What are natural Fibres in textiles?
First, we need to understand that natural fibers are derived from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources and are not artificially made. There may be further processing that needs to be done to make these fibers useable as paper, yarn, felt, baskets, etc.
Natural fibers in textiles have been used by human civilization since ancient history. Early archeological findings show flax, wool, and hemp as the first natural fibers used by civilizations. Soon cotton, palm, and silk used in textile fabric started spreading globally.
Other natural fibers like coir, jute, raw animal hair were too coarse to be used for textile apparel and hence were incorporated in carpets, rugs, or other home furnishings.
Today, we can see fibers from banana, ramie, bamboo, pineapple, and nettle being developed and used.
What are the 4 main natural Fibres?
The main natural fibers largely used today are cotton, wool, silk, and linen. Cotton is derived from the fruit of the cotton plant and is a cellulose-based fiber. Wool is most commonly derived from sheep. Other animals include goats, muskoxen, rabbits, or yak. Wool is a protein fiber which is the fur or hair that acts as a protective covering of animals’ epidermal layer or skin.
Silk is another animal or protein fiber that is produced by larvae of certain moths that is not a part of the animal. The caterpillars excrete fibroin to spin the fine fibers that make the cocoon, a prospective enclosure for its metamorphosis to adulthood. Linen is derived from the flax plant and is known as blast fibers. It is the inner part of the stem know as ‘phloem’, that provides strength to the plant.
How many types of Fibres are there in India?
The diversity of the Indian sub-continent provides rich plant resources which ensures a wide variety of plant fibers to thrive. Although cotton dominates the countries total natural fiber production there are other natural fibers that are still produced in large quantities.
Some regions of India with large natural fiber production are:
- Pineapple leaf fiber – Meghalaya
- Shitalpati – Assam, Meghalaya
- Eri Silk – Meghalaya
- Mulberry Silk – Karnataka, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh
- Muga Silk – Assam
- Tussar Silk – Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh
- Bamboo – North-Eastern India
- Sisal – Maharashtra
- Screw pine – Kerala
- Palm leaf – Tamil Nadu and Kerala
- Banana – Southern Indian states
- Korai grass – Tamil Nadu and Kerala
- Sikki and Munj grass – Bihar
Natural Vs Synthetic fibers
Like the names suggest Natural fibres are derived from nature or are organic and synthetic fibres are man-made in factories. Natural fibres make up are cellulose or protein, meaning plant or animal matter. Synthetic fibres are made from oil or petrochemicals by a process called chemical synthesis.
All-natural fibres are less reactive to extreme temperatures, unlike synthetic fibres that soften when heat is applied which causes them to shrink or extend. Natural fibres are however susceptible upon prolonged exposure to sunlight where it tends to become yellow and extended exposure affects the strength.
Any natural fibre decomposes, and if not taken proper care of will show signs of mildew and decay. Natural fibres are also prone to damage by insects like moths, carpet beetles, termites, and silverfish. Synthetic fibres on the other hand are more durable and have better stretch, waterproof, and stain-resistant properties. They also do not have any issues like damage by insect infestation.
Although synthetic fibres show it’s strong and durable and can withstand damage from the environmental elements, it is a poor insulator since it cannot trap air pockets like natural fibres. It is highly flammable and burns very quickly, which is not the case in natural fibers.
Synthetic fibres are also non-biodegradable and less pleasant on the skin which is not eco-friendly or safe over a long time.
I love working with this yarn. Keeps me warm in sub zero temperatures.
I love my scarf woven in this yarn. It's incredibly soft and light.
Loving the work you guys are doing to promote this art form. The quality of the product is very good. Looking forward to more products from Muezart related to textiles.
It is a beautiful product to work with.. used it making a slouchy beanie.. came out perfect
Natural Eri Silk Yarn 15/3 | 100g
Excellent products , thank you!
I enjoyed weaving with this yarn and it made a really soft scarf. Love the drape too.
I was very happy with the yarn since I dint know what to expect. Loved the intent and the natural ways and ingredients used. I had a small glitch with unraveling one of the skeins, was extremely difficult. Other 2 skeins were smooth. I certainly dint know what to expect but turned out well. I will complete my project with this yarn and share a picture. Thank you.
The yarn is one of its kind.. thinking we can use in summer and winter too.
Once I start knitting don't feel like keeping my project down.
Every knitters def must buy and try ..
When we are putting our effort and time ..don't feel like buying a cheap yarn.. the silk yarn is a must try.
Thanks for the prompt delivery..and helped me out to clear my doubt in the pattern I purchased from you.
Texture is smooth and soft. Runs easily while knitting. Finished outcome is beautiful!
I enjoyed knitting and gifting scarves made from the silk yarn.
I am a HANDLOOM EXPORTER and I Tried tapestry for the first time, it's an amazing art, I am just hoggin into this since I get the delivery of this loom from you guys .. whoever is running this business it really inspires people including me.
It was just awesome , looking forward to your new new collections
This is a beautiful yarn of exceptional quality. I love knitting with it as it is smooth and doesn't make my hands hot as I knit. I am hoping that all my family will love the scarves I am making as much as I do. I also like the subtle colours.
If i could give more than 5 stars I'd definitely would. From how the loom was flat packed and easy to assemble ( which means its so travel friendly) to the softness of the yarsns, i was just very pleasantly surprised. I bought the small loom kit and now wondering to have gotten the medium to at least start with! But will get to that once i start weaving, learn and need a bigger loom for bigger projects! Slight delay in the product arriving but all the same worth the wait!
Team Muzeart, looking towards more variety and greater products! Well done guys!