Microfiber is a man-made, synthetic fiber that is very fine compared to other fibers. It is often used as a material for furniture as well as bedding, cleaning rags, and more. The fineness, or diameter of microfiber is called denier; microfiber has a denier of 1.3 which is much finer than a human hair, and one twentieth the diameter of a strand of silk. Microfibers are commonly made from polyamides, polyester, and polypropylene. Depending on the purpose of the finished product, microfiber can be produced with different size, and shape combinations as well as different combinations of fiber types. Some fibers will be better suited for their water repellent and absorption properties while others are better suited for items that need to be soft, such as bedding and apparel.
Microfiber has only been around since the late 1950s when it was produced using flash spinning and melt blown spinning techniques. At this time, very little was able to be manufactured and there were very few applications for it anyways. In the 1960s, after further research into ultra-fine fibers, Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto of Japan, came up with an ultra-fine fiber with a continuous filament. This eventually led to Ultrasuede, which was one of the first synthetic microfibers available. Ultrasuede was on the market in the 1970s. Microfiber use continued to expand in the textile industry and started to become widely publicized in the 1990s. It was not until 2007, that the first line of microfiber products specifically for the American market were created by Rubbermaid.
Microfibers have several unique properties. They are normally resilient, lightweight, and are resistant to wrinkling. They are less likely to pill than other fabrics and tend to retain their shape nicely. Microfiber is also a durable material especially in relation to other fabrics that have a similar weight. Due to the fineness of microfibers, they are able to be packed together very tightly, resulting in properties such as richer, deeper colors. In apparel, the tightly packed fibers help the garment be water repellent and resistant to wind. Microfiber is somewhat sensitive to heat and therefore care needs to be taken when heat is applied.
Microfiber fabric is used to make a number of different products. It is used in the production of clothing, in particular athletic wear as microfiber is good at wicking moisture from the body. Because microfiber is also elastic, it is used to make undergarments, in addition to jackets, shirts, and other clothing items. Accessory items such as backpacks and handbags are sometimes created with microfiber, as are coin purses and cell phone cases. Microfiber is also commonly used to make cleaning products such as mops, dust rags, and more. The fabric is gentle on sensitive surfaces and is good at trapping dust as well as absorbing liquids. In addition to the above uses, microfiber is also commonly used to make furniture, and bedding. It can be used in the manufacturing of basketballs, insulation, towels, tablecloths, and much more.
Microfibers are normally cared for in much the same manner that similar fibers are. Most microfiber fabrics can be machine washed and dried, however it is important to check labels as certain types of microfiber may require dry cleaning. It should be kept in mind when drying microfibers, that they are sensitive to heat. Microfiber can easily scorch, or melt, so it should always be dried on low heat. Microfiber does have a tendency to develop static, especially in the winter months but fabric softener should help. When it comes to microfiber upholstery, it can be cleaned with a damp rag and a little bit of mild soap. Make sure you test a small area first to ensure you will not leave spots when cleaning.
Overall, microfiber is a strong, durable material that has become very popular in recent years. It is used in the manufacturing of countless products and is fairly easy to care for. To learn more about microfiber, consult the following sites.