Fibre Properties – Comparison

Absorbency

FibreMoisture regain*
Cotton7 -11
Flax12
Silk11
Wool13 – 18
Acetate6.0
Acrylic1.3 – 2.5
Aramid4.5
Glass0 – 0.3
Nylon4.0 – 4.5
Polyester0.4 – 0.8
Rayon15
Rayon HWM11.5 – 13
Spandex0.75 – 1.3

*Moisture regain is expressed as a percentage of the moisture-free weight at 70º Fahrenheit and 65% relative humidity.

Thermal properties

Thermal propertiesThermal propertiesThermal propertiesThermal properties
˚F˚C˚F˚C˚F˚C
CottonNon melting425218
FlaxNon melting450232
SilkNon melting300149
WoolNon melting300149
Acetate446230364184350177
Acrylic400 – 490204 – 254300 – 350149 – 176
AramidDoes not melt, carbonises above 426°C / 800°F
Glass1400 – 3033
Nylon 6414212340171300149
Nylon 66482250445229350177
Polyester PET480249460238325163
Polyester PCDT550311490254350177
RayonNon melting375191
Spandex446230347175300149

Effects of Acids

FibreBehaviour
CottonDisintegrates in hot dilute and cold concentrated mineral acids
LinenDisintegrates in hot dilute and cold concentrated acids
WoolDestroyed by hot sulphuric, otherwise unaffected by acids
SilkOrganic acids do not harm, concentrated mineral acids will dissolve
RayonDisintegrates in hot dilute and cold concentrated acids
AcetateSoluble in acetic acid, decomposed by strong acids
Tri-acetateSoluble in acetic acid, decomposed by strong acids
NylonDecomposed by strong mineral acids, resistant to weak acids
PolyesterResistant to most mineral acids; disintegrated by 96% sulphuric acid
SpandexResistant to most mineral acids, some discolouration can happen
AcrylicResistant to most acids
GlassResistant to most acids

Effects of Alkalis

FibreBehaviour
CottonNot harmed by alkalis
LinenHighly resistant
WoolAttacked by weak alkalis, destroyed by strong alkalis
SilkDamaged only under high temperature and concentration
RayonDisintegrates in concentrated solutions
AcetateNot affected, unless high concentration and temperature is applied
Tr-acetateNot affected, unless high concentration and temperature is applied
NylonLittle or no effect
PolyesterResistant to cold alkalis, slowly decomposed at a boil by strong alkalis
SpandexAffected
AcrylicDestroyed by strong alkalis at boil, resists weak alkalis
GlassAttacked by hot weak alkalis and concentrated alkalis

Effects of Organic Solvents

FibreBehaviour
CottonOxidises, turning yellow and losing strength on long exposure
LinenResistant than cotton, gradually deteriorate from prolonged exposure
WoolStrength loss due to prolonged exposure
SilkContinuous exposure weakens
RayonGenerally resistant, loses strength after long exposure
AcetateApproximately same as rayon
Tri-acetateResistant, loses strength after long exposure
NylonGood resistance
PolyesterGood resistance
SpandexGenerally not affected, prolonged exposure weakens
AcrylicLittle or no effect

Effects of Sunlight

FibreBehaviour
CottonOxidises, turning yellow and losing strength on long exposure
LinenResistant than cotton, gradually deteriorate from prolonged exposure
WoolStrength loss due to prolonged exposure
SilkContinuous exposure weakens
RayonGenerally resistant, loses strength after long exposure
AcetateApproximately same as rayon
Tri-acetateResistant, loses strength after long exposure
NylonGood resistance
PolyesterGood resistance
SpandexGenerally not affected, prolonged exposure weakens
AcrylicLittle or no effect

Cleanliness and Washability

FibreBehaviour and effect
CottonLaunders well and gives up dirt easily
LinenLaunders well and gives up dirt easily
WoolAttracts dirt, unless thoroughly cleaned it retains odors
SilkPrevents dirt from settling. Smooth surface allows stains to be easily washed away
RayonPrevents dirt from settling. Smooth surface allows stains to be easily washed away
AcetatePrevents dirt from settling. Smooth surface allows stains to be easily washed away
Tri-acetatePrevents dirt from settling. Smooth surface allows stains to be easily washed away
Nylon 6.6Prevents dirt from settling. Smooth surface allows stains to be easily washed away
PolyesterPrevents dirt from settling. Smooth surface allows stains to be easily washed away
SpandexLaunders well
AcrylicLaunders well

Effects of Perspiration

FibreBehaviour
CottonResistant to alkali perspiration, slight deteriorating effect with acid perspiration
LinenResistant to alkali perspiration, slight deteriorating effect with acid perspiration
WoolWeakened by alkali perspiration Discolouration happens in general with perspiration
SilkDeteriorates and Colour is affected causing stains
RayonFairly resistant to deterioration
AcetateGood resistance
Tri-acetateGood resistance
Nylon 6.6Resistant, Colour may be affected
PolyesterResistant
SpandexGood resistance to degradation
AcrylicNo deterioration

*Perspiration can be acidic or alkaline, depending on the individual’s metabolism.

Effects of Mildew

FibreBehaviour and effect
CottonAffected in a damp condition
LinenAffected in a damp condition
WoolNot susceptible in ordinary condition, but in damp condition
SilkNot susceptible in ordinary condition, but in damp condition
RayonAffected in a damp condition
AcetateHighly resistant
Tri-acetateExtremely high resistance
NylonNo effect
PolyesterAbsolutely resistant
SpandexGood to excellent resistance
AcrylicMay form, but will have no effect Can be easily wiped off

Effect of Heat

FibreBehaviour and effect
CottonWithstand moderate heat Will scorch and burn with prolonged exposure to high heat
LinenWithstand moderate heat Will scorch and burn with prolonged exposure to high heat
WoolNot easily combustible, becomes harsh at 100°C / 212°F and will scorch at 204°C / 400°F and eventually char
SilkSensitive to heat, decomposes at 165°C / 330°F
RayonBehaves similar to cotton as a cellulosic fibre
AcetateThermoplastic in nature, gets sticky at 176°C / 350°F and becomes stiff later
Tri-acetateThermoplastic in nature, gets sticky at 298°C / 570°F and becomes stiff later
NylonWill melt under high temperature, Nylon 6 melts at 215°C / 420°F and Nylon 6, 6 248°C / 480°F
PolyesterWill melt under high temperature Becomes sticky at 226°C / 440°F to 243°C / 470°F and melts and flames at 248°C / 480°F to 290°C / 554°F depending on its type
SpandexYellows and loses elasticity and strength at over 148°C / 300°F, sticks at 175°C / 347°F and melts at 230°C / 446°F
AcrylicBecomes sticky at 229°C / 455°F and melts at higher temperature

Effects of Insects

FibreBehaviour and effect
CottonNot damaged
LinenNot damaged
WoolVulnerable to moths and carpet beetles
SilkMay be attacked by larvae of cloth moths or carpet beetles
RayonNot attracted
AcetateNot attracted
Tri-acetateNot attracted
NylonUnaffected
PolyesterUnaffected
SpandexUnaffected
AcrylicUnaffected

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *