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Fibres And Fabrics
Fabric is made up of yarns arranged together.The thin strands of thread are made up of still thinner strands called fibres.Fabrics are made up of yarns and yarns are further made up of fibres.The fibres of some fabrics such as cotton,jute,silk and wool are obtained from plants and animals.These are natural fibres.Cotton and jute are examples of fibres obtained from plants. Wool and silk fibres are obtained from animals. Wool is obtained from the fleece of sheep or goat.It is also obtained from the hair of rabbits,yak and camels.Silk fibre is drawn from the cocoon of silkworm.
Cotton plants are usually grown at places having black soil and warm climate.The fruits of the cotton plant are about the size of a lemon.After maturing the bolls are burst open and the seeds covered with cotton fibres can be seen.From these bolls cotton is usually picked by hand.Fibres are then separated from the seeds by combing.This process is called ginning of cotton.Ginning was traditionally done by hand now it is done by machines.
Jute fibre is obtained from the stem of the jute plant.It is cultivated during the rainy season.In India jute is mainly grown in West Bengal,Bihar and Assam.The Jute plant is normally harvested when it is at flowering stage.The stems of the harvested plants are immersed in water for a few days.The stems rot and fibres are separated by hand. To make fabrics,all these fibres are first converted into yarns.
The process of making yarn from fibres is called spinning.In this process fibres from a mass of cotton wool are drawn out and twisted.This brings the fibres together to form a yarn. A simple device used for spinning is a hand spindle also called takli.Another hand operated device used for spinning is charkha.Spinning of yarn on a large scale is done with the help of spinning machines.After spinning,yarns are used for making fabrics.
There are many ways by which fabrics are made from yarns.The two main processes are weaving and knitting.
The process of arranging two sets of yarns together to make a fabric is called weaving.Weaving of fabric is done on looms.The looms are either hand operated or power operated.
In knitting a single yarn is used to make a piece of fabric.A single fabric gets pulled out continuoulsy as the fabric gets made.Knitting is done by hand and also on machines.Weaving and knitting are used for making different kinds of fabric.These fabrics are used for a variety of clothing items.