Man-made fibres account for 68% of all fibres produced worldwide, and for 82% in Europe, including Turkey.
World production was 58.6 million tonnes in 2012. European production was 4.6 million tonnes. For further data on world man-made fibres production, click World Man-Made Fibres Production.
Their principal end-use is in clothing, carpets, household textiles and a wide range of technical products - tyres, conveyor belts, fillings for sleeping bags and cold-weather clothing, filters for improving the quality of air and water in the environment, fire-resistant materials, reinforcement in composites used for advanced aircraft production, and much else. Fibres are precisely engineered to give the right combination of qualities required for the end-use in question: appearance, handle, strength, durability, stretch, stability, warmth, protection, easy care, breathability, moisture absorption and value for money, for example. In many cases, they are used in blends with natural fibres such as cotton and wool.
Man-made fibres come in two main forms: continuous filament, used for weaving, knitting or carpet production; and staple, discontinuous lengths of fibre which can be spun into yarn or incorporated in unspun uses such as fillings or nonwovens.