10 Differences Between natural and synthetic fibres

Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Fibres

Fibres are an essential component of textiles and play a crucial role in determining the quality, durability, and overall characteristics of various fabrics. They can be classified into two main categories: natural fibres and synthetic fibres. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two types of fibres and their various applications.

What are Natural Fibres?

Natural fibres are derived from plants, animals, and minerals found in nature. They are obtained directly from natural sources and do not undergo any significant chemical or mechanical processing. Natural fibres have been used for thousands of years in textile production and offer a range of benefits such as breathability, comfort, and sustainability.

Examples of Natural Fibres

Some common examples of natural fibres include:

  • Cotton: Obtained from the cotton plant, it is soft, breathable, and widely used in the textile industry.
  • Wool: Derived from the fleece of sheep, it is known for its warmth and insulation properties.
  • Silk: Produced by silkworms, silk is lustrous, luxurious, and often used in high-end fashion.
  • Linen: Made from the flax plant, linen fibres are strong, durable, and absorbent.
  • Hemp: Derived from the cannabis plant, hemp fibres are strong, versatile, and eco-friendly.

Uses of Natural Fibres

Natural fibres find applications in various industries, including textiles, fashion, and interior design. Some common uses of natural fibres include clothing, bedding, towels, upholstery, and even paper production. They are preferred by many individuals due to their natural feel, breathability, and biodegradability.

What are Synthetic Fibres?

Synthetic fibres are man-made fibres that are synthesized from chemicals through a series of industrial processes. These fibres are designed to possess specific characteristics such as strength, elasticity, and resistance to wear and tear. Synthetic fibres were developed as an alternative to natural fibres and offer several advantages such as increased durability, versatility, and lower cost.

Examples of Synthetic Fibres

Some common examples of synthetic fibres include:

  • Polyester: A widely used synthetic fibre that is durable, wrinkle-resistant, and easy to care for.
  • Nylon: Known for its strength and elasticity, nylon fibres are commonly used in activewear and hosiery.
  • Acrylic: Similar to wool in appearance, acrylic fibres are lightweight, soft, and resistant to moths and mildew.
  • Rayon: While derived from natural cellulose, rayon is considered a synthetic fibre due to its chemical processing. It is versatile and often used in a variety of applications.
  • Spandex: Highly elastic and stretchable, spandex fibres are commonly used in sportswear and form-fitting clothing.

Uses of Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fibres are widely used in various industries and applications due to their specific properties and affordability. They are commonly found in clothing, upholstery, carpets, industrial textiles, and even certain medical products. Synthetic fibres offer advantages such as durability, resistance to wrinkles, and ease of care, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.

Differences Between Natural and Synthetic Fibres

Difference Area Natural Fibres Synthetic Fibres
Source Obtained from plants, animals, or minerals found in nature. Man-made fibres synthesized from chemicals.
Production Obtained directly from natural sources without significant processing. Require complex industrial processes for synthesis.
Feel Often softer, breathable, and provide a natural feel. Can be less breathable and have a different feel compared to natural fibres.
Durability Generally less durable compared to synthetic fibres. Tend to be more durable and resistant to wear and tear.
Biodegradability Naturally biodegradable and environmentally friendly. May not be biodegradable and can have environmental impact.
Moisture Absorption Natural fibres have good moisture absorption properties. Synthetic fibres can repel moisture and may not absorb it well.
Allergies Generally hypoallergenic and less likely to cause irritation. Some people may be sensitive to synthetic fibres and experience allergic reactions.
Cost Natural fibres can be more expensive due to production processes. Synthetic fibres are often more affordable.
Environmental Impact Natural fibres are considered more sustainable and have a lower environmental impact. Synthetic fibres can be less sustainable and have higher environmental impact.
Versatility Natural fibres offer limited versatility in terms of properties and applications. Synthetic fibres can be engineered for specific properties and used in a wide range of applications.


In summary, the differences between natural and synthetic fibres are vast and impact various aspects such as source, production, feel, durability, biodegradability, moisture absorption, allergies, cost, environmental impact, and versatility. Each type of fibre has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between natural and synthetic fibres depends on factors such as intended use, personal preferences, and sustainability considerations.

People Also Ask

Here are some common questions that readers might have about natural and synthetic fibres:

Q: Are natural fibres more sustainable than synthetic fibres?

A: Yes, natural fibres are generally considered more sustainable as they are obtained from renewable resources and have lower environmental impact.

Q: What are some advantages of synthetic fibres over natural fibres?

A: Synthetic fibres offer advantages such as increased durability, versatility, resistance to wrinkles, and affordability.

Q: Can synthetic fibres be more comfortable than natural fibres?

A: Comfort is subjective and can vary depending on personal preferences. While natural fibres are often preferred for their breathability and natural feel, certain synthetic fibres can also provide comfort and specific performance properties.

Q: Are synthetic fibres more resistant to moisture than natural fibres?

A: Yes, synthetic fibres generally repel moisture and may not absorb it well, whereas natural fibres have good moisture absorption properties.

Q: Can natural fibres cause allergies?

A: Natural fibres are generally hypoallergenic and less likely to cause allergies or irritations. However, some individuals may still be sensitive to certain natural fibres.

Leave a Comment

content of this page is protected

Scroll to Top