Do you have a favorite dress/ shirt or skirt that you love to wear in summers?
Do you know where the material for making that dress/ shirt / skirt came from?
It feels good to wear and looks quite dashing on you, isn’t it? That’s because the fabric that it is made up of comes from different sources and different skilled craftsmen work on it too.
Let’s get to know about these fabrics and fibres that make up these wonderful clothes.
Fabrics that make your clothes, are made of thin yarns weaved together. These yarns are made up of even thinner fibres which are made from many different sources. Some are natural fibres, while others are synthetic fibres.
We get some fibres from plants, whereas others from animal sources. Both of these fibres are called natural fibres. Plant-based fibres include cotton and jute, whereas animal-based fibres include wool, that we get from the fleece of sheep; and silk that we get from silkworms.
Natural fibres were the only ones to be used in making fabrics for many years. But as technology progressed, we started making fibres from chemical sources. These fibres, which include polyester, nylon and acrylic fabrics; are called synthetic fibres and do not get included in any plant or animal source.
Let’s get to know more about some of the plant-based fibre sources:
Cotton is very widely used in making a lot of stuff. They are used for making shirts, pillow covers, filling of quilts and mattresses, and even making the wicks of candles and oil lamps.
Cotton comes from the cotton plants grown in dark soil and warm climate. This means that most of the North Indian states that are not on hills and mountains grow cotton. The fruits of cotton are called cotton bolls and when they fully grow, they become the size of a lemon before bursting open with cotton fibres circling the seeds of cotton.
These bolls are then collected and the seeds are separated from the fibres by a process called ginning. Ginning is usually done by combing the cotton bolls by hand. Nowadays, machines are used for faster separation of seeds from the cotton fibres. More processing of fibres is done for getting the finished product of fabrics that we see outside.
Jute is a strong fibre that is used for things that are used to carry weights, such as sacs and bags. They are made from the stem of June plants which grow mainly in the states of Bihar, Assam and West Bengal. The stems of jute plants are harvested in flowering season and immersed in water for some days. The stems and fibres are then separated by hand and fibres are made, which later are converted into fabrics for use.
So, we saw different fibres are used to make a variety of fabrics that we use all around us. Natural plant-based fibres are obtained by farming and processing the plants. Did you find these concepts from the chapter “Fiber to Fabric” of class 6 science textbook interesting? You can find even more interesting stuff to learn on the SeekoG app. You can also take the MCQ type quizzes that would help you to prepare for the competitive exams and Olympiads.