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Materials

Textiles

A knitting machineA knitting machine A textile is a material made from interlaced fibres, or threads. These fibres may be natural, such as cotton or wool, or synthetic, artificially made, such as nylon or polyester. The fibres are interlaced using processes such as weaving, knitting or bonding. Textiles, which are also often called fabrics, vary in their strength and thickness from Kevlar, which is used in bullet-proof vests, to gossamer, a very light, sheer fabric often used for wedding dresses.


Climbers wear special protective clothing.Climbers wear special protective clothing.

Uses of textiles

The most common use of textiles is clothing, from knitted woollen hats to nylon tights. Other everyday uses include containers (bags, backpacks, pencil cases), household soft furnishings (carpets, furniture upholstery, curtains, bed linen), toys (dolls, teddy bears, kites) and a range of other items from decorative wall hangings to flags. Textiles used for these purposes are chosen for their appearance as well as for properties such as comfort, warmth, durability or stretchiness.



Cotton has been made into fabric since at least 5000 BC. Today it accounts for about 80% of all natural fibres used.

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