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Comparing Staple to Filament Fiber: Structure and Properties

Table Of Content

Why has staple fiber garnered so much popularity in the recent past? Many chemical fiber companies are specializing in the production of these fibers. This is because of their physical and mechanical characteristics that replace natural fibers.

There are two broad categories of natural and artificial fiber according to their physical structure. They are staple and filament fibers.

The properties of staple and filament fiber are essential in consumer markets. Below is how the two fiber types differ.

In Identification

The key distinguishing feature of fiber is the length. Staple fibers are short fibers, while filaments are long continuous fibers. Most natural fibers are staples.Examples of staple fibers are wool, cotton and jute. Silk is the only natural filament fiber.

But synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon are filaments. The chemical companies produce fiber in filament bundles first that are then cut into the staple. This makes the synthetic staple fibers.

Structure

i.Diameter

The diameter of a natural staple fiber is uneven varying from one part to another. This is because external forces affect natural fibers for instance weather conditions. But, the diameter of the synthetic one is uniform since producers will determine its size.

Sometimes production companies will alter fibers to create irregularities for specific purposes. The unit for measuring diameter of natural fibers is microns. And that for the synthetic is denier. The diameter of fibers will determine the heaviness or fineness of fabrics.

Fiber Structure

ii.Length

The length of filament fiber is extensive. Many chemical fiber companies produce their filament in indefinite lengths. It makes it difficult in giving precise sizes.

Yet, staple fiber comes in short lengths of 35 to 150 millimeters on average. The staple fiber is either short that which does not exceed 60mm or long-staple of 60-150mm. An example of a short-staple is cotton with a length of 25-45 millimeters. Long-staple is wool going up to 150mm.

The unit for measuring filament length is yards. For the staple fiber measurement is millimeters or centimeters.

iii.Strength

Filament’s extensive strands make them stronger than their staple counterparts.

The two types of filament yarn are monofilament and multi-filament.

Properties

The size, length, and surface contour of fiber show its characteristics. These are properties that determine its service, durability, aesthetics, comfort, and care.

Let us dive into the main properties differentiating filament and staple.

  1. Blending– because of its short length, the staple is easy to weave with other fibers.
  1. Texture– while the most common use for both filaments and staple fiber is creating yarn. They will spin staple ones into long continuous strands first because they are short. For this reason, they appear rough. What this means is that they go through more processing.

Filament has long strands that ensure seamless weaving. The result is a smooth, shiny surface.

  1. Absorbency– Here we are comparing the ability of both fibers to absorb water. Staple has a hairy and fluffy texture that absorbs liquid.

Filaments tend to be more compact in that they blend well. This gives them a smooth, shiny finish. The silky feel is much less hygroscopic.

  1. Comfort and warmth– staple fiber is the perfect option for making insulation products.

Uses

Fiber manufacturers manipulate both filaments and staple yarn for industrial and home applications.

For instance, the staple is popular in making textured yarn for clothing. When compressed, it creates fabrics suitable for automobiles, construction, sanitary materials, and agriculture.

Short fiber tends to have rough, full and fluffy surface. It is thus common for insulation products for the autumn and winter seasons. Filament appears thinner and is ideal for summer clothing.

Both staple and filament can make furnishing products. But items from staple fibers like carpets have a dull matte-like appearance because of the short fiber. The local manufacturers can buy fiber in bulk and create the product for sale.For this reason, they are also less expensive.  They shed fibers during vacuuming so are not recommended for people with allergies.

Contrary to the staple, fiber manufacturers produce filament carpets making them expensive. They shed less since they blend well and are more resistant.

Raw staple fiber is the everyday material for filling toys, cushions, sofas, and duvets.

Conclusion

At the core of the utility of any product is its application. The unique nature of these fibers is the basis for how they function. For example, the size will determine its suitability and the type of product.

Filament fiber is essential for its smooth and lustrous look in finished products. It is stronger making the products durable. And Yet chemical fiber companies prefer to deal in staple fiber due to the easy manipulation. They can alter or improve it for many purposes. Its raw form as filler fiber, blended, compressed, and felted. Versatility in the application of staple fiber makes it favored.

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