I tried my best to brief history of man made fiber. If you have any question, feel free to ask me via comment box

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