What is Microfiber fabric?
Microfiber – the name gives you a gist of what you have in store for you when you buy this fabric- it is a synthetic fabric which is supposed to be even finer (read micro?) than silk. The fibers in your microfiber fabric may be acrylic, rayon, nylon or more commonly polyester. They maybe blended with other natural fibers like linen, wool and cotton and with spandex for stretch ability.
I know it mostly as a cleaning cloth par excellence but have learnt since then that its use is as varied as its different types and versatility and superior qualities. They make the most beautiful garments.
Micro fiber is half the diameter of a fine silk fiber, one-third the diameter of cotton, one-quarter the diameter of fine wool, and one hundred times finer than human hair. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/microfiber
What is Microfiber made of ?
Microfiber is a man made synthetic fabric made from the byproduct of petrol. It is made by refining the leftover sludge in the oil industry and producing fibers from this by forcing the liquids through a device with small holes called a spinneret . The fibers that are made so are woven into the fabric you know as microfiber. It can be used on its own or blended with man made or natural fibers.
Micromattique is a Dupont company owned polyester microfiber. Microfine is a Dupont company owned Nylon microfiber. Microsupreme is an acrylic microfiber.
What are the uses of Microfiber ?
It is used a great deal today in the home care segment ( to make mops, wash clothes etc) and for making upholstery, drapes, bed sheets. It is also used to make garments like jackets, lingerie, rain wear, sportswear, jogging suits etc. It is also used to make tents, sleeping bags.
Ultrasuede™ is a branded fabric made from microfiber ( a micro suede). It is a suede like fabric which is washable – it has short polyester microfibers embedded into a urethane base and is one of the most versatile fabrics we have today and is used in many applications like covering upholstery, making handbags, boots and even fashion garments
What are the properties of Microfiber ?
It is made of super fine fibers – resulting in super soft fabrics
The fabric has great drape
The fabric is easy care and easily washable and dry able in washing machine (except ones made with viscose rayon fibers which are only dry cleanable)
It is lightweight
The fabric is very strong and resilient in spite of the thin fibers
Porous and breathable than any synthetic fabrics (though cannot be compared to natural fabrics)
Great ability to wick moisture so very absorbent
It doesn’t wrinkle easily
It also doesn’t pill much especially with polyester fibers
Gives some water resistance and wind repellent
With a sueded or sand washed finish on the surface the microfibers can feel softer than many soft fabrics
What are the disadvantages of Microfiber fabrics ? The Cons
Flammable like any synthetic fabric. It can melt with high heat.
As the fibers are very thin they may get damaged easily with abrasion
Related post : Fabric Glossary