Year 4 Science...What are synthetic fabrics ?

Synthetic fabrics are textiles made from synthetic fibers. They are used primarily to make clothing. A synthetic fabric is plastic fabric. Some of the examples of synthetic clothings were usually made of polyester, acrylic, and nylon. A synthetic fibre, when magnified, looks like plastic spun together.Man-made fabrics, also known as synthetic fabrics include fabrics such as rayon, acetate, nylon, acrylic, polyester, olefin, spandex, lastex and kevlar. These fabrics have many different uses and qualities, some which can not be achieved with natural fibers. With synthetic fibers one can create waterproof fabrics and fabrics with an excellent amount of stretch used for swimwear and lingerie.
The fabric is made from chemically produced fibers. The chemicals used to make the fibers are sodium hydroxide and carbon di-sulphide which are derived from coal, oil, or natural gas. The chemicals are in liquid form and are forced through tiny holes called spinnerets. As the liquid comes out of the spinnerets and into the air, it cools and forms into tiny threads. Dyes are added to these threads before they are woven together to make the fabric.
Depending on the fabric, other chemicals are added to make the fabric softer, wrinkle free, flame-resistant, water resistant, stain-resistant, and moth-repellant.
While all these qualities are desirable, they can have harmful effects on the environment, wildlife and our health, especially for those who work to produce the fabrics. The chemicals leach out into the waterways, airways and pollute the ground, water and even the air we breathe. Also these fabrics are non-biodegradable, which means they do not breakdown in the soil.

( Abstracted from : )
Nylon fabrics
Rayon fabrics

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