Description : Microfibres is the generic name given to very fine acrylic, nylon, polyester, lyocell or rayon fibres. These micro versions of the fibres are softer, stronger and exhibit better drape than their larger counterparts. As a result, they are more comfortable to wear. They are also more durable, may take on brighter colors and move moisture away from the skin (this is called "wicking"). Microfibres may be combined with natural fibres to make a variety of fabrics, including brocade, chiffon, fleece, gabardine, silk and velvet. Many microfibres are also water repellant, but they are lighter than other outdoorwear fabrics.
Fabrication : Microfibres (also called microdenier fibres) are very densely packed, hence they resist wrinkles and retain shape well. Their diameter may be as small as one tenth of a micron, less than 1/1000th of the diameter of a typical nylon thread used to make nylon stockings. Microfibres are so small that molecular structures influence their properties and behaviour. Different microfibres actually have different molecular cross-sections (shapes), hence conferring different properties to the massed fibres.
Subtypes : Trademarks for microfibres include MicroSupreme (an acrylic microfibre), Supplex Micro (a nylon microfibre), Fortrel MicroSpun (polyester), Silky Touch (polyester), and MicroModal (rayon).
Dyes, color treatment and washing characteristics : Most microfibres may be either dry cleaned or machine washed. In general, they do not shrink and there don't need to be prewashed for that reason, however, most microfibres become somewhat softer when washed and are easier to cut and sew as a result. If, however, the microfibre has been blended with a natural fibre, it may need preshrinking in accordance with the requirements for the natural fibre.
Draping properties :
Cutting properties : Use weights when cutting and superfine pins, keeping them in the seam allowance and in the direction of the grain to the extent this is possible.
Sewing challenges : Microfibres do not unravel as easily as normal synthetic fibres, but they can be damaged with pins. As a result, they may pucker. Fresh needles should be used. They may also present difficulties for introducing ease. If your garment requires lots of ease (more than 1"), you may have to reduce the amount of ease before sewing. Puckering may be reduced by shifting the fabric slightly off grain, if this is possible during the cutting phase. Microfibres are also difficult to press - they will melt if the iron is too hot, but will not retain a crease if the iron is a little cooler. It is reported that pleats may be set using a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water, provided the fabric is color-fast - test on a sample piece first. Once set in place, however, a pleat will be very hard to remove. Use only lightweight zippers and interfacings.
Example creations : trench, skirt and top outfit,
Uses worldwide :
Origins and history :
Wikipedia reference

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