Cotton fiber grows on the seed of a variety of plants of the genus Gossypium. Of the four cotton species cultivated for fiber, the most important is G. hirsutum, which originated in Mexico and produces 90% of the world's cotton.
Cotton is almost pure cellulose, with softness and breathability that have made it the world's most popular natural fiber.
Fiber length varies from 10 to 65 mm and in diameter from 11 to 22 microns.
Sheep (Ovis aries) were first domesticated 10,000 years ago. Sheep are shorn of their wool usually once a year. After scouring to remove grease and dirt, wool is carded and then processed into fabric.
Wool has natural crimp and scale patterns that make it easy to process. Fabrics made from wool have greater bulk than other textiles, provide better insulation and are resilient, elastic and durable.
Fiber diameter ranges from 16 microns in superfine merino wool (similar to cashmere) to more than 40 microns in coarse hairy wools.
Jute is extracted from the bark of the white jute plant, Corchorus capsularis, and to a lesser extent from tossa jute (C. olitorius).
It is one of nature's strongest vegetable fibers and ranks second only to cotton in terms of production quantity.
Jute is long, soft and shiny, with a length of 1 to 4 m and a diameter range of 17 to 20 microns.
Jute has high insulating and anti-static properties, moderate moisture regain and low thermal conductivity.
Hemp fiber is obtained from the bast of the plant Cannabis sativa L. It grows easily—to a height of 4 m—without agrochemicals and captures large quantities of carbon.
Long, strong and durable, hemp fibers are about 70% cellulose and contain low levels of lignin (around 8-10%).
Fiber diameter ranges from 16 to 50 microns. Hemp fiber conducts heat, resists mildew, blocks ultraviolet light and has natural anti-bacterial properties.
Sisal fiber is obtained from Agave sisalana, a native of Mexico. The hardy plant grows well in a variety of hot climates, including dry areas unsuitable for other crops. After harvest, its leaves are cut and crushed in order to separate the pulp from the fibers.
Lustrous and creamy white, sisal fiber measures up to 1 m in length, with a diameter of 200 to 400 microns.
It is strong, durable and stretchable, does not absorb moisture easily, resists saltwater deterioration, and has a fine surface texture.
Kenaf fibers are obtained from the Hibiscus in the family Malvaceas (Hibiscus cannabinus L.), related to cotton and okra, and cultivated for use for over 4000 years.
Kenaf fibers are strongly allied with Jute fibers for use in rope, paper and composites. The longer fibers, obtained from the stalks can also be used in traditional textile applications, similar to Flax.
Kenaf stalks grow to 12-14 feet, resulting long fibers of 25-50 mm or pulp in the 0.5mm range in length up to 1.4m.
Flax fibers obtained from the stems of the plant Linum usitatissimum are used mainly to make linen. The plant has been used for fiber production since prehistoric times.
Like cotton, flax fiber is a cellulose polymer, but its structure is more crystalline, making it stronger, crisper and stiffer.
Flax fibers range in length up to 90 cm and average 12 to 16 microns in diameter.
Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber. It is made from purified cellulose, primarily from wood pulp, which is chemically converted into a soluble compound, resulting in synthetic fibers of nearly pure cellulose. Because rayon is manufactured from naturally occurring polymers, it is considered a semi-synthetic fiber.
Rayon’s characteristics can be modified in many different ways, even to promote fire resistance.
Polyester is a category of polymers that contain the ester functional group in their main chain. As a specific material, it most commonly refers to a type called polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Polyester fiber is the most commercially produced fiber in the world.
The fiber is produced in many diameters, lengths, cross-sectional shapes and with various finished properties.
A Modacrylic fiber is a synthetic copolymer. Modacrylics are soft, strong, resilient and dimensionally stable.
The Federal Trade Commission defines Modacrylic fibers as manufactured fibers in which the fiber-forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of less than 85%, but at least 35% weight acrylonitrile units.
Modacrylic has properties that are similar to an acrylic fiber; however, fibers are flame retardant and do not combust. The fibers are difficult to ignite and will self-extinguish.
Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers, more specifically aliphatic or semi-aromatic polyamides.
Nylon fibers are thermoplastic (they soften near their melting point and will re-melt above the melt temperature).
Second only to Polyester in bulk commercial production for synthetic fibers, nylons typically have a silky hand and high strength.
The use of recycled or reclaimed fiber, yarns and fabric is a hallmark of Jones Nonwovens.
Nonwoven mats of various fibers (both natural and synthetic) can be manufactured in a wide range of thickness and densities to meet the customer’s needs.
The materials used in this type of finished fabric are saved from the landfill through our ability to process them back into useful pads.