Difference between Natural and Synthetic Fibers

There are two kinds of fibers available in textile field; man-made fiber and natural fiber. Natural fibers are that are produced by plants, animals, and geological processes which can be spun into filament, thread or rope and further be woven, knitted, matted or bound. Cotton and linen are examples of plant fibers, while silk and wool come from animal sources. Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber.
 
Natural and synthetic fibers
Fig: Natural and synthetic fibers
Man-made fibers are created from natural materials or by chemical processes. Man made fiber are two types. One is synthetic fiber and another is regenerated fiber. Synthetic fiber manufactured from chemical process such as nylon, polyester etc. Regenerated fiber is manufactured by dissolving a natural material, such as cellulose, and then restoring or regenerating the material through extrusion and precipitation. Such as viscose, rayon etc.

You can also read: Production and Classification of Man Made Fiber


Manmade fibers or synthetic fibers are replacing the natural:
The manmade fibers or synthetic fibers are replacing the natural one. The reasons for this change can state below:

We know fiber quality depends upon its properties like length, fineness, strength, elasticity, crimp, color, maturity, action with water alkali, acids etc. in case of man made fiber, we can give the fibres our required properties as we want. But in case of natural fiber it is not possible because it get its characteristic properties from the nature. For examples, we can get polyester fiber both in staple and filament form but we can not get cotton fiber as filament form.

There are also other points which differentiate man made from natural fiber:

  • The strength of man made fiber is greater than natural fiber.
  • The production of natural fiber depends upon natural condition but the production of man made fiber does not depends on natural fiber.
  • Man made fiber processing is easy than natural fiber.
  • The properties of man made fiber i.e. strength, appearance, action of acids, elasticity etc. can be changed but not in case of natural fiber.
  • Man made fiber is cheaper than natural fiber.
  • Floods, droughts, natural calamity has no effect on man made fiber.
Difference between natural and synthetic fibers:
Comparison / difference between natural and synthetic fibers under a microscope and also physical view is given below in table:

Natural Fiber
Man made fiber/Synthetic Fiber
The fiber which we get from nature are natural fiber.
The fibers made by synthetic or regenerating system.
No of molecules is not limited.
No of molecules is limited.
The no of molecule controlled by nature. The length can not be controlled.
The no of molecules controlled by man and length can be controlled.
No need of spinneret for spinning process.
Spinneret is must essential for filament production.
The fabric made from natural fiber is comfortable and good for health.
Synthetic fiber is uncomfortable and not good for health.
It is comparatively less durable than manmade fiber.
It is comparatively more durable than natural fire.
Natural fiber expensive.
It is not expensive.
It cannot grow every where we have to depend on nature.
It can grow every where, for production no dependence on nature.
It is not much favourable for finishing.
It is favourable for finishing.
It cann’t generate static electricity.
It can generate too much static electricity.
Natural crimp is remained here.
No natural crimp is remained. Extra crimped have to insert on it.
The productions of natural fiber depend on nature climate and environment.
Synthetic fiber can be produce with local materials and chemicals. It is not depend on nature.
Dust and impurities could be in natural fiber.
No dust or impurities contain in man made fiber.
It is hygienic.
Some are not hygienic.
Dyeing process is easy.
It is not easy to dye.
The strength of natural fiber is low.
The Strength of manmade fiber is high.
Its life time compartively low.
Comparatively life time is high.
In most cases, pretreatment processes (scouring and bleaching) are done.
Bleaching and scouring are not need.
You can also like:
  1. Production and Classification of Man Made Fiber
  2. Textile Fibers and Their Properties
  3. Difference between Wool and Silk Fiber
  4. Most Important Textile Fibers and Their Densities
  5. What is Flax Fiber | Properties of Flax Fiber | Uses of Flax Fiber
  6. Identification of Cotton, Jute, Flax, Wool and Silk Fiber
  7. Wool Fiber: Production, Classification, Properties and Application