What are Synthetic Fibres?

What are synthetic fibres?

Synthetic fibres are made of raw material petroleum which is called petrochemicals. They are also known as man-made fibre. All fabrics which we wear are obtained from fibres, while fibres are obtained from artificial or man-made sources like petrochemicals. They comprise of a small unit or a polymer which is produced using many rehashing units known as monomers. They include nylon, acrylics, polyurethane, and polypropylene. Every year millions of tons of these fibres are produced all over the world.

Types of Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibres are classified into four types, namely:

  • Rayon

  • Nylon

  • Polyester

  • Acrylic


  • Rayon is likely similar to silk in its properties.

  • It is a man-made fibre and less expensive than silk.

  • It is obtained from wood pulp.

  • It is mixed with cotton or fleece to make bedsheets and carpets respectively.


  • These are solid elastic and light, shiny and simple to wash fibres produced by using water, coal, and air at first. 

  • The fibre is completely synthetic and said to be stronger than steel wire.

  • It is useful for making socks, ropes, toothbrushes, tents, seat belts, curtains, etc.

  • Ropes for rock climbing and parachutes are also made by nylon.


  • Polyester consists of numerous units of an ester.

  • Polyester easy to wash, crisp and wrinkle-free properties make it appropriate for dress material.

  • Terylene is also known as polyester.

  • PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) is used to make many useful products like bottles, utensils, films, wires.


  • Acrylic is a kind of woollen fabric.

  • Many sweaters and blankets are created from this synthetic fibre, not from the natural wool.

  • The clothes prepared from acrylic are cheaper and more durable.

  • Acrylic is more pervasive than natural wool.

However, one disadvantage is also associated with synthetic fibre, which is that they melt on heating. If they catch fire, it could be really dangerous for the person who is wearing it. The fabric sticks to the body of the person. Therefore, It is advisable to avoid acrylic clothes while in the kitchen or a laboratory.

Also read: What is an Ecosystem?

Advantages of Synthetic Fibres

  • They do not wrinkle easily and last long.

  • They are stretchable in nature.

  • They are strong and can carry/bear the heavy load.

  • They are suitable for clothing material because of its softness in fabric.

  • They are cheaper compared to natural fibres.

Disadvantages of Synthetic Fibres 

  • Most synthetic fibres do not assimilate dampness.

  • Synthetic fibre can be affected if washed using hot water.

  • They catch fire easily, therefore become risky for the person.

Synthetic Fibres vs Natural Fibres

To summarise, synthetic fibres are man-made and used as oppose to natural fibres. Some chemical and spinning process were used in creating synthetic fibres. Whereas natural fibres are obtained from natural resources and are more comfortable than synthetic fibres. 

Some of the natural fibres are:

  • Silk

  • Cotton

  • Hemp

  • Jute

  • Cashmere

  • Camel hair

  • Ramie

To learn more about the Synthetic Fibers, its types, and their examples, visit EduSaksham.

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