Fibres are classified in 2 groups; natural fibres and man-made fibres (MMF).
Natural fibres are fibres made by nature. Typical examples are cotton and wool, which are mainly used in textile clothing but there are many often natural fibres produced in smaller quantities such as e.g. silk, flax or hemp.
Man-made fibres (MMF) are fibres made by man. MMF can be organic or inorganic. Organic MMF can be made from natural materials like wood, or are made from synthetic polymers.
For more information, visit the website of BISFA
- the International Bureau for the Standarization of Man-made Fibres.
Viscose is a typical example and an important MMF, which is made from wood pulp, a cellulose material. Other MMF are petroleum based synthetic fibres such as polyamide, polyester, acrylic, aramids, etc.
MMF are used daily, and our daily life would look quite different without MMF. MMF are not only used in all kind of textiles and apparel, but also in a wide range of technical applications. Transport or mobility (road, air) would be quite different and primitive if no MMF were available.
The level of sustainability is not automatically defined by the term “natural” or “man-made”. To come to the product in use, the production or converting processes may negatively or positively influence the environmental footprint. Also the in-use phase must be considered. Some MMF help save energy in the in-use phase, which can only be realised by the proper application of the MMF; e.g. in composites.
MMF is continuously making efforts to further improve the sustainability of its products, by being active and improving all aspects governing sustainability.