Synthetic fibers have been around since the 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that they really took off with the invention of nylon. Today, synthetic materials are widely used in the fashion industry, but they are often compared to natural fibers. In this section, we will break down the differences between synthetic fibers and non-synthetic fabrics, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic material clothing.
Synthetic Fibers Vs Non-Synthetic Fabrics
Synthetic fibers have several advantages over non-synthetic fabrics. They are quick to dry, have added absorbency, are water-resistant, have moisture-wicking abilities, are stretchable, stain-resistant, and durable (in some cases). They are also more affordable than natural fibers. On the other hand, natural fibers are better for the skin and the planet, are generally more durable, have natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and are biodegradable.
Advantages Of Synthetic Material Clothing
Synthetic fibers are advantageous because of their affordability. They are also designed to be stain-resistant, water-resistant, and even waterproof. They excel particularly well in weather-resistant outerwear and activewear for their breathability and moisture-wicking qualities. Synthetic fabrics also tend to shrink less than non-synthetic clothing.
Disadvantages Of Synthetic Material Clothing
Many garments made with synthetic fibers are chemically unstable and can degrade or discolor after only a few months of wear. Synthetic fibers can also cause allergic reactions and are known to produce poisonous gases when burnt. Additionally, the production of synthetic fibers requires the use of fossil fuels, which produces toxins and greenhouse gases that are released into the environment. The process used to make acrylic fabric, for example, is highly volatile and workers are continuously exposed to the risk of explosions. Acrylic is also nearly impossible to recycle and is a major contributor to the microfiber crisis.