The Topic:
Fiber and Fabric

Easier - Fiber is a long, thin strand or thread of material. Fabric is a cloth material made by weaving or knitting threads together.
Harder - Fiber is a hairlike strand of material. It is a substance that is extremely long in relation to its width, at least 100 times longer than it is wide. A fiber is the smallest visible unit of any textile product. Fibers are flexible and may be spun into yarn and made into fabrics.
Fibers naturally occur in both plants and animals. More than half of the fibers produced are natural fibers. Natural fibers include cotton, hair, fur, silk, and wool. Other fibers are manufactured. There are two types of manufactured fibers: regenerated fibers and synthetic fibers. Regenerated fibers are made from natural materials by processing these materials to form a fiber structure. Also called cellulosics, regenerated fibers are derived from the cellulose in cotton and wood pulp. Rayon and acetate are two common regenerated fibers.
Synthetic fibers are made entirely from chemicals. Synthetic fibers are usually stronger than either natural or regenerated fibers. Synthetic fibers and the regenerated acetate fiber are thermoplastic; they are softened by heat. Therefore manufacturers can shape these fibers at high temperatures, adding such features as pleats and creases. Synthetic fibers will melt if touched with too hot an iron. The most widely used kinds of synthetic fibers are nylon (polyamide), polyester, acrylic, and olefin.
Cotton Fibers by Xiao Gao and Praveen Kumar Jangala
This article identifies the characteristics and the physical and chemical properties of cotton, today's most used textile fiber in the world. It also tells about the processing of raw cotton.
Other Cotton Sites:
2) Cotton Incorporated
3) Cotton Pickin Web
Fiber Facts
This resource can help answer questions about fibers, fabrics, finishes and fashions.
Fabrics Net
This website is packed with information about fibers and fabrics.
Similar Websites:
2) FabricLink
3) Fabric Link: Fabric University
4) Fibersource
Frequently Asked Questions about the Stringy Stuff Hanging from Needles and Hooks by Wendy Chatley Green at Wool Works
Here you find all kinds of information about yarn.
Visit some of the fiber and fabric websites, then select and complete one or more of these projects.
Make a Fiber and Fabric Collection. Collect and identify different types of fiber and fabric samples. Group and classify your collection by its different types and characteristics. Display your collection. You can find more information about collections at Collecting Things.
Imagine the Fibers and Fabrics of the Future. Many new fibers and fabrics have come into use during the last few hundred years. Think about the possibilities for the future. Imagine what types of fibers and fabrics might come into use. Write a description of the use of fibers and fabrics two hundred years from now.
Design Your Own Original Clothing. Create original designs for clothing. Select and describe the fibers and fabrics that will be used. Try to make your designs new and different from any that you have seen or worn before. Consider style and comfort in your designs. You may want to narrow your designs to focus on clothing for a particular job or activity.
Make a Fiber and Fabric Collage. Start by collecting as many different pieces and scraps of fiber and fabric. Then create your own artistic masterpiece. You can get more information and ideas at Fabric Assemblage at KinderArt.
Create a Fiber and Fabric Timeline. Develop a timeline that identifies the important events related to the people's use of fiber and fabric throughout history.
Debate Use of Natural or Synthetic Fibers. Pretend you are a major producer or manufacturer of a synthetic or natural fibers. Put together a presentation to convince others that your fibers are superior; that your fibers should be used over the other choices.
Website By Kids For Kids
Beginners Guide to Fabrics
You're surrounded by it, from the moment you dress in the morning to the time you rest your head on your pillow at night. How much do you know about the fabrics that surround you?
White Gold - Cotton (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This site covers planting, harvesting, ginning, and classifying cotton. It also explains how cotton is turned into thread and fabric. It is educationally beneficial for those interested in where their clothes comes from and how they are woven or knitted into fabric.
Lots More Websites
Breezy Meadow Cashmere Farm
Learn about the source and use of this natural fiber.
Fiber Arts at the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)
Here are articles and links on fibers as they apply to the Middle Ages.
Related History of Fiber Websites:
2) Chronology of Textiles and Fiber Art in New Mexico 700 AD-1989
3) Clothing of the 1830s by Jane Wheeler
4) Elizabethan Costuming
5) Fibers and Fiber Preparation by Margaret DeRamus
6) Fiber Working Techniques (Clothing of the Ancient Celts)
7) Historic Costume List Digest, Volume 282, April 14, 1995
8) Short History of Manufactured Fibers
Fiber Plants at Plants for the Future
All land plants contain fibers they are usually too short or too weak to be used for anything other than paper-making, but there are well over 100 species suitable for growing in temperate climates that produce long and relatively strong fibers.
Other Plant Fiber Sites:
2) Plant Fibers: Fibers For Paper, Cordage & Textiles at Wayne's Word
3) Treefree Botanical of Plant Fibers by Carolyn Moran (Whole Earth Summer 1997)
Nonwovens Manufacturing Processes
Processes for manufacturing nonwoven fibers can be grouped into four general categories: textile-related, paper-related, extrusion-polymer processing related, and hybrid combinations.
Ruthe's Collection of Weaving Resources
This is a links collection to interesting weaving sites.
Universal Basics
No matter what style pattern you choose, what fabric catches your eye, or what your level of sewing skill, there are certain "universal basics" that are common to almost any project you make.
Wool WWW Virtual Library
This site links to the leading on-line information resources dealing with wool and wool related matters.
Related Websites:
2) Tierra Wools
3) Wool Fibre Production
4) Woolmark Company
Websites For Teachers
Costume Construction Unit
Here are outlines for lessons on body measurements, fabrics, stitching, quick changes and alterations, costume construction crew, design, and costume construction.
Pin Weaving Lesson at Craft Connection
Pin weaving is the technique of using strips of fabric to create a new piece of fabric.
Relief Print-Making Project: Making a Fabric Print by Heidi Muehlhausen at Ask-Eric
(Grade 4 and Up)
This lesson is an easy way to construct a printing plate. It goes over the basic concepts of relief printing.
plant fiber
natural fiber
long fiber
short fiber
stem fiber
leaf fiber
seed fiber
seed pod fiber
wood cellulose
synthetic fiber
stain removal
fabric grain
polar fleece
carbon fiber
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 6/00