BRIEF HISTORY OF FIBRES
The history of fibres is almost as old as human civilisation. Fabric creation began in ancient times and traces of natural fibres have been found in ancient civilisation all over the globe. For many thousand years natural fibres such as flax, cotton, silk, wool, and plant fibres have served man’s textile needs. Beginning in the 1700s, improvements in machines for spinning, weaving and finishing revolutionised the processing of fibres.
With improved transportation and communication, the manufacture of textiles spread to other parts of the world and was adapted to meet local needs and capabilities. In the 18th and 19th centuries, innovators developed synthetic fabrics to overcome some of the inherent limitations of natural fibres. Cotton and linen wrinkle easily, silk requires delicate handling, and wool shrinks. Man-made fibres made it possible to add antimicrobial properties, wrinkle resistance, broader aesthetic range, dyeing capabilities, colorfastness, greater comfort and a host of other performance improvements at lower costs.