What is the Textile Industry?

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  • 0:03 The Textile Industry
  • 0:59 Types of Fabrics
  • 1:28 Textile Industry History
  • 2:15 Textile Industry Processes
  • 3:15 Textile Industry Today
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

We all have our favorite article of clothing, but have you ever wondered where that piece of clothing began? In this lesson we'll learn all about the textile industry, which creates things like our clothing and many other items we love.

The Textile Industry

Have you ever looked around your house at all of the products that contain some sort of fabric? You might have noticed blankets, furniture, carpet, curtains, or even your clothing. Fabric is a part of our daily lives and without it, we would not have many of the products we have come to love, need, and want. In this lesson we will learn all about the textile industry, which is responsible for creating all of those products that contain fabric.

Let's begin with a few basic definitions to help us better prepare. Textile is a fabric that's knitted or woven and made from yarn. Thus, the textile industry is the industry responsible for taking a raw material, like cotton or wool, and spinning it into yarn that is later used to create a fabric. All of the processes involved in the converting of the raw material into a finished product - developing, producing, manufacturing, and distributing textiles - are included in the industry.

Types of Fabrics

The textile industry utilizes many different types of fabrics, but all of them can be broken down into two major categories, natural and synthetic. Natural fabrics are those that occur naturally from things like animals (sheep, silkworms, alpacas) and plants (cotton and flax). Synthetic fabrics are those that are created in a lab and are man-made. Some examples of synthetic fabrics include rayon, spandex, polyester, and nylon.

Textile Industry History

Up until the Industrial Revolution, many products in the textile industry were made at home and without the use of machines. But, the creation of machines led to the creation of factories, and soon fabric was mass produced. Some key inventions that led to this boom and development of the textile industry include the flying shuttle, which allowed one weaver to use one hand and operate the loom. The spinning jenny made it possible to spin multiple threads at one time. And then there was the power loom, which used steam to power to combine threads. The cotton gin was a mechanical invention that allowed for a more productive way to separate the cottonseed from the cotton fabric instead of doing it manually. The Jacquard loom which allowed for the creation of designs and patterns on the fabric.

Textile Industry Processes

There are many different steps in the textile industry. In this section we will look at a few major ones:

1. Spinning

Anytime a fiber is made into yarn, it is called spinning. This is the step that takes a raw material and spins it into yarn. There are many different steps in the spinning phase beginning with blow room, carding, drawing, combining, simplex, and ending with ring frame.

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