Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural and Manmade Fibres

A. Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Fibre

i. Advantages of Natural Fibre

  1. Comfortable: Clothes made by natural fibres are more comfortable than those made of synthetic fibres. 
  2. Environment: Producing materials from natural fibres are less harmful to our environment. 
  3. Non allergic to skin 

ii. Disadvantages of Natural Fibre

  1. Expensive: Materials produced by natural fibres are generally expensive as synthetic fibres can be made easily by manufacturing. 
  2. Shrink: Natural fibres might shrink due to aggressive washing. 
  3. Unlike manmade fibres, natural fibres are not available in high tenacity (HT) and medium tenacity (MT). 
  4. Natural fibres do not possess a high degree of resiliency as compared to manmade fibres, hence the fabrics made out of them do get wrinkles from ‘baggy knees’, possess less crease recovery. 
  5. Production of natural fibres cannot be completely controllable. Therefore, from year to year quantities of specific qualities vary and this tends to cause price fluctuations according to variations in demand which cannot be foreseen until the fibres have been produced. 
  6. Variation in length, fineness, etc. of the natural fibre causes less regular and uniform yarn than that obtained from manmade fibres. 
  7. The availability of natural fibres is affected by natural calamities and vagaries of nature. 
  8. The production of natural fibres involves the use of land which is also required for growing the agriproducts. With the availability of limited amount of land on the surface of the earth, the demand for land for food and housing on one hand and that for the growth of natural fibres on the other is to be balanced. 
Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural and Manmade Fibres
Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural and Manmade Fibres

B. Advantages and Disadvantages of Synthetic Fibre

i. Advantages of Synthetic Fibre

  1. Strong: Synthetic fibres are strong so they can take up heavy things easily. 
  2. Retain their original shape: Synthetic fibres retain their original shape so it’s easy to wash and wear. 
  3. Elastic: Can easily be stretched out. 
  4. Soft: Synthetic fibres are generally soft so they are used in clothing materials. 
  5. Colour: Varieties of colours are available as they are manufactured. 
  6. Cost: Clothes made by synthetic fibres are generally cheaper than those made by natural fibres. 
  7. Specific qualities of fibres can be produced deliberately and quickly in accordance with the demand. 
  8. The filaments can be produced as fine or as coarse as required, staple lengths can be cut exactly to order. Fibres can be produced with a high degree of lustre, with reduced or completely dull lustre, as required. 
  9. Unlike natural fibres, the final product of manmade fibres does not require cleaning. 
  10. Most of the fibres are pure white or colourless when produced, but if necessary, colour can be incorporated during the production of the manmade fibres. 
  11. The growth and utility of manmade fibres are mainly influenced by its positive qualities, viz. wrinkle resistance, crease recovery, easy care properties, etc. Manmade fibre fabrics bring out substantial saving on laundry costs; unlike cotton, it can be washed in a basin in the evening, hung up to dry and be worn without ironing the following morning. 
  12. The light weight characteristic of manmade fibre fabrics gives more mobility because of less weight and quantity—a tourist can take along with, him a few clothes. Hence, these fibres are referred to as Easy-Care fibre fabrics. 
  13. Most of the synthetic fibres possess high resistance to moth, mildew, insects, mould, which simplify the storage problems, the economy of little loss from these causes. 

ii. Disadvantages of Synthetic Fibre

  1. Does not absorb moistures: Synthetic fibres do not absorb sweat, trapping heat in our body. 
  2. Rough feel: Synthetic fibres may give the rough feel, making it unsuitable for pyjamas, underwear, etc. 
  3. Some individuals are often prone to skin allergy, because of the dermatological action of manmade fibres. This puts a restriction on its use (such problems do not arise in the case of natural fibres). 
  4. In general, the manmade fibres are generally hydrophobic in nature; this is necessarily a disadvantage when their products have to be worn next to the skin. 
  5. These fabrics fail to absorb the perspiration; thus the wearer feels discomfort in a hot climate. 
  6. Manmade fibre fabrics are a little difficult to sew. Seams do not hold tight as in natural fibre fabrics. So, stitching charges were higher. But this is compensated for by durability and wash and wear properties.

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